What you need to know
- Razer announced the "world's first optical laptop keyboard."
- The keyboard brings the speed and precision brought by optical switches to a traditional laptop.
- The keyboard is available on the Razer Blade 15, which starts at $2,649.
Razer announced the "world's first optical laptop keyboard" according to Razer. The new keyboard delivers fast keystrokes without requiring much force by users. The keyboard is available on select models of the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, starting at $2,649. It will be available on more devices in 2020.
Optical switches utilize light to capture keystrokes instantly. Each key has an infrared light beam that detects when an actuation occurs, providing a fast and precise keystroke. Razer highlights that this new optical keyboard has an actuation point of only 1mm and only requires 55g of actuation force. Optical switches are often preferred by gamers that want a quick keyboard experience.
The Razer Blade 15's optical keyboard also has N-Key Rollover with anti-ghosting. Thanks to its optical design, the keyboard also has zero debounce, which makes sure that only one keystroke is registered at a time.
The keyboard features Razer Chroma lighting on each individual key. There are 16.8 million colors to choose from through Razer Chroma RGB.
In our recent review of the Blade 15 Advanced we criticized the keyboard as being below our expectations. It'll be interesting to see if this optical one addresses our complaint.
The Razer Blade 15 is available starting today for $2,649. The laptop has a 15.6-inch 240Hz display and several ports, including an HDMI port, Mini DisplayPort, a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, a USB-C port, and two USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 ports. It's available for purchase in the U.S., Canada, and China. In the future, it will be available in select countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Razer Blade 15
Now available with an optical keyboard, the Razer Blade 15 packs tons of gaming power across several different configurations.
Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.
We would like to submit a correction and call prior art: The laptop ODM TongFang which has numerous global partners like Eluktronics in the U.S. and XMG in EU has already introduced opto-mechanical laptop keyboard switches in their own MechRevo line-up over 2 years ago. We at XMG have first announced TongFang's keyboard switches in April 2018 in our very own XMG NEO 15 and we have updated it again in December 2018 with a silent, tactile next-gen variation of the same switch. There have been numerous reviews of this these designs in 2018 and 2019 at Notebookcheck and other leading platforms. Considering Razer's previous keyboard experiences have often been described as unrewarding, we welcome Razer to now join the field of thin & light laptops with proper, opto-mechanical keyboards. Although it remains to be seen if Razer's 1mm travel distance and 55g actuation force can really catch up with this segment's current best practice which lies at 2mm travel distance and 60g actuation force as seen in XMG NEO series and our recently launched XMG FUSION 15. The latter is based on a collaboration with Intel which has received global attention last month when Dave2D published his first review on Youtube. // Tom
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