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Razer keyboards: explore the top mechanical and membrane planks from one of the best

Razer keyboards: explore the top mechanical and membrane planks from one of the best
(Image credit: Future/Razer)

A Razer keyboard is probably one of the best ways to improve your PC gaming setup. They are some of the best in the business and cover a range of sizes, styles, designs, and mechanisms, so there's bound to be one that will suit you. The reputation of Razer's keyboards is now well established, especially with the likes of the BlackWidow and Huntsman ranges being so ingrained in any discussion on gaming planks.

Razer hardware

Interested in all things Razer? Then you should definitely check out our guides to Razer headsets, Razer laptops, the best Razer mouse you can get, the top picks for a Razer controller, and the best Razer streaming gear going.  

Razer keyboards are generally at the premium level of peripherals, but there are increasing numbers of entry-level variants from the hardware behemoth. No matter the model (from all-singing options to the less feature-crammed planks), they are some of the best gaming keyboards around.

The two sides of the gaming keyboard fence are covered by the best Razer keyboards: the mechanical category and the membrane alternatives. Some even straddle that line to give you the best of both worlds. 

Whatever you go for, when you team a Razer keyboard with a quality gaming PC - like the Razer BlackWidow Elite and ASUS ROG GA15 PC that I use - the results are brilliant for gaming.

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Razer BlackWidow Elite

The best Razer keyboard money can buy

Type: Mechancial (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Per-key RGB lighting

Quality construction
Responsive switches
Sounds awesome to use
Expensive

Blackwidow keyboards have been at the top of the mechanical tree for many years, and this latest Elite iteration seems likely to keep it there - it's seriously good. As we said in our review sum-up: "There’s no denying the quality of the materials or the construction, and the green switches will delight gamers who prize responsiveness and speed, as well as a clicking that can be driven to chainsaw-like levels of buzz when you’re moving really fast. The Elite may look understated, but becomes ostentatious when its lighting is fully powered up, and that’s just the way we like it".

This is a great summary of a quality keyboard that is everything we have grown to expect in a BlackWidow product. If you're looking for further reassurance, I use this in conjunction with my ASUS ROG GA15 PC every day and now swear by it - for work and play. I used the 'standard' BlackWidow for a while before upgrading to the Elite model, and while the former was a great, solid keyboard, the Elite represents a quality step up in every way. I would have no problem declaring it my personal favorite Razer keyboard that I've used (thus far). 

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Razer Cynosa Chroma

The best budget gaming keyboard from Razer

Type: Membrane (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Per-key RGB lighting

Feels great to type on
Quiet membrane keys
Affordable
Some keys can sound 'squeaky'

The Razer Cynosa Chroma might not be the very best Razer keyboard going in every capacity, but it is the absolute best budget Razer keyboard. In short, it'll bag you loads of Razer goodness and quality in keyboard-form for an affordable price.

Its basis in being a membrane keyboard makes the Cynosa Chroma a quiet performer, as you're pressing down on a rubbery sheet rather than hammering clicky buttons under your keys constantly. 

It backs up this subtle-tapping approach by putting in a good performance, too. The keycaps are satisfying to type with, the presence of macro settings gives you flexibility over the function of each key, the RGB design is fun and brings brightness to a plain chassis, and its compact footprint means it's great for any desks, particularly those who are in short supply of table real estate.

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Razer Huntsman Elite

The fastest Razer gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Dedicated media keys, opto-mechanical switches, customizable RGB, soft and detachable wrist rest

Opto-mechanical switches eliminate delay
Plush leatherette wrist rest
No USB passthrough or macros
Pricey

Razer's Huntsman range of keyboards is rapidly becoming the company's premier lineup. As a USP, they are the only set of keyboards to feature Razer's excellent opto-mechanical switches. This is worthy of your attention as they provide a mix of the tactile, 'clicky' feel of a mechanical switch with optical actuation via lasers. As a result, actuation delay (the time it takes for a key-press to be registered) is basically eliminated. Nice. Thus, as opposed to the full press of a switch sending a signal to your PC, the Huntsman Elite's keys register the moment they touch a laser beam. It's so much faster, and striking a key multiple times or having to input several controls quickly is easy.

More broadly, there are some excellent quality-of-life upgrades that help the Huntsman further its claim as the best Razer keyboard: there's a memory foam wrist rest; a digital dial that allows you to adjust brightness and volume; and a host of other settings. It'll demand a striking price tag, but this Razer keyboard has the gaming chops, feature set, and quality to make it one of the best planks going.

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Razer Ornata V2

The best hybrid gaming keyboard from Razer

Type: Mecha-membrane (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Hybrid switches, low actuation, customizable RGB, soft and detachable wrist rest

Mixes membrane and mechanical switches
Low actuation
Pleather wrist-rest
Keycaps get greasy

The Ornata V2 is a brilliant answer to the question: should my Razer keyboard be mechanical or membrane? The answer is, actually, it can be both, and that comes in the form of the Razer Ornata V2.

Utilizing a 'mecha-membrane' approach to its design, the Oranata V2 blends the two approaches and techs into a glorious combination: it has a mechanical 'click' with the feel of membrane switches. As Razer itself says, the Ornata V2 "combines the best of both worlds by providing a soft cushioned touch for gaming comfort, along with a crisp tactile click".

as a result, it is very easy to use and also incredibly responsive, enhanced further by the keycaps which are a comfortable distance from each other - no need to be stretch Armstrong or contort your hands into weird shapes. One of the bestRazer keyboards, and an excellently refreshing take on the go-to technologies which underpin most of our modern keyboards. 

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Razer Turret

The best Razer console keyboard

Type: Razer Green Tactile | Size: Full | Features: Compatibility with Xbox One, Xbox key, wireless, retractable mouse mat

Versatile - works with PC or Xbox One
Modeled after the excellent BlackWidow
Durable and built to last
Hard wrist rest

This is a great keyboard solution from Razer that will especially appeal to those multi-device gamers and anyone looking for versatility: it's compatible with Xbox One as well as PC. What's more, its excellence in multi-device setups comes from the fact that it is wireless.

Interrogated more closely, the Turret's two parts perform just as well as the full-blooded counterparts which provided their inspiration. To start with, the keyboard is just like the BlackWidow in its reliability, quality, and design (its retractable mouse pad is also a wonderful design touch). Meanwhile, the included mouse is on par with the Mamba model - one of the best Razer gaming mice you can get. 

The Razer Turret, as a package, is definitely one of the best Razer keyboard solutions as it neatly gets rid of two cables - an excellent bonus.

I'm one of Hardware Editors for GamesRadar+, and I take care of a whole host of gaming tech reviews, buying guides, and news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer so do that in my spare time, and lean on it to write about games' landscapes and environments too.