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Razer BlackWidow Lite Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 20, 2020 at 09:11 am
Razer BlackWidow Lite Picture
7.9
Mixed usage
8.8
Gaming
3.1
Mobile/Tablet
7.6
Office
8.1
Programming
Connectivity Wired
Size
TenKeyLess (80%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is an excellent gaming keyboard. It features the proprietary Razer Orange switches, which are rather similar to Cherry MX Brown switches. It offers a good typing experience with a tactile bump, without a clicky noise. The keyboard feels responsive for games, but its ergonomic design is disappointing. It feels too high to type on comfortably during long periods and some may quickly feel some noticeable fatigue in the forearms. On the upside, the board is very well-built and it comes with O-rings to dampen the sound of the keys.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed usage

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a good keyboard for mixed usage. It's designed to be a gaming keyboard, but it can still be used for typing at work or for programmers. The keyboard features nice feeling Razer switches and the board feels very well-built. However, it isn't designed to be used with mobile devices.

Pros
  • Very well-built design.
  • Sleek design.
  • Detachable cable.
  • Good overall typing experience.
Cons
  • Disappointing ergonomics; fatigue-inducing.
  • Prone to typos.
8.8 Gaming

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is an excellent gaming keyboard. Its proprietary Razer Orange switches are very similar to Cherry MX Brown and provide a rather low actuation force, but you need to put a bit more weight to get over the bump of the keycaps.

3.1 Mobile/Tablet

The Razer BlackWidow Lite isn't designed to be compatible with mobile devices and tablets.

7.6 Office

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a good keyboard for an office environment. The Razer Orange switches offer a great typing quality, but aren't too noisy and won't disturb surrounding colleagues. However, some people may feel like the keyboard is a bit too high to type on comfortably during a full workday.

8.1 Programming

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a very good programming keyboard. The typing quality is great, but some may feel some fatigue after a while due to the high profile of the keys, which aren't the most ergonomic.

  • 7.9 Mixed usage
  • 8.8 Gaming
  • 3.1 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.6 Office
  • 8.1 Programming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.4" (3.5 cm)
Width 14.2" (36.1 cm)
Depth 5.2" (13.3 cm)
Weight 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg)

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a rather small keyboard due to its TKL design. It's easy to carry around, especially since the cable is detachable.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Razer BlackWidow Lite's build quality is great. The keys rest on a metal plate, while the keyboard's main body is made out of solid plastic. This keyboard has ABS keycaps, which feel solid and have a nice texture. The board has a small amount of flex, and some keys, especially the space bar, have some wobble.

6.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
1
Wrist Rest No

The Razer BlackWidow Lite's ergonomics are just okay. The board feels very high and only has one incline setting, which is rather small and nearly useless. There's no wrist rest, which would have been a nice addition with such a high design. Fatigue can be felt rather quickly when typing on this keyboard. If you want a keyboard with a wrist rest, consider the Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2

9.7
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color White
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

This keyboard has excellent backlighting. While it doesn't support RGB lighting, the solid white lighting looks nice and is quite useful in a dark room. We expect the contrast with the lighting to be better with the keyboard's black variant. You can also quickly change the brightness setting directly on the board. If you want a similar keyboard but with full RGB lighting, check out the Razer BlackWidow Elite instead.

Design
Cable
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 6.5 ft (2.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) Micro USB

Although this keyboard is wired-only, the long micro-USB cable is detachable, which is nice and makes the keyboard even more durable. It's also great for people who want to use their own custom cable.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

This keyboard is wired only and can't be used wirelessly.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Extra Controls
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
No

The Razer BlackWidow Lite doesn't have dedicated media keys like some other keyboards, but you can still control the volume, or mute, play/pause, skip tracks, or control the backlighting with the 'fn' hotkeys.

