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Tech & Science Best gaming keyboards 2020

17:50  01 april  2020
17:50  01 april  2020 Source:   gamesradar.com

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The best mechanical keyboards for gaming can actually make you better at the PC games you play. (Image credit: Future).

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a screenshot of a video game: best gaming keyboard © Provided by GamesRadar best gaming keyboard

If you're looking to maximise your PC setup, getting hold of the best gaming keyboard should be a pretty high priority. As well as improving your performance in games via programmable keys and increased responsiveness, they're a delight to type with and look rad as hell to boot. Honestly, just have a go at a mechanical deck to see what we mean.

But what's the best gaming keyboard for you? It all begins by figuring out whether you want a mechanical or membrane device. If you've got no idea what the difference is, don't worry - let us explain. The majority of 'normal' keyboards are membrane ones, and their keys sit on a single rubber strip. Pushing them presses down on this strip, and that's why these keyboards feel a bit 'squishy' to use. Even though that means they're not as accurate, they are quieter as a result and a fair bit cheaper too. At the other end of the scale are mechanical units. Each key has an individual mechanism (or 'switch') that allows for greater accuracy and speed, hence the name. They also provide a tactile bump when pressed and usually offer a cool 'click' sound like a typewriter unless you choose a silent option. As a result, they tend to be more expensive but are arguably superior. You'll find both kinds in our list below. Either way, any of our suggestions would make a good companion to the best gaming mouse.

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Pick your switch: The best gaming keyboards use a number of different mechanical switch types that determine the feel and sound of each key press. The HyperX Alloy Origins’ compact and quality build make it the best gaming keyboard for mainstream gamers who just want to get down to gaming .

Gamers want the best - from graphics to gaming keyboards . That's why we've compiled the list best gaming keyboards in March 2020 . If you’re a gamer , then you know how important your gaming keyboard is. This is not just the device you use to type on your computer when you’re messaging

You'll also find a range of deals to save you money along the way. And make sure you check back every now and then; those prices are always being updated with the biggest discounts.

Best gaming keyboards at a glance

  1. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT
  2. Logitech K840
  3. Razer Huntsman Elite
  4. SteelSeries Apex 5
  5. HyperX Alloy FPS RGB
  6. Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO
  7. Corsair K57 RGB Wireless
  8. SteelSeries Apex Pro
  9. Alienware 510K
  10. Corsair K63 Wireless

Best gaming keyboard

1. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT

The best overall gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: 6 dedicated macro keys, customizable RGB, detachable wrist rest, bonus keycaps

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The best gaming keyboard can make the world of difference not just to your gaming experience, but your PC experience in general. Keyboards are one of those peripherals that many see as just that: peripheral to the gaming experience. But when you’re pressing those keys day-in, day-out, you’d be

Best gaming keyboards 2020 . By Benjamin Abbott, Alan Bradley 05 March 2020 . But what's the best gaming keyboard for you? It all begins by figuring out whether you want a mechanical or membrane device.

Excellent build-quality
Aircraft-grade aluminium frame
Large, comfortable wrist rest
Expensive

For the PC gamer that wants it all, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT is the only choice. A handsome, luxurious design joins forces with satisfying clicks for one of the best gaming keyboards around. Yes, it's expensive. But this is a phenomenal piece of kit that won't let you down. It more than earns its price tag.

It has all the trimmings, too. Besides dedicated media controls and USB passthrough,  the Platinum XT's got gorgeous RGB lighting, 6 dedicated macro keys, and a comfortable faux-leather wrist rest. A textured spacebar and alternate WASD caps build on that sense of luxury, but it's the tactile feel of pressing a key that will win you over. Unlike the older K95 models, these keycaps have been replaced with new ‘Double Shot’ keys. Those are built from two layers of colored plastic for a distinctly premium typing sensation, not to mention durability.

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In short? This is the best of the best and worth every penny. A truly top-tier gaming keyboard.

Read more: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT review

2. Logitech K840

The best budget gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Logitech Romer-G switches

Durable frame
Subtle design
Affordable
No dedicated macros or passthrough

If you're keen to save your pennies and want a reliable 'starter' keyboard that doesn't cost a bomb, the Logitech K840 has you covered. Built in collaboration with mechanical switch experts Omron, this is a more traditional deck that still provides a satisfying gaming experience. 

