Best Gaming Keyboards 2019

The keyboard is one of the most important gaming peripherals. It handles nearly all the commands and inputs you can do in your games. 

As important as this peripheral is, most average gamers really do not know what keyboard to buy in a bid to up their gaming experience. That is about to change because, in this article, I will talk about the best gaming keyboards on the market.

Best Choice

Cougar Attack X3 RGB

Solid keyboard

Multiple Cherry MX switch options, robust build, RGB lighting


Pleasing aesthetics and is much easier to use

Premium

Razer Blackwidow V2

Durable

Razer yellow, sleek, macro buttons, sturdy, wrist rest


Metallic chassis for increased durability


Best Value

Thermaltake Poseidon Z

Budget friendly

Inexpensive, full N-key rollover, RGB lighting


Has full 16.8 million RGB support


Also, check out the best gaming keypads here.

Most gamers nowadays opt for mechanical good gaming keyboards. As you can tell by the name best mechanical keyboards make use of mechanical key switches.

Before I talk about the best gaming keyboards on the market, I will first talk about the different mechanical switches that are popular today.

But before that, what are mechanical key switches?

What is a Mechanical Key Switch?

A mechanical key switch differs from your regular rubber-dome/membrane switches in that they have mechanical springs and other components that truly stand out compared to regular keyboards.


There are actually 6 intricate parts that make the mechanical key switch in top gaming keyboards work: the keycap, switch housing, stem, metal contacts, slider, and spring.


1.   Keycap- the cover of the switch.

2.   Switch housing- the square housing that holds everything together.

3.   Stem- where the keycap is mounted.

4.   Metal contacts- the component that allows you to know if the switch is actuated.

5.   Slider- the one that interrupts the connection between the metal contacts and the side of the switch.

6.   Spring- mounted at the base and it resets the switch back to its original position.


There are also three mechanical key switch behaviors that people typically associate with them. These are the linear, clicky, and tactile.


The Linear switches are smooth and don’t have a tactile bump. When you press a linear key switch, there will be no resistance. Linear switches are the quietest mechanical key switches in use today.


Clicky switches are the complete opposite. They are the loudest key switches on the market and they have a tactile bump before you bottom out the keys. They are clicky because it gives that popular audible click once you get to the actuation point.


Last, but definitely not the least, are tactile switches. Compared to the clicky switches, tactile switches only have that bump without the audible click. Cherry MX Browns are the best examples of this switch.

Most Common Mechanical Key Switches

There are plenty of mechanical key switches out there, but I will only cover the ones that are the most popular and usually used in top gaming keyboards. Below are just some of the most widely used mechanical key switches:

1.   Cherry- the most popular key switch on the market. The company’s Cherry MX switches have been the standard for many other mechanical switches today. There are five Cherry MX switches, each having their own unique properties, that are popular. These are the Cherry MX red, brown, blue, black, and the new Cherry MX speed.

Red- this switch is the most popular switch used in most mechanical good gaming keyboards. This is a linear switch with an actuation force of 45 grams and an actuation point of 2mm.

Black- this switch is not that popular nowadays, but a few years ago, some gamers prefer this linear switch than the Cherry MX red. This switch requires 60 grams of actuation force and it has the same actuation point of the Cherry MX red.

Brown- a tactile switch, the Cherry MX brown switches are the best ones for gamers and typists. It has the same actuation force and actuation point to the Cherry MX red, but it has a tactile bump that lets you know when you have reached its actuation point. This switch is much quieter than the Cherry MX blue.

Blue- popular among typists, the Cherry MX blue switches is the company’s patented clicky switch. It requires 60 grams of actuation force and has an actuation point of 2mm. Do not let the blue’s actuation force requirement fool you. The blues feel soft to the touch and are very comfortable to type on.

Speed- also known as the Cherry MX silver, the Cherry MX speed switches have the fastest actuation point on the market with only 1.2mm. It also requires the same actuation force of 45 grams, similar to the Cherry MX red.