Design
In The Box

  • Razer BlackWidow Lite keyboard
  • Micro-USB cable
  • O-Rings for each key
  • Key removal tool
  • Manuals

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Razer Orange
Feel
Tactile
Actuation Force
44.6 gf
Pre-Travel
1.85 mm
Total Travel
4.01 mm

The Razer Orange switches are designed to be silent while still offering good tactile feedback. The pre-travel is rather low, which is great for games. It feels rather similar to Cherry MX Brown keys, with a tactile bump and without a clicking noise like the Cherry MX Blue switches have. You can reduce the total travel distance by using the included O-rings, but this won't change the pre-travel distance of the actuation force.

8.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Razer BlackWidow Lite's typing quality is great but can be rather fatiguing quickly, which could be due to the height of the keys. They are also close to each other, which makes this keyboard prone to typos. On the upside, most keys are stable, although the stabilized keys like the space bar have some noticeable wobble. On the upside, most people won't have any issues with the board design and the Razer Orange switches offer a nice tactile bump that is more present than similar Cherry MX Brown switches.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The Razer BlackWidow's typing noise is rather quiet and can be further dampened when using the included O-rings. This reduces the noise and the total travel distance.

Software and Operating System
6.6
Software and Operating System
Software
Software Razer Synapse 3
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
Yes
Backlight Programming
No
Macro Programming
Yes
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

Razer Synapse 3 is just okay. You can have a lot of different profiles set, but there isn't much to customize with this keyboard. You can program every key to whatever you want, but that's about it.

7.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

The keyboard is fully compatible with Windows, but on macOS, the 'Fn' key, context menu, scroll lock, and pause break keys don't work, which is unfortunate. Also, although every key works on Linux, the software isn't available and you won't be able to customize it to your preferences.

Compared to other keyboards

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better gaming keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Lite. It has better overall ergonomics, thanks to the nice wrist rest and it features full RGB lighting, while the Lite model only has a white LED backlight. The Elite also has dedicated media keys, but its cable isn't detachable like the Lite.

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is a better gaming keyboard than the BlackWidow Lite, which is more geared for office use. The Huntsman has one of the lowest pre-travel distance we've measured and feels very quick, but this can be too much for some. The BlackWidow Lite offers a much better typing quality but only has white backlighting, while the Huntsman features full RGB lighting. 

Razer Huntsman

The Razer Huntsman is slightly better than the Razer BlackWidow Lite. It features full RGB lighting while the BlackWidow Lite only has white backlighting. Also, the Huntsman is a full-size keyboard while the BlackWidow Lite is a TKL. The Huntsman uses optical clicky switches that actuate quicker than the Razer Orange switches found on the BlackWidow Lite.

Razer Ornata Chroma

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is better overall than the Razer Ornata Chroma. The Lite is a TKL keyboard with mechanical switches that are quiet and offer good tactile feedback. It's better built overall and offers a much better typing experience. The Ornata is full-sized, has full RGB backlighting, and comes with a plushy wrist rest.

SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is slightly better than the Razer BlackWidow Lite in most uses. The Apex 5 has a full RGB backlight and more customization options, while the BlackWidow Lite is limited to a single white color. Typing quality is better on the BlackWidow Lite, but unlike the Apex 5, it doesn't have onboard memory and its software is not compatible with macOS.

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL

The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is a better gaming keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Lite, which is more aimed at work and office usage. The Apex features full RGB lighting while the Razer only has white backlighting. The SteelSeries Engine also offers more customization options than Razer Synapse. The Apex 7 also comes with a wrist rest, while the Razer lacks one.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a better keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Lite. You can adjust the actuation point of its keys, it features full RGB lighting, is compatible with macOS, and even comes with a wrist rest. The Razer only has white backlighting and is a TKL design, without a NumPad. 

Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2

The Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 is a better keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Lite. The V2 has better ergonomics due to the detachable plushy wrist rest and has full RGB backlighting, while the Lite only has white backlights. Despite having different switches, the typing experience is similar quality and both keyboards allow for programmable macros. That said, the Lite has a better build as its plastic keys are placed on a metal plate foundation. Furthermore, it has onboard memory, which is great if you move between a Mac and Windows often as the companion software isn't compatible with macOS.

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