Razer’s Huntsman Tournament Edition gaming keyboard was made with pros in mind

Razer today announced the Huntsman Tournament Edition (TE), a tenkeyless gaming keyboard targeted at esports pros. 

The company's latest products have featured optical switches in a big way, starting with last year's Huntsman Elite keyboard and more recently with the Razer Viper gaming mouse. The Huntsman TE keyboard also uses optical technology, but it is launching with a new Razer Linear Optical Switch with a burgundy-coloured stem.

This is a different animal from the purple Opto-Mechanical switches in the Huntsman Elite. While that had a tactile, clicky switch, the Linear Optical Switch is, well, linear. It delivers a smooth actuation without any tactile bump whatsoever, with a low actuation point of just 1mm. 

Of course, this is prime fodder for more marketing spiel about how the switches will respond faster than others that actuate at 2mm, but I really doubt that it's humanly possible to tell the difference.

GIF: Razer

Actuation point aside, there's some real tech behind the optical switches, and they should in theory register faster. That's because they use light to capture keypresses, instead of relying on metal contacts. This means there's no need for any debounce delay, and the key registers instantly. These are very light switches, with an actuation force of just 40g, lighter even than 45g Cherry MX Reds.

The Huntsman TE was built to be easy to carry around as well. It uses a detachable USB-C cable and can store up to five profiles in its onboard memory. 

PHOTO: Razer

Another nice addition is the use of doubleshot PBT keycaps. Many gaming keyboards today still have ABS keycaps, but they're more likely to take on an unsightly "shine". 

On the other hand, PBT has a slightly rougher texture and is far more resistant to key shine. It'll hold up better against the test of time, especially considering the number of hours esports athletes put in. That said, PBT is also more prone to warping, so it remains to be seen how well Razer has tackled this with larger keys such as the spacebar. 

PHOTO: Razer

Of course, there is also support for Razer Chroma, and you'll be able to customise the backlighting on the Huntsman TE and sync it up with other Chroma devices.

The keyboard will retail at US$129.99 and be available in late September. We’ll update once Razer releases news of the local pricing.

This article was first published on Hardware Zone