Razer Huntsman Elite Review. How much is the razer huntsman elite

The quality of the switches and their pins is also noteworthy. A sturdy stainless steel bracket has been added to all keys to prevent unintentional side pressure on the stem and help these keyboards last much longer than a traditional mechanical keyboard. It also provides much smoother operation

Razer Huntsman Elite Review: A Revolutionary Leap In Keyboard Tech

A quiet revolution is underway in the keyboard industry, led by Razer’s Huntsman Elite. A few years ago, we saw a startup called Wooting launch something called optical switches. While we covered it extensively and wrote a few articles on it, none of the big players seemed interested in adopting the technology. We understand big companies have a low risk appetite and won’t change until they absolutely have to. That’s why we were surprised when Razer announced its own line of optical switches and became the first mainstream player to adopt the technology – and by doing so – made almost all of its competitors obsolete.

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

Before I dive into the actual review, we’ll cover a few of the basics. Most of the keyboards on the market are of two types: membrane and mechanical. Membrane keyboards are usually the cheapest and also break quickly. Mechanical keyboards are gamers’ preferred choice, and typically offer longer life for most premium keyboards at $ 199.

Very little has changed in the keyboard industry since the introduction of the mechanical keyboard to the mainstream market. Startups have tried to introduce new technologies over the years, but none of the big players who actually had the power to change the market has left. Enter the Razer’s Huntsman keyboard series. Seeing the promise of optical switches, the company took the considerable risk of starting its own line of optical switches and decided to offer them at the same price as its competitors.

As a result, almost all keyboard players deliver outdated technology overnight. Optical switches not only have a longer life, but also have no reflection lag as the switch basically just stops the light beam. Razer has also incorporated a horizontal bar in its switches to increase keystroke stability, extending lifespan.

Packaging and contents

The Razer Huntsman Elite comes in standard keyboard packaging and has a cutout that allows you to test keystrokes without opening the packaging if you buy from a brick-and-mortar store (or even if you want to try and return it without opening it). A detailed description of the new optical switches can be found on the back of the box.

The unboxing experience is quite premium, as you’d expect from a keyboard in this price range, and there’s a very sleek letter from the CEO under the lid of the box. There are also various stickers and accessories to accompany the keyboards. The RGB wrist rest and the keyboard itself are snugly tucked under several layers of plastic.

Everything is easy to remove and the keyboard starts immediately when connected (Razer Control Center apps will automatically download in the background within minutes). We received a variant with purple “click.

The magnetic palm rest also has the same matt black stainless steel look, but with a plush leatherette cushion on top. To attach the palm rest, simply align it with the keyboard and slide them together. It will light when the palm rest is securely in place.

Everything But the Macro Keys

Last year, the 3.31 pound Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 impressed us with its minimalist design, RGB lighting for each key and dedicated macro keys. The Huntsman Elite takes some of these ideas and puts them into a fleshy 3.82 pound board measuring 1.42 by 17.64 by 9.21 inches. If that feature set (or price) exceeds its capacity, Razer also offers a non-elite Huntsman version at $ 149.99 without a lot of bells and whistles (no palm rest, dedicated controls, or volume knob, which we’ll talk about in a moment) we’ll talk).

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Much of the weight gain of the Huntsman Elite compared to the BlackWidow Chroma V2 is due to the new metal front plate bolted to the plastic center of the board. A handful of new buttons have also been added. For example, the Back, Play / Pause, and Skip controls are now above the numeric keypad. To their right is a volume knob (or, as Razer calls it, the “multi-functional digital knob”) that you adjust by sliding your finger along its side.

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Besides, the design of the Razer Huntsman Elite is very similar to the BlackWidow Chroma V2. The keys are identical, with the vertices curving slightly to fit my fingers. The 7-meter braided fiber cable appears to have the same circumference as that of its predecessor.

The biggest difference you’ll notice is the lack of dedicated macro keys on the Huntsman Elite. They don’t seem to be in an expensive keyboard like this one, but depending on your priorities, the sheer mass of RGB lighting and the comfortable amenities can make up for the lack of dedicated macro keys.

This is most likely to happen if you are an RGB geek; if so, this keyboard will tickle you pink (and any other color). Almost every physical function of this keyboard – from the keys to the volume knob to the leatherette wrist rest – has built-in lighting this time around. The lighting works with the Razer Chroma control scheme, which means that each key can be assigned one of 16.8 million colors. You also get 24 customizable lighting zones on the underside of the palm rest. This keyboard can be a real fireworks display if you like.

