The Razer Huntsman V2 mechanical gaming keyboard beefs up the already impressive feature set of the Huntsman Elite, and does so without upping the price. Although we must forgo the glorious RGB underglow lighting up our desks, that seems to be the only cutback Razer has made, with all other changes being thoughtful improvements to its predecessor's design.
Switch: Razer Optical Purple/Red
Polling rate: 8,000 Hz
Keycaps: PBT double-shot
Wrist rest: Yes
Price: $189.99 clicky/$199.99 linear
With the linear key switch variant of the new Huntsman V2 coming in at the same price point as the premium Huntsman Elite, and the clicky version now even cheaper, there's really not much to complain about.
The most notable of the many amendments to the previous Huntsman design is the introduction of second generation linear optical key switches, as well as that clicky optical switches are now available with the tenkeyless version. The second generation switches come with swift, 8,000Hz HyperPolling tech, and are complemented by just 0.2ms of latency.
That makes for a very fast keyboard indeed.
For those who enjoy Razer's clicky opto-mechanical switches, the Razer Hunstman V2 also comes with improved acoustics—sound dampening foam inside the board makes those conspicuous key presses... a little less obnoxious. I love a clicky keyboard as much as the next person, but my partner—whose PC sits in the same room as mine—does not, so I'm sure this is good news for relationships everywhere.
There is a slight 'ching' sound that comes from pressing the spacebar (which can be quite distracting) but otherwise the dampening works really well.
We've also tested the Huntsman V2 TKL board too, one which uses the linear version of Razer's optical switches. That doesn't have anywhere near the same slightly wobbly feel to the spacebar, and the sound-dampening layer of foam seems to make far more difference to the feel and acoustics of the board.
We went in a strange love-hate-love parabola with the feel of the dampened switches; initially loving it, then kinda turned off, and then back to loving the soft, slightly deadened feel of the linear switches' travel.
And while you're smashing the keys to make up for the lack of noisy click-clacks, you can rest assured the doubleshot PBT keycaps will last. Being textured there's less slippage, too, and they're less prone to developing shine or losing their lettering over time.
Incredibly, with all the improvements Razer has jammed in, including more cushion and less frame around the wrist-rest, even the dedicated media controls remain. It's not a huge loss that there are still no macros or USB pass throughs, and the company has at least removed the necessity to power the board's RGBs with a separate cable.
All this cements the Huntsman V2 as one of the best, most practical mechanical keyboards out there today. And I think the 8,000Hz HyperPolling actually makes it the fastest one of all. Exactly where Razer has managed to cut corners here without needing to ask for more money is beyond me. Either way, it's evident the company is taking on feedback to improve its peripherals, while managing to not overcomplicate, or utterly overprice them.