On this list, we will be looking at the very best mechanical keyboards on the market as of 2018.
As always, we have tested them all in various types of games, to make sure we knew exactly what each keyboards strengths and weaknesses are.
Once you go mechanical, you never go back. That is almost always the truth of the matter, and for most serious gamers it will be a considerable upgrade to switch over to mechanical from a membrane.
If you are not entirely sure what a mechanical keyboard is. We have made a complete guide at the bottom of this list. Also, the switches between the keyboards vary a lot. So we made a comprehensive guide explaining the different mechanical switches.
I hope you will find this list useful in your search for a great keyboard.
Top 10 Mechanical Keyboards for Gaming
Are you more for traditional keyboards? Here is our list of the best membrane gaming keyboards.
10. Azio Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Kailh Brown Switches / Quiet & Tactile
If you want the most quality for your money, then this is a keyboard you have to consider. It is not the cheapest on the list, but it is still very affordable. The brushed aluminum and slick simplistic design give it such a qualitative feel to it. Something that is nigh impossible to match at this pricing.
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Regarding the mechanical sound/feel, it does quite a good job. It is worth noting that it has more of a ”clicky” sound as opposed to audible. This can be a major con or pro, depending on your personal preference. Whether you want an audible or clicky sound, it does not directly interfere with the gaming performance of the keyboard.
The wrist rest works nicely, and are easy to detach/attach.
The keycap puller does feel a little low quality, but as it is not a real part of the keyboard, it is not a significant issue in my opinion. It can, however, be annoying when/if you actually want to use it.
The rollover feature on this keyboard deserves to be mentioned. All buttons are completely roll over, which should please MOBA players especially. If you are not sure what rollover means, it is that you can press every key on the board at the same time, and they will all get registered. This is awesome when playing a high-intensity game like MOBA or FPS games.
The media control center on the upper right corner was also a nice addition. It looks super cool and keeps in tone with the rest of the board. And such convenience is always welcome.
Something that may be a deal breaker for some is the lack of complete anti-ghosting. It is worth mentioning that keyboards of this price do not usually have that, even if they advertise it. Although it does not have 100% anti-ghosting, the quality of the rollover keys give mostly the same experience as full anti-ghosting, and most people won’t feel the difference.
A truly great gaming keyboard, and one of the best bangs for your buck, on the market. If you are looking for an affordable but high-quality mechanical keyboard, then this I can highly recommend this beauty.
This keyboard was made as a mid-range mechanical keyboard with a high focus on quality. Mostly the keyboard does a fantastic job of hiding the fact that it is not a high-end keyboard. But there are a few examples, where Azio chose to cut corners, to keep the pricing down. There is a lack of rubber, which can sometimes make the keyboard slippery on rare occasions. And there are a few number of examples of the keycaps going a bit lose after extended use. However, Azio is known for fantastic customer support, which is always a huge plus.
The price and the overall quality nullify entirely the minor issues the board has.
MOBA and RTS players, in particular, will especially enjoy this one.
- Brushed aluminum build
- Complete rollover keycap set
- Media/volume control
- Detachable wrist rest
- Designed for Windows, but works alright on Mac’s as well
9. CM Storm QuickFire TK
Cherry MX Red Switches / Quiet & Minimum Tactile Feedback
Moving on, we have now come to this bestseller and classic. This keyboard is the dictionary definition of a mechanical keyboard, no more, no less.
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So why is it not higher on the list? Well, that’s quite simply because it is incredibly similar to the Redragon K552 yet not quite as good. However, the list wouldn’t be legit if the Quickfire wasn’t on here.
It is no surprise that one of the best mechanical keyboards there is felt like its made for typing. After all, that is exactly what a mechanical keyboard was initially made for. Which means that there is no gaming specific features or such. It also means that it has a gorgeous mechanical sound and feel.
The build is a mixture of a plastic frame and a rubberized body. This sounds like it has a cheap feel to it right? Well no, it somehow manages to have an entirely qualitative plastic feel, which is quite rare. And the rubber body gives it a fantastic hold on the surface, which ensures it will not move incidentally.
The keys have fantastic tactile feedback, which feels like it was intended for writing but works amazingly for gaming as well.
This is a compact keyboard, which is something you need to get used to if you aren’t already. Everything is just cramped up a little closer, but this is quite easy to get used to and should not take more than a couple of hours of gaming. Especially the Numpad can get some getting used to, and can be quite annoying when typing.
