Gaming is one of the most common ways people spend hours at a time on their computers, and any gamer can tell you the difference that good peripherals make. From gaming mice to keyboards, there is a huge market for PC accessories built specifically for playing video games, but most of these tend to focus on precision and performance rather than ergonomics.
Our favorite ergonomic gaming keyboard, the Razer Ornata Chroma, splits the difference between a gaming and an ergonomic design right down the middle. First, it’s got a very durable and comfortable padded wrist rest which attaches to the keyboard body via magnets.
This unique magnetic connection precludes the need for any tabs, notches, or other attachment methods that can be awkward to use or can break, although it does shift around slightly during extended periods of use (hardly a huge issue, but something to be aware of).
Secondly, and what’s really unique about the Ornata, is its hybrid key switch design. These “mecha-membrane” keys utilize a soft rubber “dome” membrane like those found on most modern keyboards, yet maintains crisp tactile feedback similar to that of traditional mechanical key switches.
It’s not quite as clicky and precise-feeling as a true mechanical (nor is it nearly as loud, thankfully), but it works well, and the soft membrane and mid-rise key height are very comfortable to use.
People have strong opinions about mechanical versus membrane keyboards, but the bottom line here is that the Ornata’s mecha-membrane switch design strikes an excellent balance between the two. The keys are easy on the fingers yet clicky and responsive— a must for accurate inputs while gaming — and the keyboard also features anti-ghosting technology, which means that rapid key presses (and up to 10 simultaneous presses) will be read accurately and in order.
You’ve probably noticed that the Ornata looks more or less like a regular keyboard. Razer didn’t try to re-invent the wheel here, and this is good for gaming, as the standard layout means that the keys are right where your fingers remember them (no need to completely re-learn all or your hotkeys and macros). But this trade-off means that the Ornata is not ideal for people who specifically need something to alleviate wrist pain — gamers with carpal tunnel or other strain injuries would be better served with something like the Sculpt.
Pros: Soft padded wrist rest, mecha-membrane hybrid switch design is easy on the fingers yet tactile and precise, anti-ghosting keys for accurate simultaneous inputs, and Razer’s RGB Chroma backlighting looks great
Cons: Not the best ergonomics for users suffering from wrist pain, and the magnetic wrist rest attachment has a tendency to shift during extended use
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