Best Gaming Keyboard 2017 – 10 Best Gaming Keyboards

By Muhammad Asfand Yar | Gaming

Best-Gaming-Keyboard-2017

Unlike some other gaming peripherals, the presence of gaming keyboards is regarded a lot because the gaming keyboards are actually in possession of some of the traits that make them so good. The best gaming keyboards in the market are equipped with expensive mechanical switches that make them really, really good to use.

Best Gaming ​Keyboard Comparsion

What You Should Look for in a Gaming Keyboard

At this point, the modern gaming market is filled with gaming keyboards from almost all the companies you could expect, G.Skill, Corsair, and Kingston are among the very few companies that are releasing the gaming keyboards in the market.

In addition to that, the legacy companies like SteelSeries, Razer, Roccat, and Logitech are also partaking in this trend of bringing out the best gaming keyboards in the market. However, choosing a gaming keyboard isn’t as easy as choosing a gaming mouse or a gaming headset.

The reason behind that is rather simple to understand, gaming keyboards are more difficult to choose because each keyboard is available in different switch variants, and in addition to that, there are multiple companies in the market making the mechanical switches for the keyboards.

Some of the most notable companies that are creating switches are noted below.

  • Cherry MX: Most notable for working closely with Corsair, and releasing a lot of different switch types.

  • Omron: Making Romer G switches in collaboration with Logitech, exclusive to only Logitech mechanical keyboards.

  • Razer: Exclusively making their switches for their lineup of mechanical keyboards.

Apart from the names mentioned above, you should keep in mind that there are some other mechanical keyboards available in the market with different switches as well.

With that out of the way, the real question boils down to the what you should look for in a gaming keyboard? Well, to be honest, there are a lot of things that one should be considering. Gaming keyboards, especially the ones with mechanical switches don’t come for cheap, that’s why it’s always best to make sure that whatever you’re getting is worth the price.

Today, we are going to take a look at everything one should be looking for in a gaming keyboard, so, without further ado, let’s begin.

Membrane or Mechanical?

Despite being really old, membrane gaming keyboards are still available in the market, and the reason behind that is simply the cost. A high end membrane keyboard costs almost half of what a starter mechanical keyboard costs.

Whenever you’re in the market, make sure you know whether you want the membrane keyboard, or the mechanical keyboard. To put it simply, membrane keyboards have a very mushy feeling, they also need to be completely bottomed out in order for the key to register, and aren’t as responsive.

As for the mechanical keyboards, they don’t feel mushy at all, you don’t need to bottom out the keys completely in order for them to register, and they are certainly very responsive.

However, do keep in mind that unlike membrane keyboards, mechanical keyboards can cost a lot, especially if you’re talking about genuine Cherry MX switches.

Switch Types

When you are choosing a mechanical keyboard, do keep in mind that there are other variants of the same keyboards with different switch types as well. Take Corsair’s K70 for instance, the standard version is available in Cherry’s Red, Blue, and Brown key switch. However, the company’s released a newer type of key switch known as the MX Speed/Silver.

Now, an ordinary buyer wouldn’t know the difference, and to make things clearer, we are going to state the characteristics of some of the most common key switches that are available in the market.

  • MX Red: Linear switch with no tactile bump, best suited for gamers.

  • MX Blue: These are clicky switches that come with a tactile bump, and are best suited for typists due to their audible, and physical feedback.

  • MX Brown: Brown switches are somewhere between the red, and black. They do have a light tactile bump, but aren’t as clicky as the blue switches.

  • MX Speed/Silver: The relatively new MX switches are targeted at gamers who like to make sure that the key presses are registered the fastest. These switches have an actuation point of 1.2mm as compared to the 2.0mm of all the other switches.

So, you can now tell some of the common switch types that are widely available, however, do keep in mind that MX Black, and MX Clear are 2 more switch types, but many gaming keyboards usually don’t ship with them.

With that out of the way, each MX switch is colour coded, so the blue switch will actually be in blue, and same goes for the rest of the switch types from Cherry, as well as Razer. When buying a gaming keyboard, make sure you’re fully aware of your needs, and then make the purchase.

