Techaeris Rated 9.4/10

Razer never seems to rest and is back with an updated version of one of their gaming keyboards. Launched back in 2016 with a new Razer Hybrid Mecha-Membrane Technology, the Razer Ornata currently sits as a top 10 gaming keyboard over on Amazon. Our Razer Ornata V2 review takes a look at the latest version of this hybrid mecha-membrane with a couple of design differences from its predecessor.

Specifications

The Razer Ornata V2 has the following features and specifications:

  • Razer Mecha-Membrane Technology for clicky keystrokes with a soft, cushioned touch
  • 3 Dedicated Media Keys with multi-function digital wheel
  • Powered by Razer Chroma RGB for lighting customization and game integration
  • Ergonomic Wrist Rest for total gaming comfort
  • Fully Controllable Keys to customize profiles, key bindings, and macros
  • Cable Routing Options for convenient setup
  • Fully programmable keys with on the fly macro recording
  • N-key rollover
  • Gaming mode option
  • Braided fiber cable
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • Xbox One compatible (for basic input)
  • Dimensions: 463 xd 154 x 32.5mm (18.2 x 6 x 1.3 in)
  • Weight: 915g (2 lbs)

What’s in the box

  • Razer Ornata V2
  • Plus leatherette ergonomic wrist rest
  • Product guide
  • Razer stickers
What's included with the Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard
What’s included with the Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard.

Design

While we never got the opportunity to review the original Razer Ornata V2, at a glance, it looks pretty similar. The gaming keyboard itself has a fairly flat and angular design, with the edges angled out slightly. The keyboard is skinnier towards the front and increases in height towards the back. While many keyboard OEMs are adopting a metal look, Razer is using what feels like a high-grade plastic material with a nice matte finish.

The Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard with included leatherette finished wrist rest
The Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard with included leatherette finished wrist rest.

The keys themselves are low profile, thanks to the mecha-membrane technology Razer uses. The keys themselves are curved towards the middle as is pretty standard fare. The keys appear to float because of the low profile and, as a result, the Chroma RGB lighting appears more even. The keyboard layout is your classic six rows with the top row slightly above the bottom five. A full-sized number pad sits on the right hand side as well.

The first difference between the first and second version of the Razer Ornata is the addition of three media control keys and a volume rocker. These keys (previous, play/pause, next) and the rocker are positioned above the number pad on the upper right corner. As a result, the five LEDs to indicate caps, number lock, scroll lock, macro, and game mode sit above the four direction arrows to the left of the number pad. It does take a bit of getting used to looking there for them instead of the traditional placement above the number pad.

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The underside of the keyboard features dual kickstands which can be extended either 6º or 9º depending on your preference. While most keyboards are wired with the cable coming out of a fixed position, the Razer Ornata V2 has improved cable routing. By default, the nicely braided cord feeds through the back but there are channels on the bottom to feed it towards the left or right depending on your set up.

The bottom of the Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard
The bottom of the Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard.

The wrist rest is about 3 1/2-inches by 17 3/4-inches. It is angled in the same shape as the keyboard and attaches by way of magnets. While the magnets do hold it in place well enough, there was the odd time a simple bump would jar it loose. The keyboard could easily do with some slightly stronger magnets. The top of the wrist rest is nicely padded with a soft leatherette finish. The Razer snake logo is debossed in the middle of the wrist rest. Not only does it look pretty classy but it is also comfortable for longer sessions.

Software

The Razer Ornata V2, like other Razer peripherals, is controlled by their Razer Synapse software. With it, you can customize key functionality, program macros, and adjust and toggle Gaming Mode. While it’s nice that you can assign a new function or macro to any key on the keyboard, it’d be nice to see at least a few dedicated macro buttons.

Razer Synapse 3 screenshot
Razer Synapse 3 screenshot.

Razer Synapse also allows you to customize the lighting on the keyboard through Chroma RGB. You can choose from default presets like Static, Spectrum Cycling, Breathing, Reactive, Wave, Ripple, Starlight, and Fire, alongside three new ones: Ambient Awareness, Audio Meter, and Wheel. In addition, you can sync the keyboard to have the same effect as other Razer products you may have. If you wish, you can also install Chroma Studio to layer lighting effects, arrange your Razer peripherals, choose per-key lighting effects, and even customize the default presets.

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With game integration, gamers can use a preset for game-specific lighting and feedback. This includes in-game events such as health status, explosions, and more. Recent game additions include Apex Legends, Fortnite, Warframe, Overwatch, and more. All told, there are over 100 games that feature Chroma integration.

Razer Synapse is pretty simple overall, and easy to use which is a good thing for sure.

Performance

As mentioned before, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out Razer’s Hybrid Mecha-Membrane Technology before. In the past, keyboards were usually designed with either mechanical or membrane keys with gamers preferring the mechanical switches while most other keyboards sported membrane keys which felt squishier and softer. As Razer puts it:

Designed to bring the best of both worlds, the Razer™ Hybrid Mecha-Membrane Technology melds precision with comfort by combining the cushioned typing experience from a membrane layer, with the tactility and feedback of a clicky switch typically found in mechanical keyboards. This combination produces a key feel like no other–a clicky actuation with a soft, cushioned touch at the end.

Razer PR

As a result, you should get a combination of the two key designs with the melding of the two technologies. While the Razer Ornata V2 gaming keyboard is still definitely clicky, it does feel slightly softer and more cushiony than your traditional full mechanical keyboard.

The low profile keys on the Razer Ornata V2 allow for more LED light to show, creating a floating key effect
The low profile keys on the Razer Ornata V2 allow for more LED light to show, creating a floating key effect.

That being said, I didn’t mind the feeling or performance at all. The keys still respond well with no lag and the keyboard works well for both gaming and word processing or general typing. In addition, the keyboard has a game mode you can toggle to disable any combination of the Windows key, Alt + Tab, or Alt +F4 — common nemesis of gamers when accidentally pressed while gaming. The keyboard also supports macros, as indicated in the previous section, and Razer’s Hypershift to effectively double the number of keys through using an alternate key combination coupled with a macro or other function.

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Overall, the Razer Ornata V2 is a very nice keyboard which feels like a mechanical keyboard but slightly softer when typing.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$99.99, the Razer Ornata V2 sits roughly in the middle price range when it comes to keyboards. With its hybrid technology, low-profile, functionality, new media controls and volume rocker, and comfortable leatherette topped wrist rest, it does offer a pretty decent value for the asking price.

Wrap-up

If you don’t like full-on mechanical gaming keyboards, aren’t a fan of soft membrane keys, or are looking for a lower profile keyboard, the Razer Ornata V2 might be the one for you. Not only does it look nice sitting on your desk, but it is comfortable and responsive enough for both gaming and typing alike. There’s no reason this updated keyboard won’t be as popular as the first on the Amazon gaming keyboard charts.

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Razer Ornata V2

US$99.99


Nailed it

  • Sleek, low-profile design
  • Low-profile keycaps float atop the Chrome RGB lighting
  • Hybrid Mecha-Membrane Technology is quite nice for typing/gaming
  • Like the addition of the volume rocker
  • Three channels for cable routing
  • Three angle/height levels


Needs work

  • Not the strongest of magnets for the wrist rest
  • When shifting keyboard around, back legs tend to collapse
  • No dedicated macro buttons



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