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Razer Huntsman V2, great performance in optical gaming keyboards

Razer Huntsman V2 is another of the numerous models in the large collection of high performance keyboards that the manufacturer has in the catalog and together with those of the ‘ BlackWidows series ‘, whose latest version we also had the opportunity to analyze, the ones we like the most for use in their preferred habitat: PC games .

The second generation of the Huntsman has been conveniently renewed to improve performance and comfort of use over the original version. For starters, it’s the first Razer keyboard to offer a 8,000Hz polling rate which keeps latency to an absolute minimum and achieves instant performance. The ABS keys have been renewed by the improved PBTs with double injection molded and dedicated multimedia keys have been incorporated, while maintaining the superb RGB backlighting system and the control and customization possibilities of the Synapse software.

In addition to the incredible polling rate, another new feature in this version is aimed at appealing to users who are looking for the performance of optical keyboards, but prefer a quieter clicking sound. And it is that Razer offers this keyboard in two variants according to the switches used , the Clicky Optical (typical click sound) and the Linear Optical, which use a silicone damping foam to reduce sound emission.

The Razer team in Spain has given us the classic version and personally it is the one I like the most. In good optical-mechanical gaming keyboards, I like the experience and sound they provide, although it is appreciated that Razer also remembers the users who for their own pleasure or to avoid disturbing other users or family members if they share the desktop, prefer to reduce acoustics.

Razer Huntsman V2

Razer Huntsman V2, Specifications

Technology Razer Purple Optical Switches – Clicky Optical
Keys Double injection PBT
Polling rate Razer HyperPolling technology up to true 8000 Hz
Connectivity USB Type-A with 2 meter braided fiber cable
Backlight Razer Chroma RGB. 16.8M colors customizable per key
Various Matte aluminum top plate
Sound damping foam
Plush leatherette wrist rests
Multifunction digital dial with four multimedia keys
Integrated hybrid storage for five profiles
N-key rollover. Programmable keys, profiles, macros
Dimensions 448 x 230 x 39 mm / 1.137 kg of weight
Software Razer Synapse 3 for Windows

Razer delivers the well-protected keyboard in an attractive packaging that highlights the brand’s green color and its main features. It comes complete with a paper quick guide and a faux leather wrist rest of the usual quality and comfort.

Razer Huntsman V2

General design

The Razer Huntsman V2 is a full 104-key keyboard, although the manufacturer also sells this version in the variant it calls TenKeyLess (Huntsman V2 TKL), smaller by removing the number pad and keys of media, and with other adjustments in design as in the connection cable, but with the same technology. Still, the tested version is relatively compact for efficient use of space and key spacing.

The general design follows the line seen in the latest gaming keyboards from the manufacturer. Robust and sober (until you activate the backlight), but with that feeling of a premium product that is transmitted from minute one and in all its sections. A highlight here is the upper part made of aluminum with a matte black finish that repels fingerprints and gives it strength and visual appeal, while the rest of the chassis uses polycarbonate materials.

Razer Huntsman V2

The keyboard incorporates a detachable wrist rest that deserves to be highlighted. It is attached via a magnetic connection to the lower part of the keyboard and is made of plush synthetic leather. A quality finish, comfortable to use and a good support to rest your wrists in long hours of use. It discreetly includes the brand’s logo in the center and six rubber pads on the bottom to keep it from moving. It would only lack the extension of the backlighting that the company’s ‘Elite’ models have. It increases the space on the desktop, but there is no doubt that it is an extra that any user will appreciate.

The bottom has six rubber pads to prevent inadvertent sliding on the desk. To adapt the inclination to the user’s liking, it has two double-stage legs that allow it to be set at 6 or 9 degrees.

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We have less liked the lack of possibilities in the connection system to the PC. The cable is located on the left side and is fixed, it is not detachable and it does not have routing options to the center or the right side. It has not been a problem for us due to the situation of the tower, but there are users who like that type of customization. In any case, the cable that it incorporates is made of quality braided fiber, with a generous length of two meters to reach the USB Type-A port where it is connected by means of a Plug & Play bracket.

Another novelty of the second generation of this Huntsman comes from the incorporation of dedicated media controls . Placed in their natural space, on the right side and above the keyboard, are four multimedia keys and a digital dial that can be configured for pause, play, skip or rewind track / video, volume or brightness control. Useful and practical, it is another good addition that we appreciate.

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Keys and switches

The keys and the actuation mechanisms are the main elements to value in a gaming keyboard that is worth its salt and where the differences really lie in a 50-euro keyboard versus a 200-euro keyboard. Here Razer deploys the best technology available with its proprietary second generation optical switches .

And it is the first Razer keyboard with 8000 Hz polling rate . An impressive fact. To understand it, comment that the keyboard checks for keystrokes and informs the computer 8,000 times per second. That’s eight times the 1000Hz of a good mechanical keyboard and the lowest input latency available in the keyboard industry.

Razer says that the value of its technology HyperPolling is real and, well, we have no way of verifying it, but we can assure you that the performance of the keyboard is extraordinary and each press is transformed in action instantly . This is helped by an ultra-fast response time of 0.2 milliseconds, three times faster than traditional magnetic switches.

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Technically, the Huntsman V2 mechanical-optical switches use a small beam of light to detect when a key has been pressed, rather than using metal contacts like traditional Cherry MX switches. This solves the problem that occurs in some keyboards with mechanical switches where the contacts can “bounce” before making final contact. It is a matter of milliseconds and it is difficult to appreciate the differences, but we repeat, the response of this keyboard is outstanding and we imagine that it is one of the reasons why it is one of the most used models in electronic sports.

