Razer’s BlackWidow V4 mechanical gaming keyboard is customizable for enthusiasts
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Razer’s BlackWidow V4 mechanical gaming keyboard is customizable for enthusiasts

Jul 30, 2023

By Umar Shakir, a news writer fond of the electric vehicle lifestyle and things that plug in via USB-C. He spent over 15 years in IT support before joining The Verge.

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Razer’s launching a new mechanical keyboard that might get the attention of more than just those who fall into the RGB-forward gamer demographic. The company’s BlackWidow V4 75 includes hot-swappable switches, a gasket-mounted plate with two foam layers, screw holes on the PCB board for screw-in stabilizers, and even factory GPL 205g0 lubricated stabilizers, amongst other features. That’s the sort of stuff you see on enthusiast keyboards like Drop’s Sense75 and Keychron’s Q1 Pro, but from a brand you can easily find at your local Best Buy.

BlackWidow V4 75 comes in a slightly-condensed 75-percent configuration, and has a media roller with two dedicated media buttons in the upper right. Out of the box, you’re getting Razer’s hushed tactile “orange” switches with doubleshot ABS keycaps on top. These switches are factory lubricated, too. You could replace the switches with sets of the company’s clicky green or silent linear yellow ones, but the real fun comes when you try fitting some of your rando switches you have sitting around from another build — it just might work since the V4 has 3 and 5-pin PCB sockets.

Those who appreciate Razer’s signature gamer styling might like the RGB under-glow and per-key lighting. You’ll still need Razer’s Synapse software to set up all the customizations, but luckily the keyboard can retain up to five profiles in its onboard storage. The top case is blacked-out and made of aluminum alloy, and the bottom is made of ABS plastic. Some might even like Razer’s $35 custom stealth keycap packs that come in black or white.

The BlackWidow V4 75 is another good example of mainstream accessory makers bringing the niche but celebrated world of custom mechanical keyboards to the masses. And like the WhiteFox Eclipse from Input Club, the BlackWidow makes entering the keyboard community accessible with a relatively low cost of entry at $189.99. My true mech-warrior work associates are pleased with Razer’s attempt here. For instance, my colleague Antonio Di Benedetto tells me the BlackWidow V4 75 looks decent as an affordable pre-built enthusiast board. What he didn’t like was that it was wired only — but at least it uses a detachable USB-C cable.

We’ll try to get our hands on one and see if it's as good as it seems on paper. But at a glance, this could be a good entry-point keyboard for people curious about customizable mechanical keyboards but worried about how to get into the hobby. The BlackWidow V4 75 is available starting today.

Correction August 18th, 2023 1:24PM ET: A previous version of this article inaccurately referred to this keyboard as “tenkeyless.” We’ve also added details on the switch lubrication and media controls.

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Correction August 18th, 2023 1:24PM ET