10 Best Gaming Keyboards of 2017 – The Best Keyboards for Gaming

If you are or want to be, at the very top of competitive PC gaming you are going to need the best kit or you will never succeed, Fact. That’s why I have created a list of the Top and Best Gaming Keyboards of 2017

best gaming keyboard 2017

A powerful PC is a given, but you need so much more. You need a high-resolution monitor to be able to pick out enemies both near and far. You need the desk and seat for comfortable gaming. But, and, most importantly, you need the right input device to transmit your super fast, refined gaming reflexes into on-screen action.

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If You Want To Compete, You Need The Best

You need the very best control methods that you can get. Otherwise, sadly, you will never reach your true potential. You will never reach the gaming heights that you aspire to and all because you didn’t invest in your control method. For example, why would somebody buy a £100,000 car if you had a substandard steering wheel and peddles that give no feedback? Simply, they wouldn’t. And that’s what you would be doing if you were denied the very best peripherals on offer. You get left behind while your competition is ahead of your game with the best keyboards and mice.

Unfortunately, most gamers always think, ‘I need a great mouse.’ This makes sense as a mouse helps you aim and shoot. And yes you do need a quality mouse. I’m not denying that.

But a quality mouse will not tangibly improve your gaming. I’m sorry to say that a bad aim will not be improved by a better mouse. Only practice will do that.

You Need A Quality Keyboard

But a keyboard can improve your game immediately. But why? Well, a keyboard does so much more than a mouse does. A poor mouse can be turned into a good mouse with a good surface to use it on. The same can’t be said for a bad keyboard. If you are using a non-mechanical keyboard it will literally be limiting your in-game reaction times. No matter how fast you may think and press the button. A poor keyboard will add a substantial delay between your input and the action on screen

It is the difference between dodging a head shot and having your head taken off. Additionally, a gaming keyboard gives you more options with the keys. You can set up an often used combination to one key press, or macro, to save time.

You need a gaming keyboard if you want to compete. And the trash thrown in with your gaming rig will only take you so far before it actively hinders your progress. Eventually, your hardware, not your skill, will be the limiting factor. And when it comes to gaming keyboards there are hundreds to choose from that will fit any budget. You can get cheap keyboards that offer the most basic, but still mechanical, keys. You can get keyboards that cost hundreds of pounds and have more customisation options than you will ever likely need. There is a keyboard for everybody.

But Which Gaming Keyboard?

To save you the effort of trawling through the Internet, I assembled, in my opinion, a collection of the very best keyboards available. I have ensured that the list is not limited to the super expensive. I wanted keyboards for every wallet.

On my quest to make this list I visited many a local gaming shop. Took advantage of nearby PC component centres. And begged and borrowed as many keyboards as possible, so I could get first-hand experience of every keyboard before putting it on this list.

Within this list, there is a gaming keyboard for everybody. So read on to find the keyboard that is going to propel your gaming to new heights.

So, before anything else, let’s have a look at our Top and Best 10 Gaming Keyboard 2017 List.

Keyboard NameLightingProgrammable keys Key type
QPAD MK-80 ProYes - Basic LEDNoMechanical Cherry MX Black
Razer BlackWidow TournamentNoYes, full keyboardProprietary Razer Mechanical actuator
Corsair Vengeance K65NoNoMechanical Cherry MX Red
HyperX Alloy FPSYes - basic LEDNoMechanical Cherry MX Black
SteelSeries Apex M500Yes - Basic LEDYesMechanical Cherry MX Red
Logitech G910 Orion SpectrumYes - Full RGBYesProprietary Romer-G Mechanical Switch
Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire - Editors Choice Yes - Full RGB YesMechanicals Cherry MX Seed
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Yes - Full RGBYesProprietary Mechanical Razer green switches
Corsair K95 RGB Mechanical Yes - Full RGBYesMechanical Cherry MX Red
ASUS ROG Claymore Yes - Full RGBYessMechanical Cherry MX Red

 

Top 10 Gaming Keyboards 2017

 

1. QPAD MK-80 Pro Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Cherry MX Black

Qpad MK-80 Pro Gaming Backlit Mechanical gaming Keyboard

Introduction

When it comes to Tournament level PC gaming, you are going to need some of the very best hardware to keep up with your competition. Fortunately, QPAD has created a mechanical keyboard that will let you go toe-to-toe with the big guns without the big price.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Basic Keyboard with entry level mechanical keys for a small price
  • Manufacturer – QPad
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Plastic
  • Key type – Mechanical Cherry MX black
  • Lighting – basic LED backlight, non-programmable.
  • Programmable keys – No
  • Modular – No
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes (with PS/2)

Price

Currently, the QPAD MK-80 Pro has an RRP of around £130. But if you shop around you can find them for well under £70 and is currently at the time of writing this it is available on Amazon for £63.90.

Benefits

The number one benefit of the Qpad is it offers an inexpensive entry into the mechanical keyboard world. Do not expect, the best build quality, lighting or anything else for that matter. This keyboard exists only for you to test out mechanical keyboards and nothing else. And for that, it does what does really well.

My Experience

On first trying out the Qpad MK-80, I must admit, I really wasn’t expecting a lot. Having had it recommended to me I was pleasantly surprised by how this relatively cheap keyboard felt.

DesignFeaturesOverall

First of all, on first appearance I thought it was, to be kind, basic looking. Plain black is the order of the day with a bit of lighting here and there. But nothing really to make you think, ‘ow, this is an attractive keyboard.’ It looked plasticy, not unlike what a cheap TV remote feels like. But when you switch it on and you are in a game, the keyboard roars to life with its mechanical genius.

