Nearly every aspect of a personal computer has changed extremely over the years except one: the keyboard.

As a matter of fact, the traditional QWERTY keyboard still retains some redundant design elements that date all the way back to the first typewriters. Today, the familiar layout comes in many forms and colors, as well as two distinct types of keys: mechanical and membrane-based ones.

In this article, we will be bringing you a selection of the best gaming keyboards of 2019, covering both of the above-mentioned types, as well as including a short buying guide at the bottom that will help you pick out the best type of keyboard for your needs and budget. Let’s begin!

Comparison Table: The 9 Best Gaming Keyboards For 2019

CategoryKeyboardSwitch typeBacklight color 
Membrane and Hybrid KeyboardsSteelSeries Apex 100Quick Tension MembraneBlue
Corsair K55 (Editor’s Pick)MembraneRGB
Razer Cynosa ChromaMembraneRGB
Razer Ornata ChromaMecha-MembraneRGB
Mechanical Keyboards Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS (Editor’s Pick)Cherry MXRed
Logitech G910 Orion SparkRomer-GRGB
Logitech G810 Orion SpectrumRomer-GRGB
Corsair K70Cherry MXRGB
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2Razer SwitchRGB

We also have a dedicated guide on the best mechanical keyboards, so make sure to check that one out as well!

Membrane Keyboards

True, mechanical keyboards are all the rage among hardcore gamers right now, but there are some who just prefer the old-fashioned rubber domes. Even though the following keyboards are indeed membrane-based, they are still high-quality gaming products, with some being indistinguishable from mechanical keyboards at first glance.

So, let’s see what the best affordable gaming keyboards look like, shall we?

SteelSeries Apex 100

best gaming keyboard

About the Keyboard

The first entry on this list is devoted to the Apex 100 which is made by SteelSeries. The company is primarily known for manufacturing headsets, but they also make other peripherals and various complementary accessories. What’s most important is that SteelSeries is favored by gamers for their high-quality standards and reliability, so does the Apex 100 live up to that reputation?

In all honesty, yes, it does. Even though it is the cheapest of the Apex series of keyboards, it is far from some flimsy budget product. Remember how we just mentioned that some of the more affordable gaming keyboards are built to resemble mechanical ones? Well, this one not only looks like a mechanical keyboard but also feels like one, all thanks to the “quick tensions switches” that it uses.


  • Quick tension switches – When pressing a regular membrane key, you need to press it all the way down until it makes contact with the board. With the quick tension switches, however, the membrane itself is designed to pull the key once it travels halfway down, emulating the tactile feeling of typing on a mechanical keyboard. And while it may still not be as responsive as an actual mechanical keyboard, it definitely does a great job of mimicking one.
  • LED backlight – Of course, you cannot have a gaming peripheral these days and not have it glow in some way! The Apex 100 comes with blue LED backlighting, although it serves a mostly aesthetic purpose, seeing as the keys are not translucent. There are four levels of brightness to choose from and a couple of effects, but that is as far as the customization goes.

 Our Thoughts

All in all, the Apex 100 is far from a perfect keyboard, but it does more than enough, especially when you consider the price. It is well-built and it feels remarkably close to an actual mechanical keyboard, although the limited backlighting does take a chunk out of its overall value.

What We Loved

  • Mimics a mechanical keyboard well
  • Solid build

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very basic backlighting

Corsair K55

best gaming keyboard 2018

About the Keyboard

Corsair is one of those specialized hardware companies that only started producing gaming peripherals quite recently. Their keyboard line-up consists of almost a dozen different models, but we will be focusing on one of the more affordable ones here – the Corsair K55.

Much like the above-described offering from SteelSeries, it is a membrane keyboard modeled after a mechanical one. But unlike the Apex 100, the K55 is just a regular membrane keyboard which mimics a mechanical keyboard in appearance only. That does not mean it is all about looks, though! It actually stands quite well on its own two legs, with customizable RGB backlighting and with a set of 6 programmable macro keys.