Best Gaming Keyboards 2017​


CORSAIR K70 RGB Mechanical

Best Gaming Keyboard 2017​

CORSAIR-K70-RGB-Mechanical-Best-Gaming-Keyboard

There’s no denying that the Corsair K70 RGB is perhaps the most revered gaming keyboard in the market right now. The keyboard has been around for about 3 years, but Corsair managed to refresh the keyboard with certain upgrades every now and then.

The company even released a new keyboard based on the same K70 design, and features, but with a different Cherry MX Speed/Silver switches. The keyboard carried a different name and was known as the K70 RGB Rapidfire. Today, however, we are looking at the original K70 RGB keyboard.

Much like the majority of gaming keyboards in the market, the K70 RGB is available in Cherry MX red, blue, and brown switches. The version we tested came with the red switches, and needless to say, we are as impressed as we were with the original K70.

The keyboard follows the same great design, and comes in a brushed aluminum chassis, you also get a USB pass through on the top of the keyboard, and a nice, thick braided USB cable. There are dedicated media controls on the top right, along with a metal volume wheel that you can roll up and down to adjust the volume.

The keyboard comes with a set of textured keycaps that you can use, but considering how the already supplied keycaps are good, many people wouldn’t want to use those. Corsair also supplies you with a detachable wrist rest that is textured, looks, and feels great to touch.

Although the keyboard doesn’t offer any macro keys, you can still program the keyboard to your liking, and create macros using the existing keys on the keyboard. Corsair’s Utility Engine also got an upgrade, and is a lot easier to use.

In short, the CUE remains to be one of the most loaded customization softwares in the market, sure, it’s a lot overwhelming as compared to the competition, but the way it lets you control the keyboard is unrivaled, and amazing.

Overall, the Corsair K70 ticks all the boxes, however, we do have a minor complaint, and that is completely out of the love and respect for Corsair. Despite the high price tag, Corsair is still using ABS keycaps, and for anyone who’s a hardcore gamer, or even typist, these keycaps lose their matte finish relatively fast.

However, an important thing to keep in mind is that there are no major gaming keyboards that are shipping with PBT keycaps.

If you’re okay with that, and prefer these cheaper to make keycaps than the expensive PBT counterpart, then there’s no denying that the Corsair K70 RGB is perhaps the perfect mechanical keyboard in the market

Pros


    • Per key backlighting remains fantastic and offers ton of customization.

    • Corsair’s CUE software is loaded with impressive customization features.

    • Users can create some stunning light shows thanks to the complexity and depth of the CUE software

    • All Cherry MX variants feel amazing.

Cons


    • Despite the higher price tag, the keyboard uses ABS keycaps.

Razer Blackwidow Chroma

Razer-Blackwidow-Chroma

Razer’s presence in the market of gaming peripherals has been around for quite some time, the company is prolific for innovating with the gaming peripherals, and is considered one of the top names in the market. However, a lot of gamers have suggested that Razer is just asking for a lot of money for the quality of products they are offering.

Today, we are looking at the Razer Blackwidow Chroma, do keep in mind that this is the upgraded version that comes with mechanical switches built exclusively by Razer. For those who don’t know, Razer was previously making the mechanical switches in collaboration with a Chinese manufacturer known as Kailh.

However, Razer has decided to part ways, and make the switches in house, and although the first keyboard to receive this upgrade was the new Blackwidow Chroma V2, Razer quietly pushed the upgrade to the entire lineup of mechanical keyboards.

The Blackwidow Chroma is a fantastic keyboard by Razer that uses a clever mix of plastic and aluminum frame. The overall layout is standard, however, Razer has added a row of macro keys on the left side of the keyboard for those who prefer macro keys.

The keyboard uses fully RGB LED lighting that you can control through Razer’s highly revered Synapse 2.0 software, the amount of customizations is slightly lower than what the competition has to offer, but the software offers one of the best experience we have seen in a gaming software.

The typing experience on the upgraded switches is far better than what we have tested before, and can certainly tell that Razer is definitely heading into the right direction. The upgraded Blackwidow Chroma is certainly a top gaming keyboard, now the only necessary thing Razer needs to do is make the Synapse 2.0 loaded with enough features to keep everyone happy.

Pros


    • The plastic and metal combination works really well.

