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Razer’s latest wireless mechanical keyboard has a low profile and a high price

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro
Enlarge / Razer DeathStalker V2 Professional.

Peripherals and PC maker Razer this week launched a brand new wi-fi mechanical keyboard that resurrects one in every of its most creepily named merchandise. The DeathStalker V2 Pro—in addition to its wireless, tenkeyless model and wired, full-sized model—manages to be simply 1 inch tall at its thickest half by utilizing low-profile mechanical switches that depend on light-based actuation. They’re the primary keyboards to make use of Razer’s Low-Profile Optical Switches.

Optical mechanical switches actuate when the swap’s stem interacts with an infrared gentle beam throughout the swap’s housing. Razer already sells optical swap keyboards, just like the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog, whose keys are additionally pressure-sensitive. However that is the primary time the corporate has made its optical mechanical know-how so quick.

The wireless keyboard works over Bluetooth, a dongle, or a cable.
Enlarge / The wi-fi keyboard works over Bluetooth, a dongle, or a cable.

The linear optical mechanical switches have a journey distance of two.8 mm, they usually actuate at 1.2 mm with a pressure of 45 g. For comparability, Cherry MX Reds, have 4 mm of journey and actuate at 2 mm with a pressure of 45 g.

The clicky optical mechanical switches supplied within the DeathStalker V2 Professional even have 2.8 mm of journey however actuate at 1.5 mm with 50g of pressure. That makes them simpler to actuate than Cherry MX Blues (4 mm / 2.2 mm / 60 g).

Force curves for the linear (left) and clicky (right) low-profile switches.
Enlarge / Pressure curves for the linear (left) and clicky (proper) low-profile switches.

Low-profile switches could be divisive. Some customers, like avid gamers, respect the quick key journey for fast enter. However relying on the keyboard and swap kind, typing can really feel shallow or mushy. Low-profile switches may also attraction to these averse to mechanical keyboards’ cumbersome status or those that have grown accustomed to laptop-like typing. When it got here out 10 years ago, the Razer DeathStalker was a membrane keyboard with shallower typing.

Optical mechanical switches are an attention-grabbing a part of the ever-expanding mechanical keyboard market, however not essentially as a result of they provide a dramatically totally different expertise than commonplace mechanical switches. Some really feel significantly clean, scratch-free, and premium, however it’s usually arduous to establish an optical mechanical swap by really feel alone.

Since there may be much less bodily contact within the swap, optical mechanical switches usually declare to have longer life spans. Razer says its low-profile optical switches final for 70 million presses every (there are full-sized Cherry switches that declare to final for 100 million presses).

Razer's linear, low-profile optical switches.
Enlarge / Razer’s linear, low-profile optical switches.

Many optical mechanical switches produce much less lag as a result of there is not any debounce delay, utilized by most keyboards to cope with contact bounce since actuation is light-based. Though a mainstream consumer doubtless will not discover, that is another excuse many gaming firms have began making their very own optical mechanical switches.

The DeathStalker V2 makes use of ABS plastic keycaps which are laser-etched. As we mentioned in our guide to mechanical keyboards, laser-etched keycaps are good for letting backlighting come by way of, however the legends will fade dramatically quicker than pricier alternate options, like doubleshot legends.

Razer claims that the DeathStalker V2 Professional’s legends will last more than typical laser-engraved legends due to an additional coating it makes use of, making the keycaps “outlast even the likes of doubleshot PBT.” We’ll consider it once we see it.

Razer says the board has a 40-hour battery life.
Enlarge / Razer says the board has a 40-hour battery life.

The keycap specs are stunning on the keyboard’s value, however a part of the price comes from wi-fi performance. The DeathStalker V2 Professional (in addition to the tenkeyless model) can toggle throughout three Bluetooth 5.0 units with a button press and likewise hook up with a pc by way of a USB-A dongle or its braided USB-C cable.

Razer completes the bundle with luxuries like 5 onboard reminiscence profiles. The $250 price continues to be steep.

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