Looking for a great gaming keyboard? Here is our list of all the best keyboards available for gaming in 2018. Tested by our dedicated gaming team.

Having the best gaming keyboard is quintessential to the gaming experience. It’s no coincidence that the best gamers, professionally and amongst your friend circles, have the best gaming keyboards. The worldwide market for PC games topped a whopping 32 billion dollars just this year. Which is higher than the console and mobile markets too. Marketing and crowdsourcing prowess displayed by companies like the Valve Corporation have seen titles like Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends and Social Network based gaming, enter the billion dollar league.

An excellent gaming keyboard combined with your razor-sharp reflexes can elevate you to new heights in the gaming world. We’ve put together a list of our favorites this year.


RELATED: More interested in Mechanical keyboards? Here is our complete top 10.


10. Redragon Karura K502

Close up of the new 2017 Reddragon keyboardBuy From Amazon

As a solid choice for the avid gamer, the Redragon Karura doesn’t disappoint. Packed with 19 non-conflict keys and adjustable input speeds. This keyboard is indeed a great buy, but not at all without flaws.

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This keyboard was on our list of the best keyboards for last year, and with the newer model, it is no different. Although it is mostly its design that has been upgraded, the ergonomics are also a lot better. The keys have also been replaced with new ones. The keys were a big problem with the last version, and I would love to say that they have completely fixed it. Although the feel of the buttons has been improved a lot, they are still an issue.

What we have to remember is that this is a budget keyboard. So we shouldn’t hold it to the same standards as the Logitech and Razer keyboards of the world. The buttons do feel a little cheap, and that can be quite annoying. However, that is to be expected from a console of this pricing.

You have the option of choosing between 7 backlit colors and 4 brightness levels which are very cool. And the new case design makes the LED lighting even better than before.

You have the option of swapping the WASD keys with the arrow keys, to elevate your gaming experience. This can be quite useful for FPS gamers in particular, but the truth is that very few people would use it. So it’s a nice extra touch, but nothing too useful.

The space bar is quite hefty, and this is a big no for most hard-core gamers. We feel the Redragon is a solid choice if you want a keyboard that doubles up as your work and gaming keyboard.

Final Verdict

The big downside with this Reddragon keyboard is indeed the keys, which feel cheap. It is nonetheless one of the best keyboards when considering the price tag.

Very few would be able to create this kind of performance for so little money.

This keyboard is for the mid-level gamer, who aren’t serious enough to spend too much money but still want above average performance. In which case, we highly recommend it.

Specifications:

  • 12 multimedia keys & 19 non-conflict keys
  • Interface: Gold plated USB with braided cable
  • Size: 17.75x8x.75 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 Pounds
Redragon Karura
7.4 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Highly customizable
+ Coarse texture so that you can really feel each key
+ Great for both work & gaming
+ Improved 2017 built & design
The Bad
- Sticky Keys
- hefty Space bar
Feel/Performance7.5
Specs/Features7
Quality6
Price9

9. Aula SI-859

Image of Aula keyboard without mouseBuy From Amazon

The AULA SI – 859 is another economical option, perfect for the novice or semi-serious gamer. What we liked the most was that the design made key transitions extremely easy.

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A minor letdown was that the laser carved characters wear off easily.

You have the option of choosing between three backlight colors (red, blue, pink) which for the price we thought was just fine.

More often than not people who are gaming a lot tend to experience hand fatigue. This keyboard has a comfortable palm rest to assist you when gaming for extended hours. Although we would have preferred a detachable one since it’s not everyone that enjoy wrist rests.

The big major issue with this keyboard is that it’s a relatively cheap build with really bright LED lighting. This can cause it to overheat if you play on it for too long. It has to be said though, that this requires you to play A LOT in one sitting and we did not experience it. The overheating can be easily fixed by unplugging the keyboard for a little while. This will never be a problem for a casual gamer, for whom this keyboard is clearly made. It is, however, an unforgivable problem for a serious hardcore gamer.

Final Verdict

This keyboard is an excellent choice for any casual gamer, which games a few hours a day or less. And to those gamers, we highly recommend it, considering it has very affordable pricing.

This keyboard cannot be recommended for the serious gamer, in which case you need to be willing to spend more than this.

