Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL review: Tiny but mighty - MrLiambi's blog


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Wednesday 12 October 2022

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL review: Tiny but mighty

Razer has rejuvenated the DeathStalker line-up with gusto. The DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL is a compact version of the company's flagship keyboard and a pleasant, low-profile tenkeyless keyboard which seems fantastic on paper.

With some serious specs that include Razer's low-profile linear optical switches, the promise of 50 hours of battery life and HyperSpeeds wireless, Bluetooth and USB-C connectivity it's a serious piece of kit. At a glance, this keyboard is also potentially a great alternative to one of our favourite gaming keyboards - the Logitech G915 TKL. 

How does the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL stand up to the competition though? We've been working and gaming with it to find out. 

Low profile delights

  • Laser-etched ABS keycaps with a durable coating 
  • HyperSpeed Wireless (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth or USB-C connectivity
  • Multi-functional media button and media roller
  • Hybrid On-Board Memory and Cloud Storage â€" up to 5 profiles

Before we got our hands on the DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL we tested and reviewed its full-sized bigger brother. We immediately appreciated what that keyboard had to offer in terms of style, build quality and features but thought it could be so much better in TKL form.

That's obviously a personal preference. Some gamers prefer 60%, some TKL and others insist on having a numpad. But for us, tenkeyless is the perfect size for a healthy mix of convenience and extra mouse space.

Razer has clearly considered this with the layout of the DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL. The dedicated print screen, scroll lock and pause buttons are buried as a secondary action on the insert, home and page up buttons. Which isn't too much hassle, but otherwise most other things are present. 

There are other handy buttons that can be accessed by pressing and holding FN first too. Our favourite is the battery button. Press FN and END and you'll see the little lights below those keys flicker to life to show how much juice is left. Each light is 25% of the total battery, so this is a neat way to see how much time you have left at a glance. 

You also get a nifty little multi-action volume wheel and media button. The wheel rolls up and down to adjust system volume while pushing it in will mute. The tiny button next to that can be pressed once to play and pause, double-tapped twice to skip or triple-tapped to rewind.

Aside from that, you can also dive into Razer Synapse and add in extra button actions and macros to customise the keyboard with ease. If you're doing that you can also take advantage of the five onboard profiles, so there's plenty to like here, even if you miss the extra keys. 

Premium finish

At this price point, you'd expect some serious finish quality and we're happy to report that's what you're getting. Though there are still some compromises worth noting too. 

The DeathStalker V2 Pro is crafted with quality in mind, which means it includes a durable aluminium top plate and laser-etched ABS keycaps with a "durable" coating. The low profile design of the switches and the keycaps means it's sadly not possible to have the PBT double-shot keycaps you'd usually find on other premium keyboards. That might mean these keycaps wear out more easily over time, but based on the quality we'd suggest that would be after some fairly heavy use. 

There's a good level of attention to detail here and it's the little things that make the difference. The laser etching, for example, is not only on the standard lettering but also on the additional characters (like the $,% and £ signs for example). The result of this is the RGB lighting shines nicely through every keycap and every icon on the keyboard. Making it easier to see what you're doing but also leading to a more premium aesthetic overall. 

The durable coating is meant to keep dirt at bay and prevent marring over time. However, we certainly found that both the keycaps and the backplate seem to pick up oils from the fingertips with alarming ease. Easy enough to wipe clean but it can quickly spoilt the view. 

One thing that's sure though is the frame feels solid and you certainly feel like you've got a premium keyboard in your hands. It's wonderfully low profile and sits comfortably on the desk in a way that means your wrists aren't raised as you type. Far more pleasant than standard keyboards in our mind. 

There's a bit of a bulge at the back and feet to adjust it if you do want to raise it up a bit, but generally, it's thin and sleek. The extra bulge is to accommodate the battery. That internal battery is clearly a bit of a beast and that's intentionally done to give the DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL a decent battery life.

Razer says with the lighting off you can get as much as 200 hours out of this keyboard. This isn't something we could test, but with lighting on, we'd say the claim of 50 hours is perfectly reasonable. Battery life is an interesting one because it's impacted not just by the RGB lighting, but also by the optical switches.

Unusual optical switches

  • Razer low-profile optical switches (linear) - 1.2mm actuation, 2.8mm full travel, 45gf actuation force 
  • Guaranteed up to 70 million clicks
  • 50-hour Battery Life (50% RGB) or 200 hours with lighting off

Optical switches are nothing new. In our experience though, they're a rare sight on a low-profile keyboard and a welcome addition to a premium keyboard that might partly explain the price. 

Each switch on the keyboard has its own optical light beam to track your switch presses, this clearly drains the battery but also means you've got accurate actuation registration to go along with the low latency connection.

The DeathStalker V2 Pro TKL is only available with linear switches (if you want clicky you'll need to buy the full-size model). That's fine though because these switches are a perfect balance of speed and comfort. 

The low-profile optical switches actuate at just 1.2mm meaning they only need a light touch to activate. This is ideal for frantic gaming sessions where fast presses and reliable registration matter. And we certainly found the keyboard reliable and accurate both in our daily work and while playing Rainbow Six Siege and Escape From Tarkov. It's fantastic in both wired and wireless mode. 

Many will be pleased to find that Razer has also opted for USB-C with this keyboard, so when you do need to plug in for a charge you can do so easily. And you can also opt to upgrade to a fancier custom cable if you wish. 

Source : https://www.pocket-lint.com/gadgets/reviews/razer/162606-razer-deathstalker-v2-pro-tkl-review

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