The Ornata v3 X is a good keyboard for $40, but there are definitely a few caveats
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The Razer Ornata v3 is the latest refresh of Razer’s Ornata series. This time they have released two versions: the v3 sticks with the Mecha-Membrane switches and the v3 X is a more budget-friendly version that comes with silent membrane switches. The price difference between the two versions is $30, and with the v3 X you sacrifice a few features. The v3 X only has single-zone backlighting and it doesn’t come with dedicated media 0keys. The silent membrane switches is not necessarily a sacrifice, as this comes down to personal preference.
This keyboard feels kind of redundant as Razer already have the Cynosa series. The only real difference between the Ornata v3 X and Cynosa boards is the lower profile. So we’ll see how this compares to the Cynosa Lite and Cynosa v2.
I actually enjoy lower profile keyboards as they are much more forgiving on the wrists, so naturally I liked typing and gaming on the Ornata v3 X. All the keycaps have the same height and cylindrical shape, so it’s very flat in comparison to the OEM or Cherry profile. Razer’s membrane switches are definitely one of the better ones I’ve tried, and they felt surprisingly tactile. Not that typical heavy and mushy feel you’d associate with a membrane keyboard.
One area where the Ornata v3 X was a letdown was the stabilisers–or lack thereof. The bigger keys have wires but they aren’t actually attached to stabilisers; the wires are fitted directly to the keys. This is a very halfhearted attempt by Razer and it really detracts from the overall typing experience. The rattle on space bar was immediately apparent and I don’t think lube will do much here. Nowadays most keyboards come with pre-lubed stabilisers, and even at $40 I am expecting some kind of effort from Razer to improve out of the box performance. With that said, this is not necessarily something that the average user will pick up, so from that perspective it’s not a dealbreaker.
Aesthetics is Razer’s forte, and unsurprisingly the Ornata v3 X is easy on the eye. The chassis is very simplistic yet elegant, with accents running around the frame and keys. The engraved Razer logo looks subtle and tasteful. I’ve said this on previous Razer reviews, but I absolutely love the style of font they use on the keycaps; it looks really stylish and professional. Even though the v3 X only has single-zone backlighting, it’s full RGB and the colours look really bright and punchy.
There are four Quick Effects in Synapse namely Audio Meter, Breathing, Spectrum Cycling, and Static. The Spectrum Cycling mode looks stunning and you’ll hardly notice it’s single-zone backlighting. The non-X version’s 10-zone backlighting will obviously allow for more colour modes, but I was perfectly happy with this. The keyboard has a really potent underglow on full brightness and the keycap shinethrough looks especially good as the plungers don’t block any light. Colour modes cannot be changed through the Fn layer and you have to download Razer Synapse–vexing to say the least.
The case is made of plastic and the build quality is decent. There is some bend but that’s to be expected with a slim case like this. The Ornata v3 X comes with dual foldouts for typing angles of 6 and 9 degrees. There is also cable routing on the keyboard, allowing you to route the cable according to your desk setup. Razer are still using the same UV-coating on their ABS keycaps, and after a few hours of use I could already see finger smudges and grease marks. This is another area where they can improve their budget keyboards. Both Ornata v3 versions come with a wrist rest, but only the v3’s wrist rest is magnetic.
The Ornata v3 X makes use of Razer Synapse, and remember you can now use the software as a Guest. It’s not compulsory to log in anymore. On Synapse you can do remapping on the standard layer, and you have complete control over the Fn layer by switching to Hypershift. This is a very useful feature of Razer keyboards, having the ability to map your own Fn layer.
By default the Fn layer has media functions, a gaming mode, and brightness control. The Lighting tab allows you to change colour modes, set the brightness, and turn off the lighting after idle time. Chroma Studio is enabled for the v3 X, but you can’t really accomplish much here as it’s only single-zone backlighting. Synapse also gives you access to dynamic lighting effects for over 150 Chroma-integrated games, so if you’re looking for that keyboard immersion while gaming, that’s a plus.
Overall the Ornata v3 X is a good keyboard for $40, but there are definitely a few caveats, the main ones being the rattly space bar and keycap coating. I feel like Razer are making the same mistakes with their budget boards, and by addressing just these two issues they can massively improve the quality. I’d recommend the v3 X over the Cynosa Lite, as it has much better backlighting, but if you can find the Cynosa v2 for a comparable price, that’s a better option.
One thought on “Razer Ornata v3 X: Slim and Low Profile Keyboard”
Why the f. did they do step back compared to V2?!
It’s a really good keyboard, but not having each key addressed is so lame.
Also I miss the volume control from V2 (wheel was so cool)
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