Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review

0

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro: Specifications

Key Type: Mechanical
Switch type: Razer Linear Low-Profile Optical or Razer Clicky Low-Profile Optical
Lighting: Full RGB
Cut: 17.2 x 5.5 x 1.0 inches

The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro is exactly what the PC gaming peripheral scene needs right now. While wireless mechanical gaming keyboards are beginning to sprout, it’s still rare to find a full-size model from a major manufacturer. The DeathStalker V2 Pro, with its seamless connectivity, comfortable key switches and robust features, convincingly demonstrates that there should be more.

At a staggering price of $250, there’s no getting around the fact that the DeathStalker V2 Pro isn’t for everyone. And, at this price, the keyboard really should have included a wrist rest, as its low-profile design can be a little hard on the wrists. Otherwise, however, it is difficult to identify the main shortcomings of the device.

The DeathStalker V2 Pro is arguably one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy, provided you are prepared to pay the high (perhaps exorbitant) entry price. Read on for our full Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review to find out if it’s worth the premium for your particular setup.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: Design

The first thing I noticed about the Razer DeathStalker V2 is that there aren’t many of them. At 17.2 x 5.5 x 1.0 inches, it’s one of the smallest full-size keyboards we’ve reviewed, in terms of length and height. This allows for a remarkably elegant and simple design. The keyboard has a full list of keys, a volume dial, a single media control button, and absolutely nothing else. The DeathStalker V2 Pro borders on minimalism, but it has absolutely everything you need to type and game.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro Keyboard

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

In fact, there’s something downright elegant about the whole setup. With its plain black plastic chassis and low-profile, raised key switches, the keyboard looks discreet enough to use in an office, but cool enough to live in a gaming nook. Considering Razer gear can often feel a bit overdone, the DeathStalker V2 Pro’s restraint is a welcome touch.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro on desktop

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

My only complaint here is that because the device has such a low profile, a wrist rest would have gone a long way in mitigating some potential discomfort. This is especially true since most standalone palm rests aren’t designed with such low-profile systems in mind. For $250, Razer probably could have afforded to include something here.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: Keys

Unlike some of the company’s larger keyboards, the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro features discrete key switches. You can choose between the Razer Linear Low-Profile Optical Switch (which looks a bit like a Cherry MX Red) and the Razer Clicky Low-Profile Optical Switch (which looks a bit like a Cherry MX Blue). I reviewed the Linear model, and while there’s no doubt that it’s a genuine Cherry switch, I still enjoyed the feel. The Switch has a soft, responsive feel that’s comfortable even during long typing or gaming sessions.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro side view

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

In a Typing.com test, I scored 111 wpm with 97% accuracy using the DeathStalker V2 Pro, compared to 131 wpm with 99% accuracy on my regular Logitech G915. It’s a significant difference, but I type a bit slower on the linear keys – and I know the G915 much better. On its own merits, the DeathStalker V2 Pro can facilitate a pretty quick strike.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: Features

The most important feature of DeathStalker V2 Pro is its wireless connectivity. The device can connect via USB or Bluetooth dongle, and you can actually connect it to three different Bluetooth devices at once. In theory, you can switch the keyboard between four different connections at the push of a button – desktop, laptop, smartphone, and game console, for example. Both USB and Bluetooth connections work brilliantly, although Bluetooth can be a bit of a pain to pair for the first time.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro power and adjustment buttons

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Beyond that, you’ll likely control most of the DeathStalker V2 Pro’s features through the Razer Synapse software. This program lets you reprogram every key, set up profiles for individual games and apps, and manipulate the robust RGB lighting. When Synapse is working properly – which it is most of the time – it’s a useful tool with a relatively user-friendly learning curve.

My only real criticism of Synapse over the DeathStalker V2 was that some of the lighting modes are significantly better than others. I had high expectations of Ambient Awareness mode, for example, which is supposed to customize lighting patterns based on what’s currently on your screen. However, regardless of the color of the game or the extravagance of the action, the keyboard defaults to bright white or an extremely pale hue of a single color. I was much happier with the default Spectrum Cycling mode.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro on desktop

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Depending on your wireless and RGB options, the keyboard may last a long time on a charge, or not much time at all. On a USB connection with 100% brightness, Razer estimates you’ll get 26 hours of battery life, or about three full workdays. On a Bluetooth connection with 0% brightness, Razer estimates you’ll get 214 hours of life, or around 27 full workdays. We tested the device at 50% brightness over a USB connection and lost between 10-20% charge per workday, which is roughly in line with Razer’s estimates.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: Performance

Gaming fans can rest easy, as the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro plays well with just about any genre. I tested the system with Age of Empires IV, Doom Eternal, Cyberpunk 2077, and Final Fantasy XIV, and the keyboard handled them all beautifully. Ordering my villagers to build farms and sawmills was as easy as jumping from platform to platform over lava pits, taking down demons as you went. I especially liked the feel of the keys as I hammered them over and over, waiting for my skills to cooldown in FFXIV.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro on desktop

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

On the other hand, the lack of extra macro keys could be a hindrance for high-level MMO players. You can program your own macros and assign them to existing keys of your choosing, and you can use Razer’s HyperShift feature, which lets you hold down a single key to change the functionality of other keys. But with no extra keys to fiddle with, you’ll have to figure out which keys you absolutely need and which you don’t.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: Verdict

The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro is one of those delicious products that does just about anything. It looks great, it works well, and it offers lots of useful features. The $250 price tag is the only potential dealbreaker, but that mostly comes down to how much you feel like spending on a keyboard — and whether you really need a wireless model.

At the level of direct competitors, I still make a slight nod to the Logitech G915, simply because I like the key switches a little better. But the DeathStalker V2 is more compact and a little less conspicuous. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either one.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.