Analog keyboards have been around for a while: you may remember the Wooting One from a few years ago, which allowed gamers to press each key gradually to adjust input. This is similar to the way analog sticks or triggers work on a game controller. Razer tries this input with the Huntsman V2.
At $ 250, the Huntsman V2 is Razer’s new flagship mechanical keyboard, and still features the previous model’s light-activated “optical” switches. But with the new analog sensors in each switch, the keyboard can detect how far each switch has been pressed and use that data in real time. It’s more interesting than you might think, especially with the way Razer uses it. With the analog sensors you can:
- Adjust the trigger point at which a key is triggered, from super light to hard press. The range is from 1.5mm to 3.6mm.
- Add multiple trigger points for different functions or macros: a light tap throws a rock, a hard tap throws a grenade.
- Change the key to full analog: how hard you press determines how hard your character hits the accelerator.
Oh, and based on the specs, you should be able to trigger a macro with full control of every text key … so if you’re that inclined, you could trigger Shift + the letter to CHANGE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS TYPE WHEN YOU ARE REALLY ON THE BOARD. (I don’t have the Huntsman V2, I had to hold down the Shift key for that. Like some kind of caveman.)
All of this is managed in Razer’s Synapse software. While some games support analog keyboard input, you probably need to fine-tune a lot, especially to use those multiple control points. Reviews of the Wooting One said analog input was great for shooters and racing games (especially those that supported it), but more picky in RPG and third-person action games.
On top of Neato Switch technology, the Huntsman V2 adds virtually all the bells and whistles you could ask for in a Razer keyboard, including full RGB per key lighting, edge lighting zones, a pass-through USB port and media controls with a volume knob. The keyboard comes with its own faux leather wrist rest, magnetically attached to the board … which also gets its own addressable RGB lights. It’s all topped off with high-quality PBT backlit keycaps, although you should be able to add your own MX-compatible caps thanks to the standard ANSI 108 key layout.
The Huntsman V2 Analog is available to order today from Razer’s website for $ 250. The upgraded analog switches should find their way into other Razer keyboard products in the future, such as various sizes of the Huntsman and the Tartarus keyboard.