When looking at the new Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro that was recently released, I was reminded of the K100 RGB that we reviewed back in October of 2020. With macro keys and extra dials, they both sit near the top of the line for their respective brands. So, which one is the right pick for you? Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
BlackWidow V4 Pro vs K100: Overview
These keyboards are feature-packed RGB-laden gaming-focused keyboards that are meant to be the command center for a battlestation. Both feature additional macro keys for custom control, and multi-function dials for added use, and will take up a decent portion of your desktop.
Since the Corsair has been out since October of 2020, we are seeing some discounts on that board making it the more affordable of the two. The list price is $250, but currently its available for $190 with Cherry speed switches and $200 with OPX optical switches.
Razer’s board is brand new and priced at $230 with either Razer green clicky switches or yellow silent.
Design + build quality
First off, let’s take a look at the overall design and build quality of the two boards. For being full-sized layouts, both keyboards feel very solid with little flex. Both boards feature a removable padded wrist rest but the Razer pad packs RGB – 20 or so zones of it. When combined with the rest of the board, the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro definitely takes the cake for RGB.
The Razer is smaller, but it’s a slight difference that really isn’t noticeable. Thanks to the additional macro keys on the left side of both boards, they are large and have a significant footprint on a desktop.
The Razer features media controls above the numpad with a volume roller and buttons for skipping, playing/pausing, and muting the audio. The mute button RGB will change to red when active.
On the K100, Corsair has added an additional riser above the function row that holds the volume roller and mute button, a tempered glass panel with icons for the various keyboard locks, and the iCUE wheel with a profile button and lock button.
Both keyboards also feature USB passthrough. On the Corsair, the always-attached cable splits into two USB ports to plug into the back of a computer to support both the keyboard and passthrough. The Razer has two detachable USB cables – one controls the keyboard, and the other enables USB passthrough.
Macro Keyboard Shootout: Video
As a focal point for a battlestation, both of these keyboards pack tons of macro functionality to augment work and play.
On the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro, there are five macro keys to the left of the standard keyboard buttons and three buttons on the side of the keyboard. These side buttons almost feel more like a mouse click; they don’t take much force at all to actuate. The middle button has a small nub to help find the right key.
By default, these are mapped to Window’s snipping tool, Xbox Game Bar, and open task view. Of course, these can be changed to nearly anything from Razer’s Synapse software.
Above the macro buttons, next to the escape key, is what Razer calls the Command Dial. Pressing the dial will rotate between different modes that by default make the dial control brightness, zoom, switch applications, change music tracks, scroll, and more.
Or, you can create your own controls by adding a new command dial and selecting the desired function, and color, and even placing it in the line-up of other controls.
The K100 has six macro keys on the left side of the board. Above the function row is the large iCUE dual which has similar functionality to the command dial of the BlackWidow V4 Pro but is much larger overall.
There aren’t any keys on the side of the board like the Razer, so depending on how many macro keys you need, might make a difference in which board you choose.
One nice bonus of the K100 is that the keyboard seamlessly integrates into Elgato’s Streamdeck software. While you can still set custom hotkeys for a similar function with the BlackWidow V4 Pro, if you’re a streamer in the Elgato ecosystem with a Stream Deck, that function could be an incentive to go with the Corsair keyboard.
Switches and typing experience
Comparing the switches will be difficult considering that the models that I have on hand are quite different. The Razer has green clicky switches while the Corsair features Cherry MX Speed silver linear switches.
Switch style and feel is subjective to different users as well. I prefer a tactile switch to a linear which will not be the case for everyone. When using a light linear switch like what is found on the Corsair, I have more accidental inputs just by testing my fingers on the keys when gaming.
I wouldn’t categorize either of these boards as a premium typing experience when it comes to sound but be sure to hit the video to hear them for yourself.
Because I prefer more feedback, I lean towards the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro in this comparison. Another factor here is that I prefer the wrist rest from the Razer; it has a bit more padding which provides more support to my wrists when in use. The Corsair is a little bit lower, which wasn’t as comfortable of an angle for my wrists.
What’s in the hardware?
On the hardware side, the BlackWidow V4 Pro supports up to a crazy 8,000Hz polling rate. That means the keyboard is scanning for input and sending that signal to your computer more frequently than the industry-standard 1,000Hz.
The K100 can be set to a 4,000Hz polling rate which is also well beyond the standard but isn’t quite as high as the Razer. In reality, though, I can’t really notice the difference between these boards. Those are both lightning-fast. If you are trying to pull out all of the stops to be a top-tier competitive player these hyper-fast polling rates might be beneficial, but for most people, I don’t think polling rate should dictate a purchase alone.
BlackWidow v4 Pro vs K100: Overall experience
In the past, I’ve stayed away from full-sized keyboards as I felt that they always interfered with my mouse swipes in FPS gaming. These days, though, I don’t find that to be an issue. The boards are easy enough to move to the side and get out of the way even though I play at a relatively low DPI of 400.
Even though it is more expensive, I find myself leaning toward the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro as my choice between these keyboards. If you want RGB, Razer is the winner. If you need macro keys, the Razer wins thanks to the additional buttons on the side of the keyboard.
The BlackWidow V4 Pro also feels and looks a bit tidier. I think the typing experience is slightly superior, and the overall style isn’t as busy as the K100. The media keys and command dial are all in line with the function row keeping the board design simple, and the K100 is only available with linear switches which aren’t my favorite.
If you’re in the market for a full-sized, full-featured keyboard, these really are both great options. Functionality-wise, if you are on a tight budget, the Corsair will save you a bit of money but still does nearly everything that the Razer can do. As always, stay locked right here to 9to5Toys to keep an eye on deals for these top-tier gaming keyboards.
Buy Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro
Buy Corsair K100 RGB
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