Razer’s Huntsman Mini is its first 60 percent keyboard
July 14, 2020
Razer has announced its first 60 percent keyboard, the Huntsman Mini. It’s made for people who need just the bare minimum of dedicated keys. Gone are the number pad, arrow keys, and function keys — what’s left is a more simple, travel-ready option that’s great for those who want to maximize their desk space for a big mouse pad or just to have something that can more easily be tucked away.
Razer already makes different sizes of its Huntsman keyboard, including a full-sized option and the 80 percent tenkeyless Huntsman TE, but this 60 percent model is its smallest keyboard yet. And despite the small size, all of the functions that appear missing at first glance are still present. They’re just tucked in as alternate functions on each key that you can activate by holding the Fn key.
The Huntsman Mini is releasing in black or mercury white, and gamers also have the option of two different kinds of optical switches: clicky or linear. The clicky variation is launching today for $119.99, whereas the keyboard with linear switches is coming later this summer for $129.99. Razer claims to have made big improvements from the first-generation linear switches in terms of noise reduction, so that might be best if you want the tactile experience of typing on a mechanical keyboard without all the noise that usually comes with it. Both switch types have an expected life span of 100 million keystrokes.
As for the hardware, the Huntsman Mini has a bold, yet subdued look with its aluminum board. Each key is backlit with RGB LEDs, and you can customize their behavior in the Razer Synapse software. Razer uses double-shot PBT keycaps here, which are resistant to having the letters rub away or developing a sheen with wear and tear. The keyboard attaches to your PC via USB-C, and you can use any USB-C cable if the one included in the box doesn’t match your aesthetic.
Razer claims that it’s the first major gaming accessory maker to release its own 60 percent keyboard, and it’s following in the footsteps of brands like Ducky that helped to popularize the form factor. Well-known Fortnite streamers like Turner “Tfue” Tenney tout using 60 percent keyboards to play, so naturally most aspiring streamers and PC gamers in general want to follow the trend. It’s easy to see why people have clung to the form factor. Given their compact and lightweight build, they allow for a lot of extra desk space, they’re easy to bring around, and they’ve inspired a community of modders, like Taeha Types, to make lavish custom models.
In my experience with 60 percent keyboards, including this one, I think your love or hate for them will come down to how much you rely on function and arrow keys. Granted, they’re all still available here, but it takes some serious mental gymnastics to rewire reaching for my trusty function keys. When I’m using a keyboard like this to write, my concentration flow is constantly broken to figure out where a function has been relocated. Though if all you do is play games, there likely won’t be too steep of a learning curve.