Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Linear & Quiet, Backlit RGB LED, Cherry MX Low Profile RedView on Amazon
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When it comes to gaming keyboards, it’s all too easy to become immediately overwhelmed by the number of options out there. From classic membrane keyboards to every kind of mechanical switch you can imagine, gaming keyboards have pushed the technology and variety further than ever before. If you’re considering what gaming keyboard might be best for you and looking for a place to start, look no further than this list. By breaking down the best gaming keyboards of 2020 across a wide variety of categories, you’ll find a number of choices that might just fit your bill.
How To Choose The Best Gaming Keyboard For You
Gamer keyboards have a lot of options, and you should decide what your priorities are for the way you use your keyboard. Do you need a coding keyboard with macros, function and media keys, and a number pad? You can easily eliminate minimal tenkeyless options. Is RGB a must? Turn to the options that promise fully customizable RGB backed up by robust software suites.
If mechanical is a must, it’s best to try out the key switches you’re considering if you can get a chance to. If not, look into the options online, read reviews, and maybe even listen to the sounds on YouTube if you’re particularly concerned about the ultimate volume in your environment. There’s a wide variety of key switches that all feel fantastic to use, but the best for any purpose is ultimately up to the user.
The Best Gaming Keyboard for Most People
When it comes to an all-around good gaming keyboard for any purpose, it’s hard to beat the Redragon K552. Redragon offers affordable keyboards with high-quality mechanical switches. The K552 uses linear Outemu Red key switches that are equivalent to Cherry MX Red. The keyboard design is tenkeyless, lacking a number pad but making up for it in a smaller desk footprint. RGB lighting helps give the keyboard an exciting and versatile appearance.
It’s hard to go wrong with the K552. Quiet red switches provide the quality feel of a mechanical keyboard without disrupting quiet environments. A steel body and ABS plastic keycaps offer durability and a satisfying material feel. The built-in RGB lighting can complement many gaming setups. For all of the features packed in here, the price point is very fair and affordable. The tenkeyless design makes intense mouse and keyboard gaming easier, with more space on your desk to quickly move a mouse while playing an FPS or MOBA.
If you do prefer a fully tactile click for mechanical switches, you’re still going to want to look for a keyboard with brown or blue switches instead of red. And if you’re dead-set on always having the best gaming keyboard in the game, you might want to hold out for a more expensive keyboard with Cherry switches instead of Outemu. Although the tenkeyless design is convenient for some games, the lack of a Numpad could prove inconvenient for some other purposes like accounting.
The Best Premium Gaming Keyboard
The SteelSeries Apex Pro has exactly one purpose-to be the absolute best in class for keyboard gaming. Every aspect of manufacture speaks to its quality. The build uses proclaimed an “aircraft grade” aluminum alloy that will hold up to years of wear, and a small OLED display offers an easy way to adjust settings with efficiency. The biggest selling point, however, is the Omnipoint switches. Unlike other key switches with set actuation points, these allow you to adjust the distance each key needs to travel to register, letting you find the perfect fit for your own usage.
The Apex Pro has something great to offer in every category as a best gaming keyboard option, from build quality to features. The Omnipoint switches are something you won’t find anywhere else, and they could make a big difference if you haven’t been able to find switches that are just right for you.
The RGB lighting offers enormous levels of customization to fit any possible aesthetic you can conceive of. Although the Smart Display might seem like a gimmick, it can be useful for both settings and interacting with programs for voice chat or music streaming, and the OLED quality will shine in a darkened room.
The obvious strengths of the Apex Pro come with one significant disadvantage-the price. At 200 dollars, this is a keyboard for enthusiasts only, and if you’re not quite sure about that commitment, you might be better off choosing something else. The built-in Numpad could be a hindrance if you’re pressed for desk space, and the Omnipoint switches lack a tactile click if you’re looking for one. The wrist rest attracts dust easily, although it’s removable if you find it frustrating. There are also no dedicated macro keys here.
The Best Budget Gaming Keyboard
Although many Razer peripherals come in at well above 100 dollars, the Ornata Chroma provides a still-premium option without quite the same investment for the price. The Ornata Chroma targets its lower price point by making use of a “mecha-membrane” hybrid switch system that attempts to emulate the tactile feel of mechanical switch keyboards with a modified membrane setup. It still comes with many of the features of Razer’s flagship keyboards-an advanced RGB suite, fully programmable and remappable macros, and an extended warranty on the keyboard’s parts.
The Ornata Chroma takes advantage of Razer’s software suite to provide RGB synchronization options, letting you match the setup of other Razer products or any Philips Hue lighting in your setup. The wrist rest included is the most versatile and useful of any on this list, making use of a magnet system to attach securely to the main body of the keyboard while providing easy adjustment or removal. If you need a Numpad but don’t want a giant footprint for your keyboard, the Ornata Chroma wastes no space around the edges and uses low-profile keycaps to minimize its overall presence. The mecha-membrane setup will feel better to use than a regular membrane keyboard.
