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- Build quality
- Sober design
- Chroma lighting
- Synapse software
- Good quality buttons
- Pleasant and silent typing
- Anti-ghosting 10-key rollover
- No wrist rest
- Membrane keys
- The space bar creaks the first weeks
Every fan of PC gaming knows Razer, a well-established brand that has been developing and producing high-end gaming peripherals for some time now. The only thing lacking was an entry-level price range: products dedicated to those wishing to approach the exciting world of PC gaming for the first time. Finally, the Razer Cynosa Chroma (Check on Amazon.com) arrived: a membrane keyboard with all the innovative technology that only Razer can muster.
Razer Cynosa Chroma – Design
The design is very similar to that of Razer’s mechanical models. It is a full-format keyboard, manufactured with a good quality black plastic body that sports a quite high profile for a membrane model.
Razer Cynosa Chroma – Membrane switches
Razer’s “mesh” switch is the best implementation of the membrane keyboard yet. It is a delight both when writing and gaming. Personal taste matters here. I am a writer and while I prefer mechanical switches I never quite liked the noise of the Cherry MX Blue. Maybe this is why I love the “silence”* of the Cynosa.
One feature that also plays a major role here, is the keyboard’s anti-ghosting technology, with the implementation of a 10 key rollover, which means that my keystrokes, however fast, are always recorded.
Of course, the feeling of pressing each individual key will never match its mechanical counterparts: pushing down a rubber dome doesn’t feel the same as pushing down a metallic spring.
Nevertheless, I liked the well-balanced key resistance, and the Razer Cynosa Chroma convinced me with its accuracy.
Finally, I also find the keyboard’s layout very pleasant. All keys are clearly arranged and can be easily reached. The additional functions of the F-keys are clearly labeled and can also be operated intuitively. Overall, the keys are relatively tall (for a membrane keyboard) but at the same time at a sufficient distance from each other.
*Note: Since the Razer Cynosa Chroma is a membrane keyboard, typing noise is much lower than mechanical keyboards. However, the Cynosa isn’t completely silent, a slight tap sound remains audible throughout the room.
Razer Synapse is the unified configuration software that allows you to reallocate functions or assign macros to this and other Razer peripherals. It has an intuitive interface, it is simple to use and well-polished.
Razer Cynosa Chroma – Performance
At a time when most gamers are moving towards mechanical models, the Razer Cynosa Chroma opts for a more classic membrane model. While it will not have the same reactivity as a Cherry MX or Romer-G switch, speed and accuracy are more than acceptable.
The Razer Cynosa Chroma also offers a nice typing quality and those allergic to mechanical sounds might have just found the perfect productivity companion.
Also, if you are a casual gamer, not in search of the ultimate performance and thus you don’t need a competitive keyboard, the Razer Cynosa Chroma will do the trick just fine.
For years now I have used a mechanical keyboard every day for work and fun and the return to a membrane keyboard has left me perplexed, but not in a negative way. I am seriously beginning to believe that soon there will no clear gap between mechanical and good membrane keyboards.
During long typing/gaming sessions, I didn’t notice a big difference. I did miss the classic feedback a mechanical switch offers. But, from an average user point of view, there won’t be much difference. The buttons are excellent, both in size and distance, giving me the possibility to reach all main keys without moving my wrists too much.
My gaming sessions were initially adversely affected, but it was only a matter of re-adapting. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but I am rather competitive when it comes down to it. The first few days I found myself having a slower response time. After the normal adjustment period, my performance returned to optimal (for me) levels.
Razer Cynosa Chroma Pro?
In addition to the Cynosa Chroma, Razer offers a Pro version that costs a little more. The only difference? It sports additional RGB lighting positioned under the chassis, and for me, it doesn’t justify the extra cost.
Razer Cynosa Chroma – Verdict
The Razer Cynosa Chroma (Check on Amazon.com) is the best membrane keyboard that you can find in the market today. However, at a time when mechanical keyboards are the absolute kings, it is difficult to recommend a membrane model. This keyboard is aimed at users who can’t stand the noise of mechanical switches, those who work at night, and those who work in a quite shared office space.