The Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro is Razer’s entry into the low-profile keyboard market. This full-sized, wireless beast promises to beat other extremely popular gaming keyboards.
Low profile gaming keyboards are all the rage, with the Logitech G915 being featured as one of the best-selling keyboards of the last couple of years. Eager to not miss out on that piece of the pie, Razer has resurrected the Deathstalker line, with the Deathstalker V2 series, fully equipped with optical switches.
Boasting tonnes of premium features, does the Deathstalker V2 Pro manage to stand up against the now aging Logitech titan and high-performance optical keyboards?
- Switch type: Razer low-profile optical switch (Linear / Clicky)
- Keycaps: ABS
- Connectivity: Razer Hyperspeed, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C
- Form factor: Full-size
- Features: Aluminum top plate, volume rocker, RGB, multi-device switching
- Lighting: Razer Chroma RGB
- Battery life: up to 40 hours
- Release date: August 2022
- Price: $249.99/ £249.99
- Where to buy: Razer
Included in the box: Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro, USB-C to USB-A cable, USB extender
When you first look at the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro, you’re immediately struck at how thin the board is. With a plastic bottom shell and aircraft-grade aluminum on the top, it makes an excellent first impression. The anodized black finish looks smart, with only a tiny Razer logo on the tiny bottom chin.
The branding is kept to a minimum, with the board cutting off all the chaff, leaving the board with a small bezel around the edges to ensure that there’s no wasted space on any part of the board. The best thing? It never feels uncomfortable or cramped for doing so.
There’s a lovely volume rocker at the top, with a media control button next to it, which both work extremely well while in use. Over on the top, you have multiple profile buttons to switch between, in addition to a USB-C jack and a wireless mode switch.
It all makes up for a professional-looking package. Unfortunately, the top plate is an absolute dust magnet, and in our few weeks of testing, the dust has nestled into every nook and cranny, and no amount of dusting will ever make it look quite as nice and clean ever again.
The keycaps are made of ABS plastic, disappointingly. This means that the board will be prone to getting shiny and wearing down over time. The laser-etched keycaps do have some form of coating in an attempt to prevent this, but we expected Razer to pull out all of the stops with this new flagship keyboard. At a fairly steep $249, not including higher-quality keycaps is incredibly disappointing.
This board is very no-frills, and as we’ve said before, looks to compete with Logitech’s G915 keyboards, but here, Razer has developed their own unique low-profile optical switches.
This is the first keyboard to use these newly-developed switches, and we’re a little bit in love. Pop a keycap off, and you will be greeted with a stem, supported by additional plastic which means that wobble is minimized. The linear switches that we tested also have silicon dampeners placed at the bottom of the switch to keep noise levels low.
Setup and features
The Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro is simple enough to hook up, and you can use the profile switching to pair all of your Bluetooth devices and switch between them. This is in addition to the Hyperspeed mode, which uses frequency-switching technology to ensure that latency is kept incredibly low.
In a little test of this capability, we hooked the board up to five devices, with the board able to switch between them all, with three on Bluetooth, one on 2.4Ghz via the included dongle, and the wired connection.
You can even connect multiple compatible devices with the Hyperspeed Multi-Device pairing function in Synapse, allowing you to hook up multiple Razer peripherals with a single dongle, freeing up those all-important USB ports.
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Synapse allows you to customize the board even further with macro functions on a per-key basis, should you choose to do so, and allows you to customize the dreamy Chroma RGB. The RGB on the board is kept to the keys and is evenly lit on the shine-through legends of the ABS keycaps. Synapse is not the most difficult piece of software to use, and is kept reliable and updated.
Outside of the sheer connectivity, all of the media control functions and volume rocker work and feel as expected. This leaves the board feeling like a rounded-out experience, rather than solely being focussed on gaming.
Optical switches are not exactly known for being amazing to type on, considering their light actuation which can lead to accidental keystrokes. However, we did not experience this at all on the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro. The board managed to keep the typing experience intact, considering the linear optical switch’s actuation point of just 1.2mm. This is because the full travel stays at just 2.8mm.
This means that for those who can be a little ham-fisted while typing, you’re still going to get fast and accurate typing. Even when comparing it to our fully-modded custom keyboard, we found ourselves being ever so slightly faster with the Deathstalker V2 Pro.
The potent combination of low-profile switches in combination with the optical technology makes this board feel fantastic. It’s also aided by the silicon dampening on the switches themselves, which ensures that you do not get a harsh bottom-out on the switch. But, this is not so aggressive that the board feels mushy. Instead, it feels a bit more plush and muted than the average linear low-profile switch.
Is it good for gaming?
Gaming is where the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro shines. Thanks to how fantastic these switches feel, you can switch from editing a complex document to shooting baddies in seconds, Linear switches are great for gaming as it is, and the actuation combined with the analog inputs ensure that everything is kept extremely snappy and responsive.
We fired up the usual suspects for shooters: CS:GO and Warzone to test them out. While we clearly were still not any good at either game, the Deathstalker V2 Pro’s responsiveness and accuracy are fantastic. Razer has not specified the polling rate of the board, but you can immediately tell that the board is using some form of black magic (optical switches) to achieve these stunning results.
We did not detect any difference between using the board over a wired connection and the 2.4GHz wireless dongle. However, no matter what you are doing, just avoid using Bluetooth for gaming. This is Bluetooth’s fault, rather than the keyboard’s, so just be aware.
It’s a remarkable board, and for the price, you should hope that it performs, and we’re happy to say that it did not disappoint.
Should you buy it?
The Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro offers a premium typing and gaming experience with some of the best optical switches that we’ve ever tested. This board certainly trades blows and exceeds its most direct competitor, the Logitech G915, however the steep price point stings, especially now that Logitech’s rival board can often be found on the cheap.
The Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro is an exceptional keyboard, with oodles of features, while also feeling fantastic to type and game on. Unfortunately, the cheaper ABS keycaps, and steep price made us take some pause. But, if you’ve got the cash, the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro is of the best gaming keyboards you can buy right now.
Razer is launching the Deathstalker V2 Pro today. However, you might have to wait until later in the year if you want the clicky variant or tenkeyless version of this keyboard.
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