Are Razer’s New Mechanical Keyboards Any Good?

Are Razer’s New Mechanical Keyboards Any Good?


It’s no secret that Razer aren’t the most
well received in the mechanical keyboard world, especially amongst enthusiasts, even though
we weren’t really the target market in the first place. And it is somewhat warranted. Their staple board, the Blackwidow wasn’t
a bad board at all to be honest. From what I could see, it was mainly the keycap
quality, which was thin ABS and laser etched, which are pretty much as low as you can go,
with a gamery font as well. And of course the non-standard bottom row,
making it difficult to swap out keycaps for aftermarket ones was a huge deal. However, the keyboard design looked fine to
me, and it had a steel mounting plate with plastic enclosure, just like the other reputable
brands. And their other boards kind of go along the
same lines, and all coming with a relatively high price tag. But we all know that Razer is all about that
For Gamers, By Gamers mantra. And have a solid marketing game, and a lot
of us feel that there’s better options. And that is absolutely true, but because they’re
so dominant in the broader consumer market, often people don’t see past them, and that’s
what a lot us aren’t really comfortable with. Somewhat recently a Razer representative posted
on the mechanical keyboard subreddit, with a board that they’ve said follows some of
the trends of the enthusiast market. So let’s look at that board, the Razer Hunstman
Tournament Edition. Alright so in the hands it feels okay with
minimal flex as it does have the aluminium plate. However because it’s alu rather than steel,
it is a pretty light keyboard, coming in at just under 700 grams. First impressions, it looks pretty nice. While it is quite different to their previous
boards, it still looks like a Razer board to me. But yeh, a very clean design which is so nice
to see. However, it does use a floating key design,
as opposed to a high profile design. So basically the mounting plate is exposed,
so there’s no top plastic shell, which in turn exposes the keyswitches. And it makes sense for a tournament sort of
keyboard. It makes it lighter, and just more easy to
take around to events and such. The aluminium plate has a nice smooth and
even finish, with a slight chamfer on the edges, so it won’t cut you. And the stealth branding is really really
nice. I for one think that this logo is very aesthetically
pleasing, especially compared to the snake one, and yeh, perfect execution. And then the keycaps. Another great improvement. First of all, the font or typeface, very clean. And then these are pretty thick 1.4mm PBT
plastic, and the legends are doubleshot, so they won’t fade away. They’ve fixed up the bottom row, so it’s
a completely standard ANSI layout, so replacing the keycaps with aftermarket sets is now easy
as. Looking at the bottom, we have this interesting
design. I don’t mind it, because it’s at the bottom,
and looks quite nice actually. And interestingly, the sticker is the other
way round for whatever reason. There’s some flip up feet, with 6 degrees
and 9 degrees labelled, however the rubber on them is a bit too hard, so they’re not
very grippy compared to the other big ones. So it does slide around a bit. On the rear we have a USB type C port. Again, a great addition. Also meaning that the cable is detachable. Now when it comes to keyswitches, Razer have
been quite experimental over the years. They started with Cherry MX keyswitches, then
moved on to producing switches with Kailh, which lets be honest, weren’t great, but
these had a slightly earlier actuation to target gamers. And then I think they made a move to Greetech
after that, which is another Chinese switch manufacturer. Again, shorter actuation targeting the gamer
market. And now in the Huntsman keyboards, they have
their optical keyswitches, which further goes towards their gamer vision. I have the Reds, which are a linear switch,
meaning that it has no tactile bump or click, but it is also available in the Purple clicky. While these do look a bit weird, they still
have the MX stem. So just like other lightstrike keyswitches
that are out and about. And yeh, this shows exactly how they work. We have a light beam, and when the stem blocks
it, that’s when the actuation happens. Simple. Where as on a normal switch, we have two metal
contacts that hit, and make that actuation. So we do remove those internal contacts, so
less moving parts. And they state that there’s close to no
debounce delay. Don’t know how much of a difference it makes. I find standard keyswitches to be plenty fast
enough in regards to that. For me, it’s more about the weight and actuation
distance that allows for faster actions, especially repetitive actions. So it does have a reduced actuation distance,
at only 1mm on the linears. And these are quite light keyswitches at 40
grams, which is lighter than a Cherry MX Red. So yeh, very light, and you feel that shorter
travel. And for that reason, it did feel quite good
for gaming. As always, everyone is different, but the
lightness and shorter travel does make actions feel that touch easier and faster. Even I sometimes feel a bit sluggish on say
Cherry MX Blues, and get fatigued easier, because there’s more to each keypress. The quantitative difference may not be much,
but personally, I think the feel is more important. If you feel faster, you feel faster. But when it comes to typing, it’s not my
sort of thing. I’m more prone to typos because of the low
actuation distance, and the weight, kind of like how people are with Cherry MX Reds. It doesn’t take much to press other keys
when typing. And yeh, I just prefer something a bit heavier,
and to get more feel out the keyboard. They are however very smooth. Some of the smoothest stock switches I’ve
felt. And I felt that with the Gateron Optical keyswitches
as well. Just super smooth, and enjoyable to use. But because of the simplified switch internals,
paired with the barebones case, so just the aluminium plate, there’s not much depth
to the keyfeel. It’s not hollow feeling, it’s just very
thin. Difficult to describe, but like opposite to
thocky, and I guess the sound helps in trying to imagine how it feels. This is super loud. The bottom out is hard, thin as said. And it sounds like a gun when your typing
fast. Another super important part of a mechanical
keyboard are the stabilisers. They’re pretty good. They’re not perfect, and there is a bit
of rattle. But the rattle is quite minimal. And this really does sum it up, Razer keyboards
are heavily targeted towards gamers. I personally feel that their earlier boards
didn’t really have anything gamer specific, but over the years they’ve reached this
point where they’ve created what I think is an actual gaming keyboard, while also picking
up some trends from the mech community. So let’s look at what’s good. Tenkeyless is a good size for gaming, more
mouse space, and easy to carry around. The overall design aesthetic is very clean. Floating key design may not be for everyone,
but it makes it lighter, and easier to carry. The layout has been fixed, so standard keycap
sizes. And said keycaps are now thick doubleshot
PBT plastic, with a clean font. There’s a detachable USB type C connection. And lastly the keyswitches, I feel are a gamers
switch. Very fast feeling, but not the best for typing,
in my opinion. So there’s a lot right with this keyboard. And it is a unique keyboard in the market. There’s other boards with optical keyswitches,
but not in this sort of clean package. Looking at their other boards, I do think
that this may be their best one overall as a whole, but it’s clearly not for everyone. I wouldn’t get this, because I’m not that
hardcore of a gamer where all this stuff matters. Because the performance differences are very
small, and you have to be in that high percentile to potentially benefit. Because will it make me better over using
my Singa V3 with Gateron Ink Yellows? Nah, probably not. And I value key feel and the build of a keyboard,
more than potential performance anyway. Because it is a very light and insubstantial
sort of board, where it’s not about satisfaction, just performance. So I prefer a heavier board with that satisfying
typing experience, which I feel this doesn’t come close to say like a Leopold for a retail
example. So can you get a better board for the same
price of 130 USD, yes absolutely. But it won’t deliver what this delivers. I also didn’t touch on the whole Razer Synapse
stuff, but it’s pretty fleshed out and has a lot of features that work with other products
as well. I am impressed with this keyboard though. And just going over everything. There’s nothing wrong with it right? There’s no real negatives, and they’ve
fixed a lot of things. It’s just not my type of keyboard, and the
same will be for many others. Because we all like different things.

100 thoughts on “Are Razer’s New Mechanical Keyboards Any Good?

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *