The Razer BlackWidow V3 is the company’s latest conventional mechanical gaming keyboard, by which we mean it does without the wireless connection of the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, or the optical switches of the Razer Hunstman V2. What it lacks in fancy extras, though, it makes up for in value, style, and performance.
It’s a great-looking keyboard, with a slick, all-black look and an aluminum plate on the top finishing off the premium feel. It has a similar vibe to the similarly dark and moody Corsair K100, but just takes the win for style in our eyes. It isn’t the heftiest keyboard, though, lacking the weight and rigidity of Filco and Ducky keyboards we’ve recently tested.
In terms of features, the Razer BlackWidow V3 is a much less outstanding example, though. It has a very aggressively knurled volume wheel in the top right (that also doubles as a mute button), and a multi-function media button that will play/pause, and skip forward and back tracks, depending on how many times it’s pressed. A handful of the main keys also have secondary functions, such as adjusting backlighting brightness, engaging Gaming mode (disabling the Windows key) and switching profiles.
However, that’s your lot. There are no USB pass-through, gaming keys, or any other extras, apart from the included wrist rest. The latter is quite large, slim and made from hard plastic, so it doesn’t offer the comfort of the padded wrist rest of the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, for instance.
One minor upside to the lack of a USB pass-through is that you get a slimmer, more manageable cable than that of the Corsair K100 and SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL. The Corsair’s cable is fully 7mm thick, making it stiff and unwieldy. The BlackWidow V3’s cable, though, is just 4mm thick yet is still braided and feels plenty durable enough.
Each key is RGB-backlit, along with the Razer logo on the front edge, making for a simple but attractive lighting array – it’s a shame the wrist rest blocks the front logo though. The keycaps are also doubleshot, so the legends should last, but they’re only ABS plastic, so will go shiny after a while.
In terms of action, the BlackWidow V3 uses Razer’s own mechanical switches, which are essentially Cherry MX clones, but they have stabilizing plastic surrounding the central cross on which the keycap sits. This means they should be compatible with most Cherry MX profile keycaps, but you’ll need to check the exact measurements of the caps.
Oddly, the keyboard is only available with two switch types – a green clicky version (50g, 1.9m, 4mm) and a yellow linear version, with no tactile bump version, despite Razer making a tactile switch. We tested the clicky version (the only clicky board we tested) and it was certainly very clicky, putting out a typically cacophonous din that was really quite off-putting to our ears (70.3dB compared to around 63dB that was typical of the other boards) during heavy typing sessions.
In our typing test, the switches proved to be decent, but there was a small step down in speed from the fastest switches. We slightly underpressed the keys sometimes too – you can’t use a light touch on these switches.
Razer BlackWidow V3 pros and cons
- Stylish design
- Some extra features
- Decent value
- Limited switch options
- Clicky switches are very loud
- Some flex in chassis
Razer BlackWidow V3 specs
The Razer BlackWidow V3 specs list is:
|Dimensions (mm)||451 x 154 x 42 (W x D x H)|
|Format||Standard 104 keys|
|Switch type||Razer mechanical green (clicky) or yellow (linear)|
|Switch life||80 million keystrokes|
|Extras||Volume wheel/mute button, multimedia button|
Razer BlackWidow V3 price
Price: Expect to pay $149 (£139).
Razer BlackWidow V3 review conclusion
The Razer BlackWidow V3 may not have many fancy features or the heft and rugged build quality of some more utilitarian mechanical keyboards, but it’s still a decent keyboard. It looks great, it performs perfectly well and is competitively priced. It’s just shame about the limited choice of switches.
If you’re looking for a new gaming keyboard, and the Razer BlackWidow V3 doesn’t quite tick all your boxes, make sure you read our full guide to the best gaming keyboard, where we take you through all the best options at a range of prices.
A narrow choice of switches limits the appeal of this keyboard, but it looks great, performs well and is priced sensibly too.