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Razer Goes Membrane With 'Cynosa' Keyboard Line

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We suppose you have to go SKU to SKU with your competition on all fronts, which is apparently Razer’s strategy with its new Cynosa line of keyboards. Simply put, these are membrane keyboards, not mechanical ones, and not even “Mecha-Membrane,” and they’re meant to compete directly with Corsair’s membrane K55.  

There are two Cynosa keyboards in the new line (so far, at least), a standard version and a “pro” version. The only difference is that the pro model sports an underglow feature, which, if you like lots of pretty lights, actually looks tremendous. The underglow offers 24 customizable lighting zones, which we interpret to mean that there are 24 individual, programmable LEDs. Like the K55, it appears that the Cynosa has a translucent plastic backplate that offers quite attractive backlighting, too.

The other feature that the Cynosa line has going for it is extensive programmability. It supports Razer’s Synapse 3 software, which gives you control over virtually endless lighting features (including per-key), and more importantly, allows you to program macros of “unlimited” lengths and assign them to any key.  

The Cynosa keyboards promise 10 key rollover (10KRO) and a 1,000Hz polling rate, and they're billed as "spill-resistant."

Razer describes the membrane switches on the Cynosa as “soft cushioned keys with gaming-grade performance,” which is to say, they’re squishy like all inexpensive membrane keyboards. That is not a virtue when it comes to keyboards, although certainly there’s some segment of the population who might like that quite soft feel over mechanical switches.

In any case, Razer is ceding the price battle to Corsair. The Cynosa Chroma and Cynosa Chroma Pro cost $60 and $80, respectively, whereas the K55 will run you just $50. All three keyboards are currently available, so if you’re in the market for a gaming keyboard that has only membrane switches, you can pick your poison.