Razer is updating its flagship keyboard with the BlackWidow V4 Pro, a no-compromise model that breathes new life into this range.
The keyboard gamer Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is a significant upgrade over the V3 we reviewed two years earlier. It retains a simple and modern chassis and the brand’s traditional green and yellow switches.
It differs from the previous generation by the return of dedicated macro keys on the left side, accompanied by three additional buttons on the edge and a fully customizable wheel. In summary, Razer seems to have created a direct competitor to Corsair’s K100 RGB, and we don’t mind!
Will he be able to convince us as much as his main opponent? This is what we will see in this complete test of the BlackWidow V4 Pro, a keyboard offered at the disproportionate price of 280 euros.
Sobriety, embellished with good ideas
We liked the design of the BlackWidow V3 and Razer decided to continue the adventure with a similar chassis. The case is again made of plastic, on which there is a black metal plate that contributes to the good rigidity of the keyboard. We particularly appreciate here the austerity of the whole.
First novelty that is obvious: the addition of RGB lighting that runs through the edges of the keyboard and extends to the palm rest, this time magnetized and very comfortable. It benefits from a textured leatherette upholstery with the most beautiful effect and is very pleasant to use, while no longer suffering from the problems of the V3.
The switches sit back on the metal plate and are topped with the same raw ABS keys. If their texture is good and limits fat build-up, we would have preferred PBT keys, which are much more durable. RGB lighting is logically part of it and yet we regret that certain characters do not benefit from it, especially in the list of special characters…
The action button for multimedia control has been replaced here by four separate buttons. Their finish gives them a remarkably premium look, but completely prevents the symbols on them from being “read”. It is therefore necessary to remember their functions. The large volume control wheel is still present, just as practical and pleasant to use.
Like Corsair’s K100 RGB, the BlackWidow V4 Pro now has several additional and customizable buttons on the left side. So there are five macro keys, an action wheel and three side buttons present on the left edge. These are also very sensitive and so require a bit of practice before mastering them, especially when the user needs to move the keyboard around. The wheel would also have benefited from being a little further away from the rest of the keys. It’s not uncommon to hit them if you want to serve the last one…
Another good idea: using two separate USB-C cables to connect to the PC. We lamented the presence of an inseparable double cable on the Huntsman V2 Analog, and Razer seems to have corrected the situation here. So only one cable is needed to use the keyboard and the second can be added to take advantage of the USB-A port on the back of the keyboard.
The presence of these detachable cables removes one of the good ideas of the BlackWidow V3 which was equipped with an under-chassis cable management system. Here we only have the usual two-position retractable feet, which allow you to change the inclination of the keyboard.
One button, buttons, a perfect cocktail of functions
We are bringing out the usual Razer Synapse driver software to fine-tune the operation of the BlackWidow V4 Pro. The tool is still just as easy to use and allows you to remap all the keys on the keyboard using numerous functions. Similarly, RGB lighting can be changed with different settings.
The five macro keys and the three side buttons can be configured in the same way as all other keys on the keyboard. In particular, by default, they provide quick access to the screen recording interface or the game bar.
There are also several presets associated with the wheel. For example, you can change the keyboard brightness, change the active application, or even activate the Windows zoom feature. Switching between the different modes is done simply by pressing the last one, which is color coded for each. The controls aren’t always practical depending on the number of features created, but Razer had the good idea of adding a pop-up indication for each change.
Of course, the user retains the option of creating their own actions for this wheel. The options here are a bit more limited than with the other keys, but thankfully macros are available. The possibilities are therefore virtually endless and the default settings can be switched off.
The profiles here could have taken on their full meaning with this wheel and its buttons. Unfortunately, the wheel’s actions are completely independent of the profiles, so it’s impossible to switch between functions automatically. In addition, the latter’s custom actions require Synapse to be launched.
Finally, if it matters at all, the BlackWidow V4 can be used at a frequency of poll of 8000 Hz. However, with this many buttons and the corresponding wheel, it seems rather positioned as an all-purpose keyboard, both in games and for creative and office use.
Like déjà vu
Finally, it’s almost performance-wise that the Razer BlackWidow V4 disappoints a bit. Indeed, Razer has made it simple here by using the same mechanical switches as the previous generation. The keyboard is offered with a choice of the yellow switches discovered on the V3 Mini HyperSpeed or the traditional green ones we’ll talk about here.
During our review of the BlackWidow V3, we appreciated the responsiveness of these green switches, which, as we recall, are very noisy due to the audible click they emit when activated. The activation point is 1.9 mm and the activation force required is 50 g.
Small novelty, however: the hose brand has applied the same acoustic treatment as on the V3 Mini with a double layer of insulation and lubrication of the stabilizers. However, it’s difficult to make use of on our test unit because of the switches click but there is indeed a very contained resonance.
In this version, the keyboard will delight typists and fans of touch keys. However, we recommend the version equipped with yellow switches (linear) for players looking for a keyboard cutout for demanding and nervous games.
In summary, even if it offers excellent performance, we would have liked the BlackWidow V4 Pro to benefit from more quality switches, which is not lacking from Razer. The pill is all the more difficult to swallow when you know that a high price is charged for this new version.
Price and availability of the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard
The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard is available for a suggested retail price of 280 euros.