It’s no surprise that the best gaming keyboards are all mechanical – at least to some degree – but that doesn’t necessarily equate to high noise volume or an obtrusive form factor. In trying to entice the largest audience possible, keyboard makers are beginning to explore quieter options.
- All of these gaming keyboards are compatible with the best laptops
Still, we realize that most gamers have historically leaned into more tactile gaming keyboard options such as the hybrid Razer Ornata. So, of course we had to go the extra mile and make sure that everyone is satisfied with our choices, both traditionalists and newcomers alike.
Some of the options on our list even go as far as to give you the choice between various types of keyswitches. Whether RGB-equipped, wrist rest-accompanied or purely affordable and capable of getting the job done, you’ll find the best keyboard for you below.
Engineered for a lighting-fast actuation point of 1.5mm, the Logitech G413 Carbon is a force to be reckoned with. This mechanical monster at large is defined by its handsomely low price tag as well as its use of Logitech’s Romer-G switches, which have proved to be nigh-equal contenders to those made by Cherry. It also manages a low profile, thanks to its magnesium-alloy frame and virtually silent keys.
Read the full review: Logitech G413 Carbon
If you’re on the prowl for Razer’s recently announced Basilisk customizable FPS mouse, you’ve come to the right place. Not only does the BlackWidow Chroma V2 carry an equal balance of comfort and performance, but it went a few steps further in the process. Complemented by the fact that Razer has tacked on five macro keys that can be assigned to virtually any in-game action, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 supports 16.8 million colors worth of LED lighting as well.
Read the full review: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2
Following in the footsteps of Kingston’s first HyperX-branded gaming keyboard, namely the HyperX Alloy FPS, the HyperX Alloy Elite tweaks the company’s first winning keyboard to provide only a few subtle changes. For only $10 USD more than its predecessor, you’re getting media keys, a light bar and even a palm rest, all of which were previously absent. They’re also a series of delightful treats, making for a value proposition that shouldn’t be ignored.
Read the full review: HyperX Alloy Elite
The Realforce RGB is a multi-talented keyboard that feels incredible to type on due in part to its capacitive Topre keyswitches, which offer superior tactile feedback compared to their Cherry MX equivalents. Boasting high-quality PBT keycaps and depth from 1.5mm to 3mm, the Realforce RGB is a hugely versatile keyboard that suits whatever task you’re doing at the time. Yes, even typing since its keyswitch stems are compatible with both Topre and Cherry MX keycaps.
Like the Corsair K70 Rapidfire before it, the K95 RGB Platinum is a gaming-first mechanical keyboard with plenty of versatility to get the job done, whatever that job may be. It even packs in 8MB of memory dedicated to storing the profiles of its six macro keys. This keyboard is not only backlit by up to 16.8 million colors, but it’s the perfect travel buddy too, made better by its military-grade aluminum finish, including the wrist rest.
Read the full review: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum
For too long there's been a divide between mechanical and membrane keys but now Razer has finally brought the two together with its 'Mecha-Membrane' Ornata keyboard. These new switches pull from everything Razer has learned over the years. The result is a grand typing experience with shorter keys, the tactile feel of the green switches from the Black Widow X Chroma and a loud audible click.
Lending it to fast response times, the Cherry MX Board 6.0 is defined by its Cherry MX Red switches, hence the make and model. However, because the keys are positioned fairly close together they're excellent for typing in addition to gaming. What’s more, housed in an eye-catching aluminum chassis, the MX Board 6.0 certainly doesn't feel cheap and its blood-red key lighting is deliciously ominous.
Sporting Logitech's own Romer G switches, which aren't quite as squishy as Cherry's various switches, the G810 possesses a snappier feel than other gaming keyboards whether typing or gaming. And, with smart media keys that work equally well on both Windows and macOS, this board is a solid all-round offering. If you're fed up with the weird markings, LCD screens and strange parts that come with competing "gamer-focused" keyboards, the G810 might be for you.
Unlike most gaming keyboards in its class, the SteelSeries Apex M500 gets straight to the point, omitting unnecessary additives along the lines of RGB lighting and discrete media controls in favor of a compact design that wastes no space. Although the M500 neglects to let you choose your key switches beyond the standard Cherry MX Reds and Blues, these are damn fine options for a mechanical board in this price range.
Because it packs an extremely durable, rugged aluminum body, the Cougar Attack X3 RGB is one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy if you’re on a tight budget. Equipped with Cherry MX switches and RGB backlighting that can be customized to illuminate up to 16.8 million colors, this keyboard is a steal considering it doesn’t come close to the price of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2. N-Key rollover and a 1,000Hz polling rate are merely a bonus.
- With Black Friday coming up, you might find your dream keyboard at a discount
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article