When I bought my Razer DeathStalker Expert, I really only needed a keyboard for some casual gaming, and not much more. I didn’t expect it to last for two years let alone one, but that’s exactly what it did. I’m currently typing this review on it, and I still couldn’t be happier.
It’s not a mechanical keyboard, and honestly that doesn’t bother me in the least bit. I also have a Logitech G710+ (which uses Cherry MX brown switches) and I still prefer the membrane Deathstalker for day-to-day use. I’ve spilled coffee on it, dropped it once or twice, and it’s still never had an issue with anything.
Razer DeathStalker Expert
The Razer Deathstalker Expert is an amazing keyboard not only for gaming, but for day-to-day use as well.
The whole “mechanical or gtfo” argument never really captivated me, and whether or not you’ll prefer a mechanical keyboard over a membrane alternative is all about personal preference. There are definitely some really bad membrane keyboards out there, but there are also some really bad mechanical ones as well.
With that said, the DeathStalker is definitely one of the best non-mechanical keyboards out there. I’ve had mine for a little over two years, and I really don’t see it crapping out anytime soon. It’s survived a lot of abuse in the form of coffee spills, having things fall directly on it, and I even dropped it right after taking it out of the box.
The DeathStalker shares a similar minimalist design to the DeathAdder mouse, and they look great together. The body of it is a nice matte black, and the palm rest is glossy with a semi-smooth honeycomb pattern. One downside to the matte finish is that a lot of grime from your hands tends to stick to the DeathStalker.
The keys are low-profile and come with a semi-gloss black finish. They’re all laser engraved so they’ll never rub off, and over two years of use I can still confidently claim this. Space between the keys is usually an issue to me, but the DeathStalker has a nice gap that seems “just right”.
Its shape is pretty traditional as far as keyboards go, except the corners have been chopped off to create a weird oblong octagon as opposed to a rectangle. If you like thin keyboards, the DS is definitely one at only 2.4 inches thick with the legs tucked away.
If you like customizable RGB backlighting, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. The DeathStalker Expert only has 2 options to choose from, no backlight, or a Razer green backlight. If you’re like me and you don’t really care as long as it’s lit up, then you won’t have an issue here.
One drawback that the DS has would be the rubber cable. I generally prefer braided cable on any kind of electronics like a keyboard because it’s generally stronger than rubber. With that said, I haven’t experienced any issues with the cable yet, and the rubber does seem relatively tough.
If you like the look of the DeathStalker, but not the $60 price tag, then maybe you might be happy with something like the Redragon Karura? Its shape and layout is almost identical to the DS, and it’s actually a really good keyboard for only $30.
No, it’s not mechanical, and no, that doesn’t mean it’s crap. The DeathStalker is probably one of the best membrane keyboards you can get when it comes to responsiveness and a nice smooth feel. Without going into too much detail, I’ve compared the DeathStalker to keyboards with mechanical switches by Kailh and Cherry MX, and in most cases I preferred the DeathStalker or didn’t notice a difference aside from noise.
The DS comes with a few integrated functions that have basically become standards on keyboards like dual-function F1-12 keys, a dedicated gaming mode, and the ability to program macros. But, to take advantage of these features you have to install Razer Synapse.
I use the dual-function F1-12 keys quite often for changing the song / volume, the brightness of the backlight and to enable the “gaming mode” which kills the windows key and a few other nuisances.
If you’ve read my DeathAdder 2013 review, then you know that it’s gone through hell during it’s two years of service, and my DeathStalker’s life hasn’t been any easier. It has suffered the same coffee spills and drops that the DeathAdder has and has never shown any signs of giving up, yet.
Accessories and Extras
Aside from Razer Synapse (which you have to download) your DeathStalker doesn’t come with anything else in the packaging. But, in typical Razer fashion, the packaging looks awesome, definitely one of those boxes that you almost don’t want to toss but do anyways.
The Razer DeathStalker is easily one of my favorite keyboards for day-to-day use, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. No, I’m not a Razer fanboy (yes, I own a few Razer products) and no, I didn’t receive any complimentary products to review. I purchased both of (and everything I review) my Razer products with my own money, and have not been disappointed yet.
The “mechanical vs membrane” argument is about as valid as “red vs blue”, in my opinion. Everyone has their own personal preference, and there are ugly shades of every color that should be avoided. The same goes for keyboards. There are some really phenomenal mechanical keyboards out there, just as there are some really crappy ones that you shouldn’t be mentioned in public; and it’s not different when we’re talking about membrane keyboards like the DeathStalker.
At the end of the day, you should always weigh your options, and pick what you like the most, not what someone told you to pick based on their own preference. What works for them might not work for you, and as long as you’re picking a high-quality product, you can almost never go wrong.
I hope you enjoyed my review of the DeathStalker gaming keyboard, and I hope it gave you some new points to consider. I think it’s a great keyboard for gaming, and even everyday use, but that’s my opinion.