Top 5 Gaming Keyboards Of 2018

Cooler-Master-MasterKeys-MK750-01

The Cooler Master Masterkeys MK750 is a hundred and four key mechanical keyboard with an exposed switch design over a really nice-looking anodized aluminum backplate. The MK 750 was a great blend of minimalistic design while also coming with a lot of the essential extras that I like to see. The MK 750 comes with a very nice feeling padded wrist rest but keep in mind this wrist rest is a little bit short so if you have longer hands your wrists are probably gonna end up on the desk, which really is kind of a bummer because that wrist rest really was a nice feeling padded wrist rest, but ultimately just wasn’t long enough to be accessible by a lot of different users. The MK 750 does come with a set of RGB enabled media keys but again keeping with that minimalistic design of the board it’s just the bare essential keys meaning that you don’t get a volume scroll wheel or dedicated mute button. The board also comes with a key cap polar and some extra purple PBT key caps but. The board also uses a removable USB C cable and has a cable management channel underneath the board. The MK 750 is a quality board with sturdy construction and it uses Cherry MX switches that come in blue red or brown switch varieties. Cosmetically the board has full perky RGB illumination and also has three light bars around the sides of the board as well and I also like that the light bars aren’t overly bright and instead they just kind of add a nice subtle ambience to the board, but keep in mind though that when the wrist rest is on it does cover up that light bar at the front bottom side of the board. Cooler Masters lighting software is probably the weakest part of this keyboard. It takes a while to change profiles and there aren’t many detailed customization options. However the preset lighting effects on this board are pretty good. Overall I’d say the quality of the keyboard and the general aesthetic make the MK 750 a great keyboard for under $150. Ultimately the only place it really falls short is the software, but at the current sale price of $109 on Amazon it’s an amazing board for that price.

 

hyper-x-alloy-elite

The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB it’s the ultimate evolution of their very popular alloy keyboard the Alloy Elite RGB is made with a very sturdy steel frame and just by looking at it it’s pretty clear that they were gunning for the K-95 platinum with this board. Visually the Alloy Elite RGB looks nice with its 18 zone light bar and open switch design. There’s some nice little accents too like the molded plastic cutouts and the illuminated HyperX logo in the space bar just for a little bit of added personality. The HyperX logo at the top right corner is a little bit intrusive but not overly in-your-face and as the name implies the elite RGB does have full perky RGB illumination thanks to its cherry MX RGB switches, which are available in either blue brown or red varieties. The lights are controlled via hyper X’s ingenuity software which is actually pretty good. It’s not as good as the top tier software’s but it comes pretty close and it does allow you to layer up to two effects for your own custom profiles. As for features the Alloy Elite RGB has RGB enabled media keys with a plastic volume scroll wheel, dedicated keys for changing profiles brightness and game mode, a rather flimsy and not that great wrist rest that honestly feels like it should be on a much cheaper keyboard and a set of ABS metallic key caps with a key cap puller. And like I mentioned the elite is a pretty heavy board due to its steel frame construction but that also makes it have a little bit better feeling of quality. It just feels like a really rugged and durable board. Overall the HyperX al elite RGB does have a little bit of its own aesthetic while borrowing a lot of features and some of its look from the k95 platinum and currently they are both the same price at $169.99. So if you’re just looking for a keyboard with a lot of features I would personally recommend the K95 platinum still if they are the same price but otherwise the Alloy Elitel RGB is a great looking board and it does have a little bit of its own flavor as well.

 

logitech g513

The Logitech G513 is by far one of my favorite keyboards of the year and it made me really happy to see Logitech continue to get their keyboards back on track by including a lot of the things that I expect to see in a flagship line. The G513 Carbon comes with a beautiful backplate that has that classic exposed switch design. Just keep in mind that if you go with the Romer G versions you won’t see any under glow from underneath those keys. Aesthetically the G513 is about as clean as it gets and is only sporting a small G logo at the top right corner of the board. In terms of switches The G513 is offered in the classic Romer G Tactiles which is one of my favorite switches. They’re new linear Roemer G’s and the not as awesome clicky GX blue which is a kale branded switch in terms of extras. The G513 comes with one of the best wrist rests that I’ve seen yet. It’s nicely padded and long enough to accommodate any hand size comfortably. It also comes with a set of angled key caps like the ones that came on the Orion Spark and there’s a USB pass-through as well. Unfortunately that minimalistic design means that the board does not have any dedicated macro or media keys, but it does have media control by way of the function key. With the improvements to Logitech sliding software and the vibrance of the roamer G switches which are the only switches that I’d recommend on these boards anyways, the G513 is a great balance of clean aesthetics with a pop of RGB that is sure to look snazzy on any desk. For its current price of $135 it’s by far one of the best values out there especially when considering the overall quality and the amount of extras that you get.

