Best Gaming Keyboard 2018 |Top Rated PC Gaming Keyboards

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Redefine Your Gaming with the Best PC Keyboard of 2018

gaming keyboard 2015Keyboards are one of the most essential items for gaming. A good keyboard ensures that you will have advantage in terms of a better response and a better grip on your game. The best keyboard of 2018 comes in two types. The normal keyboards known as the membrane key keyboards and the other type which are the mechanical keyboards.

Mechanical keyboards are generally the more premium of the two, in the sense that they provide much better keystroke  experience for gamers and typists and can be bought to cater to your specific needs. Membrane keyboards have different qualities. The ones that you would often see in an office or school are obviously cheaper. They are prone to damage and do not last very long. They also do not provide a satisfactory key press experience.

Some of the better versions of membrane keyboards, such as the ones used for gaming keyboards, utilize much better build quality. Some high end membrane gaming keyboards even feel and play like mechanical keyboards. There are many gaming keyboards. Some are made only for those who are just beginning to pave their way into gaming; whereas others offer features that only a true gamer would understand and appreciate. I have picked some of the best keyboards in terms of the reviews received from the customers as well as the professional review sites and I have categorized them so that it is for you to pick depending upon your level of gaming.

Image Source Razer Gaming Keyboard

So in summary, there are two types of keyboards: 1). Membrane Keyboard: the ones that are most common, and

2). Mechanical Keyboard: specialized keyboard most suited for Gamers and Professional Typists.

Low Tier Gaming Keyboards

Microsoft Sidewinder X4

Key Features: 26-Key Rollover, Gaming mode, Record button for macro keys, On board memory for profiles
Keyboard Type: Membrane, springy keys
Backlight: Yes (Red)
Macro Keys: 6(left) with 3 switchable profiles (18 keys Technically)

 

Microsoft Sidewinder X4

The Microsoft Sidewinder X4 is one of the highest rated gaming keyboards and is the only fully fledged gaming keyboard of this category. Firstly this keyboard has an adjustable backlight, which can be dimmed or turned off.

Along with being a standard full sized keyboard, the keyboard also has multimedia control keys. What really sets this keyboard apart from the rest in this category is the 6 macro keys on the left side. These 6 macro keys are conveniently placed so that they are easily accessible. They can be be assigned commands, shortcuts and functions. The way you do this also very simply. You first press a “record” button on the keyboard. Second, you press the macro key you want to record the command to (a red Led light will turn on indicating the macro is ready to record the commands). Finally, you type in the command or function you want the macro key to perform. So for example you could have one macro key assigned to perform a series of spells in an MMO game.

You could have up to three profiles set for the macro keys, so you technically have 18 macro keys. You switch between the profile using a button provided on the keyboard. 3 LED lights are provided so that you know which profile is being used. You could also have different profiles set for different games. So you could have one set for League of Legends whereas another for Battlefield 3. The keyboard will automatically know which application is running and which Macro key profiles to be used.

This is a membrane keyboard that almost feels like a mechanical keyboard, as the the keys feel a little springy and that is a technical term for responsive feeling key strokes. This is my pick for the best membrane keyboard of 2016.

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What are Mechanical Keyboards?

best gaming keyboardMechanical Keyboards are the luxury versions of computer keyboards. They are more expensive than normal membrane keyboards, but they are more comfortable to use. If you ask any professional typist, you would be told that their speed is significantly increased on mechanical keyboards.

There is a wide range of mechanical keyboards, so you can find one that exactly caters to your needs. Due to their build quality, they also last a lot longer than the normal keyboards.

Moreover, with mechanical keyboards you get to choose what kind of sound feedback you want from the keys. For example you could have a clicky sound or no clicky sound. You could also choose to have the kind of feel you want from the keyboard, like tactile or smooth.

The type of feedback from your keys depends upon Switch Types of the mechanical keyboard.

Summary: Mechanical Keyboards last longer thanks to their build quality; they are more comfortable with different customization to suit your preference; better for typing; more expensive than normal keyboards.

