Razer Huntsman Elite is one of the best mechanical keyboards Razer has made so far. It uses Razer’s new optical switch, which has a very shallow actuation distance of only 1.5mm. This is great for elite gamers who matter every moment. Huntsman Elite also includes a wrist rest, which is an excellent ergonomic decision for long matches.
In addition, it also has all the fancy features of Razer’s everyday products. Razer’s Chroma RGB is synchronized with games and other services such as Philips Hue, and there are 16.8 million colors to choose from. There is also a complete set of customizable macro keys, including a multi-function digital dial.
All of this comes from a sturdy aluminum housing and comes with Razer’s two-year warranty. All of these features combine to make you one of the best looking and feeling gaming keyboards.
The elite of Razer Huntsman has excellent construction quality. It has a plastic frame with an aluminum plate on top. It feels sturdy, with only a little bend. The keycaps are made of ABS plastic, which feels good in the hand, but they are slippery and will get worse if oil accumulates. Except for the space bar, these keys are very stable, and the space bar can be easily activated by tapping on the table; this problem also exists on the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition keyboard we reviewed. The slanted feet feel a bit fragile, and the rubber pads under them don’t provide enough grip. However, the weight of the keyboard itself helps prevent it from sliding.
The elite of Razer Huntsman has good ergonomics. It has two inclined settings and is equipped with a soft artificial leather wrist rest. Combined with the low propulsion power of the linear optical switch, you will not feel tired when typing for a long time.
Razer Huntsman Elite Razer Gaming Keyboard
The Razer Huntsman Elite provides a full RGB backlight with individually illuminated buttons. There are many preset lighting effects to choose from, and you can also create custom lighting profiles through custom software. There are also LED lighting at the edges of the keyboard and wrist rest, which can produce a dim effect. These LEDs require additional power, so they must be plugged into a second USB connector to work properly. For the lower LED on the wrist rest, the wrist rest must be connected to the keyboard through the pogo pin. The legend on the media key will not light up, so it is difficult to see.
The cable is woven and has a high texture, but it is very hard and easy to retain kinks. For most people, it should be long enough to reach their desktop.
The Razer Huntsman Elite has many additional features. All keys are macro-programmable, and you can use the macro-recording hotkeys to program them in real time without programming through software. You can lock the Windows key to prevent accidentally minimizing the game, and there is a “sleep” hotkey that puts your computer to sleep immediately. It has dedicated media controls, including a multi-function volume dial, which you can reassign to perform other functions. The media keys are not as advanced as the rest of the keyboard, and their movement distance is extremely short.
Our Razer Huntsman Elite unit is equipped with a linear optical switch (red). They do not provide any tactile feedback and only require a small amount of force to actuate. The distance before the stroke is very short, which makes the keyboard feel very sensitive. If you prefer, you can use a keyboard with the Clicky Optical switch (purple). The propaganda purple switch has a slightly higher travel distance and actuation force, and they provide tactile feedback, similar to the Cherry MX blue switch.
The typing experience of the linear optical switch is not bad. It has incredible responsiveness and lightness, and the attached wrist rest is very comfortable, so it will not cause any fatigue over time. Due to the lack of tactile feedback, it may be difficult to feel whether a button has been registered. Although the extremely short stroke front distance and light driving force are very important for the game, it is too sensitive, so typing is not recommended. We ran into the same problem as the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition, which was to activate the space bar by simply tapping on the table near the keyboard. In addition, the ABS keycap feels slippery, especially if there is oil accumulation. You can buy PBT keycaps from Razer stores or other retailers, but this is an additional cost.
Please note that the typing experience of the Clicky Optical switches is very different because they provide tactile feedback and are advertised as having a higher pre-travel distance and actuation force. Both our Razer Huntsman and Razer Huntsman Mini units are equipped with Clicky Optical switches. They do not have the same problem, that is, the space bar is too sensitive.
The linear optical switch on the Razer Huntsman Elite unit does not produce a lot of typing noise; however, as we have seen in our review of Razer Huntsman, the Clicky Optical switch is much louder.
Software and operating system
Razer Huntsman Elite has good software support. Razer’s Synapse 3 software allows you to reassign buttons (including volume dials), program macros, and individually customize the RGB backlight of each button. You can save any number of configuration files, and there is a cloud sync option, although it requires an account to use.
The keyboard has onboard memory and can save up to five custom configuration files. However, it did not work during our testing. We are not sure if this is a hardware or software issue, and other users have reported this issue.
It is fully compatible with Windows without any problems. For macOS, the “Screen Lock”, “Pause/Interrupt” and “Context” menus do not work, and the “Insert” key becomes the “Help” key. On Linux, all keys work as expected, but like macOS, no software support is provided, so custom functions are limited
Compared with other keyboards
The Razer Huntsman Elite is an excellent gaming keyboard. Compared to other keyboards in the price range, it stands out with incredible responsiveness. However, it lacks functions such as dedicated macro keys and USB pass-through. Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT provides these functions at the same price.
Razer Huntsman Elite is an excellent gaming keyboard. Due to its low actuation point, the responsiveness of the linear optical switch on our device is incredible and hardly requires any force to actuate. With full RGB backlighting, you can reassign or set macros for any key, and its dedicated media controls include a customizable volume dial. Unfortunately, there is no dedicated macro key for MMO.