Let me start off by saying that I do not normally work from or play games on a desktop computer. I normally work from my Asus laptop for school and use it to play Hearthstone on my own time. After using the Razer Cynosa Chroma keyboard however, I think I might have to invest in a desktop computer just so I can keep on using it.
The Razer Cynosa Chroma is a pleasant keyboard to work and play games on. Anyone familiar with Razer products will be able to tell that they have designed this model for a very specific kind of player. Even though I mainly play on console, I felt right at home using this keyboard when playing a few matches of Overwatch. That is what this particular model is specifically designed to do: give beginner PC and console players an entry level keyboard that does not overwhelm the player’s experience or cost too much.
One of the most appealing things about the keyboard is the rainbow of colours that emit a soft glow as you play your games. Most PC users can relate to the time when they unintentionally play late into the night and before they realize it, their room has gone dark. This is when the keyboard’s array of lights shine. It is awe inspiring to see your fingers light up as you take down other players. Even in a well-lit room, the lights on the keyboard are still able to emit a colour that is soothing and the changes in colours have no delays when they switch.
The Chroma sports mesh-membrane keys that do not feel clunky, and pressing down on each key is smooth. This is compared to a more professional gaming keyboard where it is common to find that they keys are mechanical. The difference between the two comes down to response time and how the keys are pushed down. The mesh-membrane keyboard offers a smooth experience while the mechanical keys trade in smooth for quick key response. Any professional PC gamer will tell you that the mechanical keyboard has something that the mesh-membrane will never have: the right sound. The mesh-membrane of the Razer Cynosa Chroma is fairly quiet when compared to a mechanical keyboard.
Another big difference between the Chroma and other professional keyboards is the lack of macro buttons. Macro buttons are designated keys on a board that are programed to fulfill certain functions. A professional gaming keyboard may feature up to 11 different macro keys and each of them can be set to serve a different purpose. If someone is playing a competitive FPS like Overwatch, then it does not make that much of a difference. The only benefit to using macro keys is to assign shortcuts to certain abilities in the game. This can be done with a regular keyboard as well. Measuring the keyboard on whether or not it has macro keys for a beginner is somewhat irrelevant as a novice is just as capable of playing an FPS with a standard gaming keyboard.
The Cynosa is also outfitted with Synapse software that allows you to fully customize your keyboard any way you want. Synapse is a Razer-exclusive piece of software that allows you to manage your Razer devices. With the Cynosa Chroma, users are able to decide what colours they want glowing across their keyboard. When users are playing Overwatch or any other game, they will find that their colours of choice will be spread across all 104 backlit keys. Through Synapse, users are able to customize what their keys are able to do. The software does not stop there however. If users possess more than one piece of Razer equipment, then they are able to customize it as well. I am currently using a Razer mouse and through the Synapse program I am able to change the colours of the mouse to match my keyboard.
With the legs underneath the keyboard engaged, the keys prop the keyboard up at a comfortable angle that does not feel off whenever you are typing. The keys themselves have a collapsing design that allows for more decisive presses. One feature that is unfortunately lacking, compared to other gaming keyboards, is a wrist rest. Having this feature would add to the experience of using the Cynosa Chroma.
I fell in love with this keyboard and would buy it in a heartbeat. It has a slick design, a wide variety of RGB colours to choose from, soft and quiet keys, and is the perfect entry point for any novice PC gamer. The keyboard is currently available on Amazon for $79.99 CAD. If players are willing to make a commitment to PC gaming, then this is a great keyboard to start off with. Professional PC gaming keyboards often cost well over $100. When players feel that they are ready, professional keyboards are always available.
A retail version of this device reviewed was provided by the manufacturer. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.
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