#1 Razer BlackWidow Elite
If your budget can stretch a little further, you can pick up the Razer BlackWidow Elite. Razer chooses not to use Cherry MX switches, opting to manufacture their own instead. That’s no reason to write-off Razer’s keyboards, and some people prefer Razer switches to Cherry MX.
The BlackWidow Elite is available in your choice of three switches: tactile and clicky green, tactile and silent orange, and linear and silent yellow. Razer rates its switches for up to 80 million keystrokes. Each key has an RGB LED inside it, which can be programmed using the included software.
#2 Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo
Sometimes you just want to get a keyboard that looks good. In those situations, the Roccat Vulcan 120 should be at the top of your gaming keyboard list. This svelte keyboard uses Roccat’s own Titan switches, rather than the Cherry MX switches found on most other keyboards on this list. And, we can vouch for how awesome they are. Not only does this keyboard have amazing tactile feedback, but it’s comfortable to type on and won’t keep your roommates awake all night. It really isn’t hard to see why this is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market today.
#3 Wooting One
There’s something special about the Wooting One. This is the world’s first analog mechanical keyboard, which means the keys are pressure sensitive. The harder you press a button, the more the keystroke is recognized. The obvious use for this technology is gaming, and Wooting claims that popular titles like Grand Theft Auto V and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are already compatible.
The keyboard is constructed from ABS plastics and 5000 series aluminum. In the box, you’ll get some spare switches and a switch puller tool for performing surgery on your keyboard, which is a really nice touch.
#4 Azio Retro
The keyboard is designed with white lettering on black, circular keys. However, Azio’s take includes a plate covered with leather, and a frame made of zinc aluminum alloy plated for a matte copper finish, for a lush, tactile feel on each key. It’s even got a hex-bolted manufacturer’s logo plaque, if that sustains your whimsical fancy.
Instead of the usual pinpoint LED indicators for Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock, and Win Lock, the Retro Classic has fairly large and bright LEDs, which bear a passing resemblance (deliberate or otherwise) to Art Deco light globes. It’s a minor point, but we found the LEDs more conspicuous on the Azio than on most other, similar implementations.
#5 Corsair K70 RGB MK.2
The K70 MK.2 maintains the rock-solid keycap design of Corsair’s other mechanical keyboards, with the media control keys retaining their position just above the numerical keypad. However, the MK.2’s are considerably more elevated, making them easier to reach if your right hand rests on the numpad.
The Corsair branding is more pronounced on this model, with a prominent translucent faceplate placed front and center rather than the minimalist logo relegated to the upper-right periphery on the K70 LUX. Another new addition to the MK.2’s design is an X-shaped channel that runs underneath the body of the keyboard, allowing you to route cables underneath without cluttering up your desk.
#6 Razer Huntsman Elite
Razer is taking speed to a whole new level with the Huntsman Elite, thanks to its new optomechanical switches. That sounds like mouthful, but Razer has managed to do the unthinkable – combine mechanical switches with optical sensors.
This combination allows the Huntsman elite to take actuation to the next level, and you won’t find a faster keyboard on the market. But, switches aside, it’s remarkably comfortable to type on, and it’s covered with more RGB lighting than you can shake a stick at. Sure, it requires two USB cables for power and costs a small fortune, but with tech like this, it’s absolutely worth it.
#7 Logitech G513
The Logitech G513 Carbon combines versatility and minimalism in an appealing keyboard for those who like RGB bling and a conservative look in equal measure. After a few days of Romer-G pecking, I found the typing experience equally pleasant to the gaming one, and realized that this keyboard is held back only by its lack of dedicated macro or media keys.
The key switches may have special appeal for those who aren’t satisfied by the half-dozen or so flavors of Cherry switch in common circulation. The Romer-Gs aren’t for everyone; some seasoned gamers will turn up their noses at anything not made by Cherry, and I didn’t find a huge difference in feel between the Tactile and Linear. But they were both quite comfortable.