    • Well thought RGB LED implementation.

    • Razer Synapse 2.0 is a smooth sailing customization software.

    • Razer’s in-house switches are better than the previous ones.

Cons


    • Although amazing, Synapse is still a lot behind in terms of functionality.

HyperX Alloy

Best FPS Gaming Keyboard

HyperX-Alloy-FPS-Best-Gaming-Keyboard

A lot of people know the HyperX branding from Kingston’s enthusiast grade memory modules, and their SSDs. However, for those who don’t know, Kingston’s foray into the peripheral market was nothing short of exceptional. The company released some of the best, yet highly affordable gaming peripherals back to back and managed to earn a lot of name.

Today, we are going to take a look at something different, today, we are taking a look at HyperX Alloy FPS, a Cherry MX keyboard that is aimed at FPS gamers, as well as the users who are looking for simplistic approach in a crowded market filled with all sorts of gimmicks.

The keyboard uses genuine Cherry MX switches, and comes in a nice, compact design that will remind you of the classic keyboards. The design is minimum to the core with no added frills or flares, something that a lot of gamers prefer as it makes it easier to move the keyboard around when necessary.

The keyboard features red LED that can be customized to some extent, the keyboard has a detachable, braided USB cable, a USB pass through, and comes in a velvety carrying case. Although most of the construction is made out of high quality plastic, the alloy part basically refers to the metal back plate on which the keys are sitting.

The keycaps are nicely made with good plastic, and the keyboard does come with textured keycaps for the FPS gamers who prefer to have proper physical cues. The typing and gaming experience on the HyperX Allow FPS is perhaps one of the most enjoyable one, mainly due to the fact that its core, it’s a simple gaming keyboard that is made for both gaming and typing.

We really don’t have any complaints with this keyboard, apart from the fact that it’s simple for its own good, and while that doesn’t bother us, some gamers may want more for the amount of money they are spending on this keyboard.

Pros


    • Simple and practical design.

    • Great value for money.

    • Sturdy build quality.

    • Comes with a detachable, braided cable, textured keycaps, and a velvety carrying case.

    • Genuine Cherry MX switches

Cons


    • Too simple for its own good.

Logitech G610 Orion

Logitech-G610-Orion-Best-Gaming-Keyboard

Logitech has made some questionable choices with their gaming keyboards, their G910 Orion keyboard was supposed to be the trendsetter, however, faced a lot of technical issues that weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. Many complained that the Romer G switches feel mush, and aren’t as responsive as the Cherry MX switches that are widely available.

While Logitech never revised the G910 with Cherry MX RGB switches because of Corsair’s exclusivity, the G610 Orion uses Cherry MX Brown switches with white LED. Is it any good? Let’s find out.

Right off the bad, you’ll realise that the Logitech GG10 Orion is perhaps the simplest mechanical keyboard from Logitech in the market right now, the keyboard looks great in black, and the overall build quality feels solid and sturdy. You get full white per key back lighting that looks great,

However, you should keep in mind that Logitech is only selling this keyboard in Cherry MX Brown, and MX Red version. The white backlighting along with the keyboard can be programmed through Logitech’s Gaming software, and although there are no dedicated macro keys, you can create your own macros through the software.

Logitech was also kind enough to add dedicated media keys on the top right, as well as a volume wheel. However, the odd thing is that these dedicated media keys are round, and look out of place. Still, the keyboard itself makes up for it thanks to the minimalistic design and looks.

Pros


    • Great value for money.

    • Solid performing sensor.

    • Sensor is accurate and fast.
    • Dedicated media wheels and volume wheel.

Cons


    • No USB/audio pass through.

    • No wrist rest.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

Das-Keyboard-4-Professional-Best-Gaming-Keyboard

In a world where gaming keyboards are trying to be as fancy as possible, one company is trying to make things traditional, and simpler. Say hello to the Das Keyboard 4 Professional, one of the simplest gaming keyboards out in the market that is made for gamers, and professionals alike. What makes it so special? Let’s find out.

For starters, the keyboard has a very simple, no nonsense design; it doesn’t ship with any additional macro keys, and no weird key placements. You’re getting the standard layout, and that’s all. On the top right, you find an amazing volume know that you can use to control the volume to your liking.