The MK-80 may look basic on the outside but it has one key feature that other gaming keyboards below this price doesn’t have. It has mechanical keys. You see, most keyboards under a certain price all use a membrane with little plastic dimples on it.

When each key is press these dimples are squished which triggers a key press to be registered. I know, it doesn’t sound that bad but, unfortunately, the feedback of the key press with these is terrible at best and unreliable at worst. Each key feeling like you are pushing your finger into some kind of sorry little sea sponge.

Mechanical keys, by definition, don’t have any of this soft rubber underneath. Instead, they work using precision engineered plastic, metal springs and gold contact points to register a press. These keyboards have a tactile feedback that informs your digits exactly when the key has been pressed. And with the inclusion of the Cherry MX blacks under the hood, you know you are going to get some quality mechanical action. Mechanical action. The MX black actuators offer a stiffness to the activation of the keys that stopped me from making too many mistakes and made me think about my key presses more. Which can be a bad or good thing.

And the Qpad delivers this lovely treat for the fingers at a price that is almost unimaginable. Yes, it’s not a very expensive keyboard and yes it is devoid of nearly any outward aesthetic. And yes, it won’t compete with the higher end or even mid tea mechanical keyboards anytime soon. But WOW, that is one hell of an entry level piece of engineering. And that’s why it’s on this list.
There is one small caveat to the MK though: it doesn’t come with any kind of software for customising what each key does. So if you want to set macros, you will have to find a 3rd party program.

Who Should Buy It?

If you are looking for an entry mechanical keyboard this would be a great place to start. Also if you are primarily an RTS player, the MK’s use of Cherry Black switches should help you out in game.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard with customisation, then this simply isn’t going to offer you the personalisation options that the high-end keyboards can offer. You would be better looking at the keyboards later in this article.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Great entry level specs
  • Mechanical keyboard is in another league to basic membrane Keyboards
  • Very low cost
  • Cherry MX black switches work well
  • 2 USB ports, Heaphone and Mic jack
Negative
  • Basic design
  • No programmable keys
  • Not a lot of rollover on USB connection
  • LED lighting is limited at best. A pointless addition at worst.

Final Thoughts

A very basic introduction to mechanical keyboards, the MK80 is a workhorse of a Keyboard that offers great tactile feedback in a neat, if a little uninspiring, package. Highly recommended for anybody new to PC gaming that wants to add to their growing skills.A very basic introduction to mechanical keyboards, the MK80 is a workhorse of a Keyboard that offers great tactile feedback in a neat, if a little uninspiring, package. Highly recommended for anybody new to PC gaming that wants to add to their growing skills.

 

2. Razer BlackWidow Tournament Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Razer BlackWidow Tournament

Introduction

Razer’s Entry level gaming Keyboard, the Blackwidow Tournament Edition, may not have all the features offered by the high-end boards on this list, but it does come with Razer’s award-winning, Cherry beating mechanical switches. Astonishing feel and feedback at an astonishingly low price.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Basic Keyboard with entry level custom Razer mechanical switches.
  • Manufacturer – Razer
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Short
  • Materials used – Plastic
  • Key type -Proprietary Razer Mechanical actuator
  • Lighting – No
  • Programmable keys – Yes, full keyboard
  • Modular – No
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – 10 key rollover
PriceBenefitsMy Experience

On looking for places to buy this entry level Razer Keyboard, I unusually found it hovering around a price of £70 to £80 pounds online. A great price for a lot of keyboard. At the time of writing this, you can buy it on Amazon for £69.99

The Main benefit of the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition is it offers the industry leading Razer mechanical switch in a package that is affordable to all.

So let me start off by saying that we all know as gamers Razer’s gaming pedigree. I mean every single one of us at some point or another has tried a Razer mouse. They make top quality equipment for your rig and their keyboards are no different.

Knowing this, I sought out one of the lower end gaming keyboards they make that is still mechanical, and the Blackwidow Tournament Edition was it. Sporting, for Razer, quite plain looks, I was pleasantly surprised to find a key press experience that easily rivals even the highest end keyboards on this list. Razers Green switches are just a joy to use. Needing so little pressure to press it almost felt like I could just blow on the keyboard to type my name out. It was that sensitive, so rapid fire that I felt like transplanting my shoot button from the left mouse button to the keyboard.
And on top of this stunning usability is the Synapse Software that is used for creating all your macros and key combinations.

For such a budget gaming keyboard the actually amount of usable customisation that will actually make a difference to your gaming is quite large. It let me set up any of the keys in any way I want, a macro on space bar? Why not. A macro on the Windows? Yeah, maybe not. But still, it was impressive. Ok, you may not be able to change any lighting at all, as there isn’t any to change, but what you can program is impressive.

I came away thinking that, for the price on offer, the Blackwidow offers great usability with a fair degree of customisation. I was impressed and you will be too.

Who Should Buy It?

Fans of Razer will be right at home with this keyboard. It works well, without breaking the bank, and it shuns all the added features of the more expensive keyboards in order to have Razer’s own switch system. And I think the compromise is well worth it.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard with customisation, then this simply isn’t going to offer you the personalisation options that the high-end keyboards can offer. You may be better looking at some of the keyboards later on.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Low price
  • Fantastic Razer proprietary Switch technology
  • Small form factor
  • High programmable keys
Negative
  • Made from plastic
  • Body is a little flexible
  • Poor general build quality
  • NO lighting at all

Final Thoughts

One of the best introductory gaming keyboards that use mechanical keys, the Razer employees custom actuators that make this £75 keyboard perform like it should be £100 pounds more. Yes, it lacks any visual customisation options but when the keyboard this good, you really shouldn’t care.