In term of performance, this keyboard delivers on a level far higher than most other keyboards of its price class. When in the midst of a gaming session, you most likely won’t notice you are using a budget keyboard. Unless you are used to a high-end mechanical keyboard or something of the sort.

Specifications:

  • Interface: USB
  • Size: 45.8*19*3 cm
  • Weight: 1.5 Pounds
  • 6 Multimedia Keys
Aula SI-859
7.6 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Non Slip ergonomic design
+ Great Price
+ Ultra-thin design
+ Great Palm Rest
The Bad
- Enter key a bit off
- Letters can wear off a bit quickly
- Can overheat in rare cases after excessive use
Feel/Performance7
Specs/Features7
Quality7
Price9.5

8. Emarth Mechanical Feel Wired Keyboard

Image of cheap keyboard with mechanical feelBuy From Amazon

We now turn to the Emarth Mechanical feel keyboard, the first semi-mechanical option on our list. This keyboard is great for the casual gamer, or anyone looking to get a feel for mechanical keyboards, but aren’t ready to buy a real one just yet.

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It’s quite impressive how great performance and mechanical feel you get for your buck with this one. It is obviously not as good as a real mechanical keyboard, but they are also quite a bit more expensive if you want a decent one at least.

If the work-life balance is your thing, then this keyboard might be a good choice for you. The mechanical feel works great for people who use their keyboard for typing, in relation to work, etc.

The non-conflict keys and customizability was impressive for the price which makes it a great budget option. For those wondering, non-conflict keys are the budget version of anti-ghosting. Real anti-ghosting would have been better undoubtedly, but for a budget keyboard like this one, it’s pretty neat with some non-conflict keys.

The area where we found this piece wanting was related to comfort. While it does have a wrist rest, it can be quite uncomfortable to game for long hours. This can be a bit subjective though and wouldn’t be a problem if there were an option to detach it, but sadly there is not. However, the wrist rest is less prominent than most other wrist rests.

While this is not an actual mechanical keyboard, it does an excellent job of replicating the feel of one.

The LED lighting was pretty neat too. If you are just starting out or need a backup keyboard, then we highly recommend the Emarth gaming keyboard.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a great mechanical keyboard, this is not the pick for you. However, if you are looking for something in between membrane and mechanic, it is an excellent choice. Undoubtedly the best semi-mechanical option in its price range.

It is not the most comfortable of keyboards, but a budget option has to have its flaws. All and all you get a lot of high-level performance for your money with the Emarth console, and we recommend it to any severe and avid gamer.

Specifications

  • Semi-mechanical
  • 19 non-conflict keys
  • Plug and play
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Size: 17.7 x 8 x 1.8 inches
Emarth Keyboard
7.8 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Very low price
+ Good mechanical keyboard feel
+ Non-conflict keys
+ Decent LED
The Bad
- Very noisy keys
- Design has a cheap feel
- Inferior to a real mechanical keyboard
Feel/Performance8
Specs/Features7
Quality7
Price9

Related: Check out our list of the best headsets for gaming.


7. Corsair K40 Raptor Gaming Keyboard

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Another on our list that rivals a lot of mechanical board on the market is the K40 by Corsair. Corsair is quite a trusted brand in the gaming industry, and they deliver a product worthy of that.

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One this Corsair can always be trusted to bring is quality. All their products are built for endurance and comfort.

The customizability that this keyboard offers from game specific anti-ghosting to on the fly macro recording impressed us very much. It is so rare to see 100% anti-ghosting capabilities in a membrane keyboard.

It has 6 programmable keys, which may seem on the low side. But the truth is that most gamers don’t even use the macro keys, and almost anyone will be content with 6 macro keys.

Although this keyboard is slightly on the pricey side, it sure is worth the investment. The weight and quality aluminum frame make you feel every single penny you spent and gives a great feeling of quality to the product.

The rubber dome or pads house multimedia keys that offer all the standard on the fly customization options. This is always a welcomed feature since no one likes to go to the desktop to turn their volume up or down.

The accuracy and speed of the keystrokes were top-notch. Profiles are stored on the keyboard as well if you decide to use it on multiple PCs.

This board is extremely quiet too. The F keys are quite close to one another compared with other brands so that this keyboard might need some time to bed in. Despite all that, this is an excellent buy for all serious gamers out there.

