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Razer BlackWidow V4 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Sep 11, 2023 at 11:20 am
Latest change: Writing modified Sep 11, 2023 at 11:20 am
Razer BlackWidow V4 Picture
9.3
Gaming
0.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.1
Office
7.5
Programming
3.9
Entertainment / HTPC

The Razer BlackWidow V4 is a full-sized, mechanical gaming keyboard that continues Razer's BlackWidow lineup. New features introduced with this entry include sound-dampening foam inside the case, pre-lubed stabilizers, dedicated macro keys on the left side of the keyboard, and a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. This keyboard also has dedicated media keys and a scroll bar for volume control. Like previous entries in this lineup, you can program macros, change backlighting settings, and create custom profiles using Razer's Synapse 3 configuration software.

There's a separate 'Pro' version of this keyboard called the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. For more details, see the Differences Between Variants section below.

Our Verdict

9.3 Gaming

The Razer BlackWidow V4 is an outstanding gaming keyboard with very low and consistent latency performance, making it well-suited for playing games in any genre at any competitive level. It also has great build quality and is available in linear or clicky switch options. This keyboard has a standard high-profile design but includes a plush wrist rest to help ensure you don't need to angle your wrists too steeply to reach the keys.

Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • Outstanding latency performance.
  • 8000Hz maximum polling rate.
  • Six dedicated macro keys.
  • Per-key backlighting and shine-through keycap legends.
Cons
  • While better than average, the ABS keycaps aren't as high quality as PBT keycaps.
0.9 Mobile/Tablet

The Razer BlackWidow V4 is a wired-only keyboard and isn't suitable for use with tablets or mobile devices.

7.1 Office

While not designed specifically for this use, the Razer BlackWidow V4 is decent for office work. Overall, it has great build quality and includes a layer of sound-dampening foam inside the board to reduce noise. It also has pre-lubed stabilizers, making for a smoother typing experience compared to many dedicated gaming keyboards. We bought and tested this keyboard with linear Razer Yellow switches, which may feel too sensitive for everyday typing. You can also purchase this keyboard with Razer Clicky Green switches, which have an added tactile bump but are much louder and likely too disruptive for an office environment.

Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • Two adjustable incline settings and an included wrist rest.
  • Six dedicated macro keys.
Cons
  • While better than average, the ABS keycaps aren't as high quality as PBT keycaps.
7.5 Programming

The Razer BlackWidow V4 is good for programming. It has great build quality with a layer of sound-dampening foam and pre-lubed stabilizers. This keyboard also has a column of six dedicated macro keys on the left side, and you can record macros directly on the keyboard with hotkey combinations or using the configuration software. Additionally, this keyboard has full RGB backlighting, and its shine-through keycaps make the legends clearly visible in darker rooms.

Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • Two adjustable incline settings and an included wrist rest.
  • Six dedicated macro keys.
  • Per-key backlighting and shine-through keycap legends.
Cons
  • While better than average, the ABS keycaps aren't as high quality as PBT keycaps.
3.9 Entertainment / HTPC

The Razer BlackWidow V4 performs poorly as an entertainment or home theater PC keyboard. It's a wired-only model, so you must sit close to your computer. Additionally, it's a relatively bulky and heavy full-size keyboard designed primarily for a desktop setup. It has dedicated media controls, and its shine-through keycaps make the legends visible in the dark.

Pros
  • Dedicated media keys and volume scroll bar.
  • Per-key backlighting and shine-through keycap legends.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Heavy and bulky.
  • Lacks a control knob.
  • 9.3 Gaming
  • 0.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.1 Office
  • 7.5 Programming
  • 3.9 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Sep 11, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 11, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Aug 09, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Jul 31, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Jul 25, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Razer BlackWidow V4 is only available in a black colorway with Razer Yellow or Razer Green switches. We bought this keyboard with Razer Yellow switches. You can see a label of our unit here.

We've tested the related Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro version of this keyboard separately. You can see the differences between these two models in the table below.

Name Size Switch Options RGB Lighting Zones Sound-Dampening Foam USB Passthrough Dedicated Macro Keys Scroll Bar Knob
Razer BlackWidow V4 Full-size (100%) Razer Yellow, Razer Green Per-key backlighting and both sides of keyboard case PCB and Bottom Plate No 6 keys Yes No
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro Full-size (100%) Razer Yellow, Razer Green Per-key backlighting, wrist rest, and both sides of keyboard case PCB Yes 5 keys and 3 buttons on the side Yes Yes

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Razer BlackWidow V4 continues Razer's popular BlackWidow lineup of flagship gaming keyboards. The standout features this model introduces to the lineup are a handful of dedicated macro keys on the left side of the board and a maximum polling rate/update rate of 8000Hz, which means it can send information to your computer eight times more frequently. This higher update rate is a major factor in ensuring slightly lower and more consistent latency performance compared to some other gaming keyboards with a standard polling rate/update rate of 1000Hz.