It is worth mentioning that this keyboard comes in both a small, medium and large version. So if you are not used to compact keyboards, and can’t be bothered with. Then it might be smart to look into the large version.
Is it the best gaming mech keyboard? No. Is it one of the best all-purpose mechanical keyboards? Yes.
Before buying this keyboard, you need to understand that it is not made solely for gaming. But if you write in your free time or need to type at home for work. Then this is a fantastic purchase and strikes a good middle ground between typing and gaming.
The LED lighting is known to sometimes give up on specific keys, but this problem usually occurs after an extended period of usage. We did however not experience any of this, and it is only known to happen on rare occasions.
- Braided USB cable
- Compatible with both mac and windows.( There are a few known minor issues with using it on macs)
- 3 LED lighting modes and 5 brightness levels
- Compact rubber/plastic build
- Tactile Mechanical buttons
8. EagleTec KG010
Custom Switches / Audible Clicky & Tactile
Probably the biggest surprise of the list, are the EagleTec KG010. Very affordable yet right up there among the best regarding feel and responsiveness due to its fantastic custom made mechanical switches.
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When you take it out of the box it definitely doesn’t feel one bit cheaper than even the most high-end gaming gear. The aluminum and ABS construction makes it feel insanely sturdy and strong and makes it look fantastic. Both of which are huge pluses in my book.
The ‘EagleTec KG010’ claims to have a 100% anti-ghosting feature, which sounded like a very bold claim for a keyboard of this price. But I have to say that I cannot contradict their claim, as the anti-ghosting seems to be fully functional.
The price is lower than almost any good mechanical keyboard on the market, and it’s also from a brand(EagleTec) that we have rarely used. But it indeed was a pleasant surprise.
The mechanical aspect of this keyboard has an excellent audible click sound and some excellent tactile feedback. This gives it a nice bouncy feeling and also adds to the certainty of your clicks. The LED-Lightning have customization options but not as many as I’d like. Probably because there is no software attached to it which is to be expected. This will be a big drawback for some, but most people actually wouldn’t even use it even if there were. And since this is a perfect starter keyboard, I think that adding a software would only add unnecessary complexity.
The KG010 is an excellent starter mechanical keyboard but also a good choice for seasoned gamers. It has no complicated software, and are merely a plug-and-play keyboard. Its price makes it a desirable option if you’re not sure if mechanical keyboards are for you, but you want to try it out. Also, it’s quality and performance makes it feel like a much more expensive keyboard.
- Aluminum and ABS construction
- Mechanical keys with audible click sound
- Full numeric keypad and splash-proof keys
- Blue LED adjustable lighting
+ Aluminum and ABS construction
+ Splash-proof keys
+ Great LED-Customization
- No software
7. Logitech G710
Cherry MX Blue / Clicky
No list of the best gaming gear is complete without at least one product from Logitech. This list has 2. While the G710 is not our favorite Logitech pick this year, it is still an undeniable classic with a stellar performance.
A fantastic pick, especially for those who enjoy Logitech as a brand.
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Being a huge fan of most Logitech product’s myself I was a little disappointed I wasn’t able to put it higher on the list, but it just falls a bit short of being truly outstanding.
If you enjoy Logitech keyboards in general, then this is a real treat. Like most decent keyboards from Logitech, it has a great media control outlet. Letting you adjust volume, mute, switch song, etc. Without ever having to go to your desktop.
The design was not something I particularly enjoyed, but that mostly comes down to personal preferences. The LED lighting did have fantastic customization options, with a vast brightness range, which I quite liked.
The mechanical feeling is quite good, but not superb. It feels a bit like it was made more for writing purposes and not gaming. So if you like that ‘typewriter’ feel of mech keyboards, then this should suit you very nicely.
A nice touch I really enjoyed, was the key specific LED lighting customization. You can light up the WASD buttons, brighter than the rest of the keys, which works great when playing FPS/MOBAs in the dark.
Concerning quality, it is a bit of a letdown. It has quite a plastic feel to it, though without feeling endurable.
If you want a keyboard that works great for both gaming, and typing/work, then it is a great buy.
If you are a hardcore gamer, looking for the best of the best, you are probably better off with some of the other keyboards on the list. However, if you are looking for your first mechanical keyboard, or maybe just want a keyboard that works great for both typing/work and gaming, then it is a fantastic pick.
