Razer Blackwidow V3 Green Switches Review Full Size Mechanical Keyboard

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The thing with mechanical keyboards is "once you clack, you never go back!" For many people, using a mechanical keyboard is a means of catharsis for them, it's therapeutic. The Razer Blackwidow V3 is a good example of a good tactile mechanical keyboard with a "tall key" design similar to the Huntsman keyboardwhich uses opto light switches to register keystrokes, whereas the Blackwidow V3 uses Razer's own green mechanical switches.

The Blackwidow V3 also comes with yellow switches. Razer's green switches are tactile and produce a loud clicky sound similar to Cherry blue switches, although a little bit more subdued. Razer's yellow switches are the opposite, they are quiet and linear like Cherry red switches. 
Razer's green switches have 4mm travel distance with a 1.9mm actuation point. The switches have minimal wobble and aren't hot swappable so, they are soldered onto the PCB board where the RGB leds are also built-in, shining through the transparent switch housing and creating a glowing aura under each keycap.

The tall key design makes the Blackwidow V3 keyboard look spacious compared to the Blackwidow Chroma V2. The Blackwidow V3 is also much easier to clean and customize with other keycaps such as Razer's PBT quartz keycaps. The Blackwidow V3 keybed also has a slight bow to it with the bottom row slightly raised. Speaking of bottom row, the Blackwidow V3 has a standard bottom row, which means the bottom row starts with a left shift key and ends with a right shift key. There is a total of seven keys of the same size (1.25U) plus the space bar (6.25U). Having a keyboard with a standard bottom row is advantageous because they are compatible with most aftermarket keys.

The Razer Blackwidow V3 cabling measures 1.9 meters long and has a stiff fabric sheath and, it's re-routeable meaning you can have the cable come out of the rear centre of the keyboard or the sides (left or right). This is useful, especially if your desktop computer is to your left or right side. Rerouting the cabling is easy by simply tucking the cable under the long groove that runs along the base of the keyboard. The cable stays secure inside the groove, thanks to plastic retaining clips. The stiff cabling works better for this application than a rubber sheath would have, which would likely get damaged due to the routing. When it comes to computer mice, stiff cabling isn't ideal though because it causes resistance, which is very noticeable when playing first person shooter games.

The distance between the centre opening and the side opening is 20cm so, when you route the cable to the sides, it will shorten the length of the cable by 20cm. 

On the base of the keyboard, there is also rubber feet and a kickstand with two legs to raise the height of the front of the keyboard from 6 to 9 degrees. The small leds on the keyboard are for Caps/Nums/Screen Lock notifications and also for Game Mode and Macros. Neither the volume roller or the button light up.

The Razer Blackwidow V3 illumination comes from the key switches and the front facing logo. You can change the lighting via Razer's Synapse 3 software (compatible with Win7 and higher), which also includes Razer Cortex as an optional add-on software you can install during the Synapse 3 installation.

The Synapse 3 software also comes with add-on modules (Alexa, Chroma Connect, Chroma Studio, Chroma Visualizer, Macro, etc). Installing Synapse 3 (without the modules) take up 590MB of storage space, while the Synapse 3 software standalone takes just 353MB of internal storage. Installing Synapse 3 and all the modules takes 410MB. If you have an Alexa smart speaker, downloading the Alexa module is worth it because it would allow you to control the lighting effects and, even launch applications and shut down your PC via voice commands.

The Razer Synapse 3 software works flawlessly, although it isn't as user friendly as other keyboard software because it requires having to register the keyboard. You can store up to 5 profiles with different keybindings and lighting effects on the keyboard without having to run Synapse.

The Razer Blackwidow V3 has a quirky volume control that consists of a long scrolling wheel that looks like a mini quiff hair brush for styling a hair quiff. The roller volume has a push button built-in for muting/unmuting audio. The circular button next to the roller, it's a physical multi-functional button for pausing and skipping tracks. There is no passthrough USB port like on the Blackwidow Chroma V2. The double shot ABS keycaps are smooth to the touch with clear legends.

The Blackwidow V3 does come with a palm rest (measures 1cm high and 9cm wide), although it is entirely made of plastic and, it isn't as comfortable as the palm rest that comes with the Blackwidow Chroma V2 or even the Tartarus Pro, which has soft foam cushioning on top. 

The Blackwidow V3 wrist rest is not magnetic either. The Blackwidow V3 keyboard measures 45cm long, 16cm wide and 4cm high. The keyboard weighs a little over 1kg and has an aluminium top plate, which provides a rigid surface when typing. The wrist rest weighs 120 grams. You can buy the Razer Blackwidow V3 from Amazon. Check out the review of the Razer Naga Trinity mouse.

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