Best Mechanical Keyboards

Last Updated on by Nicholas Frost

Let’s be realistic, computers and laptops come equipped with extremely basic keyboards. The stock keyboards offer little more than the bare bones when it comes to functionality and features. Switching to a mechanical keyboard can truly enhance your experience. Whether you’re using your computer for gaming, programming, or even just typing, a mechanical keyboard is the way forward. With so many customizable options, you can truly personalize your keyboard to suit your needs.

The Best Mechanical Keyboards – Reviews

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The first pick on our list is the BlackWidow Elite from Razer. Razer is well known for making sleek and futuristic components for computers, and the BlackWidow Elite is no exception. It’s got a bold, colorful look and features one of their series of switches. It hits the top spot on our list for its ability to be customized so thoroughly. It is one of the best on the market for typists and offers tons of useful features for gamers too.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Green
  • USD Passthrough – Yes
  • Size – Full Size
  • Wrist rest – Yes
  • Backlighting – RGB
  • Media Controls – Full

The BlackWidow Elite contains a Green Razer switch, which is a tactile, clicky switch. It gives a small bump when you press the key, coupled with a click. For this reason, it does have some noise to it. The Razer snake logo is identifiable from a distance and backlit at the base of the keyboard. On top of that, it’s RGB lighting can be customized to cover a spectrum of 16.8 million colors. It’s all about the light on this model.

They even have backlit media controls. As it’s a full-size keyboard, they’ve managed to fit on a full range of media controls. These include pause, play, rewind, fast forward, and a volume control wheel. It’s perfect if you’re planning on watching lots of videos on your computer.

Though the cable is quick substantial, they’ve added a guide channel under the keyboard which it fits into to keep it in place. It allows the cable to be directed to the back of your desk and stay out of the way. Plus, beyond just having a USB passthrough, it also has a 3.5mm passthrough as well. So, you can plug your headphones straight into the keyboard.

Pros:

  • Cord control
  • 3.5mm and USB passthrough
  • Tons of RGB lighting features

Cons:

  • Substantial, heavy cord

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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HyperX Alloy Elite

Our second pick also has a considerable number of useful features. Not only does the HyperX Alloy look and feel premium, but it also comes in at a reasonable price. The keys sit on a solid black steel frame, which is durable and built to last through frustrated finger bashing in-game. It features the tried and tested Cherry MX range of switches, and you can choose the one you want based on your preference.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Cherry MX Red, Brown or Blue
  • USD Passthrough – Yes
  • Size – Full Size
  • Wrist rest – Removeable
  • Backlighting – Full RGB
  • Media Controls – Full

Some of its features included a detachable wrist rest that has a soft-touch coating for comfort and full range media keys. The volume control wheel is easy to access for quick audio alterations. It also has some swift access keys for things like turning on gaming mode or changing the brightness. It has full RGB lighting that is customizable as well as slick sliver keycaps that can swap onto some of the trigger keys.

Though HyperX is still new on the component production scene, they’ve created a functional full-size option that does what you need it to, and for a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • Loaded with features
  • Choose from any of the Cherry MX switch types

Cons:

  • Software isn’t the most user-friendly

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Logitech G Pro X

Logitech hits our list with their Pro X mechanical keyboard. They came out with the original G Pro series, which didn’t allow you to swap switches. The G Pro X takes the number three spot for its hot-swapping switch design, the first on our list.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Logitech Romer GX Brown, Blue or Red
  • USD Passthrough – No
  • Size – Tenkeyless
  • Wrist rest – No
  • Backlighting –RGB
  • Media Controls – Through function keys

Not only can you swap between their switches, but they are also generally compatible with all types of key-switches. Logitech prefers you use theirs, and it can save you issues with compatibility down the line. Logitech offers a full range of switch options, clicky, tactile or linear, so you can pick whichever you like. The hot-swap switch swap (say that ten times fast), is relatively easy to execute for users as well.

