Razer has been a longtime champion of its personal mechanical switches – seen in everything from desktop keyboards to laptops and even iPad covers – however the Huntsman and Huntsman Elite introduces the corporate’s first Optomechanical change. That’s a mouthful to make certain, and the best way Razer’s new key change blends collectively mechanical components with freaking lasers is breathtakingly complicated, however the one factor you actually need to know is that this keyboard is insanely fast.
We’ve fairly actually by no means typed faster on one other keyboard – and past that, the Razer Huntsman Elite has additionally delivered one of the best typing expertise we’ve ever skilled.
Pricing and availability
All of that velocity comes with a whiplash-inducing $199 (£199, AU$339) value for the Razer Huntsman Elite we’re reviewing right here. Should you undoubtedly have your eye set on Razer Optomechanical switches, you’ll additionally discover them on the lower-end Huntsman keyboard that omits the media shortcut buttons and an included palm relaxation for $149 (£149, AU$249).
The Razer Huntsman Elite’s most direct competitor in value and velocity is the $199 (£184, AU$279) Corsair K95 RGB Platinum. It may be outfitted with Cherry MX Pace Silver switches, which mainly makes it the quickest purely mechanical keyboard available on the market.
Should you’re in search of a extra inexpensive, however nonetheless top-end keyboard, look to the $179 (£159, AU$279) Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum. Sadly, going this route leaves you with simply tactile Romer-G switches that aren’t practically as fast as both of its two rivals.
Regardless of the Huntsman Elite’s larger-than-life aspirations, it’s really Razer’s smallest keyboard but due to it being the corporate’s first frameless design. All of Razer’s different keyboards so far have include a thick plastic fairing, however the Huntsman Elite ditches that for a less complicated design.
Floating keycaps hover over a jet black anodized aluminum keyboard deck, following within the custom of different frameless keyboards such because the Logitech G513 and HyperX Alloy Elite RGB. The place the design deviates is Razer sees everybody else’s lightbars and ups the ante with observe lighting throughout the perimeter of its keyboard. This contains – in the end – an RGB lit palm relaxation!
As ridiculously excessive as this may look, you received’t discover one other keyboard with extra RGB lighting. As ever, Razer is a grasp on this discipline with Chroma including a vibrant, but delicate illumination to each key, button and a singular underneath glow impact due to the 360-degree observe lighting.
The Razer Huntsman additionally options top-of-the-line units of media keys with three easy buttons for play/rewind and quick ahead together with a quantity wheel that includes a mute button in its middle.
The quantity wheel is the true deal with right here because it hangs partially off the sting for straightforward changes. As quickly as you begin transferring it, the lighting inside its inside ring adjustments to a pure white that will increase in depth as you elevate the amount. We simply want the amount wheel would click on bodily and audibly or simply flip with a clean scrolling movement, fairly than be someplace in between.
Razer additionally cleverly locations the caps locks and different indicator lighting proper above the arrow keys, an space of useless area that usually goes underutilized.
Though the palm relaxation gives plushy assist for our palms, we’re not loopy concerning the steel edges surrounding the palm relaxation. Should you’re wrists have a tendency to hold off and beneath the sting of your desk – which isn’t nice, ergonomically talking, by the best way – you’ll really feel this steel edge chopping into you on a regular basis.
Razer isn’t the primary peripheral maker to come back out with an optical change keyboard – the Aorus K9 Optical and Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum beat it to the punch – however the Optomechanical change has a singular really feel and is considerably quicker than others we’ve used prior to now.
Should you pull of any of the Huntsman Elite’s keycaps, you’ll discover a strange-looking purple change beneath.
There’s the same old plus-shaped peg within the center, however surrounding it’s a field with branches related to a steel bar that appears prefer it was pulled off of a takeout field. This whole top-section is there to supply a mechanical really feel as the underside half of the important thing change is only a spring, hole area and the lasers that drive this optical change.
Conventional mechanical keyboard switches sometimes backside out in opposition to a steel (often gold) contact level to create a whole electrical circuit and inform your laptop when to kind out a personality. Razer Optomechanical change fires the identical command besides it makes use of a beam of sunshine to take action, which is inherently quicker due to the velocity of sunshine being 186,000 miles-per-second.
Razer additionally modeled the mechanical features of its new key change after one of the best qualities of its rivals. This contains the 45g actuation power of Cherry MX Reds combined with the clicky suggestions of Cherry MX Blue and Razer Inexperienced switches. The Optomechanical change additionally has a three.5mm journey distance and 1.5mm actuation level that’s practically as little as that of Cherry MX Pace Silver.
Razer’s Optomechanical change may sound like a terrifying chimera on paper, however it all works superbly in observe. The mix of optical switches and a brief mechanical actuation quantities to our swiftest typing expertise but. All of the whereas the Optomechanical change delivers a satisfyingly tactile and audible click on typically omitted on the quickest keyboards.
This editor particularly isn’t afraid to confess he varieties at a laughably sluggish phrases per minute, however the Razer Huntsman Elite makes us as if we're typing virtually twice as quick. At first it might take some getting used to and there can be loads of unintended key presses, however when you get the cling of its velocity you’ll probably additionally understand you’re typing quicker than ever as nicely.
All of this velocity is available in much more useful for video games, after all. First-person shooters, and particularly Mirror’s Edge, performs like a dream with the Huntsman Elite. The keyboard is extremely enjoyable to make use of when taking part in Hammond, the brand new Wrecking Ball character in Overwatch, to make completely round demise cyclones round seize factors.
In line with Razer, the Optomechanical change actuates 30% quicker than a conventional clicky mechanical change. Sturdiness can be mentioned to be doubled and the Huntsman Elite ought to final by means of 100 million clicks.
One down facet of this optical system is each single key produces its personal laser. Now, 104 particular person beams of sunshine, on high of all of the Huntsman Elite RGBs, makes use of up a whole lot of power and it requires two USB ports always to work accurately.
Overlook about Cherry MX Pace or every other keyboard change, Razer’s Optomechanical switches are simply the quickest keyboard switches we’ve ever typed on. In the meantime, the Razer Huntsman Elite is the closest factor we’ve seen to a wonderfully laid out keyboard.
In fact, it’s not utterly good because the keyboard requires a ton of power and shedding two USB ports is a serious inconvenience. We additionally really feel Razer ought to barely tweak the ergonomics of the palm relaxation. To not point out, $199 (£199, AU$339) is an extremely steep asking value for even a keyboard as superb as this.
That mentioned, we’d personally would splurge sooner on a Huntsman Elite than any of the opposite premium, top-shelf peripherals. The Optomechanical change is solely unbelievable. Razer may need got down to construct the world’s quickest gaming keyboard, however the Huntsman Elite additionally delivers on one of the best typing expertise you’ll find right this moment.