Speaking of the palm rest, it’s comfortable. It attaches magnetically to the base of the keyboard, with an electrical contact in the center to transmit the signal and power the built-in LEDs. If you prefer leatherette plush over plastic instead of a hard palm rest, you’re in for a treat.

Switching It Up: Opto-Mechanical

The make-or-break feature of any mechanical keyboard is obviously the switches it uses, and these are a new kind. Huntsman Elite keycaps are similar to the old, well-known Cherry MX Blues – meaning they’re uncompromisingly clickable, with a distinct keystroke response and little keystroke action. They sound the same as the classic MX Blues, but have a lighter touch, requiring a force of 45 cn-newtons (cN) to run, unlike the original Cherry MX Blues 50cN.

This is an important distinction as Razer announces these new so-called opto-mechanical switches as “the world’s lightest clicking switch” based on this specification. According to Razer, these switches use beams of infrared light to detect keystrokes, rather than using electrical contacts like traditional mechanical keyboards do. As Razer puts it, “A beam of light passes through a switch stem when you press a key, which then triggers via a receiver that sends the appropriate signal to the computer, causing it to fire at the speed of light.”

I suspect there’s some marketing crap here – speed of light versus speed of electrical contact? – and I couldn’t distinguish from the touch of the keys any particular tactile distinction provided by the optical aspect. It feels like a typical mechanical switch, with its own subtle aftertaste. To see if that made a difference to real-world applications, I put the Huntsman Elite free LiveChat typing speed test against the Cherry MX Blue-equipped keyboard I had on hand, the Fnatic Streak. On Fnatic, I got a speed of 72 words per minute and an accuracy rating of 97 percent. On the other hand, with the Razer Huntsman Elite, I scored 71 words per minute with 95% accuracy the second time around.

This is completely anecdotal, of course, and I would expect an improvement on the Huntsman Elite as I get used to these lighter switches. But at first, I find that lowering each key press is not as easy as it is with non-clicking switches like the Cherry MX Reds. (On the other hand, I prefer linear key switches like the MX Reds to ones that are clickable and loud, so take my attitude with the right grain.) However, this lowest-level feature is interesting considering the Huntsman Elite switches key have 3.5mm vertical stroke distance and 1.5mm actuation point; whereas Cherry MX Reds / Brows have a stroke distance of 4 mm and an actuation point of 2 mm. So you actually have to press less of the Hunter keys to activate them.

Also worth noting: unlike the BlackWidow Chroma V2, the Huntsman Elite only has one type of switch, the so-called “purple” optomechanical. That’s all well and good, although my intuitive response is to ask where are the Razer Orange and Yellow Opto-Mechanical switch equivalents? As a longtime user of Razer keyboards, it seems strange to me that the new flagship would not have an option for quieter keys. Perhaps Ming Lian-Tang et al. Will keep them for later.

For games, the Razer Huntsman Elite is indeed fast for a clicking mechanical keyboard; I would compare it to the clicking Cherry MX Red. In PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), you can crawl through the bushes with a satisfying, audible assurance from the keys that you are on the move. Moreover, in Starcraft II you can be sure that your crazy “A” hit will be registered when a new marine spawns. For fans of Cherry MX Blues, the Razer Opto-Mechanical switch is a promising, light-to-touch alternative to the longtime favorite. Gamers and typists who prefer the metallic, firm response of the keys should like this style.

As you won’t always be using this gaming keyboard, we decided to test it while writing this review. Even if you are not a fast typist, the responsiveness of this keyboard makes you feel as if you are.

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perceptual testing image

The best photo of the Razer Huntsman Elite

The Razer Huntsman Elite is a large, full-size keyboard that takes up even more space if you choose to use the included palm rest. If you need a compact keyboard, try the Razer Huntsman Mini.

Razer Huntsman Elite Build Quality Close up

The Razer Huntsman Elite has an excellent build quality. It has a plastic frame with an aluminum plate on top. It feels solidly built and only flexes a little. The keycaps are made of ABS plastic and are well made, but are slippery and will deteriorate if oil builds up. The keys are stable, except for the spacebar, which activates easily when hitting the desk; an issue that also occurred on the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition keyboard we reviewed. The tilted feet feel a bit brittle and the rubber pads underneath them do not provide enough grip; however, the weight of the keyboard itself prevents it from sliding.

Razer Huntsman Elite side photo

The Razer Huntsman Elite has good ergonomics. It has two tilt settings and a plush leatherette wrist rest. Combined with the low actuation force of the Linear Optical switches, typing is not tiring for a long time.

Razer Huntsman Elite Illuminated image

Razer Huntsman Elite White Shot

Razer Huntsman Elite Brightness Max

Razer Huntsman Elite Brightness Min

The Razer Huntsman Elite features full RGB lighting with individually illuminated keys. There are many pre-made lighting effects to choose from, and you can also create custom lighting profiles with the customization software. There is also LED lighting around the edge of the keyboard and the palm rest for a backlight effect. These LEDs require additional power, so a second USB connector must be plugged in for them to function. If the LEDs on the palm rest are illuminated, the palm rest must be connected to the keyboard with pogo pins. The legends on the multimedia keys do not light up, making them difficult to see.

The cable is braided and appears to be of high quality, but is quite stiff and breaks easily. This should be long enough for most people to reach the desktop.

The Razer Huntsman Elite is a wired-only keyboard.

Razer Huntsman Elite Additional Features

The Razer Huntsman Elite has many additional features. All keys are programmable with macros and can be programmed on the fly using a macro recording shortcut, rather than having to do it with software. You can lock the Windows key to prevent accidental minimization of the game, and you can also lock the “Sleep” hotkey to put your computer to sleep immediately. It has dedicated media controls, including a multifunctional volume knob that can be assigned to perform other functions. The multimedia keys are not as high-quality as the rest of the keyboard and have an extremely short slide distance.

Overall, Razer’s Synapse 3 works fine, but key mapping may be easier. You may also notice that sometimes errors also occur and you cannot switch profiles. Luckily, Razer has a huge online forum to help you out if your keyboard or software works.

Build Quality

Razer Huntsman Elite is a very well built keyboard. The metal top of the case is premium, the brushed metal reflects RGB nicely, prevents fingerprints, and provides good rigidity for the entire keyboard.

No squeaking or bending when you try to twist or press the keyboard.

Inside the keyboard there doesn’t seem to be a lot of empty space, the crackles only emerge from the switches, and are muffled by coming out of the case.

The rest is made of a nice and comfortable leather material, after the connection is made, the wrist rest is securely fastened in place.

Razer definitely has a premium product here.


The keycaps are very disappointing given the price of the Huntsman Elite, they are still the same painted ABS keycaps found on the BlackWidow Elite, meaning they will be shiny and will wear out after some use.

Hopefully at this price point, we would get at least a few double keys from the Huntsman Elite.

Since these caps are ABS, there is additional interest in replacing the keycaps, unfortunately the Huntsman Elite has the same custom row as BlackWidow, so you’ll have to make some modifications to the keycap sets to fit.

Here are the key sizes on the bottom row for the Razer Huntsman Elite which is the same as the Blackwidow Elite from left to right:

  • Left Ctrl key: 1.5U
  • Windows key: 1 U
  • Left Alt: 1.5 U
  • Space: 6 units
  • Right Alt: 1.5U
  • Function: 1 U
  • Menu: 1 U
  • Right Ctrl: 1.5U

Huntsman Elite will ask you to install Razer Synapse as soon as you plug in the keyboard, which I’m not a fan of, but you should do as Synapse unlocks a lot of features on that keyboard.

Synapse 3

As with other gaming keyboards, you’ll need to download the manufacturer’s software to customize them. In that case, you’ll want to download Razer’s Synapse 3.

If the keyboard is connected to a Windows computer, you will most likely be asked to do it automatically when the keyboard is connected.

What about Mac users?

Razer Synapse 3 software is currently only available on computers running Windows 7, 8 and 10 in 32-bit or 64-bit configurations. Sorry Mac users, you’re out of luck.

Synapse 3 software allows you to create macros and rebind keys for specific games. It also allows you to create custom keyboard and palm rest lighting profiles.

If you have other Synapse 3 compatible products, you can sync their lighting together. The Synapse 3 software also stores the most used profiles directly in Huntsman Elite.

Is that okay?

Absolutely. So you can move the keyboard from place to place and work just like at home!

Overall, Razer’s Synapse 3 works fine, but key mapping may be easier. You may also notice that sometimes errors also occur and you cannot switch profiles. Luckily, Razer has a huge online forum to help you out if your keyboard or software works.


Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard 2

After creating the macros and setting the lighting the way you like, you can start playing.

According to Razer, their optomechanical keys work up to 30% faster than standard mechanical keys. For us, after a long session of playing various FPS shooters, it is very obvious how much more responsive they are compared to the standard mechanical keyboard.

