The keyboard market is an immense sea with different manufacturers competing to bring you the best in design, quality, and performance. Not only that, most of them introduce various other features ranging from really useful to empty gimmicks. As such, it can be difficult to find something that will really suit your needs and budget. Well, don’t worry. We have you covered and bring you the absolute best gaming keyboards for all your 2021. gaming needs.
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SteelSeries Apex 3 starts off this list mainly for its affordability. Essentially, you’ll rarely find a keyboard of such quality from a brand as renowned as SteelSeries at this price point. On the subject of Apex 3 – this is a full-sized keyboard with dedicated media controls and a magnetic, well-padded wrist-rest.
It even sports full-on RGB lighting with 10 separate zones you can customize in the easy-to-use and intuitive SteelSeries software. There’s one downside though, and that’s the fact that this keyboard doesn’t have mechanical switches and instead uses rubber dome ones that have a tactile bump and a high pre-travel distance making it a truly entry-level gaming keyboard that’s more about the design than beastly performance.
Simplicity, functionality, and affordability are the three staples of Logitech G413. This no-nonsense gaming keyboard from Logitech has everything a gamer would need at only a fraction of the cost of other keyboards featured on this list. It’s well built, designed with minimalism in mind, and equipped with mechanical Romer-G switches. While these might feel strange to you if you are coming from a keyboard with Cherry switches, Romer-G’s are excellent performers that will easily handle any gaming task you throw at them.
The only downside is that you’ll be at a disadvantage when attempting to buy alternate keycaps since most of them are made with cherry stems in mind. Other than that, the keyboard even has a USB passthrough so you don’t lose that port when plugging it in. Some gamers might miss media keys or more options for key backlighting but this is still one great gaming keyboard we’d take for a spin any day.
Alienware brand has always been synonymous with being a substantial price tag. Well, the Alienware AW768 goes against that and still falls into the somewhat affordable category. With it, you get a uniquely designed, futuristic, full-sized keyboard that sports a volume roller and a set of 5 additional macro keys. Besides the RGB under the keys looking great, it has one of, if not the best implementation of an RGB strip we’ve seen in any keyboard.
While most of it is hidden, it’s pointed downward so it will shine onto your surfaces, giving a nice neon-like effect to them. It comes equipped with brown switches which are known for being the best of both worlds for both typing and gaming. The only real issue here is the underwhelming software which only allows for some simple RGB customizations and macro assigning.
Going from affordable to very expensive with the QPAD MK95 Pro keyboard. This exceptional keyboard is nothing to write home in terms of design but it’s built like a tank in terms of durability. It’s made from aircraft grade aluminum and is one heavy-duty keyboard that has no flex and will probably last you a lifetime. Comfort-wise, it comes with a highly padded magnetic wrist-rest that will enable long gaming or typing session with no discomfort whatsoever.
Also, it’s quite the performance beast with its fast optical switches and it even has a tastefully implemented volume dial. The best part? The keyboard has a unique function that allows you to switch the keystroke speed and feel between them becoming loud, tactile and clicky or silent, smooth and linear. This ensures the keyboard will perform, feel and sound its absolute best whether you plan on using it for gaming or typing. It will also save you some money in the long run since you won’t have to buy an extra set of switches. You can buy QPAD MK95 Pro on Amazon.
The next two entries on this list are the keyboard hard hitters in terms of portability and performance. The first one – Logitech Pro X is a compact, TKL keyboard with no media keys or any other distinguishing design features. Sure, the build quality is top-notch, as you would expect from a high-end keyboard and while that’s all great, it’s what under the hood that matters here.
Besides the excellent performance right out of the box, the Logitech Pro X allows you to change the switches on a per-key basis as easily as you’d change a keycap on another keyboard. It might seem very niche, but it’s a dream for everyone wanting to customize their user experience down to the tiniest of details. The functionality is very expensive, but then again, even without it, this is a high-end keyboard designed for enthusiasts and e-Sports players who’ll definitely appreciate what it has to offer.
Razer really knocked it out of the park with Huntsman Tournament Edition. While it’s not the most well-built keyboard, it’s highly compact and insanely light. It’s perfect in terms of portability and is made gamers not liking the bulk of its bigger brother – Razer Huntsman Elite. Besides that, it’s an absolute beast of a performer thanks to its optical switches which are so sensitive that you can’t even rest your fingers on the keys.
Seriously, they are super-fast and made primarily for the most demanding of gamers. That does come with some cons for typing enthusiasts as the sensitivity really isn’t suitable for fast and correct typing. Besides that, the speed of the switch doesn’t allow for that satisfying keystroke sounds and comes off more like an unceremonious thump. Definitely, a keyboard that’s all gaming performance, less everything else.
Roccat often undeservedly feels like an underdog in the realm of keyboard manufacturers. Their Vulcan 121 AIMO keyboard easily takes the cake when it comes to the design and is probably one of the best-looking keyboards out there. It’s super thin, super durable, and it also sports some unique RGB effects that nicely reflect off of that aluminum plate. It even has dedicated media keys and a volume dial which can, of course, be modified to do something else in the easy-to-use Roccat Swarm software.
To top it all off and then there are the absolutely amazing Titan switches which also make the keyboard fast and satisfying to use for both typing and gaming. They are fast, extremely stable, and sound great. All of the above makes Vulcan 121 an almost flawless package that’s well worth every penny. Oh, and if you find it just a tad too big for your desk, Roccat now offers an even better TKL version.
One of the best Corsair keyboards – the K95 Platinum, just became better. The Corsair K100 is fast, well built, jam-packed with features, and very very expensive. If you can get past the price tag, you’ll find a keyboard packs the insanely fast OPX optical-Mechanical switches which are as fast as the switches found on Razer Huntsman, but somehow feel much better for typing too.
Then there’s the magnetic wrist pad, the PBT keycaps, and great RGB lighting supported by truly great software. It still might not be enough to justify the price for many but it’s something to expect from a nearly flawless package.
Mountain is a newcomer on the peripheral scene that blows much of the competition out of the water. Their crowdfunded project – the Everest Max is one of the best, unique peripheral experiences we’ve had in recent memory. It’s a premium piece of hardware with a high degree of modularity. It has a detachable Numpad with customizable TFT macro screens and a media control module – also with a built in-screen.
Then there’s the magnetic wrist pad, magnetic feet, hot swapping, and, honestly too many other features to list here. That’s not all. The experience is made even better by Mountain’s Base Camp software which allows easy customization of each module. The experience is costly, but it’s also utterly amazing for whichever purpose you plan on using it. It’s currently only available for purchase over on the Mountain website but it’s bound to get around to Amazon sooner than later.
And our number one spot for the best mechanical gaming keyboard goes to SteelSeries Apex Pro. Why? Because this keyboard is an awesomely built swiss knife that can be used for any conceivable purpose in the best possible way. Steel Series has come to be known as a brand that offers high-quality products and this is no exception. Everything from build quality to the out-of-the-box performance here is top-notch but that’s certainly not all.
The best and most unique feature of Apex Pro is its magnetic switches which allow the user to custom-tune the actuation setting, on a per-key basis! It allows for a world of possibilities and it will provide the best possible gaming and typing experience. It’s a much better and more seamless and premium solution than the one found in Logitech Pro X or QPAD MK 95 which come with a higher price tag. Still. the Apex Pro isn’t cheap in both the full-sized or the TKL variant but it’s definitely more than worth it.