New Razer Keyboard Features "Opto-Mechanical" Switches

rgMekanic

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Razer has released a pair of new keyboards that feature their new "opto-mechanical" switches. The switches are available in the new "Razer Huntsman Elite" and "Razer Huntsman" keyboards. The switches use an infrared beam of light, that is broken when the key is depressed, and allows light to pass when the key is pressed. In addition they also have a mechanical component, giving them a similar "clicky" feel to the Razer Green switch.

Check out the video

I dunno about these. While the idea of using an optical break-beam sensor for something is nothing new, having it miniaturized on this scale makes me fear that they may be more fragile than the MacBook butterfly switches. Optical sensors are not known for being impervious to cheeto dust. If you're interested the Huntsman Elite will set you back $200, and the regular Huntsman $150.

Pushing innovation to elevate the gaming experience is something we constantly strive for. It was what drove us to create the first mechanical keyboard for gaming, then subsequently design our own Razer Mechanical Switches to meet the needs of different gamers. And with the new Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch, we’re redefining the standards of speed once again.
 

SnowBeast

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I see a wire attached. On a $200 keyboard? For that price it should be wireless and rechargeable. Dumb.
 
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Krenum

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I have a Ornata Chroma keyboard, its ok. But its loud as hell. I think I'm going to go back to a non clicky keyboard.
 

capt_cope

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I could sort of see the appeal if you could adjust actuation depth on the fly, otherwise this just seems pointless.
 

velusip

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Waiting for the hydraulic version with pneumatic assist. And if it comes with a years supply of keyboard fluid I'm all in.
Solenoid assist keyboards were a thing a long time ago. :)

A simple optical sensor is highly reliable and long lasting. Consider early analog joysticks in arcade cabinets and game controllers. The hard plastics wore out to dust, but the sensors still work perfectly.

However, that's besides the point. The real advantage here is that the activation travel can be pinpointed and adjusted to taste via firmware. It's really not much of an advantage and rather overengineered, but people do tend to get excited about these kinds of things.
 

Elf_Boy

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I bet those sensors dont do well with dried up lube or related stickiness on them. Who knows maybe they did testing and have a plan -- wonder if there is a job posting.....
 

velusip

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I'm curious to try one out. I like my cherry switches, I like my topre switches, and oh do I have a weakness for alps black switches. But I'm always open for new switches, bring them!
 

Skull_Angel

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More interested in new Hall Effect switches with high QA. The ones Xmit helped increase QA levels on worked well, but still had issues; uneven actuation due to magnets in the sliders seemingly being held in with hot glue, was what kept me from using it as a main board.
 

spugm1r3

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If RGB wasn't enough, perhaps you'll like lasers and smoke!

Frankly, if it doesn't come with a built in fog machine, I don't want anything to do with it.
 
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In all my years I can only think of one keyboard that I felt was not "fast enough" for both gaming and day to day work. It was one of the first Logitech wireless keyboards and I blame that on the wireless tech at the time. Aside from that. I have never used any of my keyboards and thought, "I wish someone would come up with a better way for my keys to respond". When I am looking at replacing a keyboard, I look for:
1) Ergonomics and comfort
2) Size and aesthetics (it is a tool that needs to fit my work space)
3) Additional features if I want them such as LED lighting and additional specialty switches

This sounds like a solution to a problem that does not exist, at least not for me.
 
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alxlwson

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More interested in new Hall Effect switches with high QA. The ones Xmit helped increase QA levels on worked well, but still had issues; uneven actuation due to magnets in the sliders seemingly being held in with hot glue, was what kept me from using it as a main board.


To me this is where keyboards should go next. Analog. No more having to hold multiple keys for run/walk/crouch, etc..

Do a three step button, with detents similar to industrial crane controls. I would be all freakin over that.
 
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Opto mechanical are supposed to be quicker response time as there s no moving parts. Also opto mechanical gives you the ability to do linear graduations meaning how far or deep a buttom is pressed. I never tried one, but I doubt they are worth the price bump.
 

termite

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Given the amount of random filth and food I've seen in some people's keyboards, I'm sure these will wotk great.
 

DNMock

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Looks like a rip of the Bloody Lightstrike keyboards https://www.bloody.com/en/products.php?pid=11

I have one and it's absolutely fantastic. Easily the ugliest keyboard and waterproof with easily swapped out caps so when you fat arm your big gulp of Mountain Dew over onto your keyboard, you are out about 30 minutes popping the key caps off to get the sticky death off of them and back into the action.

Given that it's razor, they probably dispensed with trivial things like waterproofing it.
 

nEo717

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Razer has released a pair of new keyboards that feature their new "opto-mechanical" switches. The switches are available in the new "Razer Huntsman Elite" and "Razer Huntsman" keyboards. The switches use an infrared beam of light, that is broken when the key is depressed, and allows light to pass when the key is pressed. In addition they also have a mechanical component, giving them a similar "clicky" feel to the Razer Green switch.

Check out the video

I dunno about these. While the idea of using an optical break-beam sensor for something is nothing new, having it miniaturized on this scale makes me fear that they may be more fragile than the MacBook butterfly switches. Optical sensors are not known for being impervious to cheeto dust. If you're interested the Huntsman Elite will set you back $200, and the regular Huntsman $150.

Pushing innovation to elevate the gaming experience is something we constantly strive for. It was what drove us to create the first mechanical keyboard for gaming, then subsequently design our own Razer Mechanical Switches to meet the needs of different gamers. And with the new Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch, we’re redefining the standards of speed once again.


