Razer has entered the low-profile mechanical keyboard arena with a bang with the Deathstalker V2 Pro and we have one in for review. Low-profile is a small, but ever-growing segment of the mechanical keyboard market, and one that already has some solid products. Logitech has its own low-profile entry and could be credited for bringing the sub-genre into the limelight. The Logitech G915 landed about two years ago and was praised for quality (though hammered for price). Since then, there have been a variety of competitors that have put out low-profile mechanical keyboards, both wired and wireless.
Corsair and Cooler Master, along with smaller companies like Nuphy and Keychron have all thrown hats into the low-profile arena. Undeniably, there are quite a few high quality low-profile mechanical keyboards to choose from in 2022. So, how does the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro stack up?
Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro specs and build quality
Here’s a quick rundown of the specs for the Razer V2 Pro:
|Aluminum and plastic, matte black finish
|Full size and TKL
|Razer™ Low-Profile Optical Switches (Linear)
|Individually lit and per-key programmable
|RGB 16.8 million colors
|ABS keycaps w/ anti-wear coating
|2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth 5.1, Type-C wired
|Up to five
|Yes – single multi-function
|Windows lock function
|Yes – Synapse
|6.5ft / 2m
|71.2 x 5.5 x 1 in / 437 x 139 x 21mm
|1.7 lbs / 775g
Straight away you will notice the exceptional build quality of the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro. It’s a combination of aluminum and plastic put together very well. There’s no flex, and almost no key rattle, even when shaking the board vigorously. Located on the right side is a volume wheel (more of a log really) that is used to control sound levels by default. The quality of the wheel is up there with the most premium audio devices we’ve encountered. Made of aluminum, it is ridged and has a great feel to the touch. It is stepped, and feels smooth and controlled after each notch. Without overstating things, it’s a joy to use. Next to the volume wheel is the multi-function button. It’s made of metal as well and has a very satisfying click to it.
The key caps feel fantastic as well. The coating feels supple and smooth while not being slippery. It’s hard to know how this coating will hold up over time, and worth pointing out that the board has ABS keycaps which are typically more prone to wear than PBT. As to the feel of the keys and stabilizers, there is little rattle or wobble. The stabilizers on this are top-notch as well. The space bar moves as one solid piece when pressed, which is exactly what we would want out of it. After our month of testing, the board held up well with no signs of wear or cosmetic damage.
Two additional things Razer doesn’t note in the specs are that you can elevate the board height and that the polling rate response interval for keystrokes is the standard 1,000Hz (1ms).
The key switches on the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro that we received for review were the Razer Linear Optical Switches. In today’s market, optical switches are premium tech that utilize a laser to register keystrokes with minimal debounce. This means quicker and more precise keystroke recognition. Pair this with a linear switch, which is already a faster more responsive switch, and you’re ready to ruin someone’s day.
A concern we’ve had with linear switches in the past is accidental key presses. With many linear switches, Cherry MX Reds in particular, heavier-handed gamers have been known to make accidental keypresses. This only happened in a few instances with the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro, those typically came down to user error more so than anything else.
Razer’s linear switches are surprisingly nice to use, not just for gaming, but for writing as well. The actuation is very smooth, soft almost, but still precise and responsive. There was no fatigue whatsoever after long gaming and writing sessions.
One of the main selling points of the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro is it’s low-latency wireless capability. Here is where things get a little dicey. When it worked, it worked flawlessly. You would never know that it was wireless for how responsive it was, which we think should be expected in 2022. However, we encountered some problems where the keyboard would sporadically unpair in testing.
This didn’t seem to correlate with any port it was plugged in, or with the driver version. However, it stopped and never acted up again after reconnecting the keyboard a few times. It’s hard to say what caused this or what made it stop, as there were no firmware or software updates applied during this time. We were tempted not to include this and write it off as a random occurrence, but it persisted for long enough and was annoying enough to be worth mentioning.
For multimedia functionality, there is obviously the volume wheel, but also a single multi-function media button. This can be used to pause and play media you have on your PC. One press plays or pauses, two presses skips to the next track, and three reverts to the last track. The “next” and “last” functions work for video playlists as well. We felt this worked fine and was easy to get used to. Anyone with a pair of wireless earbuds should be familiar with the concept.
In wireless mode, the battery life was more than enough. Rated at 40 hours of continuous use, we were never concerned with running out of juice in the middle of an Apex Legends match. However, due to the limit of 15 minutes before the board goes to sleep we found that it required charging every three days or so. Compared to a direct competitor like the Logitech G915 that could take weeks to as long as a month between charges, it’s noticeable. Granted, this won’t impact you during a gaming session, at full charge, but it is something you’ll have to keep up with if you don’t like playing with the cable connected.
The biggest weakness of the Razer Deathstalker Pro V2 is the Razer Synapse software support. Many journalists and users alike have complained about Razer’s software. And it hasn’t gotten any better. It’s clunky to use, buggy, and a (subjectively) ugly user interface. As far as the settings for the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro, it has a full RGB lighting controller with individually illuminated keys, custom macros, sleep time settings (the amount of time the keyboard remains inactive before going to sleep), as well as setting up different profiles that can be stored locally on your keyboard.
Some of these features work fine, others less so. RGB control works on par with the top competitors. Multiple different lighting profiles and effects, per-key lighting control, and Razer Chroma integration mean that you can make the board glow however you want.
For some reason, Razer made the minimum time increment setting before your keyboard goes to sleep be a full 15 minutes, which is a fairly long amount of time. By comparison, the Logitech G915 goes as low as one minute. This is a nonsensical decision, especially when you take into consideration that the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro already has a shorter battery life than competing keyboards due to its optical sensors. Tempering this with a more aggressive sleep timer would have been nice.
In addition, the time it takes from an initial key press to when the keyboard wakes and registers your keystrokes is noticeable. The Logitech G915 has a near instant wake time by comparison. It would be nice to see Razer consider these factors for future software updates and successive keyboards.
The Razer Deathstalker V2 is a fantastic entry into the low-profile mechanical gaming keyboard market. While it’s held back by some software issues, the overall experience is tough to beat. The biggest issue most people will have with the keyboard isn’t the build quality, the switches, or even the software, however. It’s the price. Coming in at $249.99 USD for the full sized model and $219.99 USD for the TKL model, it’s a steep asking price for the average PC gamer. However, we think it’s worth the price if you have the money and are in the market for a new low-profile mechanical gaming keyboard.