10 Best Gaming Keyboards And Guide

10 Best Gaming Keyboards And Guide

As gaming constantly increases in fun, popularity, and wallet draining tactics, keyboards were redesigned to specifically help gamers try to get the most out of their games. Keyboards lately can go from various swappable parts to audio and tactile feedback to programmable keys (macros). The list goes on!! So far the main differences are in what’s used to manufacture it, the features, and how they feel to the gamer in question. Do note that the last part of those differences is the typical deciding factor. The gamers’ wallet usually has a high part in the decision too. But if the board feels like a +10 piece of space trash, the gamer would typically move on.

Ok, what’s the difference between a standard and gaming keyboard?

With a standard keyboard, you have the key cap (yeah, the cover you’ve been pressing all along!!), a rubber dome as a type of spring, and a membrane mat on the bottom of it all. So when you press any given key, it’s actually the piece inside the rubber dome hitting the membrane mat which registers the key press. On a laptop, it’s a similar idea but the rubber dome is attached to a scissors type switch underneath instead of a membrane mat. As a result, laptop keyboards are made thinner which provides less distance between the key press and it being registered. So it’s a bit more sensitive compared to a standard keyboard.

Now enter the mechanical keyboards

With the mechanical keyboards, the more popular choice for gamers, you have a very different setup. The idea is the same but the parts are much more swappable. Each key is an individual piece on the keyboard. You don’t like it or it breaks? Simply replace it. If it breaks, you might not have to replace the entire keyboard. But the mechanical keyboards are built tougher compared to standard and laptop keyboards. The idea is to make them last a lot longer against the usual “beating” from a gamers’ playtime!!

Each key on a mechanical keyboard has the key cap and a spring loaded switch underneath. There are several different types of switches available. They are sorted by their color.

  • Clicky type: This just means when you press the key, you’ll hear it click. Some of them can get noisy!! But the audio feedback of it let’s some gamers know they pressed a key. Blue and green switches are clicky types.
  • Tactile type: These provide a little recoil when you press the key. Think of it more along the lines of the key is tapping you back to let you know that key was definitely pressed. Brown, clear, and blue switches have this.
  • Linear type: This type works like a standard keyboard but needs a little more effort to register a keystroke. Red and black switches are linear type. It helps with accidental double key presses. I’d imagine these are also made for those with “heavier hands”. Do note that a gamer could very well have “heavy hands” to the point where they could decapitate you with 1 punch. That doesn’t mean they’re slow on a keyboard!! The point being, they can apply more force naturally to get the key press to register and not worry that the board will snap under their fingers!!

What about the stabilizers?

Have a look see at any standard keyboard. If you rest your finger just on top of it, you’ll notice you can those keys wiggle around easily. Stabilizers remove or at least reduce that to the point where it’s not even noticeable. Apparently, some gamers don’t like wiggly keys!! But keep in mind, they do make another difference. That would be in the amount of force it takes for keystroke to register. So a good combination of switch and stabilizer could very well change the feel and help make up the buyer’s mind. A bad combination of these can very well change the feel and help reduce how long the keyboard lasts.

Ok, how about the key caps?

The keys caps are typically either Polyoxymethyleen (POM) or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). POM lasts longer and sometimes is smoother to the touch. ABS is more common. Again, it’ll come down to the feel of the keyboard most of the time.

You mentioned macros?!!

That’s right, you can record and/or program macros into gaming keyboards. So when it’s done one key press will playback the recording. While in game, some macro setups will allow you to loop those actions. You can take a whole set of actions in your game and assign it to any one of the given macro keys provided by your keyboard. Then make some more for the same game if you wanted to. Some keyboards will allow a recording only. Others make it much more complex and let you program the macro manually.

The upside is that a single key press saves you a potential series of complex key presses to do the same thing. Another upside is for repetitive chats. The downside is that it can get difficult to make macros if you don’t know how they work. The other downside is that for some games, a macro is being seen as pointless. So much of this will depend on the keyboard itself and the game in question.

