Yes, they appear a little like your regular keyboards, except for the feel of sturdiness and unique design. The truth is that mechanical keyboards offer more than that. These computer accessories add some diversity to your gaming or typing experience, giving you a sense of personality. They have a nice, distinct feel — you can literally feel the tactile feedback with every stroke. Instead of using membrane technology as is the case with standard keyboards, these versions use key switches that allow you to customize them to something you really adore.
If you spend most of your type typing or are a serious gamer, you deserve better when it comes to keyboards. Mechanical keyboards will offer you the much-needed speed and accuracy, without worrying about breaking it down when typing your schoolwork or playing games. But remember, these accessories don’t come cheap. You have to invest time to find the right one that will be worth every buck.
Read on and find out some of the best mechanical keyboards out there and some helpful tips you help you purchase the right one for your needs.
Top 10 Mechanical Keyboards of 2020 Reviewed
1. Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard[wt_products id=”2992″ template=”5″]
2. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard[wt_products id=”2994″ template=”5″]
3. VicTsing Gaming Keyboard[wt_products id=”2996″ template=”5″]
4. Eagletec KG011 Mechanical Keyboard[wt_products id=”2998″ template=”5″]
5. Rosewill Mechanical Gaming Keyboard[wt_products id=”3000″ template=”5″]
6. Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2[wt_products id=”3002″ template=”5″]
7. KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard[wt_products id=”3004″ template=”5″]
8. Logitech G513 RGB Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard[wt_products id=”3007″ template=”5″]
9. BlueFinger LED Gaming Keyboard Mouse Headset Combo[wt_products id=”3009″ template=”5″]
10. Dell Alienware Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard[wt_products id=”3011″ template=”5″]
How to Choose the Best Mechanical Keyboard – The Ultimate Buying Guide
If you are continually spending an insurmountable amount of time on your computer either gaming or working, then you know how important the keyboard is. The type of keyboard you use determines how fast or slow your typing speed is and the experience you get playing games. If you hardly look into keyboards, then you may as well be missing the most important upgrades that could elevate your computing and gaming experience.
If you are looking into improving your gaming and working experience on your PC, then you should consider getting a mechanical keyboard. Let us look at some of the factors that you should keep in mind when looking for the best mechanical keyboard.
The layout of the Keyboard
Full-sized (104 keys)
The first step [to consider when choosing the right mechanical keyboard, whether for gaming or work is the layout of the keys. Mechanical keyboards come in various types and picking the right design means everything to a gamer or even a writer. This layout informs today’s large, full-sized keyboards with Numpad, arrow cluster and the function row. Most people are comfortable with this kind of design, but they don’t come cheap. Most of these full-fledged mechanical keyboards cost on the lower, about $100. On the brighter side, you get more keys and switches.
These types of mechanical keyboards mimic the full-sized layout keyboard. The only difference between the two is that the TKL keyboard does away with the Number pad making the keyboard a lot smaller. What advantage do you get with this keyboard? Usually, with the full layout keyboard, the alpha keys tend to hang a little towards the right side. With this much smaller layout, you the benefit of the alpha keys sitting right in front of you.
Mini Keyboard (60%)
The mini keyboard is a much less common design whose popularity is slowly ascending amongst avid computer users like gamers and writers. With this kind of layout, the keyboard only adopts the alpha keys and the modifiers and also the numbers row dropping out the rest of the keys. The advantage these keyboards have over the full layout, and the TKL is that not only are they much cheaper, they are also easier to use, especially when typing. This is because your fingers don’t have to keep hovering a long distance to access various functionalities. These types of keyboards are also very portable.
This form factor again is not very common though it is increasingly gaining a dome level of popularity. These types of keyboards are no doubt smaller than the 60% and feature only four rows. The rows come with twelve keys, all aligned in a grid. The layout only features the alpha keys and the modifiers only. These types of keyboards can be programmed to work to your liking. These keyboards are so small that your fingers are always a key away from a function key. If you are looking to be a very fast typer, Ortholinear keyboards are the best choice for you.
These are custom keyboards that come as split boards containing half of the keys on either side. Once acclimated, these keyboards come with functions that make you very fast and efficient when playing games and typing as well.
What Type of Switch do You Want?
Keyboards come with color-coded switches that distinguish their unique characteristics. When buying mechanical keyboards, you have the option of choosing what kind of features of the switch you want. This is the one factor that makes the mechanical keyboard unique. These switches come in different varieties with the most popular ones being Cherry MX and also cherry Clones from Kailh and Gateron.
