It’s no secret that mechanical keyboards offer some of the best tactile typing experiences available. It’s also no secret that wireless keyboards can be a boon to productivity, reducing workspace clutter and easily connecting to many types of devices. Fortunately, the selection of wireless mechanical keyboards has grown so much in recent years that you can find options with feature sets comparable to more expensive wired keyboards.
When exploring the current selection of wireless mechanical keyboards, there’s a lot to consider beyond switch type. For example, how many devices do you want the keyboard to switch to? Should any of these wireless connections use a USB receiver? Battery life is also paramount (all options here are rechargeable) and, as with any other high-end keyboard, features like programmability, onboard memory, and key quality are important.
With those qualifications in mind, we’ve researched the best wireless mechanical keyboards for power users.
Razer Black Widow V3 Pro
The Pickaxe of Ars
|Features at a Glance: Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro|
|Connectivity options||Bluetooth 5.0, USB-A dongle, USB-A cable|
|Switches||Razer green or yellow|
Buy: From $140 at Amazon and Best Buy
Razer’s BlackWidow V3 Pro is the rare wireless option to carry nearly every feature you’d expect to find in a decorated wired mechanical keyboard. From its full-height switches and full-size programmable layout with media keys to its built-in memory, multiple Bluetooth profiles and braided cable, there’s nothing missing here.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro has been my favorite for productivity uses for a few years. Every key, including the four media keys, is easily programmable in Razer’s Synapse software. That’s a lot, but you can also program each key with a secondary input, which is activated when you simultaneously press the key you designate as the “Hypershift” key.
Keyboard shortcuts can launch macros, open software and websites, perform mouse movements, and do just about anything else. The keyboard easily adapts to the app you’re using, and you can create app-specific profiles that launch automatically when you open the specified program.
Unfortunately, some of the more advanced features, like launching macros or apps, only work if Synapse is open. This makes the keyboard’s four built-in memory profiles more difficult to exploit. In fact, storing onboard memory profiles requires you to open Synapse and use a dongle or cable rather than Bluetooth.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is available only with Razer Green Click Switches, which have a total travel of 4mm and actuate at 1.9mm with 50g of force, or Razer Yellow Linear Switches (3.5mm / 1.2mm / 45g). The green switches I used combine bold clicks with the thuds of larger keys and the rattle of plastic stabilizers, creating a startling ruckus. Without any sound-absorbing components, like those seen in the Epomaker TH96 below, I frequently hear metallic rattles when dipping.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is rather heavy and solid at 3.1 pounds, but its plastic bottom casing and easily stained aluminum top plate aren’t unique. It’s also a little disappointing to see ABS plastic at this price, but these keys could pass for PBT with the decency with which they resisted fingerprints. (I replaced the keys on mine with non-Razer PBTs for better grip and durability.) Also, the legends are double-shot, so they shouldn’t fade.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is also the only keyboard on our list that comes with a wrist rest. The softness of the accessory means you can use it for quite some time.
Razer says the keyboard lasts up to 192 hours before needing a recharge. With per-key RGB backlighting set to all white, expectations drop to five hours at 100% brightness and 14 hours at 50%. That’s shorter than the claimed battery life for a rainbow RGB backlight (13 hours and 25 hours, respectively). Fortunately, Synapse has a battery meter that provides an accurate percentage.
- Full-size, full-height keyboard with all the trimmings
- Every key, including media keys, is programmable with up to two inputs
- Plenty of onboard storage
- super expensive
- Some advanced features are application dependent
- Aggressive typists should beware of rattling stabilizers, occasional rattling
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