Portable keyboards walk a difficult path between mobility and function, but the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed threads that needle with ease. Where many compact devices don't have enough versatility to manage day-to-day use, this does. Is it the best gaming keyboard for those that game on the go? Very possibly.
Average price: $179.99 / £179.99
Size: 65% compact
Switches: Razer Yellow / Green
Keycaps: Double-shot ABS
Media keys: None
Wrist rest: None
USB passthrough: None
Tested on an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti-powered gaming PC
As you can tell from its name, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is juggling a lot of features in spite of the keyboard's small stature. First and foremost, it provides an updated version of the beloved BlackWidow range with either clicky green or quiet Yellow switches (the latter have been improved thanks to silicon sound dampeners). Yet the numpad has been carved away. This is a compact design as a result, and it boasts a 65% form-factor that makes it very portable. Thanks to the inclusion of directional and page navigation keys, it's got more utility than standard 60% alternatives as well.
It's also another entry in Razer's wireless repertoire; the V3 Mini can use Bluetooth or 2.4GHz HyperSpeed connections. Razer claims that HyperSpeed is 25% faster than anything its competition can provide, and there's no denying the V3 Mini's responsiveness in action. In fact, it's impossible to tell the difference between this and a wired equivalent.
Rounding out the spec list is a 200-hour battery life - if you go without RGB, anyway. Opt for 100% lighting brightness and you're looking at around 17 hours instead (by comparison, 30% brightness raises its lifespan to 48 hours).
By virtue of its compact nature, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed's design is the most noticeable thing about it. This thing is seriously dinky, coming in at a third of the size of the average BlackWidow. It's as if Razer shrunk a BlackWidow in the wash.
Otherwise, it's very much a Razer keyboard in every sense - stocky, blocky, and bedecked in black. The keycaps are deep and thick, while the sleek matte surface around them is broken only by a shiny plastic rim with an RGB Razer logo.
After being disappointed with the last BlackWidow - the wireless Pro - I was hesitant when it came to the V3 Mini HyperSpeed. Fortunately, it's not a repeat performance. This is the fantastic little keyboard that could, and it sidesteps the mistakes of its predecessor.
Our version of the Mini Hyperspeed came with Yellow switches that provide a linear, quieter experience, and they're very pleasant indeed for gaming and typing alike. Thanks to the new sound dampeners, this isn't a keyboard that's going to infuriate everyone in your home or office with noisy clacking (unless you choose the satisfyingly tactile but noisy Green switches, anyway).
Thanks to whip-crack fast actuation, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is also incredibly responsive. For example, it comes into its own when sprinting into cover or spinning around to take pot-shots at oncoming foes in games like Apex Legends. Meanwhile, the shorter distance between keys minimises finger travel time as much as possible without causing you to trip over the wrong command. That's useful even in MMOs such as World of Warcraft, where cycling between attacks or spells swiftly can save your party during an intense battle.
Better still, the Mini HyperSpeed doesn't seem to have the older BlackWidow's issues with double-pressing (where you'd end up with repeated letters or numbers despite only tapping the key once). This was a real problem for 2020's BlackWidow V3 Pro, so it's good to see that issue resolved here.
It also goes one better than the Razer Huntsman Mini thanks to those directional keys. Forgoing them is fine in the short-term, but it's a real pain if you have to use your keyboard for any extended period of time. As such, the fact that they're included on the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed without compromising form-factor is a godsend. I wouldn't necessarily recommend making this your day-to-day keyboard for work and play, but it'd do just fine if you had to - there's enough functionality to make it work.
Let's not forget about the lack of a permanent cable, either. It's so much more portable than something like the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog as a result, and the connection seems flawless. That marks it as a good choice for gaming on the go.
The only issue? Beyond price, which is really quite high, the one problem I have is its battery life. Realistically speaking, most of us want to show off our RGB (a gaming keyboard without it seems a little… bereft), so only getting 17 hours at 100% brightness is a bit naff. However, on the flip side, it does charge very quickly - mine zoomed back to three-quarter strength after an hour or so.
Overall - should you buy the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed?
Concerns about its battery aside, this is an impressive piece of kit. Indeed, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is a compact keyboard that's actually useful in day-to-day scenarios. Who'd have thought it?
With that in mind, I have no problem recommending it if you want something to pair with the best gaming laptops while you're on the move. It's not going to top the full-size BlackWidow or the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro if you want something for a static PC, but it's begging to be taken for a spin in tournaments or situations where space is a commodity.