These are the best typing peripherals for the job, whether you want to increase your productivity or your Fortnite numbers.
PC keyboards are one of the most divisive topics in the world. There are message forums and subreddits awash in comments examining every feature and component, from the advantages and disadvantages of various switch mechanics to the plastic used in keycaps.
That’s for a good cause. You undoubtedly spend an lot of time at your computer, using a (hopefully) comfortable mouse and keyboard. Make those hours as enjoyable as possible, especially now that so many of us are working from home. We’ve evaluated hundreds of mechanical keyboards at different price points, whether you have a superb laptop or a game-ready desktop PC. These are our top options for gaming, as well as everything else.
We added the NZXT Function and the Corsair K100 RGB in April 2022.
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Find the Right Feel
Which Switch Should You Use?
Mechanical keyboards (typically loud, clickety-clacky keyboards) are distinguished by their switches, which come in a variety of styles. They all have an different feel to them, and it’s difficult to know which one is suitable for you without touching them. Logitech and Razer, for example, utilise their own proprietary switches, which further complicates matters.
Switches are normally made in one of three styles, matter of who makes them:
- Clicky switches offer little resistance in the middle of the stroke, then a sharp click as you press the key all the way down.
- Tactile switches work similarly, but the click after the mid-stroke resistance is less pronounced.
- Linear switches have a similar feel to hair triggers on a game controller: they’re smooth, quick, and sensitive.
The Brightest and Best
Keyboard Logitech Pro X
Everyone has a favourite switch type, but you usually have to decide before purchasing a keyboard. If you wish to test a different switch for more click or clack, what should you do? You’ll have to buy a new keyboard. The Logitech G Pro X solves this problem by allowing you to customise each and every key on your keyboard, with three different switch types to choose from: GX Blue Clicky switches (for a crisp click and thicker keystroke), GX Red Linear switches (for a quieter, smoother, but still satisfying keystroke), or GX Brown Tactile switches (for a quieter, smoother, but still satisfying keystroke) (with a soft stroke and tactile feedback).
For different uses, I prefer Blue and Red switches. During testing, I used Blue switches on my W, A, S, and D keys (for game movement), and Red switches on other letters for a more comfortable typing experience. To add some variety, I used Brown switches for the spacebar and shift keys. The G Pro X makes out as the greatest overall mechanical keyboard because to its high amount of customisation. You may construct your own custom typing and gaming experience no matter what you choose.
Best for Less Than $100
Mechanical Keyboard Logitech G413
Budget gaming keyboards used to be the domain of Amazon vendors with all-cap names and candy-colored plastic casings. The G413 from Logitech is a far cry from that look. The same modest black chassis, mechanical switches, and even Lightsync RGB lighting found on more expensive Logitech models are included here. It’s an interested option if you don’t want to invest in a full-featured gaming keyboard or are just beginning started.
Smallest Gaming Keyboard
Mini Razer Huntsman
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a 60 percent keyboard contains 60 percent of the keys found on a standard-sized keyboard. The numpad and arrow keys have been removed, leaving only the necessities. For gaming, the Razer Huntsman Mini is my favourite of this size. It has the same responsiveness and speed as a full-sized keyboard, yet it takes up a fraction of the desk area. It has a very nice and organised appearance about it. In addition, the Mini, like the larger Huntsman Elite above, is compatible with Razer’s keycap kits, allowing you to customise your colour scheme. The mercury white with pink keycaps is one of my favourites.
Beginner Customizing at its Finest
Function of NZXT
If you wants to customise your mechanical keyboard but don’t know where to start, the NZXT Function (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is an interested place to start. You may choose the type of switches, keycaps, and even cable colour for your keyboard using the firm’s builder tool, and the company will put it all together for you.
If you wish to customise the board even more, it will come with tools to remove and replace every keycap and switch, as well as spares of each. The Function also includes a left-side volume wheel, RGB LEDs (of course), and software that allows you to remap or customise any button with macros to increase your productivity.
Apex Pro by SteelSeries
It’s a lot of fun to type on a mechanical keyboard. They simply have a nicer feel than traditional membrane keyboards. SteelSeries decided to enable all of the mechanical switches that are responsible for such a tactile typing experience on the Apex Pro keyboard rather than choosing one.
It’s not just a colourful gaming keyboard with a lot of bells and whistles, but it also has mechanical switches that can be customised per key, similar to the Logitech above, to give you a typing experience that’s all your own. It also features an small LED display for system alarms, volume, and other fun stuff you can play with using the SteelSeries software that comes with it.
