Razer BlackWidow V4 75% review: Perfecting the form factor with a hot-swappable mechanical gaming keyboard

The BlackWidow V4 75% mechanical keyboard proves that Razer can pair its world-class designs with an open ecosystem of custom switches.

Razer BlackWidow V4 75% keyboard with keycaps removed showing orange and green switches
(Image: © Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Windows Central Verdict

With each passing year, Razer might expand into a broader range of peripherals, but it has always made world-class gaming mice and keyboards. The BlackWidow V4 range is no exception, and this compact 75% variant is an ultra-comfortable option that keeps dedicated arrow keys and throws in a modest cluster of dedicated media keys. It's not wireless, and the design is somewhat plain, but upgrades to Razer's Synapse app make it a breeze to remap buttons, and swapping mechanical switches is almost too easy.


  • +

    Fantastic leatherette wrist rest

  • +

    Razer Synapse companion app has improved dramatically

  • +

    Hypershift unlocks almost endless key remapping and custom shortcut options

  • +

    Included Orange tactile switches feel great and are easily removed


  • -

    Wired only

  • -


  • -

    No RGB backlighting in etched media keys

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Buying a quality keyboard is just like buying a pair of shoes; you'll be using them for most of your waking life, so skimping on comfort is nothing but self-sabotage when it comes to sitting at your desk.

I don't regularly change my keyboard, and it takes a lot to convince me to give up the muscle memory of reaching for self-made or default shortcuts. However, Razer might have scored a permanent spot in my setup.

The BlackWidow V4 75% mechanical gaming keyboard regularly appears in searches at Best Buy for $189.99, which might seem steep to some. Is this customizable, hot-swappable option worth the investment? I took it for a spin over the weekend for this review, and the verdict is glowing.


This review was made possible with a review unit provided by Razer. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.

BlackWidow V4 75%: Price, specs, and availability

Available from multiple third-party outlets or Razer's first-party store, the BlackWidow V4 75% is widely stocked. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Price: $189.99 at Best Buy
: Razer Orange tactile
Profiles: Up to 5 (onboard)
Media keys: 1x roller, 2x keys
Connectivity: USB-C (detachable)
Stock keycaps: Doubleshot ABS
Polling rate: Up to 8,000 Hz
PCB: Non-conductive tape-enhanced, N-key rollover & anti-ghosting, additional holes for screw-in stabilizer mods (internal damage not covered by warranty)
Lighting: Razer Chroma RGB, 2-side underglow side strips
Case: 5052 aluminum alloy (sound dampening foam included)

Razer sells the BlackWidow V4 75% mechanical gaming keyboard for $189.99 at the official Razer store alongside third-party retailers, including Best Buy and Amazon, for the same price.

It joins the BlackWidow V4 X and high-scoring BlackWidow V4 Pro as variants of the standard Razer BlackWidow V4 keyboard, all with similar features, albeit the V4 X lacks a leatherette wristrest.

Users can remove the included Razer Orange mechanical switches with the included keycap puller and replace them with 3-pin or 5-pin alternatives. Razer sells clicky Green, linear Yellow, and tactile Orange switches through its official store for $24.99.

Alternatively, Best Buy sells clicky Green switches for $24.99, which can be picked up locally, with linear Yellow switches also available for the same price. A detachable USB-C cable is included and can be replaced with any compatible alternative if it fits into the keyboard's chassis.

BlackWidow V4 75%: Design and features

At first glance, the BlackWidow V4 75% is one of the more subtle peripherals I've seen from Razer. In broad daylight, it's a relatively unassuming compact keyboard with a solid and chunky case housing an all-black collection of mostly matte doubleshot ABS keycaps and a gathering of metallic media keys in the top right. As you might expect, this 75% keyboard is essentially a shrunken version of the phenomenal, high-end BlackWidow V4 Pro we tested last year without a full-size number pad and fewer physical dials.

All of the pros and cons of the behemoth BlackWidow V4 Pro translate to this compact variant, and Razer drops the cost drops to match. However, a $190 keyboard is still a steep investment. Although this is a pre-made mechanical option, as opposed to the build-it-yourself kits adopted by obsessed fanatics, the "hot-swappable" socketed printed circuit board (PCB) allows you to swap out the included Razer Orange tactile switches for 3 or 5-pin replacements. Razer threw in some clicky Green alternatives with my sample, and the included puller can easily remove keycaps and switches.

