Short verdict: (Priced at $199) Razer Huntsman Elite is a worth buying keyboard that delivers excellent gaming and comfortable typing performance with its hybrid Opto-Mechanical switches and robust design.
Since the company came into being, the Razer has always endeavored to manufacture the amazing gaming accessories. Every peripheral the company has produced is better than the earlier one. As far as mechanical switches in gaming keyboards, laptops or iPad covers are concerned, Razer is titleholder in this category. This is the reason the company has been the trend setter in this field.
To meet the demands of fast pace gaming, the Razer has started a new concept of hybrid ‘Opto-Mechanical’ switches in its newly released Razer Huntsman Elite gaming keyboard. The keyboard comes with a blend of optical laser and mechanical switches technology. Obviously the company is intended to set the new trends in gaming peripherals, and the purpose for sure is nothing more than performance. The Razer Hunstman is actually the best gaming keyboard with most satisfying gaming and typing experience we’ve ever seen.
Razer Huntsman Elite
Huntsman Elite Video Review
Pricing and availability
Due to the exceptional features, and perfection of design the keyboard costs, $199.99 which is a little bit higher than expected. While looking at the features, performance and design the keyboard is worth the price. However, if you still are looking for this keyboard in an affordable price tag, the Razer has another version without media controls and palm rest to reduce the price.
Still confused about the price? OK then, go for the Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum which offers almost the same features in a price cut of $20. But for this you have to sacrifice a most important feature of hybrid Opto-mechanical switches.
|Model||Razer Huntsman Elite|
|Switches||Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch|
|Keystrokes Lifespan||100 million keystrokes|
|RGB||Yes (Razer Chroma backlighting)|
|Gaming Profiles||Yes (5 on-board profiles)|
|Gaming Mode Option||Yes|
|Dimensions||9.22 x 17.64 x 1.42 inches|
No doubt the keyboard comes with exceptional features that obviously give an impression that the keyboard might be larger than normal size. But surprisingly the keyboard is actually the smaller in size with frameless design making it simple yet eye catching.
With its aluminum chassis the keyboard has decent keycaps that amazingly float over the deck which is similar to its competitors especially Logitech G13 and HyperX Alloy Elite RGB. The only improvement that Razer has made is the addition of track lighting around the body, and RGB palm rest giving it another level of perfection.
No doubt the Razer has mastered in adding Chroma RGB lighting to its gaming peripherals, especially in gaming mice and keyboards and even in gaming mousepads. Though it seems absurd to have a large amount of lighting effect in every peripheral, yet this is what sometime helps a gamer when every key of his keyboard illuminates with a unique lighting effect. The Razer Huntsman Elite offers an additional feature of 360-degree track lighting.
I actually loved media keys which the Huntsman Elite come with. The keyboard comes with a volume wheel, a mute button and three buttons to play/rewind and fast forward the media files. The perfection in its volume wheel is really worth the deal as the volume wheel is also lighting enabled and glows from the inside when the wheel is moved up /down. The inner lighting changes from dark to the white lighting as the volume is raised to give an idea of the volume intensity.
Razer is good in efficiently utilizing every bit of available space. In case of Huntsman Elite the company has added indicator lightings such as caps-lock right above the arrow keys.
Razer Huntsman Elite – Comfort
As far as comfort is concerned I am happy and completely satisfied with Huntsman Elite’s wrist-pad bordered by a combination of plastic and metal. The pad is long enough to accommodate small as well as large hands and offers a comfortable feeling whenever you feel tired after a long gaming session.
All the switches are great in their use due to their optimum position and space. Even the media keys have also sufficient space to keep them apart. The only downside we encountered in its use is that to keep its lighting running you must keep the wristpad in-front of the keyboard for a better connection.
Razer Huntsman Elite – Keys
The only thing making it a unique piece of perfection is its hybrid switch. In their purple color and optimechanical feature the switches are quite perfect in every aspect. For confirmation we pulled the keycaps off, and there were purple switches attached with metal spring and packed in a plastic cylinder.
