PC gaming has come a long way over the years, and peripheral manufacturers have shaken up the keyboard scene in big ways; many legacy keyboard manufacturers make products specifically with gamers in mind as well. Surprisingly, it’s quite the challenge to find a keyboard that’s great for both gaming and typing – or at least it was prior to finding this list!
The Top-Rated Keyboards for Gaming and Typing
|Top Pick||Razer BlackWidow Elite||90%|
|Runner-Up||ROCCAT Vulcan 121||89%|
|Budget Pick||Redragon K556||85%|
|Luxury Pick||Corsair K100||94%|
|SteelSeries Apex 3||91%|
|Razer Pro Type||91%|
Top Pick: Razer BlackWidow Elite
- The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Gaming Designed: Keyboards, Mice, PC Headsets, and PC Microphones
- Signature Mechanical Switch for Gaming: Razer Green switch technology provides a satisfying clicky sound with 50 G of actuation force, ideal for typing and gaming requiring the highest accuracy
- Ultimate Personalization & Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Fully syncs with popular games, Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30+ partners, supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
- Fully Programmable Macros: Razer Hypershift allows for all keys and keypress combinations to be remapped to execute complex commands
- Ergonomic, Magnetic Wrist Rest: Made of plush leatherette to maximize comfort over extended gaming sessions
The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a stellar keyboard that excels both in gaming and productivity. This full-sized mechanical RGB keyboard has thoughtful touches such as fully programmable keys, a magnetic removable wrist wrest, and media controls. Razer Synapse software allows for a mind-boggling array of customization such as macro recording and per-game/app profiles that automatically apply when opening said programs.
The Razer BlackWidow Elite comes in 3 flavors of switches – Green (clicky sound and feel), Orange (sorta quiet, but still feels clicky) and Yellow (very quiet, without the clicky feel). All varieties have their merits but Orange does seem to be the sweet spot for most users.
If you’re looking for a full-featured keyboard that can handle whatever you throw at it, the Razer BlackWidow Elite is a well-built and attractive board that will meet all of your needs!
Runner-Up: ROCCAT Vulcan 121
- Technology - Switch bounce is reduced thanks to premium components, allowing firmware to recognize input faster; tactile 1.8 millimeter actuation point balances speed with responsiveness
- Durability - A sturdy black anodized aluminum top plate with the removable ergonomic palm rest provides robustness while reinforced key switches give a solid feel to each keystroke and are designed to resist dust build-up
- Illumination - Powered by the AIMO intelligent lighting system, long-life LEDs coupled with transparent key switch housing Display bright, vivid per-key illumination in 16.8M colors
- Media keys - mixer-style media keys and wheel with integrated leds add a level of sophisticated function that provide you with quick and Easy access to comillimeteron Audio and video settings – for rapid control on the fly
The ROCCAT Vulcan 121 is the up-and-coming German manufacturer’s finest work yet, and it’s a great board for anyone who needs a beautiful, well-engineered input device! The feature set here is very similar to the top pick, so it’s best to focus on the differences in order to determine which is best for you – chiefly, this keyboard has low-profile switches that are faster and easier to actuate.
This translates to faster typing (and input, in general) but a somewhat diminished tactility akin to membrane or hybrid boards. If you’re someone who prefers a quieter board or simply likes the idea of being able to punch the keys a bit softer, this is a great pick!
For an even smoother experience, opt for the Red (linear) switches over the Brown (tactile)!
Budget Pick: Redragon K556
- Mechanical Brown Switches: Offering the satisfying tactile typing experience, also being ever so slightly quieter, fitting for office or gaming use. And you will get 8 spare switches as a gift.
- 18 Backlit Modes: Press FN + INS-PgDn to enter Pro-gamer mode. RGB LED adjustable lighting with 6-themed backlights -18 lighting models. You can also adjust their brightness with FN+“↑”and“↓” Besides, there is a 9-color single backlit mode for this keyboard.
- N-key Rollover, Ergonomic And Durable Design: This keyboard is made of full metal material, with matte-finish texture, solid enough to protect it from scratch. It allows multi-keys to work simultaneously with high speed.
- Self-design & Removable Keycaps: The Redragon K556 features a custom designed keycap that has been made shorter to reduce the time it takes for your actions to register. Include a keycaps puller for clean or other needs.
- Wide Compatibility: Support computer system including Windows10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Mac OS X, Windows XP, Windows VISTA, etc.
The Redragon K556 is a great keyboard that’s perfectly suitable for gaming or typing, and it packs a surprising amount of features and quality construction into such an affordable package!
The brushed aluminum frame looks better than anything else in this price range, as does the per-key RGB backlighting.
In fact, nearly everything about this keyboard runs counter to its budget status, including it’s 18-month warranty and glowing customer reviews (4.6 stars on Amazon!).
If you want a great keyboard that doesn’t lack for much of anything aside from a prestigious name, Redragon K556 is a great pick!
