Coming with the latest optical switch design from Razer, the Huntsman lineup is quite popular. But which model of the Razer Huntsman is better, tenkeyless or 60%?
Let’s find out: Razer Huntsman TE vs Razer Huntsman Mini
Razer Huntsman Mini
Best for Comfort:
Razer Huntsman TE
The Verdict: Winner = Razer Huntsman Mini
When it comes down to choosing between the Razer Huntsman Mini and the Huntsman TE, the choice mainly comes down to what form factor you prefer, 60% or tenkeyless. Both keyboards are very similar in build quality, price, and overall design, coming with optical switches and a plastic build with an aluminum plate.
The only noticeable difference besides the size, is the Huntsman Mini comes with the 2nd generation optical switches. The 2nd generation linear optical switches (red switch) have an added dampener and lube to improve the overall smoothness and sound of the keyboard.
If you’re looking for a linear optical switch, the Razer Huntsman Mini is definitely the winner, as the improved switches put the keyboard in first place.
If a 60% form factor is still too small, the regular-sized Huntsman will work well too.
A Closer Look at Both Keyboards
Let’s take a closer look at the Razer Huntsman Mini and the Razer Huntsman TE to compare the differences between size, price, and build quality.
Build Quality: TIED
The build quality for both keyboards is pretty much the same, except of course the Hunstman Mini is slightly smaller.
They both come from the same lineup, so the keyboards feature a black plastic case with a thin aluminum top plate. Overall, the build quality of both feels decent.
Both keyboards feel very light, which is a good thing for the Huntsman Mini since it’s designed to take on the go more, but with the TE I would have liked it to feel a bit heavier.
The case design is definitely better on a smaller board because as it gets bigger, everything starts to feel a bit more flexible.
Both keyboards also come in either a black or mercury (white) color, depending on which style fits your setup better and they both have a detachable USB-C cable for easy plugging in.
The keycaps are the exact same across models, except the TE has more keycaps since there are more keys total.
The keycaps feature a PBT doubleshot design. The PBT plastic is a nice upgrade from the standard ABS plastic that you would find on a normal keyboard. The PBT really makes everything feel more durable and higher quality.
In addition, the doubleshot aspect of the keycaps really lets the RGB shinethrough and illuminate the legends for a really stylish look all-around.
The font of the keycaps is really nice as well, instead of doing the classic gamer font, Razer opted for more of a minimalist look with lowercase letters.
The keycaps also have sublegends on them to make it easy to know what functions you can access on the lower layer.
All-around the keycaps are really nice. We also purchased replacement Razer PBT keycaps in pink and swapped out a bunch of the larger keys to give the keyboard a two-color look.
You can find the Razer PBT keycaps on Amazon, we highly recommend them.
The stabilizers on both keyboards are the exact same and I got to say, they are pretty rough. Razer has their own custom designed stabilizers to fit the optical switches, and boy they are rattily.
Instead of the standard Cherry style design, they opt for a totally original design. The stabilizers produce a ton of noise on each keystroke and don’t feel very good.
You also can’t do the typical band-aid, lube, and clip mod to the stabilizers, so there is really no way to improve them for the better.
If you are gaming and strictly use WASD and stay away from all of the larger keys, this shouldn’t affect you too much. But if you are regularly typing it could get irritating pretty quickly.
Switches: Winner = Razer Huntsman Mini
For both keyboards, the switches are either Red or Purple, which correlates to linear and optical. Not a large variety of options.
The Razer Huntsman Mini does beat out the Huntsman TE, however. The Huntsman Mini Red switches come in a gen 2 design, which features a dampened switch that is also lubed to make it feel better. The TE only comes in the gen 1 design.
Overall, the differences between the gen 1 and gen 2 design do make the Red linear optical switches slightly more quiet, which does improve the usage experience.
Both the Red and Purple optical switches are wicked fast when gaming but come with a serious drawback. From my experience, they feel uncomfortable to use.
For this reason, I would only recommend either of keyboards strictly for the purpose of gaming. I cannot imagine trying to type a long essay or article with the optical switches, they are just too uncomfortable.
Both keyboards come with the Razer Synapse software which allow you to customize the RGB lighting and fiddle with the onboard firmware. From my experience, it’s a little clunky to use, but at least you have the ability to customize everything to your own tastes.
Since both keyboards use the exact same software, this area is tied. Not much else to say here.
Portability: Winner = Razer Huntsman Mini
Due to the sheer size difference, the Razer Huntsman Mini wins out in portability. It’s much easier to carry a significantly smaller keyboard around than a larger one. Not to mention, the smaller size also makes it lighter, so it’s easier to carry without tiring you out.
The Huntsman Mini comes in a compact 60% layout, which doesn’t have the typical function row, number pad, or navigational cluster found on a full-sized keyboard.
The Huntsman TE comes in a tenkeyless layout, which is more compact than a full-size, but not quite as small as a 60% layout. The TE simply chops off the number pad to make it more compact.
Both keyboards are connected via a USB-C cable, but having a wireless option would vastly improve the portability. Considering that these keyboards are made specifically for the purpose of gaming, it doesn’t make sense to have a wireless connection as it would only serve to decrease the response time.
Both keyboards come with the exact same RGB lighting, customizable through the Razer Synapse software. It also has onboard firmware which can save presets to easily change what look you want to go for.
Overall, the lighting is pretty good. Nothing spectacular by any means, but it definitely scratches that RGB itch if that’s your thing.
Not much else to say here.
Typing: Winner = Razer Huntsman TE
Due to the larger layout size, typing on the Razer Huntsman TE is much easier. Even though the linear switches are not gen 2, it doesn’t matter too much as both versions of the switch are not very comfortable for typing.
Having access to arrow keys, function row, and the navigational cluster make typing a much more streamlined experience and for that reason the Huntsman TE wins for typing.
Neither keyboard is really made for the purpose of comfortable typing and there are a ton of different options we would recommend in place of these ones, so please don’t purchase these keyboards if you plan on doing some heavy typing.
Gaming: Winner = Razer Huntsman Mini
The Huntsman Mini wins out in gaming due to the improved linear switch. Using the newer switch isn’t necessarily faster, but it can be more comfortable and less irritable for long play sessions.
The optical switches are stupid fast when it comes to gaming, so you can’t deny that these keyboards are really good if you want a small competitive advantage over your enemies.
The few milliseconds that the optical switches save could be the difference between life and death in-game.
Because they have the gen 2 Red switch, the Razer Huntsman Mini wins this category.
Razer Huntsman Mini
Best for Comfort:
Razer Huntsman TE
After comparing the Razer Huntsman Mini and the Razer Huntsman TE, I can say that the Huntsman Mini is the all-around winner.
While being a better pick, it will not be a great fit for a large amount of people, as the 60% layout may be too small to get used to. Not having arrow keys along with other missing keys can be very difficult to adjust to and a little overwhelming.
For that reason, the Razer Huntsman TE may be a better pick if you don’t think you can adjust to the smaller layout.
Either way, both keyboards are really good for the purpose of gaming, although they feel quite uncomfortable to type on.
Happy typing (and gaming)!