Razer Huntsman V3 Pro TKL Review – A Solid Keyboard With Game-Changing Features

Actuate this.

After swearing black-and-blue for the longest time that I’d never stray from the nicely-appointed goodness of a full size keyboard and that sweet, sweet number pad, I’ve recently become a convert to the clean and tidy look of a more compact board. I’ve tried a few different takes on cut-down gaming keyboards from tiny numbers with the minimum of keys to more reasonable devices that still pack useful accouterments. Razer’s Huntsman V3 Pro TKL definitely sits on the latter end of that range, offering something that’s savvy on desk space but still has cutting-edge features and handy controls.

With my review unit coming in the gorgeous, white colourway, the Razer Huntsman V3 Pro TKL is, like so many more gaming peripherals arriving in recent months and years, a remarkably simple little number. The plastic base is fairly light but still feels nice and solid, and sits on a combination of rubber feet and the typical flip-out kickstands with two different degrees of incline. Despite being a solely wired keyboard, the included USB-C to USB-A cable is removable, which is great for portability and longevity. There’s also an optional wrist-rest included which carries on the sleek aesthetics and attaches magnetically, and although it’s not particularly cushioned it adds a nice amount of comfort for long stretches of typing.

Aside from the keys themselves, the Huntsman V3 Pro TKL also carries almost the same media controls and mini display as its full-sized big sibling, with a volume knob that carries some additional functions (more on that soon) and a couple of shortcut buttons, one of which can be mapped to any function and the other for basic media playback. 

As far as the keys themselves go, you’re getting a pretty typical TKL array, and Razer has opted for lightly-textured doubleshot PBT keycaps which feel quite nice, offer a good amount of grip and should last a lot longer than ABS caps. With pre-lubed switches sitting above an aluminum top plate, the keys all feel smooth and secure, and there’s an impression that you could give this thing quite the beating without fear of breaking anything. I’m not a huge fan of the noise profile, which sounds a lot cheaper than you’d expect from a $420 gaming keyboard, but perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the low-profile keyboard I’d mainly been using prior.

Thankfully, Razer’s “Analog Optical Switches Gen-2” still feel great to type or game on. Despite the deep thunks made in use, they’re actually quite lightweight with an actuation force of just 40g which has made using the keyboard for full days at a time decently comfortable. There’s a slight bounce to them which does contribute somewhat to that cheap feeling, but that’ll be mitigated somewhat by how you use them – and how you use them is very much up to you.

One of the big features of the Huntsman V3 Pro and these switches is the ability to set the actuation point of each key, going as short as 0.1mm and as deep as 4mm. This means you’re in charge of whether a press needs to be intentional and forceful to be registered, if you can fire off commands just by lightly grazing the keys, or anything in-between, and you can adjust it per-key if you want to get super intense about it. One thing I had no idea about before looking at the Razer Synapse software is that you can also take advantage of the analog nature of these keys and spectrum of actuation to simulate controller inputs like sticks and triggers, mapping them from right within the app. PC games and controller support is always a fickle thing, so it may not work everywhere, but it’s a neat feature that I genuinely didn’t expect to see.

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Aside from the customisable actuation, the keyboard also feature Razer’s new Rapid Trigger technology, which allows for much faster typing thanks to the ability of the switches to register a keystroke and travel back the very moment you lift your finger, rather than waiting for the switch to reach a set actuation point and then complete its round trip. It’s a feature that will appeal primarily to those playing at a high enough level to need those added fractions of seconds in speed, but it’s impressive nonetheless. You can turn this on or off optionally on a per-key basis via the Razer Synapse software as well, making it easy to tweak the entire keyboard to your liking.

What I appreciated particularly is being able to set actuation points and Rapid Trigger right from the keyboard itself without even having to dip into Synapse at all. With a combination of presses, the Huntsman V3 Pro enters quick adjustment modes for either feature, and through the individual keys’ RGB lighting and the keyboards mini display you can see exactly what you’re changing and get real-time feedback on the actuation force you’re using. It’s all super smart, and while Synapse is still the better way to change things up, I’m really impressed by the setup here.

In general, Synapse is still an excellent app when it comes to configuring and customising a gaming keyboard. Razer’s done a good job to make things intuitive to use, and it’s incredibly reliable, which is a two-for-two in PC gaming peripheral software suites as far as I’m concerned. As someone who writes about games and therefore uses a lot of en dashes, I usually have a key on my keyboard dedicated to throwing one up on the fly, and because Synapse syncs everything to the cloud I’ve not had to redo that shortcut between PCs which is lovely.

Conclusion
At $420, the Razer Huntsman V3 Pro TKL might be a hard sell in comparison to other, similar keyboards with much the same basic typing experience, but there's no doubt that the deeper functionality here makes for a huge point-of-difference. If you're looking for a gaming keyboard with switches that offer a ridiculous degree of customisation and can do it on the fly, there's little else like this.
Positives
Good-looking, well built and nicely laid out
Lightweight keys feel pretty good to type on for long periods
Adjustable actuation and Rapid Trigger are game-changers
Both on-board and app-based customisation are great
Negatives
Noise profile is quite grating
Comparatively pricey