Mecha-membrane has been generally well-received, but if you’re used to a fully mechanical keyboard, you might not be entirely satisfied without classic key switches. Likewise, low-profile keycaps and a shorter actuation distance won’t be for everyone. Even though this is a budget option from Razer, there are still cheaper options out there if you’re willing to give up the software and RGB advantages.
The Best Gaming Keyboard Without a Number Pad
For those looking for something in the same league as the Apex Pro but without the numpad, the Logitech G915 is poised to fill that gap as one of the most premium gaming keyboards Logitech has to offer. You’ll once again find an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy in use here, as well as comparably advanced and versatile RGB lighting. A fast wireless connection delivers 40 hours of use on each charge. Logitech uses their own proprietary key switches, and the G915 TKL can be bought with either Tactile, Linear, or Clicky options to suit any preference.
The wireless capabilities are a big selling point for the G915, as you won’t always find them in keyboards this premium. Without having to worry about the latency of a slower wireless setup, those who enjoy a clean and minimal setup can avoid unnecessary clutter and cable management around your desk. In general, this keyboard is great for those who want something that won’t get in the way. The switches are low-profile, which allows for a flatter keyboard design than most bulky mechanical keyboards, and the tenkeyless design leaves more desk space free. The variety offered by the Tactile, Linear, and Clicky low-profile switches caters to everyone.
Although low-profile switches do cut down on bulk, they’re not for everyone. The shorter travel distance can throw off some users, as well as a slightly wobblier feel. Secondary symbols on keycaps are printed, so the RGB lighting won’t shine through them, which could be a problem if you need to reference them in the dark. The charging point disappointingly still uses the older format of micro-USB, so it won’t be as fast as a USB-C alternative.
The Best Affordable Keyboard and Mouse Bundle
The Redragon S101 Bundle is an option for gamers who need to pick up both a gaming keyboard and mouse in one swoop. With a more affordable membrane keyboard and a wired mouse, you get both critical parts of the setup for cheaper than a single mechanical keyboard would typically be. The keyboard features RGB lighting and dedicated multimedia and function keys, as well as a full number pad. The accompanying mouse sports an ergonomic shape, multiple programmable buttons, and adjustable DPI options.
The main advantage of the Redragon 2101 is the price, which offers a lot of bang for your buck. Unlike many other affordable gaming alternatives, Redragon products are also generally reliable, so you’re not likely going to need a replacement in a few months like some cheap gaming keyboards. Multimedia keys and the numpad are great features for those who want wide versatility at this price, and both the keyboard and mouse feature solid ergonomics. The adjustable DPI for the mouse also gives it a clear advantage over non-gaming alternatives.
Unlike many other PC keyboards on this list, the Redragon 2101 is a membrane keyboard, not a mechanical one. Key presses will feel somewhat closer to an average office keyboard, although they’re still designed to provide a bit more of a tactile feel. The mouse only has four distinct DPI settings, which should still cover most uses, but might prove limiting to anyone who likes complete control over the feature.
Best Logitech Gaming Keyboard
Logitech is a brand that delivers consistent and familiar quality, and the G213 Prodigy is a much more affordable Logitech option than the wallet-emptying G915. This is another membrane keyboard that still attempts some tactile feel, going some way toward splitting the difference between your average keyboard and a mechanical. RGB lighting, media buttons, and a numpad round out the basic package here, as well as access to the software suite for Logitech gaming peripherals.
The Logitech gaming software is more reliable than many alternatives for affordable keyboards, allowing users the ability to fine-tune lighting, function keys, and more without dealing with frustrating programs or inconsistent results. The keycaps are designed to let as little RGB bleed around the edges as possible, achieving bright illumination without a light leak for those who want a simpler but vivid look. Media controls, function keys, a numpad, and a wrist rest provide a full suite of functionality that’s hard to complain about.
Despite the tactile focus, a membrane keyboard will, as always, not have the same feel as a mechanical one. The footprint of this keyboard is fairly large, thanks to the Numpad and wrist rest, and the wrist rest cannot be detached to save space. The keycaps are also fairly high-profile, so those looking for a slimmer option won’t find it here. There’s no particular focus on ergonomic design (although the basic look might prove more appealing for some).
Best Razer Keyboards Mechanical
Razer is one of the biggest names in gaming peripherals, and the BlackWidow X Chroma is one of their best keyboard flagship models. This keyboard has both quality and style, with a clean but striking look and reliable Razer Green mechanical switches. The RGB lighting is backed up by Razer’s own software, which can synchronize with gameplay and other products from both Razer Chroma and Philips Hue.
The Razer BlackWidow X Chroma is the best bet for an integrated lighting setup thanks to its software options, particularly if you have any other products from Razer or Philips Hue. Razer’s software also allows for complete key remapping and any variety of combination commands, making this an ideal choice for anyone who prizes function and efficiency for any of their own purposes. Razer Green switches provide a satisfying tactile click and a manufacturer’s warranty to back them up. The light metal top plate and white keycaps stand out as distinct more than a typical black keyboard.