 

3. Corsair Vengeance K65 Compact Gaming Keyboard – Cherry MX Red

Corsair Vengeance K65 Compact Gaming Keyboard

Introduction

Corsair’s entry-level keyboard is a sight to behold. Chiselled and morphed from anodised aluminium, the beautifully simple chassis houses a mechanical keyboard that will level any gaming playing field. And then, after you are done winning, looks just as at home on an office PC setup.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Stunning looks, aluminium body in small form factor
  • Manufacturer – Corsair
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Short
  • Materials used – Anodised Aluminium
  • Key type – Mechanical Cherry MX red
  • Lighting – No
  • Programmable keys – No
  • Modular – No
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes

Price

As for the price of the Corsair Vengeance, I often found it on-line for £70 which is in line with the recommended retail price found on the official UK corsair website.

Benefits

The Vengeance, out of all the keyboards on this list, even the gargantuan decade defining ROG got my attention the most. Simply put, it is beautiful but simple. Its aluminium body and its simplicity hiding a gaming thoroughbred. Yet it could easily sit next to your office PC and nobody would ever know its FPS pedigree.

My Experience

DesignFeaturesOverall
The vengeance has to be my personal favourite gaming keyboards on this list. It has a stunning design that looks just right in my office but can be taken out to unleash it’s gaming innards on the multiplayer world.

It’s a beautiful grey, angular anodised aluminium body is striking to the eyes yet simple and elegant. This is a keyboard that could be used in any environment, be it gaming or professional, and make it their own. It is easily one of the best-designed keyboards, from a visual point of view. However, the K65’s LED lighting does seem a small stumbling block as there is no lighting at all. Not even a white light to enhance the symbols on the keys. So you won’t be doing any dark room typing.

From a technical point of view, the Vengeance does not disappoint. Its simple body overlays a mechanical treat which includes the use of Cherry MX red switches to give superior reflexive speed. This enhanced reaction time of the keyboard really did add something to my game letting me strafe and change direction with more immediacy. One thing that did concern me is the lack of any added macro buttons built into the keyboard. But, the added CUE software, Corsair’s own customisation software, lets you set any key to be a macro which does help.

Overall, I highly recommend it if you need a keyboard that looks professional by day but is used for gaming by night.

Who Should Buy It?

The Vengeance is a unique keyboard in that it doesn’t look like a gaming keyboard at all. If you play on your office PC and want something that looks remotely professionally while offering a tangible advantage over membrane keyboards, then the Corsair Vengeance is the keyboard for you.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard with customisation, then this simply isn’t going to offer you the personalisation options that the high-end keyboards can offer. You may be better looking at the gaming keyboards later in this article. Yes, Corsair’s CUE software can be used but unfortunately, on using it, I found it didn’t offer many options for changing key macros or bindings.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Stunning looks, works as gaming and office keyboard
  • Aluminium body
  • Compact body is easy to carry to tournaments
  • Understated looks
Negative
  • Lacks extra keys
  • Small form factor can be limiting
  • No Lighting of any kind, difficult to use in dark environments
  • Limited programmability

Final Thoughts

For the money, Corsair has developed a stunning supermodel of a keyboard that tempts and calls out to the inner gamer in us all.

 

4. HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Cherry MX Blue

HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Introduction

Coming from a background in Memory manufacture, HyperX has now entered the world of peripherals with its Alloy series keyboard. And what a debut it is. With aggressive red styling and mechanical switches that easily approach, and in some ways exceeds, the best keyboards the industry offers, the HyperX alloy is not a Keyboard you should ignore.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Basic Keyboard with entry level mechanical keys for a small price
  • Manufacturer – HyperX
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Plastic
  • Key type – Mechanical Cherry MX black
  • Lighting – basic LED backlight, non-programmable.
  • Programmable keys – No
  • Modular – No
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes

Price

The HyperX can be had for as little as £90 on Amazon’s all-encompassing shopping website. Or alternatively, if you fancy shopping around, it can be had for around £100 from Ebuyer and Scan.

Benefits

Again, like the SteelSeries, the HyperX Alloy offers high-performance mechanical gaming keyboarded goodness at a price that is affordable. Yes, some desirable features of the higher end keyboards are missing. But you will be getting switches that easily rival keyboard twice as expensive.

My Experience

DesignFeaturesOverall

A very small form factor gaming keyboard that, like the SteelSeries, punches above its weight.

When I first saw the HyperX I couldn’t help but notice how the red lighting drew me in. There is something about the crimson that aids in making the keyboard a surprisingly nice looking piece of kit. It looks active and aggressive like an FPS gamers keyboard should. But unlike other cheap keyboards, the alloy lives up to its name by sporting a chassis made completely from steel. It is definitely a welcome quality increase over the plastic most keyboards sport and will take one hell of a beating before needing a replacement.

 

On the inside, the HyperX continues to impress with Cherry MX switches used throughout its construction. They have, according to a rep, been slightly enhanced to give an even quicker response time, something that will really entice the FPS gamer in us all.

It did take me a while to get used to using them as they seemed to be so sensitive to touch. I could just brush them with a digit and they would activate immediately. However, once I got the hang of them, the response was outstanding, no keyboard, except maybe the SteelSeries, comes close.

