Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard review

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The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is the latest iteration of the iconic and best-selling keyboard from the American brand, boasting several new features aimed at enhancing functionality and gaming use. Among these updates are dedicated macro keys, a versatile programmable dial, an RGB wrist rest, and additional multimedia keys.

The keyboard maintains its excellent build quality, featuring an aluminum construction with layers of internal padding to provide an optimal typing experience for a commercial keyboard. It is equipped with Razer Yellow and Green switches, ABS Double Shot keycaps, and a detachable double USB-C connection that includes an additional data USB port. However, it lacks wireless connectivity.

Materials and exterior design

While the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro‘s name only slightly differs from its predecessor, numerous changes have been made to the design and external construction. The full-format layout remains unchanged, but the keyboard now includes more keys and has an increased width of 465 mm, making it a sizable device.

The top plate, which supports both keys and switches, is made of 5052 aluminum-magnesium alloy, offering excellent resistance to acidic and corrosive conditions. This plate extends to the front and back edges of the keyboard and the bottom edge of the device’s base to improve durability. The PCB, located beneath the plate, also features layers of padding to reduce noise and enhance the keyboard’s overall performance.

The front edge maintains a 45-degree incline, providing ample space for resting palms if the wrist rest is not used. The RGB lighting zone beneath the front edge extends to the sides, similar to the previous generation.

The keyboard’s sides remain flat and are constructed of plastic, as they form part of the base. On the left side, three buttons replace the previous connection switch, completing the additional column of special function keys. The right side features no changes, while the front houses the horizontal multimedia wheel on the right and the USB-A data port and two USB-C connections on the left.

The base is made of rigid plastic with anti-slip rubber supports at the corners and edges. The front area has a magnetic connection for the RGB wrist rest. Two foldable legs at the back offer two keyboard inclinations, adding 5 and 10 mm.

The wrist rest design has been improved, with the most notable change being the extension of the padded support area across the entire usable surface. The previous generation featured aluminum edges, but now a more robust faux-leather cover sits atop the memory foam padding, increasing durability. The RGB lighting system on the wrist rest’s chassis is similar to the Huntsman series, with improved connections and magnetic attachment points. The base has seven anti-slip rubber supports to prevent slippage during use.

Keycaps and additional functionality

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro retains the same keycap design used for years, featuring distinctive aesthetics and usage sensations. The keycap characters are slightly larger and thicker but maintain their style, providing easy readability without being intrusive.

The keyboard has a full-format ANSI layout, and as of this review, the manufacturer has not mentioned plans for an ISO-ES version. The primary key rows feature a pronounced concave curvature for improved typing comfort. The ABS keycaps are made using the Double Shot technique, which overlays a translucent internal layer with a more durable top layer to prevent wear.

The most significant differences from the BlackWidow V3 Pro in terms of layout include the addition of a special macro key column on the left, similar to Corsair’s K55 and K100 models, as well as a multi-function wheel. Additional multimedia buttons have also been added behind the right-side horizontal wheel. The spacing between key zones has been slightly reduced to improve usability.

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is a cutting-edge gaming keyboard that boasts a variety of innovative features designed to improve user experience and performance. With a focus on customization and user adaptability, the V4 Pro offers an array of features that cater to both gamers and productivity-oriented users.

Customizable keys and multifunctional wheel

One of the most notable features of the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is the inclusion of a set of customizable keys on the left side of the keyboard. While initially, users might find these new key locations challenging to navigate, the added functionality and versatility make them a valuable addition for gaming and productivity tasks once users become accustomed to their placement.

Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard review

In addition to the customizable keys, the V4 Pro introduces a multifunctional wheel in the top-left corner. This wheel can be programmed to perform various functions through the Synapse 3 software, such as adjusting keyboard brightness, zooming in and out, switching between windows or desktops, navigating browser tabs, scrolling through Excel documents, or controlling video and audio playback.

High-quality mechanical switches for gamers

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro features a choice of Razer Green tactile and clicky switches, as well as Razer Yellow linear switches with silent, mechanical activation. These high-quality switches are designed for quick, quiet performance, boasting a 1.2mm activation point, 3.5mm total travel distance, 45g initial force, and an impressive durability of up to 100 million keystrokes.

Each Razer switch is equipped with a sound dampening system and a transparent cover that showcases the built-in Razer Chroma lighting system. It’s important to note, however, that the switches are not hot-swappable, and the LEDs are integrated directly into the switch.

Improved key stability and performance

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro offers enhanced key stability thanks to its cross-type support system and additional housing, resulting in a more solid and satisfying keystroke experience. Furthermore, the internal padding and pre-lubricated stabilizers have been significantly improved, offering a performance and tactile experience comparable to that of a custom-built keyboard.

Connectivity and additional features

The V4 Pro does not include the wireless connectivity featured in its predecessor, the V3 Pro. Instead, it incorporates an additional USB Type-A data port and two USB-C ports with a detachable cable for connecting to a PC. The keyboard also boasts an 8000Hz polling rate, integrated memory for storing up to five profiles, and N-Key Rollover and Antighosting functionality for all keys.

It’s worth noting that the USB-A data port’s transfer speeds are somewhat limited, achieving only 42MB/s download and 39MB/s upload speeds. This suggests that it might not be worth using a motherboard USB slot for the keyboard unless it serves to connect a wireless dongle for a keyboard or headset.

Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard review

Comprehensive control software

The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is managed by Synapse 3 software, which installs automatically when the keyboard is connected to a PC. The software allows users to remap keys, including the new M keys and side buttons, and configure the left wheel with custom profiles. Additionally, the keyboard supports game mode and polling rate adjustments ranging from 125 to 8000Hz.

Users can customize the keyboard’s lighting through basic and advanced modes within the Chroma Studio. This feature allows for layered lighting and effects for individual keys and edge zones. The keyboard also includes synchronized lighting modes for a wide range of current games.

Final thoughts on the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro keyboard

The BlackWidow Pro remains Razer’s flagship keyboard in terms of performance and price. With the introduction of customizable keys, a left-side multifunctional wheel, and an enhanced multimedia zone, the V4 Pro offers significant improvements for both gaming and productivity users. While it takes time to adapt to the new layout, the keyboard provides a comfortable experience, featuring a magnetic wrist rest and premium RGB lighting integrated into the keys and device edges. Synapse 3 offers comprehensive control of performance, RGB effects, and key functions.

However, there is still room for improvement in certain aspects of the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. The USB-A data port’s bandwidth is somewhat limited, and the keyboard lacks the wireless connectivity featured in the V3 Pro. Additionally, the V4 Pro has not yet adopted hot-swappable PCB switches, which some competitors already offer. Despite these shortcomings, the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro delivers impressive quality and performance, bringing users closer to the experience of using a custom-built keyboard. The innovative features and enhancements make this keyboard a compelling choice for gamers and productivity users alike, who seek to optimize their experience with a high-performance, customizable device.

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