There's a separate 'Pro' version of this keyboard called the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro that has several additional features, including one more layer of sound-dampening foam inside the case, additional RGB lighting zones in the wrist rest, additional macro buttons on the left edge of the keyboard, and a programmable knob that Razer calls a 'command dial.' For more details, see the Differences Between Variants section above.

For more recommendations, see our picks for the best keyboard, the best mechanical keyboard, and the best gaming keyboard.

Razer Huntsman V2

The Razer BlackWidow V4 and the Razer Huntsman V2 are wired mechanical gaming keyboards with maximum polling rates of 8000Hz. The BlackWidow V4 is available with linear or clicky mechanical switches. It also has dedicated macro keys, and several small build quality features the Huntsman V2 lacks, including a layer of sound-dampening PCB foam and pre-lubed stabilizers. On the other hand, the Huntsman V2 is available with linear or clicky optical switches and has slightly more premium-feeling PBT keycaps.

Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro and the Razer BlackWidow V4 are wired mechanical keyboards in the same product lineup. The difference between these boards is that the BlackWidow V4 Pro has several additional features, including one more layer of sound-dampening foam inside the case, additional RGB lighting zones in the wrist rest, additional macro buttons on the left edge of the keyboard, and a programmable knob that Razer calls a 'command dial.' That said, the standard BlackWidow V4 has one additional macro key in place of the command dial, but it lacks the three additional macro buttons on the left edge of the case.

Razer BlackWidow V3

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.

ASUS ROG Azoth

The ASUS ROG Azoth and the Razer BlackWidow V4 are mechanical gaming keyboards. The ASUS is a wireless model with a smaller, compact (75%) form factor. It has a more premium-feeling gasket mount design, more extensive sound-dampening material inside the case, and a programmable OLED screen. It also has pre-lubed switches and a hot-swappable PCB. On the other hand, the Razer is a wired-only model with a larger, full-size form factor. In addition to a Num Pad and full navigation cluster, it has a row of dedicated macro keys and dedicated media keys. It also comes with a magnetically attachable wrist rest, which the ASUS lacks.

Corsair K100 RGB

The Razer BlackWidow V4 and the Corsair K100 RGB are wired gaming keyboards with maximum polling rates of 8000Hz. Both keyboards have dedicated macro keys you can program on the board or in software. Both keyboards also have dedicated media controls, but the controls on the Corsair are somewhat more extensive, with a programmable 'iCUE wheel' that the Razer lacks. The Corsair has linear mechanical or linear optical switch options, while the Razer offers linear or clicky mechanical switches.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Full-size (100%)
Height
1.6" (4.1 cm)
Width 18.4" (46.7 cm)
Depth
6.0" (15.3 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
8.9" (22.5 cm)
Weight
2.51 lbs (1.140 kg)

The Razer BlackWidow V4 is quite large, and the additional column of dedicated macro keys on the left makes it slightly wider than most full-size keyboards. That said, you can reduce the footprint of this keyboard on your desk by removing the wrist rest if you prefer.

This keyboard is marginally lower (~2mm) in height than the similar Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. For more details, see the Ergonomics section below.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The build quality of this keyboard is great. The lower chassis is plastic, the top plate is aluminum, and the entire keyboard feels very sturdy and has little or no flex. The keycaps are ABS plastic, but they feel comparatively high-quality compared to most ABS keycaps and have pleasant textured tops. There's a layer of sound-dampening foam inside the case, and the stabilizers are pre-lubed from the factory, contributing to a somewhat more premium feel overall. There are four rubber pads on the underside, and each incline foot has a rubber strip, which does a great job of keeping the keyboard in place. Additionally, there are seven rubber pads underneath the wristrest, which attaches magnetically to the keyboard.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
Home Row Height
33.0 mm (1.3")

The Razer BlackWidow V4 has two plastic feet on the back edge of the keyboard, providing two optional incline angles. There's also an included plush wrist rest that attaches magnetically and provides additional support while typing.

This keyboard's home row height is marginally lower (~2mm) than that of the similar Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. However, this difference is so minor that both keyboards provide the same ergonomic experience.

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

This keyboard provides mediocre hardware customizability. It has plate-mounted cherry-style stabilizers, which are reasonably easy to replace. However, it doesn't have a hot-swappable PCB, so you'll need to unsolder and resolder new switches if you'd prefer a non-stock switch option. The switches have Cherry MX Style stems, but they have North-facing LEDs, which can cause compatibility issues with some keycap sets.

10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

This keyboard has full RGB backlighting with individually backlit keys and additional RGB lighting zones on either side of the keyboard case. You can adjust the brightness levels and customize the lighting and effects using the customization software.

While the closely related Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro version of this keyboard has additional RGB lighting in the wrist rest, this keyboard doesn't.

9.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

This keyboard provides outstanding backlight clarity, and the legends are easily read in darker rooms. A faint red hue is visible when set to white-only backlighting.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 6.5 ft (2.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

This keyboard comes with a braided power cable. It retains some kinks from its packaging.

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

The Razer BlackWidow V4 is a wired-only keyboard.

