Choosing a gaming keyboard is a matter of non-public style. To that time, there are a plethora of choices, with a dizzying mixture of options. One individual might be into Cherry Browns and white backlighting. Another may favor Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, quantity controls…. You get the image
To provide help to type by means of the numerous choices, we’ve rounded up numerous planks, placing them by means of their paces, to give you our prime suggestions. All of those are mechanical keyboards, and for good cause—they’re merely extra comfy to make use of over the lengthy haul. But we’re open-minded, so if we encounter another that works properly, you may even see it seem on this record. We’ll hold updating it periodically as we check new keyboards.
Updated 6/23/20 to incorporate our assessment of the HyperX Alloy Origins, which hews intently to the design of its Alloy FPS RGB sibling, however presents new custom-made keyboard switches below the hood. Scroll to the underside of this text to see all our gaming keyboard reviews.
Best price range gaming keyboard
Not too way back, the CM Storm QuickFire TK was the go-to suggestion for a sub-$100 mechanical keyboard. For good cause, too: Classic black-rectangle design, no quantity pad for individuals who hate them, and absolutely backlit (with the colour various primarily based on the swap you select). Plus, it makes use of real Cherry MX switches.
The budget-friendly mechanical keyboard market has expanded fairly a bit in recent times, although. These days, I’d go together with Razer’s new BlackWidow X Tournament Edition—as long as backlighting isn’t essential.
It lists for less than $70, has the identical stylish 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 will get this one with Cherry MX Blues.
If you’re prepared to go proper as much as $100, the HyperX Alloy FPS presents some good perks. It comes with backlighting, options Cherry MX keys, and is the slimmest keyboard available on the market. I additionally like that the Mini USB cable is removable—you gained’t should RMA the board if solely the cable busts.
That mentioned, the low finish of the market is a free-for-all. Logitech’s G610, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, G.Skill’s Ripjaws KM570, the Corsair Strafe—these are all fine-to-excellent keyboards that characteristic (or at the very least can characteristic) 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 might choose a bulkier physique like that of the Strafe. And issues are much more difficult now with a…
Best price range RGB gaming keyboard
Mechanical keyboard costs hold falling and falling. Mere months in the past we selected the Cougar Attack X3 RGB for our price range decide, amazed at its sub-$100 worth level. Now Cooler Master’s dipped even decrease, promoting the full-RGB CK552 for $90—or much less.
And it’s a beautiful keyboard, as properly. That’s one praise I by no means would’ve paid to the Attack 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.
Although the sound of the CK552 might 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. As far as Cherry clones go, Gaterons are usually well-regarded by the group—however the Gateron Reds are loud. They clack much more than Cherry MX Reds. Something to pay attention to.
The CK552 can also 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 can see the place Cooler Master minimize corners.
But hey, it’s an incredible keyboard with full RGB backlighting, priced at a mere $90. As lengthy as you don’t thoughts supplying your personal wrist relaxation (or going with out), that is the very best deal you’re going to seek out. (Read our full review of the Cooler Master CK552.)
Best mid-range RGB gaming keyboard
Fnatic’s second-generation Streak might be the very best bang-for-your-buck RGB keyboard available on the market proper now. Listing at $130, it’s barely dearer than our price range decide, and completely packed with advantages to justify the value bump.
It’s stylish wanting, for one. Much classier than the G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 that used to rule this subsection. With rounded corners, a slim chassis, and minimal branding, the Streak barely seems to be like a gaming keyboard in any respect.
There are some intelligent options too. This is among the few gaming keyboards I’ve seen geared up with a Function 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 features. The wrist relaxation can also be sensible. Only about two inches broad, you’re in a position to transfer it to any of three totally different positions. It’s each compact and comfy.
But 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 the direction of the highest—that’s to let the sunshine by means of. Fnatic flips the whole swap on the Function 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 sublime answer to a longstanding problem, and signifies how a lot thought went into remodeling the Streak. (Read our full review 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” emblem 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 swap. I usually in contrast its authentic, tactile kind to a rubber dome keyboard—unsatisfying to kind on for any size of time.
But Logitech lastly received round to releasing a brand new swap this yr, the Romer-G Linear. As you may count on, it’s a linear (non-tactile) swap within the vein of the Cherry MX Red. I’d nonetheless choose a clicky keyboard, however you already know what? The Romer-G Linear is completely usable, and doubtless one of many higher Cherry knock-offs I’ve tried.
I appreciated it a lot, I even saved Logitech’s G513 keyboard on my desk for a couple of weeks. The solely actual draw back is a scarcity of devoted media keys, however in any other case it’s a reasonably nice deal for $150. (Read our full review of the Logitech G513.)
Best low-profile gaming keyboard
Muscle reminiscence is a robust pressure. 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 K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile. It’s a slipshod identify, however all you really want to know is that Corsair is first out of the gate with Cherry’s new Low Profile switches. We received our palms on the Low Profile MX Speed, which is 35 p.c smaller than the full-sized MX Speed however retains the identical mechanical really feel. As I wrote in our assessment:
“The full-sized MX Speed features a travel distance of 3.4mm, an actuation of 1.2mm, and requires 45 grams of force. The Low Profile MX Speed sits at 3.2mm, 1.0mm, and requires the same 45 grams of force.”
Any variations are so small as to be negligible, even for essentially the most devoted mechanical keyboard lovers. And with this new Low Profile swap, 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 rather 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. If you utilize a laptop computer all day at work and need a comparable really feel in your gaming keyboard, this new Low Profile swap is your finest buddy.
And whereas Corsair’s first out the gate right here, it’s not profitable this suggestion purely on timeliness. Aside from the Low Profile swap, that is your customary Ok70, that 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 cause the Ok95 is on this record as properly (as our ultra-premium pick)—Corsair makes high quality keyboards. (Read our full assessment of the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile.)
Best wi-fi gaming keyboard
“Wireless mechanical keyboard.” Until lately the class didn’t exist, and now there are two choices: Logitech’s G613 and Corsair’s K63 Wireless. Of the 2, Corsair’s model (accessible on Amazon for $110) is the one had been completely happy to advocate. 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.
Sure, the Ok63 is a battery hog. At full brightness you’ll eke out a mere 8-10 hours of battery life. Half-brightness, nonetheless, 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 Wireless in a darkish lounge surroundings. It appears like a full-featured gaming keyboard. There’s additionally the choice to pair the Ok63 with Corsair’s Gaming Lapboard ($60 on Amazon)—a refresh of the outdated Lapdog, however one which takes benefit of the Ok63’s wi-fi capabilities so you may sport on the sofa with out stringing USB cables throughout your whole lounge.
Either 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 loads. But for individuals who need a litter free workstation, or these on the lookout for a living-room-ready answer, the Ok63 is by far the best choice accessible in the present day. (Read our full review of the Corsair K63.)
Best ultra-premium gaming keyboard
There is zero cause to purchase Corsair’s K95 RGB Platinum keyboard. Then once more, there’s no cause 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 thrice as costly as an entry-level mechanical keyboard, and practically twice as costly because the G.Skill KM780 really helpful above.
Put that approach, the Ok95 RGB Platinum looks like an absurd luxurious—and it’s. Most of its enchantment 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.