The keyboard ships with genuine Cherry MX switches, and is available in blue, and brown. It was strange to see the keyboard not coming in the red switch because that is the basic choice of every gamer, but luckily, you have the brown switch to even out things.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional also comes with some additional features like dedicated media keys, dedicated hardware buttons that let you put your computer to sleep whenever you please, not one but two USB 3.0 ports.

All of these features make the Das Keyboard 4 Professional an amazing multipurpose mechanical keyboard, however, there are some important things that you should keep in mind. For starters, the keyboard costs quite a lot for a mechanical keyboard that has no backlighting. Meaning that you’re getting a completely stripped down keyboard.

However, the company makes up for the lack of feature by providing an otherwise amazing typing experience that is very rare to come across, and a godsend in a market flooded with all sorts of mechanical keyboards

Pros


    • Budget friendly.

    • Solid performing sensor.

    • Decent Build Quality
    • Volume knob.

Cons


    • Pretty expensive.

    • No backlighting option.

Razer DeathStalker Chroma

Razer-DeathStalker-Chroma

The last keyboard on our list is again by Razer, however, this time, this is a membrane keyboard. Say hello to the legendary Razer DeathStalker but this time, with Chroma lighting. The DeathStalker Chroma is a basic membrane keyboard with chiclet keys and is aimed at budget gamers who don’t want to spend a lot of money.

Obviously, membrane keys are not something that are preferred by everyone, and it was a really bold move by Razer to actually release something like DeathStalker Chroma in the current market where everyone is focusing on bringing mechanical switches into the mix.

With that said, the DeathStalker Chroma is a pretty basic gaming keyboard that looks exactly the same like the original DeathStalker, with the only exception of Chroma RGB lighting. As far as the typing is concerned, there isn’t much to expect from the DeathStalker Chroma, the keyboard feels a lot like a laptop keyboard, however, the overall typing experience is a lot more comfortable because here you actually have properly spaced keys.

The Chroma functionality still completely depends on the Razer Synapse, but do keep in mind that since it’s a membrane keyboard, the Chroma lighting is basically a stripped down version of what you get otherwise. Everything is pretty basic, and despite having some amount of lighting modes, it just doesn’t manage to give the same vibe.

For starters, there’s no per key backlighting, instead you get 3 lighting zones that you can configure as per your requirements, in addition to that, the lighting isn’t as bright, and vivid as you’d see normally, and that’s because it’s a lot harder to implement a proper RGB system on a keyboard that doesn’t have mechanical switches housing the RGB LEDs.

Whatever you may think about it, the Razer DeathStalker Chroma is far from a perfect keyboard, however, that doesn’t mean that it should completely be ignored. The keyboard has incredibly low profile, and despite being a membrane keyboard, the key strokes don’t have to travel a lot, and feel responsive to touch.

Not to mention, the overall design language is as minimalistic as it gets, and it actually looks a lot better than some of the other options available in the market.

Pros


    • Minimalist design.

    • Responsive keys despite being membrane.

    • Great value for the money.

Cons


    • Chroma functionality is incredibly stripped down.

SteelSeries Apex M800

SteelSeries-Apex-M800-Best-Gaming-Keyboard

When it comes to gaming peripherals, SteelSeries is perhaps one of the oldest companies in the market, they have been making some of the finest gaming peripherals that are used by millions worldwide including the pro gamers.

The SteelSeries Apex M800 is company’s approach at a mechanical keyboard, however, instead of using the industry standard Cherry MX switches, SteelSeries has opted to go for a switch the company created with some of the industry “experts”. The switch is simply called QS1 and doesn’t feel or look anything like the traditional switches we are so used to see.

With that said, the keyboard has quite a large footprint, and unlike some mechanical keyboards, the keys aren’t really tall. As a matter of fact, at first look, you’d almost confuse the keys as chiclet because of their slim profile. However, the good thing is that they don’t hinder with the gaming experience at all.

We had some reservations about the QS1 switches, but to our surprise, they worked really, really well. The switch is about 2.5 faster than your traditional mechanical switch that is available in the market, and while the number may not seem like a lot, it’s actually good for majority of FPS gamers.

