The Razer Huntsman V2 is a marvellous gaming keyboard, offering excellent build quality, light and clicky switches, some serious power and sharp lighting. While its cost may be high, you won’t find many better general-purpose gaming keyboards than this one.
- Brilliant build quality
- Excellent switches
- Ludicrously powerful 8000Hz polling rate
- Gorgeous Chroma lighting
- Synapse 3 software is beginning to feel bloated
- Razer Clicky Optical switchesThe Huntsman V2 offers up a nice blend of Razer’s light and clicky switches
- 8000Hz polling rateA powerful 8000Hz polling rate can help to give competitive gamers the edge
- Synapse 3 software and Chroma RGB lightingRazer delivers brilliant software integration and sharp RGB lighting
Razer’s Huntsman V2 brings one of 2021’s best gaming keyboards back down to earth by swapping the switches back to the brand’s classic clicky optical offerings.
Nevertheless, it does at least keep the suave design that helped the Huntsman V2 Analog to victory as one of the best gaming keyboards around.
It looks to build on the momentum of its sibling and Razer’s own plaudits as a peripherals manufacturer through that combo of a premium build, clicky switches and marvellous software and lighting. Of course, quality does come at a cost – the Huntsman V2 comes in at £199.99/$199.99/€199.99.
- Sturdy, thick outer shell
- No deck flex whatsoever
- Comfortable wristrest
Much like its analog-based sibling, the standard Huntsman V2 is a proper beast of a keyboard, making a purposeful thud as I removed it from the box and plonked it onto my desk for the first time.
As has become customary for Razer boards in the past, the Huntsman V2 suffers no deck flex at all, and its military-grade plastic construction ensures that it should last for plenty of years to come. In addition, its matte black shell and aluminium top plate help it to look suave in any setting, be it an RGB-laden gaming den, or a prim and proper office.
Compared to other brands, Razer’s keyboards have oftentimes taken an increasingly minimalistic approach to their design. Apart from the company emblem on the wrist-rest, there’s little to suggest to any onlookers that you’re using a Razer keyboard, which works in the Huntsman V2’s favour.
Traditionally, uber-expensive gaming keyboards such as this one tend to come with statement features. For instance, the SteelSeries Apex Pro has an OLED screen that can display all sorts of info from CPU temperature to fan speed, which won’t appeal to everyone. However, the egalitarian design of the Huntsman V2 is sure to appeal to the masses.
As for macro keys, there aren’t any on the Huntsman V2, but this isn’t as sore of a miss as you might initially expect, given the power of the accompanying software in Synapse 3. You get some pretty handy controls for media playback on this board, with some nicely tactile play, pause and skip buttons, and a volume dial that’s a little less obtrusive than on previous Razer keyboards.
Unlike some of Razer’s other flagship keyboards, the wrist-rest here attaches to the Huntsman V2 via magnets. For the most part, it’s a comfortable aid for long typing sessions.
The keycaps are double-shot and made of PBT plastic, reflecting the overall premium feel of the Huntsman V2. They’re a decent inclusion simply for the fact they’re more durable and long-lasting than their ABS counterparts – which is useful if you’re going to be using this keyboard for a fair amount of time.
- Clicky, optical switches offer the best of both worlds
- 8000Hz polling rate is ludicrous
- Zero-latency wired connection is marvellous
For its switches, the Huntsman V2 reverts back to a choice of optical switches in either linear or clicky form. The review unit here features the clickier (and louder) variant, with a 45cN actuation force that offers up the best of both worlds – the satisfaction of having an audible click and a light force that’s ideal for gaming.
In a few runs of my usual testing grounds of CS:GO the Huntsman V2 felt super-responsive, with a sharp key action and a lighter force offering up some snappy inputs. For day-to-day work, though, I couldn’t help but feel these optical switches lacked a certain substance within the keypress, feeling a little hollow at times in comparison to more traditional ‘mechanical’ options.
Being optical switches mean that they operate at the speed of the light, which is very useful when gaming. It may not make much difference to you and me, but for the seasoned pros – where every millisecond counts – optical switches may just be the way forward.
Speaking of features designed for pro gamers, another major reason that the Huntsman V2 feels so responsive is down to its 8000Hz polling rate. This is a feature I’d previously encountered on Razer’s Viper 8K mouse.The polling rate refers to the frequency at which a peripheral will report inputs to a PC (hence the measure of hertz).
With a mouse, having a high refresh rate monitor makes all the difference, and it is a similar story with keyboards. A higher polling rate translates to less latency, which in turn results in a more responsive and perceivably less laggy experience – and 8000Hz is more than I’ve ever encountered on any other high-end keyboard.
The Huntsman V2 also utilises a standard-issue USB-A wired connection, which again ensures a zero-latency experience, only strengthening the power of optical switches and such a ludicrously high polling rate.
Software and Lighting
- Synapse 3 delivers once again
- Chroma lighting is sumptuous, as always
- Plenty of customisation within software
It’s always been on the software and lighting side where Razer has consistently delivered, and while I’ve never been the biggest fan of RGB, I have to hand it to the Huntsman V2 by virtue of the fact it provides sharp and bright lighting.
By default, it cycles through a kaleidoscope of colour, which looks pretty snazzy. However, if that isn’t your jam, then Razer’s Synapse 3 software allows you to choose from a long list of presets, or customise the RGB lighting to your own taste.
Alongside, Synapse 3 also allows for per-key customisation in terms of programming macros or remapping functions, which is of course going to be handy for all the pros out there. However, with so many different functions and features in Synapse, I do have growing concerns that it’s starting to feel bloated.
Should you buy it?
You want a brilliant all-round gaming: keyboard The Huntsman V2 is one of those keyboards that excels in pretty much every area – sturdy build quality, great switches and cool lighting that’s sure to please every gamer out there.
You want something more affordable: The power of the Huntsman V2 come at a cost, and if you don’t need all of its high-end features, then there are marvellous gaming keyboards available for less.
The Razer Huntsman V2 is built like a tank, displaying no deck flex at all, and comes with a comfy wrist-rest alongside some fantastic-feeling optical switches and an 8000Hz polling rate that will give ultra-competitive players the edge.
It does come at quite the outlay, though. At £199.99, the Huntsman V2 isn’t cheap, especially in the modern market. Nevertheless, if you’re after a standard-issue gaming keyboard with plenty of power and a great all-round feature set, this is an inspired choice.
How we test
We use every keyboard we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by playing a variety of different genres, including FPS, strategy and and MOBAs.
We also check each keyboard’s software to see how easy it is to customise and set up.
Spent at least a week testing
Tested the performance on a variety of games
Compared the build quality with similar priced keyboards.
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The Razer Huntsman V2 uses a wired connection.
With its clicky-sounding switches, the Huntsman V2 can get pretty noisy when used for a prolonged period of time.