I’ve been using the Huntsman Elite for about 3 weeks as my main keyboard. So I not only used it for daily typing writing reviews, e-mails, and news articles, but also for quite a lot of gaming. When using the keyboard I was extremely comfortable, I think a lot of that had to do with the wrist rest. My wrist sat on it perfectly and just gave me the support that I needed. The next thing was how solid the keyboard felt. Razer has finally put an aluminum top plate in a keyboard and you can definitely tell the difference if you used an older Razer keyboard. There is no flex at all in the keyboard, which is nice. I mainly used the keyboard with the larger pop-out feet, but it is nice that you have 3 different angles to choose from.
Moving to optical (or as Razer calls them Opto-Mechanical) is a big deal for Razer, but one that makes sense. The reason Razer calls these switches Opto-Mechanical is because they are mean’t to mimic the feel of a mechanical switch. So you are going to get a similar feel with the added benefit of speed and accuracy. Optical switches use 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. Our keyboard had Razer’s Purple Opto-Mechanical switch, which is meant to be clicky. To me it felt very similar to a Cherry MX Blue, but much faster, which of course is great for those Cherry MX Blue lovers who want a faster switch.
One of the coolest features of this keyboard is the fact that the detachable wrist rest has RGB lighting. Razer achieves this by six contacts on the keyboard and wrist rest. No annoying cables or anything like that, you just press it into the keyboard and you are good to go. This extra lighting does require a second USB port, but we think it is worth the trade-off. We have heard of Razer making other accessories that would use those six contact points (like a wireless charger), but 2 years later and all we have is the wrist rest as an accessory for the Huntsman Elite.
While there is a lot to love about this keyboard, there are a few things I would have liked to have seen. First is PBT keycaps, I know we don’t typically see these on gaming keyboards, but for a flagship gaming keyboard we sort of expect to see them, especially since Corsair recently added them on their K95 RGB Platinum XT. Another thing that was odd was the dedicated multimedia controls have legends on them where light does not shine through. So you really can’t see what they are if you are in a dark room.
At the end of the day almost 2 years later and this keyboard is still very solid and is going to give you many features you still won’t find on other keyboards. Right now this keyboard is selling at our favorite online retailer for $167.99, which we feel is fair for what you are getting. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard a 9 out of 10 score.
– Opto-Mechanical switches
– Lots of customization options in the software
– Aluminum top plate
– Re-programmable dial
– Detachable wrist rest with RGB lighting
– Dedicated multi-media keys
– Need two USB ports for lighting
– ABS keycaps
– Multi-media key legends are not see-through