Razer Huntsman V2 TKL Review: Better But Pricier
We have the all-new Razer Huntsman V2 TKL with us, which definitely took some cues from the custom keyboards available on the market.
So to keep it simple, Razer basically took everything new that they did with the Huntsman Mini and brought it to their TKL and full-sized offerings, which resulted in the Huntsman V2. For this review, we’ll only focus on the TKL.
So first up, the switches have been improved and it’s now using the much better Gen 2 Optical Switches from Razer. We have the Reds here, so it’s a linear switch and it feels nice and smooth, both great for gaming and for general typing.
The spec of the switch is pretty much the same as before, 45g at 1.2mm for the actuation point and about a 60g bottom out with a reset point back at 1mm. In terms of response time, with it being an optical switch, Razer claims about 0.2ms which is really, really fast.
Specs aside, in terms of comparison with the original Huntsman, it’s just generally better on all fronts. Though, of course, you can’t really eliminate the slight rattle you hear that’s coming from the metal bar itself which moves when you depress the switch. It’s just the way it works.
If you’re a fan of clicky switches instead, there’s a clicky variant in the form of the Purples so you have the option.
But perhaps the most obvious difference is the sound and the new Huntsman V2 has improved acoustics compared to the previous in my opinion.
It is definitely a lot more muted compared to the previous gen, but not to the point where it’s silent and doesn’t sound nice. It’s much more clean sounding. Of course, it isn’t for everybody, preference is preference. But I think you can definitely appreciate the more muted sound, especially if you’re planning to use this TKL in an office. Your colleagues sitting close by would definitely be much happier working with you.
Now half the reason for the change in sound is because of the new and improved switches, but the other half is because Razer has now included sound dampening foam in the case.
This is where Razer took a page out of the custom keyboard community. Sound dampening foam or case foam is usually offered with custom keyboards and it definitely plays a huge part in the sound, especially for removing hollowness.
It is a simple mod, nothing fancy per se. But it helped Razer achieve the more muted but clean sound and reduce the ping and hollowness of the board all around. So hey, it’s not something revolutionary but it’s a step in the right direction.
But my only main gripe with the keyboard, as with the original, or any of Razer keyboards, are the stabs.
It’s just really rattly and it’s kind of made even more obvious because the 1u keys sound much cleaner and muted now. Honestly, I still don’t know why Razer wants to reinvent the wheel with stabilizers, because if they had just used standard plate-mount stabs or PCB-mount stabs, this wouldn’t even be an issue.
As for the keyboard itself, the design is pretty much unchanged from the original. So you get a mainly plastic frame with an aluminium top, which gives the board a little more weight while also acting as the plate.
You do get a USB-C port which means a removable cable and standard flip-out feet at 6 degrees and 9 degrees respectively.
If you're a fan of a 9-degree typing angle, Razer does now also include a wrist rest with the Huntsman V2 TKL. I don’t use a wrist rest often, but if you do, it is a nice touch.
Now it’s Razer, so you can expect full RGB support with all the customisability options available in Synapse and one other great thing about the Huntsman V2 is that the board comes, by default, with the Razer Doubleshot PBT keycaps.
It’s honestly great to see it here because if you want your keycaps to look fresh for longer, PBT offers much better durability over time as compared to ABS, especially if you’re going to be gaming for long hours on end. I also quite like the slightly rougher texture Razer has for their PBT keycaps which are unlike most other PBTs that usually have a chalky texture.
The legends are centred and aligned to the top for maximum RGB exposure, and overall it looks great, though it is unfortunate that the sub-icons on the function row remain unilluminated.
But if you don’t like the Razer keycaps, you can change them up with whatever you want as long as it is MX stem compatible. ePBT, MT3, GMK, you name it.
But the final upgrade which Razer has on the new Huntsman V2 is the polling rate. This keyboard is now capable of an 8000Hz polling rate, in line with their Viper 8K. In my experience, it’s fine…?
But I really don’t see the point of it, or rather, I can’t really discern the difference between 1000Hz and 8000Hz. But one thing I did notice is that if you don’t use the included Razer USC-C cable which I believe is USB 3.0, you might experience some connection issues.
I tried the Huntsman V2 with my custom coiled cable and if you’re into the hobby, you would know that most of these cables are standard USB 2.0. When 8000Hz was enabled, I experienced connection loss every few minutes or so. So just to take note that if you want to use 8000Hz, you have to use the included cable or a proper USB 3.0 cable.
But now we come to price, and this is my second gripe with the Huntsman V2. It’s gone up in price as compared to the previous. For the Clicky Variant, it’s US$149.99 or S$239.90 and for the Linear Variant we have here, it’s US$159.99 or S$254.90.
At that price, it is now more expensive than the Varmilo VA87 TKL or the Ducky One 2 TKL. Yes, those feature standard mechanical switches and not optical, but they are highly regarded and sound great with better stabs out of the box. The previous Huntsman was basically priced similarly to those boards and so it made for better argument and value.
Now I did enjoy using the Huntsman V2 TKL, be it for gaming or just standard typing and the such. But it is more expensive, so do look around and compare what’s available on the market, before making your purchase.
Content by Soon Kai Hong