 

Now on to the keyboards!!

Here are some of the best gaming keyboards available.

Notes:

These come in no particular order.

Prices can change at any time.

Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma

razerblackwidowtournamenteditionchroma

Price: $140

Pros:

  • Customizable backlights.
  • Smaller sized to make it a more portable
  • Very responsive
  • Short actuation points
  • Fully programmable keys

Cons:

  • Everyday typing is a love/hate situation
  • Complaints about the switches being rebranded Kailh switches
  • Can be noisy

 

Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum

Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum

Price: Between $120 to $180

Pros:

  • 9 macro keys
  • Media controls
  • Very decent for typing with included wrist rest
  • Customizable backlights
  • Excellent build quality

Cons:

  • Smartphone features are another love/hate. Mostly negative.
  • The mobile app for it is slow and the Windows version has more features.
  • The dock connection is flimsy so try not to touch it too much.

 

CM Storm Mech w/ Blue Switches

CM Storm Mech

Price: $230

Pros:

  • USB 3.0 hub and built in sound card
  • Macro recording
  • Excellent build quality
  • Swappable aluminum plate

Cons:

  • A bit big
  • NOT cheap!!
  • Can get noisy with those blue switches.

 

SteelSeries Apex M800

SteelSeries Apex M800

Price: Between $90 to $175

Pros:

  • Very responsive with 1.5mm key travel
  • Programmable keys. 6 macro keys on the left.
  • It’s quiet!!
  • Preset and customizable backlights
  • Pretty good for typing

Cons:

  • All plastic build
  • No media buttons
  • Regular typing might take some getting used to.

 

Corsair K95 RGB

Corsair K95 RGB

Price: Between $170 to $267

Pros:

  • Durable aluminum design and excellent build quality
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Very programmable including the backlights
  • One of the more popular brands/models
  • 18 macros keys
  • Dedicated media keys
  • Onboard memory

Cons:

  • No USB pass-through connection
  • Not cheap
  • A bit bigger sized

 

Roccat Ryos MK Pro

Roccat Ryos MK Pro

Price: Between $118 to $170

Pros:

  • Choice of Cherry MX key switches
  • Integrated media hub
  • Over 500 programmable macros
  • Onboard memory

Cons:

  • Costly unless you do the searching
  • LEDs have a tendency to stop working
  • So much customizing and programming that you might need a degree!!

 

Cherry MX 6.0

Cherry MX 6.0

Price: Between $174 to $220

Pros:

  • Pretty much the fastest keyboard out there
  • Aluminum housing makes for excellent build quality
  • All key switches can be read at the same time
  • Magnetic detachable wrist rest
  • Pretty good for typing

Cons:

  • Hope you like the color red!!
  • Non-removable USB cable
  • Costly

 

Division Zero x40 Pro

DivisionZero x40 Pro

Price: $129

Pros:

  • Switches with gold contacts
  • Sturdy build
  • 5 programmable macro keys
  • Top plate can be swapped for a little more customizing
  • Very responsive

Cons:

  • Not a large selection of face plates
  • Rather pricy all things considered
  • No one seems to like the top plate screws

 

Corsair Vengeance K95

Corsair Vengeance K95

Price: Between $150 to $190

Pros:

  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Set of 18 macro keys
  • Onboard memory
  • Cherry MX Red switches
  • Aluminum chassis with excellent build quality
  • Great for typing

Cons:

  • LED problems
  • RMA can get costly and very lengthy
  • Costly keyboard

 

Speedlink Ultor

Speedlink Ultor

Price: £80

Pros:

  • 5 profiles and 6 macro keys
  • Sturdy build with aluminum body
  • Onboard memory
  • Swappable WASD and arrow keys
  • Not terrible bad on the price for a mechanical keyboard!!

Cons:

  • The colors are not always appreciated
  • Takes getting used to because some keys are in a different location
  • Weak LEDs issues which don’t help the visibility of the keys

 

Happy Gaming!!

Just a gamer girl !!