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Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is an admirably compact and functional mini gaming keyboard

Razer blackwidow v3 mini hyperspeed review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Razer)

Our Verdict

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market, combining a just-big-enough keypad with excellent functionality and a sleek design.

For

  • Just enough keys
  • Comfortable switches
  • Streamlined design
  • Convenient shortcuts

Against

  • Extremely expensive
  • Short battery life on default settings
Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review: Specs

Key Type: Mechanical
Switch Type: Razer Green or Yellow
Illumination: Full RGB
Size: 12.5 x 5.1 x 1.0 inches

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed won a "highly recommended" honor for best gaming keyboard in the Tom's Guide Awards 2021 for gaming.

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is an extremely small name for an extremely small keyboard. Like the HyperX Alloy Origins 60, the Corsair K65 RGB Mini and Razer's own Huntsman Mini, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed shrinks the traditional gaming keyboard down to a much more compact format. Unlike most other mini keyboards on the market, however, the BlackWdiwo V3 Mini HyperSpeed is also wireless. It's a worthwhile feature, albeit an extremely expensive one.

For the most part, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. With a 65% profile, you lose the number pad, function row and navigation keys that you'd find on a full-size model. But you get to keep arrow keys and a discrete Delete button. (That loud sound you just heard was both gamers and touch typists collectively exhaling a sigh of relief.) The wireless features work flawlessly, whether you use USB or Bluetooth, and the RGB lighting is predictably pretty.

Granted, at $180, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is going to be a tough sell, especially since a comparable wired model would cost $70-80 less. Furthermore, the backlighting chews through the battery like candy, which means you'll have to choose between aesthetics and functionality.

Still, for gamers who want to take the mini keyboard plunge, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is probably one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy. Read our full Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review for more information.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review: Design

There is one very simple reason why the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed succeeds where models like the Huntsman Mini fell short: a 65% profile. For those who aren't familiar with mini keyboard sizes, a 60% profile is about as small as mini gaming keyboards get, eschewing the number pad, navigation keys, function row and arrow keys. The 65% model, on the other hand, preserves the arrow keys and a few navigation buttons: in this case, Page Up, Page Down, Insert and, most importantly, Delete.

Razer blackwidow v3 mini hyperspeed review

(Image credit: Razer)

To put that in context: I had to put the Alloy Origins 60 and K65 Mini aside the second I was done testing them, because I simply could not live without the arrow and Delete keys. I've been using the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed for about a week, and while there's a learning curve, I haven't yet felt a particularly strong desire to defenestrate it.

Razer blackwidow v3 mini hyperspeed review

(Image credit: Razer)

In any case, despite having more keys than a 60% model, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is still quite small: 12.5 x 5.1 x 1.0 inches, with two height adjustment options, if you prefer to type on a slant. The keys are all elevated off the chassis, and the bezels on either side are minimal. There's no wrist rest, but there is a tasteful RGB Razer logo just below the Spacebar.

On the back of the device, there's a USB-C charging port, as well as a switch that toggles between USB and Bluetooth wireless options; you can also turn the keyboard off entirely. On the bottom of the keyboard, there's a small slot for the dongle, which makes the tiny accessory much harder to lose.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review: Keys

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed comes equipped with either Razer Green or Yellow key switches, both of which work well. The former are loud and tactile; the latter (which we got in our review model) are quiet and linear. While I don't think Razer's proprietary switches are quite as good as Cherry MX models, they're also not nearly as scarce, either, so it's a fair tradeoff. They feel comfortable and responsive.

Razer blackwidow v3 mini hyperspeed review

(Image credit: Razer)

On a Typing.com test, I scored 109 words per minute at 97% accuracy with the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed, as opposed to 111 words per minute at 98% accuracy with my usual Logitech G915. This is a negligible difference, although the BlackWidow V3 keys did feel just a touch more cramped, qualitatively speaking.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review: Features

The defining feature of the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is its 65% size, but that's not the only thing it has going for it. It also has full connectivity with the Razer Synapse software, which allows you to reprogram any key, modify RGB lighting and set up individual profiles for games and apps. Without going into exhaustive detail about Synapse, it works well enough, even if it's a little hard to navigate at times. The program is much more stable than it used to be, which is a plus.

A more interesting feature is actually a part of the BlackWidow V3's wireless USB dongle. This dongle makes use of Razer's new HyperSpeed technology, which allows you to connect a wireless mouse and keyboard to the same dongle. This functionality currently works with the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed, the Naga Pro, the DeathAdder Pro and the Orochi V2. Not only does this save a valuable USB port; it also makes your peripherals easier to control and manage in general. It's not only a reason to buy a BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed; it's also a reason to buy a Razer mouse as well.

Razer blackwidow v3 mini hyperspeed review

(Image credit: Razer)

In spite of decent software and an ambitious dongle, though, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed does have one potential pitfall: its battery life. Razer claims that the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed can last up to 200 hours on a single charge, and that's true - but that assumes you're willing to forego RGB lighting entirely. And after spending $180 on a fancy RGB device, that may not be a reasonable ask.

On default settings, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed will chew through a single charge in 17 hours, and it takes the better part of a workday to recharge. Turning the brightness down to 30% will get you 48 hours of battery life, but it doesn't look nearly as striking. Choose wisely.

It's also worth noting the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed's Bluetooth functionality here, which works as advertised and has three different profiles. This makes it easy to connect the keyboard to multiple devices in your home - an especially useful feature in a small wireless device.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review: Performance

Like most other Razer gear, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed performs beautifully in-game. I tested the device with Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Doom Eternal, Baldur's Gate III and Final Fantasy XIV. The keyboard handled every game well. I was particularly pleased with Doom Eternal, as the keyboard's minimalist design meshed well with the game's straightforward, fast-paced control scheme.

Razer blackwidow v3 mini hyperspeed review

(Image credit: Razer)

While I had a pretty good time playing Final Fantasy XIV at a casual level, it's worth pointing out that this is probably not the ideal keyboard for MMO enthusiasts. With no function row and no extra macro buttons, pulling off high-level skill rotations might be more difficult here than with competing peripherals. Otherwise, the simple inclusion of discrete arrow keys makes the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed surprisingly adept at handling almost any genre.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed review: Verdict

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed is a niche product, between its 65% design and its $180 price. But it's one of the best products we've reviewed in that particular niche. Not only is the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed comfortable and functional; it also simply looks great on a desk.

You'll need to make some compromises to maximize the device's battery life, and if this is your first mini keyboard, you can expect a significant learning curve. But if you're determined to save some desk space and stay at the top of your game, the BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed is one of the best options we've seen so far.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is an editor for Tom's Guide, covering gaming hardware, security and streaming video. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.