Tech review: Razer Blackwidow Lite a great mechanical keyboard for the office

The Razer Blackwidow Lite mechanical keyboard is quieter and is hence more suitable for the office. PHOTO: RAZER
The Razer Blackwidow Lite mechanical keyboard is quieter and is hence more suitable for the office. PHOTO: RAZER

Razer might be renowned for its gaming mice and keyboards, but it is making inroads in the office with its productivity suite of PC peripherals. And the Blackwidow Lite is one of them.

The Blackwidow Lite is a compact tenkeyless keyboard designed for office workers who spend most of their working hours typing on a keyboard. It is said to combine the fast responsiveness of gaming with "toned down" features that make the Blackwidow Lite more suitable for an office setting.

In terms of looks, the Blackwidow Lite is understated with its clean all-black design. It looks like any other keyboard than a typical loud and bright Razer keyboard. It even lacks the iconic Razer three-snake logo found in many Razer gaming keyboards. Instead, it only has a black Razer-worded logo embossed above the directional keys. And yes, a big surprise - no backlight for this logo too.

In addition, instead of Razer's Chroma RGB backlighting with up to 16.8 million colours, the Blackwidow Lite only offers white LED backlighting. This is so as not to distract your co-workers from the different colours and lighting effects.

The Blackwidow Lite also uses Razer Orange mechanical switches, a quieter version of Razer Green's tactile clicky mechanical switches that require slightly less actuation force. Thus, you are less likely to disturb your colleagues.

Plus, the switches have a expected lifespan of 80 million key presses. You probably will change a few jobs within the lifespan of this keyboard.

Razer has included many O-rings that you can insert into the base of each key to reduce switch travel distance as well as to dampen the sound of each keystroke when the keys are pressed.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $149.90

    SWITCHES: Razer Orange switches, tactile and silent with 45g actuation force

    FEATURES: White LED backlight, Razer Synapse enabled

    WEIGHT: 661g

    RATING

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3.5/5

I tried installing some of these O-rings to see if it really work. I found the key clacking sound to be quieter by only a bit, while the key press feels softer. For someone who love Razer Green's clicky tactile response and loud sound, the keys with O-rings just feel too mushy for me.

Thankfully, the default clack sound (without the O-ring) is still adequate though I still prefer the loud clicky Razer Green mechanical switches.

Like most keyboards, the Blackwidow Lite has two retractable feet at its base to prop the keyboard at a slanted angle better for typing. As the feet only raised the keyboard by 6 degrees, it does not provide a great angle to type on.

I would prefer the angle to be steeper, like the 10-degrees tilt of the Razer Blackwidow X Tournament Edition that I use in the office.

Bad news for office workers who need the numeric keypad for data crunching - the Blackwidow Lite does not have one due to its tenkeyless design.

However, due to its lack of a numeric keypad, it is much smaller and takes up less tabletop space. Great for those who do not have a large cubicle or tabletop space to work with.

In addition, the Blackwidow Lite is around 300g lighter than the already-lightweight Blackwidow X Tournament Edition. The Blackwidow Lite also comes with a detachable braided micro-USB-to-USB-A cable, so you can remove the cable for easier transportation.

Despite being a keyboard for office work, the Blackwidow Lite still comes with 10-key rollover with anti-ghosting technology. Thus, all your key presses will be registered, even when you press all the keys at the same time.

You can also rebind the keys, assign macros and set up shortcuts using the Razer Synapse 3.0 software. But I highly doubt officer workers will use it, especially since the software does not seem to work behind my office's VPN, which might be the case for many.

Verdict: The Razer Blackwidow Lite is a great mechanical keyboard to use in the office if you do not need a numeric keypad.