  • RGB backlighting – The K55 has a three-zone RGB backlight. This does make the keyboard more affordable, but it lacks all the customizability and dynamic effects that can be seen with per-key backlighting. Nonetheless, it still looks great and is easily customized with Corsair’s own software utility.
  • Detachable wrist rest – The simple rubber wrist rest that comes with the keyboard can be detached at will. It is not the most comfortable one around, but it is still quite good, considering the price tag.
  • Macro keys – Located at the leftmost part of the keyboard are six dedicated macro keys which make it very easy to carry out complex commands with a single keystroke. Macros are recorded with the “MR” (macro record) button located next to the media keys.

Our Thoughts

The K55 may be “just” a membrane keyboard, but as you can see, it does not rely solely on RGB to make a sale. It is highly ergonomic and comfortable to use, and it even brings you a set of macro keys, a feature very rarely seen implemented in budget gaming keyboards. There are no major downsides to speak of, except maybe that the glossy surface on the top gets dirty easily, and that some might find it a bit pricey for a membrane keyboard.

What We Loved

  • Three-zone RGB backlighting
  • Six macro keys
  • Media control keys

What We Didn’t Like

  • Glossy band on top is a fingerprint and dust magnet

Razer Cynosa Chroma

best mechanical keyboard

About the Keyboard

Yes, we know what you’re thinking: “Since when does Razer make anything affordable?!” And true enough, when you take a look at a company whose name has become synonymous with “gaming” and “expensive”, it is very easy to forget that they make a diverse range of products for a wide customer base. The Razer Cynosa Chroma counts among the company’s more affordable products, and it is an excellent choice for those who want a budget keyboard that still has that unique Razer flair to it.


  • Familiar design – The Cynosa Chroma borrows a lot from Razer’s high-end BlackWidow keyboard when it comes to exterior design. And indeed, they look nigh-indistinguishable. But of course, being a more budget-friendly product, the Cynosa sports a simple plastic frame.
  • Chroma RGB backlighting – Something that makes the Cynosa truly stand out is the implementation of Razer’s signature RGB backlighting technology. Indeed, RGB is quite rarely seen among budget-friendly membrane-based keyboards such as this one, let alone RGB as great and as customizable as Chroma.

Our Thoughts

In the end, the Cynosa is a solid gaming keyboard made with the kind of quality you’d expect from Razer. The keys are responsive and not at all as stiff as you might expect from a pure membrane keyboard. However, it doesn’t have any outstanding features such as dedicated macro keys, a wrist rest, etc. Nonetheless, this is fully justified considering that it’s the cheapest keyboard you can get that comes with high-quality per-key RGB backlighting.

What We Loved

  • Quality plastic build
  • Responsive membrane keys
  • Full Chroma RGB capabilities

What We Didn’t Like

  • No exceptional features

Razer Ornata Chroma

best mechanical keyboard 2018

About the Keyboard

Next up is another gaming keyboard from Razer, although this one is not exactly a membrane keyboard but a mechanical-membrane hybrid – the Ornata Chroma. This type of switch was invented by Razer themselves and it combines the best of both worlds: the lower price tag of a membrane keyboard, plus the responsiveness and tactile feedback of a mechanical switch.

Design-wise, the Ornata Chroma is pretty much what people see in their mind’s eye as soon as Razer is mentioned. It shares the same similar design with its cheaper and higher-priced siblings, and as it can be inferred from the name itself, it comes with fully customizable Razer Chroma backlighting.


  • Mecha-Membrane keys– As mentioned above, the keyboard uses Razer’s Mecha-Membrane technology to combine the features of membrane keys and mechanical keys. They are quite tactile and almost as responsive as a full-fledged mechanical keyboard, but only those who are actually accustomed to using one will notice any difference.
  • Chroma RGB backlighting – Of course, there is Razer’s signature Chroma backlighting. As always, it is currently among the best of its kind as it has unprecedented customizability, along with a range of dynamic effects and presets.
  • Detachable wrist rest – The Ornata is accompanied by a massive cushioned wrist rest that is sure to make both gaming and typing more comfortable. It does, however, contribute quite a bit to the keyboard’s overall bulk. Fortunately, this is not an issue since it can be removed at will, seeing as it attaches to the magnetized front of the keyboard.

