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A Quiet Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

A photo of the Razer Huntsman v2 on a desk

This is without doubt one of the quietest mechanical keyboards I’ve ever used—and it’s a gaming keyboard!
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

When I reviewed the first-generation Razer Huntsman Elite, I favored its overt gamer look and was even a fan of the wraparound RGB lighting on the wrist-rest. But it had its drawbacks, too. It took up a ton of area on my desk, and whereas its purple optomechanical switches have been comfy to sort on, they emitted a loud noise with each keypress.

Razer took the teachings from that first-generation mannequin to refine the Razer Huntsman V2. Razer reduce down on the overt lighting, thinning the keyboard’s body within the course of and including sound dampening foam to cushion every key. The result’s a buttery clean typing expertise that I by no means thought potential with a gaming keyboard.

Goodbye, Underglow

Razer didn’t do a lot to vary the design of the Hunstman V2. It’s ostensibly the identical big, gamer-centric keyboard because the Huntsman Elite. The full-sized model of the V2 comes with Razer’s Clicky Purple optical switches for $190, or the second-generation Linear Red for $200, the latter of which contributed to my pleasurable typing expertise. The Huntsman V2 TKL model comes with the identical choices for $150 and $160, respectively.

A photo of a hand holding up the Razer Huntsman V2 mechanical keyboard

The Razer Huntsman V2 continues to be a large behemoth of a gaming keyboard, so put together to create space for it.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

If you’ve seen or used the Razer Huntsman Elite, the primary distinction you’ll discover with the V2 is that there’s no extra underglow. Razer restricted the Chroma RGB to the keycaps and as background aptitude on the 4 media buttons on the correct facet. I favor this, and I feel most grownup avid gamers with cash to spend would, too. The wrist relaxation has additionally had its lights eliminated in favor of softer leather-based. Magnets hold it in place on the underside of the keyboard.

Razer improved the keycaps it consists of with the keyboard proper out of the field. The Huntsman V2 has textured Doubleshot PBT Keycaps, in comparison with the Huntsman Elite’s spraypainted ABS keycaps, which felt chintzy and low cost. Razer additionally standardized the underside row of the keyboard this time round so that you could swap out keycaps as you please extra simply, maybe with the assistance of Razer’s personal colourful PBT keycap improve units.

My favourite tweak to the Huntsman V2 is that there’s now not a thick cable taking on two ports on my already scarce laptop computer dock. The cable now requires solely a singular port to energy up.

Buttery-Soft Switches

Razer has clearly been prioritizing the mechanical keyboard-using crowd, and it’s no extra evident than in how the corporate has been refining its switches. I’m sometimes a Cherry MX/Gateron Brown consumer as a result of I favor a quieter typing expertise, however the second-generation Linear Red switches are fairly good. The switches aren’t bouncy, however they don’t really feel mushy both. I can inform there’s sound-dampening foam between the keycap and once I backside out on the keypress as a result of there’s nonetheless a convincing “click on” after urgent every key. That delicate touchdown makes it in order that my fingers aren’t fatigued by the tip of the day from bouncing round, which I’ve felt earlier than typing with the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Wireless, the final mechanical keyboard I reviewed from the corporate.

A photo of the red linear switches on the razer keyboard, exposed

Razer’s Linear Red optical switches supply a quiet, delicate typing expertise.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Unfortunately, the comfy typing expertise didn’t translate into a quick one. In my line of labor, I must be fast. My typing check ranked me at 105 phrases per minute (WPM), which is mostly greater than the typical individual, however not when in comparison with the 111 WPM I managed with the HyperX Alloy Origins I reviewed final summer time, which is about the identical measurement by way of size because the Huntsman V2. There is a little bit of drag with each keypress—like stepping in thick mud that takes a second to let go of your shoe while you decide your foot up. That results in a sinking impact as my fingers journey throughout the board.

I favor my typing to be slower than jumpy, nevertheless. Ultimately, keyboards are subjective as a result of everybody has their preferences and wishes on the subject of typing. At the very least, the Razer Huntsman V2 stays one of many quietest mechanical keyboards in my arsenal.

Beware the Synapse Software

The cause you’d purchase a mechanical gaming keyboard is just not just for the {hardware} tailormade on your esports expertise, but additionally for the bundled software program that allows lighting results and macro recording. The lighting results are a neat strategy to customise the keyboard to your liking. You can flick thru totally different gaming profiles to allow macros particular to that title—one thing I’m most positively going to do as soon as that tenth anniversary version of Skyrim hits.

I take advantage of the Razer Synapse software program practically day by day in my use of the BlackWidow V3 Mini wi-fi keyboard, and it’s not probably the most pleasant app in the event you’re working on an older PC. Synapse was a part of the mechanical keyboard software program exploit awhile again, which isn’t nice! On the plus facet, to assist fight the bloat that usually comes with this software program, Razer has restricted what number of of its “modules” it routinely downloads while you set up the software program. If you don’t care concerning the Chroma Studio and customizing the sunshine of every key, you may go away it up in Razer’s cloud.

A photo of a hand resting on the Razer huntsman v2 keyboard

The Razer Huntsman V2 is a worthy purchase in the event you’re attempting to maintain quiet whereas gaming away in your cave.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Mechanical gaming keyboards have turn out to be vastly well-liked in the previous couple of years, helped by the keyboard customization neighborhood, which discovered new methods to attain typing nirvana via independently-made switches and group buys. Seeing what it’s up in opposition to, Razer appears to be engaged on making its product lineup a little bit extra subtle for these keen to drop this sort of money on their each day typing behavior. But in the event you’re content material with the keyboard you could have readily available, and there’s no must spend the $190-$200 for the brand new Razer Huntsman V2. Unless, after all, you’re driving everybody up the wall together with your loud typing—then Razer’s Linear Red switches will be the solely factor that retains your family members and coworkers from hating you.