Razer showcases the world's first optical laptop keyboard
The esports scene paved the way to very competitive environments that require lightning-fast reflexes. In order to improve the hardware responsiveness, especially for peripherals like keyboards and mice, industry leaders came up with the mechanical switches, which offered a clear advantage over the old membrane system. While the improved mechanical switches indeed improve the input speeds, some gamers may argue that the tactile feedback is not really as satisfying as that offered by the membrane system. Razer thinks it found the solution to combine the best of both worlds and now introduces the optical switches.
Razer's new optical switches for laptop keyboards are very similar to those found on the stand-alone Huntsman gaming keyboard, except they have a much lower profile. The optical switches make use of infrared light beams placed under each key. Since we are talking about the speed of light, Razer claims that the optical switches have an actuation point of only 1mm at 55g of actuation force with 50% more travel, so gamers can input even more commands in the same amount of time. The kicker is that the optical switches are supposed to offer a more satisfying tactile click that should also help with the typing experience.
Of course, Razer did not forget about the N-Key Rollover feature for anti-ghosting. Additionally, the infrared light beam allows for zero debounce to ensure only one stroke is registered instantly without any delay. This would not really be targeted at gamers if there were no RGB lights, so each of the keycaps is individually backlit through the Razer Chroma RGB lighting system.
For the time being, the new optical keyboards are integrated only with the Blade 15 Advanced gaming laptop that was recently released for US$2,649, but Razer promises to add this feature to other models launching in 2020.