- 6 Programmable G-keys
- Volume/media control
- Tactile buttons
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac
- Key-specific LED lighting adjustment
6. Corsair Strafe
Cherry MX Brown Switches / Silent & Tactile
On the number 6 spot, we have this great mechanical keyboard from ‘Corsair,’ which is an excellent all-around choice for the avid gamer. One of the more reasonably priced Corsair keyboards but still among their very best.
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”You can’t mess with the classics”, and while Corsair has made a lot of new keyboards since the release of the Strafe, I would still consider it to be one one of their very best and especially when considering its quite reasonable price tag.
It has textured and contoured keycaps on ‘W,A,S,D’ and the ‘space’ button, made especially for MOBA and FPS gaming. Which is to make sure you know exactly where everything is all the time, which really smoothens out the gameplay. Besides everything that any great mechanical keyboard should have it also have a few of those small nice extra features, such as USB port(for all your other gaming gear), smart volume adjusting, endless LED-light customization and 104 fully adjustable rollover keys. You can assign any control to any key and even switch the textured keys to any button of your liking.
The Corsair Strafe also has 100% anti-ghosting which works beautifully. In all the hours of gaming I put into testing this keyboard, I experienced no issues with the feature whatsoever. And that is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons to get a mechanical keyboard, precise and fast usage.
The ‘Corsairs CUE software’ is the reason it ain’t higher on this list. It is a very messy software and is not very user-friendly, and if I didn’t have a lot of experience with gaming software, I would have struggled with setting this up. That being said, it’s complexity also adds a massive amount of customization options which is very good if you know how to use it.
It is a powerful and reliable product and all in all one of the best mechanical keyboards on the market. Its major fault is its software, and it’s over the top complexity. This is NOT a problem if you have some experience in this field, but I would not recommend it as a starter keyboard. I would very much recommend it if you’re an experienced gamer with expertise in gaming gear or if you love customization. But I would advise you to take a look at the other keyboards on this list first.
- 100% anti-ghosting with 104 key rollover
- Volume and media control
- FPS/MOBA keycap sets – Textured and contoured keycaps
- Fully programmable keys
- Unlimited LED lighting customization
- Corsairs CUE software
+ Fully Programmable Macro management
+ USB port for mouse, headset etc.
+ Textured buttons for FPS/MOBA gaming
+ 100% anti-ghosting
- Confusing software
- Plastic build
5. Redragon K552 Kumara
Custom Switches / Clicky & Tactile
The K552 Kumara is an economical mechanical keyboard by one of the more established brands Redragon. If you are looking for a keyboard that gives you the biggest bang for your buck, this has to be it.
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Coming to the actual performance, it’s great mechanical keyboard that has MX blue equivalent switches (Outemu mechanical switches) & not a hybrid of sorts. So the tactile feedback and the clicky sound is more than satisfying. The tactile feedback is good for gaming and typing quickly as well, although these can get slightly noisy. The keys are a The precision & comfort level on hand may not match up to the higher end ones like the Razer, but it has a lot to offer entry level & experienced gamers.
Looks wise it’s similar to the LINGBAO JIGUANSHI (also featured on our list) & is very compact. The complete anti-ghosting was something that we liked a lot. The Abs keycaps & the finish overall felt pretty good to use. The gold plated USB is definitely a plus point as well.
The downside is more to do with durability as many users have mentioned that after prolonged use for a year or 2 some keys tend to stop registering or register as double or triple clicks instead of just the 1. Another small blip we would say is the lack of a wrist rest which is important considering that the design is quite compact. All things considered, this could be pretty good for the office or as a spare gaming option as well.
Normally if one’s budget is around the price point of the K552 then there’s a toss-up between going for a low-end mechanical or a membrane variant, but this offering by Redragon offers incredible value that just cant be denied, especially if the actuation force & feel is exactly what you are after.
Programmable RGB lighting
55g Actuation point
12 multimedia keys
Different backlight variants
4. SteelSeries Apex M500
Cherry MX Blue / Clicky & Tactile
If you think that you need something that’s minimalistic in terms of looks but offers high-end performance, then the SteelSeries Apex M500 could be a serious contender for you.
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It has a minimalist look similar to the Red Dragon, and its performance is a slight league above. Add in almost endless customization, and you have yourself an excellent mechanical keyboard.
