Razer Huntsman Elite vs BlackWidow Elite
In today’s review I’m exploring the differences in the Razer Huntsman Elite vs BlackWidow Elite. In addition,, we’ll take a look at the comparison, and which one you should buy!
When you think of the best mechanical gaming keyboard, the Razer BlackWidow Elite comes to mind. Now that Razer came out with their new “laser” Huntsman Elite, we’re putting both to the test to see who truly is the “Best of the Elites”.
If you’re a gamer and have never heard of the Cult of Razer, then you need to get out more. Razer is one of the most prominent brands in the gaming community. They make high-end, high-performance peripherals and Blade gaming laptops.
Razer has a reputation for impressive products. So, let’s put these two high-end gaming keyboards to the test.
- Faster Than Legacy Mechanical Switches: Razer Optical switches use light-based actuation, registering key presses at the speed of light (30% shorter actuation distance than other clicky switches at 1.5 millimeter) with satisfying, clicky feedback
- Ultimate Personalization & Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Fully syncs with popular games, Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30 plus partners; supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
- The #1 Best-Selling Gaming Peripherals Manufacturer in the US: Source – The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Gaming Designed: Keyboards, Mice, PC Headsets, and PC Microphones, Based on dollar sales, Jan. 2017- June 2020 combined.
- Quick Mechanical Switch for Gaming: Razer Yellow switch technology beats competitor, legacy “speed” keys in actuation distance by up to 20%, requiring 45 G of force; ideal for fast-paced gaming requiring high-speed key presses
Razer Huntsman Elite
Starting off with the Razer Huntsman Elite gaming keyboard. This keyboard came out recently and sports Razer’s new opto-mechanical gaming switch. The new switch is the main focus of the Huntsman Elite and why it’s a step above it’s competitors.
The Huntsman Elite is full of features, but as mentioned before, it’s unique opto-mechanical switches are a main selling point.
Starting off, the switches come in either “clicky optical switch” or “linear optical switch”. These switches are based on light actuation instead of a mechanical actuation. In theory, this means that the switches are by far, the fastest on the market. But, still providing satisfying mechanical feedback (the click).
Next, the Huntsman Elite is built with high-quality aluminum construction. Featuring an aluminum top frame for increased rigidity. Additionally, there is a plush ergonomic wrist rest that comes included with the Huntsman.
Additionally, all of the keys have full programmatically, individually lit LED RGB lighting, and a high-quality laser etched key cap. Each key has a 2-year manufacturer warranty with an expected durability of 100 million clicks (which is substantially high).
Finally, the Huntsman Elite has RGB LED under glow lighting. This lighting adds a lot of style to your gaming setup with Razer Chroma effects.
Razer BlackWidow Elite
Next up is the Razer BlackWidow Elite gaming keyboard. So, if you think it looks extremely similar to the Huntsman Elite, then you’d be right! They’re virtually the same keyboard style and design minus a few important features.
The biggest difference between the Razer Huntsman Elite vs BlackWidow Elite is the switches. While the Huntsman uses the new opto-mechanical switches, the BlackWidow Elite uses traditional mechanical switches. However, these switches are all made by Razer.
You have three choices of switches:
- Green Switches – Tactile & Clicky
- Orange Switches – Tactile & Silent
- Yellow Switches – Linear & Silent
We have the green switches that are tactile and clicky. They are very reminiscent of Cherry MX Blue Switches. The greens are extremely clicky, but not super loud. They are also very tactile and have a prominent bump.
The other big difference between the BlackWidow Elite and Huntsman Elite is the lack of LED under glow lighting. With the BlackWidow Elite you loose that extra lighting element. So, if you really love RGB lights then that could sway you to choose the Huntsman over the BlackWidow. Additionally, the mechanical switches only support up to 80 million clicks (which is still a good amount).
Other than that, the keyboards are virtually the same. The same awesome construction, key caps, and ergonomic wrist rest. Both keyboards also feature media controls with a volume control knob.
Huntsman Elite vs BlackWidow Elite Performance
As far as performance goes, these keyboards are very similar. While there are a few differences besides the switch type, they really don’t make a difference in performance. The main difference there is the switches (opto-mechanical vs traditional mechanical switches).
The above video gives you a good sense of the difference in sound between the switches. The purple switch is similar to the green switch, but without the excessive “clickiness”. But, as far as sound goes, we preferred the purple (opto-mechanical) linear.
When it came to actual gaming, we didn’t notice a huge difference between the keyboards. The opto-mechanical switches on the Huntsman Elite in theory should make a difference. But, in practice, most won’t notice a massive difference. However, there is a difference present.
But, other than that, these keyboards are very similar. If you’ve never used Razer Synapse before, then you’re in for a treat. Razer Synapse 2.0 was an awesome program that worked 95% of the time. The new “improved” Razer Synapse 3.0 is a less-awesome program that works about 50% of the time. Unfortunately, it needs some improvements.
However, it does still provide you with all of the controls necessary to use the keyboard. Once you have everything installed and setup it is very easy to use the keyboard. The tough part is being able to set it up, just because of Synapse’s glitches.
With all of that being said, what ultimate gaming keyboard should you choose: the Razer Huntsman Elite vs Razer BlackWidow Elite?
Between the two, we’d have to go with the Razer Huntsman Elite. For the money you’re getting a more reliable keyboard, a better looking keyboard (with the lighting) and a more advanced switch. It wouldn’t be surprising if you start to see opto-mechanical switches all over the market in the next few years.
With the inclusion of Razer Synapse software and lighting elements, the Huntsman Elite is the perfect centerpiece for your gaming setup.
It will definitely add a wow factor to any setup, especially knowing that you can customize pretty much everything.
We also took a look at some other keyboards from “less known” brands, and spoiler: they’re pretty good!
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