Our Thoughts

The Ornata Chroma is a great choice if you want a true Razer keyboard at a more approachable price. It comes complete with fully customizable RGB lighting and the hybrid switches are a great upgrade over the traditional rubber domes. However, being a Razer product, the Ornata Chroma is still quite pricey. As a matter of fact, there are several high-quality mechanical keyboards that you can get at this price tag.

What We Loved

  • Tactile and responsive mecha-membrane keys
  • Chroma RGB backlighting
  • Detachable wrist rest

What We Didn’t Like

  • Costs as much as some true mechanical keyboards

Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS

gaming keyboard

About the Keyboard

Much like Corsair, Kingston started out as a hardware manufacturer. As time went on, they created the HyperX brand which focused on gaming products, including not only peripherals but also internal PC components such as RAM modules and SSD storage.

One of the more popular HyperX peripherals is the HyperX Alloy FPS, a highly compact keyboard that comes in two variants and with several types of switches: the Cherry MX Blue, Brown, and Red. The main body of the keyboard is quite minimal, as seen in the image above, making the keys appear somewhat taller than they actually are.


  • Red LED backlighting – The keyboard includes a simple but effective red backlight. While RGB enthusiasts might find this discouraging, red works rather well here for two reasons: the color red is aggressive and befits a gaming product, but red light’s low wavelength also makes it the least distracting in low-light conditions, all the while efficiently illuminating the keys.
  • Compact steel frame – Unlike the bulky plastic exteriors that are commonly seen in gaming keyboards, this one’s main body is almost nonexistent. The front consists entirely of steel, while the back is made of high-quality plastic.
  • Portability – Apart from its overall compact build, there are two more factors that contribute to this keyboard’s portability. Firstly, power cable is detachable, and secondly, the keyboard comes with a padded carry case that ensures safe and hassle-free transportation.
  • Alloy FPS Pro – We have already mentioned that the Alloy FPS comes in two variants. The first is the standard one which is shown above, but there is also the Alloy FPS Pro which gets rid of the number pad to contribute to the overall compactness and portability. It doesn’t actually add any additional features, but it is obviously cheaper since it has fewer switches.

Our Thoughts

Honestly, the Alloy FPS is pretty much everything that most users would want out of a gaming keyboard. It will fit any desk, is easy to transport, and it is extremely well-built. It comes in two variants, both of which can utilize one of the three most popular types of Cherry MX switches, thus catering to everyone’s tastes. The only downside is that the red backlight doesn’t contribute much in terms of aesthetics as it does when it comes to function, so some users will certainly find a lack of a RGB version disappointing.

What We Loved

  • Compact design
  • Small footprint
  • Choice of model and switch

What We Didn’t Like

  • No RGB version

Logitech G910 Orion Spark

best gaming keyboards

About the Keyboard

Of course, there is no way to talk about computer peripherals without mentioning Logitech. This is another company renowned mainly for the high quality of their products, something that applies to the keyboard we will be looking at here: the G910 Orion Spark.

This particular keyboard stands in stark contrast to the minimalistic Alloy FPS, with its massive frame, the angular keycap design, RGB lighting, and the overall amount of detail that’s packed into it. It also differs in that it doesn’t use Cherry MX, but Logitech’s own proprietary Romer-G switches.


  • RGB backlighting – As is to be expected in this price range, the keyboard has fully customizable RGB lighting that is easily manageable with the accompanying software.
  • Arx Control – A rather unique trait of the G910 is the Arx Control dock located at the top of the keyboard. With the use of the official Arx app for either iOS or Android, you can monitor your hardware performance data, manage peripherals, and it even has multimedia controls – all of that on your smartphone or tablet screen.
  • Macro keys – located on the left side of the keyboard are nine programmable macro keys. Once again, these are great for issuing complex instructions with a single keystroke, be it inside or outside of a game.
  • RomerG switches – A few years back, Logitech introduced their own type of mechanical switch. These are much newer than Cherry MX switches, and not only are they more responsive because of their shorter travel distance, but they are also more durable.

Our Thoughts

If you are a fan of detail-heavy and aggressive design, then the G910 Orion Spark is the keyboard of your dreams. It is not only good-looking but also highly functional – the Arx dock, the dedicated macro keys, and the highly reliable Romer-G switches all contribute to what this product has to offer. Of course, some might still prefer Cherry MX switches due to them being easier to acquire and replace. And needless to say, the evidently gaming-oriented design will not be appealing for everyone.