The M500 has cherry MX red switches which are great for FPS games especially. The response times were good although the keys can feel a tad plasticky. The setup isn’t hard at all even if you have never owned or used a SteelSeries before. The clicks are quite adequate, but it’s pretty quiet in relative terms which hits the sweet spot for us.
The keys are well spaced making it a compact yet comfortable keyboard to use. A wrist rest would have made the experience even better we thought. It works well in scenarios where you have a lot of typing to do since the feedback does find a good middle ground.
The overall feel is a bit plastic and for the price, you can expect a bit more. Additionally, more backlighting options we thought should have been available. Moreover, it was reported that the letters on the keycaps do tend to wear out over the course of a year when used rigorously.
Fully programmable keys
Cherry MX red switches
Blue backlighting with adjustable brightness
3. Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum
Love a keyboard that has super-fast response & a shorter actuation time? The Logitech G810 with the aid of their Romer-G switches offer an interesting and compelling alternative for the standard Cherry & Omron switches.
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Love a keyboard that has super-fast response & a shorter actuation time? The Logitech G810 with the aid of their Romer-G switches offer an interesting alternative for standard Cherry & Omron switches.
Features wise the G810 has a lot of positives. The G810 has 100% anti-ghosting over the 104 keys a feature one would come to expect given its price tag. The 70 million keystroke life is excellent especially for those who don’t like to upgrade their gear frequently. You have just 12 programmable F keys which can be a good or bad thing based on your requirements. The Logitech software is one of the easy ones to use allowing you to customize & use the keyboard easily.
The G810 uses Romer-G switches which are Logitech’s switch line instead of the Cherry which is seen on the G610s. The difference one could say between the Cherry MX and the Romer-G is that the latter has more of a bump than a click. A good comparison is to the Cherry MX brown & these essentially have a higher actuation point.
The downside usually is to do with the keycaps which can be a bit flimsy at times. Otherwise feel its definitely one of the pricier options when you factor in the limited number of programmable keys. A hand rest we thought would have helped its feature set nicely.
The G810 Orion spectrum is one of the more functional & aesthetically pleasing options out there. The Romer-G switches definitely give the keyboard a unique feel, and if you are a gamer that is looking for a keyboard with the aforementioned characteristics then we think the G810 is a no-brainer.
70 million keystroke life
16.8 million color RGB lighting
Customizable F-keys for macros
Easy Access media controls
2. Razer BlackWidow V2
Razer Green / Clicky & Tactile
The Razer Blackwidow has always been among the very best on the market, and with the new V2 it just got a little better.
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A lot of gamers were probably expecting this to be the number 1 on this list. Partly because the first Blackwidow is the most popular and well-known mechanical keyboard on the market. But also because it is such a truly fantastic piece of gaming equipment,
I’m not shy about saying that I rarely find Razer’s products to live up to the hype. Usually, it seems like the entire focus is to make their gear look as cool as possible, and that their actual performance is the second priority for them. But sometimes we just have to give credit, where credit is due. This is, alongside the Razer Deathadder, the best piece of gaming gear Razer has ever produced.
This keyboard is every great thing you’d ever expect from Razer, without any of the letdowns. It has a beautiful LED lighting, with more customization options than you will ever need. Which combined with a crispy tactile mechanical feel, which is both reliable and responsive. And while quality is usually where Razer lets us down the Razer Blackwidow is incredibly sturdy, with a durability of around 80 million keystrokes. It has fully programmable keycaps, which only adds to the endless array of customization options.
Unlike the first version of the Blackwidow, the V2 does have 100% anti-ghosting which is always nice. Although the key limited anti-ghosting on the older version where not much of a downgrade. In fact, I still think people should consider the original Razer Blackwidow if they are on a budget.
If you want a full comparison of the older version and the Blackwidow V2, I recommend you read our full in-depth review.
This is not just one of the best keyboards; it’s one of the most well-polished pieces of gaming equipment ever made. All these amazing things do have a catch though. It is quite pricey, and one of the most expensive on this list. But that does not mean it ain’t worth every penny, it truly is.
I concede to Razer. Razer Blackwidow V2 really is one of the best mechanical keyboards ever made and certainly among our favorites of the year.
