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Razer’s new gaming gear is lightweight — and more affordable than ever

Razer makes some of the most iconic gaming hardware in the world, from gaming laptops to high-end gaming accessories. The latest batch of peripherals fleshes out its existing range of keyboards, headsets, and mice, with a set of affordable options that pack high-end features into lightweight packages.

The first in the trio of new products is the Razer BlackWidow keyboard. It joins an extensive line of existing keyboards, like the BlackWidow Elite, Chroma, and Tournament editions. This BlackWidow board is designed as a cheaper alternative, cramming some high-end features of the BlackWidow Elite into a keyboard that costs just $120; $50 less than the Elite. It benefits from Razer’s popular green mechanical switches, which provide a tactile actuation point and a clicky sound, making it most comparable to the Cherry MX Blue switch.

The new BlackWidow keyboard also features Razer’s Hypershift, which lets users customize their board to turn any key into a macro key if they so choose. It also has support for Razer’s Synapse software suite, which gives you full control over its RGB backlighting and even lets you implement fancy lighting effects that trigger automatically in games like FortniteWarframe, and Overwatch.

The only real difference between this board and the more expensive Elite is that it lacks a fancy wrist rest and the digital media keys. While those are nice extras, if you don’t want to pay a $50 premium for them, the new BlackWidow is a much more affordable way to get all of the great Razer gaming board features.

Razer is also launching a new version of its Kraken gaming headset. Building upon the legacy of the Kraken Pro V2, it connects to your PC or device over a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, which makes it compatible with a wide range of devices. Wherever you use it, though, you’ll be able to enjoy the high-quality 50mm drivers for great in-game audio and voice communications. It also features newly improved gel earcups to help keep you cool during gameplay.

The new Kraken comes in three distinct colors: Green, black, and quartz pink, all priced at $80. The black iteration is also available in a console version, which is designed to be compatible with Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. The only real change, though, is the introduction of some blue highlights. All versions enjoy a thicker headband for added comfort, as well as a new retractable microphone with an improved voice recognition pattern to help reduce background noise.

Outside of the U.S. and Europe, Razer has been testing a new mouse called the Basilisk Essential. That is now making its way to U.S. markets with a price tag of $50 and has most of the strong features of the standard Basilisk. The streamlined device has a multi-functional paddle button, which gives gamers plenty of options. Although a sniper function is popular, you can remap it to whatever input you want using Razer software. Razer also recommends push to talk, or ultimate attacks in certain MOBA and first-person shooter titles.

It also features standard forward and back buttons just above the cushioned thumb grip, a grippy scroll wheel, and DPI cycle switch. The main optical sensor supports sensitivities up to 6,400 DPI.

The Basilisk Essential also has full support for Razer Chroma, so you can pick from one of almost 17 million colors for the LED-lit Razer logo on the palm rest. Designed to be maneuverable, the Razer Basilisk Essential is supremely light at just 95g. It isn’t quite as durable as the standard Basilisk, though. That $70 mouse is rated for up to 50 million clicks, while the Essential is said to last 20 million in comparison.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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