Though there are no dedicated media keys, you can program the function keys to act as media keys. Beyond that, all twelve function keys can be programmed to suit whatever you need. The cable is detachable, so it’s easy to replace if need be.

Pros:

  • Hot-swap switch design
  • Attractive RGB lightings

Cons:

  • Not many extra features

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

For the computer user who likes the best of the best, we’ve got the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum. Everything about this keyboard exudes premium; from its aircraft-grade, brushed aluminum frame to it’s golden Cherry MX switches. With quality comes a high price tag, but if you’re willing to invest, you can get this beauty.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Cherry MX Brown
  • USD Passthrough – Yes
  • Size – Full-size
  • Wrist rest – Removable
  • Backlighting – RGB
  • Media Controls – Full

The Cherry MX Red switches are linear and known for their high actuation point of 1.2mm. They are also extremely quiet, which makes them great for gamers who need to do a lot of button mashing. It is also suitable for typists who are located around others and require a quieter mechanical keyboard.

It’s got quite the bank of both esthetic and functional features. For the gamers, it has six specific macro keys than can be programmed with in-game abilities or skills. The backlighting can be programmable to each key, and the board also has a slick lighting bar along the top. There is a full range of media keys on the board, as well. It has a button for everything.

Some fun additional features include a cable control channel beneath the keyboard and a reversible wrist rest.

Pros:

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum composition
  • Premium design and functionality
  • Button for everything

Cons:

  • Large in size
  • Expensive

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Razer Huntsman Elite

Yet another entry from Razer to hit our list. The Razer Huntsman Elite features two switch options, both from the Razer optomechanical series. There is a linear or clicky option depending on what you like. You can only get these switches in their Huntsman series of mechanical keyboards. What makes them different is that the switch combines the classic mechanical design with optical sensor elements to form an innovation piece of technology.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Razer Opto-mechanical
  • USD Passthrough – No
  • Size – Full-size
  • Wrist rest – Removable, magnetic
  • Backlighting – RGB
  • Media Controls – Full

The switch works by actuating when light hits the stem as you push down on the key. There is no delay from when you push down on the key to when your computer registers it. For this reason, you can’t get another mechanical keyboard that responds as quick as this one. At least not yet.

The aluminum plate features customizable RGB backlighting, a full set of media keys, and storage options on the keyboard itself. The only thing we can find that it lacks is a USB passthrough, while the innovative switch design makes it easy to overlook that.

Pros:

  • Opto-mechanical switch
  • On-board storage

Cons:

  • No USD passthrough

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Das Keyboard 4 Professional

The Das Keyboard 4 Pro is the first mechanical keyboard on our list that doesn’t feature RGB backlighting. Don’t let its simple design fool you. It is a functional and sturdy mechanical keyboard with some unique and innovative features. It operates with Cherry Mx switches, and you can choose between blue clicky or brown tactile style. The keyboard supports full NKRO, so it’s a fast typist’s dream. Your typing won’t be interrupted regardless of how many buttons you press.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Cherry MX Blue or Brown
  • USD Passthrough – Yes
  • Size – Full-size
  • Wrist rest – No
  • Backlighting – No
  • Media Controls – Full

It has two USB 3.0 ports that kick out 5GB/s transfer speeds and an instant sleep button to save energy when you’re stepping away from your desk. Another fun feature is its feet replacer. Instead of using feet to prop up the keyboard, it uses a footboard. The footboard is magnetically attached, so you can remove it when you don’t need it. The unique part is that the footboard also functions as a ruler. Two for the price of one. Not the most useful feature, but still a fun little addition.

It has a full set of dedicated media keys, including a red-edged volume dial for easy audio adjustment.

