A Mecha-membrane treat for your eyes and fingers.
- Manufacturer: Razer
- Model: Ornata V2
- Type: Wired Hybrid Keyboard
- Reviewed on: PC
- Supplied by: Razer
I have forever been torn between the sharp satisfying click of a mechanical keyboard and the soft comfort of typing on a low profile Membrane keyboard. The Razer Ornata is where the two collide in a beautiful, Chroma lit fantasy.
The Ornata V2 is Razer’s solution to the two ends of the spectrum, and in my opinion, it really pays off. Fitted with Razer’s own Mecha-membrane switches, the Ornata V2 combines the full comfort of a soft membrane switch with the sharp satisfying click of a mechanical board.
This, in theory, would seem pointless to some, as many would argue that you could just buy a mechanical keyboard, but there are some advantages to a membrane board that could be the selling point to some depending on their priorities and use case.
One benefit I am fond of is the RGB available with membrane keyboards. With a mechanical key, generally, the LED will fire out from one direction and use a clear case to disperse around the key. With a membrane, there is a soft diffused glow that fully surrounds the keys and makes for a stunningly even look. This a completely subjective advantage to membrane keyboards. I value the appearance of my set up nearly as much as its function. Aesthetically, the membrane provides a look that mechanical switches can not.
Next on my list of pros is the short keycaps. They are more in line with what you will find on common keyboards rather than the huge keys found on Mechanical gaming keyboards. I love my big chunky keycaps just as much as any gamer, but there is a certain comfort and convenience in these shorter caps. I feel like my fingers find the right key far more accurately on the Ornata V2’s short keys than my usual slew of Mechanical boards with huge keycaps.
All of the Ornata’s satisfaction factor is provided by a small metal insert that has been designed into the switch, with the sole purpose of creating the clicky feedback so many love. The click itself is a fair amount quieter and softer than something like G-roamer clicky would be, but it still has a nice audible click. The click can be inconsistent at times depending on the keys you are pressing; The larger keys like the spacebar and the enter key do not have the same feel as the rest of the board. And, with some use, I feel that my alphabetical keys have lost some of their snap compared to my number pad that sees nearly no use.
This hasn’t taken away from its performance at all, I still get a good click noise and a satisfying amount of feedback from each press.
Overall I’m a fan of the Mecha-membrane key Razer has on the Ornata V2; they are satisfying to type on and still feel accurate and precise without feeling hard or stiff.
The Ornata V2 also features fully programmable keys in Game mode, where you can customize your key functions to how you play. I personally use Gamemode to deactivate the Windows key and the caps lock, because I am absolutely terrible for miss-presses in games.
There is also a set of 3 media keys and a media scroll wheel that can be customized. I have left them as standard because I feel like it is the best use for them. There are individual controls for play/pause, skip and volume, the scroll wheel, in particular, has a pretty cool preset that dims and brightens as you adjust the volume and when it reaches mute it will illuminate red.
The design of the Ornata is nice and subtle. Though there is a very small amount of border to the Ornata V2 it is on the thicker side when it comes to its height. The outer edges are wedged all around with a slight gloss bevel around the top edge. The only other stand out design aspect is the notch that runs along the bottom mid-section of the board. This gives the board a slightly lifted look and avoids it looking like a lump sat on your desk. It also acts to underline that extremely minimal and subtle Razer branding that is etched in gloss on the front.
This same cutout persists onto the included, magnetically attached, plush memory foam wrist rest, but rather than a subtle Razer text logo, the wrist rest has an embossed Razer tri logo right in the centre of the leatherette.
The overall construction is matt black textured plastic: I am not a huge fan of this style of plastic as it’s usually used in budget products due to its resistance to scratches and wear and tear. The plastic itself feels fairly sturdy and solid though there is a slight amount of flex in the board.
The bottom of the board features four thick rubber feet that keep the board perfectly planted and slide free. Furthermore, there are a couple of two-step stands on the back of the board to achieve more comfortable elevations and angles.
The last feature bodywise on the Ornata V2s menu is a routable cable. Though the braided USB cable is non-detachable, Razer has designed the Ornata V2 with three separate channels to route the cable. This will allow your cable to exit the board from the left, right or centre of the back. The routing was a brilliant idea, and it makes for a useful bit of customization that can really clean up the aesthetic of your setup.
Now for my absolute favourite part of this keyboard, that is more of a Synapse feature but is compatible with the Ornata V2. The Streamer Companion app.
Anyone who has read a few of my reviews knows that I am an avid streamer and I am always on the hunt for the best hardware for streamers. The streamer companion app allows you to bypass the Chroma lighting effects and make your keyboard reactive to stream events. I currently have mine set up to glow a stunning Magenta as standard, but when I get a follow it will immediately turn into a spectrum wave. When someone subscribes it will illuminate with a spectrum wheel, donations of Bits will trigger a purple starlight effect, and when I get raided it pulses red.
This is an absolutely stellar idea on Razors behalf, for all the streamers who have a setup cam or even a control cam it adds such a wicked bit of eye candy. Bridging the interaction gap from viewer to streamer, your viewers can now have a physical effect on your setup.
If you are not a streamer on the other hand the Chroma studio will keep you more than happy with its slew of RGB effects. The chroma studio allows you to layer effects on to individual parts of your peripherals similar to how you would use layers in a photo editing software.
You can use as many effects as you want on as many parts as you want, I personally for example had the F keys on my Ornata set to a rainbow wave where the rest of my keyboard was set to a static blue. Layered on top of it all I had a reactive water droplet effect meaning that every keystroke would send out a shockwave of colour traveling across the board.
Chroma studio is by far one of the most advanced and customizable RGB suites i have used.
All in all the Ornata V2 is the perfect compromise between mechanical and membrane.
It retains the satisfaction and precision of a mechanical while having all of the pros of as membrane, including its price: The Ornata V2 is only £99.99 directly from Razer.
Pack all of that in with Chroma RGB providing a stunning colourful glow it’s a steal. The fact the Ornata V2 is also compatible with the streamer companion app is a huge bonus in my books, it means you can’t utilise flashy Chroma effects,but it allows your chat to be able to interact with you in a way they wouldn’t have before.