Update 2020: There is a more recent buying guide available: check out our article about the best mechanical keyboards for 2020, showing suggestions for buying a gaming keyboard, tenkeyless keyboard or wireless keyboard.
Christmas is coming soon, so it’s time to think about presents for your loved ones. Or maybe you need some inspiration for your own wishlist. 😉 This is a mechanical keyboard buyer’s guide to help you to find the right keyboard.
A Mechanical Keyboard As Present
It doesn’t matter whether the receiver of the gift is a gamer, a computer expert or a common computer user. All of them can make good use of a mechanical keyboard. It is actually quite a convenient as a gift idea. A keyboard gets used almost every day, so it won’t just be gathering dust in some corner like many other presents. Furthermore, mechanical keyboards are well known for their durability and robustness (as pointed out in Advantages and disadvantages of mechanical keyboards). If you buy a good mechanical keyboard, it will probably almost last forever. A mechanical keyboard is a gift, that won’t be obsolete and outdated after a few months or years. That’s also quite rare when talking about computer accessory. Last but not least, mechanical keyboards are considered the premium segment of all keyboards. So, even if you are not absolutely sure about the needs of the person you want to present, a mechanical keyboard is surely not a bad idea.
What Mechanical Keyboard To Buy
The market for mechanical keyboards has grown quite big within the last few years. Today there are many different manufacturers and tons of unique keyboard models and variations. The question, what mechanical keyboard to buy, is not always that easy to answer anymore. Especially, if it’s supposed to be a present for someone else.
To help with the buying decision, we created several resources on mechanical-keyboard.org. First there is our mechanical keyboard ranking. It is a list of the most popular mechanical keyboards ordered by their performance in reviews from various websites and magazines. It is great to get a first impression on how a particular keyboard is doing compared to its competitors. Also you can easily spot which ones are doing particularly well and are considered the best mechanical keyboards. If you prefer to make up your own mind, then our mechanical keyboard list might be helpful. This second listing of keyboards does not contain any ratings but gives a quick overview of their most important properties. For instance, if you are looking for a keyboard with a particular set of switches, you can easily find it there. And lastly, we offer some recommendations for specific scenarios in this mechanical keyboard buyer’s guide.
Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Top Rated)
For enthusiastic gamers, who appreciate high performance and best quality, you may want to take a look at the top keyboards from leading manufacturers. For instance, the Razer BlackWidow Chroma and the Corsair Gaming Strafe RGB are two quite failsafe choices.
Both keyboards have full RGB lighting and support amazing illumination effects. They have a dedicated gaming mode and excellent ghosting protection. You can reprogram every single key and put macros wherever you want. With that you can make sure that your commands are entered as fast as possible. The BlackWidow Chroma comes with the unique Razer Green or Razer Orange Switches. The Corsair Gaming Strafe RGB features Cherry MX Switches. Both keyboards are rather expensive, but you get one of the best mechanical gaming keyboards in return.
Cheap Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
There are some alternatives for those who want to buy a mechanical gaming keyboard, but are not willing to spend that much money. For example the Cooler Master XTi is an excellent mechanical gaming keyboard with good looking background illumination and minimalist design. It costs between 100 USD and 150 USD. Another possibility in this price range would be the G810 Orion Spectrum. Its a 2016 newly released keyboard from Logitech especially designed for high performance gaming. The keyboard features full RGB illumination, 26 key rollover, dedicated media controls and exclusive Romer-G switches. Right now, the G810 probably gives you the best value for your money.
Furthermore, there are some mechanical gaming keyboards for under 100 USD available. These keyboards are still perfectly fine for gaming, but you have to pass on some of the features like the RGB illumination. Two great mechanical gaming keyboards for under 100 USD are the Logitech G610 or the SteelSeries Apex M500.
Mechanical Keyboard For Programming And Work
Mechanical keyboards are often considered as keyboards for gamers. And while it’s true that most gamers love mechanical keyboards, the statement that they are only for them is completely wrong. Gamers enjoy mechanical keyboards, because they allow fast and reliable inputs. These attributes are not only useful for Gaming but also for typing and everydays work at a PC.
Das Keyboard 4 Professional is an excellent example for a good mechanical keyboard for work. Programmers, typists and other computer junkies who spend several hours a day at the PC will definitely enjoy this keyboard. Its classy design, high build quality, dedicated media controls and integrated USB hub make it easy to love. Only point of criticism: even though the keyboard is rather expansive, it has no backlight illumination.
Cheap Backlit Mechanical Keyboard
If you often work or play until late in the night, it’s probably advisable to buy a backlit mechanical keyboard. Even if you are a experienced user and usually don’t look at the key while typing, a backlight illumination is still very practical. When returning to your keyboard after a short break, you will immediately find the right position, even in the dark.
Most of the top mechanical gaming keyboards offer various illumination options. But there are also some alternatives for those, who want to spend less money. An cheap but good backlit mechanical keyboard is the Logitech G610. It features original Cherry MX switches and costs less than 100 USD. The keyboard was introduced in 2016 and has received quite positive feedback so far. Logitech refers to the G610 as a gaming keyboard, but with its simple straightforward design, it also can easily be used as a keyboard for work.
Cheap Mechanical Keyboard For Less Than 100 USD
In addition to the already mentioned Logitech G610, there are some other notable mechanical keyboards available for under 100 USD. The Cherry G80-3000 for example, is a very good keyboard for typists. Don’t let its old-fashioned look scare you off. Another option from Cherry is the MX-Board 3.0. It’s a cheap mechanical keyboard, which can be used for both gaming and typing but it lacks some of the features more expansive keyboards have.
Some of our visitors have asked about mechanical keyboards for less than 50 dollars. With the ongoing attention mechanical keyboards are generally getting, there is an rising number of keyboards in this price range available. It is certainly tempting to save some money and buy one of these cheap mechanical keyboards. But you also should keep in mind, that a high build quality and a reasonable quality management cost some money. Therefore we would rather recommend to invest a bit more, a good mechanical keyboard will last for years.