Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them. Note: This review is part of our best gaming keyboards roundup.

A bit of plastic sticks up in the middle, and when you depress the key this plastic bit dips down, the two sides of the beam connect, and the signal is registered. I didn’t hate it though, which is more than I can say of a lot of Cherry knockoffs.

You can spill a beer on your keyboard and it’ll probably work still. And again, this is a bit misleading because...well, that’s true of every optical switch I’ve seen, such as A4Tech’s LK Libra switch. We’re talking millimeters of difference here, so whether it’s actually that much faster is doubtful.

Upon pressing a key, you allow a receiver to be activated by this light signal, instantly actuating the switch command. It’s not the BlackWidow X, and the chassis is a different shape, but “… Not just louder, but higher pitched too.

Trying to reach over the keyboard and grab it is a nonstarter. Anyway, on to the optical switch. And if nerdy discussions about switch tech don’t do it for you, an RGB-endabled wrist rest should catch your eye.

Given the fact that Razer’s Green and Orange switches started as rebranded Kailhs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same sort of deal was struck here, in which case it’s doubly funny that Razer is marketing the Opto-Mechanical switch as a huge breakthrough.

In A4Tech’s switches, there’s a horizontal laser underneath each key.

Make your foray into true gaming performance with the Razer Huntsman, or go full-fledged with the Razer Huntsman Elite and its suite of features—a magnetic wrist rest, multi-function digital dial and media keys to underglow powered by Razer Chroma™. It’s not the BlackWidow X, and the chassis is a different shape, but “minimalist black rectangle” doesn’t leave you a lot to work with. In large part, the Huntsman resembles the BlackWidow X, with its exposed metal backplate and raised keycaps. When connected to the Huntsman keyboard, the wrist rest continues a ribbon of light that rings the entire base of the keyboard (as seen below).

We’re not at buckling-spring levels of noise, but it’s certainly enough to annoy anyone nearby. It might not be as sexy as laser beams, but it’s already hard enough convincing people to spend $100 on a keyboard.

Razer doesn’t do brand-new designs often. Not really surprising I guess, but perhaps a pain for those (like myself) who are running out of USB ports.

And with the Razer Huntsman, you’re about to experience exactly what we wanted to deliver—a keyboard that instantly elevates the way you play. Razer’s gone with a circle motif for the media keys, which is unique to say the least. But in my opinion, once you're paying that much for a keyboard, you might as well get the best keys you can get, and the Huntsman Elite just has a better feel.

But these are edge cases for the vast majority of people, and more useful for Razer’s marketing people than for you at home. Turns out Razer is first out the gate, with the Huntsman Elite keyboard (MSRP $200) and what it’s calling the “Opto-Mechanical” switch. Razer™ Optical Switches have an optical light sensor inside the switch. A solid aluminum matte top plate adds increased sturdiness with a smooth, satisfying touch. Razer is the world leader in high-performance gaming hardware, software and systems.

Classic Black | Quartz Pink | Mercury White. THE NEW RAZER OPTICAL SWITCH

Twice that? I love the wrist rest, gaudy as it is, and the Opto-Mechanical switch is pleasant if not quite as revolutionary as Razer makes it out to be. As I said, Razer calls it “Opto-Mechanical,” meaning it’s a blend of optical actuation and mechanical feel.