2.      Razer switches- since the Cherry corporation lost its patents over mechanical key switches, a lot of companies sought different manufacturers for a better price and probably even better quality. Razer is one of those gaming peripheral companies that sought the aid of both Kaihua electronics and GreenTech to create the company’s “Razer Switches”. There were originally two Razer switches used by the company, but as of the time of writing, they’ve now added a third one.

Green - The Razer green switches are likened to the Cherry MX blue switches with some minor differences. These switches only require 55 grams of actuation force and it has an actuation point of only 1.9mm. These are also clicky switches, but they are not as loud as the Cherry MX blue.

Orange- Akin to the Cherry MX brown, the Razer orange switches also have a tactile bump, and it requires the same actuation force and actuation point to that of the Razer Green switches.

Yellow- Razer’s newest switch, the Razer yellow switch has the same actuation point that of the Cherry MX speed at 1.2mm and it also requires the same actuation force of 45 grams. These are the most silent switches in Razer’s lineup and it is a linear switch.

3.     Kailh switches- made by Kaihua Electronics from China, these are basically Cherry MX clones. Their mechanical key switches have the same actuation force and actuation point to that of their Cherry MX counterparts. For example, the Kailh Red switch requires the same 45 grams’ actuation force, and it also has the same actuation point at 2mm.

4.   Romer-G- these are Logitech’s own mechanical key switches and the company partnered with Omron, a popular switch manufacturer to create these. It requires 45 grams of actuation force and has a 1.5mm actuation point.

The Romer-G switches are light and are perfect for people who are looking to transition to mechanical key switches as they feel a hybrid between a mechanical switch and a membrane one. These switches have a mild bump that is almost unnoticeable and they are very soft to the touch.

5.   QS1- Developed by SteelSeries, the QS1 switch has the same actuation force and actuation point to that of the Romer-G switches. They differ in feel, though, as people report the QS1 switches to be much lighter than the Romer-G.

6.   Topre- made by Topre Corporation, a Japanese company, the Topre switch is probably one of the most unique mechanical key switches out there. It has a 2mm actuation point, but where it stands out is its actuation force. There are keyboards that make use of a toggle that changes the required actuation force of the key switch. The Topre switch’s actuation force may vary from light (35 grams) to medium (55 grams). It is great for gaming and typing and it is a tactile switch.

Now that you are aware of the most popular mechanical key switches on the market, it is now time for me to recommend some of the best mechanical top gaming keyboards on the market.

Best Mechanical Keyboards for Gaming

1

Thermaltake Poseidon Z RGB Review


Key Switch: Kailh blue


Pros

  • Inexpensive, full N-key rollover, RGB lighting.

Cons

  • No macros, software doesn’t offer much, lower build quality.

Mechanical top gaming keyboards can be expensive. If you want to try it out for the first time, but you do not want to spend a lot of money on one, then the Thermaltake Poseidon Z RGB is the one for you.


For under $90, you get a good gaming keyboard with a standard layout which uses the Kailh blue switches. As mentioned above, the Kailh blue switches are akin to their Cherry MX blue counterparts so they require an actuation force of 60mm and it has an actuation point of 2mm.


Anyway, the Poseidon Z RGB is simply a good gaming keyboard as it doesn’t have a “loud” design. It gets media key functionality by pressing the Fn key and the corresponding key together.


It has the full N-key rollover so even if you press all of its keys simultaneously, all the keys are guaranteed to register on screen.


This best gaming keyboard also comes with companion software, but its functionalities are limited to assigning macros and adjust the keyboard’s lighting. At least, the keyboard comes with per-key backlighting which ensures that the keyboard stays illuminated when you turn on the feature. Oh, and not to mention that this keyboard has a full 16.8 million RGB support.


Even though this good gaming keyboard has all the essentials nailed, it doesn’t have a robust build quality. The keyboard features a lot of plastic and its cable is not even braided although it is thick.


Despite its subpar build quality, the Thermaltake Poseidon Z RGB is one of the best gaming keyboards if you are on a budget.

