gaming keybaords

Best Gaming Keyboards: Buyers Guide 2019

While it may be tempting to buy a cheap gaming keyboard – or heaven forbid, just use a regular keyboard – your playing will for sure suffer. The right one can make a huge difference in your PC gaming. 

Most pro-gaming boards are equipped with mechanical keys, making for faster typing and in-game responses, and some come with rows of customizable macro keys that you can personalize exactly to your favorite game. These features make for controls purposely built for PC gaming rather than simply using standard equipment for browsing the web or typing up documents. 

Read over our in-depth review of the best gaming keyboards available in 2019, to make sure you buy the best you can get for your money. Then, check out our buyers guide at the end to learn all the different features to look for in a great gaming board.

Top Gaming Keyboards:

  1. Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard
  2. HyperX Alloy Elite Gaming Keyboard
  3. SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  4. CORSAIR K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  5. Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard
  6. HyperX Alloy Core Membrane Gaming Keyboard
  7. LogiTech G213 Gaming Keyboard
  8. Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO Gaming Keyboard
  9. Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  10. CORSAIR K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Gaming Keyboard Reviews

Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard

Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard

First up: we’ve chosen the Razer Huntsman Elite because it’s a reliable and durable product. It weighs almost 4 pounds, but it packs in a lot of features that make its weight worth it. For example, back, pause, play, and skip media control buttons have been added.

This product is the first Razer product that can save settings and profiles locally. Previous Razer products required the use of a Razer account to perform these functions.

This board’s keycaps resemble those of the BlackWidow Chroma V2. They curve slightly to fit your fingertips, which offers ideal comfort and ease of use during gameplay.

Features:

  • 3.82 pounds
  • 7-foot braided fiber cable
  • Magnetic wrist rest made of plush leatherette

Pros:

  • Long lifespan (supports up to 100 million clicks)
  • Quality aluminum construction
  • RGB backlighting for each key
  • Media controls for brightness and volume adjustment

Cons:

  • No dedicated macro keys
  • Expensive
  • Limited to one switch type

Verdict

The Razer Huntsman Elite is quite pricey, but its craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal makes it worth purchasing.

Sale
Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard: Opto-Mechanical Key Switches - Instant Actuation - Chroma RGB Lighting - Magnetic Plush Wrist Rest - Dedicated Media Keys & Dial - Matte Black
  • Faster Than Traditional Mechanical Switches: Razer Opto-Mechanical switch technology uses optical beam-based actuation, registering key presses at the speed of light (30% shorter actuation distance than other clicky switches at 1.5 mm) with satisfying, clicky feedback
  • Ultimate Personalization & Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Offers effortless, full integration with popular game titles and syncs with Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30+ partners; supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
  • Quality, Aluminum Construction: Covered with a matte, aluminum top plate for increased sturdiness and support
  • Dedicated Media Controls: A multi-function digital dial with 3 tactile media keys give instant access to everything from brightness to volume adjustment
  • Ergonomic, Magnetic Wrist Rest: Made of plush leatherette to maximize comfort over extended gaming sessions


HyperX Alloy Elite Gaming Keyboard

HyperX Alloy Elite Gaming Keyboard

Next, we recommend that the HyperX Alloy Elite is highly worth checking out. It comes with a choice of 3 different Cherry MX switch types: Cherry MX Blue, Brown, and Red. Each one fits the varying needs of typists and gamers alike.

The HyperX Alloy Elite is a great RGB keyboard. It comes with multiple lighting effects, all of which provide the user with a unique experience. For example, in the Regular mode, all of the keys remain red. In Flow mode, the keys light up from right to left.

It comes with a detachable wrist rest that grants users comfort during long periods of play.

Features:

  • Multiple lighting effects including Regular, Flow, and Breathe
  • Solid steel frame
  • A unique radiant light bar

Pros:

  • Option of three Cherry MX switch types
  • Detachable and comfortable wrist rest
  • Great display and lighting effects

Cons:

  • No dedicated macro keys
  • Its software isn’t as dependable as that in other brands

Verdict

The HyperX Alloy Elite is one of the best mechanical keyboards in terms of quality and professionalism.

