Razer built an unassuming tenkeyless mechanical keyboard for work and play

Most of what Razer produces is geared directly towards gamers. Its new BlackWidow Lite contendor for the best mechanical keyboard crown, however, has both gamers and professionals in sight with a toned down design.

For one, it sports white LED backlighting instead of green or RGB bulbs as found on many of its other keyboards. Razer said it was shooting for a "minimalistic profile that's fit for the professional environment," and at a glance, it appears that way.

That said, it's interesting that Razer opted for a tenkeyless form factor, trading a dedicated number pad for a compact design. We're sure some professionals will appreciate the extra desk space a compact plank provides. However, that decision is bound to be a deal killer for anyone who does a lot of number crunching and/or number input, like accountants.

In another nod towards an office environment, Razer opted for its Orange mechanical key switches. These are both tactile and silent (or at least quiet). As for the technical specs:

  • Actual force: 45G
  • Travel distance: 4mm
  • Actuation point: 1.9mm
  • Actuation vs reset point: 0.05mm

They're basically Razer's version of Cherry MX Brown key switches, which are also tactile and silent, but with a slightly shorter actuation point (1.9mm versus 2mm). From Razer's vantage point, this gives the Orange switches an advantage.

Razer says the BlackWidow Lite's deck has an aluminum matte top plate. It also features a detachable braided fiber cable, 10-key rollover with anti-ghosting, a gaming mode to disable the Windows key and Alt+Tab, and fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording.

The BlackWidow Lite is available now for $89.99 (€99.99) and comes with a keycap puller. For the full lowdown, check out our best gaming keyboard guide.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).