A famous man once said that it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look, and I think that adage applies quite well to the Razer Cynosa Chroma keyboard. The sleek RGB lighting and respected Razer logo make it look like an expensive gaming keyboard, but the fact that it’s a membrane keyboard means you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on it.
We don’t necessarily recommend the membrane over the mostly mechanical options we have in our Black Friday gaming mouse and keyboard hub, but considering the Razer Cynosa Chroma is just $30 (opens in a new tab) right now, it’s hard to pass up cheap and cheerful games.
It’s hard to say no to a mechanical keyboard, that’s true, although it gets a lot easier when you look at the price of some of these things. But Cynosa Chroma isn’t just a cheap last resort. In fact, it holds a spot on our list of the best gaming keyboards (opens in a new tab)not only as the best membrane keyboard available, but also as one of the most affordable gaming keyboards on the market, and at a regular price.
The Cynosa Chroma is fairly basic in terms of features: it doesn’t come with a palm rest, nor does it have dedicated media keys, but it’s spill resistant, without giving away too much about my internal habits, which is a definite plus for me. It also has fully programmable macros via Razer Hypershift software and, that’s probably the biggest hook, supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys, which can be synced to numerous big games and gear from over 30 hardware partners. Ten-key rollover and a two-year manufacturer’s warranty round out the package nicely.
And while mechanical keyboards are generally considered superior, membrane units have one distinct advantage: They’re quiet.
“One of the more positive aspects of the membrane switches on this board, however, is the noise, or lack thereof,” our friends at hardware site TechRadar (opens in a new tab) said in their review. “This keyboard will be a big hit with anyone who enjoys late-night gaming, because unlike its mechanical siblings, the Cynosa Chroma makes little to no noise while still providing a tactile experience.”
I don’t mind noisy keyboards – my main one, a Unicomp Model M, is incredibly noisy, but I can tell you from experience that other people do. If this is a problem you have, this may be the fix you need. And while all you really need is a cheap keyboard that doesn’t suck, here it is: one of our favorites for just $30. If you don’t like having Cherry MX switches handy, this is a very hard deal to beat.