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB - Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Software-Controlled Light & Macro Customization - Wrist Rest - Media Controls - Linear & Quiet - Cherry MX Red - RGB LED Backlit (HX-KB2RD2-US/R1)
  • Unique radiant light bar and dynamic RGB lighting effects
  • HyperX NGenuity software provides advanced customization
  • Store up to three favorite lighting and macro profile settings with the on board memory
  • Solid steel frame provides durability and stability, CHERRY MX mechanical keys for reliability
  • Comfortable, detachable wrist rest with soft touch coating


SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The SteelSeries Apex M750 grants fast actuation to amateur and professional gamers alike. It’s a great product for simplifying your strokes, no matter your playing style or go-to PC game. It has a compact design, which is great for gaming sessions and for portability, but can be uncomfortable for work-related tasks.

Except for a special SteelSeries logo button, the layout of this mechanical gaming keyboard is identical to that of the standard US keyboard. Some gamers may find it lacks added features that optimize their gaming experience, but it gets the job done.

Features:

  • Compact design
  • Illuminates to display activity in the game (health level, number of kills, ammunition available, etc.)
  • Adjustable brightness levels

Pros:

  • Moderately-priced
  • Simple to use
  • Relatively quiet
  • Strong build despite some plastic components

Cons:

  • No dedicated media keys
  • No USB pass-through
  • Single switch type

Verdict

The SteelSeries Apex M750 offers users precise control of key assignments and backlighting for playing during day or night.

Sale
SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Aluminum Frame - RGB LED Backlit - Linear & Quiet Switch - Discord Notifications
  • Pure performance QX2 linear mechanical gaming switches
  • Durable 5000 Series aluminum alloy
  • Real-time Discord in-game lighting notifications
  • Easy and intuitive per-key RGB lighting customization
  • Reactive illumination to in-game events like low ammo, health, kills, and more


CORSAIR K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

CORSAIR K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K95 is lightweight but built with durability in mind. It has an anodized brushed aluminum frame that protects it from heavy use. Its font is wider than that of other Corsair models, making it easier to see which buttons you need to hit.

This product has the same layout as a standard 104-key board with 6 additional macro keys. They can be used to map additional functions. Three unique buttons let you adjust backlighting brightness, switch between player profiles, and disable the Windows key.

The one downside to this product is its lack of an audio jack. It does feature a USB port and an X-shaped channel for routing headset cables.

Features:

  • Brushed aluminum finish
  • 6 macro keys along the side of the board
  • Wider font than normal

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy cleanup
  • Transparent keys for better RGB lighting effects

Cons:

  • On the higher price end
  • No audio jack

Verdict

The Corsair K95 is a great product for both beginner and pro gamers. It’s easy to keep in good condition and doesn’t take up too much space on your desk. It also grants you complete control over the various backlighting options, so you can confidently game in the dark. 

Sale
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 6x Programmable Macro Keys - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit - Black Finish
  • Aircraft grade anodized brushed aluminum frame: Built to withstand a lifetime of gaming. Lightweight and rugged durability, necessary for a keyboard that's going to see a lot of action
  • 8MB profile storage with hardware macro and lighting playback: Allow access up to three stored profiles on the go, independent of external software. Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista
  • Dynamic multicolor per key backlighting with Light Edge: Adjust each key's color and illumination level in addition to 19 zones on the top edge light bar for sophisticated and dramatic animations
  • 100 percentage CHERRY MX Speed RGB mechanical key switches: Unleash blistering speed with the 1.2 millimeter actuation and durability of gold contact CHERRY MX mechanical key switches
  • 6 programmable G keys keys for in game macros: Assign single keystrokes or complex multi key combos to any of the 6 dedicated macro keys. Full Key (NKRO) with 100percentage Anti Ghosting.HID Keyboard Report Rate:1000Hz


Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

The Razer Ornata Chroma can be described as a cross between a mechanical and a rubber dome keyboard.

With this model, Razer utilizes a mecha-membrane switch as opposed to the traditional mechanical switch. This offers an improved typing feel. Its square keycap guide eliminates wobble. No matter where you strike the keys, they will still slide down thanks to this type of guide.

The accompanying Razer Synapse software is required to program the Chroma lighting and record macros. While the software is easy to navigate, users have reported lagging issues.

Features:

  • Supports up to 80 million clicks
  • Fully programmable macro support
  • Magnetic wrist rest

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Software issues
  • May be difficult to distinguish between lit and non-lit sections

Verdict

Most gamers automatically shake their heads when they think about using a rubber dome product. However, the Razer Ornata Chroma is worth a try, especially for the price. We think it’s one of the best budget gaming keyboards on the market right now.