What are Switch Types?

best gaming keyboard

Almost all of the mechanical keyboard use Cherry’s Switches from their MX line. There are a total of five different key switches and they are all differentiated based upon their color. The color serves as an indicator as to how the keyboard will feel and sound.

Blue: Blue key switches are very tactile. Meaning you get a very strong feeling when your keyboard is registering a keystroke. It also has a clicky sound. These key switches are considered to be the best for typists.

Brown: Brown key switches have the tactile feel to them like the blue key switches, but do not have the clicky sound. Therefore, they are less annoying to the people around you when you type.

Black: Black key switches have a very smooth travel, so you do not feel when the key strokes are actuated. They are also non clicky and do not make much noise.

Red: Red key switches are almost exactly the same as black key switches. The only difference is that the Reds require less force to push down than the Blacks.

Green: Green key switches are the heaviest to press down so they are good options for Gamers who like to grip on their keys when playing. They have a tactile feel to them with clicky sound.

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Summary: Switch types determine the type of feedback you want from your mechanical keyboard.  There are five basic types: Blue, Brown, Black, Red and Green.

What is Anti-Ghosting and Key Rollover?

It is a given that a typical gaming keyboard will come with the anti-ghosting feature. Anti-Ghosting means that no matter what combination of keys your press you will not get any accidental key stroke registered. Ghosting occurs in cases where an extra keystroke is accidentally registered by the keyboard when you have two or three keys pressed at once. So in less premium keyboards if you type very fast and you press two or three keys at once, the keyboard will also accidentally register an extra fourth keystroke. With anti-ghosting, this issue is fixed.

What is Key Rollover? Key Rollover basically means how many keys you can press at once before your keyboard stops registering each new once that you press down. So with a keyboard that has 20 key rollover, the keyboard would register up to 20 keys pressed at once, any number of keys pressed after this will not be registered and simply discarded.

Most gaming keyboard have a high number of Key Roll Over, but any number greater than 6 is sufficient. If you think you have the tendency to press more than 6 keys at once when playing than you should go for a keyboard with higher Rollover number.

Summary: Anti-Ghosting is a given feature for gaming keyboard so don’t worry too much about it. Key rollover depends upon how many keys you think you press at once when playing. Usually 6 or greater key rollover is good.

Mid Tier Gaming Keyboard

CM Storm QuickFire TK

Key Features: N-key Roll over, removable USB cable, Multimedia Shortcuts
Keyboard Type: Mechanical, Red/Blue/Black/Brown
Backlight: Yes (blue), 3 modes, 5 brightness levels
Macro Keys: None

Price: around $90

CM storm QuickFire TKCooler Master is one of the best series of Low cost mechanical keyboards. You could choose from a variety of Switch Types to suit your taste and feel. This gaming keyboard has gold plated USB port, which improves the connectivity. 

The entire keyboard is backlit with brightness control, you may only get this keyboard in blue backlight.

You get a tacky feeling on the keys that gives you a gripping feel to it. This is a good thing for Gamers since a good grip on the keys is necessary, but it may not be so comfortable if you writer who prefers to sort of just let your hand glide through the keyboard smoothly when typing.

You could have the backlight of this PC gaming keyboard setup to 3 different modes excluding turn off. One mode just enables the normal backlight on the keyboard. Another mode called the “breathing mode” cycles through the levels of brightness giving the keyboard a lively look. The last mode switches the backlight on all the keys except the Arrow, WASD and the five Macro Keys.

The only drawback is the 6-key rollover. This does not give much flexibility to this keyboard.

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Corsair K60 Vengeance

Key Features: 20 key rollover, 10 additional keys for WASD and 1-6, Aluminium chassis, left hand palm rest, Windows Key lock, Mutlimedia keys
Keyboard Type: Mechanical, Red
Backlight: No
Macro Keys: No

best gaming keyboard

Price: around $100

This best gaming keyboard 2016 is built around the FPS gaming experience, providing comfort and flexibility to FPS Gamers. This keyboard is also one the highest rated keyboard around especially due to its build quality.

