Best Razer Keyboards

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

36 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
102 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Razer keyboards

A well-rounded computer setup has several parts — monitor, graphics card, audio interface, chair — but the keyboard might be the overall MVP. Sure, a keyboard isn’t quite as thrilling as an overclocked 12-core processor, but a quality one will improve your experience like no other component can. With over two decades’ experience manufacturing computer hardware and peripherals, Razer is one of the best options for a new keyboard.

Outside of the seat you park yourself on, the keyboard is what you’ll actually be touching the most. A precise, comfortable, and intuitive one can reduce fatigue during long sessions and put your favorite features near where your hands naturally sit. What’s more, the keyboards are often customizable to fit your individual preferences.

While Razer is primarily geared toward gaming, its products are right at home in an office, writer’s room, or anywhere else typing needs to get done. From quiet, compact models to flashy workhorses endorsed by esports pros, Razer has a keyboard for every computer user. Check out our buying guide for the basics and our product recommendations if you already know what you need.

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Razer keyboards commonly offer Gaming Modes to disable certain functions at certain times. Often, Gaming Modes turn off your Windows key and Alt + F4 function, which could cause your start menu to open in-game or the application to shut down entirely.

Key considerations

Wired vs. wireless

Just like mice and headphones, modern keyboards have embraced the convenience of wireless tech. Wired and wireless versions each have their pros and cons, and we summarize the main points below.

Wired: These keyboards connect to your computer via USB cable. You sacrifice some freedom of movement with these, and there’s another cord to manage, but they have no lag and are powered by the same USB connection that transfers data. These keyboards are typically a bit cheaper than wireless equivalents. 

Wireless: These keyboards use Bluetooth tech to pair with your device and generally have a range of between 20 and 40 feet. The lack of a cable presents a cleaner look for your workspace, and the keyboard can be moved to pair with tablets, other computers, and even gaming consoles. Wireless keyboards are slightly more expensive and must be charged occasionally via USB power adapter. Some older models use replaceable batteries, however. There is technically a higher risk for lag, but with current tech, it’s extremely unlikely that you will notice any.

As you can see, it’s hard to make an argument that one version is objectively better. If you travel often or desire an extremely neat workspace, a wireless keyboard may be for you. If you hate the idea of charging and don’t mind the cord, you can potentially save a few bucks on a wired model. No matter which version you choose, Razer offers plenty of lightweight, durable, and comfy options. 

Membrane vs. mechanical keys

Gamers and PC enthusiasts are very similar to car nuts in that every component and every detail matters. This is why there are so many keyboard types available, all the way down to the types of switches used on each individual key. As far as the broad categories are concerned, though, the primary types are membrane, mechanical, and optical mechanical. 

Membrane: The longtime standard for non-gamers and laptop users, membrane keyboards have a soft, gentle feel to them. The keys sit atop a rubber/silicone dome and act as pressure pads instead of individual switches. While comfortable and quiet, they’re not as precise. Given Razer’s place in the gaming sphere, the brand doesn’t currently offer a classic membrane keyboard. 

Mechanical: Mechanical keyboards, as the name suggests, are made up of individual switches that feel crisp to use. These are extremely accurate and durable compared to membrane models. Not every switch feels the same, though, and they may be labeled “linear,” “tactile,” or “clicky” depending on the model. 

  • Linear switches are smooth, consistent, and quiet.
  • Tactile switches have a noticeable “bump” as they actuate but are still quiet.
  • Clicky switches feature a more pronounced bump and a loud click.

Optical mechanical: Optical switches are still mechanical switches, but they are unique in the way they actuate. Instead of a physical connection between metallic contact points, optical switches use a light beam actuator.  In layman’s terms, optical switches have light beams below them, and when you press a key, that light is blocked. When that light is blocked, your keyboard sends a signal and the corresponding action is carried out. The advantages compared to pure mechanical are fewer moving parts, faster responses, and improved durability. 

