Razer Huntsman Mini Evaluate: Programming Stays the Bane of Mini Keyboards

Razer Huntsman Mini Evaluate: Programming Stays the Bane of Mini Keyboards


Ranking:
5/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Scorching Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Execs, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Greatest-In-Class
  • 8 – Implausible, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Value: $120
Hunstman Mini on desk
Michael Crider

The Razer Huntsman Mini is Razer’s smallest keyboard ever, shrinking the options of the favored Hunstman and BlackWidow strains down right into a semi-standardized 60% keyboard structure. It’s a stable little board, with extra options than I might have anticipated, and Razer’s fancy optical switches because the spotlight of the listing.

This is What We Like

  • Tiny measurement and weight
  • Customary structure
  • Removable USB-C cable

And What We Do not

  • Very restricted programming
  • “Rattle” noise on each key
  • Costly

Which is why it’s such a lamentable disgrace that Razer uncared for the software program aspect of the equation. The Huntsman Mini is ready to compete with a variety of “fanatic” keyboards just like the GK61 and the Anne Pro. However these keyboards enable full programming of their operate instructions, a necessary component of a smaller keyboard that requires adaptation to make use of.

Razer Huntsman Mini
Michael Crider

Razer permits some programming on the Huntsman Mini. However roughly half of the keyboard can’t be reassigned on the operate layer—you’re caught with the default structure, as emblazoned on the entrance aspect of the keycaps. It’s an unpardonable mistake on a board like this.

The Hunstman Mini may have been a 60% board for the lots—a conveyable mechanical keyboard you could possibly purchase at Greatest Purchase and customise to your coronary heart’s content material. As an alternative, it’s relegated to a pleasant however deeply flawed entry in Razer’s lineup. I can solely suggest a purchase order when you’re keen to adapt to the keyboard, as a substitute of getting the keyboard adapt to you.

{Hardware}

Wanting on the Huntsman Mini by itself, you’d wrestle to even inform that it comes from Razer. The 60% structure doesn’t depart any room for logos or different adornments: The one clue is in these blazing LEDs, that are certainly not distinctive to Razer at this level. You would possibly discover a few premium touches, in actual fact, the aluminum high plate and braided USB-C cable.

Razer Huntsman Mini, rear
Michael Crider

Flip the board over, and also you’ll not be unsure as to who makes it. “FOR GAMERS, BY GAMERS” is embossed within the plastic of the decrease shell, together with the huge label sticker and a few very sturdy rubber ft. A pleasant contact: The fold-out ft are available two phases, permitting for 3 totally different angles for consolation.

Razer Huntsman Mini USB-C port
Michael Crider

A good nicer contact: That sturdy, reversible, braided, six-foot lengthy USB-C cable can be removable, so the keyboard travels nicely. In actual fact the entire thing is nice as a conveyable board, lack of a Bluetooth choice however. Whereas the keyboard’s deck is aluminum, its light-weight plastic physique implies that it received’t weigh you down in a laptop computer bag.

Typing and Gaming

I used to be desirous to check out Razer’s optical switches, and the Huntsman Mini comes geared up with Razer’s second-gen linear design. Which means that there’s no bump in any respect when urgent it, and it doesn’t make as a lot noise as a clicky or tactile swap.

Additionally, it’s optical—that’s to say, it registers a keypress by breaking a beam of sunshine as a substitute of closing {an electrical} circuit like a traditional mechanical swap. Razer alleges that this makes its keyboard the quickest in the marketplace. I’ll take their phrase for it as a result of I don’t have the superhuman response time it might take to really discover that distinction.

Razer Huntsman Mini key switch
Michael Crider

Truly utilizing the keys is nice sufficient. They’re a bit stiffer than regular Cherry or Gateron switches, with some further resistance on the backside of a keypress, which feels much like the inside foam of a premium “silenced” swap. Not that these linear switches are quiet: fairly the alternative. As a result of the distinctive stem design has an exterior steel stabilizer, each single keypress has a small little bit of “rattle” to it on the discharge like a tiny area bar. It’s fairly dang noisy, and the mechanism is a bit more wobbly than I’m used to. Razer additionally presents this board with clicky optical switches.