 

corsair k70_mk2

The Corsair K70 MK.2 and also The Corsair K95 Platinum but that’s because they’re basically the same keyboard with some minor variations. The K70 MK.2 is a high-quality keyboard but there are a few things that felt like they could have been a little bit better, which is ultimately what made it come in at the number 2 spot instead of taking the number 1. For example the wrist rest isn’t the best quality and I really would have liked if it would have been elevated just a little bit more like the one on the K95 platinum. Especially considering most of the features of the MK.2 are taken directly from that board. The keyboard does have a ton of great extras like the included textured key cap sets and key cap puller. And coming over to the K70 from the K95 platinum are the RGB media keys with metal volume scroll wheel, the RGB Corsair logo, the onboard memory with dedicated buttons for profile switching, brightness and gaming mode and the built-in cable routing management system at the bottom of the board. The K70 MK.2 still sports the USB pass-through from previous versions. It’s also important to note that the K70 MK.2 comes in two versions. The regular version comes in all black and it offers five different switch varieties. You can get it in cherry MX blue, brown, red, speed and for the first time in the k7e lineup the cherry MX silent switch. There’s also the special edition which is what you see here the main differences being that this special edition has the silver top plate and comes with those white PBT key caps which is a huge upgrade, however it only comes in Cherry MX speed switches which I’m personally not a huge fan of. I really wish that Corsair could have just made the board available in both color schemes and offered black pbt key caps on the black keyboard and the white PBt key caps with the white and silver. Especially since they already sell black and white PBT key cap separately anyways. This way everybody could have gotten these switches and the board aesthetic that they want. Still if you like linear switches, the special edition is definitely the way to go because with the PPT key caps it’s by far a better value, but it kind of sucks for those of us that like tactile switches and have to shell out much more cash for pvt key caps after the fact which is why I include the K95 platinum on this list. My biggest gripe with the K70 MK.2 is these stabilizers, they’re just awful. The space bar in particular is super rattley. Even after lubing it up and putting on some o-rings. I really hope Corsair does something about this in their future boards especially since this isn’t a new issue. I mean we’ve been complaining about this for years. I also included the k95 platinum because the K70 MK.2 has many similarities, but the K95 Platinum still gives more features. It has a better wrist rest, dedicated macro keys and the iconic light bar at the top of the board. Now currently they’re offered at the same price on Amazon the K95 Platinum is offered in Cherry MX browns and speeds only so keep that in mind, but if you do like one of those switch types it’s worth considering if you want those extras either way you slice it, these are both exceptional keyboards.

 

razer-huntsman-elite

The Razer Huntsman Elite elevates Razor’s keyboard line-up by including many of the extras and changes to the overall design that users have been asking for aesthetically. The Huntsman elite is a combination of clean design married with maximum RGB capability. It’s made up of a fingerprint resistant metal backplate and has an exposed switch design keeping with a clean look at the board. It’s void of any branding which is always nice and the footprint of the board is no bigger than it has to be for the lighting in the board. It has full perky RGB illumination and it has under glow around the entire keyboard and also the wrist rest for a total of a hundred and sixty-eight unique lighting zones making it the most robust RGB experience in a keyboard to date. And when paired with Razer synapse makes for a great overall lighting experience. Also introduced with the Huntsman line is the new optomechanical switch. This optical switch based on a four Tex design uses stabilizers baked into each switch that makes for an ultra solid experience with zero key wobble. Currently the optomechanical switch is only offered in a clicky version and I really hope that they expand these switches to have a tactile and linear version to mirror their current conventional mechanical switches, as I personally don’t love the clicky switches but certainly for those who do it’s a great responsive switch. As for the extras The Huntsman Elite comes with a nice pillowy wrist rest with that RGB that we talked about and one cool aspect of The Huntsman Elite is that the wrist rest attaches via pogo pins which opens up the possibility of future accessories being connected at a later time. Because the pins use a second USB connector this does mean that there’s no USB pass-through. However the Huntsman Elite also has dedicated media keys with a digital dial for adjusting volume or binding in synapse to control in game or software functions. The only real complaints with this board are the lack of dedicated macro keys and the fact that they still don’t include a key cap puller and the lack of switch options is a little bit of a bummer. Other than that, it’s a premium keyboard that commands a premium price. Still for $200 if you want a solid gaming keyboard with a ton of options it’s a great buy.

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