I've been using the bloody opti keyboard, its been a long wait coming for this keyboard to release - As a FPS Gamer, this is much like the adjustment going from 60Hz to 120Hz monitor (or needing more than 4GB Video Ram) which as in the early days there was plenty who had all sorts of reason not to advance technology and stay stuck in yesterdays world.

Logitech will be next up coming out with opti switches...
 

motomonkey

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I see a wire attached. On a $200 keyboard? For that price it should be wireless and rechargeable. Dumb.

I suspect they have shot themselves in the foot in that regard, in order to use the keyboard, every single key has to be illuminated every single second. that's not a trivial amount of energy, plus whatever is beng expended for key lighting effects. That may have been a bit much to expect for a battery on a device that has be constrained by size and weight.
 

lazz

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The switch stems are neat looking It's a Cherry-style + but with a surrounding stabilizer type mold.

Also, they rate the switches for 100 million clicks - double that of the other Razer switches, and more than double the standard Cherry switches (most are rated to 30 million or so).
 

DocNo

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I can't believe people seriously think wireless keyboards are an advantage? Batteries? Latency from wireless? How often are you really moving your keyboard around anyway?!?!
 

alxlwson

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I can't believe people seriously think wireless keyboards are an advantage? Batteries? Latency from wireless? How often are you really moving your keyboard around anyway?!?!


Lol, latency. C'mon, this isn't first gen wireless. Not to mention, any amount on current stuff is considered irrelevant.
As for advantage? Didn't see anyone mention that. It's a convenience.
 

rtangwai

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As a former HP service engineer I'm not fond of optical sensors in a potentially dusty environment - too many times in my career I fixed a broken laser printer with the liberal use of an air can to blow out paper dust and loose toner.

Keyboards are magnets for dirt, crumbs, etc. - how many of us have flipped over a keyboard and enough crumbs have fallen out to feed a squirrel for a month?

While there are definitely engineering advantages of opto-mechanical switches (like analog-style sensing) unless that keyboard is sealed to the point of being waterproof I think that the failure rates of the design will be too high to deem it a success.
 

alxlwson

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As a former HP service engineer I'm not fond of optical sensors in a potentially dusty environment - too many times in my career I fixed a broken laser printer with the liberal use of an air can to blow out paper dust and loose toner.

Keyboards are magnets for dirt, crumbs, etc. - how many of us have flipped over a keyboard and enough crumbs have fallen out to feed a squirrel for a month?

While there are definitely engineering advantages of opto-mechanical switches (like analog-style sensing) unless that keyboard is sealed to the point of being waterproof I think that the failure rates of the design will be too high to deem it a success.


Lack of the user being aware of proper care and maintenance of their product =/= crappy design. It means users are lazy and ignorant to the inherent design. Speaking as a field service technician.
 

capt_cope

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Lack of the user being aware of proper care and maintenance of their product =/= crappy design. It means users are lazy and ignorant to the inherent design. Speaking as a field service technician.
So we really were holding our iphones wrong then?
 

rtangwai

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Lack of the user being aware of proper care and maintenance of their product =/= crappy design. It means users are lazy and ignorant to the inherent design. Speaking as a field service technician.

If this is a niche keyboard (and the pricing does indicate that) then you are correct, much of the success of this design will rest on the consumer.

Having said that, unless that keyboard has a pop-up sign that says "CLEAN ME" every time it gets dirty way too many users will treat it like an ordinary keyboard and clean it only after the damage is done. Forcing users to change habits rarely works, Steve Jobs made his mark by bending computer designs to the user's will instead of forcing people to use computers in a particular way.
 

katanaD

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I suspect they have shot themselves in the foot in that regard, in order to use the keyboard, every single key has to be illuminated every single second. that's not a trivial amount of energy, plus whatever is beng expended for key lighting effects. That may have been a bit much to expect for a battery on a device that has be constrained by size and weight.


yeah, i wouldnt want a wireless RGB keyboard. would be changing the batteries too often with all the lighting
 

alxlwson

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If this is a niche keyboard (and the pricing does indicate that) then you are correct, much of the success of this design will rest on the consumer.

Having said that, unless that keyboard has a pop-up sign that says "CLEAN ME" every time it gets dirty way too many users will treat it like an ordinary keyboard and clean it only after the damage is done. Forcing users to change habits rarely works, Steve Jobs made his mark by bending computer designs to the user's will instead of forcing people to use computers in a particular way.

You'd think that someone spending $200 on a keyboard would do some research...
 

alxlwson

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Depends on the user - $200 for a keyboard for me is a fair bite, but someone else it could be a rounding error.


Yeah, that's true. So then we are back at the user being an idiot at that point. Lol.
 

SnowBeast

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I can't believe people seriously think wireless keyboards are an advantage? Batteries? Latency from wireless? How often are you really moving your keyboard around anyway?!?!

You know more and more people are going big screen gaming and HTPC, right? Look at my sig. Nobody wants a big, long ass wire running across the room. But hey, as long as you got that quick, snarky little comment in there! Get down with your bad self!
 

rtangwai

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Yeah, that's true. So then we are back at the user being an idiot at that point. Lol.

That will never change - Einstein hit the nail on the head, "There are only 2 infinite things out there, the size of the universe and human stupidity - and I am not sure about the universe..."
 

DustMite

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But how will these switches handle Cheetos dust and other crap that gets down in keyboards?
 

Krenum

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But how will these switches handle Cheetos dust and other crap that gets down in keyboards?

Simple, don't be a savage and eat at your computer.

Or....

wondermark-m-dmid-maui-are-you-using-crunch-chopsticks-for-20054874.png
 

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DeeFrag

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Pressure sensitive keys that will automatically overclock your computer based on how hard you hit the keys would be more useful.

Smashing the keys will actually make things work faster. Now that's the technology of the future.
 
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