2

Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review


Key Switch: cherry MX red, brown, blue, and silent.


Pros

  • Can choose from a variety of Cherry MX switches, USB pass-through, solid build quality, extra keycaps.

Cons

  • Software is robust but requires a steep learning curve.

Corsair is known to craft some of the best PC RAM modules out there. But, the company has since ventured into other gaming peripherals, in this case, good gaming keyboards. The Corsair Strafe RGB is one of their most popular top gaming keyboards.


Why is one of their popular top gaming keyboards? That is because you can choose from a variety of Cherry MX switches; from the tactile brown switches to the clicky blue ones. Not to mention, you can also choose Cherry MX red. And, if you do not want a loud mechanical key switch, you can opt for the Cherry MX silent which practically is a Cherry MX red switch with a dampener to mitigate the sound.


Aside from that, another key feature of the Corsair Strafe RGB is that it has an USB pass-through. This is a godsend because then, you will not have to go to the back of your PC to plug in your peripherals and other USB-powered devices.


It does, however, make use of two USB ports, but that is okay considering the convenience you get. Note that the USB pass-through is only USB 2.0.


There are several popular gaming genres today like the FPS, MOBA, and MMO genres. These games make use of a specific set of keys most of the time and that is why Corsair included extra keycaps.


There are keycaps for the W, A, S, and D for FPS gamers. And there are also keycaps for the Q, E, R, D, and F for MOBA and MMO gamers. The extra keycaps have a texture so you can easily distinguish them from the other keys.


Corsair was kind enough to include a wrist rest so you will be comfortable using this best gaming keyboard for hours on end.


It also has a 16.8 million RGB support which you can tweak using their own software: the CUE (Corsair Utility Engine).


The CUE software is robust and offers a lot of tweaks and functionalities. However, this isn’t a kind software to beginners; it will take time getting used to.


However, once you mastered the program, you can do whatever you want with the best gaming keyboard. This includes macro programming, intricate RGB lighting, just to name a few.


With these features, no wonder the Corsair Strafe RGB mechanical best gaming keyboard is one of the most popular top gaming keyboards on the market.

3

Cougar Attack X3 RGB Review


Key switch: Cherry MX black, red, brown, and blue.


Pros

  • Multiple Cherry MX switch options, robust build, RGB lighting.

Cons

  • It has an extra USB connector with no clear purpose.

Cougar is a company that also makes gaming peripherals and they’ve just recently gained buzz in the gaming peripherals niche. This is their attempt at making the best gaming keyboard.


The Cougar Attack X3 RGB is a solid good gaming keyboard. It has an aluminum chassis, but there are also some plastic parts. It has full RGB lighting, but a slight bummer is that the Cougar logo doesn’t illuminate; not a deal breaker, though.


Cougar, like Corsair, also gives users plenty of  MX switch options you can choose from. I am quite surprised that the company included Cherry MX black on their list because few people use key switch anymore. But, there are people who are heavy-handed and would love to use Cherry MX black switches over the other Cherry MX ones.


The Attack X3’s aluminum frame kind of improves the RGB lighting effect as the light bounces off the sheen of the said metal chassis. It also provides an overall sturdy feel to the good gaming keyboard.


This best gaming keyboard comes with a standard keyboard layout, but it also has an extensive set of other functions embedded in some keys which you can enable using the Fn key.


The Cougar Attack X3 RGB makes use of the company’s UIX software which has a pleasing aesthetic and is much easier to use compared to Corsair’s CUE software.


In the UIX software, you can assign macros in which you can save to the keyboard’s onboard memory. You can store up to 30 profiles into the onboard memory which is plentiful and is also helpful if you want to bring the keyboard with you on LAN events.


This keyboard for gaming is okay in most cases, but there is a feature I dislike, and that is the extra USB connector.


Most good gaming keyboards nowadays make use of only one USB connector and if there is another one, it could be for the USB pass-through. However, the Cougar Attack X3 RGB doesn’t come with an USB pass-through which make this extra USB connector a somewhat useless design flaw. Could it be for extra power? Possibly, but again, most keyboards can function by just using a lone USB 3.0 port.


Other than that, the Cougar Attack X3 RGB is still quite a good gaming keyboard with an option to use the Cherry MX switch you like.

4

Logitech G810 RGB review


Key Switch: Romer-G.


Pros

  • Professional Design, key switch ideal for gamers.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a wrist rest.

Logitech is a frontrunner in the gaming peripherals industry. Since Cherry lost their patents over mechanical key switches, Logitech created their own called “Romer-G”.


The Logitech G810 RGB, also known as the “Orion Spectrum”, is a good gaming keyboard with a standard layout. Despite its typical design, the keyboard looks elegant because it is made of premium materials and the keycaps and RGB lighting punctuate the peripheral’s aesthetics.


This good gaming keyboard doesn’t come with extra keys or macro buttons, but it has added functionality embedded on its F-keys.


The G810 also has a game mode button which disables the Windows key and another button to control the lighting intensity. It will also please gamers that the company has included a volume scrollbar that allows you to control your PC’s volume on the fly. And, just below that are its dedicated media keys.


The Logitech G810 RGB makes use of the Logitech gaming software. The robust software suite not only allows you to record macros and just RGB lightings, it also has a game integration feature.The feature integrates with some of the most popular games today and it automatically creates a profile for it.


The Logitech Gaming Software is also straightforward, and the interface is pleasing.


I want to touch on the Romer-G switches for a bit. These switches are ideal for gaming as it provides slight tactile feedback and is also quiet. But, people will need to take time getting used to this key switch when they use the keyboard for typing because it is a fast switch with a much higher actuation point than the standard Cherry MX switch.


But, for games, the Romer-G switches’ performance is topnotch. This key switch allows you to double or even triple tap with ease; perfect for fast-paced games like CS: GO or Overwatch.


If there’s one thing I could complain about this keyboard, it is the lack of a wrist-rest. Wrist rests are a godsend, especially for people who play for over 4 hours. It is a bummer that Logitech didn’t include it in this keyboard.


Despite not having a wrist rest, the Logitech G810 RGB is one of the best mechanical top gaming keyboards on the market.

5

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2


Key switch: Multiple Cherry MX switches.


Pros

  • Variety of cherry MX switches to choose from, solid build quality, USB pass-through, extra keycaps, wrist rest.

Cons

  •  Expensive.

The one con of the K70 RGB Mk.2 is its price, and although it has enough features to command a premium price, some gamers will find this to be a deal breaker. It has a sturdy chassis, and the mechanical switches it comes with are high quality. If your budget is not a constraint, the K70 is a worthy investment. The K70 measures 17 x 6 inches and 17 x 9 inches if you add the wrist rest.


At that price, you would expect that the wrist rest would feature a softer material, but Corsair has stuck to plastic. The wrist rests on the K70 is comfortable enough for anyone to use for long periods. However, rivals like Razer and Logitech have ditched plastic for plusher materials such as padded leatherette. All the same, the K70 Mk.2 is still one of the best keyboards money can buy.


The keys are elevated a touch more than in the older K70 RGB Lux to let out more RGB lighting, giving it a better look. The chassis is made of aluminum, adding onto the premium look, and the keyboard comes with an array of media controls. Rather than awkward buttons, the K70 Mk.2 boasts a stylish volume wheel. There are additional buttons for brightness and profile control and game mode button locks, not forgetting an USB pass-through.


Unlike some other Corsair keyboards, the K70 RGB Mk.2 gives you a wide range of Cherry switches to choose from. They include the speed, blue, silent, brown, and red, making the K70 ideal for many gamers.

 

The K70 packs CUE with extensive features, although it’s complicated for beginners. Some pros of Corsair Utility Engine include an array of lighting options and individual game profile set-ups. Others include macros recording and the ability to reprogram different keys.


The K70 has springy and responsive switches while the keycaps are comfortable and a joy to glide over. This low profile keyboard from Corsair, though full-sized, is 35% smaller than its predecessors. And it crams in all the keys and still leaves enough space in between so you don’t click the same key unknowingly.


Overall, the K70 Mk.2 recreates a laptop keying experience on a desktop. With its low profile MX speed keys, you get 3.2mm of travel distance, 1.0mm actuation, and a requirement of 45gm of force. Price aside, the K70 is stunningly beautiful, packs versatile features, and makes every day use a joy to behold.

6

Corsair K65 Rapidfire RGB review


Key Switch: Cherry MX speed/silver


Pros

  • TKL design, USB port, RGB lighting.

Cons

  • Does not have a carrying pouch, not suitable for office work.

If you want a portable good gaming keyboard with a solid build quality and the RGB lighting that makes it look premium, then the Corsair K65 Rapidfire RGB is for you.


The Corsair K65 Rapidfire RGB has a TKL (Ten Keyless) design, so it doesn’t come with a number pad. That is both a good and bad thing. It is good for gaming because it makes it portable and it allows you to carry the keyboard wherever you want to play games.


It is bad for productivity, especially if you’re writing a lot, because the number pad is an indispensable tool.


Anyway, the Corsair K65 Rapidfire RGB, as you can probably guess, has the Cherry MX Speed switches. This switch has a much higher actuation point of 1.2mm and is touted to be the fastest switch on the market.


The keyboard also comes with media controls, but you must press the Fn key and the corresponding function key to toggle some media controls.


Since this keyboard is intended for tournaments and LAN events, the Corsair K65 Rapidfire RGB comes with an additional set of textured keycaps suitable for FPS and MOBA games. Corsair didn’t include a keycap puller, however.


This best gaming keyboard comes with the company’s RGB lighting which you set on the Corsair Utility engine. Again, it is a robust piece of software, but it takes quite some time to get used to.


I am happy that Corsair has included an USB pass-through with the K65 Rapidfire. It is a useful port that allows you to not only charge your mobile devices but to also transfer files to and from the device.


If I were to say anything negative about this product, it would be the exclusion of a carrying pouch. Corsair designs their TKL keyboards to be portable so you can bring it with you whenever and wherever.


Still, the Corsair K65 Rapidfire RGB is the best gaming keyboard if you want one you can carry with you in gaming events.

7

 Razer Blackwidow V2 Chroma Review


Key Switch: Razer green, orange, or yellow


Pros

  • Razer yellow, sleek, macro buttons, sturdy, wrist rest.

Cons

  • Expensive. Doesn’t have a keycap puller.

This article will not be complete without mentioning the top gaming keyboards brands in the gaming peripherals industry. Razer is a staple for gaming peripherals but has now had stiff competition against Corsair and Logitech.


Anyway, the Razer Blackwidow v2 Chroma is one of their best gaming keyboards to date. When the company released the keyboard, they also released their new Razer switch called the Razer yellow.


The Razer yellow switch is akin to Corsair’s Rapidfire Cherry MX silver switch which has an actuation point of just 1.2mm and requires 45 grams of actuation force. That being said, this switch is the direct competitor against Corsair’s Quickfire keyboard.


The Razer Blackwidow v2 chroma looks premium with its metallic chassis, which increases its durability. Also, couple that with the Razer switch’s 80 million click lifespan, and this keyboard should last for over 3 years.


One neat feature of the Blackwidow V2 that was not present in previous Razer keyboards was its included wrist rest. It is a soft and plush material that allows your wrists to rest while you’re using the keyboard. And it is comfortable.


Gamers love macro functionality and the Blackwidow V2 chroma has five additional macro buttons on its left side. You can bind the macro buttons to whatever command you want.


The keyboard also has 3.5mm jacks for audio-out and mic-in and it also has an USB 2.0 port. The only gripe I have with the USB port is its placement on the right side of the keyboard as opposed to the top, which proves to be problematic sometimes.


