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 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 operation force and a short 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. This keyboard also comes in a TenKeyLess size, called the Razer BlackWidow V3 TKL.

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 good 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

The Razer BlackWidow V3 isn't designed to be used with a home theater PC. It's a wired-only keyboard, so you need to run a cable from the couch to your PC. Also, it doesn't have a built-in trackpad, so you need a separate mouse in order to move the cursor.

Pros
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause typos.
  • Wired-only design.
  • No integrated trackpad.
  • 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.
  2. Updated Dec 10, 2020: Review published.
  3. Updated Dec 07, 2020: Early access published.

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
Medium Incline
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. White backlighting looks great, with no visible mixing of red, green, and blue. 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 the 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. If you'd like a similar model with three dedicated media keys and optical switches, check out the Razer Huntsman V2.

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 thanks to their low operating force, which results in a light feel, and their short 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

The latency is outstandingly low, so most people shouldn't notice any delay.

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. If you prefer a more compact keyboard, it also comes in a TenKeyLess version called the Razer BlackWidow V3 TKL. 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 operating force and shorter pre-travel distance than the V3, which should give it a lighter and 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 longer pre-travel distance and higher operating force help prevent accidental keystrokes. However, the Elite has a plushier wrist rest and three dedicated media control buttons instead of one.

Razer Huntsman V2

The Razer BlackWidow V3 and the Razer Huntsman V2 are very similar wired mechanical gaming keyboards, but the Huntsman V2 performs slightly better overall. The Huntsman V2 is the first Razer board with an 8000Hz polling rate, and it has much lower latency than the BlackWidow V3. It also comes with PBT keycaps instead of the ABS keycaps on the BlackWidow V3, and its wrist rest is plushier. It's available with Razer Linear Optical and Razer Click optical switches, which should be more durable and faster than standard mechanical switches. On the other hand, the BlackWidow V3 is available with linear Razer Yellow and clicky Razer Green switches.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both outstanding gaming keyboards. The Mini is a compact 60% keyboard, while the V3 is full-sized and comes with a wrist rest and dedicated media keys. The Mini is available with Razer Clicky Optical and Linear Optical, while the V3 is available with Razer's standard linear and clicky switches.

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 operating 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.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Razer BlackWidow Elite and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both outstanding gaming keyboards with fairly similar features. The Elite has a USB passthrough, and the wrist rest is more comfortable. It provides a better typing experience mainly because the V3's keys are not as stable, and its Razer Yellow linear switches are a bit too sensitive due to their short pre-travel distance and low operating force. Also, they don't give any tactile feedback, which the Razer Orange switches on the Elite do. Both keyboards offer a clicky switch option, and the Elite has a third, linear switch option as well.

HyperX Alloy Origins

The HyperX Alloy Origins and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both fantastic gaming keyboards. They're each full-size and wired-only, but the Razer comes with a wrist rest, which the HyperX doesn't. They're both available in a variety of mechanical switches, and the units we tested each have linear switches that have a light typing experience. However, typing feels better on the HyperX because the keys feel more stable. Latency is lower on the HyperX and it displays pure white better than the HyperX.

Razer BlackWidow

The Razer BlackWidow was replaced the Razer BlackWidow V3, which improves on the predecessor. The original is only available with clicky Razer Green switches, while the newer version is also available with linear Razer Yellow switches, which we tested. They provide a lighter actuation than the Green switches and are quieter. Latency is lower on the newer version and it has better ergonomics because it comes with a wrist rest.

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 wirelessly or wired, is compatible with mobile operating systems, and comes with a plushier wrist rest. Also, its keys are more stable and wobble less. On the other hand, the V3's linear Razer Yellow switches have a shorter pre-travel distance and lower operating force than the V3 Pro's clicky Razer Green switches, giving it a lighter and more responsive feel.

Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2

The Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both fantastic wired gaming keyboards. The units we tested each have Razer Yellow switches, which provide a linear feel, and the Tournament Edition is also available with Razer Orange and Razer Green switches, while the V3 is available with the Greens. The main difference is that the Tournament Edition is TenKeyLess (TKL) and the V3 is full-size, so it has dedicated media keys. Typing feels a lot better on the Tournament Edition because it comes with a plushy wrist rest.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is a wireless and compact version of the wired Razer BlackWidow V3. The V3 is a better choice if you want a full-size board with a dedicated F-row, dedicated media keys, and a volume control knob. On the other hand, the V3 Mini HyperSpeed is a better choice if you want a smaller board to give you more space on your desk. It can pair with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth, and you can also use it via its USB receiver. Both boards are available with clicky Razer Green and linear Razer Yellow switches, but our V3 Mini HyperSpeed unit's Razer Green switches had a quality control issue where certain switches were much quieter than others.

ASUS ROG Claymore II

The Razer BlackWidow V3 and the ASUS ROG Claymore II are both full-size gaming keyboards, but the Razer is wired, and the ASUS is wireless. The Razer has a dedicated media key and marginally lower wired latency. It's available with clicky Razer Green and linear Razer Yellow switches. On the other hand, the ASUS has a USB passthrough and a modular numpad, which you can put on either side of the board or remove completely to make the board a TKL size. Also, you can use the ASUS wirelessly via its USB receiver. It's available with clicky ROG RX Blue Optical Mechanical switches and linear ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical switches.

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