What you should take away from this Razer Huntsman V2 review is that this is the best gaming keyboard you can buy if you want serious speed and you don’t mind splashing out a bit.
Razer is one of the most, if not the most, popular PC gaming peripheral brands there is. Whether you’re looking for a keyboard, one of the best gaming mice or one of the best gaming headsets - they’ve got you covered and you’ll be able to manage them all through the easy-to-use Razer Synapse desktop software. We’re big Razer fans here at T3.
The Razer Huntsman V2 is a premium keyboard boasting Razer optical switches, Doubleshot PBT keycaps and an 8000Hz polling rate. Right from the get-go, it sounds like an impressive piece of kit, so let’s not hang about - read on for the full Razer Huntsman V2 review.
Razer Huntsman V2 review: price and availability
You can buy the Razer Huntsman V2 in a few different configurations, depending on whether you want a number pad, and whether you would prefer clicky optical switches or linear optical switches.
When you buy directly from Razer, the full-sized keyboard with clicky optical switches (purple) costs $189.99 in the US / £189.99 in the UK and AU$324.95 in Australia. For the linear optical switches (red) you have to spend $199.99 / £199.99 / AU$344.95.
If you’re not fussed about having a number pad then the tenkeyless version of the keyboard costs $149.99 / £149.99 / AU$259.95 for the purple switches and $159.99 / £159.99 / AU$279.95 for the red switches.
Take a look at the widgets on this page to see the most recent prices on the Razer Huntsman V2 across the web.
Razer Huntsman V2 review: design and setup
The Razer Huntsman V2 isn’t quite as flashy as other gaming keyboards, and I like that about it. The understated design keeps things to the bare minimum with a simple matte black aluminium top plate and a row of small LED lights, a few media keys and a volume dial.
The keys stretch from edge to edge of this keyboard, which means it’s relatively compact considering the fact that it’s full-sized. The keys are very light which is something to bear in mind if you prefer a heavier click but each one does feel strong and sturdy thanks to the Doubleshot PBT keycaps.
Admittedly the keys don’t feel as premium as I expected them to because they’re made from relatively thin plastic, but according to Razer their lifespan is 100 million keystrokes. That means you won’t need to worry about them getting worn down too quickly.
Each key has Razer Chroma RGB customizable backlighting with 16.8 million colour options. Shining through the letters and numbers, the lights add some personality to your rig but not so much so that it looks over-the-top, although it’s not as bright as you get on other keyboards and looked a little dull next to my Razer Viper 8K gaming mouse. You can customise the RGBs in the Razer Synapse desktop software, and it can be synchronised with your other compatible Razer kit as well.
In the box, the keyboard comes with a black cushioned wrist rest that has the Razer logo imprinted into the middle of it. It’s very comfortable and ergonomic, you can really feel the benefits after having had a long gaming session with it.
To hook the Razer Huntsman V2 up to your PC, there’s a USB cable attached to the back of the keyboard. Unlike the Razer Huntsman Elite, it will only need one port to power both the keyboard and the RGBs. The cable itself is braided fibre so is flexible enough to suit most setups.
Razer Huntsman V2 review: performance
With an 8,000kHz polling rate, the Razer Huntsman V2 is one of the fastest keyboards yet - it scans for keypresses 8,000 times a second and reports that information back to your computer. Ultimately this means that every tap gets an instantaneous response. There’s no room for inaccuracy at all.
The average gamer probably won’t even notice the difference in how responsive it is so while it all sounds very impressive, it’s probably quite unnecessary for most people.
The super-fast polling rate is paired with Razer’s 2nd gen optical switches. They use a tiny beam of light that gets blocked out to detect a keypress as opposed to any physical contact. Because of that, you get seriously fast actuation with a 0.2ms response time.
I tested out the version of the keyboard with the clicky purple switches, and they certainly deliver on that. If you share an office space with someone else then you should go for the quieter red linear model because the purple switches are very loud. It's satisfying if it’s just you in the room, but it'll be incredibly annoying for the other person if not. The key dampening is there but with the clicky keys, it isn’t as effective as I’d have liked.
To manage and customise the Razer Huntsman V2, you’ll need to have the Razer Synapse software downloaded onto your computer. It’s very easy to use, and it’s simply laid out. You’ll be able to adjust the polling rate, customise the RGBs, switch between gaming modes and reprogram the buttons. You can even create up to 5 keybinding profiles to store on the keyboard itself.
Chroma Studio is an add-on that gives you even more RGB customisation on top of what you already get through Synapse, and it lets you sync the lights with your Philips Hue lighting at home, as well as control them by voice through Amazon Alexa.
Razer Huntsman V2 review: verdict
The Razer Huntsman V2 is without a doubt one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy right now thanks to its incredible speeds, durable keys, stunning RGB lighting effects and a satisfying click. The fact that it comes with such a comfortable wrist-rest is another reason why you should buy this keyboard because it means you can game for longer without suffering the consequences to your wrists.
Admittedly, switching between work and play, the keys don’t feel as nice to type on as they could have done, but if you’re likely to spend 90% of the time gaming then this won’t be so much of an issue.
Those who already own Razer gaming kit should definitely consider this because you can manage everything through the same Razer Synapse app and you’ll be able to synchronise all of your compatible Razer RGB devices to create your very own light show.
What’s more is that you can buy the Razer Huntsman V2 to suit exactly what you need - whether that’s a loud or quiet click, full-sized or tenkeyless. It literally covers all bases and does so in a sleek and understated way. It’s safe to say that the Razer Huntsman V2 is an impressive piece of kit, if money isn’t a consideration then you won’t get much better than this!
Razer Huntsman V2 review: also consider
Not everyone will be willing to spend this much on a new gaming keyboard, the Das Keyboard X50Q is a cheaper option. It copes really well with gaming as well as general use, which is partly what makes it the best keyboard for most people.
If you’re after a tenkeyless gaming keyboard, and you want something a little more flashy, then the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is stunning. The bright RGBs are out to wow you while the keys themselves are ultra-responsive, and now that it’s a little older, the price is more palatable too.