The only disappointment: there is no way to change the light setup, you are stuck with the built-in modes such as pulse, breath or just plain old on.

Overall, I felt it was a good keyboard that would be great with Call of Duty, counter strike and above all, I felt like it gave me a tangible edge in game and that’s really what it’s all about.

Who Should Buy It?

A great keyboard that is aimed at FPS players more than anything. Well worth a look if you live and breathe Counter Strike but don’t want to pay out for the most expensive keyboards.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard with complex aesthetic customisation, then you are out of luck. This simply isn’t going to offer you the personalisation options that the high-end gaming keyboards can offer. Though the HyperX does offer some customisation of its LED lights there is no option to change the colour.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Good build quality
  • Small form factor improves portability
  • Great textured keys that aid
  • Full steel body
  • Stunning key feedback and feel.
Negative
  • Not a lot of options with LED lighting

Final Thoughts

Having stepped into the keyboard gaming arena, HyperX has found themselves going up against all the heavyweights of the industry. But instead of sinking HyperX have paddled forward, exceeding all my expectation for a newcomer can offer on a first time effort. It’s a keyboard that I would recommend to anybody that wants to compete at the highest level. Here you have a keyboard that will genuinely make you a better gamer.

 

5. SteelSeries Apex M500 USB Black

Steelseries Apex M500 Usb Black

Introduction

The Apex offers a number of features only found on the very highest end keyboards but at a price that won’t make your wallet wince. It comes packing industry leading Cherry Reds and it wants to delight you with stunning tactile feedback and lightning quick response times.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Best in class mechanical gaming keyboard.
  • Manufacturer – SteelSeries
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Plastic with steel backplate
  • Key type – Mechanical Cherry MX Red
  • Lighting – basic Blue LED backlight
  • Programmable keys – Yes, fully programmable macros, and typing combinations.
  • Modular – Keys can be removed and customised.
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes

Price

An unappreciated and award winning, the Apex M500 can usually be had for a very reasonable £100 online. £30 lower than the RRP set by the official SteelSeries website.

Benefits

The SteelSeries Apex M500 offers unprecedented Switch quality. That is the simple reason for being for this keyboard. Simply put, you will not find a better mechanical keyboard at this price. And believe me, I have tried. Don’t come for the extra feature as they are pretty thin. Stay for the unprecedented feedback and macros customisation you get.

My Experience

An Award winning keyboard that offers a no frills compromise for unprecedented mechanical loveliness, the Apex M500 is the gaming keyboard that will change your perceptions on what a peripheral can do for your gaming.

DesignOverall
On first using the Apex, like many of the cheaper keyboards, it looked pretty bland. It only offers a bit of simple blue lighting that’s almost not worth mentioning. There are no aesthetic characters here as it’s upper body is made from basic black plastic, which is a shame. Though the Apex does come with a steel back plate for added rigidity. Which is great, but I wouldn’t buy the M500 on looks alone.

But that’s not the point really. What is the point is that, for usability, this is an award winning gaming keyboard. And after spending a few hours with it I can see, no feel, why.

This is probably the best keyboard, at any price point that uses the Cherry MX Red. It feels so accurate and immediate to use. Even more so than other cherry red keyboards. It almost felt like I could forget I had a keyboard under my hand. It was like I was transmitting my thoughts and intentions to the computer and they were being immediately interpreted accurately and carried out.
And, on top of this, you have some of the best software I have ever seen to customise every key on the ‘board. I could spend days just learning what this software does and can offer. You even get the ability to record macros on the fly as you’re playing. A feature that I found surprisingly intuitive and it should be on every keyboard. Yet this is the only one I have found it on.

This may sound like a big claim but as far as I am concerned this is by far the best Keyboard you can get at this price. You need to a take a look at it right now.

Who Should Buy It?

As mentioned, the SteelSeries is a multi-award winning keyboard. And it didn’t get those certificates for looking good. Its usability is unrivalled at this price so if you put performance at the very top of your ‘want’ list, The Apex is the keyboard for you.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard with high aesthetic customisation, then this simply isn’t going to offer you the personalisation options that the high-end keyboards can offer. Though the SteelSeries does offer some customisation of its LED lights there is no option to change the colour.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Class leading Cherry MX Red mechanical keys
  • Tournament winning pedigree
  • Great macro customisation
  • Solid build quality
  • Customisable removable Keys
Negative
  • Basic looks
  • Lacklustre LED lighting

Final Thoughts

Another simple keyboard and one of the first on this list to offer some form of LED lighting, The APEX 300 is a gateway gaming keyboard that gives you a taste of the customisation and personalisation that some of the industry leaders offer. And all this comes in an award winning package. Honestly, at this price, you won’t find a better pure gaming keyboard and you would be mad to overlook it.

 

6. Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum – RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

 

Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum

Introduction

Having been a gaming peripheral giant for 35 years, Logitech is respected by gamers and power users alike for making high-quality user-friendly hardware that lasts. And now, with the induction of the G910, Logitech have unleashed an RGB Gaming Keyboard with custom mechanical Romer-G keys to the masses. And what a keyboard it is.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Full RGB lighting with Arx keyboard stats.
  • Manufacturer – Logitech
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Plastic
  • Key type – Proprietary Romer-G Mechanical Switch
  • Lighting – Full RGB LCD matrix with full animation and programmability
  • Programmable keys – Yes with complete programmability with included software plus extra macro keys
  • Modular – No
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes

Price

If you go on Logitech’s official website, you will be confronted by price in the range of £160. A little bit too much for a keyboard of this calibre. But shop around and you will find this excellent keyboard drop down to the £120 mark. And at this price point, the Logitech G910 becomes one of the best quality versus price keyboard available and would be my pick if I wanted an entry level keyboard with RGB lighting.

