Sunday . 25 July . 2021

A quiet revolution is brewing in the keyboard industry and Razer"s Huntsman Elite is leading the charge. A few years ago, we saw a startup called Wooting introduce something called optical switches to the market. While we covered that extensively & wrote a few pieces on it, none of the big players seemed lớn be interested in adopting the tech. We get it, big businesses have sầu low-risk appetites and don"t change until they absolutely have sầu to lớn. This is why we were presently surprised when Razer announced its own lineup of optical switches và became the first mainstream player to adopt the tech - và in doing so - made pretty much all of its competitors obsolete.

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Razer Huntsman Elite Review: A New Generation of Keyboard Tech For The Price Of Olde (with an RGB Wrist Pad!)

Our Huntsman Elite sample was provided by the manufacturer for đánh giá purposes.

Before I dive inlớn the actual Reviews, let"s cover some basics. Most keyboards on the market consist of two types: membrane and mechanical. Membrane keyboards are usually the cheapest & also break down quickly. Mechanical keyboards are the preferred choice of gamers & usually boast longer life spans with most premium keyboards priced in the $199 range.

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Very little change has entered the keyboard industry since the introduction of the mechanical keyboard in the mainstream market. Startups have tried to push new tech throughout the years but none of the big players that actually had power to change the market would budge. Enter Razer"s Huntsman series of keyboards. Recognizing the promise of optical switches, the company took on considerable risk khổng lồ start manufacturing its own line of optical switches and decided to offer them at the same cost as its competitors.

 

The result is that overnight, almost all keyboard players are shipping obsolete tech. Optical switches not only have sầu a longer life span but also have no debounce delay since the switch essentially just stops a beam of light. Razer has also included a horizontal bar in its switches khổng lồ add further stability to the keypress, prolonging life.

1. Packaging & contents

The Razer Huntsman Elite comes in the standard keyboard package and has a cutout for you khổng lồ chạy thử out the key clicks without opening the package if you are buying from a briông xã and mortar store (or even if you want to lớn try it and return it without opening). A detailed breakdown of the new optical switches is given at the bachồng of the box.


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The unboxing experience is pretty premium as you would expect from a keyboard in this price range and a very classy letter from the CEO is attached under the cover of the box. The various stickers và paraphernalia that accompanies keyboards are also present. The RGB wrist pad & the actual keyboard itself are cozily tucked under a couple of layers of plastic.


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Everything is easy lớn take out and the keyboard starts up instantly as soon as you plug it in (the Razer control center applications will download in the background automatically in the next few minutes). The variant we got was the one with the purple "clicky" switches.

2. Design và build quality


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The one thing we immediately noticed was that the build quality of the keyboard was superior khổng lồ its older traditional mechanical siblings. There is a touch of polish here that Razer appears to have sầu gone out of their way to lớn add - they are really selling the "more for the same" philosophy hard. The plastic used in the construction of the keyboard also appears to be of a higher quality.

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The RGB Wrist Pad attaches to the keyboard with a magnetic controller (Apple fans will like this design a lot) và has no additional wiring requirements - which is a great touch. It features an antiperspirant surface và a soft cushion-lượt thích feel. Premium is definitely the word that comes to lớn mind when describing this. You can tell that the wristpad was a part of the thiết kế process và not just an afterthought.

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The keyboard itself is absolutely gorgeous & commands a presence on your desk without being irritating. I am not a huge bạn of RGB but even I loved the RGB design philosophy at play here that extends khổng lồ the wrist pad - which I believe sầu is something only Razer currently offers (aước ao the big players).


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The piece de resistance of this keyboard is, of course, the optical switch: it uses a completely different actuation method when compared to lớn traditional mechanical switches. While most premium keyboards out there actuate using a metallic contact inside the switch, Razer uses a light beam for every single one of its keys.

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A light beam passes through the switch stem when a key is pressed, which then actuates via a receiver that sends the corresponding signal to lớn the computer - bringing actuation at the tốc độ of light. The new Razer Optical Switches also include an additional key stability bar (the silver one seen on the GIF on the left) which reduces key wobble and makes the experience feel more consistent. A balanced keypress is achieved across all four corners of the keycap regardless of the press-down location.

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The Razer Clicky Optical Switches give a light yet clicky feel (45g actuation force vs 50g for traditional clicky switches) for those who want the tactile feedbaông chồng. On the other hand, for those of us that would like to lớn venture into the brave sầu new world of Linear Optical Switches, Razer has introduced an extremely smooth linear switch with a 40g actuation force.

3. Performance và gaming/typing comfort

All the bells và whistles aside, what truly matters is if the keyboard is comfortable to lớn type in & easy khổng lồ game on. While the optical tech will slightly reduce your input đầu vào lag when mashing keys, it wouldn"t matter if the keyboard is not properly sized và messes with the muscle memory of your fingers. While there are very slight differences between the various manufacturers, I am happy khổng lồ say that the Razer Huntsman Elite passed all tests with flying colors.

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The input was incredibly smooth & I was able lớn quickly feel at home while playing DOTA2. Typing performance is great as well và accidental keypresses are slightly reduced. Mechanical keyboards, when they get old are prone to lớn "double presses" and "hard presses". This is because the metallic liên hệ inside gets worn out and would sometimes get sticky (registering multiple inputs) or in cases be worn out so would require a harder press lớn register. The Razer Huntsman Elite will face no such problem throughout its life since it uses an actual light beam and not something physical which can degrade.

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The tactile feeling of the keyboard is also just right without being too noisy (although like all mechanical keyboards, you certainly don"t want to use this while the spouse is sleeping). I prefer a fast but distinct response in my keyboards (think Cherry MX Brown) và this was clicky without detracting anything from that fast experience.

The linear switches that Razer also provides with this keyboard would allow you to experience a whole different dimension of input. Every key would essentially become a pressure-sensitive joystichồng - the harder you press, the harder the đầu vào. Playing racing games should be very interesting with that switch - as should be music creation và the like.

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Considering this keyboard offers next-generation tech, longer life span, và an RGB wristpad lớn boot means I have sầu no problem giving this our Editor"s Choice Award. I can only hope other manufacturers lượt thích Corsair & Logitech will take a leaf out of Razer"s book và move sầu to optical switches as well.


Chuyên mục: Tin Tức

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