When I spent my time with the Razer Viper, the company’s first mouse utilizing their new optical switches, I knew the company would be offering the same optical switches in their keyboards. Behold the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition, a shorter and yet more robust version of their Razer Hunstman keyboard. The Huntsman TE features a smaller design aimed at players making big mouse swipes for their games, as well as players that need the most accurate keystrokes possible. The keyboard is an absolutely wonderful piece of kit – read my review to find out why!
The keyboard itself has a very rugged, industrial-grade feel to it. The keys themselves are made of a newer PBT thermoplastic that give the keys a more low thumping sound compared to the typical ABS plastics you find in mechanical keyboards. The result is an insanely satisfying keystroke.
The key caps have a very sleek and sturdy finish, with very minimalist font, another fine touch when it comes to maximizing the real estate on an already compact keyboard. Razer’s signature Choma RGB lighting is turned on by default, and I’ve got to say – it’s growing on me.
Razer is touting these key caps as being designed to last against intense and regular use, something this keyboard will need considering it’s positioned for pro-level players. I’ve been using the keyboard for a few weeks now and I’m really satisfied with the build overall.
While I tend to bound between Cherry MX Red or Brown switches with mechanical keyboards, the Huntsman TE features Razer’s new optical switches. This means there is no bump when the switch reaches actuation, something I was entirely not prepared for. This is the fastest keyboard I’ve ever used.
I found myself overcompensating and even making more typos than usual, simply because this keyboard’s switches are so fast and responsive it was hitting actuating faster than my muscle memory is used to. This is a keyboard on an entirely different level to anything I’ve used previously.
The optical linear switches in each key reduce or basically eliminate the noise or errors that come with regular mechanical switches. Previously, the physical contact of your keystrokes would actuate the signal to your computer – this is a constant and stupidly fast switch type, and it shows.
I found my performance across the board, from typing and writing to regular gaming sessions, improved significantly. As mentioned earlier, I had to get used to how fast this keyboard is and how responsive the switches are but I’ve got to say – once I got used to it, I see a huge boost in speed.
I’m one of those guys that prefers a full size keyboard – I need that numpad for my sanity. So, you could say I was a bit hesitant with my hype levels with the shorter Huntsman TE. Honestly, I love the form factor now, and I really don’t miss the numpad at all. The size feels great overall.
As for the overall feature set and extended features, as the Huntsman TE is focused on the pro-level player, you can store up to five profiles onboard, pending whatever game you’re playing. The keyboard has a detachable cable, the aforementioned RGB lighting, and that’s it.
I’m not the kind of user that wants my keyboard to help me control the audio levels of music, have built in screens, and all those other crazy doodads. I’m totally fine with this keyboard being focused on the overall excellent build, as well as the portability/size of it.
Considering most competitors price full sized keyboards around the same price as the Huntsman TE, it may be a bit of a stretch to ask players to pick up a shorter piece of kit. All things considered, the robustness of the keyboard make it certainly feel like it’s worth every penny.
This is an unabashedly performance-focused keyboard, and as I type this review with it, I definitely think Razer has found another hit with this keyboard. After having tried the keyboard out for awhile, I personally feel like I would pony up for it, if not simply for the better switches.
Overall, the only gripe I have with the Hunstman TE is that it lacks a full numpad and that isn’t really the fault of the keyboard, nor was that intended with this design. I really want a keyboard with the same switches and key caps, but in a full body design.
The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition keyboard is an excellent addition to Razer’s lineup of performance-focused peripherals. The meticulous and robust construction, the ridiculously fast switches, and the wonderful feel of the the keystrokes make this my go-to keyboard now.
The Razer Hunstman Tournament Edition was reviewed using a retail unit provided by Razer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.