Benefits

The benefit of the G910 is you get a keyboard with top quality custom switches with a beautiful tactile feedback married with an RGB backlight for a low competitive price.

My Experience

DesignFeaturesOverall

This is the first keyboard on the list that includes full RGB programmable lighting underneath the keys. If you check the website out you will see that the Logitech offers many different pre-installed lighting programs. However, the website really does not do justice to how good looking the keyboard is in person. The lighting really is impressive but is also useful. Different keys have different symbols that can be lit up for quick recognition. Unfortunately, one drawback of the inclusion of the RGB lighting is the apparent need for Logitech to save money elsewhere, thus they have made the main body of ‘board out of plastic. An unwelcome if understandable choice.

From a technical standpoint, the G910 continues to impress. Logitech has chosen to use their own proprietary Romer-G switches and they are impressive in use. The activation of the key is clean, gives good feedback and they are very responsive. But the most impressive thing about the Logitech Orion has to be the inclusion of Arx. Arx is an add on to the G910 that lets you collect statistics about your keyboard usage such as: keys pressed, Number of times pressed, Number of times pressed per minute. Statistics that can really make a difference if you are trying to squeeze the last few percentage points out of your performance.

Overall a keyboard for the statisticians out there. A really fantastic keyboard that has lots of features for a great price.

Who Should Buy It?

The G910 marks the beginning of the ‘bling’ keyboards and is the ‘board for you if you want a mass of customisation options at an affordable price. Also, unique to the Logitech offer is the inclusion of the Arx app which helps track how often you press certain buttons and how quickly. So, if you are into your stats, the Logitech is a must have.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard that offers a tangible improvement over traditional keyboards but without the gimmicks of customisation, you may do better to look at some of the cheaper ‘boards as they offer outstanding mechanical experiences without the added and perhaps unnecessary features.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Great entry level RGB lighting
  • Arx second screen statistics really does give you useful quantifiable data
  • Romer-G keys give immense actuation speed
  • Great reprogrammable keys
Negative
  • Made of plastic
  • Quite a bit of flex in the chassis
  • Outside of RGB lighting design is dull
  • Software can be a bit fiddly

Final Thoughts

At this price you expect the feel of a keyboard to be pretty good. But, what you wouldn’t expect is a full on suit of personalisation features. The G910 is the first keyboard on this list to offer this level of customisation. If you are after these sort of features in your keyboard, this is a great keyboard to start with.

 

7. Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Cherry MX Speed

 

 

Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Introduction

The corsair K70 Rapidfire is the beginning of what I would call the super high end of gaming keyboards. We are talking about more feature than you will never likely need, mixed in with stunning aesthetic and the fastest switches I have ever used. If top class is what you want the K70 is it.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Ultra fast Activation speed with cherry MX Speed actuators
  • Manufacturer – Corsair
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Aircraft grade aluminium
  • Key type – Mechanicals Cherry MX Seed
  • Lighting – Full RGB LCD matrix with full programmability
  • Programmable keys – Yes complete programmability with included software plus extra macro keys
  • Modular – Removable key caps
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes

Price

Now that we are getting into the higher end of the gaming keyboards, Corsair rightly so asks for a whopping £170 on their dedicated website. However, be a little savvy and you can have this beast of a gaming keyboard for as little as £140 on the net! A truly maddening steal of a price for such a good Keyboard.

Benefits

A stunning keyboard that has 90% of the features of the very best keyboards on this list and it can be had for nearly half the price. Has everything you would ever need for a gaming keyboard.

My Experience

The Corsair k70 is just a small step below the very best that the keyboard industry has to offer. If you’re looking into buying one of these then I can tell you from using it firsthand that you will not be disappointed with it.

DesignFeatures

On inspecting the k70 for the first time I could not help but notice how lush the body felt. To my surprise, it was pointed out to me that the K70 chassis is made of fully anodised aluminium, very similar to it’s bigger brother. It’s a beautiful finish that feels premium to the touch which is something you would expect from such a high-end keyboard.

These sleek metal lines are then punctuated and accented by a quite frankly wonderful Full RGB, per key lighting system that is only really bettered by the Asus Claymore. Of which we will see more later. And these light can be programmed and set up any way you like with 16 million colours at your disposal. You can even use the included CUE software to animate the keyboard. Just type in the name of the keyboard on YouTube to see what I mean. It is all impressive stuff.

And the K70’s impressive form continues on into its insides. For example, this is the only board on the list that uses the Cherry MX speed switches. These have got the smallest travel distance of any key at just 1.2mm. You can literally drop a hair on the keyboard and it will activate the keys. It is unimaginably sensitive and perfect for twitch gaming. Once you try a keyboard that reacts this quick it’s hard to go back. All other keyboards seem sluggish in comparison. It really feels like thought is immediately transferred into action on screen. Along with this, you get a partially modular design in that every key can be removed easily and replaced with brand new ones. Great if you have particularly heavy fingers that rub off the symbols over time.

So the K70 is one of the fastest most reactive keyboard on the market and will benefit you greatly if you specialise in FPS gaming.

Who Should Buy It?

