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Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: The ultimate gaming keyboard?

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
220
inc VAT (£250 for full-size)

It’s far from cheap, but the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro is an astonishing low-profile gaming keyboard that stands apart from the rest

Pros 
Wireless low-profile keyboard with optical switches
Quiet, tactile key action
Unmatched build quality and feature set
Cons 
Prohibitively expensive
Synapse software needs improvement
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Razer’s keyboards have been a staple of high-end gaming kit for a number of years now. The firm's latest effort, the DeathStalker V2 Pro, brings back a much-loved favourite with a complete overhaul that thrusts it into the modern age.

A first for Razer, the DeathStalker V2 Pro is a wireless, low-profile gaming keyboard with optical switches (clicky switches are coming later this year) and laser-etched keycaps. It comes in either full-size or tenkeyless variants, and costs £220 or £250. There’s also a full-size wired version, which is the cheapest of the three and costs £200.

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Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: What does it do well?

The first thing to note is the DeathStalker V2 Pro’s build quality. The aluminium alloy chassis, anodised black finish and durable ABS key caps all add up to a keyboard that not only looks the part, but also one that feels remarkably rugged. I have no doubt that it can withstand aggressive finger presses for hours on end – Razer quotes a lifespan of up to 70 million keystrokes.

Perhaps its best feature, however, is its portability. With a measured total height of just 26mm with the rear legs retracted, the DeathStalker V2 Pro’s low-profile aesthetic is ideal for slipping into a backpack on your way to a LAN event. The full-size variant is surprisingly lightweight at only 769g as well.

Its slim design also makes for a comfortable typing experience. There’s no need for a wrist rest – which is a good thing since Razer doesn’t supply one – with the keys sitting nice and low on the keyboard’s base. The rear legs have two positions, adding either an extra 8mm (34mm total) or 14mm (40mm total) in height should you prefer. A volume roller and pause/play button are located in the top-right corner of the keyboard, above the Numpad – or on top of the home cluster in the tenkeyless model.

READ NEXT: The best gaming keyboards

The DeathStalker V2 Pro uses new low-profile optical switches across all variants. Essentially, what this means is that the keyboard registers a key press whenever an infrared beam of light is blocked by a vertical stem under each key when it is pushed down.

The linear key action is both tactile and responsive, with an actuation point of just 1.2mm and 2.8mm of total travel, and it’s remarkably quiet, too. It feels satisfying to type on, with near-instantaneous responsiveness and zero missed presses courtesy of N-key rollover support.

The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro connects via Bluetooth 5 or 2.4GHz ‘HyperSpeed’ wireless with the included USB-A dongle. It can pair up to three devices, with the ability to quickly switch between them with the individual profile buttons on the back of the keyboard. The V2 Pro also supports Razer’s multi-device pairing, which means you can connect both the DeathStalker V2 Pro and a compatible wireless Razer mouse on the same dongle, freeing up your PC’s USB ports.

On a full charge, Razer says the DeathStalker V2 Pro will last up to 40 hours at full backlight brightness, with a quoted lifespan of ten days with four hours of use per day. When the battery does eventually run dry, the DeathStalker V2 Pro can be charged via the supplied USB-C braided cable.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: What could be improved?

There’s really not a whole lot wrong with the DeathStalker V2 Pro. My biggest gripe is the lack of a full-size L-shaped ‘Enter’ key, although this is purely down to personal preference. It also isn’t all that obvious when the Caps Lock, Scroll Lock and Num Lock keys are engaged – the small LEDs below the home cluster aren’t very bright.

And while steadily improving, Razer’s Synapse software is still a bit of a mess. Synapse allows you to change the keyboard lighting effects and brightness, as well as configure macros and fiddle with power modes, but it’s not a particularly intuitive experience. There’s also no MacOS support, either, but that’s a bit of a moot point considering the short list of Mac-supported games on Steam.

Of course, the main issue with the DeathStalker V2 Pro is that it’s prohibitively expensive. There’s always an added Razer tax when it comes to the company’s peripherals, but at a cost of at least £220 per keyboard, this is the sort of thing reserved for only the most enthusiastic of PC gamers.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro review: Should you buy it?

That being said, its sky-high cost is my only proper complaint. In every other sense, the DeathStalker V2 Pro comes off remarkably well, and it’s ultimately one of the best gaming keyboards the company has produced recently.

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The key action is responsive, it’s comfortable to use for long periods and there’s a lot to like about the slimline aesthetic. It might not be an entry-level purchase, but if you’re blessed with cash then you’ll struggle to find a gaming keyboard that’s as easy to recommend as the DeathStalker V2 Pro.

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