Pros:

  • Sleep button
  • Full media controls
  • Ruler as a footboard

Cons:

  • Expensive for what you get
  • No backlighting

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Alienware AW768 Pro

Just as you’d expect from Alienware, the AW768 Pro delivers an otherworldly esthetic with some incredible features that have gamers buzzing. The keyboard has Cherry MX Brown tactile switches. They give the perfect balance of quick actuation, with physical feedback and low noise. The design is unique, with a silver back panel and 13 distinct lighting zones on the face.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Cherry MX Brown
  • USD Passthrough – No
  • Size – Full-size
  • Wrist rest – Optional
  • Backlighting – RGB
  • Media Controls – Full

The keyboard design has gamers in mind. Fifteen macro keys can be programmed to allow you easy access to tons of in-game abilities and skills. There is also 256kB of onboard memory, which is handy for gamers as well.

If you’re not gaming, you will still get usage out of its full range of media controls, including the volume control wheel. For typists, the brown tactile switch actuates well to allow quick and reasonably quiet typing. Rather than an adjustable foot, like the rest of the mechanical keyboards, the Alienware AW768 Pro has an adjustable leg. It allows you to choose between three separate typing positions, from flat to very slanted. Just be careful with typing for long periods with your wrists bent upwards.

Pros:

  • Funky, futuristic design
  • 15 programmable macro keys
  • Three different angle options.

Cons:

  • The best functions of the keyboard must be used with Alienware systems as they aren’t compatible with others.

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Kinesis KB600 Advantage

The Kinesis KB600 Advantage is the first ergonomic mechanical keyboard to hit our list. Ergonomic keyboards tend to put a precedence on comfort above esthetic value. That said, this one does look pretty cool with its vibrant pops of blue on some keycaps and volume controls.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Cherry MX Brown
  • USD Passthrough – No
  • Size – Ergonomic
  • Wrist rest – Palm pads included
  • Backlighting – No
  • Media Controls – Accessed via function keys

Once you got used to the unique placement of keys, you’ll find this will likely be the most comfortable of all the mechanical keyboards you can get. The design has been well thought out to ensure all your body parts sit in a natural and neutral position while you use the keyboard. From the 20-degree tenting of the keys to the concave bowl design, everything gently eases your wrist and hands into the perfect position. With extending computer use, an ergonomic keyboard can prevent a whole string of long-term injuries from occurring.

Beyond the comfort and health perks of this keyboard are some functional ones, as well. It features a Cherry MX Brown tactile switch, which is easy to actuate. It also comes with software that allows you to program macros into the keys and change key layouts to suit your needs.

Pros:

  • The most comfortable keyboard on the market
  • Reduces the chance of long-term injury
  • Compact size for an ergonomic keyboard

Cons:

  • Steep price
  • Can take time to get used to the design

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Wooting One

The Wooting One keyboard has one of the coolest features of any of the mechanical keyboards on our list. It’s got analog control. What does that mean? Well, essentially, it means that the computer can register precisely how far you’ve pushed down on the keys. While most keys have one actuation point, the Wooting One actuates through the whole motion of pressing down. How is this useful? Well, typically, for gamers, it can be helpful. It offers gradual movement and control, which is directly reflected by how much force you use on the key. The only issue is that many games aren’t compatible with analog software, and therefore that function would be useless.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Red (Hot-swappable)
  • USD Passthrough – No
  • Size – Tenkeyless
  • Wrist rest – No
  • Backlighting – RGB
  • Media Controls – Accessed via alternate keys

Beyond that, this mechanical keyboard also has a hot-swap for the switches. It comes with a red, linear switch that can be swapped out for other options if you wish. It’s the second on our list offering this feature.

It’s tenkeyless, which means it’s more compact than the full-size and fits nicely on any desk. It also means there’s no number pad, so be aware of that if that’s something you will need. The RGB backlight is hypnotic and can change to whatever suits you.

Pros:

  • Analog keys for controlled gaming
  • Hot-swap switch
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Many games do not support analog features yet
  • No number pad

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Mistel Barocco Ergonomic Split

For the last on our list, we want to throw in a unique ergonomic keyboard. The Mistel Barocco is a split keyboard. What this means is that both the left and right sides are separated from each other. You can move these wherever it is most comfortable for your hands. They allow for your mouse to placed as near or far as needed from your body as well.