If you are in the market for a great looking keyboard with loads of personalisation option but don’t want to pay the highest prices, the K70 RGB is the keyboard for you. It offers 90% of the features of the best keyboards in the world at 50% of the price. That’s not a bad deal at all and is the smart buyer’s choice.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard that offers a tangible improvement over traditional keyboards but without the gimmicks of customisation, you may do better to look at some of the cheaper boards I have listed as they offer outstanding mechanical experiences without the added and perhaps unnecessary features.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Great aluminium Build quality
  • Good RGB lighting
  • CUE software is great to use
  • Massive customisation of keys
  • Key activation distance only 1.2mm
  • Best overall key response
  • Key caps easy to replace
  • Quite cheap for what you get
Negative
  • Feel of ridged keys not right
  • Takes time to get used to the keys sensitivity
  • Keys can be activated sometimes a little too easily.

Final Thoughts

A stunning ‘board that offers probably the best Key typing experience of any keyboard so far on this list, The Rapidfire, offers 90% of what the final 3 keyboard on this list offer but for a bucket less cash that could be spent on a mouse. Yes, it’s expensive, But you will be getting a keyboard that will not only look impressive but propel you to new gaming heights.

 

8. Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2– Clicky Green Switch

 

 

Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

Introduction

Razer’s best ever keyboard the Blackwidow Chroma V2 is a tour-de-force in features, build quality and usability. One of the best 3 keyboards I have tried and with a price to match Razers best effort is the tool of choice for Pro gamers worldwide and should be close to the top of your consideration pile.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Full RGB keyboard that uses Razer’s industry leading mechanical key switches.
  • Manufacturer – Razer
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Anti-smudge Plastic
  • Key type – Proprietary Mechanical Razer green switches
  • Lighting – Fully programmable RGB LED lighting
  • Programmable keys – Fully programmable with 5 extra macro keys using Razer synapse software.
  • Modular – No
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – 10 key rollover

Price

First of all, the Razer website seems very reluctant to offer up a price for the Chroma V2. But after a little digging, I found that they offer it on their own American website for $170. But UK retailers seem to offer the Chroma at a much more competitive price and can be had for as little as £130 on some websites.

Benefits

The main benefit of the Chroma V2 most definitely has to be the proprietary-built for the gaming Mechanical Switches. These switches were built for gaming not typing and not even cherry’s MX switch are this good. In addition to this is a plethora of features and customisation options so if you are looking for a complete package without having to pay the absolute top price for a keyboard, Razer’s effort is a good bet.

My Experience

Razer always manages to make unique looking hardware and that’s no different with the Chroma V2. It is Razer’s top of the line keyboard and it’s a show stopper in every way that matters.

First of all, the bad news. Razer made the keyboard out of plastic.

Yes I know, how bad that is.

A £170 keyboard made from plastic.

But stop.

Don’t leave just yet.

Because plastic or not. This keyboard worth every penny Razer asks for it.

DesignFeaturesOverall

Complimenting that plastic, and ok, it is high-quality plastic, is a full RGB matrix underneath each key which means you can have complete and complex control over the lighting of each key.
This, like the Corsair K70, lets you create some mesmerising light shows with dazzling colours pulsating across the board. This definitely lives up to the chroma name. And all this can be done with Razer’s own Synaptic Software. A great little bit of coding that really puts power and creativity in the hands of the user.

This software can also be used to create a huge number of macros and combinations for each key. If you find yourself constantly pressing the same sequences of keys over and over, just set up a macro and it will all be done for you automatically. Thus, saving you all important time and finger movement. And, going back the keys, the Chroma V2 comes with some of the best switches in the industry. Using Razer’s proprietary green switches, they can apparently last for up to 80 million presses. That’s 30 million more than the Cherry switches most other boards offer. Good to know but in practice, completely pointless for most gamers.
However, if you are constantly playing any game 8 hours a day, practising for a tournament, then maybe this will be a good fit for you.

If you can ignore the plastic you will be getting a keyboard that is of a very high standard. It leaps and bounds over most of the competition and is one of the very best keyboards in the world. You can’t ask for much more than that.

Who Should Buy It?

Another great price versus features keyboard, the Razer Chroma V2 is expensive but you get Razer’s class leading Switch technology along with eye catching looks. Like the Corsair K70, if you don’t want to pay top money, this is a smart choice that gives you 90% the feature set of the leading keyboards.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard that offers a tangible improvement over traditional keyboards but without the gimmicks of customisation, you may do better to look at some of the cheaper efforts on offer on this list as they provide outstanding mechanical experiences without the added features.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Good build quality
  • Great RGB lighting
  • Good easy to use software
  • On they fly macro recording works well
  • Proprietary Razer switches are a joy to use
  • Switches have a 40% longer life than Cherry MX switches
Negative
  • A lot of money for something made of plastic
  • Not a lot of customisation with the macros
  • LED lighting limited in Synapse software.

Final Thoughts

The Chroma V2 is a keyboard that stuns and delights with every touch and button press. Razer has developed an actuation switch that was designed by gamers for gamers and it shows. Mechanical Keyboards do not get much better than this.

