Razer built a light-based key switch for its newest mechanical keyboards

Razer has added a couple of new mechanical keyboards to its growing line of planks, but what separates these newest models from the pack are the key switches. Both the Huntsman and Huntsman Elite, as they're called, feature Razer's new opto-mechanical switch.

Unlike most mechanical key switches, the opto mechanical ones have an optical light sensor inside to register key presses. According to Razer, this design enables a faster and more consistent response when mashing keys, especially in a frenzied firefight.

"Using optical technology, an infrared light beam inside each switch precisely detects actuation when a key is pressed. A 1.5mm actuation point allows the Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch to actuate 30 percent faster than traditional clicky mechanical switches," Razer says.

These are clicky switches, similar to Razer's Green switch (which itself is like Cherry's MX Blue switch), with tactile feedback. The optical portion works in parallel with the switch, so the claim is you get the same general feel as a Razer Green, just with a separate mechanism to instantly actuate a key press.

They're also supposedly durable, in part because of a metal stabilizer bar that flanks both sides of the switch. Razer rates its opto mechanical key switches for 100 million keystrokes.

The regular Huntsman is the less expensive of the two at $149.99. It's built with an aluminum matte top plate, features Chroma (RGB) backlighting, and on-the-fly macro recording, though there are no dedicated gaming/macro keys.

Razer's Huntsman Elite costs $199.99 and comes with a few additional features, including a magnetic wrist rest, underglow lighting, and separate media controls with a scroll dial in the upper-right corner.

Both keyboards are available now. If they don't float your boat, here's our guide to the best gaming keyboards out there.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).