Razer's Huntsman Elite keyboard uses the speed of light in each key

The new Huntsman gaming keyboards use super fast optomechanical keys.

Gordon Gottsegen
Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
2 min read

You can personalize your Huntsman keyboard with Razer's customizable Chroma lights.


Looking for a gaming keyboard that's fast, like, speed-of-light fast? Check out the Razer Huntsman.

On Thursday, Razer unveiled its new Huntsman keyboard line, which includes the Razer Huntsman and Razer Huntsman Elite. Both keyboards come with Razer's new optomechanical switches.

Razer says these switches can detect when a key is pressed 30 percent faster than the mechanical switches found in traditional clicky keyboards. That's because, as the name implies, optomechanical switches use optical technology with infrared light beams to register each keystroke.

One way to make a keyboard faster is to shorten the keys, since that reduces the distance the key has to travel to register each press. But that sacrifices the tactile response and feel of the keyboard. Since optomechanical switches don't require Razer to shorten the keys to get faster speeds, the company claims they feel the same as its Razer Green switches -- and fewer moving parts may mean less wear and tear over the years.

How the optomechanical switch works.


The HP Omen Sequencer is another gaming keyboard that uses optomechanical switches. It's expected to go on sale in July.

The Razer Huntsman is the base model of the Huntsman duo. It costs $150, £150 or AU$250 and comes with Razer's optomechanical keys, customizable Razer Chroma backlights and a lifespan of 100 million keystrokes. The Razer Huntsman Elite is the souped-up version, adding an ergonomic wrist rest and a multifunctional digital dial for adjusting things like brightness or volume. The Razer Huntsman Elite costs $200, £200 or AU$340.

You can check out Razer's promo video for the Huntsman Elite below.