The Razer Pro Type mechanical keyboard is a bit unusual for a company which has geared itself for gamers for over a decade.
As more people focus on productivity at home, the company has clearly taken an eye towards its working class with an affordable line of Pro hardware. Its latest keyboard also raises eyebrows for those wondering: what would Razer be without gaming? Luckily, the Pro Type keyboard took most of my worries away after a rocky start and proves a Razer product can still be great when it goes against its nature. What made its gaming keyboards so durable and tactile are present, but keeps a sleek form factor for the professional’s office. A slew of wireless features are easy to set up (at first) and do plenty to keep the peace of mind in any workstation.
Right away, the Razer Pro Type catches the eye of any worker with its bold white accents. Almost every aspect of the keyboard feels like an Apple product, from its white backlight under soft-coated keys. Its sheen is blended with an all-metal frame which can become cold to the touch. This durability comes together in two pounds, making it heavier than some of Razer’s gaming keyboards. As someone who built their setup around an all-black Logitech G910 Spectrum, the Razer Pro Type‘s colour choice was definitely a bold distraction. But its all-white presence grew on me while its keys were actually easier to see. This is where the keyboard is easier to spot for fast-typers who need to constantly reset their hands before crunching. Practically, Razer’s move for an all-white build makes it easier to look before typing while giving workers more fluidity without many typos.
It adds more visual benefits in the dark, as lettering becomes crisp under its white backlight. This can also be adjusted with 15 brightness settings – a surprisingly accessible range Razer has implemented for all kinds of eyes. The metal cover also reflects the backlight at max settings, emanating a soft glow-effect that makes the Pro Type feel like the premium device it should be. But the Pro Type holds itself back with a more conservative approach to keyboards. By stripping back most of its gaming-driven features, you unsurprisingly lose the ability to Chroma RGB your keys and customize lights. Gamers might have a harder time adjusting to a lack of animations, though the Pro Type does have a Breathing effect which becomes way too distracting to keep on. More compromises include its lack of a handy volume control or hypershift switches from premium Razer gaming keyboards.
Ironically, the Razer Pro Type‘s focus on productivity was played too simple. It leaves its best practical features from gaming and overlooks deeper levels of productivity for those working in other fields beyond enterprise and computing. It’s worth noting Razer’s flagship gaming keyboards also had a nice play/pause button which also benefited from some working with content creation (and journalists when transcribing). But in a stripped-back keyboard, it was a shame to see these useful features excluded. Instead, Razer implements the familiar Function key to give users sub-controls under the top keys. Holding fn gives shortcuts for music control, brightness, characters and volume. The feature is also a challenge to use at first, since the key was kept on the right side only. This made it annoying to hold the function down with my dominant hand as I struggled to find its respective features (which aren’t backlit). The Synapse driver does let you physically swap out the keys and reprogram it, but it becomes pointless as the incredibly tiny function symbols are lost in the dark.
But as a standard keyboard, Razer maintains a high-quality typing experience here with a satisfying key-press. The Pro Type takes on its own orange mechanical switches and delivers a relatively quiet work shift. This is in part to the Orange switch having a space between the actuation (unit of fingertip force) and reset point. It means the keyboard offers a “bump” when pressed down while giving off an audible mash to let you know a stroke was made. I couldn’t help but feel like I was enjoying longer articles being written with the Razer Pro Type. Every letter was typed accordingly to my feedback while I felt like nothing was missed. In Razer’s attempt for productivity, it actually does a good job in keeping all-day typers going without many corrections to backtrack on (saving valuable seconds of time during your crunch). Somehow, the keyboard’s mechanical resistance also kept me from making accidental key presses and double-presses. The choice of Orange switches were a clear winner for the Razer Pro Type while working deliberately our keen senses of sight, sound and touch simultaneously.
The Razer Pro Type also benefits newcomers with its latest mechanical switch, adding side walls under its keycap for protection of the + stem. An even bigger perk comes from its peak evolution from their Opto-Mechanical Switches in products like the Razer Huntsman 2018 and its 2019 Mini version. This is where its breakthrough in exceeding 80 million keystrokes ensures a lifelong durability with proper care. The upgraded switches are also in-line with their flagship gaming keyboards. Razer’s haptic feedback is speedy and letter show up at breakneck speeds from input to screen. I had no noticeable lags while typing as much as there was for gaming.
Of course, I couldn’t help but grin as I put the Razer Pro Type through some games (even though it wasn’t made for that in mind). It unsurprisingly performed well in fast-paced games like Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Beta, Among Us and Halo The Master Chief Collection, relying on quick presses to make all kinds of maneuvers. The switches, adopted from Razer’s gaming products, hilariously blows other gaming-first keyboards out of the water. For those looking to play titles like League of Legends, StarCraft 2 and DOTA 2, you’re getting top-notch performance as you would with leading eSports-ready keyboards. Just don’t tell your boss that your work keyboard is hiding gaming internals.
Though the Razer Pro Type is a beast for working and playing, it only when it functions. Its connection surprisingly cuts out in random moments, leaving me without a keyboard for twenty seconds at most. From an unlucky unit to overcrowded USB devices, I couldn’t quite put my thumb on the issue. It became a bigger distraction as I relied on the Pro Type in apps like Photoshop, where the keyboard would randomly stop working despite my mashing. A quick restart of its switch would bring back the connection until the problem persisted early on. The keyboard also runs on a rechargeable battery which can contain a 25% charge out of the box and cause other issues. But the Razer Pro Type comes bundled with a premium-feeling braided USB-C cable for unlimited power in a desktop setting. For some horrible reason, the keyboard doesn’t work with a direct USB connection. It still needs users to plug in a 2.4GHz USB dongle or a Bluetooth pairing for use. This leaves the Pro Type vulnerable to connectivity issues if they persist and the USB-C connection could have been a good last resort (especially when it starts to show its age later on). According to Razer, the battery also lasts a reasonable 12 hours on Bluetooth and a whopping 78 hours with the 2.4GHz dongle.
Notes: For some reason, I couldn’t get the Bluetooth connection to work after a pair on my BT 5.0 computer or smartphone and relied on the 2.4GHz up to review. My unit also reinstalled on Windows 10 each time I reset the device and replugged the USB dongle.
But once things are working, the Razer Pro Type can work as a stationary device which can stand out in any workstation. Those always on the move should keep an eye on the tiny magnetic dongle, which can easily come off the bottom compartment due to its weak sticking point with hard plastic. Those with lighter-themed stations can find it aesthetically nice. The keyboard also includes two settings for its legs according to angle and height. The legs are also rubberized, standing firmly with hard surfaces and immovable over mousepad mats. For particular configurations, the Razer Synapse driver does a solid job of letting users remap keys and use the Hypershift feature for special shortcuts. The physical keys on the Pro Type can also be removed for cleaning or rearranging.
Those looking to invest in a Razer product without a focus on gaming can now do so for work. Razer Pro Type owners will also get a keyboard which funnels much of its snappy feedback beyond the WASD keys for an all-day typing driver. It’s a bold move for the company to branch outside of gamers, but the result is nothing short of a premium first showing.