Sale
Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard: Mecha-Membrane Key Switches - Customizable Chroma RGB Lighting - Individuallly Backlit Keys - Detachable Plush Wrist Rest - Programmable Macro Functionality
  • High Performance Mecha Mechanical Switches: Provides the tactile feedback of mechanical key press on a comfortable, soft cushioned, membrane, rubber dome switch suitable for gaming
  • Ultimate Personalization and Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Offers effortless, full integration with popular game titles and syncs with Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30+ partners; supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
  • Fully Programmable Macro Support: Razer Hypershift allows for all keys and keypress combinations to be remapped to execute complex commands
  • Ergonomic, Magnetic Wrist Rest: Made of soft touch leatherette to maximize comfort over extended gaming sessions
  • Durable Construction: Supports up to 80 million clicks; made of military grade metal top plate


HyperX Alloy Core Membrane Gaming Keyboard

HyperX Alloy Core Membrane Gaming Keyboard

The HyperX Alloy Core is a decently-priced PC keyboard. It’s solidly built with quiet yet responsive keys. For a non-mechanical board, the response time is quite low, so you can rely on it for precision in a variety of situations.

Features:

  • 6 RGB effect presets
  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10

Pros:

  • Spill-resistant of up to 120mL of liquid
  • Lighter compared to a mechanical board

Cons:

  • Wrist rest is quite small – may not be comfortable for players with larger hands

Verdict

Though this product isn’t a top-of-the-line gaming board, it’s a great investment for a beginner. If you need a gaming keyboard and mouse, you can purchase the HyperX Alloy Core with a mouse for an additional cost.

Sale
HyperX Alloy Core RGB - Membrane Gaming Keyboard - Comfortable Quiet Silent Keys with RGB LED Lighting Effects, Spill Resistant, Dedicated Media Keys, Compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7 - Black
  • Rgb radiant lighting effects personalize your computer setup and bring it to life with customizable LED lighting effects on your RGB Gaming Keyboard. Stunning radiance paired with six Effect presets to choose from to make your keyboard smooth and stylish with RGB effects. Features hyperx's signature radiant light bar
  • Spill resistant keyboard Designed with a durable frame, The HyperX alloy core RGB can resist up to 120Ml of liquid that even when beverage accidents occur, your gaming performance won't be diminished or affected
  • Quiet responsive keys comfortable, quiet, and accurate with anti ghosting functionality. This keyboard is an option for those who dislike the loud sounds of a mechanical keyboard with soft touch keys to provide a tactile feel
  • Light and portable Designed and crafted with durable and reinforced plastic makes this keyboard lighter than a mechanical keyboard that allows you to game on the go
  • Built for PC gaming Compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7


Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

This is one of the best gaming keyboards in terms of price. It simplifies playing PC games as you can use the media buttons to start, stop, pause, skip, and mute without interrupting your gameplay. This board is also great for completing work or relaxing, as it has a comfortable wrist rest and keys with a large font. 

Despite its low price, the Logitech G213 looks like a high-end gaming board. With its Color Spectrum Illumination, you can personalize up to 5 lighting zones, which makes gaming in the dark easier. Plus, you can choose from over 16.8 million colors to match your other gaming gear and personal preferences.

Features:

  • Sleek finish
  • Color Spectrum Illumination

Pros:

  • Easy to create macros
  • Spill-resistant
  • Comfortable wrist rest
  • Syncs with other Logitech products

Cons:

  • Lit-up sections may bleed into each other
  • Lacks separate macro keys

Verdict

This is a good, inexpensive gaming keyboard that can also be used by non-gamers. It runs for around $50 currently.

Sale
Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard with Dedicated Media Controls, 16.8 Million Lighting Colors Backlit Keys, Spill-Resistant and Durable Design
  • Prodigy Series Logitech G keyboard for advanced gaming-grade performance up to 4x faster than standard keyboards so every keypress is near instantaneous from fingers to screen
  • Brilliant Color Spectrum Illumination lets you easily personalize up to 5 lighting zones from over 16.8 million colors to match your style and gaming gear
  • Tactile performance keys tuned for gaming with responsive and more. LCD Display: No
  • Dedicated media control let you quickly play, pause, skip and adjust the volume of music right from the keyboard
  • Easily customize key lighting, 12 Function keys with custom commands, and more with free Logitech Gaming Software


Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO Gaming Keyboard

Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO Gaming Keyboard

The Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO has everything that gamers need to play their best. Each stroke will register, meaning you’ll never have a misfire. Plus, you can use the dedicated media keys to make your playing experience that much easier. 