The keyboard utilizes a brushed aluminium chassis with laser etched keys. This means that the letters on top of the keys will not wear off over time like they do on other keyboards. The Keyboard is also designed in a way so that it is very easy to clean it.

The keyboard comes with switchable WASD and “1-6” keys, that have contour curved corners that give you better grip for gaming. The contours on the keys also serve as good indicator as to where the necessary gaming keys lie. Moreover, the keyboard comes with a palm rest for your left hand with rubber coating for comfort. The palm rest also serves as a case for you to place the switchable keys that you are not using.

Other features in this gaming keyboard include multimedia buttons with a wheel for volume control as well as a Windows turn off and turn on key.

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Logitech Gaming Keyboard G510

Key Features: Gamepanel, Headphone and Mic inputs with dedicated mute buttons, multimedia buttons, Windows Key Lock
Keyboard Type: Membrane
Backlight: Yes, Customizable
Macro Keys: 18 with three keyboard switchable profiles; 54 technically, Macro Recording button

Logitech G510 gaming keyboard

Price: around $120

Although slightly older in age than the rest, the Logitech G150 is still one of the all time best gaming keyboards. This is a one of a kind keyboard that is roaring with technology. First lets talk about the small LCD screen on top of the keyboard. The monocolor LCD screen shows you the information about the performance of your computer such as CPU or RAM usage. You could also see chats, time, RSS feeds, music and emails on this little screen. The little screen also provides you with the game stats such as your deaths, kill ratio etc for a particular game. The buttons provided on the side and below the small screen provide you with the navigation.

You also get a full set of multimedia keys with volume wheel, mute volume, mute mic and mute headset buttons. Moreover, there is also a Windows lock key for disabling or enabling the “Windows” key to prevent accidental presses. This gaming keyboard also has a built in sound card. This way you could route your mic and headphone through the keyboard.

There are a total of 18 Macro keys with up to 3 profiles provided on the left hand side of the keyboard. The profiles can easily be switched with the three M1, M2, M3 profile keys provided. This technically gives you 54 macro keys to play with. You could have your macro keys perform any set of commands or function you want. You could even have different colored backlight set for your keyboard with different profiles. So when you press Profile 1 button you get red backlight and when you press Profile 2 the keyboard turns blue.

This gaming PC keyboard also comes with Macro Recording button, this functions is similar to the one on Microsoft Sidewinder X4. So you press the Macro Recording button, then you press Macro key you want to record to, then you type whatever command you want the Macro to be assigned to. So for example, you could have one of the macro keys recorded to “I Need Cover”. So whenever you press this Macro Key it will automatically type “I Need Cover” for you.

The cons for this keyboard would be the lack of USB hub and mechanical keys.

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High Tier Gaming Keyboard

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate

Key Features: 10 key roll-over, Matte Soft Chassis, Gaming Mode, USB/Microphone/headphone connectivity, Fully programmable Keys, USB pass through,
Keyboard Type: Green
Backlight: Yes (Green), Adjustable Brightness, Individual
Macro Keys: 5 with on-the-fly recording, 10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching

best gaming keyboard

Price: around $110

This list would be incomplete without the mentioning of the Razer BlackWidow Gaming Keyboard. This gaming keyboard 2016 is all about the premium gaming experience. Razer PC peripherals are designed to give you an “unfair advantage” in gaming. This is true because Razer takes into consideration even the smallest of aspects that may affect your gaming.

The chassis is matte black with anti fingerprint surface, this gives you a very good grip. The backlight on this keyboard is also one the brightest and looks just stunning. The PC keyboard has a gaming mode button, which when pressed optimizes the keyboard for gaming. The keyboard also comes with five macro keys provided on the left.

The gaming keyboard may not look good on paper due to its not so flamboyant specs and looks, but in functionality this keyboard is said to outperform the best. All in all, Gamers highly recommend this keyboard.

