Razer BlackWidow V3 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Dec 10, 2020 at 10:38 am
Razer BlackWidow V3 Picture
9.4
Gaming
2.7
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
7.7
Programming
5.4
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is an exceptional gaming keyboard, and it's a wired variant of the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. It feels very well-built and it has good ergonomics, with two incline settings and a wrist rest. It has full RGB backlighting which can be customized within the Razer Synapse 3 software, and you can set macros to any key. The linear Razer Yellow switches on our unit have a low actuation force and a low pre-travel distance, providing a light and responsive gaming experience, but it may cause more unintentional typos. If you prefer a tactile feel, it also comes in clicky Razer Green switches.

Our Verdict

9.4 Gaming

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is exceptional for gaming. It has a low actuation force and a low pre-travel distance, resulting in a light and responsive gaming experience. It's a very well-built keyboard with fully customizable RGB backlighting, and you can set macros to any key.

Pros
  • Light and responsive switches.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
  • Great build quality.
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause typos.
2.7 Mobile/Tablet

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is wired-only and isn't designed to be used with mobile devices.

7.8 Office

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is good for office use. It has good ergonomics, and the Razer Yellow switches on our unit should be quiet enough for an office setting; however, the spacebar is quite noisy. It feels very well-built and provides a good typing experience, but the linear feel and low pre-travel distance might cause some accidental keystrokes.

Pros
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
  • Great build quality.
  • Good ergonomics.
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause typos.
7.7 Programming

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is great for programming. It feels very well-built and has customizable RGB backlighting, and you can set macros to any key. It provides a good typing experience, but the linear feel and low pre-travel distance might cause unintentional keystrokes. While it works with Linux and macOS, the customization software is available on Windows only.

Pros
  • Light and responsive switches.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
  • Great build quality.
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause typos.
5.4 Entertainment / HTPC

Pros
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
  • Great build quality.
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause typos.
  • 9.4 Gaming
  • 2.7 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 7.7 Programming
  • 5.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Feb 18, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.7" (4.2 cm)
Width 17.8" (45.1 cm)
Depth
6.1" (15.4 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
9.1" (23.0 cm)
Weight
2.21 lbs (1.002 kg)

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is a full-sized keyboard that takes up some space on your desk, especially if you use it with the wrist rest. If you prefer a slightly smaller size, it also comes in a TenKeyLess version.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

It has excellent build quality, similar to the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. It's mostly made of plastic, and it has a matte black aluminum top plate that exhibits little flex. The doubleshot ABS keycaps are slightly textured and shouldn't be prone to getting shiny. Some of the larger keys, like the spacebar, Shift, and Enter keys, wobble a bit, and the stabilizer on the spacebar rattles louder than the other stabilizers. The incline feet are very grippy and they hold the board in place well.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
4 °
Medium Incline
6 °
Maximum Incline
8.5 °
Wrist Rest Detachable

It has good ergonomics. It's a straight board design that has two inclines. It comes with a wrist rest that you can place below the keyboard, but it doesn't attach to it since there aren't any connectors.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Great
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

It has outstanding RGB backlighting that you can customize through the Razer Chroma software. You can control the brightness directly on the keyboard with the function keys.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
No
Length 6.4 ft (2.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

It has a stiff, braided cable that retains kinks from packaging.

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

This is a wired keyboard that can't be used wirelessly.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel Yes
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps, Scroll & Num lock

It has a few extra features, including a Game Mode key that locks the Windows key, a volume control wheel, and a media key.