The design of this product is interesting to examine. For one, the brushed aluminum plate is a nice break from the typical matte black. The cable and stems are relatively manageable and structured in an aesthetically-pleasing way. 

However, there are some major design flaws present. For one, the convex bottom row makes it easy for your fingers to slip. The volume wheel does not have backlighting, making it look out of place. There’s also the issue of the uncomfortable wrist rest. 

Features:

  • 16.8 million RGB colors and multiple effects 
  • Anti-ghosting

Pros:

  • Every stroke registers for an accurate playing experience
  • Brushed aluminum plate

Cons:

  • No dedicated macro keys
  • Lack of pass-throughs

Verdict

Considering its relatively high price point, this option could come with more unique features. However, it does offer a customizable and accurate playing experience. 

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Uk Layout Roc-12-442-bn
  • AIMO illumination: 16.8 million colors RGB backlighting and LED lighting effects including AIMO mode for intelligent illumination harmonized across devices.
  • Advanced anti-ghosting: NKRO - full n-key rollover means every key stroke registers.
  • ROCCAT Titan Switches: Advanced tactile and crisp brown mechanical switches developed by ROCCAT.
  • Programmable keys: Programmable macro keys which can be customized individually.
  • Multimedia functionality: Multimedia keys and wheel to control volume and light as well to execute several multimedia quick commands.


Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Simple is sometimes just what we need, and the Redragon K552 recognizes this. It is certainly not the fanciest option available but has everything it needs to be a good gaming board. 

Custom mechanical switches give you control over your ideal playing experience. The red LED lights are also adjustable. With the keycaps unique design, you’ll experience crystal-clear backlighting. 

The cable is not your typical braided fabric. However, it features high-grade plastic sheathing that will protect it against the elements. 

This option from Redragon is one of the heavier items on our list. Even though it might be cumbersome, this helps its overall durability. While it is heavy, it is also compact as it only has 87 keys. This can be problematic for gamers who rely on the NUMPAD for certain combinations. 

Features:

  • Compact 87 key model
  • Anti-ghosting technology
  • Metal base coated in high-quality plastic

Pros:

  • Customizable red lighting setup
  • Registers all strokes for accurate gameplay
  • Durable and built-to-last

Cons:

  • Does not feature a NUMPAD
  • No 3.5mm jack connections or USB-pass through

Verdict

This is one of the cheaper options on this list, but that doesn’t impact its quality.

Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Compact 87 Key Mechanical Computer Keyboard KUMARA USB Wired Cherry MX Blue Equivalent Switches for Windows PC Gamers (Black RED LED Backlit)
  • Custom mechanical switches (Cherry Blue equivalent) for ultimate gaming performance
  • Red LED adjustable lighting and double-shot injection molded keycaps for crystal clear backlighting
  • Metal and ABS Construction, mechanical keys, and gold Plated USB connector stand up to hardcore gaming
  • Custom mechanical switches designed for longevity, responsiveness, and durability. Mechanical keys with medium resistance, audible click sound, and tactile feedback
  • 87 standard conflict free keys, 12 multimedia keys, and splash-proof design


CORSAIR K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

CORSAIR K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The CORSAIR K68 is an affordable option that players of all skill levels take advantage of. Like many products in its price range, it comes with anti-ghosting and full key rollover. These features ensure that each stroke is registered and that your playing experience is as accurate as possible. 

The featured CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) makes it easy to customize the RGB keyboard. You can go as far as individually customizing each key to perfectly emulate your style. 

Another great thing about this product from CORSAIR is that it is spill- and dust-proof. Two lines of defense protect essential components from damage. With this option, you can focus on your gaming without worrying about damaging your equipment.  

This product comes with a detachable wrist rest. On the one hand, it offers the user some padding. It’s not magnetic and won’t move around when you accidentally bump into it. 

On the other hand, it can be a pain to attach and remove. Plus, the hard plastic does not make it much more comfortable than resting your wrists on a regular desk. 

