When it comes to my keyboards and mice for my PC, I am a creature of habit. I find a good quality keyboard or mouse that fits my hand, feels good to use, and performs well and I stick with it. It’s a pretty rare occasion that a review item replaces one of my standard items for daily use. Well, the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard is one such item. From day 1, I fell in love with the way the Ornata Chroma felt in my hand, and just how satisfying it was to use, both in gaming and for daily use. I loved my Thermaltake Poseidon Z keyboard, but just after a few hours of using the Ornata Chroma, I knew that the Thermaltake was going to go onto the backup PC. And the Ornata Chroma gets released just in time for the holidays? I see what you did there, Razer….
The Ornata Chroma is being described as a mecha-membrane keyboard. The mecha-membrane system combines the best of both mechanical and membrane keyboards, into one hybrid system. I have always been partial to mechanical keyboards, I never liked the tactile feedback that I received from a membrane keyboard. One of the worst typing experiences of my life is using the touch keyboard that came with the Surface Pro 2 that I use for book projects. The Ornata Chroma has all of the tactile feedback of a mechanical keyboard, but without the fatigue that you experience from long hours of typing or gaming. That’s thanks to the membrane section of the keys, the membrane helps soften the amount of pressure needed for a response, keeping that old mechanical fatigue to a minimum without loosing the tactile feedback. Razer promises an “typing experience unlike anything before” and they deliver. I have never used a keyboard that felt like this in my hands, and immediately fell in love with the Ornata Chroma.
Another fantastic feature of the Ornata Chroma is the use of mid-height keys on the keyboard. The use of a mid-height key is brilliant with this design, it gives the Ornata Chroma a faster response time to the pressing of these keys. A higher key height will delay that time, even if it’s measured in milliseconds and most people would never feel the difference. PC gamers do and that’s what’s important here. I have never liked the feeling of the chiclet style keyboards either, so the mid-height key design is perfect.
There are two more features which make the Ornata Chroma my new “go to” keyboard, customizable lighting effects and the wrist rest. I’ll speak more about the lighting effects in the Aesthetics section of this review, so let’s look closer into the wrist rest that comes with the Ornata Chroma. I usually hate wrist rests, I never got used to using them. They always feel like they get into the way of my typing for some reason. The Ornata Chroma comes with a detachable wrist rest, so if you feel the same way you can just not use it. The wrist rest attaches to the main keyboard by what using what feels like low strength magnets. When attached, the wrist rest does not move or shift, even under some intense gaming. I never use these things, but I found myself using the wrist rest for the Ornata Chroma and felt that it added to my comfort level when using my PC. Even if you don’t like using these wrist rests on other keyboards, give this one a shot. It might be a different experience then you are used to.
The Ornata Chroma looks like a pretty standard keyboard, design wise. In comparison to the Black Widow Chroma, the Ornata Chroma does not have the row of keys on the far left side. The Ornata Chroma is roughly 18 inches long, 6 inches wide and about 1.5 inches tall, so pretty standard in size also. What makes the Ornata Chroma come alive is the customizable lighting effects, which sets the Chroma line apart for Razer. When active, the Ornata Chroma can produce over 16 million different types of color combinations and is customizable for personalization. The standard effects that the keyboard comes with are beautiful in their own right. These effects include fire, full spectrum cycling, starlight, breathing, static, reactive, wave, and ripple. Using the Razer software is easy also to program these lighting effects, and these effects can be applied to other Chroma devices you may have. Chroma will also react differently depending on the game you are playing if the game is on the list for Chroma effects. For instance, playing Overwatch will cause the WASD keys to glow yellow and your ability keys will glow in different colors depending on the status of those abilities.
Ok, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I love the Ornata Chroma. For this last week or so, I have put it through the ringer to see what it can do. I played H1Z1, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Dishonored 2 (review pending!) and felt that playing on the Ornata Chroma was a vastly superior experience then playing these games on my old Poseidon Z. The response time felt shorter from key press to on screen action, I felt that I could move faster or use items faster, and I noticed a serious drop of on keyboard fatigue because of the mecha-membrane keys and the wrist rest. I felt better after hours of playing then I had in a while. The Ornata Chroma feels good, performs well, and looks great doing it.
- Razer™ Mecha-Membrane Technology
- Mid-height keycaps
- Razer Chroma backlighting
- Ergonomic wrist rest
- Razer Synapse enabled
- Fully programmable keys with on the fly macro recording
- 10-key roll over
- Dedicated Gaming Mode
- Anti-ghosting capability for up to 10 simultaneous key presses
The Razer Ornata Chroma is my new keyboard for my main PC. This is the keyboard that I will be doing all of my gaming and writing on in the future. I can quote you all the specs and features in the product manual (which I guess I did during the review…) but at the end of the day, the Ornata Chroma feels and performs the way I want a keyboard to feel and perform. The new mecha-membrane keys feels fantastic and is precisely what I would want in the perfect keyboard. I feel like I can type faster, play faster, and react faster to changing situations with this Ornata Chroma keyboard, due to the fast response and tactile feedback I get. Price wise, the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard is on the higher end, but not as expensive as the Black Widow Chroma. The Ornata Chroma will set you back about a $100, but I feel you are getting every penny’s worth. The Razer Ornata Chroma is available now, and it’s fantastic.
Razer Ornata Chroma Review Score:
(5 out of 5)