When it comes to PC peripherals, the company that comes to mind first is Razer. The company has always defined itself as the true premium brand for mice and keyboard and have always delivered. Devices such as the Deathadder, Blackwidow and the Kraken are the go-to devices for gaming enthusiasts. Premium companies need to stay ahead of the curve and Razer has now broken new ground with its latest keyboard. Behind closed doors at E3, the company introduced the Razer Huntsman Elite. This is an opto-mechanical keyboard that uses infrared lighting for an instantaneous response. You’ve never truly appreciated a keyboard until you’ve gotten your hands on this bad boy.
For the average player that just wants some RGB in their life, it becomes hard to justify the price point of these keyboards. For the enthusiast that has to have the best out there, Razer has now raised the bar with the Huntsman Elite. Each individual switch comes with a stabilizer bar that allows persistent key presses no matter where the key is struck. The keyboard also includes a ten-key rollover, so there will be absolutely no issues or lag when typing. The insanity comes from the feel and the freedom of typing. There is literally no resistance in these keys. I could actually see that a setup like this would actually help someone’s words per minute. Couple this with the clicky feedback from each switch and you get an emotion from typing that you wouldn’t think was possible. It’s gratifying using this device, which is something I don’t typically feel when using a keyboard.
Razer has called upon the RGB Gods with instilling the tech into the Huntsman Elite. Lighting actually comes through the keyboard and illuminates from under the switches creating a vibrant glow. Using Razer Synapse, the software allows for individual area color mapping or even a custom template that uses and animation. Around the perimeter of the keyboard is also a RGB strip that adds even further RGB coloring that will help define your premium PC setup. The Huntsman Elite also comes with a leatherette wrist rest that connects via magnets to the bottom of the keyboard. What’s even more cool is that this wrist rest includes a continuation of the perimeter RGB lighting of the keyboard. This wrist rest stays connected well and provides good comfort and support for long playtimes.
The Huntsman Elite is a durable keyboard. Switches can be replaced on it and the exterior frame features an aluminum matte top plate. The keys features twice the durability of the industry standard. The keyboard is hardwired and comes with two USB cables that help power the keyboard and the wrist rest. For the elite players, the keyboard allows profile storage via the cloud so going from computer to computer via the Razer Synapse software will allow players to load their setups wherever they like. It also includes a game mode button that takes out the windows key and a secondary set of functions that can be mapped for macros. The best new addition is with the media buttons and dial. Razer finally included this in their keyboard and, more importantly, the buttons and dial can be mapped to do different functions. This actually includes loading applications, returning to desktop and plethora of other things to tinker with in Synapse. Having an actual dial for volume is much better than holding a function key and pressing a key. When it comes to milliseconds of input, it can be hard to tell if there is an improvement. Having played Far Cry 5 with the keyboard, movement felt generally the same. This will surely vary from game to game based on what type of game it is. Something that’s strategy-related or involves casting spells could allow this keyboard to be a true difference maker. It really is the feel and input that stands out the most when playing games with this keyboard. If typing a paper or an article, however, the input is effortless and quick all with the sensation of the clicking feedback from the device.
When a game or device comes along that is too good, there’s a tendency to nitpick for any negatives. As great as the clicking feedback is, your friends or family may find it annoying. It is loud. The keyboard is wired and the wrist rest does require the second USB cable to be plugged in. Also, a USB port for charging or hooking up peripherals would have been nice. The last negative comes in terms of pricing, which of course shouldn’t be an issue for those used to purchasing premium equipment or in the market to open their wallet. There are actually two versions of this keyboard: the Huntsman and the Huntsman Elite. This review was based on the Huntsman Elite. For $199, you get the leatherette wrist rest, the perimeter RGB lighting, and the media buttons and dial. The Huntsman lacks these features but does include the RGB underglow and most importantly, the technology. The regular Huntsman retails for $149.
If looking for the latest and greatest in a premium keyboard, Razer has it with the Huntsman Elite. It’s truly amazing how using this keyboard makes you feel. True enthusiasts will love the status that comes from owning this as they can add to their RGB kingdom all while annoying their friends and family with the clicking noise that just screams “I am elite.” The pricing is the only issue with the setup but having twice the durability of the industry standard, you won’t need to worry about buying another gaming keyboard anytime soon. The underglow from the switches is something to marvel at as the Synapse software allows for ultimate customization of color placement to the point that it can be overwhelming for new users. Simply put, the Huntsman Elite is the Cadillac of gaming keyboards.