With over 16.8 million colours and a bevy of lighting effects, the Razer Cynosa V2 membrane gaming keyboard offers peak RGB customization. You can choose from 11 preset lighting effects, 100+ integrated game themes (including Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Warframe), or use the Chroma Studio to create your own completely custom look. Combine that with ergonomics, some great new features, and budget-friendly pricetag and the Razer Cynosa V2 is a great keyboard to any setup.
Do you want to create a colour wave that spans across your keyboard? Easy. Ambient awareness that responds to whatever’s on your screen? The Razer Cynosa V2 can do that. An audiometer that reacts to sounds within your game? You got it. Each key is individually lit, so if you are going totally custom, you’ve got more options than ever before. The software is fairly user friendly and allows you to pick the level of complexity you want to roll with. You can even sync up with your Razer mouse to create one cohesive colour palette.
But it’s not just Razer products that you can work with; there’s a whole RGB lighting ecosystem. Using the Chroma Studio, you can configure lighting effects on all your Chroma-enabled devices for a truly immersive experience. The Chroma Studio also works with all Chroma-enabled games and applications, so your lighting setup will correspond with whatever’s going on in your game. Because colour coordinating all of your various light-up tech devices is the height of luxury.
To go a step beyond that, Razer Chroma works with Philips Hue, Nanoleaf, and Alexa for smart home integration. You can flood your whole room (hell, go for the whole house) with colour that’s reactive to the game you’re playing. You can also tell Alexa to switch Chroma profiles so you can alternate between your programmed shortcuts.
But it’s not all about the aesthetics (though let’s be honest, they’re pretty rad). The Razer Cynosa V2 is quite durable and thankfully spill-resistant, so you can rest easy if your beverage of choice happens to splash onto the keys (that said, it’s designed to protect against minor spills, so don’t get too gung-ho if you decide to test it). More importantly, using Razer Synapse 3, the keys are fully programmable, so if you want to build your own key bindings and macros you can easily do so, assigning them to different profiles for quick access. There’s even on-the-fly macro recording if you want to capture keystrokes. It offers a lot of flexibility.
New to the Razer Cynosa V2 is the addition of dedicated media control keys. Because they’ve moved the controls off of the function keys, there are now eight unassigned function keys that conveniently allow you to set some easy macros without compromising your controls. And who doesn’t love a good set of media keys when you need to quickly mute or pause your music? The media controls are directly above the numeric keypad, so they’re easily accessible and they don’t interrupt the board’s functional flow. It may seem like something simple, but it’s a noticeable improvement from the previous model.
Another step up from the previous model is the inclusion of cable routing options, which make for a nice clean work environment (if that sort of thing is important to you, which it should be!). You can run the USB cord under the keyboard from the left, right, or center, providing some options based on your office setup.
Speaking of office setup, the Razer Cynosa V2 is just as helpful for gaming as it is for the more conventional work use. It’s perhaps better suited for office life than its predecessor as there’s no glaring Razer logo projecting its secret life as a gaming keyboard. And since the lights are fully customizable, you can make them as vibrant or as subdued as you like. It’s not particularly notable in terms of its ergonomics, but it’s something you could comfortably type on for hours a day.
Additionally, the keyboard offers a 1000Hz polling rate (so you know it’s fast) and N-key rollover (so you know it’s responsive). If you — like me — are a clumsy key-pounder of a typist, you may find yourself making a few edits, but you can hardly fault a keyboard for being too good at its job.
For its $79.99 CDN price tag, you do get a lot of customization. The fully immersive smart home options are a very cool feature and the Cynosa V2’s media controls offer more flexibility than previous models. It’s budget-friendly and comes with a two-year warranty, which— though it doesn’t cover accidents, liquid contact, fire, earthquake, or acts of God— is pretty good coverage for the investment.
If you’re on the hunt for a reasonably priced RGB keyboard (with the potential to expand into a whole responsive smart home setup) that’s easy to set up and fun to use, you really can’t go wrong with the Razer Cynosa V2. Learning the minutiae of the Chroma Studio can be a bit intimidating, but if you want to get down into the nitty gritty of customization, it’s worth the time to dig into it. But if you just want something fun and functional that won’t break your brain or the bank, it’s still user-friendly right out of the box.
Whichever way you use it, you can trust that the Razer Cynosa V2 will be a practical and colourful addition to your command center.