- Tactile mechanical switches
- 80 million keystrokes
- 16.8 million color customization options
- Fully programmable keys
- Volume/media control
- 10 key rollover
+ Very Durable + Crispy mechanical sound
+ Great ergonomics
1. Corsair K70 LUX Rapidfire
Cherry MX Red – Fast & Quiet / Cherry MX Blue – Clickly & Tactile
It’s time to look at the K70 keyboard from Corsair, our favorite mechanical keyboard of the year for gaming.
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When Corsair calls one of their product’s for LUX, you just know you are in for something extraordinary. Pretty much all Corsair keyboards feel quite luxurious, but this mech keyboard takes it to the next level. And I can honestly say that this beauty is not only luxurious in design and quality, but in performance as well.
What separates this keyboard from all the rest of the list is how the mechanical buttons work. In that, the sound is much more subtle and less noisy. This does however not take away from the overall mechanical feel, not in the slightest actually. It manages to give the same great feeling that any great mechanical keyboard gives. In fact, it provides one of the best mechanical feels out of the entire list.
Since Corsair calls this a luxury keyboard, we have to talk about quality, and this one takes the cake. It is undoubtedly the one on the list with the most qualitative feeling to it, and that is quite the accomplishment. The aluminum frame is simply of unparalleled quality, and it looks and feels great!
The detachable wrist rest is a welcome addition, compared to the other Corsair keyboard on the list. It works well for long gaming sessions, but can always be removed if it doesn’t suit you.
A minor issue I had with this keyboard, is that it feels a little too compact. As if all the buttons are cramped closer to each other compared to other keyboards. This however only took a few hours to get used to, and isn’t a big deal
If you want quality, performance, and durability, this is the best of the best. Concerning quality, it surpasses any keyboard I have ever tried. However the reason it’s not the number one pick is simple, it’s quite pricey. It performs just as well but has quite a hefty price tag, and regarding value, the extra buck is well worth it if you are not on a tight budget.
The less noisy mechanical buttons are what truly stands out. So if you want all the benefits of a mechanical keyboard, without waking up your neighbors, this is THE ideal pick.
- Aircraft-grade brushed aluminum frame
- 100% anti-ghosting
- Full rollover keys
- CUE macro customization
Every great gaming keyboard deserves an equally amazing mouse. Here is our complete list of the best gaming mice.
When making these lists, there will always be those products that you kind of wish could be on there but don’t quite make it. So here are a few of the mechanical keyboards that are not in our top 10 but are still fantastic.
Sades K10 – Blue Switches / Clicky
This mechanical keyboard from SADES is one of the best products Sades has ever made. A couple of years ago it would probably come as a surprise to see anything from SADES on a list of mechanical keyboards. But in recent years they have become a prominent force in the gaming gear industry. And they keep making top quality equipment at a fair price, even after becoming a world-famous brand.
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I am truly in love with the design on this keyboard. And instead of having some annoying software needed to change LED lighting, there are some convenient buttons for different backlighting modes. The keyboard itself has a pretty crisp mechanical sound and feel and also has 100% anti-ghosting. All the keycaps are shaped with a very comfortable curved shape and textured for better grip. In addition to that, the mechanical switches have a bouncy effect, making it extremely comfortable to use. All that put together makes a pretty fantastic mechanical product.
This almost performs on par with keyboards such as the EagleTec KG010 and Azio board, which is, in my opinion, some of the best mechanical keyboards of the year. But this beauty from SADES actually has 1 advantage over the 2. The pricing on this board is a lot lower than the two. So why isn’t it on the top 10? While Sades sacrificed nothing in terms of performance they did when it comes to quality. It does feel a lot cheaper than most other boards on the list.
- Anti-ghosting feature
- Works with both Windows and Mac
- Plug N Play
- No driver needed.
- Blue mechanical switches
LINGBAO JIGUANSHI Mechanical Keyboard
Blue Switches / Audible & Clicky
Sometimes less is more, which is what makes this keyboard so great. Undoubtedly one of the best compact mechanical keyboards of its price class.
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As I was testing this, I couldn’t wait to do this review, since it is such treat to play with. But as I sat down to write it, I realized that it was hard to say exactly what makes this gaming keyboard so great. On paper it is the worst on the list, it certainly has very few extra features and has nothing special to it. But I can only say that it feels insanely smooth to play with and has some really crisp mechanical audible for its pricing.