Final Verdict

While it is not a cheap keyboard by any means, it holds great value for money. 100% anti-ghosting and quality frame build is not something you often see in a mid-range keyboard.

The k40 is the first keyboard on the list that we would recommend to the truly serious gamers, and it is among the best on the market.

The K40 was built while keeping hard-core gamers in mind. Which Corsair accomplishes nicely, with the anti-ghosting and fast, responsive button usage.

A minor issue is the macro keys, which can seem out-of-place to some people. So if you enjoy setting up those buttons, you might want to look into another option on the list.

Specifications

  • 6 Programmable keys
  • Size: 18.4 x 7.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Interface: USB
  • 16.8M backlighting colors

Corsair K40
8.0 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ 100% Anti-Ghosting
+ Extremely high quality design
+ Professional grade performance
The Bad
- Aesthetics could be better
- Some key placements need time to get used to
Feel/Performance8
Specs/Features8.5
Quality8.5
Price7

6. Logitech G105

Image of Logitech G105 keyboardBuy From Amazon

The G105 is the first but not last Logitech keyboard on our list. Unlike the G510 series, this one is more for the mid-level gaming bracket.

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This keyboard has an impressive array of features including long-lasting keys and backlighting that helps you out long-term.

The programmable keys are just 6 which is lesser than the G510s or Razer for instance, but the performance is quite stable. Ideal for the semi-pro gamer.

An improvement we thought Logitech could make for this, is to include more Anti-Ghosting options. Which would be quite reasonable considering its price. Pro gamers usually need more key combos and simultaneous presses. 10 or so anti-ghosting keys would make this a better option. The keyboard has 5 multi-press keys, which is an excellent substitute for anti-ghosting, but we would have liked the real thing.

Most gamers, however, is pretty used to not having anti-ghosting buttons, in which case it won’t bother you at all.

For these sacrifices, there are a lot of benefits too. The price is very reasonable, responsiveness-wise the keyboard wasn’t spectacular but did the job.

One potential issue is the placement of the macro buttons. If you plan to use them, they are in a great spot and is easy to reach. They can however easily be miss clicked when trying to hit your tab button or shift button.

Final Verdict

The quality is rock solid and will last for as long as you will have it. Which is just the thing, we feel that while this is a great gaming keyboard, it is a little bland. Very standard in most ways and besides the G macro keys there is not much unique going on.

Will you regret buying the G105? No. Will you be excited about it? Probably not. The keyboard is excellent and performs great, but it has no real X factor. This makes it a smart pick, but probably not one that will improve your love for gaming.

This keyboard is a good fit for pretty much any gamer. Whether you are entirely new or have been gaming for a decade. Just because it has no real flaws, but no real allure either.

Specifications

  • 6 Programmable Keys with 18 unique functions
  • 5 Key Anti-Ghosting
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Size: 19.6 x 8.78 x 1.65 inches
Logitech G105
8 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Macro recording is very good
+ Reasonably priced
+ Great overall performance
+ Sturdy built
The Bad
- LED quality could be better
- Key spacing can take some getting used to
Feel/Performance8.5
Specs/Features8
Quality8.5
Price7

5. Rosewill Neon K51B

Image of Neon K51B keyboardBuy From Amazon

The Neon K51B from Rosewill is a phenomenal hybrid board with an astonishing amount of value for your money.

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The Rosewill K51 is another membrane-mechanical hybrid similar to the Razer Ornata that is worth considering if you are looking to upgrade your gaming keyboard.
So why is the K51 good? Well, first up price wise it’s much lesser than the Razer Ornata but offers good performance as well. We feel like this should be the ideal amount for a hybrid keyboard.

The easy access multimedia keys & its hassle free plug & play option makes this one of the more comfortable options to use. Performance wise it’s definitely a big step up from any membrane keyboard out there. Concerning feel, it’s not as clicky as most people prefer (relative to full on mechanicals). Response time wise this keyboard is excellent.

A significant difference between the Razer Ornata and the K51 is the keycap height the former had mid height keycaps which can take some getting used to, but the K51 has easily removable keycaps that you find on most mechanicals in the market. The 19 key Anti-ghosting option was also a nice touch considering the price point. This is one of the more delightful options that’s close to plug & play as well.