Size and ergonomics

Hands come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s only logical that keyboards do as well. Smaller hands feel more at home on smaller keyboards than on larger ones because they don’t have to move as far to reach distant keys. If you’re engaging in long gaming, editing, or writing sessions, your hands will definitely notice a difference. 

Small Razer keyboards, such as the Huntsman Mini, measure 11.9 inches wide by 4.3 inches deep. Keyboards this size are known as 60% keyboards because they’re about 60% of the standard size. Gamers adore this layout because, with the proper angle, they allow you to reach all the keys with small wrist and hand movements. They also don’t take up much space on a desk, but at a cost — 60% keyboards don’t typically feature a tenkey (number pad) or function rows (arrow keys, page up, page down, and so on). If you don’t need these keys, a diminutive 60% model might be perfect for you. 

If you have larger hands or prefer full functionality, Razer offers plenty of full-size keyboards measuring up to 18 inches by 6 inches.

Curved keyboards allow you to rest your elbows in more comfortable and natural positions. It may not seem like much, but small adjustments to your hand, arm, and shoulder positions can reduce muscle pain and neck tension.

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Features

RGB backlighting

Keyboards are practical tools, but like the majority of gaming peripherals, there’s a stylistic component as well. Take a quick gander at our recommended products and you’ll see Razer products are no different — they’re stuffed full of RGB lighting. These lights allow you to match your keyboard to the lighting and décor of your room, and they help you identify your keys in the dark.

RGB-equipped Razer keyboards are recognizable for their Chroma designations. Chroma allows you to choose from 16.8 million colors, as well as various lighting effects and customizable options. The software you use to control these features (and reprogram keys) is called Razer Synapse.

Media keys

If you listen to music as you work or play, media keys will quickly become some of your closest allies. Keyboards with media keys allow you to control volume, play, pause, and skip through your playlist with the push of a button, so you needn’t minimize your task or Alt + Tab to make adjustments.

An important note: these keys usually sit on the function key row, so if you have a mini or 60% keyboard, media keys may not be an option.

Wrist rest

In a way, a keyboard wrist rest is like a proper gaming chair: once you’ve used one, you’ll never want to be without it again. And just like with chairs, ergonomics and comfort go a long way toward increasing productivity and enjoyment whatever the task.

Several, but not all, Razer keyboards come with a plush, cushioned wrist rest that elevates your wrists to be in line with your keys. This takes pressure off your wrist joints and reduces aches and pains over time. What’s more, these are usually magnetic, so they stay attached to your keyboard to keep everything in place.

Mecha-Membrane switches

In addition to purely mechanical keyboards and optical keyboards, Razer offers something called a Mecha-Membrane as a compromise for select models. This design takes the soft, fatigue-reducing feel of a membrane and adds a mid-height key actuator with a noticeable and responsive click. The advantage here is quiet and easy operation with a still sharp feel. 

Is Mecha-Membrane better than pure mechanical? There are arguments for either, and personal preference is key (no pun intended). We recommend getting your hands on both versions to see which is best for you.

Onboard memory

Want to keep your lighting profile, macros, and other settings intact? Select Razer products have onboard memory, so no matter what you plug your keyboard into, your layout will remain consistent. You can save up to five profiles.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Some keyboards boast dedicated macro keys that let you accomplish complex tasks with a single keystroke. Simply program a combination of keystrokes to one button with the manufacturer’s software. Use caution, though: macros can be illegal in multiplayer games.
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Razer keyboard prices

Inexpensive: Entry-level Razer keyboards range from $60 to $100. That’s significantly spendier than a basic keyboard, but you’ll find a fair number of standard features here. This price point includes Chroma RGB backlighting, wrist rest, and dedicated media keys. Expect Mecha-Membrane, Orange, and Green switches. 

Mid-range: At $100 to $150, you’ll notice the increased prevalence of onboard memory, cool finishes, and 60% form factor designs. Your switch options increase as well, and you’ll find Yellow switches and optical switches in this segment.

