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Razer Ornata Chroma Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Mar 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Razer Ornata Chroma Picture
7.6
Mixed usage
8.8
Gaming
2.1
Mobile/Tablet
7.3
Office
7.7
Programming
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
No

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a great gaming keyboard that uses proprietary hybrid switches. They have the soft touch of a membrane switch, on top of having clicky and tactile feedback of a mechanical switch. The board is decently built and features nice RGB lighting. It also comes with a nice and plushy wrist rest, which makes the overall typing experience much more comfortable. This keyboard is a nice improvement over the very similar Razer Cynosa Chroma.

Our Verdict

7.6 Mixed usage

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a good overall keyboard. While it's designed for gamers, its mecha-membrane switches also offer a good overall typing experience. It comes with a nice magnetic wrist rest, which is useful if you type or program on this keyboard.

Pros
  • Good typing experience.
  • Full RGB lighting, customizable.
  • Good ergonomics.
Cons
  • Feels a bit cheaply made, plasticky build.
  • Can be loud for some.
8.8 Gaming

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a great gaming keyboard. It has unique switches that combine the feeling of both membrane and clicky mechanical switches. However, the pre-travel distance is a bit deeper than some other switches, which might make it feel a bit longer to actuate. On the upside, the board is decently well-built and features full RGB lighting, which can be customized inside the software.

2.1 Mobile/Tablet

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

7.3 Office

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a decent office keyboard. It comes with a nice wrist rest and the low profile of the keys makes for a good overall typing experience, without too much fatigue. However, it can be quite noisy since it has clicky switches.

7.7 Programming

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a good programming keyboard. It comes with a comfortable wrist rest and can be used to type on comfortably for hours. However, it's not the most high-end keyboard, but on the upside, you can easily set macros on any keys.

  • 7.6 Mixed usage
  • 8.8 Gaming
  • 2.1 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.3 Office
  • 7.7 Programming
  1. Update 7/20/2020: The switch type has changed to 'Membrane' so that it's consistent with our testing methodology.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.3" (3.2 cm)
Width 18.1" (46.0 cm)
Depth 6.1" (15.4 cm)
Weight 1.8 lbs (0.8 kg)

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a full-size keyboard that's fairly large. It also takes more space on your desk if you use the detachable wrist rest.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

Update 07/20/20:We previously indicated that the Ornata Chroma is a mechanical keyboard. However, even though it has the tactility of a mechanical keyboard, it's fundamentally a membrane keyboard according to our testing methodology.

The build quality of the keyboard is decent. There's a decent amount of flex to the board, and it can stay twisted, although we don't expect most people to flex their boards. The overall build is made from plastic that doesn't feel too premium. On the upside, it comes with a very nice and comfortable wrist rest, and the switches and keycaps feel better than on the Razer Cynosa Chroma. You can also check out the Razer BlackWidow Elite and the Huntsman for better-built Razer keyboards.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
1
Wrist Rest Detachable

The ergonomics of this keyboard are good. The lower profile of the keycaps makes typing smooth and feels like a hybrid between a regular mechanical and a chiclet keyboard. It also comes with a nice and plushy magnetic wrist rest.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color RGB
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

As its name suggests, the Razer Ornata Chroma supports full RGB lighting. You can easily customize the board's design on a per-key basis inside the software.

Design
Cable
Detachable
No
Length 6.9 ft (2.1 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) Not Detachable

This keyboard's cable is long and you shouldn't have any issue reaching your computer.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Multi-Device Pairing
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
Extra Controls
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes

Unfortunately, even if it's a full-size board, it doesn't have dedicated media keys to control your music while playing; you'll have to use the function keys. On the upside, you can set the Windows key lock to be always off, always on, or to trigger whenever playing a game. This will prevent you from accidentally minimizing your game by hitting the Windows key. If you need dedicated media controls, check out the more recent Razer Ornata V2, or the SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. If you want a keyboard with dedicated media keys, consider the Razer Cynosa V2.

Design
In The Box

  • Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard
  • Magnetic wrist rest
  • Manuals

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Razer Mecha-Membrane
Feel
Clicky
Actuation Force
37.0 gf
Pre-Travel
2.43 mm
Total Travel
3.33 mm

The Razer Ornata features Razer's unique mecha-membrane switches. This is like a mix of a clicky mechanical switch with a rubber dome membrane feel. Unfortunately, while it feels comfortable to type on, the actuation point is quite farther than other mechanical keyboards, which might not feel as responsive when gaming.