What We Loved

  • High-quality RGB backlighting
  • Nine macro keys
  • Reliable and responsive Romer-G switches
  • Arx dock for smartphones and tablets

What We Didn’t Like

  • Design is not for everyone
  • Romer-G switches not as widespread or as varied as Cherry MX

Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

quiet gaming keyboard

About the Keyboard

And for those who prefer a more minimal design, Logitech has another offering – the G810. It is evidently more compact and sports a sleeker and far less aggressive exterior than the G910, all the while keeping the same Romer-G switches and RGB lighting.


  • RGB backlighting – As its pricier cousin, the G810 uses the same Logitech RGB technology, allowing for first-class backlighting and excellent customizability via the accompanying software.
  • Romer-G switches – Naturally, Logitech’s proprietary switch is seen here as well, with the same pros and cons as before.
  • Neutral design – As mentioned in the introduction, this keyboard’s design is quite minimal, especially when compared to the G910. This makes it great for those who like having a more compact, low-profile keyboard adorning their desk.

Our Thoughts

All in all, the G810 occupies a comfortable spot on the price spectrum, sitting roughly halfway between the HyperX Alloy FPS and its bigger, badder cousin, the G910. It borrows the best from both worlds – the compactness and the subtler design of the Alloy FPS, plus the RGB lighting of the G910. Other than that, not much differentiates it from the aforementioned two keyboards.

What We Loved

  • Clean and minimalistic design
  • High-quality RGB backlighting
  • Reliable and responsive Romer-G switches

What We Didn’t Like

  • Romer-G switches not as widespread or as varied as Cherry MX

Corsair K70

best mechanical keyboards

About the Keyboard

Following up, we have another Corsair keyboard, one from the same series as the K55 – the K70. These two are, however, on the opposite sides of the spectrum, with the K70 being a top-of-the-line model.

It has a relatively small footprint (when the wrist rest is out of the equation) and a complementary sleek and minimal design, both of which make it similar to the HyperX Alloy FPS keyboard. However, it differs in that it has RGB backlighting, as well as in the fact that it is available with several more types of Cherry MX switches.


  • RGB backlight – The K70 comes with high-quality per-key RGB backlighting. As is to be expected, it is customized via Corsair’s own software utility that can be downloaded for free from their site.
  • Variety of Cherry MX switches – In addition to the standard Blue, Red, and Brown switches, Corsair also ships this keyboard with two more versions: the Cherry MX Silent and the Cherry MX Speed switches. The former is a variant of the Red, as it is linear and produces virtually no noise, whereas the latter is a silvery-white switch that is also linear but has an actuation distance nearly half that of any standard Cherry MX switch.
  • Premium build quality – The K70’s aluminum body makes it sturdy and light, all the while giving it a premium overall feel.
  • Detachable wrist rest – Another more or less standard feature in this price range, the detachable wrist rest is there to make both gaming and typing more comfortable.

Our Thoughts

Needless to say, the K70 is built to impress, and that is just what it does. It looks great, feels great, and performs even better, especially if you go with the Cherry MX Speed variant. It has virtually no flaws, apart from the fact that some might find a lack of dedicated macro keys lacking. Still, that is not a major issue since each key is fully programmable.

What We Loved

  • Top-quality design
  • RGB backlight
  • Several switch types to choose from

What We Didn’t Like

  • No dedicated macro keys
  • On the expensive scale

Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

best keyboard for gaming

About the Keyboard

And last but definitely not least, we have yet another keyboard from Razer, the BlackWidow Chroma V2. It is a new and updated version of the original BlackWidow Chroma, although it hardly warrants an upgrade if you already own the original.

However, if you’re looking to replace another, cheaper keyboard, then the V2 is a much better choice. It tweaks the aesthetic to make for a more professional look (particularly evident from the font), incorporates a new type of Razer switch, and comes with a magnetized wrist rest just like the one seen with the Ornata Chroma.


