It comes down to match point and you’re the last person standing on your team. The timer is ticking down the seconds and you need to make a play quick. Just one wrong move will cost it all, which is why you need the best possible peripherals for the job. Fortunately, the Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard is built to become an extension of your arm, but not cost one and/or a leg.
Three years on from the first-generation Ornata, the Razer Ornata V2 is – you guessed it – a sequel to the original gaming keyboard. Released this year, it retains Razer’s proprietary hybrid Mecha-Membrane switches that offer you the best of both worlds, while simultaneously adding a distinct dash of ‘premium’ into the recipe without inflating the price.
In fact, these enhancements aren’t just there to help you improve your skills in the battlefield. They’re designed to better the quality of your experience as a whole, whether you’re a regular typist, content creator, gamer, or enthusiast looking for the best bang for their buck.
Here are six ways the Razer Ornata V2 shines compared to competition:
1. Razer Hybrid Mecha-Membrane technology
For the uninitiated, a keyboard’s switch is the technology that sits beneath your keycap, sending a signal to your PC. Rubber dome is the most common type available because it’s pretty cost-effective, while mechanical switches are popular thanks to their faster response times and tactile feel, but often come with a hefty price tag.
Bridging the gap between the two, Razer pioneered the Mecha-Membrane switch, merging the best of both worlds. Pressing down on a key, you’re greeted with the tactile feel and audible click of a mechanical keyboard. The soft membrane base means that noise is kept a little lower, however, so you’re less likely to annoy those lurking around you, making it a candidate for one of the best keyboards when working from home.
Razer even ships the Ornata V2 with mid-height keycaps attached, as faster actuation means your fingers are already floating over to the next key.
2. Multi-function textured digital wheel and media keys for convenient control
If you take a look at the decidedly more expensive gaming keyboards out there, they come kitted out with fancy features like a dial to adjust volume and media keys to play, pause, and skip songs and videos on the fly. It’s something that was missing from the original Ornata, but not with the V2.
You’d be forgiven for missing it at first glance, since Razer has seamlessly blended it in with the rest of the keyboard, but in the top-right corner lies dedicated media keys and a multi-function digital wheel.
The wheel itself is textured, making it easy to find when touch typing, as it would hinder the added convenience if you have to look down every time you want to use it. It also moves in incremental notches, rather than a smooth gesture, letting you get the precise volume you’re looking for the first time, every time. And if you want to mute it, just give it a quick press for blissful silence.
To the left of the wheel are three distinct keys with the ‘skip back’, ‘play / pause’, and ‘skip next’ symbols on them, but since they’re designed the same as ordinary keys, they can actually be remapped to just about anything you could possibly want.
3. Plush leatherette ergonomic wrist rest
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is something that plagues gamers that clock in long hours and it’s only going to get more prominent as more people spend time indoors. To wave goodbye to this problem, and indeed keep you waving without wincing in pain, Razer includes a detachable ergonomic wrist rest with the Ornata V2, keeping you in the game for longer.
If you’re the type of person that isn’t particularly a fan of your wrists being slightly elevated, the wrist rest is magnetic so you can do away with it, but we have to ask: who wouldn’t want their wrists floating on clouds? Overall, your mood can impact your in-game performance, and comfort certainly can keep your mood up.
4. Razer Chroma RGB
Once upon a time there was a divide in the market, with RGB lighting reserved for top-of-the-line gaming keyboards. If you were lucky enough to get lighting at all on cheaper alternatives, then it would be a singular colour that would ultimately decide the theme of your setup and make it a pain to change in the future.
Razer has continuously made a push on Chroma-powered RGB across most of its devices regardless of price point, and the Ornata V2 is no different. Using the accompanying Synapse 3 software, you can personalise your keyboard to your liking across 16.8 million colour options – suiting your mood on a day-to-day basis, if you like.
5. Fully programmable keys
Some people are happy just plugging their keyboard in and playing a game, but others need that extra level of customisation. MMO players in particular are notable for running macros to combine multiple key presses into the click of one button, cutting their workload down and giving them the edge.
Another problem that rears its ugly head is the time it takes for variety gamers to adjust their key binds for each and every game they play. It can be quite laborious switching from FPS games to a MOBA, for example.
If this sounds all too familiar, Razer wants to make your life that little bit easier, packing the Ornata V2 with macro capabilities, custom key bindings, and different profiles. Not only can you change what each key press does, you can switch to the right profile for the right game in a matter of seconds.
6. Price point
Razer’s Ornata V2 isn’t the first gaming keyboard to pack media keys, a volume wheel, macros, profiles, or even the colloquially dubbed ‘membranical’ hybrid switches, but it has put the Razer stamp on it and wrapped it in a neat $99 package despite these features often having a much higher price point. And while you shouldn’t need to make use of it thanks to the Ornata V2’s sturdy build, Razer has also backed the product with a two-year warranty.
You can find out more about the Razer Ornata V2, or explore similar products, by heading over to Razer’s website.