Last fall, Razer partnered with workplace ergonomic specialist Humanscale to release the Razer Productivity Suite. The collection includes a wireless mechanical keyboard, wireless mouse, and a mousepad. While Razer peripherals have targeted the PC gaming market in the past, these new ones are aimed squarely at those who spend their day in Word and Excel rather than Fortnite. They adopt a conservative white and silver color scheme, with discrete white LED backlighting for the keyboard. My colleague Anthony Karcz previously reviewed the entire collection as a package. I’m focusing on the Razer Pro Type, the mechanical keyboard which is sold separately.
I spend most of my day in front of a computer, banging away at a keyboard. So keyboards are a big deal to me. I have a sizeable collection — there’s even an Apple ADB keyboard still stashed in my storage closet. Over the years, I’ve developed a preference for full-sized mechanical keyboards with backlighting.
I have large fingers and mechanical switches help to reduce accidental inputs. Plus, I like the sound of softly clacking keys. It sounds like productivity. I frequently work evenings and prefer dim lighting to having the overheads glaring, so backlighting is a must-have.
The Razer Pro Type checks off all the boxes. And even better, it’s wireless. It’s also a very striking-looking keyboard. The white keys agains the silver metal deck looks clean, professional, and modern. Those keys are ABS with a soft-touch, fingerprint-resistant coating. The Pro Type makes my other mechanical keyboards — black and chunky — look a little ancient and industrial in comparison.
There are some nice design touches, including dual pop-up kickstands. So you can use the keyboard flat, or at a choice of two degrees of tilt. On the back is a USB-C charge port and a Bluetooth/2.4 GHz switch along with a battery indicator light. Beneath, a slot holds the 2.4 GHz dongle in place magnetically so you don’t misplace it if you choose to connect with Bluetooth. Razer includes a premium, braided white, 6.5-foot USB-C to USB Type-A charge cable.
Razer Pro Type Key Specifications:
- Razer Orange mechanical switches, rated for up to 80 million keystrokes
- 10-key rollover, Windows configuration
- Adjustable, true white LED backlighting
- ABS plastic keys, metal top
- Bluetooth/2.4 GHz wireless connectivity, Bluetooth connection for up to 4 different devices
- Battery life up to 12 hours with backlighting, up to 84 hours with Bluetooth, up to 78 hours using 2.4 GHz
- USB-C charging, 6.5-foot braided white charge cable included
- Razer Synapse 3-enabled for programming
- 17.4 x 5.2 x 1.6-inches, weighs 1.98 pounds
- 2-year warranty
- MSRP $139.99
Hands-On With the Razer Pro Type
Razer equipped the Pro Type keyboard with its Orange mechanical key switches. They require slightly less force than other mechanical switches and they produce less noise — ideal for productivity in a work environment.
Razer describes the key feel as “tactile and silent.” They are definitely tactile and a pleasure to type with. I’m as accurate and error-free as my typing gets while using this keyboard. But silent is pushing it — especially the way I type. However, the Razer Pro Type is definitely less noisy than the mechanical keyboards I typically use. The keys have also lived up to their fingerprint-resistant claim. Backlighting works very nicely, and is adjustable using the keyboard.
The Razor Pro Type is configured for Windows use, but it can still be used with a Mac, which is what I’ve been doing. This requires a bit of mental mapping for keyboard shortcuts, but that’s something I’ve had to do for years so it was no problem. The one letdown for Mac users is that Razer doesn’t yet offer a macOs version of its Synapse 3 app. This software lets Windows users program keyboard macros, lighting effects, and other features.
I’ve been using Bluetooth with an M1 MacBook Pro (I have some thoughts on the new M1-powered laptop if you’re interested), and connectivity has been rock solid. If the keyboard hasn’t been used for an extended period, it takes a tap on a key to wake it, but about a second later it is connected and responsive.
At this point we have beautiful mechanical keyboard that offers a solid typing experience and the convenience of wireless connectivity.
However, the flip side to wireless connectivity is a battery. I have a half-dozen wireless keyboards keyboards in my collection and the worst-performing of them requires charging on a monthly basis. Many last two or even three months on a charge (or pair of AA batteries).
The Razer Pro Type does not do so well on this front. Manufacturers often provide battery life ratings that are on the optimistic side. Razer says the Pro Type is good for up to 84 hours using Bluetooth, or 78 hours using a 2.4 GHz connection. That’s basically two weeks of use between charges in a best-case scenario. Turn on backlighting and the situation is much more grim: up to 12 hours battery life. And that’s the manufacturer rating…
It’s hard to track my actual hours on a computer — I do a lot of freelance work, and some weeks involve evenings and weekends — but I’ve been averaging a single day of use with backlighting on (I tend to have it turned up), and just over a week on Bluetooth with the backlighting turned off. You can still use the keyboard while it’s charging, but then you have the cable in play. You still have to connect wirelessly, but have a cable to deal with. That kind of defeats the purpose of a wireless keyboard.
I was actually so frustrated with battery life that after two weeks of use, I put away the Razer Pro Type for several months. However, at the start of the year, I brought it out again. The typing experience is too good to pass up, and the wireless connectivity is too appealing. However, to make this work I keep the backlighting off except when absolutely necessary, and plug the keyboard in to charge every weekend. It’s inconvenient, but worth it.
If you prefer to use a full-sized, mechanical keyboard but don’t like wires, the Razer Pro Type is well worth considering. This is a solidly-built and attractively designed keyboard with effective backlighting and solid wireless connectivity. Its Orange switches offer a satisfying degree of “click” without being obnoxiously loud — it’s great for typing. The white and silver color scheme is office-friendly. If you’re a Mac user, the color scheme is complementary with most Apple gear and although you don’t get macOS specific keys or access to the Razer Synapse 3 app, the keyboard is still perfectly usable with a Mac.
Just be prepared to accept disappointing battery life (especially if you make use of the backlighting) and be prepared to incorporate frequent recharging into your workflow.
Disclosure: Razer provided a keyboard for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.