If you’re choosing a new keyboard as a gamer, it can be very tempting to go for the smallest keyboard out there. Perhaps something like Corsair’s K65 RGB Mini or Razer’s Huntsman Mini, both of which sport 60% layouts.
But today Razer is introducing the BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed, and having had just over a week with a sample, I can say with certainty that this might be my favorite small gaming keyboard to date.
Small keyboards are all the rage these days. For most PC gamers, they provide a much more effective and comfortable experience.
But I have an issue with 60% keyboards like the aforementioned two. They make two key (pardon the pun) sacrifices that I simply cannot handle: The missing arrow keys and dedicated delete key. You might not often need them in the middle of a game, but having to switch keyboards just to get some work done feels like a missed opportunity.
That’s where the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed does something different. It’s a 65% keyboard, so it has those keys, along with page up, page down, and insert.
This tiny difference in layout makes a world of difference in everyday usability. It takes a keyboard from being suitable only for gaming and expands it to general use. The one exception might be heavy office use, where you might want some improved ergonomics. This one’s just too tall for extended typing sessions and doesn’t come with a fancy wrist rest.
Those extra couple of buttons make it much easier to work through text, even just in chats with friends, and arrow keys are also useful in some games. Unless you’re a heavy typist and need better ergonomics and a numpad, this is all the keyboard you’ll ever need.
But there’s more good stuff with the BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed than just its layout. It also comes with a namesake Hyperspeed wireless connection, making it just that bit tidier on your desk – and it works well, unlike older wireless keyboard implementations.
It boots up immediately when you press a key, registering that first stroke, stays on for a while but not too long, and battery life is amicably good with a rating of 200 hours, though that’s over the Bluetooth connection with the illumination switched off. Razer didn’t say what the battery life was like with illumination on Hyperspeed, but the keyboard hasn’t run dry in the week I’ve used it intensively.
These Razer Yellow switches are brilliant.
Build quality is incredibly solid (for once) and the all-PBT keycaps look and feel great, and they should stand up to the test of time well. Then there’s the Razer Yellow switches, which are good. No, I take that back — they’re great! They’re fast linear switches with dampers at the bottom so that they land silently at the end of their keystroke. And that last detail makes such a big difference in typing comfort, too – there’s more to it than just a reduction in noise.
The keystroke feels more refined, and due to the damping at the end of the keystroke, the impact to your joints is also less. It also helps the keyboard feel much more solidly put together. Alternatively, it will also come with Razer Green switches for that tactile clicky experience, but I’d go for the yellow switches.
The excellent design and features make this keyboard not only an excellent plank to game on, but it feels great to type on for everyday stuff, too. Razer gear doesn’t tend to fit my style, but i have to give credit where it is due. They’re on to something with this keyboard – this is one I can recommend to everyone but the heaviest typists.
With pricing at $180 for the BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed, it’s not cheap. In fact, that’s quite expensive, especially for a small keyboard, but this one’s actually worth it.
- Razer’s new Ornata V3 keyboard uses hybrid ‘mecha-membrane’ switches
- Razer’s new gaming gear is lightweight — and more affordable than ever