A thick, engraved volume mute icon lacks RGB backlighting alongside a vague circular motif for the multi-function button. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Two internal foam plates combine with a gasket mount and tape enhancement mod on the PCB (exactly what it sounds like, a thin layer of sticky tape) to reduce the amount of clunky noise and prevent any nearby gamers in your home or office from becoming annoyed by relentless key bashing. Razer even includes screw holes for those who want to install custom stabilizer mods beyond standard lubricant, which, when paired with alternative switches like Razer's linear Yellow option, can further reduce the volume of typing sounds and prevent rattling when depressed.

With a polling rate as high as 8,000Hz, there's no danger of your inputs being misrepresented (and you can't blame the keyboard for losing.)

The keycaps are doubleshot ABS, a manufacturing method that splits the numbers, letters, and miscellaneous key legends from the rest of the cap to prevent wear and tear from making your WASD buttons disappear after excessive use. N-key rollover ensures that every keypress registers, so if you mash a gathering of keys at once, your PC won't become confused and reject the inputs. Anti-ghosting support also helps to register each keypress individually, so with a supported polling rate reaching as high as 8,000Hz, there's no danger of your inputs being misrepresented (and you can't blame the keyboard for losing.)

Side-mounted RGB strips aren't overly bright but look great on a reflective surface. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Some of the most appealing features for more casual gamers are the detachable wrist rest, vibrant per-key RGB, and multi-function media keys. Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino already gushed over the leatherette cushion improvements in his BlackWidow V4 Pro review, and you get a smaller version of the same quality here. It's ridged with a subtle pattern but supremely comfortable and can detach from the keyboard's frame with a mild pull against the magnet, but I don't see a reason not to use it. Underneath, the kickstand feet offer an extra 6° or 9° of incline and rubber pads to prevent slips.

RGB and key customization happen in the Razer Synapse companion app, which seems to have improved dramatically since I last uninstalled it. The metallic roller and dual media keys are geared towards volume control and track playback by default with an etched 'mute' icon on the right side, which, unfortunately, lacks backlighting like its unmappable neighbor. Still, no matter what you choose for lighting, it looks fantastic at maximum brightness with each keycap and two RGB strips flanking either side of the casing, animating with shifting colors.

BlackWidow V4 75%: Typing and customization

Swapping keycaps and switches with the included puller is straightforward, helping with impulsive changes. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

If you're like me, you probably don't care about the ultra-specifics of mechanical keyboards nor have a burning interest in 205g0 general-purpose lubricants (GPL). Thankfully, at the surface level, you don't need to know anything about that because the majority of advantages that mechanical gaming keyboards bring are evident within the first thirty seconds of using one. Gasket mounts and tape mods aside, what matters most is the type of switches you choose when buying a BlackWidow V4. I prefer linear options for gaming, like Razer's Yellow switches, but the tactile Razer Orange and clicky Green grew on me after a few days.

The stock BlackWidow V4 75% (Orange switches) setup felt great while typing this entire review.

A Razer-branded set of 36 linear Yellow switches would cost me $24.99 at Best Buy if I ever felt it was important enough to change, but the default Orange set feels like a perfect in-between of smooth linear Yellow switches and extra-clicky Green. For fun, I left most keys with Orange switches and swapped the arrow keys for Green. Customization is the main appeal here, and it's tempting to set up just the WASD keys with linear switches in a bizarre, gamer-centric meta. Everyone is different, of course, but the stock BlackWidow V4 75% setup makes sense and felt great while typing this entire review.

Mixing linear, clicky, and tactile switches provides a unique experience. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Regarding the more unusual media keys in the top right of the BlackWidow V4 75%, there's good and bad news for these metallic additions. On the plus side, they're far more subtle and sleek than the 'giant rotating dial' obsession that appears on other brands and even Razer's larger keyboards in the V4 family. It's an entirely personal preference, but I'd take the horizontal scroll wheel featured here a thousand times over a gigantic spinning knob. When rotated, it moves with a tactile clunk, and I can bind its function to practically anything in Windows.