This is partly due to built-in anti-ghosting technology that can recognize up to ten simultaneous keystrokes. If the keys don’t click, you may not even realize they are starting; they are just so smooth and yet precise.

Game Mode…

To increase the accuracy of the keyboard while gaming, the Huntsman Elite also has a Gaming Mode option. Game Mode allows you to disable certain keys, such as Windows, that may interfere with your gameplay.

You will also find a key to create macros on the fly. This works well and has been found to be especially useful when playing several MMOs that require a series of inputs one after the other.

As you won’t always be using this gaming keyboard, we decided to test it while writing this review. Even if you are not a fast typist, the responsiveness of this keyboard makes you feel as if you are.

Final thoughts…

While the keyboard looks bulky, it is rather ergonomic. Keys are laid out but still easily accessible. There are also several adjustable feet on the bottom that allow you to angle the keyboard in two different positions.

Overall, this is truly one of the most responsive keyboards we’ve ever tested. It works well whether you’re writing an essay or playing your favorite MMORPG.

If we were to cling to smaller details, we’d like the wrist rest and the magnetic keyboard connection to be more secure. When the keyboard feet are lowered, the angle it creates allows the palm rest to be detached quite easily.

This is partly due to built-in anti-ghosting technology that can recognize up to ten simultaneous keystrokes. If the keys don’t click, you may not even realize they are starting; they are just so smooth and yet precise.

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 liking. For Huntsman Elite, Synapse 3 allows you to click individual keyboard keys and reassign functions based on your profile. Here, too, you can tinker with RGB lighting.

Currently, the Razer Huntsman Elite is actually more expensive than it was on its release in June 2018, making it a staggering price for a gaming keyboard. To further increase buyers’ hesitation, there is no audio or USB pass-through. Even so, viewed as a peripheral investment, the Huntsman Elite is rated at 100 million keystrokes, meaning you can work and play with this fast device for years to come.

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As you won’t always be using this gaming keyboard, we decided to test it while writing this review. Even if you are not a fast typist, the responsiveness of this keyboard makes you feel as if you are.

Huntsman Elite fit and feel

Razer Huntsman Elite

I have a lot of keyboards, including some mechanical ones from Razer and the Topre REALFORCE RGB, which is perhaps my favorite. Or at least it was.

The Razer Huntsman Elite displaces Topre mainly due to the frequently used multimedia keys and excellent lighting. Optomechanical switches are no joke either. The actual strength of this keyboard is relatively low, while still providing a satisfying click.

The design is clean and minimalist. Razer has limited the overall size of the keyboard base with a Huntsman, and the keys are nicely separated from the body to give it a more DIY look known to mechanical keyboards.

Razer Huntsman EliteRazer Huntsman Elite

I have no complaints about how Huntsman responds when typing on it. It is extremely satisfying and not very clickable, which can be annoying to some users.

Everything about the build quality of this keyboard is perfect. It has a solid feel and is non-slip, especially with the extra wrist guard. The dual USB plugs needed to power it all up are a bit extreme, but the high-quality braided cable is perfect for a clean, tangle-free setup.

As for the games, I haven’t had much trouble or complaints with Huntsman Elite; the keys were responsive and tactile. And I didn’t experience any learning curve to write as it was all very natural.

Razer Huntsman Elite pushes all the right buttons

Razer Huntsman Elite

Telling anyone to drop $ 200 for a gaming keyboard is always a tough sale, but those who need a competitive edge or love mechanical toggle keyboards won’t regret the purchase.

For those who play, the faster activation and “light and clickable” feel of Huntsman is an easy recommendation. Razer also says the lifetime of these switches is doubled, from the typical 50 million to 100 million keystrokes. Less physical contact points and more digital should mean less wear and tear.

  • Accurate typing and quick keystrokes.
  • Clean design with excellent workmanship.
  • Configurable volume and multimedia keys.
  • Chroma RGB lighting is on!

If I were to order the Huntsman Elite I would go for the more expensive $ 199 Elite Package. The wrist protector is very comfortable, and since the Huntsman is not an ergonomic keyboard, everything that provides wrist support is guaranteed during long typing sessions. It’s well built and has more lighting which is fun. These multimedia keys are also beneficial.

If other companies can figure out how to use optical light sensors in keyboards, we’ll likely see a new wave of switches for gaming keyboards and even productivity. Razer is the first, and it’s clear the company has spent a lot of time in research and development to bring Huntsman to market. So far the effort seems worth it.

Huntsman ($ 150) and Huntsman Elite ($ 199) will be available worldwide starting June 28, 2018.

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