This Keyboard is made for gaming and only that. This is clear in that, everything unnecessary for your gaming experience has been removed. So it is not because it has a lack of unique features, it’s that it is perfectly optimized. This means that if you are a fan of all kinds of extra features etc. You should look elsewhere. But if you don’t want to pay for all sorts of features that you might never use, this is for you.
This keyboard has amazing value for money. Which is actually fairly common when buying from a smaller brand like ‘LINGBAO JIGUANSHI’ and compact keyboards do tend to be cheaper. These usually have a fantastic price, compared to the product. Since they need to prove themselves and make their mark on the gaming market. So even if this keyboard does not intrigue you, there is still a valuable lesson here. More prominent brands don’t always produce the best gaming gear, probably not when considering the price.
This keyboard is everything that’s great about a mechanical keyboard without any extra bullshit. The mechanical feel of it is fantastic, and it feels like you’re indeed in control of every move you make. Also, the automatic sound is straight down gorgeous on this keyboard. The lack of extra features can feel at great at times. And as soon as you plug it in you know you get everything it has to offer, you don’t have to figure out some horrible software and do anything else to make it perform flawlessly. This makes it a great starter keyboard. I would recommend this if you’re looking for your first mechanical keyboard or if you just want a fantastic keyboard on a budget without all the crap that usually comes along.
- 11 colors light design
- Mechanical shaft design
- 60 million times key life
- ABS build
- Floating keycaps
Pictek Mechanical Keyboard
Blue Switches / Clicky
This is pretty much the exact opposite of the Lingbao keyboard we just discussed. Not because it’s expensive, or because it isn’t a great keyboard. But simply because it is loaded with special features and unique additions. It is the Batman utility belt of mechanical keyboards, and I love it! Did you spill some water on it? No problem. Want to relocate all 104 buttons? No problem. Want to control the entire media outlet on your PC, while gaming? No problem.
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All the extra features are not essential, but they are all a great addition in one way or another. Like the fact that it’s waterproof, it’s not at all essential to making a great keyboard. But it’s a fun and a useful feature nonetheless. And yes! We did test it out. We poured one whole gallon of water on this thing and after drying it off it still worked 100%. It was surprising that such a feature rich keyboard did not have a software attached, but it’s simply not necessary. It’s obviously a drawback if you really love playing around with LED customization etc. But personally, I didn’t mind it at all.
It’s made of top-grade ABS and metal, which makes it feel exceptionally study and qualitative. This is a pretty amazing accomplishment when you take a look at the price. I honestly have no clue on how they managed to put so many great features, specifications and pure quality into this mechanical wonder, at this price. The mechanical sound is less attractive than some of the other picks on this list. But the mechanical function and anti-ghosting is pretty great
This keyboard manages to score decently in quality, price, features, and performance, which is indeed astounding. Unless you find the simplicity of the Lingbao keyboard to be extremely attractive, I would highly recommend this. It does not matter if you are a seasoned gamer, or just starting out. The mixture of plug-and-play and tons of features, combined with a price tag this low, makes it an attractive pick for any gamer. One of the potential drawbacks could be the lack of software, but that is more about personal preference. Also, it obviously doesn’t give the same overall performance as the keyboards that made our top 10.
- Anti-Ghosting 104 keys. N-Key rollover
- Made of top-grade ABS and metal
- Fully removable keycaps
- Palm and wrist rest
- 50 million times keystrokes
Clicky – Tactile
Just a few years ago Havit was an entirely new player on the market, but in recent times they have shown time and time again that they produce some quality budget gaming equipment.
We recently did a full-blown review of the Havit KB395L and ended up very pleasantly surprised.
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This keyboard is pretty affordable, but it is not as budget focused as Havit usually are. Which is why we were surprised to see how well they did outside their comfort zone.
It is the only ultra-thin mechanical keyboard that I have ever personally liked. While I still prefer regular sized keyboards when it comes to performance, it is awe-inspiring how little performance Havit has sacrificed to make this slim fit keyboard.
On top of this, it comes with a lot more customization than you would expect for such an affordable piece. Such as full RGB backlighting, but also in terms of key-bindings. All of which is customizable through the Havit driver.
All of this being said, there are a few issues. Firstly and most importantly, the performance is subpar to most regular sized mechanical keyboards from prominent brands. Secondly, it requires a driver for the full customization experience, which not all PC’s have nowadays. Luckily it does perform decently well as a plug-and-play keyboard.
