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  • Cheryl Tan

Mechanical OR Membrane… Both? Razer Ornata v2 Keyboard Review

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

We’ve taken a look at quite a number of laptops now. Reviewed them, shared our thoughts, the good and the bad.

But, the main system itself, the PC in essence, is just but one part of the equation. Filling up the rest would be accessories and peripherals, and one of the most important would be a keyboard.

What we have right here is the Razer Ornata v2, which is the second revision of the original Ornata, featuring that same Hybrid Mechanical-Membrane key switches by Razer themselves.

As you can tell, it’s a full-sized keyboard, complete with the number pad, and as far as design goes, it’s pretty much the same as the original with just some slight tweaks here and there.

The entire keyboard is made up of various plastics, and it does feel really well constructed, with very little flex and having some substantial weight along with it. The keycaps are half-height and are made of ABS, while the entire frame does feature a matte finish which will deter fingerprints and the eventual oil stains in the long run.

Included with the Ornata v2 is a magnetic wrist rest, that has a rather plush pillowy cushion wrapped in a leatherette material. The wrist rest simply attaches to the keyboard with magnets, and it’s even strong enough to hold it up vertically, so you can rest assured it’ll stay on your desk no matter how vigorous your gaming becomes.

In my opinion, having the wrist rest is definitely a must, as it makes for a much better typing experience and a longer one as well. To further cater to your own preference, you can also raise the entire keyboard via the stubs on the underside, where you have two levels of adjustment.

Personally, I found that using the first level of inclination along with the wrist rest was the most comfortable for me. But as mentioned, you can use it raised, or not, or forgo the wrist rest entirely. It’s your choice.

Now we move on to what’s slightly different on the Ornata v2, and the most prominent would be the inclusion of media keys on the top right corner, along with a scroll wheel. By default, you get previous, play, pause, next and the scroll wheel would be your volume control.

Of course, since the media keys are taking up that space now, the LEDs indicators for things like your Caps Lock or Gaming Mode have now been relocated to just above the arrow keys

But back to the media keys, or specifically, the scroll wheel. As mentioned, by default, it controls volume, and if you scroll up and down, the brightness of the white backlight would follow accordingly and if you have it all the way to mute, it stays red.

While I do like the inclusion of the scroll wheel, I do find the scrolling action a little rough, especially when compared to their mice, and you can’t change the wheel resistance unlike their Basilisk v2 mouse.

Because of that, I found that one notch of the scroll wheel actually changes the volume by multiples of 4, instead of 2. To top off, it’s not even consistent, as it does sometimes change volume in steps of 2 instead of 4 when you’re flicking it. It’s not a big deal, but I do find that quite annoying.

But on to the main topic, and that’s the hybrid switches.

I don’t really know how to quite put it in words… but in essence, it has the feeling of a Razer Green mechanical switch the moment you press it, but when it bottoms out, it gives you that soft and squishy feeling that a membrane switch provides.

To be honest, it was kinda weird at first. But you will get used to it.

In terms of the action, it’s somewhere in between tactile and clicky, as it’s not really that clicky like that of a Cherry MX Blue or Razer Green, but it’s not exactly the same as a Cherry MX Brown or Razer Orange, because of that membrane.

Sound-wise, it’s definitely clicky, though I wouldn’t say, as distinctively clicky like the Razer Green. On the other hand, it isn’t as soft as the Razer Orange either, which I have right here on my own personal keyboard, the Tenkeyless Blackwidow Stealth.

So you kind of get the idea. It’s a pretty unique hybrid switch that sits somewhere between a Razer Green and a Razer Orange. Do note however that because of the unique design of this hybrid switch, you can’t really swap it out for any third-party keycaps.

So if you damage the keys and whatnot, you’ll either have to send it in for warranty or get an entirely new keyboard.

Of course, with Razer, you get full per-key RGB, and you do also get this translucent panel which allows the light to emit throughout the entire frame if you will, and create this underglow effect, and not just through the font on the keycap itself.

You can fully customize the lighting to your liking through Synapse 3, and you can even link lighting effects with supported games like Fortnite, Warframe or Black Desert Online. Synapse 3 is also where you can fully reprogramme the function of individual keys and set up your macros.

The last new feature that the Ornata v2 has are cable routing options, where on the underside of the keyboard, you can choose to have the braided wire off the left, middle or right, out from the top.

So that’s the Ornata v2 in a gist. Is it a great keyboard? Arguably so. But for me, I would still rather have my Blackwidow Tenkeyless with the Razer Orange switches.

I’m not a fan of the loud clicks, and I also found my reaction times in games to be slightly slower, as I can’t really half-press the keys on the hybrid switch, and I do require more force to initiate the click, compared to my Blackwidow.

But more so than that, I much prefer a Tenkeyless keyboard, as I find it much more comfortable for gaming.

Now, if you’re someone who owns the first Razer Ornata, the v2 isn’t much of an upgrade. But for the rest of you, if you’re looking for something unique, you favour a full-sized keyboard, and you miss that feeling of a membrane keyboard?

The Razer Ornata v2 might be an interesting choice.

More information and purchase options for the Razer Ornata v2 (S$169.90) are available on Razer’s website.

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