In case you missed it, last week we started a series on building out the Ultimate Chroma Cave – an RGB gaming station featuring Chroma gear from Razer. Part 1 was all about the heart of the cave, the Razer Blade 15. Let’s continue digging into the Chroma Cave with another integral part – the Razer Huntsman Elite Keyboard.
Huntsman Elite: Overview
For the Chroma Cave, we’re looking for RGB capability, and Razer’s lineage of gaming peripherals includes a vast selection of RGB keyboards. You’ll find some of their offerings on almost every top 10 list of gaming keyboards. The Huntsman Elite has found its way onto many of these lists and is typically only hindered by its steep price point. The Huntsman starts at $149.99 and the Huntsman Elite will set you back $199.99. For that price, though, you get some of the best switches available.
Huntsman Elite: Video
Huntsman Elite: Opto-Mechanical Switches
Only available on the Huntsman and Huntsman Elite, Razer’s new Opto-Mechanical switches are faster and more durable than most traditional mechanical keyboards. Razer perfectly describes them as “light and clicky.” Minimal effort is required to actuate a keystroke and they give a very satisfying click (be sure to watch the video if you want to hear them for yourself). These switches operate with light sensors instead of the standard metal contacts. Here’s what Razer says about the switches:
“Razer Opto-Mechanical™ Switches have an optical light sensor inside the switch. Upon pressing a key, you allow a receiver to be activated by this light signal, instantly actuating the switch command…”
“Opto refers to digital optical actuation, which works in parallel with the Mechanical click to provide the familiar clicky, tactile feedback of the Opto-Mechanical™ Switch. This unique hybrid allows the Opto-Mechanical™ Switch to provide the clicky bump reminiscent of the fan-favorite Razer™ Green Switch, but with a separate mechanism so your keypress is actuated the instant you feel the click.”
If Razer’s main reasoning for this technology was light speed actuation, they’ve also delivered a switch that is very enjoyable to use. Obviously keyboard preferences vary greatly, but for me this is the best feeling (and sounding) keyboard that I’ve used.
They’re also made to last. Razer claims that the switches are durable up to 100 million keystrokes whereas the industry standard is 50 million.
Huntsman Elite: How does it Game?
With such light actuation and clicky feedback, the Huntsman Elite delivers a sublime gaming experience. Keystrokes feel effortless and precise, and the physical and audible *click* lets you know when a key has been depressed. These switches are simply incredible.
Huntsman Elite: How’s the Chroma?
Obviously, for the Chroma Cave, the Huntsman Elite is an RGB superstar. The $50 it takes to upgrade from the regular Huntsman to the Elite gives you the wrist rest with 4 sides of RGB and media keys, which are very convenient and add some nice RGB features built in to the volume knob. A simple press mutes audio and turns the knob red. Adjust the volume and a white light around the knob gets brighter as volume increases.
Developers continue to create RGB profiles that utilize Razer’s Chroma features, adding color cues to your keyboard to help reflect what is going on in the game. Apex Legends just added this support. Pick up blue or purple items and lights flash over the keyboard to signify the tier of gear you acquired. Use a medical item and a green bar will move across the keyboard as the time until completion ticks down. Fortnite and Overwatch are some other popular titles in the ever growing library of games that offer Chroma features through Razer Synapse.
Huntsman Elite: Other Chroma Keyboards
Of course, you don’t need to spend $200 to get a great Razer Chroma enabled gaming keyboard. The entry point into Chroma boards is the Razer Cynosa Chroma at $59.99. The new Black Widow line, which has many Chroma options, starts at $99 for the X Tournament Edition Chroma. The regular Huntsman, which lacks the wrist rest, RGB around the base and the media keys, is priced at $149.99.
Huntsman Elite: Elite indeed
Sitting at the top of Razer’s gaming keyboards, the Huntsman Elite is best choice for the Ultimate Chroma Cave. The opto-mechanical switches are among the best out there and the RGB lights integrated all over the keyboard make it an incredible piece of gaming gear. The price is steep, but I think it stands out from other keyboards.