  • Chroma RGB backlighting – As previously described, this is some of the best RGB backlighting that you can get in a keyboard, with superb customizability and a plethora of effects to choose from.
  • Three types of Razer switches – Much like Logitech, Razer implements their own proprietary switches instead of the more widespread Cherry MX ones. These include green, orange, and yellow switches. They differ mainly in that they are more durable, although the newest yellow switch has a much shorter actuation distance.
  • Five macro keys – Located to the left are five programmable macro keys. As before, these allow you to carry out complex commands with a single keystroke, a feature that will undoubtedly come in handy for a lot of people.
  • Detachable wrist rest – As described in the introduction, the BlackWidow V2 has the same highly comfortable wrist rest as the one that accompanies the more affordable Ornata Chroma.

Our Thoughts

There is no denying that this is a top-quality keyboard with a sturdy build and excellent, responsive switches. It represents that perfect synthesis of aesthetics and functionality, making it a keyboard that any gamer would appreciate. But the main drawback of the BlackWidow Chroma V2 is its price, something that you probably saw coming from a mile away. Of course, it is still not much more expensive than other high-end keyboards, and if you buy it, you will find very little to complain about.

What We Loved

  • Top-quality build
  • Customizable Chroma RGB backlight
  • Excellent Razer mechanical switches

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive

Choosing the Best Gaming Keyboard

This might be a lot of information to take in, especially if you’re new to the whole thing. But have no worries, we will do our best to explain each important factor when it comes to finding the ideal gaming keyboard for your needs!

Types of Keys – Membrane vs Mechanical

best budget gaming keyboard

As you can see, there are two distinct types of keyboards based on the technology used by the keys. They can be either mechanical or membrane-based, although there are instances of various “hybrid” switches, although they are nowhere near as common as the former two.

The way that membrane keyboards function is rather simple. A key rests on top of a rubber dome i.e. a “membrane”, and when enough pressure is applied to it, the dome collapses and allows the key to make contact with the board underneath.

In the case of mechanical keyboards, the situation is quite a bit more complex. What we call a key on a membrane keyboard is merely a keycap here. It rests on top of a more intricate mechanical switch, and it is this switch that makes contact with the board after enough pressure (actuation force) is applied.

gaming keyboard reviews

So, what are the pros and cons of either?

Well, for starters, membrane keyboards are inherently cheaper due to how easy they are to manufacture. They also tend to be quieter in the majority of cases, and how loud they are depends entirely on how fast you’re typing or with how much force you are pressing a key.

On the other hand, mechanical keys are much more comfortable to use since you don’t have to push a key all the way down for it to make contact, something that also makes them faster and more responsive. The obvious downside is that they are much more expensive to manufacture. They can also be quite loud based on the type of switch used, although this can be either a good or a bad thing since some people do like hearing the mechanical clicks as they type.

If you like membrane keyboards, then you should check out our guide on the best wireless keyboard and mouse combos!

Types of Mechanical Switches

best rgb keyboard

As you can see, there are quite a few switches to choose from if you’re going for a mechanical keyboard. The most popular ones are Cherry MX, followed by proprietary switches such as those made by Logitech and Razer. Furthermore, there are the Kailh switches made by Kaihua Electronics, although we have also not included any keyboards that use them. They are a cheaper Chinese variant of the Cherry MX switches.

When it comes to describing a switch, they can be:

  • Quiet or Loud – This is rather self-explanatory. Quieter switches produce less noise upon actuation, whereas the louder ones will produce an audible click once the actuation point is reached.
  • Linear or Tactile – In addition to aural feedback, some switches also offer tactile feedback. Namely, when a tactile switch reaches its actuation point, you will feel a bump signaling that the keystroke has been registered. Conversely, linear switches provide no such feedback.

Switches can also differ in terms of how much actuation force needs to be applied, the key’s travel distance, as well the durability of the switch itself. The table below includes information on each type of switch used by the mechanical keyboards featured in this article.

