The PC market continues to garner attention as a result of the global chipset crisis, not to mention the global GPU shortage. However, today we’re going to look at a critical PC component that is frequently overlooked or is an afterthought when purchasing or building a PC, despite the fact that it is a critical member of the board.
There are numerous mechanical keyboards available in a variety of shapes and sizes and at a variety of price points, and we’ve compiled a list of the best mechanical keyboards to consider for your next purchase.
Why Purchase Mechanical Keyboards?
Before we get into specific recommendations, let’s define a mechanical keyboard. In essence, a keyboard is defined by the switches it incorporates.
Cheaper keyboards typically use a rubber-dome or membrane switch system, in which a keypress presses against a silicone dome, connecting the circuit to register the user’s typing. These frequently require a great deal of force to activate and provide mushy feedback due to the silicon beneath. These are silent mechanical keyboards and provide no audible feedback, and their overall lifespan is limited and inconsistent due to the decay properties of the silicon sheet beneath.
When you press a key on mechanical keyboards, an actual physical switch, including a spring-based pushback mechanism, comes into play. Depending on the key switch type, you receive a particular amount of tactile or linear feedback while you type. While this alone is significant, these switches also last an extremely long time, with some manufacturers claiming up to 50-80 million keystrokes.
In summary, mechanical keyboards should have a longer shelf life and provide a much-improved typing experience because of the range of switch alternatives. Having said that, mechanical keyboards, like any mechanical component, require maintenance over time. Additionally, there is the issue of key wobble and chatter, which can result in the keys responding slowly or inconsistently.
Today’s Best Value Mechanical Keyboards
CK552 by Cooler Master
RGB backlighting is exquisite.
The top plate is made entirely of aluminium.
Numerous switch kinds are available.
Red switches are prone to be pressed incorrectly.
For the majority, the Cooler Master CK552 is the best cheap mechanical keyboard. It’s a full-sized gaming keyboard with RGB backlighting, an aluminium top plate, and a USB 2.0 cable measuring 5.9 feet (1.8 metres). It comprises a variety of switch types, including Gateron Brown (tactile), Blue (clicky), and Red (linear), all of which are reported to be capable of withstanding up to 50 million key presses without fail.
This also implies that it fumbled slightly during lengthy typing sessions. Changing the switch type may assist, and Cooler Master does offer the keyboard with tactile Brown or clicky Blue switches, however, they are not as readily available online as of this writing.
The CK552 is ideal for gamers and enthusiasts since it includes onboard memory for up to four profiles and on-the-fly controls for recording macros and controlling the backlighting. Additionally, it is compatible with the Cooler Master Portal application, which provides more detailed control over many of the same areas but is not as sophisticated as competitors such as Razer Synapse. Nonetheless, this dual approach should appeal to users who dislike installing a large amount of software and those who desire increased control over their peripherals.
HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Mechanical Keyboards
Transport is made simple by the compact design and detachable cable.
Cherry MX switches somewhat outperform competitors.
The all-steel architecture should be able to sustain intense game sessions.
Backlighting in solely red.
After a brief period of use, the keycaps exhibit a considerable sheen.
The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro (now on sale for $79) was made specifically for eSports, making it one of the best cheap mechanical keyboards. It has a tiny TKL design, a detachable USB cord, and robust steel construction, which should make it well-suited for travel. These features alone would set the Alloy FPS Pro apart from the other keyboards, but HyperX didn’t stop there.
The Alloy FPS Pro is available with either linear Red or clicky Blue Cherry MX switches, which distinguishes it from other inexpensive mechanical keyboards. While there is nothing wrong with the switches made by the majority of manufacturers, Cherry’s remains the finest of the best—at least in the mainstream consumer market.
Additionally, HyperX equipped the Alloy FPS Pro with n-key rollover, 100% anti-ghosting, and red illumination with a range of effects.
K845 Logitech Mechanical Keyboards
Reasonable price for machine keys.
Simple elegant look.
Lack of software support
The power cable is not removable.
The Logitech K845 replaces the K840 as our budget productivity recommendation. It’s approximately $10 more expensive, but it adds white illumination to the keys, which you can customize in one of five patterns and modify to three brightness levels (plus off). For $59.99 on the street, you receive a full-sized mechanical layout with an aluminum top plate with your choice of TTC red (linear), blue (clicky tactile), or brown (silent tactile) switches. For an additional $20, you may upgrade to one of the 845ch models, which has Cherry switches (red or blue). The business sent us an 845 with TTC blue switches, which we felt to be a satisfactory replacement for the Cherry MX Blue switches on our daily driver Das Keyboard.
Additionally, the K845 Logitech mechanical keyboards feature an aluminum top plate, which looks great and provides a more premium feel than you’d expect from a keyboard in this price range. However, if you’re accustomed to heavier, more expensive keyboards, the 1.72-pound weight and plastic casing do not scream ‘high-quality keyboard.’ Nonetheless, the switches are rated for 50 million clicks, and the moulded keycaps prevent the labels from fading. You can also choose a pink mechanical keyboard of this brand.
KINESIS GAMING Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboards
Protect your wrists with a split keyboard that features palm support.
It’s ideal for both typing and gaming on the same setup.
Some keys are more difficult to reach while gaming.
The price is high.
