Razer today announced a new configuration of the Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop that has what the company says is the world's first optical keyboard in a laptop. Each key has an infrared light beam below it that perceives when a key is pressed.
The keys have 1.7mm of travel, Razer says, but actuate at 1mm and require 55 grams of actuation force. And I can tell you from hands-on experience that they have a mechanical feeling that makes typing extremely comfortable.
I got to play The Typing of the Dead with the optical keyboard, and it felt great. The keys didn't quite feel like the mechanical keyboard I use at with my desktop PC, but they're far better than most standard laptop keyboards I've ever used. It wasn't just satisfying on tactile level; it made a clicky sound that was pleasant to the ears. I played an entire level of the game without getting hit once. In addition to gaming, I could also see doing my work on this (Razer still has the shift key to the right of the up arrow key, though, which makes for one annoyance on this keyboard).
The downside is that the optical keyboard is currently only on one model: a Razer Blade 15 Advanced that costs $2,649 with an Intel Core i7-9750H, 240 Hz FHD display, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The company said more configurations will get the keyboard in 2020.
Razer Blade 15 in Quartz Pink
Razer is also introducing the base model of the Blade 15 in quartz pink. It's the $1,999 configuration with an Intel Core i7-9750H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. It's the same price as the traditional black version and is otherwise identical, but it just looks super pretty.
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Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon @FreedmanAE.mastodon.social.