A couple of downsides with the K51 is that the backlighting isn’t the greatest out there. Additionally, there aren’t any save settings so every time you restart the keyboard, it resets to its rainbow backlighting format. Some users also mentioned having issues with the keys regarding the amount of force they need to apply for it to register.

One can argue for sure about why we needed to include three hybrids in our ”best gaming keyboard list”, well we feel that the membrane-mecha offerings specifically the three we have mentioned have the capability to satisfy the consistent/ experienced gamer and offer mid to high-level performance. Which is essentially what many are after.

Specifications:
On the fly multimedia adjustments
19 key anti-ghosting
Size: 1.57″ x 17.70″ x 6.50″
Weight: 2.45lbs

Rosewill Neon K51B
8.3 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Detachable Palm & wrist rest
+ Good price
+ Plug-n-play
+ Full sized key caps feel good for typing as well
The Bad
- Limited to just 8 backlighting options
- Settings reset on restart
Feel/Performance8.5
Specs/Features8.5
Quality8
Price9

4. Razer DeathStalker Chroma

Picture of the best ordinary keyboard by RazerBuy From Amazon

Just like almost every Razer keyboard out in the market, the first thing that caught our attention is how amazing it looks. The super elegant design with slim chiclet keycaps is quite stunning from the outside.

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The Deathstalker is fully loaded on the inside too, with fully programmable keys and on the fly macro recording, which is perfect if you are looking to move up into the pro arena. The Razer synapse records all your customizations and preferences in the cloud. This is a nice touch, but not many gamers find this necessary.

Like any Razer product, the Razer Synapse can be used to synchronize with other Razer products. Making it possible to create an absolutely stunning LED gaming setup.

What we love about this keyboard is that every command is executed accurately, and the precision is phenomenal, at least among membrane keyboards.

A great feature with any Chroma Razer product is the LED lighting. Customization is virtually endless, and the brightness level is just right.

Razer Synapse is great for people who are new to gaming software. It is easy to use and have a ton of features. Everything from simple things like changing the backlight to macro management and key usage heatmaps. The software is a real treat if you enjoy that sort of thing.

The Deathstalker have no media outlet, which was a minor letdown. We also feel that the wrist rest could stand to be a little softer. Since it doesn’t feel that much like a wrist rest but more like an extension of the keyboard itself.

Final Verdict

The price is a bit over the top for the Chroma version, which is worth to bear in mind. You get the same keyboard, minus the LED customization, with the expert version, however. Which is worth considering, unless you really enjoy the backlighting.

 The DeathStalker Expert/Chroma is a must have for its performance alone. But the LED, ergonomics and pure quality, merely add to the product’s overall rating. Which left us with no choice but to place it among our favorites of the year.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Chicklet keycaps
  • Macro recording on the fly
  • Razer Synapse 2.0
  • 10-key rollover

Razer DeathStalker
8.4 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Super responsive keys
+ Individually backlit keys
+ Fantastic overall performance
+ Endless Chroma customization
The Bad
- A bit pricey
- No media outlet
Feel/Performance8.5
Specs/Features9
Quality8.5
Price7

Note: We tested the Chroma version, which grants endless LED customization. We do recommend buying the expert version if you just want the standard Razer green backlighting and wanna save a few bucks.


Related: Great keyboards deserve a great mouse. Here is our buying guide.


3. Logitech G213

Image of Logitech G213Buy From Amazon

The Logitech G213 despite being a membrane keyboard is quite a formidable option amongst gamers thanks to its impressive response time when compared to other membrane keyboards. There are many other upsides too. Let’s jump in…

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The G213 is one of the more aesthetically pleasing keyboards in the market. The customizable RGB lighting through the easy to use Logitech software will make any gaming setup look more stunning. The keyboard is very comfortable, especially for typing. It’s also much quieter when compared to mechanicals despite using mech dome keys.

The G213 is also one of the well-built ones by Logitech with there being very few reports of keys getting stuck and other functionality issues. The programmable F keys and the easy access media controls make the experience even smoother. Build quality we found to be very good. This keyboard doesn’t feel cheap at all and on the contrary is resistant to dirt & even liquid spills to an extent. These are features that make this keyboard formidable for everyday use & the entry-level gamer on a budget.

