With the amount of time I spend typing every day, I’m always on the watch for a good new keyboard option. I prefer full-sized, mechanical keyboards. Backlighting is a must. Native macOS support is a bonus but not a must-have (most Mac users have gotten used to figuring out Windows key mapping). For the past three years, I’ve been using a DAS Keyboard Prime 13 and I’ve been quite happy with it (review here). But I was pretty excited when Razer offered to send their new Pro Type wireless mechanical keyboard to try out.
The Pro Type had three big things going for it (besides being mechanical, full-sized, and ergonomic). It was made by Razer, a company known for its premium gaming keyboards, with assistance from ergonomics experts Humanscale. It uses Razer’s Orange mechanical switches. And it’s wireless. Wireless connectivity is the one thing I miss about my old Apple wireless keyboards…
A Solid, Well-Built Keyboard
The Pro Type makes a great first impression. It’s a solid-looking (and feeling) slab of metal with a plastic base, measuring 17.4 x 5.2-inches. A set of white plastic keys are mounted to the top of that. I have to say, it looks pretty stunning—especially with the white backlighting turned on—and fits in really well with a setup of Apple gear. Razer says the keys are rated for 80 million keystrokes.
Beneath the keyboard, a 2.4GHz USB receiver is tucked away. There’s a switch at the back to choose 2.4GHz or Bluetooth wireless and to turn the power off. Also on the back is a USB-C port for charging. Razer includes a high quality, braided white cable (USB-C to USB-A) in the box. It’s 6.5-feet in length.
The keyboard layout is designed for Windows PCs, including a Windows key, but it works fine on a Mac.
The Pro Type is a great keyboard for typing. Mission accomplished there. The keys are white ABS plastic with a soft-touch coating and clear labeling that allows the LED backlighting to shine through—at higher levels (adjustable using the keyboard) that backlighting does bleed beneath the keys significantly.
The real star is the Razer Orange mechanical switches. They offer excellent feedback, requiring enough force for activation that it helps to minimize typos. While they have a satisfying click, they aren’t incredibly loud.
Although I didn’t try the feature out, Razer says the Pro Type can be programmed using its Synapse 3 software.
The Pro Type can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or 2.4GHz, and it can be paired with up to four devices simultaneously. I was really excited about the wireless capability—that’s the one feature none of my other mechanical keyboards offer.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite the wireless nirvana I was hoping for. Bluetooth connectivity to the MacBook Air I was testing with was pretty solid, except the keyboard seemed to take a long time to reconnect when the computer woke from sleep. I’d be finished typing my password, but the keyboard wouldn’t be connected until I was entering the last character so I’d have to start over. The 2.4GHz dongle took care of this issue.
The biggest issue, though, was the backlighting. I quickly discovered that the backlighting rapidly drains the keyboard’s battery. Razer says to expect up to 12-hours of battery life with it on. I was getting more like 10 hours, probably because I kept it around 50% brightness. Some days I am working pretty long hours (the joys of freelancing) and the keyboard would shut down on me with hours left to go. So I took to simply leaving it always plugged in—which negates the whole point of being wireless. In fact, it’s worse than a wired keyboard because you still have a cable, but also have to deal with those occasional wireless gremlins because when plugged into a PC, it still has to be connected wirelessly…
Without the backlighting, battery life is rated at a more reasonable “up to” 84 hours.
Is the Razer Pro Type the keyboard for you? If you are in search of a productivity keyboard that’s well made, attractively designed, and offering a great, tactile typing experience, then the Razer Pro Type is worth considering. The wireless battery life is disappointing—especially with the backlighting on—and the wireless connectivity can occasionally be a little fussy.
However, typing on this keyboard is a joy, and $139.99 it’s not unreasonably priced.
Disclosure: Razer provided a Pro Type keyboard for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.