Go to Reviews.org US Edition
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro gaming keyboard review
The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro gaming keyboard is a future-proofed investment in everyday and gaming luxury.
The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is a great gaming keyboard. Whether you’re using it for gaming or everyday typing, it’s a speedy performer that never skips a keystroke. It’s incredibly comfortable to use all day, plus there are dedicated macro and media keys for extra functionality. It’s a wee bit louder than I’m used to and some of the port/button placement could be refined, but none of that holds it back from being an otherwise wholly recommendable keyboard.
For years now, the Razer Huntsman Elite V2 Optical has been my go-to gaming keyboard, faithfully helping me beat deadlines and online foes in equal measures. But that’s from two years ago. Oh, how time flies. Fast-forward to more recent times and Razer has sent me the BlackWidow V4 Pro to tempt me away from the long-serving Huntsman Elite.
Spoilers: after this review is done, I don’t plan on plugging my beloved Razer Huntsman Elite V2 Optical back in. But read on for my full thoughts.
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro value for money
Whatever gear you buy from Razer comes with Razer premium pricing. The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro gaming keyboard is no exception to that norm. In terms of RRP, you’re looking at $399.95, which is a steep price to pay for a wired gaming keyboard.
Around this price point is where you’ll also find the SteelSeries Apex Pro and Apex Pro TKL, the Asus ROG Claymore II, the Corsair K100 and the Logitech G915 Lightspeed. That Logitech ’board is wireless, by the way, as is the similarly priced Asus ROG Azoth. Basically, the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro has a decent price for some of its peers but those competitors are also offering wireless versions of their gaming keyboards at this price point.
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro gaming
The great thing about wired keyboards is you can safely expect them to never skip a beat. That’s certainly been the case during my weeks of testing a wide array of games, including Resident Evil 4, Dredge, Everspace 2, WWE 2K23, Diablo IV and Terra Nil.
With a 1.2mm actuation point on the linear-keys version of the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro, it’s a great middle ground between responsiveness and not feeling like an errant sneeze will accidentally register a keystroke. Couple that with the option to choose 2,000Hz, 4,000Hz and 8,000Hz polling rates, and it’s clear the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is built for performance.
I’m so used to gaming keyboards shunning dedicated macro keys that I was genuinely shocked to find five of them and a dedicated command dial on the left of the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. The only learning curve here for anyone who’s also used to being without these keys is it can mess with muscle memory for tapping main keys that are no longer hard up against the left of the keyboard.
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro everyday use
I’ve been doing my day-to-day writing work with the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro for a couple of weeks now, and I don’t see how I can go back. Sure, it’s incredibly easy to use for the thousands of words I type out every day, but it’s also incredibly comfortable.
There are standard features like two levels of elevation via back feet, but the real shining comfort star is the leatherette wrist rest. The wrist rest is soft and supportive with a clever magnetic design that makes it slot in. RGB fans will be glad to know it has an “underglow” light bar, which is a nice touch. That said, it can be temperamental if not connected properly, which sometimes leads to an unintentional Darude-inspired light show.
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro has USB pass-through, which necessitates a second USB port on your computer. I’m not a fan of how the single USB-A port is hidden around the back of the keyboard; it’d be better placed on one of the sides. Admittedly, the left side does have a trio of discrete shortcut buttons that I first discovered while trying to move the keyboard.
I still prefer the media keys on the Razer Huntsman Elite V2 Optical over the ones on the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro. The dedicated impossible-to-miss volume wheel will impress some on the BlackWidow, but I preferred the three defined playback controls and larger volume dial/mute on the Huntsman. If anything, because the mute button is now identically shaped and sized as the other playback controls, it’s easier to accidentally press while trying to skip a track.
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro software and features
Not all companion software is created equal but, thankfully, Razer Synapse is one of the better entries. That said, it is a pain to update—with sporadically pausing software updates seemingly designed to preserve bandwidth—and it generally takes a system restart for a new product to show up.
Once you’re past those quirks, though, software tweaks for the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro are very straightforward. The ‘Lighting’ tab has a handful of self-explanatory options, but even though I’m not an RGB fan, I liked the default settings (particularly the fireworks-like pulsing on start-up). The ‘Customize’ tab is where I spent most of my time.
Gaming mode has a few options outside of the basics: namely, disabling the Windows key and Alt-F4. By default, the polling rate is set to 1,000Hz—standard for wired keyboards—but the above-1,000Hz options are welcome future-proofed inclusions for those with beefier CPUs. Outside of those main functions, there are toggles for the command dial, plus a keyboard layout to set macros, change the side buttons and reconfigure individual keys.
Is the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro worth buying?
The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is worth buying if you’re not the kind of gamer who balks at the high price of admission. Viewed as an investment, the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is the kind of keyboard that should faithfully serve for years with a great mix of features for everyday and gaming applications.
How we review gaming keyboards
We review keyboards by testing them for extended periods. Where possible, with tenkeyless and full-sized keyboards, we use them as our primary keyboard during testing periods. Keyboards are appraised in terms of how seamlessly they slot into everyday life.
For gaming keyboards specifically, we test across everyday and gaming scenarios. We acknowledge that while gaming purists may be okay with switching between everyday and gaming mice, it’s more of an ask for a gamer to own multiple keyboards. Particularly for gaming keyboards, mechanical switches are evaluated in the context of the distinct sound and feel of the three broad types of keys.
Generally, keyboards are also appraised in terms of their comfort and practicality. For comfort, we take note of any keys that are difficult to reach or any soreness after extended use. An included wrist rest is a big plus on the ergonomics front. For the practical side, we factor in additional keys, including macros and media controls, then appraise things such as battery life and versatility (wired, Bluetooth and 2.4GHz) for relevant models.