In that plastic cylinder is the real magic where the company has amalgamated optical and mechanical combination. The working principle of both types is that the mechanical switches that are present in mechanical keyboards function when they make an electric contact, while the optical switches do the same by infrared light. The optomechanical switches of Huntsman Elite are a combination of both. This has given the keyboard a lightning fast speed and greater accuracy in actuation.
No doubt the innovation in switches is a game-changer in the switches field, but for now, its real effect and practicality in gaming is hard to predict. The reason is that you can never process at the lightning speed in gaming.
However, in terms of typing experience, I got a speed of 120 wpm which is fantastic as I was hardly able to type 115 wpm in SteelSeries Apex Pro, although I achieved greater typing comfort in Corsair K95 RGB than Huntsman. Rather than optical keyboards the mechanical keyboards are actually perfect typing keyboards and the Huntsman Elite is also good in this.
Huntsman Elite – Features
I really love Razer peripherals. Every product the company has manufactured is better than the former one in every aspect. Now the Razer’s Synapse Software. The updated Synapse 3 is really impressive. As far as its navigation and user-interface is concerned the software is extremely pretty and doesn’t complicate things in understanding the software.
The software allows you to customize lighting option, reprogram macros and set gaming profile, and then link them to every game individually. The good thing for spoon-fed gamer who need built-in features for their gaming is the addition of built-in lighting profiles for popular titles such as Fortnite, Doom and Overwatch. Just set everything to default and get an amazing color scheme set by the Razer according to gaming music.
But what annoys me about the software is the navigation process to go through multiple screens even to reprogram buttons or to set the profiles. Let’s say that I have to go through a hectic process in setting up different RGB lighting layers on the keyboard for a single game.
Huntsman Elite – Gaming Performance
No doubt you can find great optical gaming keyboards like Aorus K9. The reality, however, is that the unique feel and higher level of performance that the Razer Huntsman Elite offers is much better than other keyboards that we’ve tested.
In my own experience, the swift performance of Huntsman Elite was really handy in FPS games. While playing Mirror’s Edge, StarCraft: Remastered, and Overwatch, I felt as if I was dreaming. The keyboard worked excellently and I didn’t feel tired even after two hours of consecutive gaming sessions.
Razer has also claimed that the optomechanical switches offer 30% faster actuation speed than mechanical switches. Besides, the switches are highly durable giving an endurance of 100 million clicks.
Bear in mind that performance can never be possible without extra energy. The Razer Huntsman Elite also requires an additional amount of energy to power 104 beams of light. For this to happen, the keyboard uses two USB ports. So, remember to keep two extra ports in your PC for this keyboard to avoid interruptions in the future.
Razer Huntsman vs. Huntsman Elite
Razer released two keyboards with a few differences: Razer Huntsman (regular) and Huntsman Elite. Granted the regular model is available at a reasonable price of $150, it comes with a few downsides of lacking dedicated media keys and wrist rest.
This means a lot if you are going to buy a premium gaming keyboard with all the essential features for gaming as well as other routine tasks. That’s why the Huntsman Elite is the best gaming keyboard of all time. However, if can’t afford you may look for its alternative HyperX Alloy Elite RGB which is as good as this one.
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
When you have a better option than Cherry MX Speed or Blue switches, why not go for Optomechanical switches of Razer Huntsman Elite? The Elite offers everything a hardcore gamer would be looking for in his gaming keyboard -especially great actuation, durability and comfort.
Sadly, unlike other high-end gaming keyboards, Huntsman Elite is imperfect in energy consumption and requires two USB ports. The price of $200 too, is a major hurdle making is an expensive keyboard crossing $150 mark. Still, if performance, design and comfort are your preference, this is the best option that should be in your radar.
For a great gaming experience you also need the following gear/accessories.