I would highly recommend the KB395L to anyone looking for their first mechanical keyboard or to those that seek a more lightweight version than what they already have.
When reviewing these products we highly focused on these 4 main factors:
- How does it feel to play with? – This is in my humble opinion the most critical aspect when reviewing any piece of gaming gear. No matter how good a gaming keyboard is on paper, it doesn’t necessarily translate to how it feels to use. And since this is about mechanical keyboards, the actual mechanical feel of it is essential.
- Specifications – This is the technical aspect, which is basically about how ”good” the product is on paper. And does it have any extra features of real significance?
- Price – How much value do you get for your money, compared to the other products on the market.
- Quality – When looking at the quality of various products, it is firmly connected to the price. But a high rate is NOT always an indication of high quality, which is why we look at it separately.
These are the most defining qualities that we look at when doing these reviews. But we have pretty much, considered everything from the brand, design, software, etc. You might wonder why design isn’t one of our main factors since it is indeed imperative. But that is because it is also subjective and therefore I can’t decide that for you.
What is a mechanical keyboard
A mechanical keyboard does unlike a standard keyboard have switches underneath its buttons to recreate the feeling of using a typewriter. Even though they all have different kinds of switches, it’s all for more accurate keyboard usage. This is obviously why it has become increasingly popular among gamers. Although it was initially created for office workers that are dependent on fast and precise typing. Some may find the louder sound to be an annoyance, but in my opinion, it just gives a much more satisfying feeling than a regular gaming keyboard. And the sound is likely why it has become so mainstream among gamers in the last couple of years.
What makes a mechanical keyboard different from the old regular membrane boards are the switches. These switches are made of various components, a plastic stem, two metal contacts, and a spring. When you press a key the spring will be pushed down, and the two metal contacts will connect, this will allow your computer to register what key you touch.
The quality is usually higher in mechanical keyboards, and they will last longer. Mechanical keyboards allow for millions of presses on each key.
Anti-ghosting: This is something that most mechanical keyboards advertise to have, and also should have to some extent. It is the ability for a keyboard to register multiple keys at once, which is something most hardcore gamers find essential.
Different types of mechanical switches.
When shopping for mechanical keyboards, you have most likely come across wordings such as Cherry MX red, cherry MX blue, and kalih red, etc. But what does it mean? We will take a look at the most common and popular ones, to make it easier for you to choose the perfect one for you.
A simple search for a great gaming keyboard displays a lot of mechanical options. We at Progammerriview have picked out the best of the mechanical and non-mechanical choices based on its performance, tactile feedback, feel and comfort. So what are mechanical and non-mechanical keyboards?
A mechanical keyboard uses mechanical switches which have their individual switch which is spring-loaded. This helps to give an amazing response time. In turn, you get terrific tactile feedback and don’t have to worry about pressing a key twice. Most importantly, the feel when pressing these keys is unique. The clicky sound is also quite sought after by a lot of gamers. There are multiple Cherry MX types. I.e. Brown, Blue Red, Black. All these provide a different feel to the keyboards offering different things like feedback, agility etc. Mechanical keyboards also have the added advantage of durability. Keys last longer and can also be replaced if needed quite quickly.
Not all mechanical keyboards are great for everyday use as well as gaming though. The Cherry MX brown type serves a hybrid usage purpose well. If your game requires a more agile response then you can even make do with a non-mechanical option.
The switches are divided into colors with distinct functionalities. You will usually see a brand like Cherry or Razer etc. Before the color, but in general, the difference is small between brands. It is the color you need to be aware of.
This one is made solely for gaming, as it has no tactile feedback. It grants a high-speed and smooth gaming experience, but the lack of physical feedback makes it unsuited for typists.
It is basically the same as the red version, with the only difference being a little more resistance, making it a bit more suited for writing. While still working great for gaming.
This is Cherries ”clicky” version of a mechanical switch. It has a very distinct clicking sound, which is often seen used by Twitch streamers.
Brown is the more subtle switch. It has medium tactile feedback but the mechanical sound are kept to a minimum.
FAQ About Mechanical Keyboards
The most frequently asked questions we get about mechanical keyboards
1. Why choose mechanical over membrane keyboards?
Mechanical keyboards are generally faster and more precise. Also, the mechanical switches offer an incredible amount of durability compared to their membrane counterparts, some lasting up to about 80 million keystrokes PER key. This is almost four times as much as most regular boards. The different switches also offer a precise performance, which can cater more personally to a lot of gamers. Last but not least, the actual feel of the mechanical switches can be incredibly satisfying and give an entirely new enjoyment to your gameplay.
