While enthusiast mechanical keyboards are getting more compact with each passing year, Razer is going in the opposite direction with its new BlackWidow V4 Pro. It uses a full-size keyboard layout as its base (complete with a numpad) but adds over half a dozen extra buttons and dials that can be programmed for use in games and productivity programs alike.
So, for starters, on the far left of the keyboard, there are five macro keys. They’re joined by an additional three buttons on the left edge that kind of look like the thumb buttons you’d find on a mouse. On the top right, there’s a volume roller like the one Razer included on its last-generation BlackWidow V3, but this time, it’s joined by four programmable media keys that, by default, handle play / pause, mute, and skip forward and back. Oh, and there’s also a second dial on the top left that you can program with a variety of different functions and swap between them with each press of the dial.
Okay, but what if you’re not into buttons? Maybe Razer can tempt you with gratuitous RGB lighting. The BlackWidow V4 Pro supports Razer’s Chroma RGB platform, which means its lights can sync with other RGB devices on and around your desk as well as games running on your PC. The keyboard uses this RGB lighting for a fancy startup animation when it gets plugged in or you turn your PC on. Oh, and the included wrist wrest also has RGB lights — just in case there wasn’t enough RGB for you.
Underneath all the buttons and lights is a more typical gaming keyboard. There’s no mention of hot-swappable switches, which means you’re likely going to be pulling out a soldering iron if you want to use anything other than Razer’s choice of preinstalled clicky green or linear red switches. Razer says these in-house switches are now rated for 100 million keypresses, which is the same as Cherry’s latest-generation MX switches.
The keyboard has a polling rate of up to 8,000Hz, which should theoretically minimize input latency. Just be aware that this is using standard mechanical switches rather than the more responsive optical versions found in Razer’s Huntsman keyboard lineup. The keycaps are shine-through double-shot and made of ABS plastic.
Oh, and as one final delightfully excessive touch, you can connect the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro to your computer with up to two USB-C cables. One’s for the keyboard itself, and the second is optional but enables the board’s passthrough USB-A 2.0 port. Two USB cables! What a time to be alive.
All of this functionality doesn’t come cheap. Razer’s BlackWidow V4 Pro is available today for $229.99 (£229.99 / €269.99). For some more affordable alternatives, check out our guide to the best mechanical keyboards we’ve tried. Though, granted, none of them can be connected to your PC with two USB cables.