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Razer’s latest wireless mechanical keyboard has a low profile and a high price

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Razer’s latest wireless mechanical keyboard has a low profile and a high price

Like the eponymous scorpion, the keyboard’s body barely lifts off the ground —

A mechanical keyboard with less bulk.


Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro

Enlarge / Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro.

Peripherals and PC maker Razer this week introduced a new wireless mechanical keyboard that resurrects one of its most creepily named products. The DeathStalker V2 Pro—as well as its wireless, tenkeyless version and wired, full-sized version—manages to be just 1 inch tall at its thickest part by using low-profile mechanical switches that rely on light-based actuation. They’re the first keyboards to use Razer’s Low-Profile Optical Switches.

Optical mechanical switches actuate when the switch’s stem interacts with an infrared light beam within the switch’s housing. Razer already sells optical switch keyboards, like the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog, whose keys are also pressure-sensitive. But this is the first time the company has made its optical mechanical technology so short.

The wireless keyboard works over Bluetooth, a dongle, or a cable.

Enlarge / The wireless keyboard works over Bluetooth, a dongle, or a cable.

The linear optical mechanical switches have a travel distance of 2.8 mm, and they actuate at 1.2 mm with a force of 45 g. For comparison, Cherry MX Reds, have 4 mm of travel and actuate at 2 mm with a force of 45 g.

The clicky optical mechanical switches offered in the DeathStalker V2 Pro also have 2.8 mm of travel but actuate at 1.5 mm with 50g of force. That makes them easier to actuate than Cherry MX Blues (4 mm / 2.2 mm / 60 g).

Force curves for the linear (left) and clicky (right) low-profile switches.

Enlarge / Force curves for the linear (left) and clicky (right) low-profile switches.

Low-profile switches can be divisive. Some users, like gamers, appreciate the short key travel for quick input. But depending on the keyboard and switch type, typing can feel shallow or mushy. Low-profile switches can also appeal to those averse to mechanical keyboards’ bulky reputation or those who have grown accustomed to laptop-like typing. When it came out 10 years ago, the Razer DeathStalker was a membrane keyboard with shallower typing.

Optical mechanical switches are an interesting part of the ever-expanding mechanical keyboard market, but not necessarily because they offer a dramatically different experience than standard mechanical switches. Some feel particularly smooth, scratch-free, and premium, but it’s typically hard to identify an optical mechanical switch by feel alone.

Since there is less physical contact in the switch, optical mechanical switches often claim to have longer life spans. Razer says its low-profile optical switches last for 70 million presses each (there are full-sized Cherry switches that claim to last for 100 million presses).

Razer's linear, low-profile optical switches.

Enlarge / Razer’s linear, low-profile optical switches.

Many optical mechanical switches produce less lag because there’s no debounce delay, used by most keyboards to deal with contact bounce since actuation is light-based. Although a mainstream user likely won’t notice, this is another reason many gaming companies have started making their own optical mechanical switches.

The DeathStalker V2 uses ABS plastic keycaps that are laser-etched. As we said in our guide to mechanical keyboards, laser-etched keycaps are good for letting backlighting come through, but the legends will fade dramatically faster than pricier alternatives, like doubleshot legends.

Razer claims that the DeathStalker V2 Pro’s legends will last longer than typical laser-engraved legends because of an extra coating it uses, making the keycaps “outlast even the likes of doubleshot PBT.” We’ll believe it when we see it.

Razer says the board has a 40-hour battery life.

Enlarge / Razer says the board has a 40-hour battery life.

The keycap specs are surprising at the keyboard’s price, but part of the cost comes from wireless functionality. The DeathStalker V2 Pro (as well as the tenkeyless version) can toggle across three Bluetooth 5.0 devices with a button press and also connect to a computer via a USB-A dongle or its braided USB-C cable.

Razer completes the package with luxuries like five onboard memory profiles. The $250 price is still steep.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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