This is an interesting one. Mecha-membrane promises to reduce fatigue and help you actuate faster. A lot faster, thanks to the mid-height keycaps. You can read the brochure of the tech here.
I’ve spent about close to three weeks with the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard and my conclusion is that it makes typing enjoyable. As I’m writing this review, I feel good about my work. There’s a slight squish, followed by a loud click, then the button springs back up again; it creates a sort of momentum that makes it feel like you’re racing through the keyboard and going at it really quickly, even if reality doesn’t reflect the same. If you want to feign productivity, this is a wonderful product for that.
Even moreso when you’re playing real-time strategies, MMOs or MOBAs, where you really have to hammer the shit out of your keyboard. You’ll be checking your heatmap in disbelief because you’ll have the impression that you’ve executed 1.5 times more commands than usual.
On the other hand, it seems to be more tiring in shooters, when you’re mainly utilizing the WASD keys for movement, because it feels like the key wants to bounce back up to reset, and there’s this ghostly resistance – like the key is fighting you. You can’t have everything, I suppose.
Because the keycaps are mid-height, you can see under the keys a little more, which is wonderful for Chroma lighting. The Chroma workshop will give you all sorts of options to customize the light settings in every manner you wish. For some reason I feel like the approach to lights here is overall much more subdued (which I prefer, by the way) than in the Black Widow.
Apart from the feel of typing, the wrist rest that comes with the Ornata is my favourite thing about it. I honestly don’t know why no one thought of using leatherette sooner. It’s soft, gives the illusion that it’s pliable, and it doesn’t generate sweat under your wrists. There’s a long magnet inside of the top that snaps to the bottom of the keyboard so it won’t migrate when your hands are maneuvering all across it.
I can’t say for sure if a mechanical-membrane hybrid keyboard offers greater performance than one with just mechanical switches, because there really isn’t a huge difference to me. This one feels springier, so it definitely feels like you’re doing more for less energy if you’re flying around the board in quick succession. It really all hinges on whether you like that sort of key feel and tactile feedback – I personally love the way it feels when I type on it, so it’s at the top of my list the next time I’m thinking about getting a new keyboard.
Feature-rich, aesthetically pleasing, and backed with handy software; thanks, Razer Ornata Chroma. You were very fun to use.