Razer Cynosa Chroma By Koh Wanzi
Razer Cynosa Chroma
AT A GLANCE
SWITCH TYPE Membrane
LIGHTING Per-key RGB lighting
SOFTWARE Synapse 3
When it comes to keyboards, Razer’s probably better known for its Blackwidow line of products. The company introduced something new with the Ornata and its mecha-membrane keys, but it hasn’t had something to fill the gap where the entrylevel Lycosa once stood.
That changes with the release of the Cynosa Chroma and Cynosa Chroma Pro keyboards, a pair of relatively affordable keyboards that feature Razer’s signature Chroma lighting. While we’re reviewing the Cynosa Chroma here, and the only difference between the two is that the Pro version has an additional 24 discrete lighting zones around the edges of the keyboard.
Unfortunately, there are no mechanical keys to be had for its $99 price tag, and Razer describes the membrane keys as “softcushioned gaming-grade” keys, which may or may not be a way of excusing their mushy feel.
But for what it’s worth, the membrane keys on the Cynosa feel way better than those on the Lycosa, and while they can’t compare to actual mechanical keys, we can see less picky users being okay with them.
Razer also says the keyboard is spill-resistant, and while we didn’t get to test this out, at least there’s the assurance that the Cynosa will live through small accidents.
Still, Razer’s making up for the lack of mechanical keys by including perkey RGB lighting that can be customized using its Synapse 3 software. Per-key customizations are a rarity at this price point, so it’s nice to see Razer making the feature more accessible to the masses.
The sheer degree of customization available has always been Chroma’s strongest suit, and the Cynosa doesn’t disappoint with its wide array of options.
Each key also has its own individual LED, so the lighting is bright and quite even. The keyboard base plate has also been colored white, which helps with more even light dispersion.
Other features offered in Synapse 3 include a dedicated Game Mode, which lets you disable pesky keys such as the Windows button or the Alt+Tab combination. This can be a lifesaver when you’re frantically button-mashing in game, so the Cynosa has most of the basics covered.
Build quality could use some improvement, as there’s some flex to the lightweight, all-plastic chassis, but we probably can’t complain too much at this price.
An affordable and functional gaming keyboard for those who really like RGB lighting.