 

 

9. Corsair K95 RGBMechanical Gaming Keyboard – Cherry MX Red

 

 

Corsair K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Introduction

Corsairs best effort, the K95 is considered by many to be the absolute pinnacle of game keyboards in the world today. No detail has been left unturned by Corsair on their quest for keyboard perfection. Thousands of pros, who use it day after day, can’t be wrong. If you’re looking to pick this up, you’re potentially getting the best keyboard in the world.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Almost the best keyboard in the world and class leading in nearly every area.
  • Manufacturer – Corsair
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Brushed Aluminium
  • Key type – Mechanical Cherry MX red
  • Lighting – Per-Key RGB LED Lighting. Fully programmable brightness hue and animation.
  • Programmable keys – 18 fully programmable macro keys plus every key is fully programmable using included software
  • Modular – No
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes 122 key rollover

Price

Considering this is Corsair’s best effort and one of the two best keyboards in the world, it is going to be priced appropriately. And by that, I mean appropriately expensive. Corsair’s official website has this technological beast priced at wallet shaking, bank emptying £180. A lot of money by anybody’s standards. And, even after searching the net, I have only found it for £10 cheaper. This is a top keyboard, the highest of the high end and you will not find it cheap. But for your money, you will get more features than you can, or ever will use. And it looks and feels like something that should cost double what you will pay.

Benefits

What can I say apart from the main benefit of this wonderful, defining keyboard is that it’s one of the best keyboards ever made, yes it costs a lot but you will be getting something that will actually win you tournaments and raise your game. You can’t put a price on that, can you?

My Experience

One of the 2 best keyboards In the world, the Corsair k95 RGB Offers everything that the K70 does just with a few extra niceties to sweeten the deal.

So what goodies do you get for the extra cash you have to pay up for this flagship?

DesignFeaturesOverall
First of all the design of the keyboard incorporates a very high grade of aerospace aluminium which not only makes the keyboard disconcertingly light, seriously try picking it up, hamsters weigh more, but is also means it’s rigid and stands up to quite a bit of abuse.

The second feature that the K95 has over the K70 is the inclusion of 18 G-Keys on the left-hand side of the main ‘board. These macros keys can be assigned to do absolutely anything using the CUE software included.

The final feature that the K95 has over its smaller sibling is the incorporation of a small amount of memory inside the keyboard. This conveniently stores every single setting for every game you play. So if you take the keyboard on the go to a different computer. There is no need to install everything as your macros and lighting setups are already saved to the onboard memory. Simple and it works perfectly.

One of the world’s best keyboards, but only offers 3 distinct features that the k70 doesn’t have, the macro Gkeys, the aerospace aluminium and the onboard memory. Other than that they are essentially the same and will feel the same to use. But the Onboard memory, for tournament goers, is worth every extra penny.

Who Should Buy It?

If you are looking to buy one of the best keyboards in the world and money is no object then the Corsair k95 RGB should be right at the top of your list for consideration. And it’s perfect for tournament goers with its onboard memory. Yes, you may have to sell a leg to buy it, but it will be worth it. Just.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard that offers a tangible improvement over traditional keyboards but without the gimmicks of customisation, you may do better to look at some of the cheaper ‘boards on this list as they offer outstanding mechanical experiences without the, arguably, unnecessary features and eye water price.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Stunning build quality
  • RGB lighting only bettered by one other keyboard
  • Best use of Cherry MX red switches I have used.
  • Small form factor for full keyboard
  • Extremely responsive
  • CUE software easy to use
  • Keys fully modular and can be replaced
  • Onboard memory to take setting with you.
Negative
  • Very expensive
  • Not a lot else
  • Many features may not be needed
  • Quite large

Final Thoughts

Simply put, the k95 is a delight to use. You feel like your fingers are placed upon some kind of alien crafts control panel. Fingers dabbling with the tempting buttons, tickling control both subtle and extravagant out of your in-game avatar. This gaming keyboard as far as I’m concerned is nearly as close to controlling a game with your mind as you are going to get. And that is something worth paying for.

 

10. ASUS ROG Claymore Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – MX Red

ASUS ROG Claymore Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Introduction

This is it, the current undisputed champion of the gaming keyboard world. The Asus Rog Claymore is without a doubt the most impressive PC peripheral I have ever seen, touched or used. Every single keyboard you use after will seem one-dimensional, and inadequate for the job at hand. Yes, the Rog offers a dazzling light show and yes its build quality is that of a supercar. But it’s so much more than this. Asus have made It all comes together to create something truly special indeed. So let us take a look at the magic of the Claymore.

Quick Facts

  • Stand out feature – Currently the best Keyboard in the world
  • Manufacturer – Asus
  • Release date – 2016
  • Keyboard type – Full
  • Materials used – Aluminium with Mayan inspired design etched into the body
  • Key type – Mechanical Cherry MX red
  • Lighting – Full per-key LED RGB lighting, fully programmable and comes with ready made animations built in
  • Programmable keys – Fully programmable, every key can hold a macro
  • Modular – Modular keys are easy to remove and replace, Number pad can be placed on the right or left of the main keyboard.
  • Anti-ghosting – Yes
  • N-Key Rollover – Yes

Price

Being last on the list, you knew the Claymore wouldn’t come cheap. This is the ultimate in PC gaming keyboards. If you feel like you need the best and that extra 5% it offers over the competition then you need this keyboard. But it won’t come cheap. I found this Monster retailing for £200 on Ebuyer! And Asus’ website didn’t even show a price. A massive amount of cash for what is essentially the best most impressive keyboard ever made.

I have kept my eyes open and today found this for around £140 on Amazon, link to the product is below. Hurry it might not last long.

Benefits

What Benefits does the Asus offer? It offers them all. There are no flaws to this keyboard. If you have the money, this is it, there is no better. It feels mesmeric to use as your fingers dance with delight across its surface. And as you game, everybody in a tournament will be distracted by its unreasonably good looks, and eye transfixing light display.
This is keyboard gaming perfection.

My Experience

A stunning keyboard in every way that rises above the competition to stand tall and proud, the Asus Claymore is the last word in gaming peripherals. Asus has a history of creating class leading hardware and this keyboard continues that tradition.