SwitchNoiseFeelActuation ForceTravel Distance (Actuation/Total)Durability
Cherry MX BlueLoudTactile60g2mm/4mm50 million keystrokes
Cherry MX BrownMediumTactile45g2mm/4mm50 million keystrokes
Cherry MX RedQuietLinear45g2mm/4mm50 million keystrokes
Cherry MX BlackQuietLinear60g2mm/4mm50 million keystrokes
Cherry MX SpeedQuietLinear45g1.2mm/4mm50 million keystrokes
Razer GreenLoudTactile50g1.9mm/4mm80 million keystrokes
Razer OrangeQuietTactile45g1.9mm/4mm80 million keystrokes
Razer YellowQuietLinear45g1.2mm/3.5mm80 million keystrokes
Romer-GQuietTactile45g1.5mm/3mm70 million keystrokes

best mechanical gaming keyboard

So, which should you choose?

In essence, it is all subjective. As mentioned before, some people like hearing the switches clicking as they type, whereas some prefer their keyboard to be as quiet as possible. As for tactile feedback, it is also largely dependent on your preferences.

When it comes to actuation force and travel distance, the differences are rather minor and hardly noticeable unless you’re comparing two types different switches side by side. In this regard, lower is better, but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor unless you’re a competitive gamer who needs every possible edge that they can get.

And lastly, there is the subject of switch durability. Keep this in mind: 50 million keystroke life-span of a standard Cherry MX switch is more than sufficient. Let’s say that you were to press a single key ten thousand times each day. At that pace, a Cherry MX switch would still be functioning for well over 10 years. With that said,

So, in the end, just pick whatever switch you feel the most comfortable with using.


gaming keyboards

The majority of gaming keyboards come with built-in backlighting, something that is both an aesthetic and a functional feature. It gives a keyboard that particular gaming flair while also making it much easier to hit the right keys in the dark.

When it comes to the technologies used to illuminate a keyboard, we have either LEDs that can display only a single color and those that can cover the entire color spectrum i.e. RGB. The latter is more expensive but also provides a greater degree of customizability and is more aesthetically appealing overall.

In terms of functionality i.e. illuminating the keyboard so as to allow you to see which keys you’re hitting in low-light conditions, both of the aforementioned will be more than sufficient. Which one you pick will depend entirely on your preferences and your budget.

Programmable Keys

top gaming keyboards

Some keyboards, particularly the gaming-oriented ones, allow users to remap the functions of certain keys. Sometimes it’s merely the dedicated macro keys, sometimes it’s several of the main keys, and sometimes it’s all of them.

This kind of functionality is particularly useful for MMO and MOBA players who need to be able to execute complex commands in real-time. However, they can also be quite handy in nearly all types of games and can even facilitate some desktop tasks.

If you like the idea of having a larger set of macro keys independent of your main keyboard, check out our buying guide to the best gaming keypads currently available.

Conclusion – The Best Gaming Keyboard of 2019

The Best Membrane Gaming Keyboard – Corsair K55

Best Gaming Keyboard

If you’re looking for a proper gaming keyboard that is well-built and incorporates good RGB backlighting but are not keen on getting a cheap mechanical keyboard due to quality concerns, then there is hardly a better choice than the Corsair K55.

It is actually not that much pricier than other keyboards in this range, but it’s extremely well-built and the keys are indeed more responsive than on some generic low-quality keyboard. It even has a set of useful macro keys, and it has no major drawbacks apart from the glossy surface being a fingerprint and dust magnet, as glossy surfaces usually are.

The Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS

mechanical keyboard reviews

While we surely appreciate the beauty of RGB backlighting, here at GamingScan, we appreciate function over form. As such, we are inclined to give this title to the HyperX Alloy FPS, and for several reasons.

First and foremost, it is the cheapest mechanical keyboard that you can get that conforms to the highest quality standards and that still implements Cherry MX switches. Anything lower, and you would be dealing either with a subpar build and/or lower-quality switches.

By purchasing an Alloy FPS keyboard, you get almost the entire package – durable build, portable and compact design, three types of Cherry MX switches to choose from, but sadly no RGB variants of the base model.

The Final Word

And that would be it! Keep in mind that the above are merely our own picks, and that all the keyboards on this list truly are the best of the best. Needless to say, as long as you keep your needs and your budget in mind, you will not regret buying any of them.

Got any remarks or suggestions? Let us know in the comments! We’ll also do our best to answer any questions you might have.

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