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Razer Huntsman v2 Analog review

Complete optimization freedom and functionality

Razer Huntsman v2 analog
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Razer Huntsman v2 Analog gaming keyboard combines the latest optical technology and Razers' own mechanical key switches to provide both the best typing and gaming experience we've had in a long time.

Pros

  • +

    Fully customizable key actuation

  • +

    Delightfully tactile key clicks

  • +

    The most comfortable wrist rest we've ever used

Cons

  • -

    Eye-wateringly expensive

  • -

    Built-in twin-cable

Two minute review

The Razer Huntsman v2 Analog may look familiar when compared to the Razer Huntsman Elite, but the similarities end at their shared appearance. This latest flagship gaming keyboard is a testament to Razer's ability to develop innovative gaming-focused technology and its willingness to listen to consumer feedback, taking what was an already beloved mechanical keyboard and elevating it to a truly incredible new height.

Of the three previous downsides we listed for the Huntsman Elite, two have been addressed for the Huntsman v2 Analog, resulting in this feature-packed keyboard only requiring a single USB-C or USB 3.0 cable for power and the magnetic RGB wrist rest having a complete design overhaul. The keyboard even includes a USB 3.0 passthrough for additional flexibility, which is great for folk using newer peripherals that require a faster connection.

In fact, we struggled to find many cons to the v2 Analog at all. The more we tested it, the more apparent it became that the features included in this latest edition to the Huntsman family could be setting the new bar for future gaming keyboards.

The Huntsman v2 Analog keyboard introduces Razer's Analog Optical Switches, a new and innovative key switch technology that allows for full customization to completely optimize your gaming and typing experiences. User-configurable key switch actuation is something that has recently made an appearance in other keyboards such as the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but Razer has gone several steps further by including joystick-inspired analog input to remove the limitations of WASD style movement.

It comes with one of the biggest price tags we've seen in a commercially available gaming keyboard, but if you're looking for the best product on the market then the Huntsman v2 Analog is undoubtedly the current champion to beat.

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Razer Huntsman v2 analog

(Image credit: Razer)
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Razer Huntsman v2 analog

(Image credit: Razer)
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Razer Huntsman v2 analog

(Image credit: Razer)

Price and availability

The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is available for $249.99 (£249.99, around AU$330) from the official Razer website, with stock coming to authorized resellers on February 9 2021. 

This is an alarmingly expensive gaming keyboard, but that isn't to say that it isn't worth the high price tag – the aforementioned SteelSeries Apex Pro will set you back $199 (£199, about AU$288), and while the Apex also makes frequent appearances on 'best of' lists and allows for custom actuation settings, it doesn't include as many features as the Huntsman V2 Analog.

Razer Huntsman v2 analog

(Image credit: Future)

Design

There have been a few subtle design changes to the Huntsman V2 Analog that set it apart from the older (but very much still capable) Huntsman Elite. The keyboard can now be powered via a single USB-C or USB 3.0 connection, however we found it a tad frustrating that both of these connections were built in via two corded wires. 

A better option would have been to provide detachable cables and two additional ports to prevent unnecessary connections running across the desk, though you could connect the cords together with a zip tie to tidy up the appearance. This also means you can't use custom coiled cables for a cleaner look, which might disappoint the keyboard modding community.

This full size keyboard comes in matte black and has a sturdy aluminum top plate, with inbuilt media controls located at the top right for adjusting or skipping your music without tabbing out to your Spotify or Apple Music window. The Huntsman V2 Analog is also height adjustable without interfering with the optional magnetic wrist rest, with flip-out stands being located on the underside.

Razer's signature customizable RGB lighting illuminates the underside of the keyboard itself and accompanying wrist rest when connected, as well as the keys and media controls. The lighting options can be adjusted or synchronized across other Chroma-integrated products in the Razer Synapse software.

The ABS plastic keycaps from the previous Huntsman keyboards have been replaced by lightly textured double shot PBT, promising to be more durable and provide a longer-lasting finish that won't wear down. 

Typing is delightfully clicky and smooth – these aren't the quietest key switches in the world but you won't sound like you're running a Gatling gun either. You can also pick up keycaps for different region layouts or in different colors from the Razer website, but if you're a modding enthusiast then you can rest assured that the Razer analog switches are still compatible with custom keycaps.

The magnetic wrist rest no longer features any hard plastic bezel edges, with the surface area now being fully covered by a soft faux-leather coated foam. This is an extraordinarily comfortable wrist rest, and one of the few that we haven't removed from a gaming keyboard during our review process. 

The extra support is a blessing when spending long hours typing or gaming so while it is entirely optional and removable, we're confident that this is one of the best we've ever used.

Razer Huntsman v2 analog

(Image credit: Future)

Performance

The new features for the Huntsman V2 Analog make it arguably worth its lofty price tag, especially for gamers looking to get a streamlined hardware advantage over their opponents. You can adjust the actuation points for every key, allowing you to set your desired activation depth between 1.5mm to 3.6mm in increments of 0.1mm.

This means if you're at risk of accidentally setting off your specialized attacks by grazing the keys, you can adjust those specific keys to require a much firmer click. This is a blessing for any competitive players in games such as Overwatch who may be a little heavy-handed when things get heated, though this does mean you'll be out of excuses if you accidentally vault yourself off the map.

The Razer Analog Optical Switches can also register two actions on a single keypress across different pressures, which is an absolute game-changer in competitive FPS environments. This dual-macro ability means you can lightly press your desired key to whip out a thrown item such as a grenade or knife, and activate the second step of throwing said item when you fully press the key.

You can even just delay the secondary action by not fully activating the required key, but having the dual-step actuation resulted in much quicker attack sequences. We found it didn't make us suck any less at games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Valorant, but it completely streamlines actions that require the player to be reactive and will undoubtedly prove to be a huge benefit to players who master the use of this function in their ranked games.

Analog inputs such as joystick or controller settings can also be allocated to desired keys for better manoeuvrability. This means the keys themselves can emulate joystick inputs and allows for smoother 360 degrees of motion than the typical WASD movement style permits, creating better support for controller-optimized games. For games that we wouldn't normally recommend keyboard use over a gamepad such as vehicle simulators or racing games, this leaves options open for players who are not accustomed to gaming outside of a PC environment.

You can make all of the above-mentioned adjustments in the Razer Synapse software, as well as control lighting options and gaming profiles. You can store up to five profiles via the on-board keyboard memory, or unlimited profiles in the Synapse software. 

Razer Huntsman v2 analog

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want the best that money can buy
This is far from a cheap keyboard, but that high price tag comes packed full of features and comfort that makes the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog one of the best gaming keyboards we've ever tested.

You play competitive online games
With customizable actuation and dual-step key activation, this is the perfect gaming keyboard for anyone wanting an edge over their opponents in ranked environments.

You love Razer's key switches
Razer has made a name for itself in the world of key switches, and these latest Analog Optical Switches are the cream of the crop. If you've used any previous Razer switches, you're sure to love these.

Razer Huntsman v2 analog

(Image credit: Future)

Don't buy if...

You're on a budget
At $249.99 (£249.99, around AU$330), this is a luxury piece of gaming hardware with a price tag to match. Other mechanical keyboards won't have the same features, but they'll burn less of a hole in your bank account.

You want a quiet keyboard
This isn't the loudest keyboard we've used, but these switches don't make for silent typing. There are quieter key switches (such as Cherry MX Brown) and keyboard builds available for folk who don't like to make much noise.

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer (@Zombie_Wretch on Twitter), where she covers all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. She also likes to dabble in digital art and 3D printing, and can often be found playing games of both the Video and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.