Razer Unveils Ornata Chroma Keyboard With Clicktastic Mecha-Membrane Switches

Are you a mechanical keyboard purist that demands the lightning-fast, unmistakable response of true switch actuation? Do your digits sometimes feel the fatigue of battle after protracted gaming beat-downs? Or do you prefer the cushy, forgiving feel of a membrane key switch but wish they had just a be more tactile feedback and key travel to help keep your bearings and pace? Razer may have just launched what could offer the best of both worlds with its new Razer Ornata and Ornata Chroma keyboards. 
Razer Ornata Chroma
PC gaming systems and peripherals company Razer has announced the Razer Ornata line of gaming keyboards this weekend and with it the company has also unveiled a new type of key switch technology dubbed "Mecha-Membrane." Just like it sounds, Mecha-Membrane switches are built with rubber dome membrane technology as the foundation but also incorporate a hybrid mechanical design. This design, Razer claims, offers the most desirable traits of a rubber membrane switch (cushy and easy on your fast and furious digits) along with a "crisp tactile click" with each keystroke. How is this achieved all in one switch? Let's have a look inside a Mecha-Membrane key switch... 

mecha membrane switch
Mecha-Membrane Key Switch In Action

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Here we see a slightly taller membrane dome, coupled with a mechanical resistance actuator of sorts (right side). When a key is pressed, the membrane switch provides a bit more bounce and cushion (than a full mechanical switch), while the mechanical actuator on the right side provides tactility and an audible click. Word is it's very clicky-sounding as well, so if you're in an environment where peace and quiet are key (no pun intended), this may or may not be for you. 
Razer Ornata Chroma Top View

Regardless, this is a refreshing new take on keyboard technology to be sure and it's nice to have something truly unique emerge in a product space so saturated with me-too type products. Razer boasts, "The Razer Mecha-Membrane is the result of years of research and development that we’ve dedicated to build the best keyboards for gamers,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO “When we moved to our own Razer Mechanical Switches in our production lines, we were excited to learn from real-use scenarios and apply that knowledge to perfect other technologies. The Razer Ornata is a great example of how our engineers can use feedback to innovate something truly amazing for gamers, in this case a solution that melds two seemingly disparate keyboard technologies for a phenomenal experience.”
Razer Ornata Chroma No Wrist Rest

The Razer Ornata Chroma comes with individually backlit keys with Razer Chroma technology that offers customizable lighting features and a choice of 16.8 million colors to dial-in across the typing deck as you wish. Razer Chroma lighting profiles are offered in popular game titles like Overwatch, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and Blade and Soul, to name just a few. The profiles can assist with tutorials or signal in-game action requirements etc. 

Razer also will offer a Ornata standard version without Chrome effects and standard green monochrome backlighting...

Razer Ornata Top View

Also bundled with Ornata keyboards, Razer will include a magnetically attached wrist rest that is easily removable and re-attachable, depending on user space requirements and preference. 

The Razer Ornata Chroma and Razer Ornata are available for pre-order now at RazerStore.com for a reasonable $99 MSRP. We will be requesting a unit post-haste for review, so stay tuned.