Ever since I started writing full-time, I’ve used a laptop to do so. Reliable and portable, the downside to this has always been the keyboard which simply wasn’t made to handle my delicate fingers hitting them with the force of a jackhammer several thousand times a day. I’m not joking either, as my current Asus laptop has two broken keys on it which have led to some hilarious typos. Well more than usual anyway.
A couple of months ago I decided to finally invest in a proper keyboard, and I snapped up a brand new Razer Ornata Chrome for a delicious price. The combination of membrane and mechanical switches have been a godsend, allowing me to crack out several articles of word-salad on a daily basis and leave infinite evidence behind that something is not quite right with my brain-meat.
So when I was asked if I’d like to take a crack at the Razer Huntsman Mini, I was all hell yeah I would in my response. Now to be fair, the Huntsman Mini isn’t made for the daily stress of Fortnite guides and next-gen console comparisons. It’s a piece of gaming kit, but with a small catch: It’s all the keyboard that you should need for gaming, but at 60% of the size.
That makes for an adorable package, but don’t let its looks fool you. Much like professional boxer Manny Pacquiao, its compact frame is still able to pack a knockout punch. Said haymaker comes from its selection of mechanical keys, heavy-duty inputs that Razer refers to as Opto-Mechanical keys. In action, they’re absolutely satisfying: Just the right amount of depth, responsive, and speedy every time you tap one of these pure actuation buttons.
What this means for your gamer who’s looking to rack up an impressive K/D ratio in Call of Duty: Warzone, is that these keys require less force to use and will bounce back into place faster. The debounce time is practically non-existent, so if you’re the type who treats your keyboard with kid gloves, then you’ll still benefit from some terrific responsiveness.
Each key also has RGB lighting underneath them, but using Razer’s software suite, you can customise them so that they glow like a sperm bank at a black light party or ooze luminescence on a more subtle level. Whatever floats your boat. At this point, you’re probably wondering why you’d opt for a smaller keyboard that doesn’t even have a numpad attached to it, yet another affront to the left-handed gods of gaming.
It’s a good question, and it all depends on your particular taste in how you set your gaming peripherals up I reckon. Essentially, a 60% keyboard gives you the essentials for gaming, that being WASD movement and the other keys necessary for extra actions. At the same time, that also gives you more wiggle room for your mouse, as you can slap down a larger mat and swivel your avatar around with reckless abandon.
The caveat here is that in addition to the numpad, the arrow keys and a good chunk of other features are chopped off. Not that you’d use them for gaming, but they are sorely missed for everyday functions. Here’s an example to better illustrate the point for you: In gaming, I had an absolute blast using the Huntsman Mini for several high-energy rounds of Hades. Beyond that, while I did enjoy the sensation of typing on it, the keyboard was woefully underprepared for everyday functions that I was used and I’d have to make do with alt function workarounds to compensate.
Essentially, that positions the Hutnsman Mini as a spare peripheral: Brilliant for gaming, but something you’d put away for when you need to crack out some content. That being said, it absolutely excels in that field: It’s incredibly comfortable, has solid construction, and the USB-C connection is undeniably convenient for when you’re on the road and you want fewer cables in your backpack.
I don’t know how much of a market there is for a spare gaming keyboard of this ilk, but Razer’s seen an opportunity and thrown its considerable weight behind it. Other than me wishing that a wrist rest had been included like my Ornata Chrome did, I’m still enamoured by the Huntsman Mini which continues the legacy of the current Razernaissance.
Razer’s Huntsman Mini keyboard is extravagant without being too gaudy, brilliantly designed for a single purpose, and compact enough to add some mechanical flair to any roadtrip. Just don’t grab one expecting it to be both your primary gaming device and Jack of all trades typing slab.
Last Updated: September 29, 2020