Upon receiving my Razer Huntsman Mini review sample, I was immediately met with the cutest Razer packaging that I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never owned a 60% keyboard before, which is where the Number Pad, arrows, and some other dedicated keys are cut in order to save room, you might be shocked by the size. Right from the moment you get the box in your hand, you’re teased by the small footprint of Razer’s new mini keyboard.
Big advantages of small keyboards
The unboxing experience is simple, with essentials like instructions and the notably well-designed removable USB-C to USB-A cable all tidily tucked away. Gone are the times when software disks come included in the box. In fact, you don’t even need to install Razer’s Synapse software to enjoy the majority of the Razer Huntsman Mini’s features, as it is plug-and-play. Synapse can however help to enhance the RGB customization, arranging profiles, and synchronization across other Razer products. Personally, I tend to avoid having unnecessary software installed on my PC (which I use for both work and play), so it’s nice to have the option to use great Razer hardware without being forced to install an app.
Once you’re all unboxed, with your little Razer Huntsman Mini connected to your PC, and your lighting is all set up with or without Synapse, it’s time to fall in love with that 60% layout. The main advantages of having a smaller keyboard are: there is significantly more room to swing a mouse, which is great for low sensitivities or just generally larger swipes; it’s easier to get comfortable for longer periods of time, as you’re able to bring the mouse closer to the center of your body; and portability, with a 60% board easily fitting into your typical backpack.
When it comes to upping your performance in games, it’s that first advantage that matters most. Cutting 40% off a full-size keyboard really gives you more freedom to move your mouse unhindered. It helps avoid the jarring interruptions that come from hitting the side of your keyboard during especially intense gunfights, which can make the difference between winning or losing a round.
If you can forgo the number pad and some other dedicated keys, like I have done for over a year now with other 60% keyboards, then downsizing really is a no-brainer. It looks damn clean aesthetically and it has a genuine impact on your gameplay experience.
The main learning curve comes down to remembering the secondary functions that many keys have. Thankfully, Razer has printed those functions on the side of the keycaps, making it easy to see how to use arrow keys, delete, and other common commands. The keycaps themselves are made from doubleshot PBT, meaning they should repel finger oil and the legends won’t fade over time. The font is also distinctly non-gamery, which is good to see. While the keycaps don’t allow much RGB lighting to shine through when compared to pudding variants, the standard layout means that they are easy to swap out and further customize.
Speaking of further customization, Razer is selling some awesome colored keycaps alongside the new Huntsman keyboards. These can add a bit of accent color to an otherwise fully black or white board. While these are a cool paid extra, I do think it would have been nice to see a WASD sample included in the box for the Mini. For the asking price of $119.99 (clicky) or $129.99 (linear), I think that extra touch may have helped it compete with the obvious competition seen from the Ducky One 2 Mini.
Razer’s first attempt at 60%
So I’m obviously sold on 60% keyboards, but what about Razer’s variant, specifically? Well, I think Razer’s first go at a mainstream, super-compact keyboard is superb. It takes the premium Huntsman Elite experience and condenses it down into this bite-sized format.
Like with its other keyboards that use optical switches, Razer provides two options. There are the purple, clicky switches, which I’m using for this review. These emit that satisfying, audible click. Then there are the red, linear switches, which are quieter and require less force to depress. Recently, Razer has made improvements to its linear switches, which could explain the $10 premium price, but I haven’t yet experienced them myself.
Looking at the “clicky option” then, I can say that it feels awesome to tap away on. There’s a consistent sound across all keys, with even the tricky stabilized keys sounding decent when it comes to rattling. It’s clear that a lot of research went into making this board, with feedback from many partners, and the end result is great.
I will note, however, that this is like any other clicky keyboard, in that it can be loud and potentially obnoxious for anyone in the same room as you, or for anyone on a voice chat app like Discord (though you can avoid issues by using a noise gate/push to talk). If you’re worried about annoying others, the linear switch option may be worth that additional $10.
Razer Huntsman Mini Review | The Final Verdict
With Razer (and its two-year limited warranty) now backing the 60% keyboard scene, I’m very excited about the future of smaller form-factor products. In this first attempt, the peripheral giant has produced a killer keyboard at a reasonable price, which will hopefully remain available for quite some time. With that said, as this is such a good product and priced competitively, I think it will start flying off shelves as both keyboard enthusiasts and “regular” gamers buy the Mini to see what all the fuss is about.
The Razer Huntsman Mini proves that big things can come in small packages, with a well-researched 60% keyboard that is up there with the best of them.
Razer Huntsman Mini review unit was provided by Razer.