Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro review: Low-profile mechanical goodness
Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro review: Low-profile mechanical goodness
The Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro was built to compete with the Logitech G915. There aren't many other keyboards in the very niche category of low-profile mechanical keyboards, and the two were practically made to go head-to-head with each other.
The Deathstalker V2 Pro feels like a more refined version of the G915. While the G915 had noticeable key wobble, particularly on the larger switches, the keys on the Deathstalker are a lot more stable.
Part of that may be due to the fact that Razer's switches use more traditional MX-style switch stems, whereas Logitech relies on flimsy stilts on the keycaps that slot into the switches. Razer's switches are also optical, bringing a flagship feature from its Huntsman line to the Deathstalker.
This means lightning-fast actuation, zero debounce time, and improved durability because there are no metal contacts to wear down. The switches actuate via light — when a key is pressed, the switch stem blocks a light beam, which causes the keyboard to send a signal to the computer that the key is being pressed.
My review unit comes with linear, red switches, featuring built-in silicone dampeners. Razer says it has gone through multiple iterations to get the density just right, finding the balance between noise reduction and an overly mushy bottom-out. Turn up your audio to hear it in action:-
The switches are quiet, without the usual thock of a full-height keyboard and switches. The downside is that they do still feel a bit like membrane switches when bottoming out. Fortunately, the 2.8mm travel distance means that the process of actuation feels nothing like a rubber dome. These switches actuate at 1.2mm, fairly early on, and have an average force of 45g.
The keycaps are ABS plastic instead of more durable PBT. However, Razer has added a unique coating that is supposed to guard against wear and tear and further improve the longevity of the keycaps. I haven't used the keyboard long enough to speak to how effective this is, but it does create a nice matte texture.
That aside, the full-sized model takes up way too much space on my desk, but there is fortunately also a TKL variant available.
The Pro model also comes with plenty of connectivity options, with support for wired, 2.4GHz wireless, and Bluetooth modes. Razer's HyperSpeed wireless tech allows for lag-free connections, and I had no problem with input lag or dropped connections during the time I was using it.
Another nifty feature is multi-device support, so you can pair both the keyboard and a supported wireless Razer mouse to the same dongle to streamline your setup and free up USB ports. Some supported mice include the DeathAdder V3 Pro, Viper V2 Pro, Basilisk V3 Pro, Orochi V2, and Naga Pro.
The wireless dongle can be stored in a small compartment at the bottom of the mouse, so you can stow it away safely for transport. An included adapter also lets you bring the dongle closer to your keyboard if you feel like you need a better signal.
The keyboard charges over USB-C, yet another improvement over the Logitech G915, which still uses micro-USB.
You can also pair the Deathstalker with up to three different devices in Bluetooth mode, and then switch between them using dedicated keys at the top edge of the keyboard. This lets you switch between your PC, mobile phone, and tablet, making it a useful tool if you're constantly working on multiple devices during the day.
Razer is also claiming up to 40 hours of battery life at 50 per cent brightness with Spectrum Cycle lighting. In comparison, the G915 is rated for 30 hours of battery life at 100 per cent brightness. While Razer's optical switches do sip more power than traditional mechanical switches as well, I've found battery life generally to be a non-factor.
The keyboard is good for at least a few days of heavy use with RGB turned on, and if you already have the cable handy, charging is hardly any inconvenience at all. You're not going to get a full week of use on a single charge, but that's the price you pay for such a slim chassis.
A handy battery life indicator is also available on the keyboard itself. All you have to do is hold down Fn + End, and the five indicator lights below the Home cluster will show you the battery level.
Even then, Razer hasn't held back on the brightness of its RGB lighting. They are vibrant and even, and can be customised in Razer Synapse. You can also toggle between different lighting presets on the keyboard itself. To do that, hold down Fn + Ctrl and select any of the number keys from 2 to 7. You can even repeat the hotkey combination to cycle different colours or change the effect direction.
However, one thing to take note of is that not all lighting effects are available in Bluetooth mode. If you want access to the full range of customisations, you'll need to put the keyboard in 2.4GHz wireless mode.
A dedicated media button and all-metal roller sit in the top right. These can be programmed to pause, play, skip, or adjust everything from brightness to volume — it's entirely up to you how you want to use them. That said, the media button is set to pause/play by default. A double tap skips the track you're on, while a triple tap goes to the previous track.
The media roller is a volume knob out-of-the-box. And if you press down on it, it will mute all audio that is currently playing. The roller feels absolutely delightful to use, with a fluid, tactile feel to it and clearly defined steps.
Finally, the 5052 aluminium alloy top case adds some reassuring structural rigidity. There is barely any flex to the keyboard, despite the fact that it is a comparatively large and long full-sized model. This may be a lightweight, low-profile keyboard, but that doesn't mean that it is flimsy.
The Deathstalker V2 Pro is prohibitively expensive at S$319. Even with its rich functionality and attractive design, it's difficult to justify the price, especially when you can get a barebones Glorious GMMK Pro for S$239. Sure, you'll need to add your own switches and keycaps, so it will end up costing you a little more, but you'll get the option to pick your own switches and maybe even spring for PBT caps.
Unless you really want the low-profile form factor, it just feels like your money could be better spent on a more satisfying typing experience.
The new Deathstalker is a more refined version of the Logitech G915, but it may only catch the eye of those who can find a very specific appeal in its slim design and lightweight portability. If you're keen to pick this up, Razer's own store has it in stock here, on Challnger, Lazada, and Shopee.