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Razer BlackWidow V3 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Review updated Dec 20, 2021 at 11:38 am
Latest change: Test bench update Nov 29, 2023 at 09:32 am
Razer BlackWidow V3 Picture
8.7
Gaming
6.7
Office
0.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.3
Programming
3.8
Entertainment / HTPC
8.9
Raw Performance
This keyboard was replaced by the Razer BlackWidow V4

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is a full-sized, mechanical gaming keyboard, and it's a wired variant of the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. It feels very well-built and has two incline settings and a wrist rest. It also has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys that you can customize with the Razer Synapse 3 software, which allows you to 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

8.7 Gaming

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is exceptional for gaming. The latency performance is superb, and the linear Razer Yellow switches on our unit have both a low actuation force and a low pre-travel distance, resulting in a light and responsive gaming experience. This keyboard feels very well-built, and you can adjust the RGB backlighting or set macros to any key using the customization software.

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 more typos.
6.7 Office

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is good for office use. It feels very well-built and has two incline settings and an included wrist rest. The Razer Yellow switches on our unit provide a good typing experience, but the linear feel and low pre-travel distance may cause some accidental keystrokes. They should be quiet enough for most office settings, but the space bar on our unit is quite loud. This keyboard is also available with clicky Razer Green switches, which many users may prefer for typing, but we expect them to be louder.

Pros
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
  • Great build quality.
  • Includes a wrist rest.
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause more typos.
0.9 Mobile/Tablet

Theย Razer BlackWidow V3 is a wired-only keyboard and isn't designed for use with mobile devices.

7.3 Programming

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is good for programming. It feels very well-built, and you can adjust the RGB backlighting and set macros to any key using the customization software. The linear Razer Yellow switches on the unit we purchased provide a good typing experience, but the low pre-travel distance might cause unintentional keystrokes, and some users may prefer to buy this keyboard with the clicky Razer Green switches instead. 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 more typos.
3.8 Entertainment / HTPC

The Razer BlackWidow V3 isn't designed for use with a home theater PC setup. It's a wired-only keyboard, so you need to run a cable from your couch to your PC. Also, it doesn't have a built-in trackpad, so you need to use a separate mouse to navigate on-screen menus. On the other hand, it has full RGB backlighting, making it easy to use in a dark room.

Pros
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause more typos.
  • Wired-only design.
  • No integrated trackpad.
8.9 Raw Performance

Pros
Cons
  • Spacebar is noisy.
  • Low pre-travel distance may cause more typos.
  • 8.7 Gaming
  • 6.7 Office
  • 0.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.3 Programming
  • 3.8 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 8.9 Raw Performance
  1. Updated Nov 29, 2023: We've concerted this review to Test Bench 1.3.1, which adds a new estimated PCB latency test to the Single-Key Latency section and a new Analog test to the Switches section of this review. You can see the full changelog here.
  2. Updated Nov 15, 2023: We've found that latency results are impacted by the placement of the testing solenoid, so we retested this keyboard for consistency with other reviews. This review has been updated, and you can find more information regarding this retest here.
  3. Updated Oct 16, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.3, which overhauls how key input is evaluated. We've added new tests for Single Key Latency, Multi Key Latency, Data Transmission, and Chord Split. We've also introduced a new Raw Performance usage and adjusted how the Gaming and Office usage scores are calculated. You can see the full changelog here.
  4. Updated Sep 11, 2023: We've added a link to the Razer BlackWidow V4 to this review's Macro Keys and Programming section.
  5. Updated Jun 12, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.2. This update introduces new Backlight Features and Backlight Clarity test boxes. We've also added a new Switches test box, added additional test comparisons to our Hardware Customizability test box that we introduced with our last Test Bench. For an in-depth look at our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  6. Updated Apr 26, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.1. This update adds several new tests addressing Hardware Customization, Macro Keys And Programming, and Wireless Mobile Compatibility. We've also added new objective evaluations to the Typing Noise test, and we've simplified several tests and removed several others that were no longer relevant. For an in-depth look at all our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  7. Updated Dec 20, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  8. Updated Feb 18, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  9. Updated Dec 10, 2020: Review published.
  10. Updated Dec 07, 2020: Early access published.
  11. Updated Dec 03, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Dec 03, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  13. Updated Nov 05, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

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 three different color schemes, although the BlackWidow V3 Quartz Pink and Halo Infinite colorways are 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)
Razer Green (clicky)
Classic Black TKL Razer Green (clicky)
Quartz Pink Full-size  Razer Green (clicky)
 Halo Infinite Full-size Razer Green (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 is comfortable to type on, but the linear feel and low pre-travel distance of the linear Razer Yellow switches may cause unintentional keystrokes. Like many Razer keyboards, this is an outstanding choice for gamers due to the outstanding latency, responsive feeling of the 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 V2

The Razer BlackWidow V3 and the Razer Huntsman V2 are similar wired mechanical gaming keyboards, but the Huntsman V2 performs slightly better. The Huntsman V2 has much lower latency than the BlackWidow V3. It also comes with higher quality 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. 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 switches, while the V3 is available with Razer's standard linear and clicky switches.

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, while 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.

Razer Huntsman

The Razer Huntsman and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both exceptional for gaming. The V3 comes with a wrist rest, dedicated media keys, and a programmable volume control wheel. It's available with linear Razer Yellow or clicky Green mechanical switches. On the other hand, the Huntsman comes with Razer clicky optical switches.

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.

Razer Huntsman Elite

The Razer Huntsman Elite and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are both incredible full-sized gaming keyboards with similar performance. The V3 is available with linear Razer Yellow switches or clicky Razer Green switches. On the other hand, the Elite is available with Razer Linear Optical (Red) or Razer Clicky Optical (Purple) switches. It also has a plushier wrist rest and three dedicated media control buttons instead of one.

