Think of the best gaming keyboards and you might think of ones using mechanical Cherry MX key switches. But Cherry MX isn’t the ‘be all, end all’ of mechanical switches any more, and there are many other respectable options (we’re looking at you, Gateron switches!). Optical switches are also a venerable option, and Razer’s Huntsman gaming keyboard demonstrates this.
The Razer Huntsman is now 40% ($60) off on Amazon US and 27% (£40) off on Amazon UK, lowering the price to $89.99 and £109.99 respectively. For this price you’re getting a quality keyboard with ‘opto-mechanical’ switches and, of course, enough RGB lighting to stage a rave without a disco ball (you know, for those ever-popular disco ball raves?).
Razer makes both the Huntsman and Huntsman Elite gaming keyboards. The main differences are that the latter has a detachable wrist rest, media keys and volume dial, and underglow backlighting – but apart from that they use the same optical switches and are built pretty much exactly the same.
I personally used the Huntsman Elite as my daily clacker for two months straight, and can confirm that the clicky optical switches have a quick and light actuation that feels as solid as any Cherry MX switch I’ve used – and it’s mighty comfortable to type on, too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go the whole hog and use its optical switches for analogue input like the Wooting One does, but as far as standard mechanical switches go the Huntsman’s optico-mechanical ones are great.
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These optical switches actuate at 1.5mm, much lower than the 2.2mm actuation distance of the similarly clicky Cherry MX Blue key switch. This makes for quick and responsive actuation on the switches, just like many linear switches, while also retaining that beloved tactile and clicky feel.
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It feels durable, too, making for an all-round quality mechanical keyboard with rather rare key switches. At this massive discount it’s an absolute bargain, and you’re not missing out on too much by opting for the Huntsman over the Hunter Elite. It gets a big tick from us at this price!