It’s no secret that mechanical keyboards provide some of the best tactile typing experiences available. It’s also not a secret that wireless keyboards can be a productivity boon, reducing workspace clutter and easily connecting with numerous device types. Thankfully, wireless mechanical keyboard selection has grown so much in recent years that you can find options with feature sets on par with the priciest wired keyboards.
When exploring today’s selection of cable-free mechanical keyboards, there’s plenty to consider beyond switch type. For example, how many devices do you want the keyboard to be able to toggle across? Should any of those wireless connections use a USB receiver? Battery life is also paramount (all the options here are rechargeable) and, just as with any other premium keyboard, features like programmability, onboard memory, and quality keycaps are important.
With those qualifications in mind, we sought out the best wireless mechanical keyboards for power users.
Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
The Ars pick
|Specs at a glance: Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro|
|Connectivity options||Bluetooth 5.0, USB-A dongle, USB-A cable|
|switches||Razer Green or Yellow|
Buy: From $140 at Amazon and Best Buy
Razer’s BlackWidow V3 Pro is the rare wireless option to carry nearly every feature you’d expect to find in a decked-out wired mechanical keyboard. From its full-height switches and a full-size programmable layout with media keys to its onboard memory, multiple Bluetooth profiles, and braided cable, there’s little missing here.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro has been my go-to for productivity uses for a couple of years. Every key—including the four media keys—is easily programmable in Razer’s Synapse software. That’s plenty, but you can also program each key with a secondary input, which is activated when you simultaneously press the key you designate as the “Hypershift” key.
Key bindings can launch macros, open software and websites, make mouse movements, and do just about anything else. The keyboard easily adapts to whichever app you’re using, and you can make app-specific profiles that launch automatically when you open the specified program.
Frustratingly, some of the most advanced functionality, like launching macros or apps, doesn’t work unless Synapse is open. This makes the keyboard’s four onboard memory profiles harder to leverage. In fact, storing onboard memory profiles requires you to open Synapse and use a dongle or cable rather than Bluetooth.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is available only with Razer Green clicky switches, which have 4 mm of total travel and actuate at 1.9 mm with 50 g of force, or Razer Yellow linear switches (3.5 mm / 1.2 mm / 45 g). The Green switches I’ve used combine bold clicks with the booming thuds of larger keys bottoming out and the rattling of plastic stabilizers, creating a striking ruckus. Without any sound-dampening components, like those seen in the Epomaker TH96 below, I can frequently hear metallic pinging when bottoming out.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is rather hefty and solid at 3.1 pounds, but its plastic bottom case and easily smudged aluminum top plate aren’t unique. It’s also a bit disappointing to see ABS plastic at this price point, but these keycaps could pass for PBT with how decently they’ve resisted fingerprints. (I replaced the keycaps on mine with non-Razer PBT for better grip and durability.) Plus, the legends are doubleshot, so they shouldn’t fade.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is also the only keyboard on our list that comes with a wrist rest. The accessory’s plushness means you may actually use it for a while.
Razer says the keyboard lasts for up to 192 hours before needing a charge. With the per-key RGB backlight set to all-white, expectations drop to five hours at 100 percent brightness and 14 hours at 50 percent. This is shorter than the battery life claim for a rainbow RGB backlight (13 hours and 25 hours, respectively). Thankfully, Synapse has a battery meter that provides a precise percentage.
- Full-size, full-height keyboard with all the trimmings
- Every key, including the media keys, is programmable with up to two inputs
- Plenty of onboard storage
- Super expensive
- Some advanced features are app-dependent
- Aggressive typists should beware of rattling stabilizers, occasional pinging
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