Razer Huntsman Elite Review: Stone-cold Killer
If you want to type faster or have better in-game responsiveness, you should absolutely consider the Razer Huntsman Elite. The Huntsman Elite’s problems are that it’s not easy to clean between the keys, it’s pricey, and it lacks audio and USB pass-through. But it makes up for that by being a speedy operator with a comfortable removable wrist rest.
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|Normally $379||Check Price|
Data effective 27/07/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Even the best mechanical keyboards can cop a bum rap. Take the Razer Huntsman Elite, for example. Opt for the clicky version, and you can expect noise complaints from colleagues or housemates. Gun for the linear one, though – the focus of this review – and you can merge speedy mechanical keystroke performance with not a lot of noise.
The Razer Huntsman Elite is, to date, the best gaming keyboard we’ve used, edging out more recent premium-priced competitors like the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO, and delivering impressive results.
Razer Huntsman Elite gaming keyboard specs
|Razer Hunstman Elite||Specs|
|Switch type||Razer Optical Switch (Clicky or Linear)|
|Switch performance||Light, clicky|
|Actuation point||1.5mm (Clicky), 1.0mm (Linear)|
|Actuation force||45g (Clicky), 40g (Linear)|
|Keystroke durability||100 million|
|RGB||16.8 million per-key illumination|
|Connectivity||1.8m USB 2.0 cable|
|Ergonomics||Removable palm rest|
|Internal memory||Up to 5 profiles|
|Dimensions (w/h/d)||447x139x36mm (without wrist rest)|
|Compatibility||PC, Xbox One (basic input)|
What’s in the Razer Huntsman Elite box?
Pop the box to get to the Razer Huntsman Elite with fixed braided fibre USB 2.0 cable, which splits off into two male ports for connecting to your computer. Just connect the one marked ‘Razer’ to save a USB port, but connect the second if you want lighting for the wrist rest. Speaking of the wrist rest, you’ll find that stored under the keyboard, and there’s key documentation housed in the top of the box.
What are the Razer Huntsman Elite’s main selling points?
Responsive switches and detachable arm wrest.
A premium price means premium inclusions. You’ll need very little force to make the optical switches actuate, so much so that you’ll have to unlearn old habits of resting your fingers on keys to avoid accidental keystrokes. There’s also a soft detachable magnetic wrist rest that makes everyday use and long gaming sessions incredibly comfy.
Razer Huntsman Elite size and feel
Full-sized keyboard with dedicated macro keys.
The Razer Huntsman Elite is a full-sized gaming keyboard, albeit one without a dedicated row of macro keys. Above the numpad, you’ll find easy-to-reach media controls for play/pause, skip back, skip forward, as well as a volume dial that can be pressed to mute all system sound. With the wrist rest attached, the Huntsman Elite’s height stretches out by half the size again. Still, consider that an essential item to save your wrists. In terms of the all-important typing, the Razer Huntsman Elite keycaps are the soft-touch start to typing nirvana.
Razer Huntsman Elite keystroke sounds
This is where it’s important to pick the Razer Huntsman Elite keyboard that best suits your working or playing environment. For this review, I’m using the Linear optical switches. Not only are these switches quiet to the point where they don’t sound like traditional mechanical switches, they’re faster (1.00mm actuation point) and require less force (40g) than their Clicky counterparts. If you like to feel and hear the actuation point, you’ll want the Clicky switches, which are louder, slightly slower at 1.5mm actuation point (though that’s still quick), and require slightly more force at 45g.
Check out the video below for an idea of what the Razer Huntsman Elite Clicky switches sound like.
Razer Huntsman Elite software
Like all Razer products, the Huntsman Elite uses the user-friendly Razer Synapse 3 software. Download Synapse 3 after connecting your Huntsman Elite to configure it to your personal tastes. For the Huntsman Elite, Synapse 3 lets you click on each individual keyboard key and rebind functionality on a per-profile basis. This is also where you can tinker with the RGB lighting.
Is the Razer Huntsman Elite worth the price ($379.95RRP)?
These days, the Razer Huntsman Elite is actually more expensive than it was at its initial release date in June 2018, meaning it’s a steep price to pay for a gaming keyboard. To further extend buyer hesitation, there’s no audio or USB pass-through. Still, viewed as a peripheral investment, the Huntsman Elite is rated for 100 million key-presses, which means you can be feasibly working and gaming with this speedy performer for many years to come.