The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is the latest gaming keyboard from Razer’s iconic range, succeeding the popular BlackWidow V3 Pro ‘board.
But what new features and upgrades does the V4 Pro sport, and are they good enough to justify an upgrade?
We’ve created this guide to highlight the key differences so you can decide which is the best option for you, whether you’re an eSports-grade gamer or just someone looking to spice up their desktop space.
Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro is limited to a wired connection
Razer has curiously taken a step backwards when it comes to connectivity, as the BlackWidow V4 Pro is limited to wired connection via a detachable USB-C cable.
That’s an odd decision considering the BlackWidow not only supports a wired connection, but also Bluetooth and 2.4 Ghz wireless. There’s no denying that you’ll generally get better performance by sticking to a wired connection to your PC, and it’s clear that Razer is targeting high-performance gamers, but it’s still a shame to see a reduction in versatility.
We can only assume Razer made this decision in order to cut costs to provide upgraded features in other areas – after all, both the Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro and V3 Pro share the same £229.99 price point.
On the bright side, the V4 Pro at least features USB passthrough, allowing you to charge your phone or other gaming peripherals while you game.
The V4 Pro has eight dedicated Macro keys
Razer has been able to squeeze a whopping eight dedicated macro keys onto the BlackWidow V4 Pro; you’ll find five keys running down the left side of the keyboard, as well as three more buttons on the left rim.
Macro keys are useful for setting up your own custom inputs, whether you want to assign a complicated combo move to a single key or have all of the most important shortcuts in one easy-to-reach location.
The older BlackWidow V3 Pro keyboard lacks dedicated macro keys, but does at least allow you to assign macro functionality to traditional keys via the Synapse software. This is a very handy feature, although not quite as useful as having dedicated macro keys.
The V4 Pro has a new volume roller
It’s incredibly useful having a volume roller on a keyboard, allowing you to alter the decibel of your music without having to dig into the Windows settings or reach over to your speakers.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro featured a multi-function digital dial, which could be configured to adjust volume, pause music, alter brightness and more. But Razer has realised that, while such versatility is very useful, most people would appreciate a dedicated volume roller.
So for the V4 Pro keyboard, Razer has made sure to add both a configurable Command Dial and a separate volume roller. The roller has tactile friction too, making it easy to pick an exact volume number.
The V4 Pro has an RGB lighting underglow
Razer has built a reputation for having flashy RGB lighting, with both keyboards sporting per-key lighting and support for the fantastic Synapse software for oodles of customisable effects – you can even sync the keyboards up to other peripherals and smart bulbs.
Razer has been able to cram on even more RGB lighting for the V4 Pro, by introducing a 2-side underglow on the main chassis, matching the coloured lighting effects of the keyboard’s backlight. The bundled wrist rest also features its own underglow light panels, seeing RGB lighting outlining the entire keyboard for a jaw-dropping effect.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro only has RGB lighting directly underneath the keys, so looks a little muted by comparison.
Both keyboards share the same keys and switches
The Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro may have been treated to a few upgrades, but when it comes to the keys and mechanical switches, it’s practically identical to its predecessor. Both offer the option of either Razer’s green (clicky) or yellow switches (linear).
Razer is also offering the same doubleshot ABS keycaps with both keyboards, so that doesn’t need to factor into your decision. That said, the V4 Pro does use two layers of internal sound dampening foam that Razer claims will “improve typing acoustics”.
That’s not to say overall performance will be the exact same across the two keyboards however, as the V4 Pro has been upgraded to a 8000Hz polling rate, while the V3 Pro is restricted to 1000Hz. That means the newer keyboard can communicate inputs to your PC at a faster rate, ensuring more accurate key presses – which is essential for eSports gaming. Although for the average gamer, it will likely be difficult to notice a difference.