The negative side is that the pair of metallic buttons mounted below lack RGB backlighting; instead, they feature an etched circular motif and volume mute icon that are practically invisible at a glance. Considering the absence of illuminated legends or even paint, marking the right-side button with a volume-related icon seems unnecessary since it's the only one open for remapping to any other function. It's a minor gripe, but these two buttons look like tiny dials despite behaving like standard buttons and lacking every other key's common feature.

As I mentioned earlier, Razer has dramatically improved its Synapse companion app. It's still a sizeable download at 500MB (though the beta is almost half the size,) and requiring half a gigabyte installation before you can access proper key remapping and profile management might be inconvenient for those with slower Internet connections. However, it barely uses 100MB of RAM at any given time, compared to Microsoft Edge, which floats around 700MB minimum on my PC. You don't need an account to use Razer Synapse, either, and a guest account works perfectly fine for me.

You don't need an account to use Razer Synapse, and a guest account works perfectly fine.

In Synapse, I remapped the horizontal scrolling wheel to 'office zoom' rather than the default volume control since I use an audio mixer, which only affects app zoom instead of magnifying my entire Windows desktop. Hypershift also allows users to add extra shortcuts to the Fn key, so I assigned Fn+X to open Windows Central. Naturally. The animated RGB profiles are pretty standard for the modern age of gaming keyboards, though you can optionally install the Razer Chroma app for more in-depth lighting controls. You can even control the RGB natively in Windows 11 if you want to skip Synapse entirely, but it's a better app than ever before.

BlackWidow V4 75%: The competition

Cooler Master offers an extremely similar hot-swappable option in its CK720 keyboard. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Unboxing and getting into the flow of typing with Razer's BlackWidow V4 75% felt incredibly familiar to my experience during my Cooler Master CK720 review, as it features a similar hot-swappable function and metallic solid construction. However, while the Cooler Master variant comes cheaper at $100 MSRP, it opts for the dreaded rotating dial that doesn't fit my taste. Even if it did, the positioning is unfortunately close to a vertical strip of keys, and twisting the knob feels awkward at times. The general typing and gaming experience are similar, but you'll miss out on Razer's supremely comfortable wrist rest and (now) superior Synapse software.

Even the standard BlackWidow V4 keyboard is a strong competitor since it's available at Best Buy for as low as $132.99. You get the same leatherette wrist rest and remappable button customization, but the physical media key selection is more varied, and the horizontal scroll wheel is slightly bigger (hooray?) It's a bargain if you're unsure about dropping a full number pad, as the experience will otherwise be the same as the V4 75%, just bigger. Again, consider your preference for mechanical switches, as you can opt for clicky Green switches from Razer if you'd rather have the standard, full-size V4.

BlackWidow V4 75%: Should you buy it?

Razer will forever be known for its RGB obsession, and I'm totally fine with it. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

You should buy this if ...

✅ You want a customizable mechanical keyboard

Razer includes its branded switches, but that doesn't stop you from replacing them with 3-pin or 5-pin alternatives. It's refreshingly open, but the stock tactile Orange switches are a perfect starter point.

✅ You're in the Razer ecosystem

If you already own one of Razer's world-class gaming mice, the BlackWidow V4 range is the perfect match since the improved Synapse app controls everything from RGB to settings profiles.

You should not buy this if ...

❌ You'll never try other switches

If you truly don't care about hot-swappable mechanical switches, you'd be better off with Razer's Huntsman V3 range of gaming keyboards.

❌ You want remappable controls for every key

While the Synapse app allows for ultra-deep customization on button mapping, the media controls are not fully open for changes.

It's always an awkward transition when you buy a new keyboard, but once you find the perfect fit, you'll likely stick with it for at least three to five years. With doubleshot ABS keycaps preventing worn-off lettering and hot-swappable switches, customization and self-made repair options are highly accessible on this 75% version of Razer's fantastic BlackWidow V4. It's expensive but absolutely worth it when you're getting one of the best keyboards available in this form factor with a focus on gaming.

A wide surround on the metallic case and lack of default macro keys make it look plain and underdesigned compared to other Razer peripherals, with permanent etchings on the media keys perhaps discouraging remapping. Still, I can't deny the usefulness of Razer's ever-improving Synapse app, and once I memorized my most common shortcuts, the downsides mainly felt insignificant. Deciding which switches are best for you is a neverending rabbit hole of mechanical keyboard shenanigans, but the default Razer Orange switches are perfect all-rounders.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @trzomb@mastodon.online to ask questions or share opinions.