The downsides as you might have guessed is that despite its impressive response time, and feel it’s not too much of a match for high-end mechanical keyboards concerning tactile feedback and 1ms response times. Another small issue is that the wrist rest isn’t detachable. This is a feature that many users expressed their desire to have.

The bottom line is that if you are just getting into the gaming space or need a backup keyboard or even one that you like to use in different environments such as work, then the G213 is a no-brainer. For its price, we feel it provides a lot of value to the user especially performance & durability wise.

Specifications:
12 customizable F keys
Customizable RGB lighting zones
16.8 million colors to choose from
Size: 10.4 x 1.5 x 8.6 inches
Weight: 2.4 pounds

Logitech G213
8.5 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Dedicated media controls
+ Incredibly fast response time
+ Very durable & spill resistant
+ Comfy palm rest design
The Bad
- Wrist rest isn’t removable
- Performance not fully on par with mechanicals
Feel/Performance9
Specs/Features8.5
Quality8.5
Price8

2. SteelSeries 64470 Apex 350

Image of the best SteelSeries keyboardBuy From Amazon

No list of gaming gear is complete without at least one piece of SteelSeries equipment. The Apex 350 is a true testament to Steelseries expertise and experience as a gaming brand.

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This keyboard is for gamers, true gamers. Not writer’s, desk workers or any of the sort. This keyboard is for people with gaming in their blood. This keyboard has some of the best tactile feedback and most responsive buttons we have ever experienced on a regular gaming keyboard. Only matched by some of the best mechanical keyboards.

The design is beautiful, and the LED looks stunning. It is quite massive, which is something you should be prepared for when buying it.

There are a ton of macro button customization, making it ideal for MMORPG’s, MOBA’s and RTS games. The macro keys are also ergonomically elevated, making them a lot more comfortable to use than most macro buttons.

Some of the buttons can come off as a bit too sensitive at times, especially the space button. This was never an issue for me when testing it out, but my colleague did find it a little annoying.

It has 10 fully functioning anti-ghosting buttons, which honestly seem better than most rollover keysets. We were sad to see that the entire keyset did not have anti-ghosting. However, 100% anti-ghosting is very overestimated, since anyone rarely use more than 10 keys at a time.

Final Verdict

The Danish SteelSeries really made a genuine quality product with the Apex 350. The keyboard feels extremely solid and sturdy. This is mostly due to the weight of the board and the quality fabrics used.

We were torn on whether or not this keyboard deserved the number 1 or 2 on this list. However, we never considered ranking it worse. And being the second best among the best of the best is quite the accomplishment.

Any gamer would be lucky to have the Apex 350 as part of their gaming setup. It doesn’t matter if you are a competitive or a casual player, this keyboard will suit you perfectly.

Because of the price we would mostly recommend it to the serious gamer.

Specifications

  • 10 Rollover anti-ghosting keys
  • Media outlet
  • SteelSeries engine for macro management and gamer profiles
  • Fully LED-backlit

SteelSeries Apex 350
8.5 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Premium Danish quality
+ Anti-Ghosting
+ Media outlet
+ Fast & responsive
The Bad
- Pricey
- Quite big
Feel/Performance10
Specs/Features9
Quality9
Price6

1. Razer Ornata

Image of the best Razer keyboard

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The Ornata chroma is an impressive offering by Razer which tries to absolve the best of the mechanical & membrane keyboards’ characteristics.

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The Razer is one of the most comfortable keyboards you can own in the market not just due to the large wrist rest you see but due to the membrane feel it has. It’s pretty well known that full-on mechanicals can cause fatigue but the Ornata Chroma is a good option if you game for hours on end. The wrist rest is magnetic/ detachable, and some users reported that they preferred the magnet to be much stronger.

Membrane meets mechanical might not yet be as popular as say rock meeting rap in the late 90s/ early 2000s but its performance is still outstanding. During our tests, we found this feeling to be unique and it most certainly offers faster actuation & a very satisfying click sound that most gamers love.

You can pretty much customize everything there is to customize regarding lighting, on the fly macro recording, etc. You can execute ten commands at once thanks to the ten rollover keys.

Not everything is rosy with the Ornata Chroma, however, as some folks do find it hard to justify getting this over a full-on mechanical given its price point and this is a viewpoint we tend to agree with as well especially if you are looking for absolute performance one way or another. Also, the clicks have been reported to be inconsistent by many users especially the feel of the spacebar over time.