Utilizing the Huntsman Mini as my work keyboard for a number of weeks, I grew accustomed to its key really feel and noise. I’d say it’s completely serviceable when you like linear switches. It’s particularly good that Razer contains PBT plastic for the keycaps, one thing that isn’t a given even on its costliest boards. It makes typing really feel quite a bit higher.

Razer Huntsman Mini WASD cluster
Michael Crider

Enjoying video games with the Huntsman Mini took much more adjustment. I are inclined to backside out the keys once I get into it, and that further little bit of firmness on the backside of the motion didn’t agree with me. I’ll be joyful to get again to my regular swap for gaming, Kailh BOX Yellows, that are rather more clean and even. It’s nothing insupportable however might take quite a lot of adjustment relying on what you’re used to.

Software program

Which is greater than I can say for Razer’s software program on the Hunstman Mini. It’s dealt with by the identical Synapse program as each different Razer peripheral, which lets you choose your lighting and macro settings. The software program itself is ok … the programming limitations should not.

Whilst you can rearrange the structure of each commonplace key, the default operate layer for the primary two rows and half of the second is locked. The intention is evident: Razer needed to ensure that the operate sublegends—the white printing on the entrance of the keycaps—would stay true it doesn’t matter what the consumer did in Synapse software program.

Razer Synapse screenshot, Huntsman Mini

In follow, this makes the Huntsman Mini nearly unusable for me. My most popular structure on a normal 60% board is to make use of the Caps Lock key as a Perform button, then the correct Alt, Home windows, Menu, and Management buttons as commonplace arrow keys (no Fn modifier wanted).

That’s nearly attainable on the Huntsman Mini: The Caps Lock key might be reprogrammed on the highest layer, however the Fn button itself can not. So, I attempted for my backup structure: commonplace Fn button, with the arrow keys sure to WASD within the operate layer—additionally unimaginable. The W key’s operate layer can’t be modified from Quantity Up, although the A, S, and D buttons might be modified.

Razer Synapse screenshot, Huntsman Mini

In an try and make this keyboard extra consumer pleasant, Razer has alienated just about anybody who’s used to a 60% board being adaptable to their consumer fashion. It’s a surprising failure for a product so clearly impressed by, and meant to compete with, enthusiast-focused mini boards.

Higher Decisions Are Out There

It’s attainable that Razer may replace the Synapse software program and the Huntsman Mini’s firmware to repair the programming points. However as a gadget reviewer, I can solely evaluation what I’ve been given, and even with a number of weeks of grade time, there’s no indication that Razer really desires to alter the habits of the keyboard.

And that’s too unhealthy, as a result of assuming you want Razer’s optical switches, this can be a good little board that makes a superb journey companion. However with its lack of programming choices and comparatively excessive value, I can’t suggest it to both newcomers or mechanical keyboard veterans.

Razer Huntsman Mini from the side
Michael Crider

For half the value of the Huntsman Mini, you may get a GK61 with related optical switches, full programmability, and admittedly a less expensive case and keycaps. Or when you’re searching for one thing from a extra well-known model, there’s the Ducky One 2 Mini, which admittedly requires some fairly tedious use of key instructions and dip switches. However when you’re going to spend cash on a premium tiny keyboard, I’d splurge on the Drop Alt, which has a greater structure, physique, and programming, and might use no matter switches you need.

In brief: There are higher choices than the Huntsman Mini, it doesn’t matter what your finances or characteristic necessities. Which may change if the software program improves, however for the second, look elsewhere for a tiny gaming keyboard.

Ranking: 5/10
Value: $120

Right here’s What We Like

  • Tiny measurement and weight
  • Customary structure
  • Removable USB-C cable

And What We Do not

  • Very restricted programming
  • “Rattle” noise on each key
  • Costly



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