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Corsair Vengeance K70

Key Features: Brushed aluminium chassis, Easy-Access dedicated multimedia controls, Countoured WASD 1-6 Keycaps, Soft-Touch Palm Rest
Keyboard Type: Mechanical, Blue, Red
Backlight: Yes, Key-by-Key Cutomizable

k70 keyboard 2015

Price: around $130

This is yet another piece of hardware that has dominated the gaming keyboard market. With almost flawless reviews, the Corsair K70 is undoubtedly one of the best keyboards to have been released in recent months. It has the same rugged sophistication as its predecessors and offers the similar aluminium chassis, and soft touch wrist rest. It also has many more features such as multimedia control and customizable backlight. 

The difference between K70 and K95 is that the latter has 18 customizable G-Keys, while this one does not. 

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Corsair Vengeance K95

Key Features: Full key Roll Over,  Aluminium chassis, soft touch sturdy wrist rest, mutlimedia keys, USB port
Keyboard Type: Mechanical, Red
Backlight: Yes (Blue)
Macro Keys: 18 w 3 switchable profiles (54 keys technically), Macros can be created on-the-fly

gaming keyboard

Price: around $160

This is the larger and much better version of the Corsair Vengeance K60. It features an aluminum chassis along with etched keys just like the K60, but comes with an added beautiful blue backlight.

From the wrist rest to the programming of macro keys, everything about this keyboard has been though off cleverly. For example, you get thumb screws for the wrist that fix the wrist rest so that it does not break off that easily. The wrist uses a sort of rubberized matte black material for better comfort. The keyboard also has a USB port on the back.

The 18 macro keys provided on the left hand side of the keyboard are not mechanical and are not a different level than the rest of the keyboard. It is designed this way so that you can easily distinguish between the macro keys and the rest of keyboard to avoid accidental presses. With this best gaming keyboard 2016 you get three profiles for your Macro Keys which can easily be accessed through the profile keys provided. This technically gives you 54 macro keys to work with.

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Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.5

Key Features: Modular Design, E.Y.E command piece, scattered macro keys, built in apps, Mic and speaker pass through, windows key lock
Keyboard Type: Membrane
Backlight: Yes, 16 million colors
Macro Keys: 21 (3 modes)

best gaming keyboard

This best PC keyboard seriously looks like its from the future. It has one of the most unique styles and designs in the industry. The keyboard has a fully modular design meaning you can position its blocks in any position you want. So you could either choose to have the numpad located on the left or on the right. The wrist rest is also adjustable. You can position the wrist rest by bringing it forward or taking it back depending on the arm’s length. 

The keyboard also has a small mouse wheel located on the side of the wrist rest. The bottom of the keyboard is made of metal for extra durability. The keys of this keyboard are almost silent. 

The gaming keyboard has three distinct modules, the command module (or the main keyboard), the numpad/arrow key module and the OLED command module. The OLED command module called the E.Y.E is just a great addition to this keyboard. The E.Y.E can be attached to either of the modules. Several USB cables are used to connect the modules to the E.Y.E. 

Along with the customization of the body, the gaming keyboard also has one of the best programmable key customization options. First, you can select three different profiles on the E.Y.E module and each can be designated a separate backlight color for the keyboard. You can also set the brightness of the backlight through the E.Y.E command module that gives you a very good GUI to work with. The E.Y.E module also houses multimedia keys 9 programmable keys. 

A program launcher features allows you to launch programs easily through your E.Y.E command module. So you could have Skype, Photoshop, Browser or your games etc on E.Y.E command module for easy launch. The E.Y.E command module conveniently shows you the icons of the applications as you scroll through different apps by conveniently turning the bezel ring surrounding the round OLED display.

Although the gaming keyboard is not a mechanical keyboard it sure does feel like one. The gaming keyboard also has a pass through for headphone and mic the setting for which can be done through the E.Y.E command module. The gaming keyboard has a total of 21 programmable keyboard scattered around the different modules of the keyboard that can be set across three profiles. So you technically get 63 programmable keys. 

To Learn More about this Keyboard, Click Here

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