In the case of competitors
Apex 7 TKL from SteelSeries
Many keyboards claim to be designed for gamers because they feature RGB lighting or responsive switches, but the Apex 7 TKL from SteelSeries proves it. It has a strong metal frame and satisfyingly clicky mechanical switches. It even has the same LED display for system notifications as its sibling, the Apex Pro. It can be used to check who is conversing in Discord or to obtain in-game information.
The software is what makes this keyboard so appealing. For certain games, it can integrate fully with your games, activating changing lighting conditions based on in-game events—for example, your R key could flash when you need to reload. You may also customise the functions of each key, create custom macros, and use third-party programmes like Discord. While it can be frightening to beginning users, it’s difficult to beat this for total control over your game.
For use in home offices
Carbon Logitech G513
The G513 is surprisingly understated for a gaming keyboard, with unique mechanical switches and crisp, bright RGB lighting. That’s why it’s my go-to for general use. It does not sticks out like an sore thumb in an office setting, unlike many gaming devices. When it wants to be quiet and unobtrusive, it’s matte black, like a stealth bomber. All of this is accomplished without losing any of the features you’d expect from a high-end gaming keyboard, such as configurable RGB lighting, long-lasting keys, and a full-sized number pad. You can even select which switches come standard: Romer-G Tactile, Romer-G Linear, or GX Blue. (For further information, see the switch explainer above.)
This is a timeless classic.
Filco Majestouch 2 is a sequel to Filco Majestouch.
The Japanese Filco Majestouch was one of the first mechanical keyboards to make waves in the United States in the 2000s. Matt Jancer, a product reviewer, has been using one without a numpad for six years, using Cherry MX Browns, Blacks, Reds, Silent Reds, or Blues. It’s weighted, according to Jancer, to keep it from moving during marathon writing sessions, and the typing sensation is beautiful. If you can locate it in stock, it’s a classic.
Proud and obnoxious
Aimo Roccat Vulcan 120/121/122
What good is a mechanical keyboard if you can’t see its painstakingly constructed switches while you’re at work? The Vulcan 120 Aimo and its white-and-aluminum-clad companion, the 122 Aimo, are built with this idea in mind. With slim small keycaps, both put Roccat’s custom-built Titan switches on show. The switches themselves are lit from underneath with a dazzling array of RGB lighting that can be customised.
Roccat’s switches are designed for gaming and feel quick, responsive, and tactile. They contribute to the development of the Vulcan 120 and 122 precision instruments, which are designed for competitive use. Oh, and did we mention how loud the keyboard is? And we mean that in the greatest possible sense. It’s enjoyable to type on because it’s clicky and clacky. Itfeels like typing up a thunderstorm while writing this article with it.
Compatible with Smart Homes
5QS Das Keyboard
Have you ever fantasised about having a keyboard that can communicate with your refrigerator? You’ve come to the right place. The Das Keyboard 5QS is a formidable and well-designed gaming keyboard with all of the expected bells and whistles, such as RGB lighting and a configurable knob for additional functions. It can also communicate with other smart home gadgets. You can programme your keyboard to flash a specific key for reminders, dim your smart lights, or even notify you when someone leaves the garage door open using IFTTT shortcuts. Why shouldn’t your keyboard, in this day of smart coffee mugs and Wi-Fi-connected juicers, give you a bit more control over the things in your life?
For Automated Creativity
Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Logitech G915
The Logitech G915 is designe to be a gaming keyboard, but if you spend a lot of time in Photoshop, Premiere, Cinema 4D, Blender, or any other creative number, it’ll be perfect for you. The raised mechanical keys are easy to use and give a pleasing travel experience without adding too much heft to the board. Pulling on the keys, on the other hand, puts them at risk of shattering, so don’t do it. You can switch between Logitech’s Lightspeed wireless connection and Bluetooth with ease, making it simple to switch to your laptop and continue working without interruption.
The group of five macro keys on the left side of the board is the genuine show-stealer. These keys can be programmed with automatic actions and custom shortcuts, as well as run scripts, using the Logitech G Hub software. We’re big supporters of leveraging gaming hardware for productivity, and these additional keys are ideal. There are plenty to give you extra alternatives without turning your daily vehicle into a tank that takes up your entire workstation. If you use the G915 TKL, you can save even more space by removing the numpad, but you’ll lose the macro keys as well.
Fans of the Wheel of Fortune
Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Corsair K100 RGB
With RGB backlights, a few customizable macro keys, and a volume roller, the Corsair K100 RGB is a very ordinary keyboard in most aspects. The control wheel in the top left corner, though, is what sets it different. This dial may be used to scroll through media, control the keyboard’s brightness, and control a number of other built-in features.
It’s also possible to personalise the dial. In my tests, it seemed to be a touch finicky in some applications—I couldn’t get it to scrub through the timeline properly in Premiere Pro, for example—but it’s still a useful tool that you don’t see on other boards.