Razer makes use of the Synapse software for all of their peripherals. It is a user-friendly program that allows you to create macros, configure the lighting, etc. It is easy to navigate through the different options, but I have to say it lacks the extensiveness of the Corsair Utility Engine.


This best gaming keyboard is expensive and you would have to spend a lot of money on it. It would’ve been nice if Razer were to include a set of additional keycaps or just a keycap puller. But oh well, I guess the price to pay for a premium keyboard is this high.


The Razer Blackwidow v2 chroma is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market. If you like the feel of the Razer switches, this is the keyboard to get.

8

Corsair K95 platinum RGB review


Key Switch: Cherry MX speed, Cherry MX brown.


Pros

  • High-quality build, Light strip with RGB lighting, Cherry MX speed or brown switch, wrist rest, USB port, programmable macro keys.

Cons

  • Expensive, wrist rest could be better.

As mentioned earlier, Razer has had stiff competition against Corsair with gaming peripherals.


The Corsair K95 platinum RGB is arguably the direct competitor to Razer’s Blackwidow V2 chroma.


This best gaming keyboard is made from premium material namely anodized aircraft grade aluminum to ensure that the keyboard can withstand the heavy pounding.


Like the Blackwidow V2 chroma keyboards, the Corsair K95 platinum RGB also has programmable macro buttons. But instead of having only 5 of them, this keyboard comes with 6! The macro keys come with textured keycaps to allow you to distinguish the normal keys from the macro buttons. The space bar’s also given that approach, and it also has a textured keycap.


The Corsair K95 platinum RGB also comes with dedicated media controls and a volume scroll bar on top of the keyboard. This allows you to control the system’s volume without tinkering with it in your game’s settings menu.


There are features that are not present on the Razer Blackwidow V2 chroma, which makes the Corsair K95 platinum win in some regard.


First, the Corsair K95 platinum RGB has an RGB light strip at the top of the keyboard. It is for aesthetics, but man is it an amazing thing! You can even sync up the lighting on the keys and on the light strip as well!


Second, the Corsair K95 platinum RGB has 8MB onboard memory which allows you to put specific lighting effects, and program macros and save those on the keyboard. You can just bring your keyboard and you can make use of all the saved settings without internet connection!


The Blackwidow V2 Chroma was okay because of the Synapse software that could just sync up the settings, if you had a good internet connection. But, what if there’s no internet connection? That’s the problem with the Synapse software and all the saved settings.


As for the key switch, you have two options: the Cherry MX silver/speed or the Cherry MX brown. Both are the most desired Cherry MX switches for gaming; one is linear and quick and the other provides that tactile bump without being too loud.


There is also an USB port on top of the keyboard which is nice. Note that this is only an USB 2.0 port, but it is still a great addition.


Last, the keyboard comes with a detachable wrist rest and it garnered mixed reactions. Although it was fine in most cases, you will find that it is not that comfortable for prolonged use. That is so because the wrist rest doesn’t have the same plush padding that the Razer Blackwidow V2 chroma has.


Despite it being the case, the keyboard itself is comfortable enough. I guess it all boils down to what you prefer.


The Corsair K95 platinum RGB top gaming keyboards deserve its high price tag because of its plethora of features and its premium look.

9

Topre Realforce RGB Review


Key switch: Topre


Pros

  • A toggle between variable actuation forces, sleek looks, RGB lighting.

Cons

  • Very Expensive. It doesn’t come with extras.

And, the most expensive best gaming keyboard on this list is none other than the Topre Realforce RGB.


As you can tell from the moniker, this makes use of the Topre switches from Japan. These are capacitive switches that feels great to the touch.


What makes the Topre Realforce RGB different from the rest top gaming keyboards? Well, it is its APC or the “Actuation Point Changer”. When you press the APC, it allows you to toggle between three actuation points: 1.5mm, 2.2mm, and 3mm.


The 1.5mm is perfect for gaming; the 2.2mm is perfect for just about anything else, and the 3mm actuation point is great for typing. How does this key switch sound? Well, it is silent and is a perfect switch for competitive gamers who want a keyboard which has a great feel without making too much noise.


