Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless
Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Let it be known that the Razer BlackWidow Elite
is one of the best mechanical keyboards out there, something we touched on in our review
back in 2018 AD. That burning love was rekindled during Lockdown 1.0 this year, thanks to replacing the keys with some fresh Razer double-shot PBT white keycaps
. The two-tone black and white not only looks awesome
, but after two years of heavy usage it now feels brand-new again.
Now, this is all to say that ahead of opening the new Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless
(TKL) mechanical gaming keyboard, I kind of knew what to expect. A great mechanical feel with a responsiveness that I’ve grown accustomed to over the past couple of years. And switches that will go the distance. Albeit, without the number pad and some of the more premium features that come from having more physical real-estate – like dedicated media keys. Or a wrist rest – which is a shame because a tenkeyless-sized version of the awesome Razer wrist-rest would have gone down a treat.
That’s another thing two-years with the Elite has done, it’s turned my wrists soft.
Look and Feel
Although it’s V3 or version three, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless doesn’t stray too far from the BlackWidow design. It’s still as durable as ever thanks to the aluminium body and the angle and floating-key shape is as perfectly aligned as ever. The only real immediate differences come from what you can’t see, in that the Green Razer Mechanical Switches in our review unit weren’t quite as loud as the switches found in the Elite. Which probably comes down to subtle dampening changes made over time.
Ahead of opening the new Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless (TKL) mechanical gaming keyboard, I kind of knew what to expect. A great mechanical feel with a responsiveness that I’ve grown accustomed to over the past couple of years.
Also, in terms of tenkeyless keyboards the Razer BlackWidow V3, although compact, is heavier and chunkier than most. Which probably comes down to the elevated and taller profile than most compact keyboards.
The BlackWidow V3 is portable, can be taken on-the-go, and thanks to rubber pads can make any flat surface a stable and awesome setup. The single design flaw comes from the USB cable not being braided – something we’ve expected to find from Razer – or detachable. Now Razer’s threading that lets you position the USB-cable to the left, right, or centre is here – but it would have been nice to have it also be detachable for that added bit of ease for those that lug their TKL around from place to place and surface to surface.
Switch Type: Razer Mechanical Switches
LED Color: RGB (Razer Chroma)
Cable: Wired (USB)
Dimensions: 362mm x 155mm x 41mm
Product Weight: 840g
Rated with an 80-million keystroke lifespan the Razer Mechanical Switches will feel familiar to just about anyone that has used a mechanical keyboard – similar in many ways to the classic CherryMX feel. For those looking for a less-clicky alternative, that is keystroke silence, a Yellow variant is also available. In our testing we didn’t come across any issues and with a few years of Razer Switch usage it’s safe to say that the quality here lives up to its promise.
Although you don’t get dedicated media keys or special function keys all that stuff is accessible and programmable (with cloud profile saving) – with media functionality and RGB control and macro stuff already labelled.
The BlackWidow V3 is portable, can be taken on-the-go, and thanks to rubber pads can make any flat surface a stable and awesome setup.
In terms of RGB, Razer Chroma continues to be one of the best with several of its profiles and game compatibility working seamlessly with other hardware lighting. And when it comes to the question of ‘do you miss the keypad?’ the answer for the most part is no. Outside of being used to logging into Windows with PIN playing games like DOOM Eternal or Rainbow Six Siege or Call of Duty Modern Warfare you begin to wonder if it was all wasted space to begin with.
Of course, a full-sized keyboard will always have its place, but for gaming it’s not hard to see just why the portable TKL option has become something of a mainstay. And on that front, when you take one of the best mechanical keyboards out there and shrink it – which is what Razer has done with the Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless – the result is something well worth looking into.