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Specs:

  • Switch Type – Choice of Cherry Mx Brown, Red, Blue or Black
  • USD Passthrough – No
  • Size – Split Ergonomic
  • Wrist rest – No
  • Backlighting – RGB
  • Media Controls – No

Many consumers have raved about the benefits of having two separate sides. It allows for more comfort for your fingers, wrists, and hands. It will enable your arms to remain in a more natural formation, therefore taking the strain off your shoulders and ultimately reducing discomfort.

It’s also got NKRO so that you can hit many keys at once, and they will all register by the computer. It’s an excellent option for typists and fast-paced gamers, as well. It’s also good to note that it’s compatible with all Cherry MX switches. When you purchase, you can choose which one you would like your mechanical keyboard fitted with for ultimate personalization.

Pros:

  • Can choose between multiple Cherry switch options
  • Split design means you can place the sides wherever is most comfortable for you
  • Helps prevent injury

Cons:

  • Not many features
  • No number pad
  • Lightweight, so it tends to slide around a lot.

Editors Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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From the layout of the keys to funky RGB lighting, mechanical keyboards have progressed over recent years to optimize functions based on what each person is planning to use their computer for. It creates a more streamlined experience for the user.

If you clock many hours at your computer, then it’s crucial to make the experience as comfortable and functional as possible. Having a keyboard that offers a relevant layout, size, and keycaps tailored to you will enhance the quality of your output.

As with anything technical, the mechanical keyboard market can be a bit confusing to understand. It comes with a string of terminology and a pick of many different companies. Our buyer’s guide will help you figure out what to look for when choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard. We’ve also reviewed the top ten best mechanical keyboards on the market, so you’ll have a great place to start.

What Is A Mechanical Keyboard?

The main defining feature of a mechanical keyboard is its use of key switches. Classic models operate with something called a dome switch. With a dome switch, when you press down on a key, it compresses a silicone dome. The action causes two circuit board traces to connect and register that you’ve pressed that key. It’s simple to make, and that is why classic keyboards are inexpensive. The issue with these is that you’ve got to use a relative amount of force to press it down. While we wouldn’t call it heavy exercise, over time, it can put a strain on your fingers. It’s especially true if you spend a lot of time on your computer. They aren’t super durable. After continued usage the silicone domes will lose their bounce-back potential, which will cause them to stop working. They can even stop working altogether.

Mechanical keyboards boycott the old silicone dome-to-circuit system and replace it with physical switches. When you click a key, you will trigger an actual switch. Typically, these switches will use springs to register your keypress. The parts of mechanical keyboards are quite robust and therefore will last much longer than the classic dome switch model. The elements also make them bulkier and more cumbersome, which shouldn’t be an issue if you base yourself at one specific computer desk. The quality of the components also comes with a price tag. A mechanical keyboard will set you back more than a basic keyboard. That said, they are well worth the investment for the enhanced experience.

Before we dive into the more technical stuff, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the terminologies you’ll encounter. Check out our glossary below, where we define the terms you will come across on your search for the best mechanical keyboard.

Glossary of Terms

Actuation Point – The actuation point is how far you need to press on the key before it registers the click.

Clicky – A clicky is a type of switch that makes a click sound every time you press down the keys. The click takes place at the actuation point.

Debounce – The debounce makes sure that only a single input will register when you push a key.

Housing – House is the casing that holds the inner parts of the switch.

Hysteresis – Hysteresis takes place when a switch becomes misaligned at its actuation point. It means you’ll need to reset the key by lifting it off the switch. Once you do, you should be able to resume using the key as usual.

Linear– Linear is a type of switch that operates in a straight up and down motion. These are smooth and quiet to type on.

Membrane Keyboard – Membrane keyboard is where all keys are attached to a single membrane. When you push the key, it compresses a silicone dome, which then pushes on the membrane and circuit board beneath.

Stem – The part of the switch where the keycaps attach to.

Switch – The part of the keyboard that sits underneath each keycap. The type of switch will regulate how your keystrokes communicate with your computer.

