Razer Cynosa Chroma: Great gaming keyboard for office

The Razer Cynosa Chroma is not as noisy as mechanical keyboards as it uses plastic membranes with rubber switches. PHOTO: RAZER
The Razer Cynosa Chroma is not as noisy as mechanical keyboards as it uses plastic membranes with rubber switches. PHOTO: RAZER

Love to use colour-backlit mechanical keyboards in the office, but worry about disturbing co-workers with the loud clicks? Check out Razer's Cynosa Chroma.

It is a full-size 104-key keyboard that uses soft-membrane instead of the mechanical switches that Razer is famed for.

Instead of the spring structure of mechanical switches, membrane keyboards use plastic membranes with dome-shaped rubber switches under the keys for activating a key press. Razer says Cynosa uses "soft-cushioned keys with gaming-grade performance". I think it is just a euphemism for the general mushy feedback you get when typing on membrane keyboards.

But each key of the Cynosa is programmable and backlit with colour options of up to 16.8 million colours - features rarely seen on membrane keyboards. It also supports 10 key roll-over with anti-ghosting, which means up to 10 simultaneous key presses can be registered.

As if Razer knows that this keyboard is likely to end up on office desks, the Cynosa is resistant to water spills. I did not test this feature but it does give you some confidence that your keyboard will probably survive your colleague's clumsy coffee spill.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $99.90

    SWITCHES: Soft-membrane

    FEATURES: RGB lighting, Razer Synapse enabled, 10-key roll-over with anti-ghosting

    RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

As the Cynosa lacks the dedicated profile and macro keys found in Razer's high-end mechanical keyboards, it has a smaller footprint. Great for those with small office cubicles.

However, it still has Razer's signature looks, with its all-black chassis and a small Razer logo at the centre bottom. And with its customisable backlighting, you are sure to attract glances of envy from your co-workers.

As you might expect, the Cynosa's keys do not have the sort of clicky tactile feedback compared to mechanical keyboards like the Razer Blackwidow Chroma. In fact, I feel that Apple's Magic Keyboard provides a better and more satisfying tactile feedback than the Cynosa. And the Cynosa's key response is mushy like most membrane keyboards.

However, the Cynosa is quieter than even the Magic Keyboard. I could hardly hear the keys' sound even while typing furiously. In fact, it is so quiet that if you play games in the office, no one will probably know.

Plus, in terms of gaming, the Cynosa performs superbly - apart from the lack of a clicky tactile feel. There was no ghosting and no phantom keys were registered when I was playing shooter games such as PlayerUnknown's BattleGrounds, and role-playing games such as Fallout 4.

Verdict: The Razer Cynosa is the perfect choice if you want a quiet and affordable colour backlit keyboard for office and gaming.