Although the lighter color is striking, some users might not like it for an all-black setup. As with most Razer products, there’s also a premium in cost to pay here, and basic price-to-performance might be better elsewhere. The clicky sound of Razer Green switches can be an issue in a quiet environment, and although the switches have a quality guarantee, some gamers will still prefer options like Cherry MX. Although the base is fairly low-profile, the keycaps are not. There’s no wrist rest here for those who prefer one.
Best Gaming Keyboard Wireless
If you’re looking for a low latency wireless keyboard for gaming that’s not quite as ridiculously expensive as the G915, Logitech also has you covered with the G613 LIGHTSPEED. Rather than a rechargeable system, the G613 uses two AA batteries to power its Bluetooth functionality, which should last for a year or so of use before they need to be replaced. Like the G915, the G613 promises a 1ms report rate to truly crush the latency of the average wireless keyboard. The G613 uses Logitech’s proprietary Roger G mechanical switches that are roughly equivalent to Cherry MX Browns, providing a more tactile actuation point than Red switches but without quite as much of a click as Blues.
The G613 is a very versatile package that can rise to most occasions as one of the best gaming keyboard choices. A wrist rest, Numpad, multimedia keys, programmable “G” keys, and the low-latency wireless receiver make it fairly easy to incorporate the G613 into any setup. The Romer G gaming key switches offer a decent balance that should please people who want a more tactile feel than Red switches but find Blues to be too loud or too clicky. Like the other Logitech keyboards, this comes with versatile software to customize functions to your choice.
For RGB enthusiasts, the G613 is immediately out of the question. Not only is there no wide spectrum of RGB colors, there’s no backlight at all, which also might make the keyboard inconvenient to use in the dark if you don’t have all key locations memorized. Romer G gaming key switches are also somewhat divisive-while most people are quite happy with them, Cherry enthusiasts and fans of many other key switches sometimes compare them poorly. With a Numpad, wrist rest, vertical row of programmable keys, top row of media controls, and high-profile keycaps, the keyboard is also not for those looking to make the best use of space.
Best Cherry Brown Keyboards
For those who do prefer Cherry MX Browns to the Romer G key switch alternatives, the Durgod Taurus K320 is the keyboard for you. Not only does the Durgod Taurus sport official German-manufactured Cherry switches, it matches them with high-quality PBT keycaps that will show less shine and wear over time than ABS alternatives. The design is more compact and subtle than many other gaming options, without a numpad and with narrow edges around the entire keyboard.
The Durgod Taurus K320 is great for those who are used to Cherry switches, often considered to be the best mechanical keyboard options, and uninterested in the proprietary alternatives that many manufacturers now boast. Similarly, PBT keycaps may your instant preference. Connected software allows for key and macro re-programming. Durgod also sells the keyboard in varieties with other Cherry switches, and in an RGB alternative for the enthusiast. The overall footprint is very small for a gaming keyboard. A USB type C cable keeps up with the times.
The one drawback to the footprint is that the keycaps are still high-profile, which may not be to the taste of a true minimalist. There’s also no ergonomics to speak of here, without a wrist rest or any thoughtful shaping to the overall design. If you need a Numpad in your setup, you won’t find it here, or any extra multimedia or function keys for that matter.
Best Corsair Gaming Keyboards
Corsair is the premium gaming mechanical keyboards alternative to Razer, and the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum easily holds its own with the best of the best. The K95 RGB Platinum also uses German-manufactured Cherry key switches, but in this case, it’s the Cherry MX Speed, designed specifically to press and actuate as quickly as possible. Couple that with a 1000 Hz report rate over a wired connection, and this is the best gaming keyboard for gamers concerned about speed over all else.
An aircraft-grade brushed aluminum frame provides a high-quality basis for this well-built keyboard, and a full-length, detachable, double sides wrist rest provides options for those looking for ergonomics. Corsair’s software allows for RGB programming and per-key adjustment for maximum RGB effect, as well as macro assignments. Function keys and media controls also contribute to the user’s wide variety of options.
Although the quality and variety of Corsair’s RGB go toe-to-toe with Razer’s, they’re outmatched at this price point by Razer’s synchronization compatibility with Chroma and Philips Hue products. Even with the wrist rest removed, the keyboard’s footprint is rather large. The 1.2 mm actuation point of Cherry MX Speed switches may be too fast for those who aren’t specifically looking for it.
The best gaming keyboard: Razer Huntsman Gaming Keyboard
The most popular gaming keyboard: SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
No matter what kind of keyboard you choose, it’s all about how much enjoyment you get out of it. There’s something for everyone, and you shouldn’t let anyone else dissuade you from getting the setup you want, whether that’s all about RGB and brands like Razer and Corsair, or it’s about a minimal clean setup with the highest price to performance ratio. The world of keyboards is wide and often overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong with anything on this list. All of your hard work will absolutely pay off when you finally find the best gaming keyboard that’s just right for you.