Alright, so you won't find any extras here like dedicated macros, RGB lighting, or USB passhthrough. However, its very affordable price makes the K840 a worthwhile investment nonetheless. It's very handsome as well, and that always helps.

3. Razer Huntsman Elite

The best premium gaming keyboard

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The best gaming keyboards can elevate your experience with options for customizable RGB lighting and custom macros. Regardless if you're looking for mechanical or membrane switches, there are plenty of options for gamers of every level. When looking for a gaming keyboard , you'll want to look

Wireless keyboards have often translated to the antithesis of what a gaming keyboard should be, but the most recent wireless keyboard from Logitech, the G915, aims to break that notion. The low profile design features all the trappings of the best mechanical gaming keyboards available

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Dedicated media keys, opto-mechanical switches, customizable RGB, soft and detachable wrist rest

Opto-mechanical switches eliminate delay
Plush leatherette wrist rest
No USB passthrough or macros
Pricey

The Razer Huntsman family is the only set of keyboards to feature Razer's excellent opto-mechanical switches. Why is that important? Because they blend the tactile, clicky feel of a standard mechanical switch with optical actuation. In short, actuation delay (the time it takes for a key-press to be registered) is almost entirely eliminated. It also reduces the gap between the actuation and reset point to almost 0mm. In other words, striking a key multiple times or frantically spamming it is incredibly easy. These are some of the best switches we've ever tested, and they're incorporated into an excellent design as well. 

The Huntsman Elite also features great quality of life touches. That includes the memory foam wrist rest and a digital dial that allows you to adjust brightness, volume, and other settings. 

Yes, it's expensive. However, the quality on display here is absolutely worth the cost.

Best gaming mouse | Best gaming monitor | Best gaming chair

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4. SteelSeries Apex 5

The best mid-range gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: OLED smart display, hybrid mechanical keys, dedicated volume control, customizable RGB, detachable magnetic wrist rest

Soft matte key caps
Tactile and responsive
Powerful software
OLED display is under-used

SteelSeries is well known for its excellent keyboards, but the best of them are pricey. Luckily, that's where the Apex 5 swoops in. It offers a stripped back version of everything that makes the more expensive models great - namely a slimline design, snappy actuation, and an OLED smart display in the upper right-hand corner. It's underused, but a cool touch when it comes to displaying track names and the like.

It may lack customisable per-key actuation like the more expensive Apex Pro, but this alternative is still satisfyingly tactile to use. The linear keys only require the smallest amount of pressure to actuate, yet the build quality never feels sloppy. In fact, your fingers will be flying across the deck once you're used to its sensitivity. What's more, the matte keys are soft to the touch, adding to that sense of SteelSeries quality.

Read more: SteelSeries Apex 5 review

5. HyperX Alloy FPS RGB

The best gaming keyboard for shooters

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Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Solid-steel frame, customizable RGB, USB passthrough

Bouncy, responsive keys
Compact design
USB passthrough/charger
A magnet for dust

There have been a glut of shooter-focused keyboards over the last year or so, but this is arguably the best of them all. Despite a sparse appearance and a lack of macro keys, the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB makes up for it with exceptional performance. 

As a compact and portable device, everything is within easy reach so you're not stretching to hit keys like the left shift. Secondly, its Kailh Silver Speed switches are both responsive and satisfying to use. For example, they're bouncy enough that your fingers will fly from key to key. A reasonable price and USB passthrough for charging your phone seals the deal.

6. Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO

The best keyboard for typing

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Durable aluminium frame, detachable wrist rest, dedicated media controls, customizable RGB

Great mechanical switches
Durable
Drop-dead gorgeous
Wrist rest isn't very useful

The Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO is the kind of keyboard that turns heads; it's absolutely gorgeous to look at thanks to a durable aluminium frame, exposed key stems, and vibrant RGB lighting that gives off a crisp, professional air. However, its performance is every bit as good. While the bottom row's unusual convex key-shape won't be for everyone, we found this deck both comfortable and satisfying to use. 

What's more, its debounce switch "allows the firmware to reliably identify key stroke signals 20% faster than competing keyboards". Throw in an easy-clean design to avoid dust build-up and you're left with something special. Basically, it's one of the nicest keyboards we've got our hands on. 