Specifications:
10 key rollover
Dedicated Gaming mode
Size: 6.67 x 18.24 x 1.3 in
Weight: 2.1 lbs
16.8 Million RGB lighting
Razer Chroma sync software

Razer Ornata
8.6 / 10 Editors Raiting
The Good
+ Fast & tactile feedback
+ Ergonomic Wrist rest
+ Aesthetically one of the best around
+ Highly customizable
The Bad
- Not as responsive as the Razer Blackwidow
- Pricey for a membrane keyboard
Feel/Performance9
Specs/Features9
Quality8.5
Price7

Related: If you are a true Razer fan, you need to check out our list of the best Razer products.


How to Pick the Best Keyboard – Buying Guide

There are many different keyboards offering many different solutions. We at Progamerreview look through all these features and ascertain which features are essential and need to be uncompromised for a great gaming experience. Irrespective of your gaming level, if you are in the market for a gaming keyboard, make sure you keep all these factors in mind when making your purchase decision.

Ergonomics

picture of an ergonomic gaming keyboardFrom a technical standpoint, the ergonomics are not part of the core function of a keyboard but from a user standpoint, it is extremely vital. Everything from key placement to wrist rests and slopes for your wrist is utilized, to make sure you have an injury free and comfortable experience. The feel of the keys is also dependent on the material used to make them. Some keyboards retain the sweat and offer a sticky experience, we have ruled these out of contention too for your benefit. Gaming for long hours is quite common these days, and the longer your hands stay planted and in a neutral position the better. This helps prevent stress on the joint and inflammation too.

Core Game Performance

Anti-Ghosting is a feature that is exclusive to gaming keyboards. Anti-Ghosting is basically the ability to register multiple keys pressed simultaneously. This is vital for most competitive gamers.

Connectivity is another aspect to watch out for. People tend to prefer wired over wireless despite the clutter cables cause. Wired keyboards don’t have to deal with any interference issues and connectivity lapses, especially in-game. It would be pretty bad to have a lag that is created by your own device. Despite all that wireless devices do have their upsides. Most keyboards have a standard 2.4 GHz wireless connection to your PC and can the quality is steadily seen to be improving. Wireless come in handy especially when you use the PC for activities besides gaming by offering a great deal of convenience.

Customization software

screen capture of Razer Synapse customization softwareWhilst a casual gamer tends to look for plug play models in the market. Hardcore gamers who are constantly pushing boundaries need all sorts of data to improve their game. Everything from macro recording, pre-set profiles, lighting and mapping need to be optimized to ensure that their technique and performance constantly improves. Some keyboards we have picked out also have the added advantage of cloud storage for settings, which means that even if you decide to upgrade or buy a new keyboard you always have your best settings available to you at all times.

Key Switch Type

Image of our keyboard showing mechanical switches

Non-mechanical keyboards make use of something that is called silicone dome switches. If you happen to be like some of us curious gamers then you would have pulled out a few keys on your keyboard back in the day or in the early 2000s, you would find a small silicone domes that use a rubbery material as a switch. For regular folk, this basically means it takes more time to register a key press and it may also have a sort of mushy feel. While these don’t have much of a great feel, you will find that a scissor variant which utilizes a stabilizing mechanism offer better performance and durability by reducing the depth of a keystroke significantly. This is quite common on a lot of thin laptops on the market today.

Aesthetics

Close-up picture of a backlit keyboardNot the most vital of features for some but it sure makes the keyboard look amazing. LED lighting can be found on most mechanical and non-mechanical keyboards. If you like to customize each and every aspect of the lighting then make sure you go for keyboards that have a single key or sectional lighting rather than the entire piece. Software like SteelSeries Engine and Razor’s Synapse are great to have. Most of all, these make the keyboards look super slick and expensive.

 


Honorable Mentions

Let us take a look at a few keyboards that didn’t make our top 10 but still did really well in our tests.

Perixx PX-1100

We now come to the PX-1100 by Perixx. While not as good as the number 4 and 5 on the list, it is one of the best value for money deals on the market.

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Review

Features from the intensity dial to all the other adjustments are primarily focused on the things that augment your gaming experience. Nonetheless, this is a great plug and play backlit keyboard option. The media outlet can make the keyboard feel a bit cluttered at times, but you rarely use that part of the product anyway. Which makes it a non-issue.

