Thermaltake is going to release a keyboard with Razer switches, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The precise timing of the release is unclear, but it will be in September. This follows the company’s recent showing of a prototype at Computex, which raised speculation about what Razer is up to with its switch strategy.
The Next Level
We know that the new keyboard will bear the “Level 20” branding that so far has been reserved for Thermaltake cases. Given the premier nature of those chassis, it’s possible that the company is pushing to create a more high-end peripherals lineup to match.
We don’t know which Razer switches the Thermaltake Level 20 will have, but we expect it to be one or more of the Razer Green (clicky), Orange (tactile), or Yellow (linear) switches. Personally, my money’s on there being one option only, with that option being Razer Green. For some reason (presumably extensive market research?), keyboard makers like to test the waters with clicky switches first.
Arguably a bigger question than which switches the keyboard will have is which software will support it. On this point, it sounds like Thermaltake hasn’t firmed things up just yet. We do know that the Level 20 will work with Razer’s in-game lighting effects, although for now there’s support for only six titles. But it makes some sense for Thermaltake to plug in as much of Razer’s software as it can, and it shouldn’t be all that difficult, given the Razer Chroma Connected Devices Program.
The Bottom Line
The price for the Razer switch-equipped Thermaltake Level 20 will be arguably the most important piece of the puzzle. Razer is known for high-dollar price tags, and Thermaltake’s keyboards have usually been more budget-friendly.
Clearly there are many details we still don’t know about the Level 20, and this development has little to no bearing on whether or not Ducky’s own Razer-switch keyboard will ever become a Real Thing. There isn’t even a photo of the new keyboard that we can get our hands on. But the existence of the Level 20 means that the next phase of Razer’s push for peripherals dominance has begun.