Furthering their offerings for the keyboard enthusiast, Razer’s latest keyboard, the Blackwidow V3 Mini, might be my favorite from the triple-headed snake so far. After switching to the Drop ALT last year, I’ve been in love with 65% layout keyboards and Razer’s new board packs this slim yet functional layout and adds their Hyperspeed wireless for even more convenience. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
Out of the box and design overview
As a 65% layout keyboard, the BlackWidow V3 Mini has most of the functionality for navigation but keeps it in a small package. I’m a huge fan of 65% layouts since they include arrow keys that I use frequently when editing video and navigating scripts but are still small enough to give my right hand plenty of room for big sweeps when playing FPS games.
Razer keeps the overall design of the keyboard pretty simple and sharp. While the sides are bare, on the front of the board is a three-way switch for off, 2.4 wireless, or Bluetooth and the USB-C port for charging or connecting to a device. On the bottom are adjustable risers to get a better angle. While the BlackWidow V3 Mini lacks media keys because of its small design, secondary functions can be accessed via the function key.
One thing that I greatly enjoy over the smaller 60% layout Huntsman Mini from Razer is that the BlackWidow V3 has quite a bit more weight to it at 720g. A heavier board doesn’t necessarily mean better build quality, but for me, it does inspire more confidence in the board and keeps it more stable on my desk.
Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini: video
While it’s better than the super rattly Huntsman Mini, the BlackWidow V3 Mini does still have some noise when you shake it. It’s not a huge deal, but I’d love to see and hear Razer put out a board that is as quiet as those from some competitors like the HyperX Ducky One 2 Mini or their Alloy Origins 60 as well. Those boards barely make a sound when you shake them and give off a more premium build quality.
My only other complaint with the design of the Blackwidow V3 Mini is the angled front. While it’s nice to have the Razer logo with RGB, this glossy bit tends to pick up fingerprints all too well in my experience and usually looks dirty.
Hyperspeed wireless and Bluetooth
To set it apart from many other gaming keyboards, the BlackWidow V3 Mini comes with three types of connection including Razer’s HyperSpeed Wireless. Razer has put this low latency cable cutting connection in many of its mice and even the full-size BlackWidow V3 Pro that we took a look at last year, but it’s great seeing it in this smaller board.
Hyperspeed wireless is well regarded for low-latency with mice like the Razer Viper Ultimate, and it feels to me like it holds up just as well with the Blackwidow V3 Mini. Typing feels just as fast and responsive as having a board wired in.
In addition to HyperSpeed wireless and USB-C, the BlackWidow V3 Mini can also connect to devices via Bluetooth. While maybe not the best choice for low latency gaming, it’s a great addition that makes the board more versatile.
BlackWidow V3 Mini: battery life
While wireless, the BlackWidow V3 Mini can get up to 200 hours but can be much lower than that depending on how high the RGB lighting is set. Even if the board needs to be recharged every couple of days, though, this isn’t a big issue to me. I keep a USB-C cable tucked away nearby and can quickly plug it in to top it off when Synapse gives me a prompt that it’s getting low.
The BlackWidow V3 Mini can record macro commands on the fly with those accessible through the M1-4 keys on the right side of the board, and also can store up to five profiles locally if you don’t want to connect it to Synapse.
Clicky or linear switches?
Two different switches are available from Razer for the Blackwidow V3 Mini. You can pick from Razer’s iconic green clicky or an updated yellow linear.
The board that we have here has the new yellow linear switches. While I’m typically not the biggest fan of linear, I tried the green clicky in the V3 Pro and wanted to try the linear switches to see how they perform compared to other linear switches. They’re pretty light with a 45g actuation force, a smaller 3.5mm total travel distance with a pretty short 1.2mm actuation point.
For me, I’m still not on team linear, but these do feel good and I’m able to type fairly quickly with good accuracy. I like that they aren’t too loud and the movement feels very smooth, but I still accidentally hit extra keys all the time when resting my hands and gaming. Maybe I just need to get used to linear switches more or use a heavier switch, but currently, I’m very happy with the tactile switches in my Drop ALT.
Razer has put together a pretty awesome keyboard here with the BlackWidow V3 Pro. I love the smaller 65% form factor, and having HyperSpeed wireless makes it even more discreet sitting at a workstation or battlestation. $180 is a lot to pay for a keyboard, but isn’t far off from other top-tier offerings for gaming keyboards these days, especially with low-latency wireless connections. As always, stay locked to 9to5Toys to make sure you don’t miss when this keyboard goes on sale.
If you are a budding keyboard enthusiast, something like the Drop ALT or Glorious GMMK Pro is fun because you can hot-swap switches and tweak with the keyboard for years to come, but I have a feeling Razer fans are going to love the BlackWidow V3 Mini. If you haven’t tried a 65% layout keyboard, it’s my favorite style.
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