In terms of design, the KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard is quite distinctive. That is because the keyboard is split in half, with half of the keys on the left and half on the right. This enables you to type and game in the manner which you like. For intense gaming sessions, you can move the right keyboard out of the way and bring the mouse closer. Additionally, you can swivel the left keyboard to maximize coverage of all gaming keys.
By separating the modules at shoulder width intervals, you may achieve an ergonomic typing posture. Palm supports and the lift kit tenting accessory help alleviate strain on the palm, wrist, and forearm. You’ll appreciate the all-mechanical controls and vivid RGB lighting. Each of the 95 keys is programmable, allowing for complete customization. This will cost you some money, and you’ll need to adjust to the amount of covering your hand must provide while gaming. However, it can help with posture.
Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
Software is user-friendly.
Connects wirelessly through Bluetooth or a dedicated USB receiver.
Somewhat bulky, making it an unsuitable option if you are confined to a small location.
Only compatible with Windows.
If you’re looking for a wireless solution, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is the greatest mechanical keyboard you can ever find. It supports simultaneous pairing with up to three devices via Bluetooth, which is ideal if you’re looking for a keyboard to complement a multi-device work or streaming arrangement. The board features two incline settings and a retractable, plushy wrist rest for enhanced support.
It offers one of the lowest latencies we’ve seen over a wireless connection, which makes it an ideal pick if you’re looking for a board capable of handling even the most competitive games. You can choose between clicky Razer Green or linear Yellow switches, and the green ones are easy to press and provide excellent tactile feedback, albeit a little loud. It enables the assignment of macros to any key as well as the customization of the RGB backlighting.
However, it includes onboard memory, which means that if your setup includes a Mac device, you can still access your saved settings on the board even if you swap devices.
Apex Pro by SteelSeries
Good quality typing.
Switches are linear, making them unsuitable for typing.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro is our pick for the best full-size mechanical keyboard for gaming. It is also available in a TenKeyLess configuration, which means you may get it as the best mechanical TKL keyboard if you like. Whichever size model you choose, this keyboard is brimming with features aimed squarely at the hardcore gaming population.
The characteristic that distinguishes this keyboard is the ability to individually alter the pre-travel distance for each key. You can set the keys to a lower position for a more quick and responsive gaming experience or to a higher position for improved typing accuracy. All of these adjustments may be made via the SteelSeries Engine Software, which is simple to use and enables you to reprogram or assign macros to any key, as well as configure the RGB lighting. Due to the extremely low latency of this keyboard, it is capable of handling any gaming genre.
While it includes wrist support to alleviate wrist strain, the wrist rest itself is a dust magnet. If you’re not concerned with these issues and are looking for the best full-size mechanical keyboard for gaming, this is your best pick.
RGB K100 Corsair Mechanical Keyboards
Highly sturdy design.
The keyboard supports macros.
Corsair’s K100 RGB is unquestionably the best full-sized mechanical keyboard. It features a polling rate of up to 4000Hz and a reaction time of 0.5ms, making it the quickest keyboard available. It includes Corsair’s OPX optical-mechanical key switches, which register keypresses using an infrared light beam, resulting in a rapid and precise keypress registration at a 1.0mm actuation point. Additionally, Corsair supplies the K100 with Cherry MX Speed Silver switches with a 1.2mm actuation distance.
Additionally, this corsair mechanical keyboard has a dedicated control wheel for various tasks, and, to top it off, RGB backlighting on each key with a 44-zone three-sided RGB edge lighting. Additionally, it features excellent construction, making it one of the most sought keyboards on the market. Corsair also offers white mechanical keyboards.
Shopping Advice for Mechanical Keyboards
When it comes to choosing the best budget mechanical keyboard, the majority will be full-sized with a number pad or tenkeyless (TKL) without one. Those who spend an inordinate amount of life knee-deep in spreadsheets probably cannot fathom using a keyboard without a number pad. However, people who spend more time gaming or coding may welcome the additional desk space provided by a TKL design. Additionally, there are 60% of keyboards eliminate the arrow and navigational keys, which saves the greatest desk space but appeals to a smaller demographic due to their reduced functionality.
Select the switch type. Not every mechanical switch is created equal. Different switch types have a range of actuation locations, travel distances, and feedback forms.
Because there is no tactile hump on the way to bottoming out, linear switches are simple to depress. Many gamers like linear switches because they are simple to press repeatedly and are silent mechanical keyboards. These are frequently red or black in colour.
Tactile switches have a distinct bump that provides immediate feedback prior to bottoming out and, in many situations, increases the necessary actuation effort. Numerous typists like tactile keyboards because they make each keypress more tactile. Brown and clear switches are frequent examples.
Clicky switches are tactile switches that generate a clicking noise when they contact the keypress bump. These are favoured by individuals who work alone or like to surround themselves with a cacophony of click-clacks for whatever reason. These are frequently blue, green, or white in colour.
While each category contains a variety of alternatives, these categories should cover the great majority of mechanical switches. Manufacturers are frequently gracious enough to categorize their switches, and they are frequently colour-coded as well.
The abundance of mechanical switches on the market might make purchasing a keyboard appear intimidating. While it is possible to replace mechanical keyboards switches, it is a significant hassle. Fortunately, there are numerous switch testers on the market that enable you to experiment with a number of switches—the exact combination depends on the tester—before committing to one. It’s an additional cost upfront, but it’s less expensive than replacing a keyboard with switches you dislike.
We hope this article provides you with all the information relating to mechanical keyboards and the benefits of using them.