In fact, according to many people who have tried the Topre Realforce RGB, it feels like the Cherry MX blue without the loud clacking noise! And oh, the Topre switches on this keyboard only requires 45 grams of actuation force to activate.


The keyboard also has a standard design. It doesn’t come with macro keys; it has that standard office keyboard layout. But what makes it look amazing is its RGB lighting, which you can tweak using the keyboard’s companion program.

Its program is straightforward, and it allows you to change the per-key backlighting if you so desire. Heck, you can even change the actuation points of the different keys on the keyboard.


Now, for a keyboard that has the ability to toggle between different actuation points, I am surprised that the company did not include a wrist rest. I mean, for this price, you should at least get a wrist rest, right?


Another thing that might put off potential buyers is that this keyboard doesn’t come with any extras at all. Like, it doesn’t have an USB port or a carrying case, and it doesn’t have additional keycaps, let alone a keycap puller.


All you will get is the keyboard itself and nothing else. But hey, the ability to switch between different actuation points is a game changer.


So, if you want to buy a keyboard that allows you to switch between different actuation points perfect for whatever scenario, then the Topre Realforce RGB is the one you should get.

Best Hybrid Keyboards for Gaming

Now, the keyboards I have mentioned so far all sport mechanical switches top gaming keyboards, but there are advances in the technology that allows companies to have the feel of the mechanical switch without the high cost.

Below are some of the best non-mechanical/hybrid top gaming keyboards you can find on the market.

1

Razer Ornata


Key Switch: mecha-membrane.


Pros

  • Key switches feel great, RGB lighting, comfortable wrist rest.

Cons

  • Expensive for a non-mechanical switch keyboard.

Most gamers nowadays have mechanical best gaming keyboards and they feel they cannot go back to the standard rubber-dome keyboards.


But, there is still a small demographic that wants membrane keyboards because they are not too loud and they are inexpensive.


Razer, as a gaming company, wants to cater to every gamer out there, and so, they’ve made a switch that could bridge the gap between people who love mechanical switches and people who adore membrane switches.


Then, the company released the Razer Ornata. The Ornata comes with the company’s “mecha-membrane” switch. This switch is essentially a rubber-dome/membrane switch, but the difference is that it has a mechanical key switch feel to it whenever you press the keys.


That is thanks to the same mechanical switch technology used in the said switches. So, you’re essentially using membrane keys with the touch and feel of a mechanical switch. This also means that the keyboard is not that expensive, but more on the pricing later.


The switches feel somewhat like a hybrid between chiclet-style keys and mechanical switches. It is very responsive, though, and has a much higher actuation point, allowing you to double-tap if you need to.


The Razer Ornata comes with the same plush leather wrist rest that comes with the Blackwidow V2 chroma. It has a magnetic coupling mechanism that although does its job well, it feels as though the wrist rest can detach any time when you play hard.


This best gaming keyboard also has the chroma lighting feature enabled which you can tweak using the company’s own software.


The Razer Ornata is a winner if you are a membrane keyboard lover. But, what is interesting is that the price is just too high. Ask yourself if you want a non-mechanical keyboard for about $100 before buying one.


If you want a membrane keyboard with the feel of a key switch and with a comfortable wrist rest, then the Razer Ornata is the one for you.

2

 Logitech G213 Prodigy Hybrid Keyboard


Key switch: hybrid


Pros

  • Spill-resistant, dedicated media keys, RGB-enabled, compact form factor.

Cons

  • Limited RGB lighting customization, wrist rest not removable.

The Logitech G213 Prodigy is another best gaming keyboard that sports a hybrid switch. It does have the membrane keys, but it also has that mechanical switch treatment making them feel as if you’re typing on true mechanical gaming switches.


This best gaming keyboard is intended for people who are on a tight budget, but wants a competitive good gaming keyboard that does have enough features to give them the edge in competition.