Tactile – Tactile is a type of switch that only actuates when there is constant pressure on the keycap.

Tenkeyless – A type of keyboard that does not include a number pad on the right-hand side.

Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider When Choosing a Mechanical Keyboard

Now that you’re an expert on the technical terminology let’s discuss what you should look for when deciding on a mechanical keyboard.

The Key Switch

The most critical element of mechanical keyboards is their key switch. Below every single key is an individual switch. That means that the whole keyboard is much sturdier. Also, if a key does malfunction, it is much easier to fix, as you’ll only need to replace one switch, not a whole membrane. The key switch style is infinitely customizable to provide ultimate functionality and comfortability.

There are three main types of switches you will find in mechanical keyboards. They are clicky, tactile, and linear. We touched on them in the glossary, but let’s go more into detail of each one.

Clicky switches are what they sound like in the name. They are the type of switch that makes an audible click sound when it actuates. Many people prefer this type of switch as it is the most enjoyable, and the sound is satisfying.

Tactile switches deliver a bump partway through pressing the key. When you feel this bump, you know that’s the actuation point. It means you do not need to use much force or push it all the way down for it to register.

Linear switches are the smoothest of the switches. They do not give you physical indications of actuation, or audible ones either.

There is a web of sub-variations within each switch type. These sub-variations feature a range of actuation points and actuation force. That is, how much power is needed to push down the key and at which point the switch registers that you’ve pushed it.

The leading company that produces switches is called Cherry MX. They held the patent for the mechanical switches until 2014, which, once expired, allowed other companies to build them. The most common Cherry MX switches are Brown, Red, and Blue.

1. Brown

Brown is the best switch across the board. It is a great option to start with when you switch to a mechanical keyboard. They are tactile type switch that makes little noise, thus making them accessible for office environments. They are functional enough for any task you need them for.

2. Red

Red is a linear type switch, with little force required for actuation. For this reason, they are the best choice for gamers. They are regarded to have the fasted activation time, so they won’t let you down if you’re in the heat of a shootout.

3. Blue

Blue is a clicky type switch. These are not the best choice is you work in an office setting or game with other people. That is because they can be quite noisy and annoy the people around you. If you’re solo, then likely the sound doesn’t bug you and can be quite satisfying.

The noise of your mechanical keyboard is not only defined by the switch type. Even if the switch itself is quiet, other factors may contribute to audible sounds when you type.

The contributing factors to the volume of your keyboard are:

  • the material of the keyboard
  • design of the keyboard
  • shape of keycap
  • the acoustics of the room
  • how heavy-handed you are when typing

If you’re not sure which switch would be best for you, you’re not alone. There are a few different ways to find out which you like best. You can purchase an inexpensive switch tester, which will allow you to try out all the key types before investing in a full keyboard. You can also pop into a store that sells a mechanical keyboard and have a good on the different options to see what feels best for you. Since mechanical keyboards are an investment piece, you’ll want to choose the best one for the first time.

Size and Layout

The next primary consideration when choosing a mechanical keyboard is the size and layout of the device. There are tons of keyboard options, but they all fit into one of four sizes/layout types. These are ergonomic, compact, tenkeyless, and full-size.

1. Ergonomic

Ergonomic products have a design that keeps user comfort in mind. The same goes for the keyboards. Rather than squeezing some keys on the board, with no rhyme or reason, these boards have a strategic design. They are a bit shocking to look at since they are so different from what we imagine a keyboard to look like. That is because they are split down the center and sloped at an angle that allows your hands, arms, wrists, and shoulders to all sit naturally. Using an ergonomic keyboard is fantastic for prolonged use as it helps reduce the risk of injury, like carpal tunnel. You can either get a full or partial split design. Full split means you can move both sides of the keyboard to positions that suit you. Partial separation means it’s split halfway through the middle of the board. While it doesn’t create as much flexibility, the natural angle of the keyboard is still more comfortable than others.

