The name of the keyboard is not just an emphasis on analog technology, the main feature – the recognition of the degree of pressure
A couple of years ago Razer introduced optical switches with better performance and lifetime. And now they went further and added pressure sensing to the “optics”. First of all the new switches went to Razer Huntsman V2 Analog. Among other things the flagship got a quality build, advanced backlighting and handy palm rest on magnets.
Appearance and comfort
The keyboard is assembled in a case made of hard, thick plastic with a thick metal panel on the front side. It is a monumental construction, weighing almost 1.3 kilograms. All parts are matte and perfectly maintain a neat appearance, the gloss is only on the decorative chamfers. Along the entire perimeter there is a LED strip, shimmering in tune with the keys in all colors from the RGB palette.
The keyboard itself is tall, so you can not do without the palm rest for comfort. In this case, the padded leather panel is attached to the keyboard with magnets with guides to prevent shifting. Since your hands are constantly moving around the keyboard, your palms don’t get sweaty from the leather at all.
The backlighting of the ends continues on the palm rest. The glow is fully controlled through the Razer Synapse utility. There is a full set of effects and settings to turn off the backlight along with the display. In Chroma Studio, you can fine-tune the glow of each key and side-light sectors for all connected Razer peripherals.
The adjustable feet are two-step with the ability to raise the keyboard by 6 or 9 degrees. There are plenty of rubber feet, and the case doesn’t slip on the table at all.
Keyboard switches and performance
The 104-key layout is exactly like other Razer keyboards: a separate number block, a single-floor Enter, large modifier keys, and a context menu to the right of the space bar. The keyboard correctly recognizes an unlimited number of keys pressed simultaneously. Game mode for locking the Windows key and system shortcuts can be activated manually or automatically with the start of the game. When you press Fn, the backlight of all keys, except the hot keys, goes out.
Because the LED is on the top of the cap, the Cyrillic letters and additional icons are applied with reflective paint and do not show through. This application is perfectly readable with a minimum amount of light from the monitor, so there is no discomfort at night.
Hidden under the caps are Razer’s new optical switches with pressure sensing and black flags. Stroke is linear, the force to actuate is 60 grams and increases as you squeeze. One and a half times more force than the red switches makes the presses more conscious and allows you to press comfortably with good feedback. Long key stabilizers have their own design with special grooves on the edges and a hidden metal pull. As a result, the keys are pressed evenly from any point and the space bar does not clang. The optical switches are notable for the absence of contact chattering delay and an impressive service life of 100 million operations.
On the top right is the multimedia block, which consists of three keys and a tumbler to control playback and volume. Pressing the knob lowers the volume to the minimum level. Adjustment is accompanied by an indication with a glowing bezel – convenient. The multimedia buttons and the knob are reassignable.
Degree of pressure measurement
Since the new switches recognize the amount of pressure, the actuation and release points for each key can be set from a minimum of 1.5 millimeters to a full stroke of 3.6 millimeters. Increasing the actuation stroke can be useful to avoid accidental presses when keys are caught. Also, the sensitivity to the degree of penetration makes it possible to perform two actions at once with one press: the first at the initial moment and the second in the middle of the stroke.
The most unexpected – the keys work in analogue mode. It is useful in racing simulators to take into account the force of pressing the “gas” and a smooth turn. The utility allows you to adjust the sensitivity. To use the analog mode, you can automatically reassign WASD or manually configure the necessary keys for any direction. The presence of other buttons in the list allows you to fully simulate the gamepad. The keyboard memory stores up to 5 profiles and the utility itself can store an unlimited number of profiles for each game, for example.
On the left side of the enclosure, two USB Type-C cables are coming out for keyboard connection and a full-size USB 3.0 cable for the hub. To be compatible with the full-size connector, there is an adapter from USB Type-C to full-size USB Type-A in the package. The 2 meter long fabric braided cables are thick and not very pliable, but that’s not a problem as the keyboard doesn’t move around on the table.
There is a full-size USB 3.0 on the left side of the case, so it is recommended to connect the cable from the keyboard to the high-speed port. Personally, I came in handy for connecting headphones, but it can also be used for a wired mouse, flash drives and any other peripherals.
Feedback after two weeks of use
It’s nice to see a company that doesn’t just release a succession of keyboards, but is constantly working on their own switches. In the last generation, Razer did away with the physical contacts; in this one, they’ve come up with a way to measure the force of the press. The new switches have found their place in the flagship, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog. The novelty is perfect according to all the criteria, the only disadvantage is a non-removable bifurcated cable. But this is a debatable disadvantage, as the keyboard wire is enough once to pull up to the computer.
- Force-aware optical switches;
- well-assembled housing;
- The key kinematics are typewriter-friendly;
- Caps made of two-layer wear-resistant plastic;
- separate multimedia unit;
- two-step height adjustment;
- comfortable palm rest.
- Secondary icons and Cyrillic are not translucent;
- thick and unyielding wires.
May not like:
- high cost.