The keyboard feels more durable and qualitative than any other of its price class. The keys have a life cycle of up to 20 million clicks, which is pretty incredible for a membrane keyboard.

A pretty comfortable keyboard that works on a MAC as well if you are looking for a piece to double up during work sessions too.

The palm rest is a real treat and fully adjustable. This adds a lot of comfort and freedom during longer gaming sessions.

One minor issue we discovered was about the keys. Then can end up being a little squeaky after long time use. Truth be told though, you most likely won’t notice it, unless you are typing in a completely silent environment. Making it a bad choice for a workplace, but just fine for gaming.

The LED options are really quite phenomenal. Especially the red color option looks terrific. And let’s be honest… LED lighting matter!

Final Verdict

This board is ideal if you are a semi-serious or entry-level gamer. I’d even argue it works just fine for hardcore gamers as well. Although I would recommend the Razer, SteelSeries or Logitech G510 if you are a competitive player.

While not a gaming monster, such as the G510 or the Razer Deathstalker, it performs admirably. Especially considering it is very affordable, it might even be one of the products with the best value for money we have ever reviewed.

Most gamers will be more than content with this keyboard, but if you are a high-end competitive gamer, we recommend you look into some of the other of our top 5 picks.

Specifications 

  • Key Life: 20 million key presses
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Size: 19.5 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Interface: Wired USB with 6-foot cable
  • Plug and play

EnergyPal FireBold P360

The EnergyPal FireBold P360 is one of the major surprises of our list. This amazing keyboard truly does offer an effective mechanical feel and for a very affordable price as well.

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It’s rare to find a membrane-based keyboard that is able to replicate the performance of most mechanical based boards, but this one sure holds its own.

It is a bit more expensive than the Emarth, but still quite affordable and it performs on par with it. Making that extra money spent, truly worth.

The first thing that caught our eye was indeed the lighting system. The backlighting on this keyboard is truly top-notch and can match or surpass most major brands.

This keyboard is primed for those looking to take the step up from a novice level to the pro stage.

The Firebold actually have 26 anti-ghosting keys, and we have no idea how they managed to put that into a budget keyboard. The Razer Blackwidow, which is the most popular mechanical gaming keyboard in the world, only have 10. Now that should put things into perspective.

The design makes for a very dust-resistant design, which we liked very much as well. The board is compatible with windows 10 as well and experienced no issues, unlike some other pieces that required driver changes and more.

The aluminum frame makes this keyboard feel a lot more expensive than it is. Most budget products have some major issues that reveal the cheap interior, but we did not manage to find it with the EnergyPal Firebold. You most likely won’t ever notice that this keyboard is so cheap.

We highly recommend this board to anyone looking for a semi-mechanical option, as it offers solid performance for the price.

Final Verdict

This is probably one of the best deals of the year. The amount of performance and features it manages to put out is simply astounding for its price.

It does still not perform on par with the high-end keyboards of the list, or a real mechanical keyboard for that matter. But it makes a great substitution.

Perfect choice for the serious gamer on a budget or anyone looking to get a feel for mechanical keyboards.

Specifications

  • Semi-mechanical/ membrane based
  • Size: 17 x 3 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Interface: Gold plated USB
  • 26 Anti-Ghosting keys

Logitech G510 Gaming Keyboard

The Logitech G510 is a keyboard crafted specifically for the true professionals. The question is, can it live up to professional standards?

Expand for Full Review

The G510s is quite expensive, which can be felt throughout the product. Quality is top-notch, as well as its performance. We do still feel that it is a little overpriced though.

A feature that strikes everyone is the LCD game panel mounted on the top. This is a feature that you either love, or you won’t find a use for. It can show various things and can be set up with specific games. Showing your in-game health and mana for an example, or you can choose to make it show the CPU/GPU’s current processing power. Which is quite handy when trying out different graphics options in-game, and to make sure you don’t push your computer too far.  The possibilities are many with the LCD display, but truth is that most people won’t even bother using it. Making it a waste of money for some.