Another bonus point here is the RGB lighting that happens to be one of the best we have seen, and while a lot of people still consider it as a gimmick, the fact that RGB is becoming more and more common is basically just a cherry on top.

The keyboard also has a row of macro keys on the right that you can program however you want, making it great for those who have a lot of complex macros. Last but not the least, SteelSeries has also included a USB pass through, something that majority of gamers desire a lot.

So, there are a lot of great things about the SteelSeries Apex M800, however, with the good things aside, you may also find some downsides. In our case, we realized that the keys aren’t as spaced as we would prefer, and while that may not concern most of the people, but if you’re going to type on the same keyboard, you may find yourself accidentally hitting some other keys.

Other than that, it’s also necessary to note that the keyboard is entirely made out of plastic, and that is something some people may not appreciate, especially when you are taking a look at the price tag of the keyboard.

If you are okay with these quirks, and you don’t mind the keyboard using some other key switch than the industry standard Cherry MX, then the SteelSeries Apex M800 may be the best choice for you.

Pros


    • QS1 switches by SteelSeries are amazing.

    • The RGB lighting looks fantastic with plenty of customization option.

    • Dedicated macro keys, and USB pass through is an added bonus.

    • The keyboard looks and feels fantastic.

Cons


  • They keycaps are narrowly spaced and aren’t ideal for typists
  • Despite the high price tag, the keyboard is made entirely out of plastic.

G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 RGB

G.Skill-Ripjaws-KM780-RGB

We best know G.Skill for their top of the line, enthusiast grade memory modules, so it was a little surprising for us to see the company release gaming peripherals. However, we still didn’t doubt the company’s dedication towards their products and decided to give the KM780 a spin.

The Ripjaws KM780 comes in simple red LED, and RGB LEDs, the version we are testing comes with the RGB LED. The good thing here is that the keyboard is using genuine Cherry MX switches, and that alone is a sign of great quality. But can it compete with the rest of the competition that has been around for years? Definitely.

The keyboard comes with an aluminum chassis that is built amazingly, and looks quite futuristic and industrial, G.Skill also gives you some additional keycaps, you have dedicated macro keys on the far left of the keyboard, and you also dedicated media controls. Last but not the least, the keyboard also has a USB pass-through for those who are willing to connect their mouse or external hard drive there.

Overall, as far as the features are concerned, the KM780 is armed to teeth, the Cherry MX Red RGB switches are some of the best we have seen, and the keycaps are made with good enough plastic that they can hold on against intense gaming sessions. Colours are accurate as they can be, and there’s little to no light bleeding. Something that is very common with mechanical keyboards.

Another great thing about this keyboard is that it comes with a wrist rest, something that is demanded by gamers who are planning on having long sessions, and prefer putting the weight of their hand on the keyboard.

With all the good things aside, the only issue we encountered with the Ripjaws KM780 was how the software was designed; it needs some severe polishing if it intends to be user friendly at all. Other than that, the keyboard is near to perfection thanks to some of the best features packed into one package

Pros


    • Sturdy aluminum chassis

    • USB pass-through and RGB LEDs.

    • Genuine Cherry MX switches.

    • Dedicated macro and media keys.

Cons


    • Software is a cluttered mess.

Tesoro Excalibur G7NL

Tesoro-Excalibur-G7NL

As of right now, the gaming keyboard marketing is flourishing with all sorts of keyboards, from companies most people haven’t heard about. Right now, we are looking at the Tesoro Excalibur G7NL. A rather simple, yet practical approach to a gaming keyboard that can also suit typists, or people who are working in the office.

This kind of approach was made possible by making sure the design doesn’t have any gamer-esque elements, and with the RGB lights turned off, the Excalibur looks more like a keyboard suited for offices than for games. However, the font on the keycaps may not represent the same as it’s not your typical typeface.

With that said, the Excalibur uses Kailh switches, and that’s because at the time of release, Corsair was the only company that was allowed to use Corsair’s RGB mechanical switches. However, if you want the non-RGB LED, some of the other Tesoro keyboards do come with Cherry MX switches as well.

Now, when it comes to Kailh, it can simply put as a really high end clone of Cherry MX, the design is same, they even come with the same actuation force, actuation point, and colour coordination. Simply put, unless you’re a hardcore Cherry MX enthusiast, it would be almost impossible for you to tell the difference.

