Review: Razer Deathstalker Keyboard

About the author: Joe reviews hardware based on how it fits into his life. Joe is a sales professional that manages a team, travels weekly, a part-time professor and gamer. He is a father and husband who also has the privilege of being GWW’s President.

After a long day at work I like to get into a nice car for my drive home. The comfort of leather seats feels relaxing. The feel of the road while I’m steering and accelerating gives me a sense of excitement for those 45 long minutes. And when I’m in front of my PC to catch up on email, write an article for GWW, or play games, it feels so good to not slam away on a mechanical keyboard. I used to think a mechanical keyboard was the luxury car of computer keyboards. Razer has changed my mind with the Deathstalker Chroma.

sideThe Deathstalker Chroma is aimed at a market obsessed with mechanical keyboards. Complete with back-lit keys, a number pad and gaming mode, this keyboard goes toe-to-toe with Razer’s own mechanical keyboard, the Blackwidow. I’ve been using the Blackwidow for nearly a year and I love it. I grew up on mechanical keyboards and I’ve always felt that my typing speed and accuracy suffered without that tactile, sharp reaction a mechanical keyboard offers. Other keybaords are membrane-based and leverage plastic and rubber components between the base of the keyboard and the keys themselves. This is quieter and smoother for typing. My friends hate it when I’m on the phone and typing on my Blackwidow because it’s so darned loud. They’ll be happy to not hear me typing on the Deathstalker.

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The Deathstalker is thin and light, making it easier to move around the house or on a road trip. Unlike mechanical keyboards that are several pounds, the Deathstalker has solid build quality without the heft. It also has a very comfortable wrist-rest, which most mechanical keyboards do not offer. All around, angleit’s quite a satisfying experience. You won’t find any pass-through headphone jacks or USB ports on this keyboard. It’s fairly minimalist in physical design. The Razer software component, however, makes this keyboard light up. Literally. The Chroma line from Razer offers several back-lighting options with regard to speed and color. This keyboard has 3 regions for lighting that have independent controls. You can also stack the effects, by section, complete with a variety of colors and cadence to choose from. I did notice a light hissing sound when the main keyboard area is lit up using the “breathing” effect. When all of the lights are on there is not a noticeable sound at all.

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After 2 weeks with the Deathstalker I am not looking back at the Blackwidow or any other keyboard I’ve ever owned, period. It’s a joy to use. And like getting behind the wheel of a luxury car after a long day at work, the Deathstalker is a relaxing yet powerful experience.

Technical Specs

  • Chiclet key caps
  • Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • Fully programmable keys with on the fly macro recording
  • Anti-ghosting capability for up to 10 simultaneous key presses

The Deathstalker Chroma retails for $99.99.

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