2. Compact

Compact mechanical keyboards represent anything ranging from 60-75 percent of full-size. It means that individual keys have been eliminated from the keyboard to decrease the overall surface area. Depending on what you are using your keyboard for, you may find you don’t need all the keys, and they take up unnecessary space. Keyboards that sit around the 75 percent range will usually have the same number of keys as the tenkeyless, expect on a smaller body. They squeeze all the keys together, so there is no gap anywhere on the keyboard. Going down in size, you’ll find that anything around 65 percent have eliminated the function keys running along the top of the board. If you go even more compact, to about 60 percent, the arrow keys, function keys, and the number pads are all gone. It leaves only the essential keys remaining. They are quite hard to get the hang of, as you’ll need to use unique key combos to replace the function keys.

3. Tenkeyless

Tenkeyless mechanical keyboards are probably the most used out of the bunch. They provide a combination of moderate surface area coverage and functionality. They feature all the regular keys minus the number pad. It may not seem like it, but the addition of the number pad can increase the size of the keyboard. Tenkeyless shortens it up but has all the keys you will need for using the keyboard.

4. Full-size

A full-size mechanical keyboard has everything. It includes all function keys, letters, numbers, arrows, modifiers, and the number pad. If you need to use the number pad often, then you’ll need to go with a full-size, even though it takes up more space. Since it’s so broad, it can cause some strain on your back, neck, and shoulders as you’ll have to move your mouse at an unnatural position. That said, these heavy-duty options deliver the most in terms of functionality.

Features of Mechanical Keyboards

Beyond the different types of keyboards available, there are unique features of each model. Depending on what you are using it for, it may be worth looking out for certain features. Below, let’s talk about what you should look for based on your use of a computer.

Gaming

If you’re planning to use your computer for gaming and adding a keyboard to your kit, there are a few key elements that will benefit you. While you can get by with any keyboard, game-specific keyboards have some cool features that enhance your gaming experience.

1. Gaming Mode

How annoying is it when you’re mid-game, and your hand slips onto the Windows button? The start menu popping up during gameplay is not only irritating but can also end with devastation in-game. Gaming mode will prevent the Windows button from actuating while you’re in the middle of playing.

2. Software

Look for a keyboard with customizable and user-friendly software. You shouldn’t need an account to use the software and should offer a range of useful options. These include macro recording, key binding changes, and altering the RGB features.

3. Macro Recording

The above brings us to another important feature. Macro recording. If you play MMO or strategy games, you’ll likely benefit from macros. It will allow you to assign abilities and skills to specific keys for easy access when you need it.

4. Removable Cable

As mechanical keyboards are so durable, they are guaranteed to last long. Often they will last longer than what the cable will. If you have a removable cable, you can change out an old frayed one for a fresh new one quickly.

5. RGB Lighting

The RGB lighting is solely for aesthetic purposes, but it’s cool. Typically, the software should allow you to change the coloring of the keyboard to whatever you like. Whether you’re playing a savage FPS and want red vibes, or frolicking in a forest and want green, you can customize it based on what you like. While it may not have any functional purpose, who doesn’t want a slick looking setup?

6. Composition Quality

Gaming specific keyboard can range from low to high quality. But what’s the difference? Low-quality builds can be squeaky, and if you’re heavy-handed, they may ping often. A little extra investment can go a long way. Not only will a quality build last you for longer, but it will also be much more straightforward to operate. If you participate in a lot of LAN parties, then you want something sturdy that can hold up to constant transportation. Low-profile designs are also a good option as they are much easier to clean than keyboards with space that’s empty in the body.

Typing and Programming

If you’re planning on using your keyboard for typing, or you’re a programmer, then look for special features that will make your tasks easier. Though there are no typing-specific keyboards, there are ones with features that will be useful to you. Here are the primary elements to look for when choosing a keyboard for typing or programming.

