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Exploring Razer's Ultimate Keyboard Upgrade Kit

Customize Those Keys

Christopher Coke Posted:
Hardware 0

Today, Razer announced its new line of keyboard customization options, including new keycaps, cables, palm rests, and a brand new Phantom Edition of its Blackwidow V3 Hyperspeed. Looking for a taste of the sweet keyboard customization taking over YouTube? This might be a fine place to start. Let’s take a closer look.


Razer PBT Keycap Upgrade Set

  • Current Price: $29.99
  • Color Options: Quartz Pink, Mercury White, Razer Green, Classic Black
  • What’s included: 120 keycaps, optical/mechanical stabilizers, keycap removal tool

Razer PBT Keycap + Coiled Cable Upgrade Set

  • Current Price: $49.99
  • Color Options: Quartz Pink, Mercury White, Razer Green, Classic Black
  • What’s included: 120 keycaps, optical/mechanical stabilizers, keycap removal tool, USB-C to USB-A Cable

Razer Phantom Keycap Upgrade Set

  • Current Price: $34.99
  • Color Options: Black, White
  • What’s included: 128 keycaps, optical/mechanical stabilizers, keycap removal tool

Ergonomic Wrist Rest 

  • Current Price: $19.99
  • Sizes: 
    • Mini: 292.5 x 89.9 mm
    • Tenkeyless 356.1 x 89.9 mm 
    • Full-sized: 444.5 x 90 mm
  • Surface: Leatherette
  • Inner: Memory Foam

Ergonomic Wrist Rest Pro

  • Current Price: $34.99
  • Sizes: Full-sized: 444.5 x 90 mm
  • Surface: Heat Transfer Fabric
  • Inner: Cooling-gel Infused Memory Foam

Ergonomic Wrist Rest Pro

  • Current Price: $34.99

Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed Phantom Edition

  • Current Price: $199
  • Layout: 65%
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz Wireless, USB-C

If you’ve followed my reviews, you probably already know that I’m deep into the mechanical keyboard hobby. Since 2015, I’ve been trying as many different mechanical keyboards as I can get my hands on, and for about the last year and a half, I’ve been building custom keyboards and customizing just about every keyboard you see reviewed here. My current collection sits somewhere around 60 keyboards with around 10 being fully custom builds. 

So, when Razer reached out about its “Ultimate Keyboard Upgrade Kit,” it was pretty much an instant yes, send it now, don’t wait, in fact send two kind of situation (no, they didn’t actually send two). While I’m not sure if there will indeed by a “kit” available for purchase, the company is adding a number of key customization options to its line-up. Let’s go through them one by one.

Razer PBT Keycap and Coiled Cables 

Razer already offered a selection of PBT keycaps, but will now be expanding them to include coiled, braided cables, as well. The available colors are Mercury White, Classic Black, Razer Green, and Quartz Pink. Each of these sets is made from doubleshot PBT, which means the legends are formed from a second piece of plastic and won’t chip or fade over time, and since the legends are translucent, RGB lighting illuminates them for typing in the dark. The material, PBT, is denser than traditional ABS plastic keycaps and won’t shine with extended use. The walls are thick and there’s a nice texture on their surface.  Each set also includes 120 keycaps, so they'll work with most other standard-sized keycaps. They’re really pretty excellent for the $29.99 standalone price or $49.99 with the coiled cable.

The package included the coiled cable is more expensive but gives you a replacement cable modeled after the custom builds taking over YouTube and Reddit right now. The braiding is nice and is color-matched to the set you bought. As someone who owns multiple custom cables, I can see what they were going for but there’s still room for improvement. The coils are small the whole cable and because of how it’s packaged (wound in a circle), they don’t lay flat. There’s also too much length between the keyboard and the coil.

Nitpicks? Maybe. The cable is still an upgrade from the usual, rubberized one included in the box. But, if you’re looking for a cheap way out of an expensive custom, we’re not quite there yet. 

Razer Phantom Keycaps: A New Kind of Pudding

In addition to its normal PBT keycaps, Razer will also be offering its own take on puddings. Pudding keycaps, if you’re not familiar, are translucent on the bottom half, allowing RGB to shine through much more brightly. Razer’s Phantom keycaps apply the same principle but with a bit more frosting on the translucent portion, giving them a more diffused, phantom look. 

I’ve bought multiple sets of pudding keycaps and virtually all of them are the same. These are the first keycaps in that style that feel unique (outside of G.Skill’s Crystal Crown keycaps, which I haven’t tried). They’re made of ABS plastic for better shine-through but they still have fairly thick walls and feel good under the finger. Installing them was more difficult, however, because the legends are almost invisible without any backlighting. Once they’re installed, they definitely take RGB backlighting to the next level. 

Razer Ergonomic Wrist Rests 

It doesn’t stop with keycaps. Razer also has multiple wrist rests to match its different sizes of keyboard. It will offer standard versions in Mini, TKL, and full-size sizes for $19.99 a piece and a Pro version that is only available in full-size for $34.99. The standard wrist rest, which I was sent, is comfortable and works well. It features a PU leather upper with memory foam inside. The Pro version features a heat-transfer fabric top with gel-infused memory foam underneath. I wasn’t able to test the Pro version, but leather wrist rests can cause sweating if you game in a hot environment whereas fabric isn’t as susceptible to that. My office is usually around 75 degrees and sweating wasn’t an issue for me even with the standard rests. 

Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed Phantom Edition

Finally, in celebration of its new line-up of customization options, Razer is also launching a new version of its Blackwidow V3 Mini called the Phantom Edition. This version will retail for $20 more than the standard V3 Mini at $199. I reviewed this keyboard for IGN and found it to be excellent, if quite expensive. The form factor is an excellent middle-ground between functionality and compactness. It also features Razer’s Hyperspeed wireless technology for wireless performance that competes with wired gaming keyboards. 

The new Phantom Edition is much more of an eye-catcher. The RGB was already bright but is much more so thanks to the translucent bottoms of the Phantom Black keycaps. Functionally, it’s the same keyboard it was before but looks a lot better if you’re a fan of RGB lighting effects. If you know you want the Phantom keycaps and also the keyboard, buying this edition also saves $15 from buying them separately.

Final Thoughts

All told, this is a good array of option to help newcomers to keyboard customization give their setup a bit of unique flair. The PBT keycaps are high quality and will work on more than just Razer keyboards, too, so if you’re looking for a set of shine-through keycaps that won’t cost an arm and a leg, they’re a solid option that won’t disappoint. I hope Razer continues to expand its line-up with more keycap and cable options, but this is a welcome addition to its array of products.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight