Razer Ornata keyboard combines mechanical and membrane technologies to offer something new

For years, we’ve have a distinct line separating membrane keyboards from those that use mechanical switches. Now, the lunatics at Razer have said, “why not both?”

The Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard is a new $100 device that brings together elements of mechanical and membrane technologies. Razer calls it Mecha-Membrane, and the company claims it keeps only the best of both. That means you get the pleasant and smooth button-pressing action of most modern membrane keyboards as well as the feedback and reliability of the classic mechanical style.

The Ornata is available now on Razer’s website for U.S. customers, and it will ship worldwide in October.

“The Razer Mecha-Membrane is the result of year of research and development that we’ve dedicated to build the best keyboards for gamers,” Razer cofounder and chief executive Min-Liang Tan said in a canned statement. “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 already makes some excellent mechanical keyboards. I love using the Blackwidow for its loud clicks and satisfying actuators, and I’ve never thought that it would feel better if it had mushy keys like a membrane keyboard. But, then again, that was never an option before, so maybe Razer is on to something with the Ornata.