There are two reasons why you’re looking for a gaming keyboard; first, you’re probably looking to play your video games with excellent response times from your keyboard, so mechanical gaming keyboards are what you’re looking for. The second one is probably because you’ve wanted better aesthetics for your desk, so RGB backlighting would do fine.
What’s the difference between the two, you might ask? If you’ve been the researcher type and actually googled it yourself before, you should know that the “trigger” mechanism is entirely different. The membrane keyboards have pressure pads that correspond to keypresses, whereas mechanical keyboards have independent switches for every key.
They’re both keyboards, but what’s the significance? Some people seek out mechanical keyboards more than membrane ones because of their switch mechanics. The individual key switches mean higher response times because of the direct signals sent to your computer. They also have way more customizability options by switching out the keycaps.
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Redragon K552 Kumara
To start off, our list of gaming keyboards on a budget is the oh-so-wonderful Redragon K552 Kumara. This is going to be the cheapest gaming keyboard on our list coming in at under $50! If that’s not a budget gaming keyboard, then I don’t know what is. The K552 Kumara is in the tenkeyless form factor, meaning there’s no Numpad on the right. This means more space!
It has 12 dedicated multimedia keys aligned along the top row of the keyboard. The keyboard also supports full RGB backlighting across the whole keyboard, so your aesthetic needs are covered. The mechanical switches that come with this keyboard are clones(Outemu) of the popular Cherry MX. However, it’s still a great standard for many budget gaming keyboards.
Razer Blackwidow X Tournament Edition Chroma
Next on our list gets a little more expensive coming in under $100. However, the quality, aesthetic, and audible clicky satisfaction is still very much there! The Razer Blackwidow X also comes in the tenkeyless form factor, so you’re still saving space while having the convenience of the arrow and navigation keys. Since it does have the Razer branding, expect the price to rise!
Here we have our first membrane keyboard on the list, not only that, but it’s also the first full 100% form factor gaming keyboard on the list! Since making a membrane keyboard is generally cheaper, this gaming keyboard has managed to get the best of both worlds with great response times and the quiet and soft feel when you press the keys.
What’s great about the Corsair K55 is that it has 6 fully mappable macro keys along the left side of the keyboard. You can change what each key does through the Corsair software that you can download on their website. What bumps the price up for this keyboard is that it has an included write rest, making the keyboard come in at just under $80!
For the final entry, and the most expensive($135) entry on our list comes the Logitech G513! Like the previous gaming keyboard, the G513 is a 100% form factor with an included wrist rest. It is also fully backlit with RBG LEDs, the one great differentiator is that the G513 uses linear mechanical switches. Hence, you get a quick response time with a slick keystroke feel.
Remember to consider other factors when it comes to buying a gaming keyboard that suits you! You have to consider; the design – if it fits with your whole setup, the mechanism of the keys – mechanical switches feel better than membranes, the feel of the keystrokes so you can get long gaming sessions, and finally, the price – which is the most important factor!