New spins of three of the finest Razer peripherals around have launched today, but with one glaring omission: cables. Yes, Razer's giving you the weapons to completely cut the cables from your gaming desktop setup. Well, cut most of the cables. Except when they need to charge. Batteries, eh? What are you going to do?
Dubbed the Razer Wireless Flagships, the new BlackShark V2 Pro gaming headset, DeathAdder V2 Pro gaming mouse, and BlackWidow V3 Pro gaming keyboard, have all launched today sporting the HyperSpeed wireless technology which promises all the speed of a wired connection with none of the limitations. And I've got to say they deliver on that promise entirely.
But I've got to say I'm kinda surprised that the BlackWidow V3 Pro is its first wireless gaming keyboard. And no, that ugly wireless slab Razer created for the Xbox One really does not count.
Though the one I've been eagerly anticipating is the wireless version of the mighty Razer BlackShark V2 headset. When I first checked the wired version out a couple of months back the only possible negative I could think of surrounded my desire for a cable-free option.
Now Razer has delivered, and this Pro version is even better than the standard Blackshark V2.
It's still rocking the same TriForce Titanium drivers, with the same broad 12Hz - 28,000Hz frequency response, but with a tweaked design which adds another discrete speaker chamber to the mix. The Blackshark V2 already sported a split chamber design, in a similar vein to the HyperX Cloud Alpha, and the Pro version has gone further again to deliver greater tonal separation, allowing high, mid, and bass tones to co-exist without ever muddying each other.
Frequency response - 12Hz - 28,000Hz
Drivers - 50mm TriForce Titanium
Connection - 2.4GHz wireless and 3.5mm
Battery life - 24hrs
Weight - 320g
Price - $180 | £180
Thanks to the HyperSpeed 2.4GHz connection, the first time Razer has dropped it into a headset, you get full lossless audio over the air. Like magic. We'll have a full review of the headset soon, but I've been using the Blackshark V2 Pro for a short while now, and it sounds great.
Razer is also touting a 24hr battery life and 12-metre range. I've not had to charge them up so far, and I can happily nip into the kitchen from my desk and grab a drink without breaking the happy worker tunes. So yeah, so far so good.
But that's only one part of the equation. The Razer DeathAdder has had more iterations than Intel's 14nm production process—little lithography joke for you there—something like 20 different models of the popular rodent have been released so far. But the DeathAdder V2 Pro feels like the pinnacle.
Sensor - Focus+
Max DPI - 20,000
Tracking - 650IPS
Switches - Razer Optical
Connection - Razer HyperSpeed 2.4GHz, Bluetooth
Battery life - 70hrs wireless, 120hrs Bluetooth
Programmable buttons - 8
Weight - 88g
Price - $130 | £130
It's still rocking the same essential design, but you're also getting that speedy wireless connection, 2nd Gen optical switches under the main buttons, and around 70hr battery life. Depending on how bright you like your Razer logo, I guess. The switches are built to last too, and so is the injection molded chassis of the new mouse. It's also impressively light. I'm not talking Glorious-light, but at 88g it's not going to be weighing down your desktop.
And then there's the classic BlackWidow V3 Pro keyboard, which is somewhat surprisingly Razer's first wireless gaming keyboard. That honestly shocked me, but given that your keyboard is the least likely to benefit from going cable-free I can understand.
The new Razer board is offering up to 200hr battery life before you have to plug in the UBS Type-C cable to charge her back up. Again, though, that's dependent on your RGB preferences. With doubleshot ABS keycaps, so you don't end up wiping off the letters, and new mechanical switches, the BlackWidow V3 Pro feels every inch the same classic, except, y'know, more free roaming.
Size - Full 104 key
Connection - Razer HyperSpeed 2.4GHz, Bluetooth, USB Type-C
Battery life - Up to 200hrs (RGB off)
Wrist rest - Oh yes indeed. Plush AF
Media keys - Dedicated
Rollover - N-key
Price - $230 | £230
Though how positive an experience that is for you entirely depends on how much you like the BlackWidow. It is a classic, but I will say that, for me, the plastic shroud on the board looks kinda retro in a world full of metal backplates. I've switched from a Logitech G513, which I do really love, and despite the lack of clutter, the V3 Pro does feel a little like I'm going backwards.
So, why not offer the more advanced Huntsman board? That feels more like the flagship Razer keyboard experience right now, with its funky optical switches. But those are exactly why the Huntsman isn't suitable for wireless, at least not yet according to Razer's keyboard guru, Marquis Tan.
Given that each of those optical switches, every 104 of them, is constantly beaming a little ray of light ready for lightning-quick actuation, it sure chews through batteries quick. When you combine that with RGB lighting you'd be looking at something like four hours.
Optical switches are fine on a mouse, with only two main switches, but on a full-size keyboard right now that's too much.
Another concern might be the number of wireless dongles you'll need to keep track of if you opt for all three of the new wireless Razer trinity. At the moment you're stuck with two mini USB dongles for the mouse and keyboard and a further, much larger USB dongle for the BlackShark V2 Pro headset. Eventually that will dwindle to just two as an update down the line will allow keyboard and mouse to operate via a single dongle.
But not the headset. Remember when we said about it shunting lossless audio over the air? Yeah, that. It takes a whole lot of data and you don't want to have to share.
The wireless Razer goodies go on sale today, with the BlackShark V2 Pro coming in at $180 (£180), the DeathAdder V2 Pro at $130 (£130), and the BlackWidow V3 Pro for an eye-watering $230 (£230).