Slighhouse – Razer has equipped the Pro Type keyboard with its Orange mechanical key switches. They require slightly less power than other mechanical switches and they produce less noise – ideal for productivity in a work environment. Razer describes the key feeling as ‘tangible and quiet’. They are definitely tangible and a pleasure to type with. I am as accurate and flawless as I type while using this keyboard. But quiet is to press it – especially as I type. However, the Razer Pro Type is definitely less noisy than the mechanical keyboards I usually use. The keys also meet their fingerprint resistant requirement. Backlighting works very nicely, and is adjustable using the keyboard.
The Razor Pro Type is set for Windows use, but it can still be used with a Mac, which I did. It requires a bit of mental mapping for shortcuts, but it’s something I’ve had to do for years, so it was no problem. The only disappointment for Mac users is that Razer does not yet offer a macOs version of its Synapse 3 app. With this software, Windows users can program keyboard macros, lighting effects, and other features. I used Bluetooth with an M1 MacBook Pro (I have some thoughts on the new M1 powered laptop if you are interested), and the connection was rock solid. If the keyboard has not been used for a long period of time, press it on the key to wake it up, but about a second later it is connected and responds.
At this point we have a beautiful mechanical keyboard that offers a solid ticking experience and the ease of wireless connection. However, the other side of wireless connection is a battery. I have half a dozen wireless keyboards in my collection, and the worst performer of these is charging monthly. Many hold two or even three months of charging (or some AA batteries).
The Razer Pro Type does not fare so well on this front. Manufacturers often give the battery life that is optimistic. Razer says the Pro Type is up to 84 hours good with Bluetooth, or 78 hours with a 2.4 GHz connection. This is basically two weeks of use between charges at best. Turn on the backlight and the situation is much grimmer: up to 12 hours of battery life. And that’s the manufacturer’s rating.
It’s hard to track my actual hours on a computer – I do a lot of freelance work, and some weeks like evenings and weekends – but I used an average day of use of a day with background on (I tend to to turn on), and just on Bluetooth for more than a week with the backlight turned off. Luckily, you can use the keyboard while charging, but then you have the cable in play. You still need to connect wirelessly, but you do need to handle a cable. It kind of defeats the purpose of a wireless keyboard.
I was actually so frustrated with the battery life that I put the Razer Pro Type away for two months after two weeks of use. At the beginning of the year, however, I brought it up again. The ticking experience is too good to pass up, and the wireless connection is too attractive. To make it work, though, I keep the backlight off unless absolutely necessary, and plug in the keyboard to charge every weekend. It’s inconvenient, but worth it.