Let’s take a look at some common switches:
The switches come in three basic types, tactile, clicky and also linear. When pressed, the clicking switches like the MX Green and blue usually make a pretty audible click sound. It is worth noting that the MX green is much heavier than the MS Blue. Tactile switches, on the other hand, feature a slight bump that can be felt as you click them.
Should you be looking for excellent typing experience, the tactile feedback couple with the clicking sound of the green and blue switches are probably the best switches for you. Both cherry and the clone switches feature a plus-shaped colored stem beneath the keycap. This helps in identifying the type as well as differentiating them from the other switches.
Topre is also a prevalent switch type in the market. These switches, however, are not found in many boards. They are also somewhat spendy. They are electro-capacitive hybrid switches which feature a rubber dome, capacitive contact, and even spring. For a more enhanced identification, they feature a larger rounded stem beneath the keycap. These switches come with a distinctive “thock” sound as well as very smooth and tactile. They two offer an excellent typing experience and feature a variety of weights.
Alps Clone Switches
These types of switches feature a rectangular Stem beneath the keycap. They also have a variety of clicky, linear and even tactile features. Though the original Alps stopped being manufactured, clones are still being used in various boards including those from Matias and Filco. If you feel this are your types of switches, then knock yourself out, otherwise, with all the varieties of MX Cherries, we see no reason to scour for them in the market.
Keycaps – Quality Vs. Cheap Keycaps
So, after going through the different layouts and switches, you probably have a rough idea of what will best for you. What next? Well, Keycaps play a significant role in helping you decide on a specific mechanical keyboard that will meet all your needs.
Most of the consoles come with cheaply manufactured ABS keycaps. These keycaps feature lasered or printed legends which after some time start wearing off because of constant use. The keycaps also come in a matte finish, but after some time, they become very shiny hence reflecting light. What does this mean for you? When operating the mechanical keyboard below an overhead light, it becomes challenging seeing the legends due to the reflection of light on the keycaps.
Should you go for the backlit mechanical keyboards, then be sure that the keycaps are made from ABS and the legends are lasered onto the plastic. The transparent material, however, may not be durable even though it looks pretty awesome.
Finally, you have picked out the perfect mechanical keyboard. But does it end there? There’s more to consoles than we can exhaust. Let’s say; you want to customize your keyboard to have that personal feel. Whether it’s the switches or the keycaps, should you feel the need to make any enhancements, then you need to be sure that you get a keyboard that comes with standard-sized keys. Yes, some mechanical keyboards feature unusually large-sized keys which make surfing for them in the market even harder.
You will rarely find any keyboard without OEM sculpture keys raised above the box. It is normal not to find something to your liking. Should this be the case for you, then perhaps, you may need to open your cherry switches and replace the springs with something more ergonomic. An excellent instance is when people switch the MX Clears switch springs with lighter ones to come up with “Ergo Clears.”
If you want to take customization a notch higher, then perhaps the artisan keycaps collections will favor you. These keycaps come in a variety of shapes including skulls, cat paws, gems, monster heads, robots, and the list goes on and on. The demand for this keycap is very high, and the fact that they are handmade makes their prices skyrocket.
Additional Features Makes the Keyboard Cool
Some other additional features include backlight, which comes in different colors. Most backlit keyboards come with programming software that helps you program how you want the backlight to appear. Should you go for different colors per key or even different frequencies, this is an option to consider if you are going to be using the mechanical keyboard for gaming.
Other features to look out for in your new mechanical keyboard include a volume dial or even a roller as well as dedicated macro buttons that take the gaming experience a notch higher. These macro buttons make gaming easier by combining some key combinations into one function or even menu manipulations.
THINGS TO AVOID OR BE ATTENTIVE TO
- Be attentive to the switch clones that come with your mechanical keyboards. Some clones will not be especially if you are looking for a mechanical typing keyboard
- Avoid buying keyboards without testing their efficiency. You might end up buying a keyboard that will fail you.
- Should you land an ABS and PBT keyboard, we feel that going for PBT will land you a much better and quality keyboard. However, wei9gh your options and go for what will work best for you.
ALTERNATIVES FOR THE PRODUCT TYPE
They are a few alternatives for the mechanical keyboards including the following.
- G15 Gen-1s
- Membrane keyboards
- Buckling spring
- Ergonomic keyboards
- Multimedia keyboards
Finding the best and coolest mechanical keyboards is perhaps a daunting task, especially with some of them being so rare. Whether you are looking for a gaming mechanical keyboard or a typing keyboard, you now have a wealth of information, and we are confident we have prepped you well to be in a position to make a variety of cool choices. Get picky, try out as many as you can. After all, this mechanical keyboard will be your companion for years to come.