1. Keycaps

There are a few types of keycaps available, made from different materials. The material can affect the feel of the caps against your fingers. Keycaps made from PBT feel a tad bit gritty and are a sturdier option, though they aren’t widespread. The most common choice is ABS keycaps, which feature a lighter plastic that is less durable and can wear out with continued use. Most mechanical keyboards have keycaps that are cupped to fit your fingers. They provide a comfortable surface on which to type on. You can purchase keycaps yourself that you can install onto the base. The keycaps you choose are especially vital if you’re going to spend a lot of time typing.

2. Programmable Options

Likely you won’t find a classic keyboard that has programmable options. A programmable mechanical keyboard will allow you to alter the function of keys, allowing them to perform different actions. If you plug them in, as usual, they will function as a regular keyboard. Underneath the board, some keyboards have DIP switches that will swap the keyboards layout. You can change it from standard QWERTY to Colemak setup or Dvorak, whichever you prefer. You can also trade from a Windows setup to a Mac, turn your caps lock to ctrl, and much more. These options mean that you can set up the keyboard how you like it and whichever way is most comfortable for you to use for seamless typing.

3. Removable Cable

Having a removable cable is vital for the same reasons as if you’re a gamer. The longevity of your whole setup will be better with the ability to swap out an old cable if it breaks or gets damaged.

4. Backlight

Backlighting isn’t necessary, especially if you’re working in a well-lit area. If for any reason, the lighting is low, then backlighting can be helpful for typing. It can add a fresh layer to the look of your keyboard. For programmers or typists, going with a professional and sleek white backlighting can look great.

5. Hot-swap Switch

The hot-swap feature is a recent innovation and therefore comes with a higher price tag. But if you can swing it, the hot-swap offers the option to swap out switches whenever you want. Typically, once you choose the type of switch you want to go with, you are kind of stuck. With the hot-swap switch feature, you can change your mind as many times as you wish. It’s useful for typists who may be unsure about a switch option and want to ability to change them out if necessary.

6. Composition Quality

Whether you’re a gamer or a typist, composition quality is universally essential to consider when purchasing a keyboard. If the keyboard is made from light plastic, sounds hollow and looks cheaply made, then likely it is. Look for a quality build that’s made out of metal or a higher spec plastic that won’t break as soon as you touch it. If you’re going to invest in a mechanical keyboard, you may as well get one that is going to last you.

Additional Features

Beyond the features that are specific to what you are using the keyboard for, there are other features you will encounter when purchasing a mechanical keyboard. Some of these may be important to you for personal or comfort reasons.

1. N-key Rollover

N-key rollover will tell you many inputs your mechanical keyboard can handle at a time before it can’t register anymore. Standard keyboards will usually top out around three keystrokes. Today’s mechanical keyboards will be more around six keystrokes or more.

2. Palm Rests

While palm rests may seem like a great way to increase your comfort, they may do more harm than good. Your arms and wrists should sit at a natural and neutral angle, and palm rests can cause your wrists to bend upwards. They can lead to damage to your nerves over time. You’re better off with a dedicated wrist rest. Palm rests that come attached to your keyboard may take up valuable desk space. Luckily, they are all removable so you should be able to take it off.

3. Anti-ghosting

Though not a huge problem anymore, ghosting is when your keyboard actuates phantom keystrokes. It tends to happen when you press more keys than the keyboard can keep up with. Most mechanical keyboards should feature anti-ghosting, but it’s a good idea to double-check.

4. Feet

Mechanical and classic keyboards alike will feature feet. These feet can allow you to change the angle at which the keyboard sits. Though it has always been a popular option to angle the back of the keyboard up. Again, this can cause the wrists to need to extend upwards and cause strain. Your keyboard should be positioned to allow your wrists to remain in a neutral position. If anything, it’s better for your wrists to lean downward. We recommend, if your keyboard does have feet, not to use them.


Conclusion

With more and more people clocking hours at a desk, we need to recognize the benefits of investing in quality mechanical keyboards. Not only do they help us to complete tasks or game more efficiently, but also help reduce possible long-term health risks. With technology evolving every day, there’s no reason you shouldn’t switch to a mechanical keyboard. With options for everyone’s specific needs, investing is worth it.

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