Not too long ago, at the end of May to be precise, Razer launched the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed, a new, particularly small gaming keyboard that continues the trend towards minimalist keyboards and thus marks another step away from the previously dominant chunky keyboards with gigantic-looking layouts, generous palm rests and wasteful additional keys. We wanted to know whether the keyboard meets the high demands of the gaming sector despite its small size and put it through an extensive practical test. The results can be found below.
|Switch type||Mechanical Yellow Switch by Razer™|
|Click feel||Linear and silent|
|Lighting||Customizable Razer Chroma™ backlight with 16.8 million color options|
|Integrated storage||Integrated hybrid and cloud storage – up to 5 profiles|
|Connectivity||Connection via Razer™ HyperSpeed Wireless (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth or USB-C|
|Price||€ 123.22 *|
Design and finish
Above all, the keyboard is small. However, it is noticeable that it differs from the Huntsman Mini, for example, in that it does not do without all the dispensable keys: The arrow keys are included in the 65 percent layout. However, Razer does without all luxury beyond that, which makes the keyboard look correspondingly minimalistic. The keyboard is equipped with either Razer’s Green or Yellow switches and a Chroma RGB illumination. Apart from the size, the design of the device hardly differs from other keyboards. However, it does not look like a gaming keyboard at first, but rather like an office device due to its very delicate and minimalistic appearance. It’s obvious that this has some advantages: It can also be used on smaller desks without any problems, can be moved out of the way more easily in case of doubt and is much better suited for use outside of one’s own four walls due to the problem-free transportability and the small space requirement.
The dark device is excellently manufactured. Users who are used to the high quality of other Razer gaming keyboards should not be surprised. More details about the quality of the keys can be found in the Practical test section.
So the first impression left by the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is a positive one. The device stands out due to its small size, but it is not inferior to the larger competition in terms of quality. With its rather restrained design, the keyboard is also in line with the aesthetic zeitgeist and should fit into a wide variety of environments better than flashy, clunky devices of older vintages that vie for attention and visually harmonize with other devices as well as other furnishings.
Features: battery and extras
The BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is a battery-powered keyboard that can be used flexibly. It is charged via USB-C cable. The stated battery life of 200 hours can certainly be achieved in practice – but not when the RGB lighting (which is comparatively dark) is used. In any case, one battery charge was sufficient for several days of intensive use in our practical test – even after that, there was still more than enough remaining capacity. Once the battery is empty, the keyboard can still be used without any problems while charging, as long as it is connected to the PC via USB-C cable, which then supplies it with power during operation. It can be used wirelessly via a 2.4 GHz wireless connection as well as via Bluetooth. Both options worked flawlessly in our test.
Of course, we also tested the aforementioned RGB lighting. The BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed offers numerous lighting options, as each button can be controlled individually. As a consequence, the most diverse lighting effects can be achieved. Furthermore, synchronization with other Chroma devices can be achieved via the Chroma software, which controls the lighting. The software is available for free and offers a clear listing of all control options. In addition to the lighting options, there are also macro assignment options and free programming of all keys. Three profiles can be saved directly on the keyboard. Switching between these profiles worked flawlessly. The possibilities offered are thus almost limitless, which we noticed very positively in the test. We got along well with all setting options without a longer training period.
This brings us to the practical test: How good is the keyboard? Is it just handsome and equipped with many setting options, or does it have tangible advantages? Our expectations for the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed were high, since the name of the device already promises a lot. The keyboard is equipped with either green or yellow mechanical switches, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The green switches are particularly tactile and give an acoustic feedback. The necessary release force is 50 G, the release point is 1.9 mm. With a noticeable resistance, the switch is supposed to prevent unwanted triggering. The yellow switches, on the other hand, are all about speed: With a trigger point at 1.2 mm, actions can be executed at lightning speed – they can be advantageous in first-person shooters and similar games. Furthermore, they are silent in operation, unlike the green switches. We don’t think a hierarchization of the switches makes much sense; they are simply designed for different areas of use. We therefore consider the option open to all users to be very sensible. According to Razer, the life span of both keys is 80 million keystrokes – which we obviously could not examine more closely in our practical test. In any case, we noticed the keycaps that are used positively: The Doubleshot ABS caps are high-quality and seemed durable. Furthermore, they provide a pleasant feeling when using the keyboard.
However, speed is especially important. Wireless keyboards are traditionally at a disadvantage here, as the transmission speed of a cable still cannot be matched wirelessly. With the name part HyperSpeed, however, Razer puts its claim out there: latencies should be as good as eradicated. In fact, the keyboard impressed as almost latency-free in the test. We could not notice a difference to wired gaming keyboards from Razer – which of course does not mean that there is no measurable difference.
Another key question arises from the keyboard’s design: Is it comfortable to use despite its small size and lack of a palm rest? Of course, ergonomic compromises have to be accepted. The BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed cannot offer the comfort that a large keyboard equipped with all extras offers. However, we did not notice any noticeable drawbacks in the test. Thus, pain and tension as a result of operation need not be feared – at least not to a greater extent than with other keyboards.
Overall, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed left a comprehensively positive impression. The minimalist design suits it well and makes it flexible to use. Furthermore, it scores with speed and an almost latency-free operation as well as numerous setting options. The illumination is an added bonus. In conclusion, we can recommend the keyboard to all those who are looking for a space-saving yet extraordinarily powerful device. However, there is hardly any difference to larger keyboards in terms of price.