The Razer Cynosa Chroma is the newest release in a long line of keyboards from Razer, following along with other designs that feature backlighting for the keys as well as optional pro models for lighting under the entire keyboard. Sitting around £53 – £65 this may be quite the expensive keyboard on first glance, but is it worth that price or would it be best to wait for a sale or second-hand?
The Cynosa features pretty much all the keys a normal keyboard does, though it lacks additional buttons for volume controls or music players, instead, those are combined with the F keys for the Fn key to access. While saving room, the mere sequence of holding down 1 button to access another buttons’ function will mean that gamers will have to take their hand off the mouse or stretch out their hands to turn off their music when the game gets into a cutscene, or their friends are chatting over voice.
While the keyboard does lack any additional keys or blank keys for macros, the keyboard comes with software that allows you to set up macros with all the normal buttons. Thankfully the macro system is very easy to set up and disable. Aside from macros, you can easily change what the keys do as their base, stopping their original input entirely, with the ability to swap between profiles this could prove invaluable to certain gamers.
Just like some other keyboards that feature backlights, the Cynosa has a much wider range and control instead of the basic 3-5 settings. Going into the program that comes with it you can set up between 8 different pre-set designs for the colour, from static full colours, flowing or waving colours that go from one side the other, spectrum and even random colours. As well as using these presets you can also combine some of them together to make your own and set them to individual keys.
Aside from the customisation of the keyboard, it has a substantial weight to it, which allows for it to stay steady on most surfaces, be them glass or wood. This may be a bonus for me, as I hate when my keyboard glides across the desk, though others may find it a bit too resistant if they like to move around a lot.
Like many other keyboards, the Cynosa features pretty heavy sounds when typing, even louder than my last one, so this may be a negative for those who use voice chat a lot. Combined with the loud sounds, the keys themselves are rather stiff and hard to press at times, requiring heavier presses or having them fail to press in. This becomes increasingly annoying when you are typing, like this review for example, where you are pressing several keys, it also becomes an annoyance when playing games and you don’t press keys as often and you’re not used to the heavy pressure required.
Either via a bug, or my own computer forgetting it, the program that comes along with the keyboard also failed to remember my profile several times on start-up, requiring me to log in again. When it fails to log me in it also loads the default colour and settings, meaning I will need to log-in to get back my colour designs. I’ve never had this issue with any mouse, however, which makes it seem to be a problem with this specific program.
At the current price of £53 – £65 you’re mostly paying for the backlighted keys, and the ability to macro all the available keys. It doesn’t contain any spare programmable keys and goes for a smaller design by combining several functions with the Fn key. With the stiffness, volume and slightly unreliable program it would most likely be worth waiting for a sale.
Overall, the Razer Cynosa Chroma gets a 7/10, the range of colours and designs on offer is much higher than any other keyboard I have had thus far, but seems more like a gimmick than anything else. The stiffness gets in the way of longer typing sessions as well as gaming sessions, with the volume of key presses also lending to annoyed voice chat. If you’re wanting a colourful device then this may be for you, but aside from that, you’re better off getting it for less.
You can grab The Razer Cynosa Chroma here – https://www.razer.com/gb-en/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-cynosa-chroma-pro