Selecting a gaming keyboard is a matter of private style. To that time, there are a plethora of choices, with a dizzying mixture of options. One particular person may very well be into Cherry Browns and white backlighting. One other would possibly favor Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, quantity controls…. You get the image
Gaming keyboard cheat sheet
Our quick-hit suggestions:
That will help you kind by means of the various choices, we’ve rounded up a lot of planks, placing them by means of their paces, to give you our high suggestions. All of those are mechanical keyboards, and for good motive—they’re merely extra comfy to make use of over the lengthy haul. However we’re open-minded, so if we encounter another that works effectively, you might even see it seem on this checklist. We’ll preserve updating it periodically as we take a look at new keyboards.
Finest finances gaming keyboard
Not too way back, the CM Storm QuickFire TK was the go-to suggestion for a sub-$100 mechanical keyboard. For good motive, too: Basic black-rectangle design, no quantity pad for individuals who hate them, and absolutely backlit (with the colour various primarily based on the change you select). Plus, it makes use of real Cherry MX switches.
The budget-friendly mechanical keyboard market has expanded fairly a bit lately, although. Lately, I’d go together with Razer’s new BlackWidow X Match Version—as long as backlighting isn’t vital.
It lists for under $70, has the identical fashionable exposed-metal-backplate design of the bigger BlackWidow X, and sports activities a discreet typeface on its keys. Oh, and in contrast to Razer’s different keyboards, you may get this one with Cherry MX Blues.
That mentioned, the low finish of the market is a free-for-all. Logitech’s G610, the Razer BlackWidow Final, G.Talent’s Ripjaws KM570, the Corsair Strafe—these are all fine-to-excellent keyboards that function (or at the very least can function) real Cherry MX switches and per-key backlighting for below $100. The largest distinction is design, which is a private desire. I occur to love the HyperX Alloy’s minimalist look, however another person may choose a bulkier physique like that of the Strafe. And issues are much more difficult now with a…
Finest finances RGB gaming keyboard
Mechanical keyboard costs preserve falling and falling. Mere months in the past we selected the Cougar Assault X3 RGB for our finances choose, amazed at its sub-$100 value level. Now Cooler Grasp’s dipped even decrease, promoting the full-RGB CK552 for $90—or much less.
And it’s a horny keyboard, as effectively. That’s one praise I by no means would’ve paid to the Assault X3 RGB with its pseudo-industrial look. The CK552 is your customary minimalist black rectangle, with a brushed metallic backplate and a skinny sans-serif typeface on the keycaps. You might definitely use this within the workplace with out drawing too many glances.
Though the sound of the CK552 may appeal to some undesirable consideration. The CK552 is so low-cost partly as a result of it makes use of Gateron switches, not Cherry switches. So far as Cherry clones go, Gaterons are typically well-regarded by the neighborhood—however the Gateron Reds are loud. They clack much more than Cherry MX Reds. One thing to concentrate on.
The CK552 can be as bare-bones as a keyboard can get. There aren’t any devoted media keys, there’s no wrist relaxation, not one of the frills you get with premium keyboards. You possibly can see the place Cooler Grasp lower corners.
However hey, it’s an incredible keyboard with full RGB backlighting, priced at a mere $90. So long as you don’t thoughts supplying your individual wrist relaxation (or going with out), that is the perfect deal you’re going to search out. (Learn our full evaluation of the Cooler Grasp CK552.)
Finest mid-range RGB gaming keyboard
Fnatic’s second-generation Streak might be the perfect bang-for-your-buck RGB keyboard available on the market proper now. Itemizing at $130, it’s barely dearer than our finances choose, and completely packed with advantages to justify the value bump.
It’s elegant trying, for one. A lot classier than the G.Talent Ripjaws KM780 that used to rule this subsection. With rounded corners, a slim chassis, and minimal branding, the Streak barely appears like a gaming keyboard in any respect.
There are some intelligent options too. This is likely one of the few gaming keyboards I’ve seen geared up with a Perform Lock button, a normal on laptops however a rarity in any other case. Press it, and your F1 to F12 keys will default to their secondary capabilities. The wrist relaxation can be good. Solely about two inches vast, you’re in a position to transfer it to any of three totally different positions. It’s each compact and comfy.
Nevertheless it’s the backlighting that actually wins me over. Fnatic makes use of Cherry keys, that are infamous for having an offset LED. You’ll discover on each RGB keyboard besides Logitech’s, the letters are shifted in direction of the highest—that’s to let the sunshine by means of. Fnatic flips all the change on the Perform row although, placing the LED on the backside of the important thing after which front-printing the alternate instructions so each are lit up. It’s a chic resolution to a longstanding subject, and signifies how a lot thought went into remodeling the Streak. (Learn our full evaluation Fnatic Streak RGB.)
Runner-up (Cherry MX switches)
The LUX refresh of the Corsair Ok70 fixes the unique’s limitation of 512 colours, plus you get the new-old Corsair “Sails” brand as an alternative of the ghastly tribal monstrosity that shipped on the outdated Ok70.
