The Razer Huntsman Mini is the latest in Razer's flagship series, which already holds some pretty high expectations. You see, when the Razer Huntsman Elite dropped all the way back in 2018, we were blown away by just how good Razer's new optical switches were. And, we apparently we're not alone, as over the last two years Razer has been shoving this keyswitch technology into some of the best gaming keyboards we've used in that time.
One of the key focuses that Razer has been using to demonstrate the need for super-fast optical keyswitches is esports. According to Razer, these switches are more durable and faster than traditional Cherry MX switches, which make them perfect for esports players that tend to be a lot harder on hardware than the average gamer or typist.
The keyboards with these switches aren't as expensive as they sound, though. The Razer Huntsman Mini, for instance, will set you back $119 (about £95, AU$170) for the clicky variant and $129 (about £100, AU$190) for the Linear variant. For a 60% form factor keyboard, that's a big asking price, especially when you consider the regular tenkey Huntsman is $149, and is a lot more versatile.
However, if the 60% form factor is something you're into - more on that later - it's important to note that Razer is kind of alone in the mainstream gaming keyboard market in offering this kind of solution. The closest thing offered by SteelSeries is the Apex Pro TKL, which is a whopping $179 (£189, about AU$260). The Corsair K65 RGB Rapidfire is closer in price - though more expensive at $139 (£129, AU$199). Neither of these keyboards have the same ultra-compact 60% form factor, though.
So while it's not a cheap keyboard, it is unique, at least if you're not willing to venture into the murky void that is keyboards for programming. And, honestly the appeal is clear here, especially for traveling pro gamers. This is without a doubt the smallest keyboard we've used that would be competent for serious gaming.
This keyboard measures just 11.3 inches long and 4.07 inches high, and weighs in at just 1 lb. Basically, it's a dream if you ever need to just pack your keyboard in your backpack and travel from tournament to tournament - or even on your commute. Further helping the keyboard is the removable cable. That alone would be enough to earn our praise, but because it's USB-C, it means you can easily swap cables out either for aesthetic reasons or if the included cable ever gets damaged somehow. Honestly at this point, this is something that should be included in every high-end keyboard.
It's also very adorable. Upon opening the box we literally couldn't stop looking at it, and even after extended use, we just love how it looks on our desk. Even with the 60% design, the keyboard frame has a minimal design, and the Mercury White color option here is just pristine. Razer also includes its Doubleshot PBT keycaps. They feel amazing, and because of the manufacturing process, you'll never need to worry about the markings on the keys wearing off.
You're probably inevitably asking, however, how you're supposed to do things like use function and arrow keys on a keyboard that, well, doesn't have those. Well, just like a laptop, near the right alt key, you'll find a fn key. And, on many of the keys on the Razer Huntsman Mini, you'll see different functions printed on the bottom side of the keys. By pushing down the fn key in combination with one of these keys, you can do everything from using the arrow keys, to changing lighting brightness and managing media.
So it's even more important for this keyboard to have those Doubleshot PBT Keycaps - you can't rely on muscle memory here. We obviously don't have time to test if these labels will wear off over time, but at least Razer has something in place to try and avoid it happening.
We also have to emphasize that we aren't pro gamers here at TechRadar - hell we're not even good at single-player games. Honestly, even if this keyboard made us better at games we wouldn't even notice because it's not like we were any good to begin with.
However what we can say is that the keyboard feels amazing when playing games. Using the model with the linear switches, with the just 40g of actuation force and 3.5mm of key travel, it's a dream come true. We don't have to give these keys the same kind of force that some more robust mechanical keyboards need, but at the same time, the keyboard is way more responsive than chiclet keys.
This makes the Razer Huntsman Mini ideal for both work and play. Especially as programmers love keyboards like this, we're sure there will be a niche of people that will pick it up for both - though it's arguable if the switch quality can hold up against the best keyboards Topre has to offer.
Buy it if...
You need a portable keyboard
This keyboard is tiny, which makes it ideal if you need something you can easily pack away into your backpack when you're gaming on the go.
You love Razer's optical switches
Razer's optical switches are fast, comfortable and not as loud as some mechanical switches out there. If that appeals to you, this might be up your alley.
You find the 60% form factor appealing
However adorable and portable this keyboard is, you need to find this type of form factor appealing. There are less keys here than on a laptop, which is something you'll definitely have to get used to. But, if that's what you want, there really aren't any other mainstream keyboards like it.
Don't buy it if...
You need arrow keys
While you can use the fn key to navigate spreadsheets and such, there aren't native arrow keys, which might be quite a pain if you have to navigate spreadsheets or even if you're just used to using them in everyday life.
You're on a budget
The Razer Huntsman Mini is far from the most expensive keyboard on the market, but it's still asking for $119 for a keyboard, which may be a lot to ask for some folks.