When it comes to looking for a keyboard it is always down to the price the majority of the time, can I afford it, is it worth it, then we check out its specifications, features, and whatnot. Sometimes we go for the Brand, Corsair, Steelseries, Razer, Logitech, HyperX just to name a few. Then you have cheap brands, unknown brands, which might be good or might be total rubbish, it is a risk you take when you buy from a brand you do not know.
For me its come to light that I have an unhealthy obsession with Razer, I have the following peripherals so far;
- The Huntsman
- The Huntsman Elite
- Blackwidow V2
- and the Cynosa
- Naga Trinity
- Naga Chroma
- Naga Hex V2
- Razer Hammerhead
- Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
- Razer Electra V2
- Razer Man O’War
Then I have a plethora of mouse mats, including the RGB versions as well.
So as you can see I have obtained plenty of Razer Products over the years and my main set up is the Razer Huntsman Elite, Razer Trinity and Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma, then I use the SteelSeries Arctis 7 and the Creative Super X-FI Air as headsets. I can never tell you what to purchase or how much to spend, I can never tell you spending more on a preferred brand is ludicrous even if there are only slight changes compared to a cheaper brand, but I can tell you, Razer Make GOOD SHIZ NIZ.
Before I got myself the new Razer Huntsman Elite I was using the Razer Huntsman, it is a great keyboard, but it lacked some features the elite version has, media keys and most of all a wrist rest, so I saved my money and when I had enough £199.99 I upgraded.
Heading to the local superstore to pick one up, they are easy to spot, green and black packaging, the common colours used for all Razer products apart from their special editions. By using specific colours it helps Razer to define themselves on a crowded shelf along with there 3 headed serpent logo.
The store even had one on display so you can play with the keyboard and check out the new Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch which is light and clicky. If you want to know more about how this switch works you can find out here. Personally, I think it is amazing, and possibly one of Razers best switches ever made, a switch I hope they incorporate more variations.
If you ended up in a store with just the boxes on display don’t fret, as the packaging has a hole in it, this allows you to depress a few keys, listen to the sound of the key, and feel them under finger and thumb. The packaging also showcases the whole keyboard on the front in all its RGB goodness. On the back, Razer Covers some primary features which include the following;
- Multifunction digital dial
- Unrivaled durability
- Ergonomic wrist rest
- and more about the Opto Switch.
Now I said this below in my original review of the Huntsmans when it came to talking about the Opto Switch and this has not changed.
I shall call it Light Beam Technology, and I can tell you now the keys do feel lighter to use compared to the Blackwidow switch I was using. Just depressing them, it just feels that the keys require less pressure to create an action and they are clicky and louder. The question is do I like them? well, the answer is yes and no. I really like the actuation force required to activate a key it is super light, one of the lightest keys I have ever used, however, the clicky sound is a bit too loud and can be clearly heard when streaming, so might not be the best keyboard key for streamers that have watchers that complain about keyboard sounds.
Here is a video of the sound test recorded with the Samsung Galaxy S9
I will be using this keyboard a lot so the Elite Huntsman Aluminum Chassis is really going to help with durability while offering good design, little to no flex and you could say futureproof, as breaking this is going to be rather hard. Unless my little boy gets a hold of it, as it seems babies can break, the unbreakable.
The addition of media keys allows you to play/pause, rewind or fast forward digital media, while the multi-functional dial can control volume among other things. The multi-functional dial feels odd, it does not have a smooth flow to it or have a nice tactile bump like Razer Mice wheels do, it has something in-between, I would have prefered the tactile bump personally.
Something I moaned about in the original was the lack of wrist rest, even a none LED version like on the Black Widow V2 would have been acceptable. Happy days as now the Elite version of the Huntsman comes with one not only that, but it has RGB lighting flowing around it, it is stunning.
The RGB not only flows around the wrist rest but all around the keyboard as well, wrapping it in a cuddle of RGB love. To add to the RGB cuddle of love every single key in individual lite with RGB lighting with a total of 16.8 million customizable colour options, that is a lot of colour variations to play with during your spare time. You can even create your own animations through Razer Synapse, for example, I made the Razer wheel effect wrap around all my Razer products so the effect animates at the same time around my Huntsmans, Goliath Mouse Mat, and Razer Trinity.
When it comes to installing this new keyboard everything is done via Razer Synapse 3 which is currently in beta, and plug the keyboard into two of your spare USB ports. Yes, you read that right, this keyboard requires two USB Ports to work due to the amount of power the keyboard needs to run the RGB lighting and its own Opto switches.
How does it feel to use?
Well, the first thing I was using it for was typing out this review, using photoshop and then playing some Devil May Cry 5, some Total War Warhammer 2 and then moving over to Ni no Kuni 2. The simple answer here is, the keyboard is a charm to work with, apart from the clicky sounds when I stream my gaming. For typing it is quick and responsive, one of the quickest keyboards I have used. The actuation force required to create an action is little to nothing, compared to the Blackwidow, these new keys from Razer are much better.
Now no keyboard is for everyone and this can be said for this one, it is mechanical, has RGB lighting and is rather loud, it also has system software, and not everyone likes software.
Within the software aka Razer Synapse you can control the RGB lighting as well as set onboard profiles, yes, this keyboard has a small amount of memory that allows it to remember pre-set configurations when you want to use the keyboard without Razer Synapse or on another system.
Then you have all the RGB Chroma effects available which include the following;
- Ambient Awareness
- Audio Meter
- Spectrum Cycling
We also have Chroma Advanced Effects which allow you to create your own effects and assign them to a profile. The last option is brightness controls and with the ability to turn to lights off when the screen is off or the keyboard is idle. Everything is then saved to either the hybrid onboard memory allowing you to take your Razer Devices anywhere and have access to your prefered profiles or to save them to the cloud. You can also create macros and assign them to any key, and with Razer Hypershift, you can unlock a secondary set of functions on top of the existing button control.
The keyboard itself is solid in construction with a very solid design, scoring 12 rubber feet underneath to help the keyboard not move when in use. As with all keyboards you also get keyboard legs that offer two levels of height. Razer has also opted to use a braided cable and a non-gold plated USB plug, everything about this keyboard shines quality.
Boring Tech Specs
- Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch with 45 G actuation force
- 100 million keystroke lifespan
- Chroma backlighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
- Underglow lighting with 38 customization zones
- Ergonomic Wrist Rest with 20 customization zones underglow
- Multi-functional digital dial
- Dedicated media controls
- Hybrid onboard storage – up to 5 profiles
- Razer Synapse 3 enabled
- Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
- 10 key roll-over with anti-ghosting
- Gaming mode option
- Braided Fiber Cable
- 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
- Aluminum matte top plate
- Compatible with Xbox One for basic input
This keyboard is by far Razer Finest Keyboard ever created kicking to bee’s knees out of all its competitors, nothing I have reviewed yet has come anywhere near the quality, design, construction, RGB Goodness, software and just pure love for a product. Buy it, you will not regret it.