The slogan that accompanies the new Razer Huntsman Mini is to be a mechanical keyboard with a form factor of 60%, therefore extremely small in size: all true, but in our opinion the attention must also be spent elsewhere, while maintaining the right attention to the 'purchase.
Razer Huntsman Mini, the review
Dressed in white
With its 29.3 centimeters in width and just 10 in depth, the Razer Huntsman Mini is a somewhat particular mechanical keyboard: because usually in this sector the keyboards have very important dimensions, such as to never be a problem for those who play, who must never take his eyes off the display to look for a specific key.
But let's not forget that this is a Razer product, which as our readers have come to know is as always full of curious and crisp details.
A nice set even for those with design needs (displays and computers are not marketed in Italy)
The writer, in fact, already at the time of the market launch was fascinated by both the shape and the intrinsic novelty of the product, which must play on the reduced size to recover what the older sister offers, of which we have spoken here.
The first thing that strikes you is the color: the availability is given in two variants, black but above all white, which in the humble opinion of the writer is much more beautiful and offers a more serious and fascinating look.
Already out of the box, however, the first details are immediately evident: the USB-C cable, for example, can be detached, with a recess for the connector that leaves room for any kind of standard cable.
The lower part, where the two feet for the inclination are present, is bordered by the writing “For gamers by gamers”, a sign that passion is one of the driving feelings of the brand.
Above, there are the keys, which when ordering can be selected between the Razer Snap Optical Switches (with decisive and sharper tactile feedback) and the improved Razer Linear Optical Switches (subject of this test, more contained and soft, also in noise).
The choice between these two types is completely subjective, but we recommend the latter for users who do not know the differences (here is an in-depth analysis, with also sound examples).
Razer Snap-on Optical Switches (right) and improved Razer Linear Optical Switches (left): two different philosophies for two interesting results. Be sure when you buy
The sample we received for testing had the American layout, while the Italian one is (also) on sale: but beyond a few missing accented letters, the performance of the keyboard is the same.
The choice of proposing a small layout is acceptable and offers great advantages: it fits in the backpack (like this one here), also thanks to the removable USB-C cable, it is light enough (to be a mechanical keyboard) and has a solid base that “Stops” the keyboard even with different stresses.
We tested it on a gamer mat (the Razer Gigantus V2) but the keyboard is built to remain fixed and firm on the table even in stressful situations, where the user may find himself hitting the keys in an inconvenient way.
The small layout is, as we said, comfortable but brings inevitable compromises: there is no numeric keypad (which could be replaced by the Razer Tartarus Pro) but the compromises are quite different.
We missed the arrow keys a lot, which in everyday life are very useful: the choice to provide only five rows of keys (instead of 6) did not allow us to do anything else, since the function keys are also missing but in a second release I hope will be re-evaluated.
Obviously, the keys are all there, putting the missing ones into virtual: in fact, many of the keys offer the double function, where the second is activated via the “Fn” keys: among other things, once this is pressed, the keyboard lights up only the double frets, not just finesse.
The keyboard responds perfectly to the Synapse 3.0 drivers (only for Windows, what a pity) but on macOS it can be used safely, except for customizations.
Via software it is possible to activate (and deactivate) the lighting by choosing the right set of lights, which thanks to Chroma technology can vary among the 16 million colors available: we can activate the mono or two-color status, a lighting that is activated only by pressing the keys, a rainbow full of colors or a more focused one.
Or we can just create sets on purpose and, with a Razer mouse (like the Razer Basilisk Ultimate), match the color set among all.
On macOS this choice is not possible because the drivers are missing, but the different sets of colors can be changed with the easy keyboard shortcuts.
An example of lighting in the dark, an effect not to be underestimated
How it's used
The use of this keyboard in everyday life has been very good: of course, you need to understand that it is a mechanical keyboard, therefore noisier than the super-thin ones (even with the improved Razer Linear Optical Switch keys) but still important.
The size of the frets is limited: the writer would have sacrificed a millimeter of distance between the frets to have an extra millimeter of surface per fret, but after a while we get used to it and the little one is able to give different satisfactions.
The use of fingers on a mechanical keyboard is enhanced during games, but also in everyday life it is very good, the movement is deeper and the dynamics in writing a long text is different, but for this very reason interesting.
The detachable cable is very convenient when you put the keyboard in your bag, but also when you tidy up the wires on the desk
And then there is the fact that writing at night, when everyone is asleep, in the dark is a very beautiful experience: you don't need lights, if not a display on and those on the keyboard (for work we have adopted a fixed color lighting, while for Starcraft and Diablo games a more dynamic and variable one).
Among other things, we have had feedback from family members that the tap on the keyboard (which on this becomes a tik tak) is a background noise that reconciles sleep (perhaps helped by the remarkable speed of typing, even constant, that those who do this work acquires soon): in this case, not having to keep the light on is an important help for those who sleep next door.
Two colors, two types of buttons, four versions in all
A truly accurate keyboard, whose shape is interesting and helps those who may not have much space on the desk, sometimes at the cost of some compromises on the keys, which Razer has taken care of with very careful details but which essentially remain so.
The price is not competitive, but we are facing a high-end model, which offers what it promises and whose cost is justified by the quality and yield.
Anyone who buys Razer knows these are important products and this Razer Huntsman Mini is a clear and brilliant example.
• Very high quality in all details • Some choices like virtual keys are excellent • Detachable USB cable • Small and convenient on the desk
• The arrow keys are missing • The sixth line is missing • Price a little high
• 129.99 or 139.99 Euros depending on the type of keys, in both colors
Razer Huntsman Mini is made in Black and Mercury White finishes, in two variants of keys. Readers can purchase the keyboard from the official Razer website and Amazon.