Runner-up (non-Cherry MX switches)
For years and years I hated Logitech’s proprietary Romer-G change. I typically in contrast its unique, tactile kind to a rubber dome keyboard—unsatisfying to sort on for any size of time.
However Logitech lastly bought round to releasing a brand new change this 12 months, the Romer-G Linear. As you would possibly count on, it’s a linear (non-tactile) change within the vein of the Cherry MX Crimson. I’d nonetheless choose a clicky keyboard, howeverwhat? The Romer-G Linear is completely usable, and possibly one of many higher Cherry knock-offs I’ve tried.
I preferred it a lot, I even stored Logitech’s G513 keyboard on my desk for a number of weeks. The one actual draw back is a scarcity of devoted media keys, however in any other case it’s a reasonably nice deal for $150. (Learn our full evaluation of the Logitech G513.)
Finest low-profile gaming keyboard
Muscle reminiscence is a strong drive. Given how many individuals use laptops day-to-day, it’s no shock a few of them need a comparable typing expertise on a desktop.
Enter the Corsair Ok70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile. It’s a slipshod title, however all you actually need to know is that Corsair is first out of the gate with Cherry’s new Low Profile switches. We bought our palms on the Low Profile MX Pace, which is 35 p.c smaller than the full-sized MX Pace however retains the identical mechanical really feel. As I wrote in our evaluation:
“The complete-sized MX Pace includes a journey distance of three.4mm, an actuation of 1.2mm, and requires 45 grams of drive. The Low Profile MX Pace sits at 3.2mm, 1.0mm, and requires the identical 45 grams of drive.”
Any variations are so small as to be negligible, even for probably the most devoted mechanical keyboard fans. And with this new Low Profile change, Corsair’s reworked the Ok70’s ergonomics. The Ok70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile is laid out like a laptop computer keyboard, not fully flat however way more so than a normal desktop keyboard with its staggered rows.
Personally I choose a desktop typing expertise, however as I mentioned: Muscle reminiscence is highly effective. In case you use a laptop computer all day at work and need a comparable really feel to your gaming keyboard, this new Low Profile change is your finest good friend.
And whereas Corsair’s first out the gate right here, it’s not successful this suggestion purely on timeliness. Other than the Low Profile change, that is your customary Ok70, which means a set of devoted media keys and a quantity curler within the top-right nook, USB pass-through on the rear, a sturdy brushed-metal chassis that may actually take a beating, a wrist relaxation, and extra. There’s a motive the Ok95 is on this checklist as effectively (as our ultra-premium choose)—Corsair makes high quality keyboards. (Learn our full evaluation of the Corsair Ok70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile.)
Finest wi-fi gaming keyboard
“Wi-fi mechanical keyboard.” Till just lately the class didn’t exist, and now there are two choices: Logitech’s G613 and Corsair’s Ok63 Wi-fi. Of the 2, Corsair’s model is the one have been blissful to suggest. Not solely does it use our most popular Cherry MX switches (versus Logitech’s proprietary Romer-Gs), it additionally packs full per-key backlighting—the one wi-fi mechanical keyboard to take action.
Certain, the Ok63 is a battery hog. At full brightness you’ll eke out a mere 8-10 hours of battery life. Half-brightness, nevertheless, can bump that as much as about 20 hours per cost, and Corsair claims turning off the backlight extends life to 75 hours.
Having the backlight is nice although, particularly when you plan to make use of the Ok63 Wi-fi in a darkish front room atmosphere. It appears like a full-featured gaming keyboard. There’s additionally the choice to pair the Ok63 with Corsair’s Gaming Lapboard —a refresh of the outdated Lapdog, however one which takes benefit of the Ok63’s wi-fi capabilities so you may recreation on the sofa with out stringing USB cables throughout your whole front room.
Both approach, it’s a wonderful keyboard. I don’t personally see the necessity for a wi-fi keyboard as a lot as, say, a wi-fi mouse or headset—gadgets you progress round lots. However for individuals who need a litter free workstation, or these searching for a living-room-ready resolution, the Ok63 is by far the best choice out there immediately. (Learn our full review of the Corsair K63.)
Finest ultra-premium gaming keyboard
There’s zero motive to purchase Corsair’s K95 RGB Platinum keyboard. Then once more, there’s no motive to purchase a Lamborghini both. It’ll get you to the identical vacation spot as a Honda Civic, proper?
At $200, the Ok95 RGB Platinum is the most costly gaming-centric keyboard available on the market. It’s virtually 3 times as costly as an entry-level mechanical keyboard, and practically twice as costly because the G.Talent KM780 really helpful above.
Put that approach, the Ok95 RGB Platinum looks like an absurd luxurious—and it’s. Most of its attraction is solely aesthetic, with a number of the finest RGB backlighting I’ve seen on any keyboard, plus an ostentatious and purely ornamental mild ribbon stretched throughout the higher edge.