Razer is updating its flagship keyboard with the BlackWidow V4 Pro, a no-compromise model that breathes new life into this range.
Keyboard player The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is a major upgrade compared to the V3 we tested two years earlier. It retains a simple and modern chassis as well as the brand’s traditional green and yellow switches.
It differs from the previous generation with the return of dedicated macro keys on its left side, accompanied by three additional buttons on the edge and a fully customizable wheel. In short, Razer seems to have created a direct competitor to Corsair’s K100 RGB, and we don’t care!
Will he be able to convince us as much as his main adversary? This is what we will see in this complete test of the BlackWidow V4 Pro, a keyboard offered at the inordinate price of 280 euros.
Sobriety, embellished with good ideas
We liked the design of the BlackWidow V3 and Razer decided to continue the adventure with a similar chassis. The body is again made of plastic, on which sits a black metal plate that contributes to the good rigidity of the keyboard. Thus, we particularly appreciate here the sobriety of the whole.
First obvious innovation: the incorporation of RGB lighting that runs along the edges of the keyboard and extends to the wrist rest, this time magnetized, and very comfortable. It benefits from a textured synthetic leather covering of the most beautiful effect and is very pleasant to wear, while it no longer suffers from the problems of the V3.
The switches are placed back on the metal plate and topped off with the same raw ABS keycaps. If its texture hits the mark and limits grease buildup, we would have preferred to find PBT keys, which are much more durable. RGB lighting is logically part of it and we still regret that certain characters don’t benefit from it, especially in the special character row…
The action button dedicated to media controls here has been replaced with four separate buttons. Their finish gives them a noticeable premium appearance, but completely prevents the symbols on them from being “read”. Therefore, it is necessary to memorize their functions. The large volume control wheel is still present, just as practical and pleasant to use.
Like Corsair’s K100 RGB, the BlackWidow V4 Pro now has several additional, customizable buttons on its left side. Thus, there are five macro keys, an action wheel, and three side buttons, present on the left edge. These are also very responsive and therefore require a bit of practice before getting the hang of it, especially when the user has to change the position of the keyboard. The steering wheel would also have benefited from being a little further away from the rest of the keys. It’s not uncommon to hit them when you want to operate the latter…
Another good idea: the use of two separate USB C cables for the connection with the PC. We regret the presence of a double inseparable cable on the Huntsman V2 Analog and Razer seems to have corrected the situation here. So only one cable is needed to use the keyboard and a second one can be added to take advantage of the USB-A port on the back of the keyboard.
The presence of these removable cables removes one of the good ideas of the BlackWidow V3 which was equipped with an under-chassis cable management system. Here we only have the usual two-position retractable feet, which allow you to modify the tilt of the keyboard.
Knob, buttons, a perfect cocktail of functions
We brought out the usual Razer Synapse driver software to further customize how the BlackWidow V4 Pro works. The tool remains just as easy to use and allows you to remap all the keys on the keyboard using numerous functions. Similarly, RGB lighting can be changed with different settings.
The five macro keys, as well as the three side buttons, can be configured in the same way as the other keys on the keyboard. By default, in particular, they allow quick access to the screenshot interface or the game bar.
Different presets are also associated with the wheel. For example, you can change the brightness of the keyboard, change the active application, or even activate Windows zoom. Switching between the different modes is done simply by pressing the latter which has a color code for each of them. The operation is not always practical, depending on the number of features created, but Razer had the good idea to add a pop-up prompt for each change.
Of course, the user retains the possibility to create his own actions for this wheel. The options here are a bit more limited than for the other keys, but luckily there are macros available. So the possibilities are virtually endless and the default settings can be turned off.
The profiles here could have taken on their full meaning with this wheel and the buttons associated with it. Unfortunately, the actions of the wheel are completely independent of the profiles and therefore it is impossible to automatically switch between the functions. Also, the latter’s custom actions require Synapse to start.
Finally, if it matters at all, the BlackWidow V4 can be used at a frequency of vote of 8000 Hz. However, with so many buttons and its wheel, it seems to be positioned more as an all-terrain keyboard, both in games and for creative and office uses.
how déjà vu
Finally, it is almost in terms of performance that the Razer BlackWidow V4 disappoints a bit. In fact, Razer has made it simple by using the same mechanical switches as the previous generation. The keyboard is offered with a choice of the yellow switches found on the V3 Mini HyperSpeed or the traditional green ones that we are going to talk about here.
During our testing of the BlackWidow V3, we appreciated the responsiveness of these green switches which, as we recall, are very loud due to the audible click they make when activated. The activation point is 1.9mm and the required activation force is 50g.
Small novelty however: the snake brand has applied the same acoustic treatment as on the V3 Mini with a double layer of insulation and lubrication of the stabilizers. However, it’s difficult to take advantage of it in our test unit due to its switches. clicky but there is a very contained resonance.
In this version, the keyboard will delight typists and fans of tactile switches. However, we recommend the version equipped with yellow (linear) switches for gamers looking for a keyboard cutout for demanding and edgy gaming.
In short, although it offers excellent performance, we would have liked the BlackWidow V4 Pro to benefit from more qualitative switches, something that Razer does not lack. The pill is even harder to swallow when you know that this new version comes at a steep price.
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro Keyboard Price and Availability
The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard is available at the recommended price of 280 euros.