Razer Huntsman V2 Gaming Keyboard Review

The $249.99 price tag The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is the epitome of a “flagship keyboard.” It’s a major one. It’s a show-stopper. It comes with a plethora of opulent extras. The keyboard’s namesake element, Razer’s Analog Optical switches, is the spotlight. They enable you to change the point at which keys transmit signals to your screen, as well as re-create the “half-press” features seen on gamepads. Razer has used some of these features in the Tartarus Pro keypad and other niche gadgets in the past, however, the V2 Analog introduces fresh tricks and takes the concepts to the forefront. We’re still not convinced that using a console keyboard to mimic a gamepad is a good idea, but the additional modification possibilities have a lot of potentials. Overall, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is a fantastic keyboard that we recommend as an Editors’ Option.

Analog Had a Big Day

For a full-size keyboard, the Huntsman V2 Analog is svelte. The black-on-black chassis has a sleek body despite measuring 1.81 by 17.45 by 5.5 inches (HWD) or 1.81 by 17.45 by 9.03 inches (HWD) with its magnetically connected wrist rest. Despite taking up a lot of desk space, the keyboard looks slim thanks to its lightweight key grouping, which allows small RGB light shafts to shine into the holes between them.

The wrist rest on the Huntsman V2 Analog has been significantly improved. The thicker, bezel-less interface is more appealing than the previous version’s, and it’s simpler to find a convenient typing spot. (No more jabbing the forearm with raw edges!) Wireless charging contacts have been added to the magnetic system that attaches to the wrist rest, powering an RGB light edge that wraps along the keyboard’s middle. The RGB “underflow” rim has gained popularity in the last year, but Razer is the first company I’ve seen integrate the function into an optional wrist rest, guaranteeing that the glow never fades.

The V2 Analog resembles a Razer Huntsman keyboard in several respects. The same media controls as the last few top-of-the-line Razer keyboards can be found in the top right corner: A clickable volume wheel with an exposed edge for fast spinning, as well as a series of circular, dedicated media keys. The V2 Analog replaces the Huntsman Mini’s PBT double-shot keycaps with Razer’s PBT double shot keycaps, which are virtually identical to previous Razer keyboards (though they can last longer). The Huntsmans and BlackWidows, Razer’s biggest and baddest keyboards, have a universal theme, and the V2 Analog follows suit. That’s not a problem; the V2 Analog looks and sounds fantastic.

The Huntsman V2 Analog’s improvements are hidden under the hood. Razer’s Analog Optical switches have evolved from an experimental keypad design to the cornerstone of Razer’s top-of-the-line keyboard, despite the fact that they aren’t fresh. Pushing the linear-style optical switch reveals a pulse of light that completes a circuit and actuates the input for the uninitiated. Optical switches, according to several businesses, are more robust than mechanical switches, but it isn’t what makes them special. The V2 Analog comes with a slew of advanced, actuation-focused customizations that should enable you to fine-tune your controls much further.

The optical switches on the V2 Analog, as the name implies, simulate the power gradient you’d get from a gamepad’s analog stick. It operates by distinguishing between a half-press and a complete press. The ability to mimic the feel of using an analog stick to walk in third-person action games like Assassin’s Creed or Grand Theft Auto is the most common example, and it’s what Razer and other businesses have been pursuing for years. You could click a movement key halfway down to walk or all the way down to a sprint, for example. You will actually delegate Xbox-style gamepad inputs to your keys in Synapse, Razer’s setup software, forcing games to read the keyboard as a joystick.

Excluding the fact that it’s a cool concept in principle, I’ve always thought this specific endeavor was futile, and the V2 Analog hasn’t changed my mind. Since it functions, you don’t get the same amount of 360-degree power as you will with a gamepad. Some games need the use of a mouse and keyboard, while others require the use of a joystick. That is unaffected by this.

The Huntsman V2 Analog, like the Tartarus Pro, facilitates dual actuation at any moment, not only when simulating a controller signal. Dual actuation is basically a more freeform variant of the gamepad analog stick inputs that are simulated. You will add two inputs to a single key: one for when you press the key halfway down, and another for when you press the key completely down. It’s helpful in some situations, such as when you have two related game behaviors or two inputs that often obey each other. In Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, for example, you can set a dual-crouch that allows you to go prone with a half-press and then crouch with a full press.

There are so many synapses firing.

For customization and software-based access, the Huntsman V2 Analog uses Razer’s Synapse configuration app. This includes actuation-related settings, general key mapping, macro creation, and RGB lighting customization on the V2 Analog.

Customizing the Huntsman V2 Analog becomes difficult, as you would suspect considering the lengthy clarification. Any key has more tweaking choices than normal. You might, for example, make the keyboard resemble a gamepad or an arcade-style joystick. Even if you only want to set a normal keyboard feature, you’ll be prompted to choose an actuation, a custom unlocks, and maybe a secondary function. This is in addition to Razer’s standard custom features, such as inserting mouse inputs, Windows shortcuts, and a Hypershift key that allows you to generate a fresh collection of custom hotkeys.

Tinker Toy is a toymaker.

It should come as no disappointment that Razer’s flagship keyboard, the Huntsman V2 Analog, is pricey. With a price tag of $249.99, it ranks alongside the Corsair K100 RGB and Logitech G915 Lightspeed is one of the most expensive gaming keyboards we’ve tested. As a consequence, you may be wondering if the keyboard is worth the money. Even if you don’t like making dual-function keyboard profiles for any game you play, it’s true.

From its extensive customization possibilities to its USB 3.0 passthrough features, the Huntsman V2 Analog has a lot to offer. It has everything you’d want from a high-end gaming keyboard. It also has additional functionality geared toward tinkerers. The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is an Editors’ Choice pick for its durability.

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