Note: The Razer Mecha-Membrane curve resembles a typical membrane switch much more than a mechanical switch, therefore we categorize it as non-mechanical. If you want a keyboard with hybrid switches that have a typing feel closer to traditional mechanical switches, check out the SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which uses the SteelSeries Hybrid Blue switches.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The overall typing quality of this keyboard is good. It feels quite similar to the SteelSeries Apex 5 which also uses proprietary hybrid mechanical switches. These switches offer the soft touch of a rubber dome switch with nice feedback from tactile switches. Unfortunately, the ABS keycaps are only of decent quality, and the keys are quite wobbly. On the upside, the spacing between them is good, and their rather high pre-travel makes for less unintentional keystrokes, which helps to reduce typos.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Loud

Due to the clicky part of the switches, the Razer Ornata Chroma is a rather loud keyboard to type on. Each keystroke is clicky, which might be a bit noisy in an open-office environment.

Software and Operating System
7.5
Software and Operating System
Software
Software Razer Synapse 3
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
Yes
Backlight Programming
Yes
Macro Programming
Yes
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

The Razer Synapse software offers a good amount of customization with this keyboard. You can control the backlighting of every key easily and create profiles. All keys are also programmable, but unfortunately, this keyboard doesn't have onboard memory. This means you won't be able to save your profile directly on the board and use your settings on a different computer. If having onboard memory is important to you, check out the Razer BlackWidow.

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

This keyboard has decent compatibility overall. While it's fully compatible and customizable on Windows, its software isn't available on Linux. Also, some keys, like 'context menu', don't do anything on macOS, and the software isn't supported either. This is unfortunate as the keyboard doesn't have onboard memory, meaning you can't customize it on Windows and use it on another platform after.

Compared to other keyboards

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a great overall gaming keyboard but sets itself apart by its unique mecha-membrane switches. It feels a bit like the SteelSeries Apex 5, but the build quality feels a lot cheaper, unfortunately. This keyboard targets people that like the clickiness of mechanical switches but also like the soft touch of membrane switches. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best Razer keyboards.

Razer Ornata V2

The Razer Ornata V2 is an upgraded Razer Ornata Chroma. It now has dedicated media keys with a volume wheel. Other than that, the hybrid switches still feel fairly similar and you still get great RGB backlighting. These two boards are extremely similar, but if you prefer having media control, the Ornata V2 is the better option.

Razer BlackWidow

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a better office keyboard than the Razer BlackWidow because it has a wrist rest. However, the BlackWidow is a better choice for gaming because the mechanical switches have a shorter pre-travel distance. Overall, they're similar keyboards that offer the same features, but the Ornata doesn't have onboard memory, while the BlackWidow does.

Razer Cynosa Chroma

The Razer Ornata Chroma is better than the Razer Cynosa Chroma. It features switches that are a mix of membrane and mechanical switches, while the Cynosa simply uses mushy rubber dome switches. The Razer Ornata is better built and comes with a magnetic wrist rest, which makes its ergonomics and overall typing experience much more comfortable.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a better keyboard than the Razer Ornata Chroma. It's a full-size mechanical keyboard that is noticeably better built and offers a better overall typing quality. It features dedicated media keys and Razer Orange tactile switches. On the other side, if you don't like mechanical switches, the Ornata has mecha-membrane switches that feel like rubber domes, but they still have the clickiness of mechanical switches.

Razer Huntsman

The Razer Huntsman is a better gaming keyboard than the Razer Ornata Chroma. Its optical clicky switches actuate a lot faster than the Ornata's clicky mecha-membrane switches. The Huntsman is also noticeably better-built, but it doesn't come with a nice wrist rest like the Ornata does.

SteelSeries Apex 3

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a better keyboard than the SteelSeries Apex 3. The Razer uses hybrid membrane switches that give you the clicky feedback of a mechanical switch with the feel of a rubber dome switch. It has a better overall typing experience and the keys are individually lit. On the other hand, the SteelSeries uses typical rubber dome switches that are quiet to use in an office, and the keyboard has a better build quality.

Logitech G213 Prodigy

The Razer Ornata Chroma is much better than the Logitech G213 Prodigy. The Razer has a better build quality, RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and every key is macro programmable. Its mecha-membrane switches provide a significantly better typing experience but they generate a lot more noise than the rubber dome switches on the Logitech. The Logitech has dedicated media controls and better software support, as G HUB is also available for macOS.

Corsair K68 RGB

The Razer Ornata Chroma and Corsair K68 RGB are very similar keyboards. The Ornata has hybrid mechanical switches while the Corsair uses Cherry MX switches. The Ornata feels slightly better built, and its wrist rest is slightly more comfortable. If you listen to music when playing, the Corsair has very useful dedicated media keys.

Razer Cynosa V2

The Razer Ornata Chroma is a better keyboard than the Razer Cynosa V2. The Ornata has a better typing experience due to the unique mecha-membrane switches that provide clicky feedback. That said, the Cynosa is much quieter and has dedicated media keys.

Razer BlackWidow Lite

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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