Some prefer the reassuring clickety-clack of a noisy mechanical keyboard. Others crave the quiet spring of membrane keys. Razer’s Ornata keyboard combines the two into something called Mecha-Membrane, and it really is the best of both worlds.

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From the top-down view it looks like any black and green Razer keyboard, but it’s definitely a different beast. The Ornata lurks between the flat membrane keys of the Deathstalker and the full-sized mechanical switches of the BlackWidow. It features half-height key caps for fast finger travel, and underneath the keys is a combination of tech that brings out the best in both mechanical and membrane keys.

By combining a membrane dome with a mechanical switch, Razer’s Ornata delivers the tactile feedback of a mechanical keyboard without nearly as much noise or stress during extended typing or gaming sessions.

What It Is

The Razer Ornata is a full-sized gaming keyboard featuring half-height keys powered by the company’s Mecha-Membrane tech. It comes with a soft and lovely wrist rest (faux leather), and the keys are individually lit to take full advantage of Razer’s Synapse special effects.

TECH SPECS

  • Razer Mecha-Membrane Technology
  • Mid-height keycaps
  • Individually backlit keys
  • Ergonomic wrist rest
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • Fully programmable keys with on the fly macro recording
  • 10-key roll over
  • Dedicated Gaming Mode
  • Anti-ghosting capability for up to 10 simultaneous key presses

What I Did With It

Along with questioning the point of this heading in my hardware review format, I typed. I typed a lot. In fact, I typed just about anything you’ve read from me over the past week using the Razer Ornata. I also changed its LED colors, if you must know.

What I Liked

Click Jumping: The spring of the membrane coupled with that lovely mechanical click and the half-eight keys mean my fingers fly across this thing. It feels like they are being actively propelled from key to key.

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Not Too Quiet, Not Too Loud:

It’s a lovely middle ground, which might sound louder than it is due to the camera’s proximity.

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The Wrist Rest Is Nice: I normally remove a detachable wrist rest and set it aside, but the soft material of the Ornata’s magnetically-attached rest is too comfy to give up. The low-profile keys play a part in that, I am sure.

Lights, Chroma, Action: More and more games and applications are supporting Razer’s customizable lighting effects. Not only can I get custom interactive configurations for my games, but there are also layouts for apps like Photoshop or Premiere, programs I use in my everyday work. It’s functional as well as ornamental.

What I Didn’t Like

The Wrist Rest Slide: As soft and lovely as the wrist rest is, it’s connected to the keyboard via a relatively weak magnet and is prone to shifting.

Love the wrist rest, wish it would stop trying to escape.

Final Thoughts

Both sides of the keyboard crowd, mechanical and membrane, are fiercely loyal to their particular preference. I’ve been walking the line between the two for years. Now there’s a keyboard on that line, the Razer Ornata. Will both sides embrace it, or will they call it an abomination and chase it out of the village with torches? I don’t know, man, but they should definitely give it a try first.