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Read more: Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO review

7. Corsair K57 RGB Wireless

The best membrane gaming keyboard

Type: Membrane (wireless, wired, Bluetooth) | Size: Full | Features: Six dedicated macro keys, dedicated media controls, detachable wrist rest, customizable RGB

Quiet keys
Plenty of features
RGB up to 60% brighter
Lacks USB passthrough

Even though mechanical options take the lion's share of attention when it comes to great gaming keyboards, membrane alternatives are still worth considering. The Corsair K57 RGB Wireless is one of the best we've tried, and it'll light up any room with LEDs that are apparently up to 60% brighter than the competition. 

That isn't what makes this deck stand out, though (well, in anything other than a literal sense). Its membrane keys are almost as tactile and satisfying as mechanical ones, but they don't have the distracting 'click' of the latter. Additionally, the K57 has all the features (like dedicated media controls, wireless functionality, and macro keys) of a much more expensive keyboard.

8. SteelSeries Apex Pro

The best eSports gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Per-key actuation, OLED smart display, aircraft-grade aluminium alloy, USB passthrough, customizable RGB

Per-key actuation
Cool OLED screen
Tenkeyless version available
Switches aren't as satisfying

Built around the ability to set actuation individually per key, this offering from SteelSeries is perfect for eSports players who want to customise their experience. Need faster, more responsive keys for the likes of Fortnite? Would you prefer a slower and more deliberate action instead? The Apex Pro is able to deliver on both, and anywhere in-between. 

As a neat bonus, the Apex Pro has a little OLED screen in the top right-hand corner as well. This lets you fiddle with media controls or certain actuation settings. It can even show off gifs. None of which is necessary by any means, but it's a really cool addition nonetheless. 

If you'd prefer a more compact version, there's also a tenkeyless alternative for sale.

 

9. Alienware 510K

The best low profile gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Low profile, ergonomic floating-key architecture, USB passthrough, customizable RGB, dedicated volume scroller

Bouncy, responsive keys
Low profile
USB passthrough
A bit plain

The 510K isn't much to look at, but any criticisms about its appearance melt away the moment you get your hands on it. Those low profile Cherry MX Red switches are a delight to use, offering a lively bounce thanks to less travel time and low actuation force. This allows your fingers to jump from key to key without much effort at all, resulting in a satisfying flow when typing or gaming.

The subtle design makes this Alienware keyboard a great choice for office use, too. In spite of sci-fi sensibilities that give it a futuristic air, it lacks obnoxious RGB lighting or sharp, 'edgy' angles. Indeed, it's a good stablemate for the Alienware 610M mouse and the Alienware Aurora R9 PC.

Read more: Alienware 510K review

10. Corsair K63 Wireless

The best wireless gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wireless) | Size: Tenkeyless | Features: Wireless capabilities, tenkeyless, detachable wrist-rest, dedicated media keys, RGB

Satisfying to use
Compact
Reliable brand
Short battery life

It isn't normally the best idea to go wireless when it comes to keyboards because of potential latency, but if you do, the Corsair K63 Wireless is the on to pick up. Its Cherry MX Red switches are satisfying to use, there are dedicated media controls, and its backlight is a calming shade of blue (though it'll last around 50 hours longer if those RGB lights are switched off). 

Being tenkeyless means it's much more compact, too. There isn't a better choice if you want a wireless mechanical keyboard that doesn't take up much room.

How we test gaming keyboards

When we recommend a gaming keyboard, it's because we enjoyed using it ourselves. Our reviewers also test products thoroughly to make sure they surpasses a certain threshold of excellence - we like to spend at least a few days with every keyboard as the full-time replacement for our current decks. That involves stress-testing it with games and through several days at the GamesRadar+ office.

For more details, check out our feature on how we test gaming keyboards.

Geoff Keighley announces the Summer Game Fest of several months .
© provided by Dr. Windows Summer Game Fest Geoff Keighley is a real heavyweight in the gaming industry and was previously closely associated with the E3. He is known as the creator and presenter of the Game Awards and also the Gamescom Opening Night Live Gala last year. On Friday, he announced his latest project: The Summer Game Fest. Introducing @summergamefest , a new season of news, in-game events, and playable content from the entire video game industry.

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