Luxury Pick: Corsair K100
- The CORSAIR K100 RGB is the pinnacle of CORSAIR keyboards, offering the cutting-edge performance, style, durability, and customization that gamers need to stand above the rest
- The centerpiece of your gaming setup, the CORSAIR K100 RGB boasts a refined design bolstered by a durable aluminum frame, dynamic per-key RGB backlighting, and a 44-zone three-sided LightEdge
- Powered by CORSAIR AXON Hyper-Processing Technology, enabling CORSAIR’s most advanced gaming keyboard experience by delivering up to 4x faster throughput with native 4,000Hz hyper-polling and 4,000Hz key scanning, while simultaneously driving up to 20-layer lighting effects
- CHERRY MX SPEED RGB Silver keyswitches provide lightning-fast response times with an actuation distance of just 1.2mm, are guaranteed for 100 million keystrokes, and register keypresses up to 4x faster than standard mechanical gaming keyboards with CORSAIR AXON
- A programmable iCUE control wheel gives you command over backlighting, media jogging, and more through CORSAIR iCUE software, customizable to perform actions in games and applications
The Corsair K100 is the latest and greatest board on this list, and is loaded with features that will make any hardcore gamer’s mouth water.
This aluminum-framed behemoth does everything the top picks do (obviously) and your time is respected here so without further ado, this is what sets it apart: the fastest keys in the industry with shortest actuation distance, at the fastest polling rate. This translates to the absolute quickest turnaround time from pressing a button to the effect occurring in-game currently possible.
If that isn’t enough to get you going, have a look at the dedicated macro key column, enough onboard memory to hold 200 lighting profiles/macros, PBT keycaps and the ludicrous-but-yes-please light strips that are programmable independent of the per-key RGB. This is a keyboard that truly does everything imaginable with the sole exception of wireless connectivity – but that would defeat the purpose of the whole “fastest response ever” claim, so it’s not exactly as if a compromise has been made here!
Best Hybrid: SteelSeries Apex 3
- IP32 water resistant: Prevents accidental damage from liquid spills
- 10-zone RGB illumination: Gorgeous color schemes and reactive effects
- Whisper quiet gaming switches: Nearly silent use for 20 million low friction key presses
- Premium magnetic wrist rest: Provides full palm support and comfort
- Dedicated multimedia controls: Adjust volume and settings on the fly
The SteelSeries Apex 3 is a great alternative for those who will lean harder into typing with their keyboard than they will with gaming, or those who simply enjoy a smoother keypress.
Steelseries’ “Whisper Quiet” switches live up to their name while still providing a hint of tactility to indicate you’ve pressed far enough to activate, which is great for intense gaming sessions wherein you don’t quite have the luxury of hitting a backspace key to undo your errors!
There are plenty of other things to love about this keyboard – 10-zone RGB, programmable keys, a removable wrist rest and water-resistant construction, to name a few – and it’s especially great to get all of this at such a low price compared to traditional mechanical boards with similar features!
If you’re a programmer or typist who wants to tip their toes into the pool of gaming, consider this your gateway drug!
Best Sleeper: Razer Pro Type
- Razer Orange Mechanical Switches: For a quiter, yet tactile typing experience.
- Ergonomic Design with Soft-Touch Coating: All-day typing comfort
- Fully Programmable Keys with Macro Recording: Greater control and efficiency.
- Bluetooth and Wireless Connectivity for Up To 4 Devices: Convenient multi-tasking
- White LED Backlit Keys: Giving off a brighter illumination
The Razer Pro Type beautifully balances the features and tactility of a gaming keyboard with the ability to blend-in anywhere – even an upscale office setting!
Classy features such as (optional) Bluetooth connectivity, white backlighting and a fingerprint-resistant, soft-touch coating bely the fact that this baby is loaded with Razer’s famous Orange switches and powered by Razer Synapse 3!
If you like to game in the office (off-the-clock, of course) or don’t want your kids to know that you’re secretly a gamer, too – the Razer Pro Type is the way to go for you!
What to Look for in a Keyboards for Gaming and Typing
You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other if you keep the following key issues in mind while shopping:
Not everyone needs a full-size keyboard, but anyone using their board for a diverse array of activities will likely benefit from the versatility afforded by the widest array of keys. Not all manufacturers specifically state the form or layout of all of their keyboards; some refer simply to the number of keys, and anything over 101 is generally accepted to be a full-size keyboard. As a general rule, look for the num pad, arrow keys and function row! If you really don’t want – or have room for – a full-sized, TKL (no num pad) is a reasonable alternative!
Mechanical vs. Membrane
Long story short, most gamers are going to want a mechanical or hybrid keyboard. Membrane is perfectly suited to typing and some gamers will be happy to work around the inherent limitations in order to save some cash or to have a quiet keyboard – and that’s understandable, but none of the best membrane keyboards for gaming are versatile enough to make this list! Some manufacturers do make various hybrid switch types, and they’re fine for gamers on a budget.
It stands to reason that anyone looking for a dual-purpose keyboard intends to spend a significant amount of time using the thing – so make sure you get one that suits your hands! There are many factors to consider when deciding what sort of keyboard is most comfortable for you to use, from key height to actuation pressure to material types – you’re sure to develop preferences over the years, but you can rest assured that all of the keyboards on this list are widely regarded as being very comfortable for long-term use by the vast majority of users!
Last Updated on March 1, 2021