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Best Razer Huntsman Elite Black Friday Deals
The Huntsman Elite knocks it from the park using its new switches, with just a few minor kinks occasionally.
Intuitive Media controls
Excellent wrist rest
Gorgeous light rings
Premium switches, premium price
No USB passthrough, requires a second USB port to power RGBs
Keycaps are meh
As the most recent addition to Razer’s keyboard lineup, the Razer Huntsman Elite aims to bring a fresh height to performance mechanical gaming keyboards. But unlike most of Razer’s keyboards before it, it’s built with something special: a whole new opto-mechanical switch.
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To my fingers, the opto-mechanical switch feels absolutely phenomenal.
As its name suggests, the opto-mechanical switch melds together factors from both optical and mechanical switches: Rather than using metal contact leaves, the opto-mechanical switch registers a keystroke whenever a laser under every switch is interrupted by a blocking fin. Foregoing the metal contacts eliminates switch debounce and greatly extends the lifespan of the switch. Razer claims that all switch is rated to last 100 million keystrokes versus Cherry MX’s “measly” 50 million.
The next nifty part about the opto-mechanical switch is its physical design. Despite being truly a clicky switch, the mechanism used to create the click is totally decoupled from the switch’s actuation mechanism. That is a key feature, since it eliminates the hysteresis problem within the Cherry MX Blue switch and its own clones. Hysteresis occurs when the reset point is situated above the actuation point, which forces an individual to allow key rise further before it could actuate again. This may make rapid tapping difficult.
Read more: Razer BlackWidow X Chroma gaming keyboard review
With the opto-mechanical switch, Razer has reduced the length between your actuation point and the reset indicate almost 0mm, ensuring steady switch behavior in both directions of travel. Each switch also offers its stabilizer bar to lessen key wobble.
Razer’s opto-mechanical switch is practically identical to the Bloody LK Libra switch, revealed earlier this season. Razer explained that they although they share the manufacturing partner, it includes a very stringent QC process to guarantee the switch’s quality. To my fingers, the opto-mechanical switch feels absolutely phenomenal. I’ve always enjoyed typing using the clicky Cherry MX Blues, but its heavy 60g actuation force could be strenuous on the hands. Razer’s switch reduces fatigue with a feathery actuation force of just 45g, but still supply the crisp, tactile feedback I’m so deeply in love with. It also includes a slightly lower-than-standard 3.5mm total travel and actuates at only 1.5mm. Because there’s no hysteresis, gaming and spamming on the Huntsman Elite feels more consistent, natural, and responsive.
The Huntsman Elite has Cherry stabilizers, perhaps as a way to avoid adding any longer noise along with the already loud switches. They’re very responsive. I really do appreciate the relatively silent clacking of the spacebar since I spam it a whole lot in StarCraft.
It’s clear that the brand new switch construction works beautifully, however the stabilizer bar feels as though a gimmick. It doesn’t reduce key wobble all that much in comparison to a typical Cherry MX switch. To try out whether it includes a purpose, I asked a pal to eliminate the stabilizers on a random group of keys. After hammering out a full page of text using the altered keyboard, I was struggling to pinpoint which kinds had the bars removed.
I’ve always appreciated the Razer BlackWidow Chroma’s comfortable wrist rest and I’m glad to start to see the same design being put on the Huntsman Elite. Cupped inside its durable case is a block of soft, pleather-covered foam. If it had been larger, you could put it to use as a pillow. The wrist rest attaches via magnets in the bottom edge of the keyboard and is gripped set up using six rubber feet.
The dial at the very top right corner of the keyboard is another little bit of smart design. It’s pronounced enough to be utilized comfortably, yet subtle enough never to throw off the board’s sleek aesthetics. Its function isn’t limited to just adjusting volume; you can customize it to execute a couple of pre-programmed functions like adjusting zoom in Microsoft Word, changing music track, and even swapping weapons in games. Though I enjoyed the convenience it offered in controlling media, I didn’t think it is practical in games since it required me to take my hand from my mouse.
The Huntsman Elite’s feature list ends at dedicated media controls. It isn’t outfitted with macros or USB passthrough, common feature on high-end gaming keyboards. Having less passthrough is particularly disappointing because the keyboard can hog two USB ports. You truly only need one plugged set for the keyboard to operate; the second port is employed solely to power the light rings on the lower of the chassis and wrist rest. In case you have a good amount of free USB ports, definitely activate both lights; the RGB illumination is even and gorgeous.
The Razer Synapse software used to customize Razer’s products might use a diet. Through the years, Synapse has grown right into a bloated 240MB download. As feature-rich, intuitive, and functional since it is, it’s about as responsive as a sedated sloth. Cycling through the tabs is laggy, plus some settings have a while to react to changes. Having said that, I have to admit that it’s simple to use. I especially like the best way to outline a location on the keyboard and apply a different lights to that region. The brand new Hypershift function temporarily unlocks a second group of functions at the touch of a button, giving me convenient usage of a few custom hotkeys.
I never thought I’d face a clicky switch that could dethrone a Cherry MX Blue, but Razer’s opto-mechanical switch did that, though at reduced price. To arrive at $199.99, it’s an ostentatious option reserved for deep pockets. When you can forego the wrist rest and media controls, you can score the Huntsman for $149.99. Still expensive, I understand, but these switches are simply that good.
Razer Huntsman Elite
The Huntsman Elite knocks it from the park using its new swi