Design
In The Box

  • Razer BlackWidow V3 keyboard
  • Wrist rest
  • Stickers
  • User manual

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Razer Yellow
Feel
Linear
Operating Force
43 gf
Actuation Force
41 gf
Pre-Travel
1.4 mm
Total Travel
3.6 mm

The Razer Yellow switches on our unit are linear and silent. They don't require a lot of force to actuate, which gives them a light feel, and their low pre-travel distance should feel responsive for gaming. If you prefer a tactile feel, Razer Green switches are also available.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Razer BlackWidow V3 we tested has good typing quality. The shape and spacing of the keys are pretty standard and shouldn't cause more typos, but the linear feel and low pre-travel distance may cause more unintentional keystrokes. The doubleshot ABS keycaps feel nice to type on, but the spacebar, Shift, and Enter keys aren't very stable, and the spacebar is quite noisy when pressed. Since these are linear switches, they don't provide any tactile feedback, which may be unsatisfying if you prefer a tactile feel. That said, it's available with clicky Razer Green switches, which may change the typing quality.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The linear Razer Yellow switches on our unit are quiet and shouldn't bother those around you in an open office environment. However, the spacebar is noisy when pressed. We expect the clicky Razer Green switches to be significantly louder.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
1.7 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A
Software and Operating System
9.6
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name Razer Synapse 3
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
Yes
Macro Programming
Software and Onboard
Ease Of Use
Easy
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

The Razer Synapse 3 software is fantastic. You can set macros to any key, customize the backlighting, and create as many profiles as you want. You can save four profiles to the on-board memory. However, it isn't very intuitive or user-friendly for new users.

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

The software isn't available on macOS or Linux, so you can't customize any of the settings. However, all of the keys should still work properly, except for the Pause Break and Scroll Lock on macOS.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the full-sized Razer BlackWidow V3 in Classic Black with Razer Yellow switches. It's a wired variant of the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, but its wrist rest is less plushy and the media controls look different. It's available in two different colors, although the Quartz Pink is only available in one size with Razer Green switches. You can see the differences in the table below.

Color Sizes Switches
Classic Black Full-size Razer Yellow (linear and silent)
Razer Green (tactile and clicky)
Classic Black TKL Razer Green (tactile and clicky)
Quartz Pink Full-size  Razer Green (tactile and clicky)

If you notice that your Razer BlackWidow V3 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions and we'll update the review. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is an exceptional gaming keyboard. It feels very well-built and it's comfortable to type on, but the linear feel and low pre-travel distance of its switches may cause unintentional keystrokes. Like many Razer keyboards, this is an outstanding choice for gamers due to the light Razer switches, customizable features, and RGB backlighting. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best RGB keyboards, and the best mechanical gaming keyboards.

Razer Huntsman

The Razer Huntsman and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both exceptional for gaming. The V3 comes with a wrist rest, a dedicated media key, and it has a volume control wheel that can be reprogrammed. However, the Huntsman has a better typing experience, and the clicky Razer Optical switches on our unit have an even lower actuation force and pre-travel distance than the V3, which should give it a lighter and more responsive feel.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Razer BlackWidow Elite and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both outstanding gaming keyboards. The Elite has a more comfortable wrist rest, USB passthrough, three dedicated media keys instead of just one, and it's available in Razer Orange tactile switches, unlike the V3. However, the V3's linear Razer Yellow switches have a lower pre-travel distance, which provide a more responsive feel.

Razer Huntsman Elite

The Razer Huntsman Elite and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both incredible gaming keyboards. The V3 has onboard memory, and the linear Razer Yellow switches on our unit provide a better typing experience than the Razer Linear Optical switches on our Elite unit. Its higher pre-travel distance and actuation force help prevent accidental keystrokes. However, the Elite has a plushier wrist rest and three dedicated media control buttons instead of one.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both fantastic gaming keyboards. The V3 Pro can be used both wirelessly and wired, it's compatible with mobile operating systems, and it comes with a plushier wrist rest. Also, its keys are more stable and they wobble less. On the other hand, the V3's linear Razer Yellow switches have a lower actuation point and pre-travel distance than the V3 Pro's clicky Razer Green switches, giving it a lighter and more responsive feel.

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are very different keyboards. The TE is a TKL keyboard with linear optical switches, while the V3 is full-size and is available with Razer Yellow or Green mechanical switches. The TE's Linear Optical switches have a shorter pre-travel distance and lower actuation force than the Yellow switches on the V3, making them more responsive. However, they're not as good for general typing because they're overly sensitive, which leads to more typos. The V3 comes with a wrist rest and has dedicated media controls, which the TE lacks.

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