Razer BlackWidow Lite Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jan 20, 2020 at 09:11 am
Razer BlackWidow Lite Picture
8.8
Gaming
4.1
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
7.8
Programming
4.8
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
TenKeyLess (80%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a good mechanical office keyboard. It features proprietary Razer Orange switches, which are rather similar to Cherry MX Brown switches. It offers a good typing experience with a light tactile bump, and without a clicky noise. It feels responsive for gamers, but its click latency may be too high for some. Also, the keyboard feels too high to type on comfortably during long periods and some may quickly feel some noticeable fatigue after a while. On the upside, the board is very well-built and it comes with O-rings to dampen the sound of the keys.

Our Verdict

8.8 Gaming

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is an excellent gaming keyboard. Its proprietary Razer Orange switches are very similar to Cherry MX Browns and provide a rather light operating force with low pre-travel distance. Unfortunately, the click latency is just decent and may be a bit too high for gaming.

Pros
  • Macro-programmable keys.
  • White backlighting.
  • Light typing experience.
Cons
  • Click latency a bit higher than other keyboards.
4.1 Mobile/Tablet

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

7.8 Office

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a good keyboard for an office environment. The Razer Orange switches offer an excellent 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.

Pros
  • Light typing experience.
  • Quiet typing noise.
Cons
  • Limited ergonomics.
7.8 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. It doesn't have dedicated macro keys, but you can easily reprogram any of the keys.

Pros
  • Macro-programmable keys.
  • Light typing experience.
Cons
  • Limited ergonomics.
4.8 Entertainment / HTPC

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a poor keyboard for entertainment/HTPC use. It's not designed for this because it's wired and you'd have to sit close to your TV. It also lacks a trackpad. Luckily, it has white backlighting and media hotkeys.

Pros
  • Media hotkeys.
Cons
  • Can't be used wirelessly.
  • No trackpad.
  • 8.8 Gaming
  • 4.1 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 7.8 Programming
  • 4.8 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Feb 12, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

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)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.51 lbs (0.687 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.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

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
Minimum Incline
2 °
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
5 °
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. 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.

9.3
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
White
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Great
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

This keyboard has outstanding backlighting. While it doesn't support RGB lighting, the solid white lighting looks nice and is quite useful in a dark room. 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 & Connector
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
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
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
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
No
Lock Indicator Caps Lock

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 function. You can also reprogram through the dedicated software.

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
Operating Force
55 gf
Actuation Force
40 gf
Pre-Travel
1.8 mm
Total Travel
4.0 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, and they aren't heavy to press. It feels rather similar to Cherry MX Brown keys, with a tactile bump. You can reduce the total travel distance by using the included O-rings, but this won't change the pre-travel distance or the operating force. If you want a more responsive keyboard with switches that have a lower pre-travel distance, check out the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition.

8.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Razer BlackWidow Lite's typing quality is excellent but may get 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. Most people shouldn't have any issues with the board design, and the Razer Orange switches are light and offer a nice tactile bump before you actuate the key.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The Razer BlackWidow Lite's typing noise is quiet, but it can get a bit loud if you tend to bottom-out the keys. If you want, the included O-rings help dampen the sound and they also reduce the total travel distance.

7.4
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
10.6 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The Razer BlackWidow Lite has fairly low click latency, but it may be too high for gamers.

Software and Operating System
7.1
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name Razer Synapse 3
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
Yes
Macro Programming
Software
Ease Of Use
Easy
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

Razer Synapse 3 is decenet. 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 can't customize it to your preferences.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Razer BlackWidow Lite in white, and it's also available in black and a Stormtrooper Edition. It's only available with Razer Orange switches, so we expect our results to be valid for the other variants.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a good mechanical office keyboard with excellent typing quality. It's good if you work in the dark thanks to its white backlighting. However, because it's a wired keyboard with no multi-device pairing feature, it isn't as ideal for work on-the-go. If you want a similar keyboard with wireless connectivity, check out the Razer Pro Type. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best RGB keyboards.

Razer Huntsman

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

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

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

Razer BlackWidow Elite

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

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is a better keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow Lite. The V3 can be used wirelessly, has full RGB backlighting, and comes with a detachable wrist rest. On the other hand, the Lite's TenKeyLess design will take up less room on a desk and may represent better value for some people.

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 of 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. Also, 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.

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 SteelSeries features full RGB lighting while the Razer only has white backlighting. The SteelSeries Engine also offers more customization options than Razer Synapse. The SteelSeries 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.

SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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

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.

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