The Razer Huntsman V2 also offers improvements to the same keys, replacing the previous ABS in favor of a PBT molded in a double injection process . Stronger, lighter and more durable, the company promises that the labels will not rub off and will retain their texture and glossy finish. In any case the keys are easily replaceable without tools and can be replaced due to the standardized size and design of the switches.

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In addition to gaming, we have tested the keyboard in general computer use as well as production tasks. It took us just a few hours to get used to its use and we had no difficulties in obtaining our usual brand. The keys are located at the correct distance, are soft to the touch and allow typing without errors in productivity tasks and with the very fast action commented.

Regarding the differences between the Clicky Optical variants and the new Linear Optical with silicone shock absorbers, we cannot tell you about our experience because we have not tried this one. From what we’ve read about it it achieves its main goal of reducing loudness , but it feels more like using a membrane hybrid, albeit with all the features of a mechanical keyboard. As I said above and personally, I prefer the sensations, cleanliness, sharpness and that spectacular metallic sound of the Clicky Optical version. If loudness is a problem for you, the alternative may be a good option.

Backlight and software

To extract the full potential of its peripherals and support them properly, Razer offers its own Synapse 3 control software. It is one of the best of its kind and is the key to using the more advanced features of this keyboard and any other peripheral of the brand you use, synchronizing some of its functions such as lighting. It’s only available for Windows at the moment, so Linux or macOS users won’t have all of these customization options, even though the keyboard works the same way.

If you follow us regularly you will know it from other analyzes. With the application installed, you can remap the function of the keys, create macros, control RGB lighting, create profiles, and configure Hypershift shortcuts. All keys except Windows and Hypershift can be reassigned. Macros are assigned in the same way with an additional menu that appears when you click any key in the customization view.

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Of course, it has advanced functions such as the N-key rollover, which allows to record all the keystrokes simultaneously, so that we can execute several actions at the same time. The possibilities are endless with the software offered by Razer and the configuration of each key and macros. It should be noted that the keyboard has its own built-in memory that allows saving and activating up to five profiles. A good addition for cloud storage where you can have all you need, the macro library and the settings you want.

The assessment of the Synapse 3 is what we have been doing in other reviews of Razer peripherals. Using all the options requires a learning curve and may not be as intuitive and easy to use for those just starting out and stumbling across so many advanced features. We recommend spending a little time at the beginning. It is a great investment and in the end the user will be able to adapt the configuration to any profile and style of play, its main function.

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As for the backlighting, we once again surrender to it: it is one of the best you will find on a keyboard . Chroma RGB technology offers 16.8 million possible color combinations, which can be programmed as the consumer sees fit by assigning lighting per key. The software offers a dozen quick effect options if you just want the basics, but if you want to take full control of your keyboard lighting there are endless options.

For this you can use the Chroma Studio module installed in the Synapse 3, which can be overwhelming with its potential, although it also includes predefined fast or advanced effects that can be used. You can also disable the backlight entirely when you’re working on productivity tasks and don’t want colors. The keyboard also has dedicated function keys to increase / decrease its intensity, just as it can be customized on the digital dial built into the media keys.

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The software also allows adding the games (or installed applications) to each of the predefined profiles or those created by the user, while with the Connect module activated, compatible games and applications from a list ever-growing (already supports about 150 games) automatically use preset lighting for a true reverse lighting experience. The module can also sync its effects with compatible third-party RGB devices that will appear for management in the same Synapse software.

Razer Huntsman V2, conclusions

Another great keyboard from Razer and they go…. some. The manufacturer has an impressive collection to cover all needs, most of them mechanical for games, but also some hybrid membrane or like this second version of the Huntsman, mechanical, but with optical switches.

For the renovation, the best of the series has been maintained, incorporating the new generation of switches and the two possibilities mentioned according to loudness. The polling rate is the highest ever in the industry and beyond marketing its results are superb at reducing latency and achieving instant key action. The overall quality of the keyboard is remarkable, as are the PBT keys which are a nice improvement over traditional ABS. The backlighting is outstanding and the capabilities of the Synapse software are on par with the hardware. A warranty gaming keyboard that achieves our recommended product logo in its own right.

The tested version, Linear Optical, has an official price of 209.99 euros, while the Clicky Optical version (reduced in loudness) costs 199.99 euros. Both are available from the manufacturer’s web portal and from major retailers for a similar price. Another possibility is to acquire the Tenkeyless version reduced in size, but with all the technology of the previous ones and a lower price, from 159 euros.

They are not inexpensive models, as are the high-end peripherals of the rest of the large manufacturers from whom we always ask for price adjustments. If anything, in our opinion this Razer Huntsman V2 is a great investment for many years .

Final Assessment

ABSTRACT

Razer Huntsman V2 is another model in the large collection of high-performance keyboards for PC games that the manufacturer has in the catalog. It is the first Razer keyboard to achieve a polling rate of 8,000 Hz which reduces latency to an absolute minimum and achieves instant performance. The ABS keys have been renewed by the improved PBTs with double injection molding and dedicated multimedia keys have been incorporated, while maintaining the RGB backlighting system and the possibilities of Synapse software.

Construction quality 9.5

User experience and software 9.5

Installation and configuration 9

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