Mechanical keyboards are something of a wonderland for many people, myself included. My adventure began earlier this year when I got it in my head that I needed the smoothest possible keypress, and my current keyboard no longer served that purpose. I soon discovered the absolute rabbit hole that was custom mechanical keyboards, and the further down the rabbit hole I went, the more deeply entrenched I became. And so now, like many other enthusiasts – and yes, I understand how pretentious this sounds – mainstream keyboards no longer appeal to me.
That is, except for Razer’s Huntsman line of mainstream mechanical keyboards. The Huntsman Tournament Edition is still the smoothest keypress I’ve ever experienced, and although it wasn’t entirely my cup of tea, it proved Razer’s commitment to catering to a market that was hungry for quality mainstream offerings.
On that note, please welcome the Huntsman Mini, which is another solid attempt from Razer to cater to that portion of the mainstream and enthusiast market looking for an actually fantastic 60% offering. Let’s save you a quick Google – a 60% keyboard has only the alphanumeric and modifier keys as primary buttons, with the function, navigation, and arrow keys as a secondary layer when pressed in combination with the Fn key. This layered style of keyboard allows for a lightweight and small footprint on your desk, which is unsurprisingly why it’s insanely popular in enthusiast spaces.
The Huntsman Mini is an absolutely gorgeous offering from Razer. It’s got a low profile, height-adjustable aluminium base that gives keys the effect of looking as if they’re floating (love this). It’s got Chroma RGB for its backlit PBT double-shot keycaps, with lighting options available directly on the keyboard, though it bears mentioning that the secondary legends are not backlit. It’s also got colour options, in either black or mercury white, with accompanying Type-C braided cable.
The switches are once again opto-mechanical, opting for lasers over contact-based actuation. The Purple “clicky” version is slightly heavier on the keypress, suitably tactile, and of course much noisier. The Red “linears” are lighter on the keypress, and have had some improvements in noise reduction while maintaining their unrivalled smoothness. Our review unit came in the click variant, so I was unfortunately unable to verify these claims for myself, but it’s worth noting anyway.
I’m still fifty-fifty on these switches. While I do believe they are much smoother than contact-based switches, the addition of a stabiliser on every key means they add a noticeable ping to each keypress. To make matters worse, the keys are quite wobbly too. I appreciate Razer’s efforts to improve the switches – they just need a few revisions before they are perfect. I also wouldn’t mind heavier options, but perhaps that’s just me. As for recommendations, I would suggest the Purple for typists, cats, or multipurpose usage, and the Red for gaming, queens, or if noise is factor.
Something I haven’t yet mentioned is the selection of customisability options. Razer has been kind and opted for standardised keys and ports, meaning you can throw in your own keycaps set or USB cable. Your first few steps down the mechanical keyboard rabbit hole have begun.
The 60% keyboard is definitely a niche I don’t comfortably fit into – I like having cursor keys and a function row, so for me a 65% or 75% would have been better. This is more of a personal preference thing, and the popularity of 60% keyboards in the mainstream has been escalating inarguably quickly – my girlfriend sure loved her time trying it out – so Razer has absolutely made the right move by hitting the market with the Huntsman Mini here.
I am thoroughly impressed by the Huntsman Mini, and I would have no hesitation in recommending it as a relatively cheap mainstream 60% offering to anyone who asks. And for me to recommend a Razer product… I know I keep saying this but I still cannot believe it. There truly is no better brand right now in the gaming peripherals space.
Razer Huntsman Mini gaming keyboard
The Razer Huntsman Mini is another masterclass in gaming peripherals for a mainstream audience, delivering a 60% mechanical keyboard for the masses that also satisfies the extremely niche tastes of the custom keyboard enthusiast space. A big win in a small package.