The G213 Prodigy sports a standard keyboard layout and it also has a non-removable wrist rest as well. The wrist rest is comfortable enough, but it would’ve been nice if it were removable.


Gamers who love to play music while they’re playing will be pleased to know that this keyboard also has dedicated media controls. And what’s more, the G213 Prodigy also has RGB lighting as well.


Do note that the RGB lighting is not per-key, but rather, it has five lighting zones. This would mean that your RGB lighting customization will be limited, but I guess that is to be expected for a keyboard at this price point.


This good gaming keyboard does have a compact form factor and is entirely made of plastic. Sturdiness is not big deal, though, as the keyboard is mostly placed on the desk, anyway.


One cool feature of the G213 is that it is spill-resistant. It can withstand up to 60ml of liquid. This is perfect for people who frequently spills liquid on their keyboard. I do have to caution that during testing, only water was used. Having sweetened drinks like sodas, for example, will probably have a negative impact on the keyboard’s performance.


The hybrid switches offer the same performance to that of the Razer Ornata above, but what I love is that the price is much lower compared to the aforementioned keyboard.


If you do not have a lot of money to spend on a good gaming keyboard, then the Logitech G213 Prodigy is definitely something to consider.

Things to look for when buying a keyboard for gaming

Top Gaming keyboards are not cheap; they are far more expensive than your regular, run-of-the-mill rubber-dome keyboards.


And since you’re going to spend some money on a good gaming keyboard, it is best that you know what to look for when buying one.


Below are just some factors to look for when buying a good gaming keyboard:


1.   Key switch- when buying a good gaming keyboard with mechanical switches, make sure to look at the key switch used first. There are a number of top gaming keyboards all having different key switches. Research on the one that you want and then go from there.


2.   Layout- another thing to look for is the keyboard’s layout. Do you want a keyboard with the standard layout? Do you want a keyboard with a TKL design? Or do you want a keyboard that has extra buttons for your macros?


3.   Software- most top gaming keyboards unlock their true potential when used in conjunction with its companion software. Research first on the program the keyboard’s using before you make the purchase. If it the program gives you the customization that you want, then go for that particular keyboard.


4.   Lighting- although, in essence, lighting is optional. But for a good gaming keyboard, however, lighting is definitely a must. You’re spending a lot of money on an expensive keyboard, so why not get one with some illumination, right? The choice of whether to go for one backlighting or RGB lighting is up to you.


5.   Price- Last but definitely not the least, you have to consider the price. Top gaming keyboards, as I’ve said earlier, are expensive. You have to know how much you’re willing to pay to get one. After you’ve established your budget, it will be much easier for you to find one of the top gaming keyboards that suits you.

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Conclusion

One common question people ask when buying a good gaming keyboard is: should I go buy a mechanical keyboard for gaming or one with rubber-dome keys?


And, if they went to the mechanical route when choosing a good gaming keyboard, the next question would be: which switch should I use?


Well, truth be told, even though mechanical key switches have different actuation points and require different actuation forces to activate, it still boils down to personal preference.


For example, MX Cherry red switches are made for gaming because of its linear nature and that it only requires a light tap to activate. However, some people find typing on Cherry MX red switches to be a pleasurable experience.


Conversely, Cherry MX blue switches are ones specifically made for typists. But, some people actually love using the blue ones for gaming because it gives them that tactile bump and that clicking sound, allowing them to know if they’ve pressed the key or not.


So, to answer the question, “what mechanical switch should I use?”, it depends entirely on you. In other words, it is pretty subjective.


I urge you to go buy a mechanical key switch tester or go to a gaming peripheral store and try out different mechanical switches until you find the best top gaming keyboards that work for you.


If mechanical top gaming keyboards aren’t your thing because of their much higher price tag, there are some top gaming keyboards that offer hybrid key switches. I’ve mentioned the Razer Ornata and Logitech G213 Prodigy, but do not limit yourself to these top gaming keyboards since there are still plenty of them out there. I just mentioned the two because these are by far the best in its class.


I hope that this article has helped you get the best gaming keyboard for you.

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