Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: Stroke of genius

Razer is bringing back its DeathStalker keyboards with gusto. The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro is one of three keyboards in the DeathStalker V2 range, and the flagship of the line-up.

It sits alongside the more affordable DeathStalker V2 and the DeathStalker V2 Pro Tenkeyless, but this is the most appealing of the bunch.

This is a premium keyboard with premium features – and, of course, comes with a premium price to match. It also features a low profile design, both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth 5 connectivity and much more besides. The main draw here may well be the switches, though, as this is the first time Razer has packed its optical switches into a wireless keyboard.

We’ve been working and gaming with the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro to see if it delivers the goods and is worth the money.

Low profile design and comfort to match

  • Low profile design with HyperSpeed Wireless (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth or USB-C connectivity
  • Laser-etched ABS keycaps with a durable coating
  • Onboard memory for five profiles
  • Multi-functional media button and media roller
  • Gaming mode

On the face of it, the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro is a stylish keyboard with plenty of appeal. It features a number of design highlights that make it visually appealing, and that beauty goes well below the surface, too.

The main draw for us here is the low-profile design. The low-slung body, combined with the low-profile switches and keycaps, means it sits really low on the desk. And, in turn, this makes it much easier on the wrists when you’re typing, leading to a comfortable and pleasant overall experience.

It has a nice, solid build quality to it, too, thanks to the durable aluminium top plate. There’s no flex or bend when you type, and it feels nicely solid and robust.

The keycaps are laser-etched ABS plastic, meanwhile, and designed to let through plenty of RGB light. It shines nice and bright because of this, both day and night, and you can easily make the lettering out without a problem.

Those keycaps are also crafted with an ultra-durable coating designed to prevent marring from finger oils over time. They don’t have a rough and matt finish like PBT double shot keycaps, but they do have a nice curvature to them that makes them pleasant to type on.

We’re happy to report there’s also very little wobble or flex in the keycaps, and the switches also seem to be brilliantly stabilised, too. We tested the linear optical switches, which Razer says it has carefully tuned with dampers to give a quiet yet satisfying typing experience. That’s exactly what we got, as well. Unlike standard keyboards, the DeathStalker V2 Pro doesn’t have any horrible stabiliser rattle in the space bar, enter key or other stabilised keys. It’s pleasant on the ears and equally pleasant on the fingers.

The DeathStalker V2 Pro has further delights, though. It comes with a 2.4GHz Hyperspeed dongle for a solid connection to your PC, and it also uses Adaptive Frequency Technology to scan the wireless signals and ensure it’s choosing the cleanest channel for the best signal.

Meanwhile, you even have the option of connecting up to three Bluetooth devices to the keyboard and switching between them with the buttons on the top left.

On the right-hand side, there’s a multi-functional media button and media roller. You can use the roller to adjust the volume by sliding it up and down, but also pushing it in mutes sound. The small button next to it can be pushed once to play or pause music, double-click it to skip and triple-click to rewind.

There are other keys, too. For example, you can press the FN key and END button at the same time and get a quick view of how much battery you have left. FN+F10 also turns on Game Mode, which disables your Windows key and other keypresses that might interfere with your gaming sessions.

Many gamers will also be pleased to see that Razer has moved across to USB-C for charging for this keyboard, giving you the option to upgrade to a fancier custom cable or just enjoy the convenience of USB-C connectivity.

The DeathStalker V2 Pro is apparently capable of as much as 10 days of battery life, we should also note, though this estimate is based on four hours of use per day and with the lighting turned down. This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually well balanced considering this keyboard has per-key RGB illumination and optical sensors for every switch that needs to be powered.

Optical switches on a wireless keyboard

  • Razer low-profile optical switches (linear) – 1.2mm actuation, 2.8mm full travel, 45gf actuation force
  • Razer low-profile optical switches (clicky) – 1.5mm actuation, 1.5mm tactile point, 2.8mm full travel, 50gf actuation force
  • Guaranteed up to 70 million clicks

The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro represents the first time the company has used its optical switches in a wireless keyboard. This means that gamers will be able to make the most of the lighting-fast actuation, zero debounce delay and durability benefits that come from these switches, while also relishing the joys of wireless.

The trade-off is a battery life that is unlikely to blow anyone’s socks off, but at least you have the USB-C connection for easy plug-and-play recharging.

At launch, the DeathStalker V2 Pro is also available with linear optical switches, which are swift and quiet with just a 1.2mm actuation point. So, they just need a feather touch and are plenty responsive for gaming sessions. If you prefer something a bit more tactile, then hold out for the Razer Clicky Optical switches coming later in 2022.

The optical switches help the DeathStalker V2 Pro stand out from the competition (like the Logitech G915). These are quieter keys, well dampened and pleasant to both type and game on, but they’re also accurate and reliable in the long term, too, which is what you want when you’re paying this sort of money.

In Razer’s Synapse software, you also have the ability to re-program the majority of the keyboard, setting up macros, different keypresses, actions and more. You can set up Hypershift in here, as well, which gives you the ability to assign a key to switch into Hypershift mode and then access another layer of button presses.

Finally, there’s onboard memory for up to five profiles, so plenty to play around with in terms of lighting and key programming.

Original Article