The keyboard’s design is perhaps the simplest we have seen for a gaming keyboard, it’s just a rectangular piece with absolutely no frills, whatsoever. Something a lot of people would admire. Another good thing is that the keyboard doesn’t require any software to use, even the lighting can be controlled by the button combination on the keyboard.

However, if you do wish for a proper control, the keyboard does ship with a really, really bad software known as Excalibur. In simpler words, it’s best if you avoid it. Overall, The Tesoro Excalibur is a nice gaming keyboard that is praised for its simplistic design with no additional flare.

The lack of basic features such as no wrist rest, and audio/USB pass through might be a deal breaker for some, but the fact that you’re paying a lot less for this keyboard is an added bonus

Pros


    • Great, simple looks.

    • Solid performing sensor.

    • Great price for a mechanical keyboard with RGB LED.
    • Kailh switches are almost as good as Cherry MX but a lot cheaper.

Cons


    • Terrible software.

    • No additional features.

Roccat Ryos MK FX

Roccat-Ryos-MK-FX

The gaming keyboard market is currently divided in 3 sections, one wants to make things as simple as possible, the other wants take everything over the top, and the last one wants to maintain a proper balance between both. As for Roccat, it’s largely aimed towards the 2nd section that wants to keep things as crazy as possible.

In comes the Roccat Ryos MK FX; a crazy, over the top mechanical keyboard that is offering more than what most people are looking for. The keyboard is designed with gamers in mind, and offers genuine Cherry MX switches with RGB lighting.

The keyboard is huge, and the build quality is sturdy as it could be, you get 2 audio pass through ports, however, the USB one is missing. The left side of the keyboard gives you a row of macro keys that can be programmed as per the user’s liking.

The keyboard also comes with a relatively large, and extremely comfortable wrist rest, something that is always a welcomed addition in the gaming keyboards. Under the space bar, you get small buttons that can programmed to anything you like including profile switching, a nice approach by Roccat that we haven’t seen a lot.

Roccat also includes media keys, however, instead of being on the top right, these conveniently sit on top of the cursor keys, a bold but practical move by the company. Accessing keys that way feel a more natural, and convenient.

The Ryos MK FX can be controlled and programmed to your liking using the Roccat Swarm software, the software lets you record macros, control the lighting, as well as create profiles. The software isn’t too heavy on the features; the ease of access is something that is certainly there.

Thanks to the genuine Cherry MX switches, the typing and gaming experience remains consistent, and incredibly pleasurable throughout the whole ride. The keys feel responsive, and that’s exactly what we are looking for.

In all honesty, there are no real disadvantages to the Roccat Ryos MK FX, first look at the keyboard, and it becomes evident that Roccat was planning on delivering something only to the gamers. Keeping that in mind, there’s no USB pass through, and no volume control. However, the good thing is that amidst so many rights, it would be hard to see and justify some minor inconveniences

Pros


    • Genuine Cherry MX switches.

    • RGB LCD and audio pass-through.

    • Wrist-rest is a valued addition.
    • Dedicated media and macro keys.

Cons


    • The keyboard is simply huge and have no volume knob.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that most of you have already guessed the conclusion, however, if you missed out on it, the winner is the Corsair K70 RGB. Not because it’s our favourite keyboard in the list, but because it happens to be the most consistent one out of the bunch.

The software version is largely improved as compared to what it used to be, the key switches are still amazing, and the RGB implementation is clearly just too good. However, that’s not all you’re getting, Corsair has made sure that this keyboard remains relevant by offering one of the best build quality, dedicated media controls, and that amazing volume wheel.

Sure, this isn’t the fanciest mechanical keyboard, but ask yourself if you’re really looking for that? Most people aren’t. The design is tried and true, and all the features fit right into the mix without over complicating anything.

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About the Author

Muhammad Asfand Yar, or Asfand as his friends call, is Author cum Owner of List Enthusiast. Blogging is his old new-found love. He writes to boost his Knowledge - and yours too. He usually remains in front of computer screen - even when he isn't writing any Blog post - doing computer programming. C++ is his passion. Catch him on twitter @asfandyar12.