Performance wise, this gaming keyboard is a beast. Boasting six-key anti-ghosting and a hydrophobic coating on the surface, this board is designed for great performance over extended periods. Even though the keyboard was designed for Windows 7 & 8, it functions very well on Windows 10 PCs too. While 6 anti-ghosting keys are nice, we would like to see a full rollover keyset for this one.

Text broadcasts and DPI switching through microphone channels worked very well. If you are ready to gank and like to communicate with your team a lot, then this feature is cool.

Coming back to the LCD panel, we felt that this can be a bit better in a number of ways. The default apps present are very restrictive and the screen itself has a very poor refresh rate. The YouTube video player app present has had issues as well.

The backlighting feels a bit week, and could certainly stand to be improved. It helps a lot if you have another Logitech product it synchronizes with, not because it changes the keyboard’s lighting, but synchronizing LED light is always beautiful.

Final Verdict

Overall, performance-wise this is a great buy, quite astounding actually. It has 2 major issues, however.

If you don’t intend on using the LCD display, this keyboard is simply overpriced. If you don’t mind to spend a lot of money in order to ensure you get a quality product, it is still a great product. But you will be better off with some of our other top choices if you don’t plan on using its one-of-a-kind features.

It cost the same as some of the best Logitech mechanical keyboards, so unless you are certain you want a membrane keyboard. You should look into the Orion series instead.

Specifications:

  • 12 programmable keys/ 36 unique functions
  • 6 simultaneous key presses without ghosting
  • 2 high-speed USB ports
  • LCD game panel

Q & A about gaming keyboards

Frequently asked questions about keyboards for PC gaming

Q: With mechanical keyboards flooding the market, is membrane keyboards even a legit gaming option anymore?

A: Yes, definitely! All humans are so different, and it is down to every single one of us to decide what things we like and what we prefer. We should not let other people dictate what to play on. On paper, mechanical keyboards may have more pros than a regular keyboard, but that does not mean it is the superior option for everyone. Not to mention that ordinary keyboards generally grant more value for money.

Q: do professional gamers still use membrane keyboards?

A: Generally, no. Almost all professional gamers prefer mechanical keyboards, but most gamers are not professionals. Unless you play at a very high level, you should not compare yourself with eSport players, but instead, focus on what you enjoy to play on. For a lot of gamers, the extra money for a mechanical option may very well not be worth it.

Q: Is it true that ordinary keyboards are not very durable?

A: No, but it is a popular argument against them. A decent membrane gaming keyboard usually last about 20 million keystrokes, compared to mechanical keyboards which usually last twice as long. However, most people won’t even use a keyboard for the 20 million. So even though the enhanced durability in a mech board is nice, it is something that very few will actually benefit from and most people won’t even wear out an ordinary one.

Q: Do ordinary keyboards also have anti-ghosting?

A: Yes! in fact, it was first introduced a long time before mech keyboards where mainstream. While mech keyboards may have superior rollover keysets, some normal keyboards still have very decent anti-ghosting and most gamers will not experience the difference. Keyboards such as the SteelSeries Apex 350 has excellent anti-ghosting, which actually perform on par with very decent mech options.

Q: What is RGB and is it an important feature?

A: it may be important to some, but in terms of gaming performance, it has no effect what so ever. RGB mean red-green-blue and it is a feature that enables you to configure and customize the LED lighting with every single color variant known to man.

Q: I have always used normal keyboards but I am considering trying out a mechanical option, what would you recommend?

A: If you are a little unsure about the transfer from membrane to mechanical, then I would highly recommend trying out one of the semi-mechanical options on this list, such as the Emarth or the Energypal Firebold. They both grant much of the tactile feedback that a mechanical board does, but at the same time they are still membrane boards and will feel very familiar and safe if you are used to ordinary keyboards.

Q: Is there any wireless keyboards you would recommend?

A: Generally no, wired keyboards are just better. However, these are the 7 that we would recommend.


Sources

This is a list of the sources used to research information for this article.

Prohavit, membrane keyboard vs mechanical keyboards, official Havit site.

PCWorld, keyboards: should you switch? PC world blog post, talking about making the switch from normal to a mechanical keyboard.

Gazettereview, what is the difference between membrane and mechanical keyboards?, a great blog post about the difference between normal and mech keyboards.

Microsoft, keyboard ghosting explained! an incredible article from Microsoft and applied science talking about keyboard ghosting.

 

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