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Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed hits a sweet spot for gaming and productivity: Hands-on

Eight additional keys make a huge difference.

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Josh Goldman/CNET

Smaller than the 80% Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless but bigger than the 60% Razer Huntsman Mini, the 65% Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed gaming keyboard frees up precious desk space without slowing down your workflow. It has just eight additional keys compared to the Huntsman Mini, but they make a huge difference when it comes to productivity and four of them double as macro keys when gaming.

The $180 keyboard (£180, AU$330) is available with Razer's clicky, tactile Green switches or linear Yellow mechanical switches. The latter is what I tested and is what you should get if you want quiet while you type. Razer even added silicon sound dampeners to make the Yellow switches quieter while keeping performance fast and smooth. Each key is topped with a durable double-shot ABS keycap and their walls are fairly thick so they don't feel flimsy. 

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Second-layer key functions are labeled on the sides of the keycaps.

Josh Goldman/CNET

If you spend your non-gaming hours navigating documents and spreadsheets, the additional direct access to navigation keys is a tremendous help without taking up much more space. The function keys, as well as other actions like media controls, backlight brightness and Game and Macro modes, are preprogrammed to specific keys as secondary commands. Labels on the fronts of the keycaps let you know what does what. 

You can also use the company's Synapse 3 software to remap any key, program the per-key RGB lighting and save up to five profiles to the keyboard's onboard memory. On-the-fly macro recording is also available.

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The keyboard has Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless but can also be used wired via its USB-C port. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

While the keyboard's size gives you more room, its double wireless lets you ditch your keyboard cable, too. A switch on the back can be toggled to Bluetooth or 2.4GHz HyperSpeed Wireless. With Bluetooth you can connect to up to three devices -- perfect if you need to connect to multiple computers or a tablet or phone. You can also use the 2.4GHz USB-A adapter that stores on the bottom of the keyboard. 

The adapter has multidevice support, too, so you can use one adapter to pair to the keyboard and a mouse. In fact, paired with the travel-friendly Orochi V2 mouse, you've got a nice plug-and-play wireless setup for gaming and work on the go. 

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Dongle storage is on the bottom.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed has a nice heft to it for its compact size. The body is mostly plastic but it does have an aluminum top plate under the keys. Rubber pads keep the keyboard from sliding around on your desk and two sets of flip-down feet give you three typing angles to choose from.

There are few wireless mechanical gaming keyboards this size and even fewer -- if any -- that offer Bluetooth and lag-free 2.4GHz wireless. That helps justify the higher price of the BlackWidow V3 Min HyperSpeed. It's also solidly built and is comfortable for typing and smooth and fast for gaming. You are limited to just the two key switches so if you want a tactile switch without the clicky sound, you're out of luck for the moment. Switch choices aside, if you're in search of a great little wireless mechanical gaming keyboard that can also be your daily driver for work, you've found it.