DesignFeaturesOverall

The keyboard really is a site to behold. Its got a huge full on aluminium body with a sharp colour light show for all to see. And what a light show it is!
Every key has a full RGB set up that can be animated at will. Dimmed, brightened and saturated, anything you want. It’s like having photoshop built right into your keyboard keys. If you can think it you can put a light show on and animate it. And if you can’t be bothered to create your own LED display then you’re in luck as it comes with multiple animations built in.
The ripple, my personal fav, looks way-way better in person than on the website. And it already looks stunning on the website.

The general build quality of the unit is easily the highest of all the keyboards. As if it’s been hand carved out of a lump aluminium by some hidden artisan in the Guatemalan rain forest. That would explain the Mayan inspired etched design stretching like facial paint all over the Claymores upper surface. It is beautiful, it’s artistic and its untouchable further ahead of the competition.

And the ludicrously high standards continue to the technical side of things. For starters, you have a Numpad that can be attached to either end of the keyboard so it can be used as a macro keypad.
You have built-in memory to take all your setting with you. And you have the absolute best implementation of Cherry MX red, blue, brown, black, or any other colour switches, anywhere. The keys are truly joy-inducing and if my fingers could cry they would shed tears of happiness. Thankfully then the claymore is also splash proof.

You get industry leading Software to setup your lighting, your macros, and control for your overclocking, control for your fans. You can even control the lighting inside your rig so it syncs up with the keyboard

I mean this thing does everything and loads more than what I would have ever thought of.
It is the most expensive keyboard on this list. But on the other hand, no keyboard comes close to offering such value. If you have the money and you should seriously consider saving for it. You will not need another keyboard for a decade or more as this machine will never let you down and you will never need more.

Who Should Buy It?

So who should buy this pinnacle of gaming control? Well, it costs a huge amount of money but if you must absolutely have the best and you are an aspiring tournament player or already play professionally then this could be the keyboard for you. But for the rest of us, the Claymore is overkill.

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

If you are looking for a keyboard that offers a tangible improvement over traditional keyboards but without the gimmicks of customisation, you may do better to look at some of the cheaper ‘boards as they offer outstanding mechanical experiences without the massive and perhaps unwanted financial investment.

Pros And Cons

Positives
  • Industry leading build quality
  • Great looks
  • Best in class LED lighting
  • Razer sharp Response times that are industry leading.
  • Almost infinite personalisation
  • Great Software
  • Movable number pad
  • Convenient macro keys for ease of use
  • Built in memory for setting
  • Made from strong aluminium alloy
  • Hotkeys to control Asus motherboards
  • Won multiple awards.
Negative
  • Extremely expensive
  • Umm…Nothing

Final Thoughts

Decade defining. That is what the Claymore is. I thought long and hard about what to say about this game changing gaming keyboard. And after using it I came to the conclusion that along with some other peripheral defining moments, such as the Sidewinder Force feedback joystick, Logitech g25 steering wheel, and the N64 controller, the Rog is up there with the best. This is a keyboard that needs to be owned by every gamer. Yes, it is super expensive, but its worth every penny. In fact, I think you’re getting a bit of a steal. You will not find a better keyboard, anywhere, ever.

 

Mechanical Switches Explained

The history of the Cherry Switch

Originally launched in the USA in 1953, the Cherry Corporation started making keyboards and mechanical switches as early as 1967. This makes making them one of the oldest keyboard manufacturers in the world. Additionally, in 1967, the company uprooted and moved east to Germany in an effort to expand its business. After many successful years in Europe, in 2008, Cherry was bought by ZF Friedrichshafen. To this day, they continue to produce switches under the cherry brand.

With gaming keyboards you often see the Cherry MX series used, which was first introduced way back in 1985. There are many types of switches and they can be separated by type by their colour. The colour of the switches indicated the characteristic and feel of them.

These features can include:

  • How tactile the key is
  • How ‘clicky’ the keys are
  • The amount of force that is required to activate it in grams
  • And many others

Cherry Switches Explained

black cherry switch

Cherry MX Black

First appearing in 1984, the MX Black switches are one of the oldest Cherry switches available. They take medium 60 grams of force to activate. This makes them the stiffest of nearly all the Cherry switches. Ideal if you are heavy handed or you need to avoid making mistakes.

 

red cherry switch

Cherry MX Red

Introduced much later in 2008, the Cherry MX Red is one of the most recent switches introduced by cherry. In its short life, it has gained a reputation

as the go to switch for gamers. At 45 grams, they take very little force to activate. Making them Ideal for twitch games like first person shooters.

 

cherry swtich speed

Cherry MX Brown

Originally introduced in 1994, the MX brown offers a tactile switch that gives the user feedback as the key activates. As the key is pressed down, there is a slight bump which indicates when the key press is detected. Otherwise, these switches are identical to Cherry MX Red and can be used for gaming or typing.

 

blue cherry switch

Cherry MX Blue

Released in 2007 the Cherry MX Blue is designed to have a loader click and a more forceful bump. They offer superior feedback compared to the other MX switches. The loader click can be annoying in a quiet environment and may not be suitable for an office. The Activation force needed is quite high at 50 grams making them less attractive for gaming.

 

cherry swtich speed

Cherry MX Speed

The latest switch to be introduced by Cherry, the MX Speed is the most responsive actuator of any cherry switch. With an actuation distance of only 1.2m compared to 2.0 mm for all other MX switches, the Speed switches take very little force or time to activate. They are currently considered the best Switches currently available for gaming.

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