Chroma V2 - an almost faultless gaming keyboard

The Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2's cushioned wrist rest is ideal for typing but not recommended for gaming.
The Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2's cushioned wrist rest is ideal for typing but not recommended for gaming.PHOTO: RAZER

The Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2 is the second version of Razer's flagship gaming keyboard.

Design-wise, it looks exactly like the original Blackwidow Chroma. There is still a column on the far left of the keyboard that houses an extra set of five macro keys.

However, there are no dedicated media keys. Instead, you have to press the Function key and some of the F keys to change volume or play media.

Otherwise, it still features the 10-key rollover anti-ghosting feature, fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording, and customisable backlighting with up to 16.8 million colour options. There is a USB 2.0 pass-through port as well as a 3.5mm four-pole audio pass-through jack on the right side of the keyboard.

However, the V2 now comes in a new Razer Yellow switch variant. The original Blackwidow Chroma offered only Razer Green and Orange switch options.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $289.90

    SWITCHES: Razer Green switches, tactile and clicky with 50g actuation force

    FEATURES: RGB lighting, Razer Synapse enabled

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The Razer Green mechanical switches are the tactile-clicky type, while the Razer Orange switches are the tactile-silent type.

The Razer Yellow switches are linear and silent. In other words, it requires less travel distance and actuation force, making it suitable for first-person shooter (FPS) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) players who would need to press their keyboard keys continuously during a match.

All the Razer switches are supposed to have a lifespan of up to 80 million presses. For this review, I tested the variant with Green switches, as these switches are my personal favourite. I have always preferred my keyboard to have audibly clicky keys when pressed, even though it may require a slightly greater actuation force.

It just feels like I am typing on an old typewriter. The keys are very responsive to my presses and there was no ghosting when I was gaming.

The biggest news about the V2, though, is that it now comes with a magnetic wrist rest. You can easily attach it to - or detach it from - the bottom edge of the keyboard.

For those who use their keyboard not only for gaming, but also for daily routines like typing e-mails and reports, the new ergonomic magnetic wrist rest is heaven-sent.

It was very comfortable and helped to reduce wrist strain while I was using the keyboard to type this review.

However, during gaming sessions, I found the opposite to be true. The wrist rest places your wrists slightly higher than the surface of the keyboard, which makes it perfect for typing.

But when you need to continuously press the same keys for gaming, it actually strains your wrists.

I would recommend removing the wrist rest when you are using the keyboard for gaming.

• Verdict: Apart from its hefty price tag, there is almost nothing to fault about the Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2. It is not a definite upgrade for existing Blackwidow Chroma users. But if you are looking for a new gaming keyboard, the Blackwidow Chroma V2 is the one to get.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Chroma V2 - an almost faultless gaming keyboard'. Print Edition | Subscribe