While Razer is known for high-end peripherals and hardware, from their Macbook Pro competitor, the Razer Blade, to their famous Kraken headsets, they are also making in-roads into catering for players with a lower budget. The Razer Cynosa V2 is an entry-level membrane Razer keyboard that retains a lot of the features you’d want from a full-fledged Razer product, but without the exorbitant price-tag, coming in at just AU $119.
Of course, the full RGB lighting is the main draw of the Cynosa V2, with full Razer Chroma integration which works with games like Apex Legends and Warframe. It looks pretty great, illuminating the membrane between keys in a really smooth fashion, meaning that standard effects like the colour-cycling ‘Wave’ or ‘Wheel’ really pop. Even Chroma’s in-built audio visualizer looks really cool, even if it can chug from time-to-time as its applet monitors your system’s performance. If you’re in the market for an affordable, yet impressive-looking keyboard, the Cynosa V2 really does fit the bill. Razer claims it features individually backlit keys – which is true, and you can create your own effects in Razer’s Chroma Studio to highlight specific keys. However, because of the way lighting illuminates the membrane behind the keys, it does mean that it’s hard for specific patterns to really show and remain isolated to the keys you select, they tend to all bleed together.
The keyboard itself feels quite heavy and sturdy, and while it uses pretty standard-feeling plastic, it certainly feels pretty secure using its little feet on the desk. It’s got a small chin at the bottom which is enough for a bit of a rest for your wrists, as well as the addition of media keys which work quite well, especially the little rocker they’ve made for controlling the volume. There are grooves along the back of the keyboard that allow you to feed the cable through to either side, providing a nice small level of cable management.
As mentioned, this is a membrane keyboard, which if you’re used to mechanical keyboards in any capacity, will definitely feel like a bit of a downgrade. It works fine, responds well and is comfortable to use, but the keys do feel mushier, and every so often you’ll hit the spacebar and hear a little mushy squeak that confirms that this is a cheaper keyboard than the big boys out there. If you’re already used to working with membrane keyboards, then none of this should be too much of an issue. It also makes this keyboard apparently ‘spill resistant’, but only to minor spills.
Razer’s Synapse software remains very powerful, allowing you to customise every key on the keyboard to your heart’s desire, changing default functions, creating profiles, adding macros or modifying Razer’s Hypershift function on their mice. It’s pretty easy to use once you get your head around its various functions, and even with a cheaper keyboard like the Cynosa V2, it still allows for a premium-feeling experience when gaming, because of the options available. Beyond all that, the Cynosa V2 also features 1000HZ ultrapolling and N-key rollover, as well as compatibility with Xbox One.
At AU $119, the Razer Cynosa V2 is pretty decent value for money. You get a really great looking gaming keyboard with a good deal of customisation, and you can even pull off some neat tricks like Razer’s audio visualiser or screen sampler. For most people just after an everyday keyboard for typing and some gaming, it’ll do the job well and with some style. However, at the end of the day it is still an entry-level keyboard, that won’t be quite up to the standards for someone who plays games competitively, or needs a more premium-feeling keyboard.
The Razer Cynosa V2 was reviewed using a PC with Razer Synapse 3 installed, and was provided by the company.
-Great looking customisable RGB lighting -Sturdy build, feels durable. -Easily programmable keys and macros, as well as gaming mode
-The squeaks from the membrane keyboard will make you sad inside from time to time -Some of the lighting effects aren't quite as specific as you'd want -While sturdy, does feel cheaper than its big brothers