2. Why would anyone choose a regular keyboard over a mech?
Well, on paper the membrane keyboards don’t look as good as the mech ones. However, in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people just enjoy the natural feel more than the mechanic tactile switches. There are even actual pro gamers who prefer regular keyboards. So the most important thing is to figure out what you enjoy yourself, maybe try out a mecha-membrane to get a feel for mechanical, without going all the way.
3. What is anti-ghosting?
When you press multiple keys simultaneously, and your computer fails to register some of them, those keys are known as ghost-keys. So per definition, anti-ghosting means that your keyboard can register multiple presses at the same time. This is also known as roll-over keys. 100% anti-ghosting means that you can press the entire keyset down at once and it will register every single keystroke, while 10 roll-over keys as an example, mean that you can press 10 at a time with the same effect.
4. Which ones do the professional gamers use?
This is very dependant on which type of game, and who the player is. There is, however, a couple of very popular options, which is seeing a lot of use in most genres of eSport. Such as the Razer Blackwidow, CM Storm Quickfire, SteelSeries G6v2. It is important to know that pro gamers don’t always use their preferred equipment, as a lot of teams and or players have sponsor deals with specific brands. Although, if a pro gamer is actually using the keyboard, it is likely pretty amazing, sponsor deal or not.
5. Do pro players prefer mechanical over membrane keyboards?
In general, yes. Most eSport athletes tend to play on a mechanical option. Just because of the increased tactile feedback and precision, but you still see some pro gamers who prefer ordinary keyboards, even despite these things.
6. Which is switch type is best for gaming?
There is no straight answer for this since mechanical switches come down to personal preference. Among pro gamers, brown switches are immensely popular, but you see a lot of blue and red ones as well. Blue switches are also very popular with a lot of Twitch streamers and are famous for its very clicky sound. All different switch types can be used for gaming, but most people would generally say that the brown or red ones are the best.
7. Are mechanical keyboards really worth the extra money?
Yes, unless you are on a tight budget, but if that is the case, then it is probably not the time to buy a new keyboard. There is nothing quite as exciting as a gamer than receiving a new mechanical keyboard, mainly if you are used to a membrane. The difference in feel and performance is just incredible.
8. Which is the most popular mechanical keyboard?
That would be the Razer Blackwidow Chroma, and with good reason too. It is the perfect default pick for all types of gamers. The Razer switches are fantastic and the quality is way above what to expect from Razer. It has the most durable switches in the whole industry, lasting up to about 80 million keystrokes, which is basically forever. It also comes in both a silent, clicky and tactile version.
9. What does RGB mean?
RBG simply strands for red, green and blue. This feature simply means that you can fully customize the LED lighting, and usually up to and about 16.8 million different color variants. Obviously, 16.8 million is the technical amount, and it just means that you can customize your LED to every color known to man.
10. What does macro management mean/do?
This is the ability to customize specific or all keys on your board. As an example, you can change your F1 key to the windows key, or the Enter key to the Space key, etc. This is usually done quite simply through the gaming software that came with the keyboard. Having a fully programmable keyboard can be very helpful for gamers that try to maximize their performance, but it is by no means a necessity for most.
11. Are there any good wireless mechanical keyboards?
No, of all those we have tested, not a single one were worth writing about. However, if you are keen on getting yourself a wireless board, here is our 7 recommendations.
Microsoft, Keyboard ghosting explained, blog post by Microsoft about the basics of keyboards ghosting.
PC world, Mechanical keyboard FAQ: Pick the right switch, online gaming and PC magazine.
PcGamer, a complete guide to mechanical switches, PC gamers article about mechanical switches and their characteristics.
WASD keyboards, Complete mechanical keyboards guide, a blog post that talks about the characteristics and advantages of mechanical keyboards.
Razerzone, Razer Blackwidow series info, the official page for Razer mechanical keyboards.
Cherry Americas, Cherry MX: innovation at your fingertips, the official page, and infographics of the Cherry MX switches.
Howtogeek, if you haven’t tried a mechanical keyboard yet: you are missing out, a blog post about the advantages and basics of mechanical keyboards.
Steelseries, Guide to mechanical switches, article that explains the different mechanical switches.