Features:

  • CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE)
  • Removable wrist rest
  • Grip-textured spacebar 
  • Anti-ghosting

Pros:

  • Customization is very versatile
  • Accessible volume and media control buttons
  • Allows for precise strokes 
  • Spill- and dust-proof

Cons:

  • Not ideal for larger hands
  • Some users find the wrist rest uncomfortable

Verdict

Aside from the slightly inconvenient wrist rest, this is a great option from CORSAIR. Users of all skill levels can appreciate the versatile customization and accurate play it allows. 

Sale
Corsair K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Backlit RGB LED, Dust and Spill Resistant - Linear & Quiet - Cherry MX Red
  • Vivid RGB backlighting offers virtually unlimited lighting customization, or use a variety of on board pre installed effects for instant illumination
  • Dust and spill resistant design rated up to IP32 protection, helps defend against accidents so your gameplay never has to stop
  • 100percentage gold contact CHERRY MX mechanical gaming key switches deliver the ultimate performance and competitive advantage
  • CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) software controls sophisticated macro programming and stunning dynamic lighting effects
  • 100percentage Anti ghosting with full key rollover ensures your commands and simultaneous keystrokes always register the way you intended

Buyers Guide – What to Look For When Buying a Gaming Keyboard

If you’re a seasoned gamer, you are likely aware of what makes a great board. You know that it allows you to do more than just type. It doubles as a controller and acts as your interface to the gaming world. However, there are many products on the market, so it can be difficult to pick the one that’s right for you. Here, we’ll cover some factors to consider when purchasing a gaming board.

The Different Types of Switches

You’ll want a specific switch depending on your budget, the types of games you play, and what else you use your computer for. Understand the different types of switches that come with gaming boards:

Mechanical Switches

Today, mechanical switches are the most common type of switches used in gaming boards. In these keyboards, each key is paired to its own spring-loaded switch. They offer players tactile feedback and superior audio quality. 

A majority of these switches use “MX” mechanisms from Cherry, a leader in keyswitch technology. They’re identified by color: MX Red, MX Black, MX Blue, MX Brown, etc. Each color has a slightly different design to give the player a specific sensory experience.

For example, players who want concise keystrokes should opt for Cherry MX Black switches, as they have a high activation force. Those who need to hit multiple keys in quick succession should opt for the Cherry MX Red switches.

Dome Switches

Dome switches are found in cheaper gaming boards. These rubber switches use little bubbles in a silicone membrane. They can make it more difficult to press keys quickly, which can make entering commands a much slower process.

Scissor Switches

Scissor switches are a variation of dome switches. They have a slimmer profile and have a stabilizing X-shaped mechanism below each key.

Interface: Wireless or USB Wired?

Initially, some players may opt for a wireless gaming keyboard. A wireless keyboard seems ideal, as it can offer more mobility when you play. 

However, most professional gamers try to steer clear of wireless mechanical keyboards. When a key is pressed, users can expect a delay between the press of a key and the computer’s registration of this movement. Even a small delay can be problematic in high-stakes competitions. 

To keep this lag to a minimum, professional gamers opt for USB wired keyboards, which tend to offer a more reliable transmission of signals.

Light-Up and Customization Options

Backlighting is an important feature for a lot of gamers. Though it may seem unnecessary for a regular keyboard, it makes a difference when playing in a dark room. Some RGB keyboards allow you to adjust the color of the arrows and WASD keys, which is great for highlighting some of the most frequently used buttons.

Some gaming keyboards let you swap out the keys’ tops for ones that serve different purposes, like enhanced tactile control.

Other products allow for a fully customizable experience. With the right product, you can:

  • Create dedicated shortcut keys
  • Track gaming statistics
  • Dedicate keys to media elements like audio

Software

Most gaming keyboards worth purchasing have advanced applications tied to them. Their software lets you customize lighting, assign functions to shortcut keys, and create game-specific profiles. The software available varies in appearance but serves the same functional purpose: to enhance your gaming experience. A few examples of the software utilized in top gaming keyboards include:

Shop For A New Gaming Keyboard Today

While a fancy monitor, headset, and mouse will enhance your PC gaming experience, the right board will arguably have the most positive impact.

The right gaming board should be aesthetically pleasing and able to keep up with your active gameplay. It’s time to ditch your standard board that wasn’t designed with gaming in mind. Check out one of these gaming keyboards today! 

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