Razer BlackWidow

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is an updated version of the original Razer BlackWidow which makes several improvements. While the original is only available with clicky Razer Green switches, the newer version is also available with linear Razer Yellow switches, which are the switches we tested. They provide a lighter actuation than the Green switches and are quieter. Latency is also lower on the newer version and it has better ergonomics as it comes with a wrist rest.

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition (TE) 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 V4

The Razer BlackWidow V3 and the Razer BlackWidow V4 are wired mechanical gaming keyboards in the same product lineup. The BlackWidow V3 is older and not as feature-rich. On the other hand, the BlackWidow V4 offers better overall performance with a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. Additionally, it has a column of dedicated macro keys, more dedicated media keys, and several small improvements to build quality, including an internal layer of sound-dampening foam and pre-lubed stabilizers.

Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro and the Razer BlackWidow V3 are wired mechanical gaming keyboards in the same lineup. The V4 Pro is the newer version and features several improvements, including eight additional dedicated macro keys, sound-dampening foam layers, and a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. Both keyboards are available with either clicky Razer Green or linear Razer Yellow switches.

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 linear Razer Yellow switches, and the Tournament Edition is also available with Razer Orange and Razer Green switches, while the V3 is also available with the Green switches. 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 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, and you can pair it wirelessly with up to three devices simultaneously. Also, it comes with a plushier wrist rest. On the other hand, the BlackWidow V3 is a wired-only model. Both keyboards are available with clicky Razer Green or linear Razer Yellow switches.

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.

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is better for gaming than the SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL. The Razer is a full-size keyboard available with two types of mechanical switches, while the SteelSeries is TKL and has rubber dome switches. However, the Razer is also available in a TKL size, and the SteelSeries has a full-size variant as well. The mechanical switches on the Razer provide a better gaming and typing experience, and the keyboard has much lower latency. It also has better ergonomics because it comes with a wrist rest, and it has individually lit RGB backlighting, while the SteelSeries is limited to 8 lighting zones.

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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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Full-size (100%)
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)

Theย 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 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 good quality and slightly textured. 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 do a good job keeping the board in place.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
4ยฐ
Medium Incline
6ยฐ
Maximum Incline
8.5ยฐ
Home Row Height
34.6 mm (1.4")

This keyboard has a straight design with two incline options. It also comes with a wrist rest that you can place in front of the keyboard on your desk, but it doesn't attach to it since there aren't any connectors.

6.0
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
Yes
Stabilizer Fixation
Plate-Mounted
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
6.25u
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1.25u
Hot-Swappable Switches
No
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
Soldered
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Yes
10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

It has outstanding RGB backlighting features that you can customize through the Razer Synapse 3 software. You can control the brightness directly on the keyboard with the function keys.

8.0
Design
Backlight Clarity
Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
No
Length 6.4 ft (2.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

The Razer BlackWidow V3 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
5.5
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
Yes
Macro Programming With Software
Yes

This keyboard has no dedicated macro keys, but you can record macros to any key directly on the keyboard or with the companion software.

If you're interested in a more recent model in this lineup with dedicated macro keys, check out the Razer BlackWidow V4.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
Yes
Control Knob
No
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
7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality
Key Spacing
19.0 mm (0.748")

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. However, the linear Razer Yellow switches on our unit don't provide tactile feedback, which might cause unintentional keystrokes if you're not used to them. The doubleshot ABS keycaps feel nice to type on, but the Spacebar, Shift, and Enter keys aren't very stable. Additionally, the Spacebar is quite noisy compared to the other keys. If you prefer a tactile feel, you can purchase it with clicky Razer Green switches, though this will change the typing quality.

7.1
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
54.1 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

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.

Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
Razer Yellow
Switch Type
Mechanical
Feel
Linear
Analog
No
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
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, and their short pre-travel distance should feel responsive for gaming. If you prefer a tactile feel, you can get this keyboard with Razer Green switches.

Performance
9.1
Performance
Single-Key Latency
Best Connection
3.6 ms
Best Connection Std Dev ยฑ0.4 ms
Wired
3.6 ms
Receiver
N/A
Bluetooth
N/A
PCB (Estimated)
2.3 ms

The single-key latency is outstandingly low and feels very responsive.

8.8
Performance
Multi-Key Latency
Connection Evaluated Wired
Key Press
3.5 ms
Key Release
8.2 ms

The multi-key latency of this keyboard is excellent. Both the Key Press and Key Release latency results are low, making this a good choice for playing games that require inputs while other keys are pressed and held down.

8.7
Performance
Data Transmission
Connection Evaluated Wired
USB Polling Rate
1,000 Hz
Effective Update Rate
1,000 Hz
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
Yes
Multiple Keys Per USB Report
Yes
8.6
Performance
Chord Split
4 Chord Split Delay
3.0 ms
8 Chord Split Delay
15.7 ms
Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Configuration Software
Software Name Razer Synapse 3
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No
Onboard Memory
Yes
Profiles
6+

The Razer Synapse 3 software is fantastic and allows you to set macros to any key and customize the RGB backlighting. You can also create as many custom profiles as you want and save up to four of them to the onboard memory. Unfortunately, this process isn't very intuitive or user-friendly for new users.

10
Software and Operating System
Computer Compatibility
Windows
Fully Compatible
macOS
Fully Compatible
Linux (Ubuntu 22)
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Windows, MacOS & Linux

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

0
Software and Operating System
Wireless Mobile Compatibility
Android
Not Compatible
iOS
Not Compatible
iPadOS
Not Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Not Compatible