We already consider Razer's Huntsman Elite to be one of the best gaming keyboards, and now it comes with a new linear optical switch option for people who prefer smoother key action to the clicky switch that was already being offered.
This is the same switch Razer introduced with its recently launched Huntsman Elite Tournament Edition. That's a tenkeyless (TKL) plank, meaning it lacks a dedicated number pad. Now it's available on the full size variant.
Both the purple (clicky) and red (linear) key switch options are optical switches, or "opto-mechanical." Rather than use metallic contacts like a traditional mechanical keyboard switch, optical switches enable actuation via light.
"You press a key and a light beam instantly passes through the switch stem—which is when actuation happens—and sends a corresponding signal to your computer to perform the intended action," Razer explains.
The Huntsman Elite originally shipped with a clicky optical key switch, with a 1.5mm actuation point requiring 45g of actuation force. Razer's linear switch reduces the actuation to 1.0mm and the actuation force to 40g. It's lighter, smoother, and quicker, in other words. It's twice as fast as traditional linear switches, and bests even Cherry's MX Speed switches, which have a 1.2mm actuation point.
The Huntsman Elite is available now with the linear switch option, for $199.99 direct from Razer. It will also be available at Best Buy (in store and online) in North America starting October 7.