If you thought that the original Razer Huntsman was fast, you’ll be shocked by the new Huntsman V2 and V2 Tenkeyless. Both mechanical keyboards feature a 8,000Hz polling rate, eight times that of the original Huntsman, for a nearly lag-free gaming experience.
The Razer Huntsman V2 and stripped-down Huntsman V2 Tenkeyless (which ditches the numpad, media controls, and volume dial) use optical IR switches to detect key presses. These optical switches are a far cry from the bouncy physical switches found in most mechanical keyboards, but they’re comfortable to use and sport a ridiculously fast response time. (Most gaming keyboards have a 500 to 1,000Hz polling rate. Polling rate describes the number of times that a keyboard reports its status to your computer each second, by the way.)
Will an 8,000Hz polling rate make a real difference when you’re playing games? Generally speaking, the answer is “yes,” though there are a lot of factors at play here. If you’re using a low refresh rate display, for example, then input lag can be very difficult to perceive. The single-core performance of your CPU can also limit the benefits of a low-latency keyboard, and of course, some people just can’t tell the difference between 1ms and 30ms of input lag.
On the other hand, polling rate and other technical factors aren’t the only things that make a keyboard feel fast. The Huntsman V2’s optical IR design doesn’t need to double-check when a key is pressed, so it eliminates the milliseconds-long debounce delay found in most mechanical keyboards. Also, optical switches could mitigate the perceived delay caused by key travel—the distance that a key needs to move before a keystroke is registered. (Razer hasn’t discussed the key travel of its Huntsman V2 line, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt.)
Other improvements to the V2-series keyboards include new doubleshot PBT keycaps, which are extremely durable and (more importantly) have see-through legends. RGB light shines through these keycaps, illuminating each character on the keyboard with impressive clarity and sharpness.
Razer is now selling the Huntsman V2 and V2 Tenkeyless for $200 and $160, respectfully. Both keyboards are available with clickly or quiet switches. By the way, these aren’t the first keyboards to carry a “V2” moniker—Razer also sells a Huntsman V2 Analog keyboard that reproduces the adjustable input of joysticks or console controller triggers.