Expensive: Budget $150 and above for the best Razer has to offer in terms of switches, styles, and leatherette wrist rests. Wireless keyboards start to pop up above $200, as do low-volume models such as the Xbox One-rated Turret.

Mouse and keyboards are for computers only, right? Not always. The Xbox One is compatible with Razer’s Turret keyboard, and it features a built-in hard mouse pad for couch-friendly gaming. This can give you PC precision without spending hundreds (or thousands) on a new computer.

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Tips

  • Keep food and drinks away from your keyboard. Designate a safe space away from your keyboard to store food and drinks. We recommend drink bottles with spill-proof lids for even greater assurance, but even then you shouldn’t be placing food or drinks near any of your PC’s electronics.
  • Keep your keyboard clean. To clean your keyboard, power it down and turn it over. Lightly tap the back to dislodge any large debris. Compressed air and brushes are fantastic for removing finer dust, and you may want to consider a keycap puller to remove pieces for easier cleaning. If you use a moistened cleaning wipe, squeeze out any excess liquid first to prevent drips. 
  • Keep your keyboard up to date. Keyboard drivers allow your operating system to recognize and exchange data with your keyboard, and they must be updated occasionally. The majority of modern keyboards do this automatically, but if you run into issues with yours, search for your model number’s newest drivers to check if you’re up to date.
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Razer also offers simple, streamlined devices called keypads. These trim the fat to maximize movement efficiency and are typically limited to movement keys, number keys, and media controls. They’re perfect for MMO gaming and generally very ergonomic.

FAQ

Q. How do I know if a Razer keyboard will work with my computer?

A. While there are countless keyboards to choose from, compatibility is a much simpler topic. On the whole, if your computer has a free USB slot, it’s almost guaranteed to work. Razer keyboards work with both PCs and Macs, and Razer offers a version of their Synapse software for both. As always, confirm that your version of the software and your keyboard drivers are up to date, but these devices are largely plug-and-play. 

Q. Razer offers a variety of mechanical switches. What are the differences between them?

A. We’ve covered keyboards with membrane switches, keyboards with mechanical switches, and keyboards with optical mechanical switches, but we’re not done yet. Razer offers several unique mechanical switch models — Yellow, Orange, Green, Red, and Purple — each with its own “personality.” We’ll list them below for clarity, along with their equivalent by Cherry MX, the market leader in mechanical switches. Razer utilized Cherry MX switches in its keyboards until 2014, when it switched to proprietary designs.

  • Razer Yellow: Mechanical, linear; 1.2-millimeter actuation point; compare to Cherry MX Speed 
  • Razer Orange: Mechanical, tactile; 1.9-millimeter actuation point; compare to Cherry MX Brown
  • Razer Green: Mechanical, clicky; 1.9-millimeter actuation point; compare to Cherry MX Blue 
  • Razer Red: Optical mechanical, linear; 1.0-millimeter actuation point 
  • Razer Purple: Optical mechanical, clicky; 1.5-millimeter actuation point

Q. I want to game with others over voice chat. Will a loud, clicky mechanical keyboard be picked up by my microphone?

A. Communication is very important when you’re gaming with friends, but nobody wants to hear the click-clack racket of your keyboard at the same time. Thankfully, even if you have your mind set on a mechanical keyboard, there are ways around it.

The easiest option is to use a push-to-talk key instead of voice activation. That way, the only time your mic is activated is when you push a specific button, allowing you to filter out background noise. Gamers may not want a separate keybind for talking, though, which means  you’ll want to use voice activation and a noise gate to filter out keyboard sounds.

Put simply, noise gates eliminate sounds below a certain volume threshold. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) programs like Discord and streaming applications like Streamlabs OBS often include them as standard. You’ll want to adjust the noise gate to pick up sounds as loud as your normal speaking voice but tune it to block sounds quieter than your speaking voice. You may need to do some fine-tuning from there, but trust us, your friends will thank you.

 

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