8.9
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 6
Onboard Macro Programming
Yes
Macro Programming With Software
Yes

This keyboard has six dedicated macro keys located on the left side of the keyboard. You can record macros using the configuration software or with hotkey combinations listed in the user manual.

The more feature-rich version of this keyboard, called the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro, has one fewer macro keys but three additional macro buttons on the board's left edge.

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

This keyboard has quite a few extra features, including LED lock indicator lights, dedicated media keys, and a scroll bar volume control on the top right side of the board. The various hotkey combinations include a game mode that disables the Windows key, backlighting controls, and a macro hotkey for recording macros directly on the keyboard without software. These hotkey combinations are listed in the included user manual. You can see a digital version of the user manual here.

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro version of this keyboard has several additional features, including a USB passthrough and a programmable control knob. For more details, see the Differences Between Variants section above.

Design
In The Box

  • Razer BlackWidow V4
  • 2x USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Wrist rest
  • Stickers
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
Razer Yellow
Switch Type
Mechanical
Feel
Linear

We bought and tested the Razer BlackWidow V4 with linear Razer Yellow mechanical switches.

This keyboard is also available for purchase with clicky Razer Green mechanical switches. See the Keystrokes section for more details about how these switches feel and perform.

Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
42 gf
Actuation Force
42 gf
Pre-Travel
1.5 mm
Total Travel
3.6 mm

We bought and tested this keyboard with linear Razer Yellow switches, which are lightweight and have short-pre travel, making them feel very responsive.

This keyboard is also available with clicky Razer Green Switches, which are a bit heavier and have slightly longer pre-travel. They also have a noticeable tactile bump to overcome before actuation, providing audible clicking noise, while the linear switches don't.

While we haven't tested the Razer Green switches on this keyboard, we tested them on the closely related Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. On that keyboard and several other Razer keyboards we've tested, we've found that the Razer Green switches are noticeably inconsistent in how much force it takes to operate them. Additionally, some individual switches may not produce audible clicking feedback. It's worth noting that we haven't experienced this same inconsistency with Razer Yellow switches either on the Razer BlackWidow V4 or other Razer models. If you have this keyboard with Razer Green switches, we'd love to hear about your experience in the discussions at the end of this review.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

Overall, the typing quality on the Razer BlackWidow V4 is good. The keys only exhibit minimal wobbling, and there's good spacing between keys. The keycaps are made of ABS plastic. They feel superior to most other ABS keycaps and have a slightly textured surface for added grip. Razer has also added a layer of sound-dampening foam and pre-lubed the stabilizers on modifier keys. Compared to older models in Razer's BlackWidow lineup, it delivers a smoother typing feel. Still, some of the larger keys have a noticeable wobble, including the spacebar and shift key. The spacebar, in particular, makes a noticeable rattling sound.

We bought this keyboard with linear Razer Yellow switches, which are fairly smooth. Still, they have very short pre-travel, which makes them well-suited for fast-paced gaming, but they may also feel somewhat too sensitive for typing if you aren't used to them. Unlike the stabilizers, these switches feel somewhat scratchy because they're not lubed from the factory. This keyboard is also available with Razer Green switches.

We tested the very closely related Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard separately with clicky Razer Green switches and found the feel of those switches was very inconsistent. Thankfully, the typing experience with the linear Razer Yellow switches doesn't suffer from the same inconsistency.

8.2
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
49.3 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

The Razer BlackWidow V4 has excellent typing noise performance. It has a layer of sound-dampening foam inside the case, and the stabilizers are pre-lubed from the factory, which reduces the overall noise somewhat compared to earlier models in this lineup. That said, the spacebar makes a noticeable rattling sound that's fairly typical of gaming keyboards at this price point.

We bought and tested this keyboard with linear Razer Yellow switches, which are very quiet and unlikely to bother those around you.

You can also purchase this keyboard with clicky Razer Green switches, which are significantly louder and provide an audible high-pitched click as feedback when you've actuated a key. These switches may bother those around you, especially in noise-sensitive shared spaces.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
0.7 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The Razer BlackWidow V4 has exceptionally low and extremely stable latency performance. It offers an extremely responsive-feeling experience for gaming in any genre at a casual or competitive level. We tested this keyboard with the polling rate set to its maximum setting of 8000Hz.

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 Synapse 3 software is well laid out, easy to use, and offers plenty of adjustable features. You can customize the RGB lighting, set macros to any key, and reassign keys. You can also enable a 'Game Mode' to disable Alt+Tab or Alt+F4 commands and assign a Hypershift button to enable a secondary layer of programmable keys. Note that certain settings, including custom RGB settings, can't be saved to onboard memory and require the software to run in the background.

Like the software options from other major manufacturers, this software receives criticism for requiring frequent updates and taking up disproportionate system resources. This software may be frustrating if you prefer more lightweight software options or no software at all.

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

This keyboard is fully compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, the customization software is only available for Windows, and certain OS-specific buttons don't do anything by default in macOS, including Scroll Lock and Pause/Break.

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

It's a wired-only keyboard that isn't compatible with mobile devices.