If you’re like me, then you hate the idea of wearing a full face mask or air purifier while you ride. They always seem to fog up and make breathing difficult, but what if there was a mask that didn’t have those issues?
The Razer Zephyr Mask is a lightweight and breathable air purifier that doesn’t fog up. Plus, it comes with all of the features that you would expect from a Razer product, such as excellent durability.
Razer, the gaming hardware giant, has just released its newest product: the Razer Zephyr. Marketed as a “premium quality” air purifier that can be used for everyday activities, it has been making waves in the online community.
Below is the review of this hotly anticipated product.
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Did Razer hit another home run with the Zephyr? Read on to find out!
Products like the Zephyr invite a lot of scrutiny like do people plan to wear masks in public long-term, or is this a cash grab?
How well does it work? Is there anything a big block of plastic can do that an approved N95 mask cannot?
These are all fair questions when a company without a history of making medical technology develops and launches a $100 mask, plus the cost of refills.
As I look back on my week using the Zephyr, I have mixed feelings. Despite its hefty weight and short battery life, the Zephyr doesn’t offer significant extra protection over what most Americans wear today against COVID-19 and future pandemics. As a casual masking tool, it is somewhat effective on paper and offers some advantages over disposable N95 masks.
Structure of Razer Zephyr
Razer Zephyr is a hybrid face shield and filtered mask. Approximately from ear to ear, the hard plastic covering measures 7.16 by 3.5 by 3.94 inches (WDH). A detachable silicone seal inside the mask fits snugly around your nose and mouth.
It is likely that the removable seal is not 100 percent airtight, even though you are protected by the outer hard plastic mask and the inner silicone mask.
Three large holes in the mask let air in through replaceable N95-quality filters. Fans pull a cool breeze into two of those filtered air holes, the big round circles popping out of the side of the mask.
Two fan speeds are available: a mild, quiet 4,200RPM or a loud, yet soothing 6,200RPM. Their rings of LED lighting provide an unmistakable reminder of their Razer heritage, no matter what speed they run.
Over a typical N95 mask, the clear face covering is the most useful upgrade. Your nose and mouth are covered by a transparent central part of the mask, so people can see the shape of your mouth and your changing facial expressions as you speak.
The inner chamber can be illuminated with Razer’s “Chroma” RGB lighting, which makes it easier for people to see your mouth. The Zephyr’s cavernous interior doesn’t make the change a revelation, though: Depending on your face shape, it can obscure your mouth.
Power Consumption Of Razer Zephyr
When you wear the Zephyr for a long period of time, the battery life can be an issue. When the RGB lighting is on and the fans are on high, Razer estimates the battery will last about 3.5 hours.
When the lighting is off and the fans are on low, the battery should last about 8 hours. Even if the battery runs out, the Zephyr mask still protects you, but without the fans and lights, it loses a lot of its appeal.
When the battery is running low, an LED indicator on the back of the mask will turn red, and a notification will appear on the app.
At the bottom of the mask, there is a USB-C port that charges the Zephyr. A mid-session top-off isn’t really feasible because it takes five hours to fully recharge (This is the type of device that requires fast charging).
How To Change The RGB Lighting of Razer Zephyr?
The RGB lighting of the Zephyr is very impressive. You can easily change the color and pattern of the lights using the Razer wear app for iOS and Android.
After pairing via Bluetooth, the app has a few toggles to control the fans, the inner lighting around your mouth, and the outer lighting around the fans. It doesn’t have as many lighting options as a Razer keyboard like the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog, but you can choose your own shade from the full RGB spectrum.
There are also a few lighting patterns to choose from, including “breathing,” which slowly fades the colors in and out; “static,” which keeps the colors on one shade; “pulse,” where the colors slowly change shades; and “wave,” where the colors radiate outward.
Does Razer Zephyr Really Work?
The Razer Zephyr is a very well-designed product, and it’s clear that a lot of thought went into its design and features. However, it’s not perfect.
That’s the biggest question and one we can’t verify. As far as face coverings go, the Zephyr is a good choice. In terms of fit, the silicone padding creates as good a seal as a properly adjusted disposable N95 mask.
Despite this, given that it can be easily removed, it’s not likely to be airtight. Razer claims that the proprietary filters for the mask filter at least 95 percent of particles larger than 0.3 microns. Bacteria filtration efficiency (BFE) has also been rated at 99 percent for the filters.
Why Should You Buy Razer Zephyr?
In practical terms, the Razer Zephyr is too expensive and too large to be practical for most people. It may make wearing masks all day, inside and out, a little more comfortable. However, that comfort comes at a very high price compared to reusable cloth or disposable N95 masks. Unlike NIOSH-approved disposable N95 masks, there are questions about its effectiveness.
Even though it’s premature to suggest it, to me the Zephyr is an artifact of a not-so-distant past when we feared wearing masks all the time would be the norm.