Razer’s Zephyr N95 facemask sold out ‘within minutes’ of going on sale, but were bots to blame?

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What just happened? Razer’s long-in-development facemask, the Razer Zephyr, finally arrived yesterday, along with questions over just how popular the $99 wearable would prove in a time when many places are dropping mask requirements, and the vaccine rollouts continue. It seems the company has little to worry about: it sold out within minutes.

It was back at January’s CES where Razer revealed it was working on an N95 respirator, which was then called Project Hazel. Like the company’s other products, it had the distinction of being packed with Chroma RGB lighting.

March saw Razer confirm that Hazel would become an actual product instead of just a concept, and the Q4 release date was announced a few months later. The mask also received a name change to Razer Zephyr in August.

Many people have been watching with interest to see how the Zephyr performs: $99 is no small sum, fewer people are wearing masks these days, and those sporting the sci-fi-looking device will certainly stand out in a crowd. According to Razer, the first wave of the masks sold out in minutes.

“The demand for the Razer Zephyr has been overwhelming and our first wave is sold out within minutes,” the company tweeted. “Stay tuned and [we] appreciate your patience as we work hard to restock them as fast as we can. Sign up to be notified when the next batch arrives.”

The demand for the Razer Zephyr has been overwhelming and our first wave is sold out within minutes. Stay tuned and appreciate your patience as we work hard to restock them as fast as we can. Sign up to be notified when the next batch arrives: https://t.co/GYZgUXnsdK pic.twitter.com/YSNBuYuRaW

— R Λ Z Ξ R (@Razer) October 22, 2021

As with graphics cards, consoles, and a slew of other products, there are questions being raised over exactly how many Zephyr masks were available to buy and what percentage of these were grabbed by bots/scalpers. In the latter case, many responding to the tweet said they tried but failed to secure one of the masks as soon as they went on sale, suggesting the bots got there first.

Razer says the replaceable N95-grade filters on its mask have 99 percent BFE (bacteria filtration efficiency) and can filter 99 percent of air particles that are 0.3 microns in size, meaning there’s debate over its effectiveness at blocking Covid-19 particles, which are smaller than 0.3 microns but often bond to larger molecules such as water.

Those filters are surrounded by two large Chroma-compatible RGB rings with addressable zones that help illuminate your face through the anti-fog transparent front. There’s also a microphone and speaker, active ventilation that brings in cool air and releases heat produced from exhaling, an airtight seal to stop glasses fogging up, and a wireless charging case with sterilizing UV lights inside.

In addition to announcing Zephyr availability at its RazerCon 2021 digital event, Razer also revealed its new Kunai fans and PWM fan controller, the Hanbo AIO liquid cooler and high-wattage, Chroma-enabled Katana power supplies, all of which you can read about here.

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