Best Gaming Keyboards Under $100 – Top 5 Reviews (2019)

Best budget Keyboards Under $100

Finding the best gaming keyboard can be a long, strenuous, time-consuming task, especially when you take into consideration a strict budget. Many of the best mechanical keyboards offer superb durability, highly responsive switches, gnarly aesthetics, and RGB. However, these premium features don't usually come cheap, some top-level mechanical keyboards can go for upwards of $200.

For that reason, and the ever-growing popularity of the esports industry, we decided now would be a great time to compile a shortlist of the best gaming keyboards for under $100. Whether you're looking for an all-out gaming keyboard or something more versatile for everyday use, this list will have a keyboard that fits your specific requirements.

Top pick
SteelSeries Apex M750

SteelSeries Apex M750

Steelseries bring us our number one pick. It's a board that offers cool features but overall the best durability and build quality of any of the boards in this list.

Wireless pick
CORSAIR K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

CORSAIR K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K63 is the only board in this list with wireless technology and one that showcases superb value for money. If you're looking for a wireless keyboard for under $100, look no further.

All-round pick
Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Razer have added yet another impressive keyboard to their ever-growing list of superb hardware offerings. The Ornata has all the style and functionality that comes with all of their products. The RGB isn't bad either.

Luxury pick
CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming

CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming

The Corsair K70 is slightly over budget, however, if you're willing to splash out a little more you get superior functionality and in-game performance.

Budget Pick
Cooler Master CK550

Cooler Master CK550

Cooler Master snags the budget pick keyboard with their CK550. If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, we feel this keyboard has the most to offer.

How We Choose the Best Gaming Keyboard Under $100

Whether it's the latest monitor or the best gaming mouse, people always ask us the same question when it comes to the products we recommend. How exactly do you choose?

It's a great question and one that lets you know our recommendations are well informed.

We usually start each best-of guide with a long list of contenders. After extensive research, we will whittle that list down to around ten finalists, which will either be purchased or sent to us by the manufacturer for testing purposes.

Once we have the finalists in the office, we do individual tests on each board to make sure our results are unbiased and from several different backgrounds. The results get collated and summarized in a review style fashion. See below.

The Best Gaming Keyboards Under $100

Product Details
SteelSeries Apex M750

SteelSeries Apex M750

  • backlight: RGB Lighting
  • switch: SteelSeries QX2 mechanical switches
  • wrist rest: No Wrist rest
  • other features: Aluminium design, Discord lighting notifications, PrismSync Engine
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CORSAIR K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

CORSAIR K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

  • backlight: LED Blue
  • switch: Cherry MX Red
  • wrist rest: Detachable Wrist rest
  • other features: Macro keys, Media keys, Windows key lock mode, anti-ghosting
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Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

  • backlight: Chroma RGB Ligthing
  • switch: Mecha-Membrane switches
  • wrist rest: Detachable wrist rest
  • other features: Macro keys, Media keys, Individually lit keys
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CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming

CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming

  • backlight: RGB lighting
  • switch: Cherry MX Red
  • wrist rest: Detachable Wrist rest
  • other features: Aluminium design, on-board profile storage,
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Cooler Master CK550

Cooler Master CK550

  • backlight: RGB lighting
  • switch: Optional Cherry MX switches
  • wrist rest: No Wrist rest
  • other features: Aluminium design, on-the-fly controls, Macros, 50 million press switches
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#1

SteelSeries Apex M750

The Steelseries Apex M750 is the keyboard for those button-bashing gamers who like to take their gaming rage out on their keyboard. This thing is so well built, however, that even the hardiest of gamers won't be able to stop this thing working.

To look at this thing, you wouldn't expect it to be built with such strength and durability. It looks elegant thanks to the aluminum top plate, which acts as the keycaps backdrop. The RGB is pretty impressive and gives the M750 a cooler more gaming look to the board.

Steelseries have decided to drop the Cherry MX switches for this board. They've instead, designed and engineered their own Steelseries QX2 switches which are developed for pure performance, or so they say. The most noticeable aspect of these switches is how smooth they are. They are, for lack of a better word, silky. They have a 45cN actuation force and a  2mm actuation point which makes them extremely responsive to your reactions. Steelseries have guaranteed a 50million key press life span, making them some of the most durable on the market.

The performance built, super durable m750 is one of the more expensive board on this list, and you can see why. The build quality is fantastic, and the looks aren't bad either. It still comes in at under $100, and for that, we feel it's real value for money.

#2

CORSAIR K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

This is Corsairs' first entry into our shortlist of best keyboards under $100 and the only board on this list, that comes bragging wireless technology.

The K63 has a subtle design, as far as gaming keyboards go, and has scrapped the flashy RGB. It hasn't fully dropped the lighting though; it still comes with some cool LED blue backlights. The board comes with a detachable wrist rest which looks pretty good but doesn't offer nearly as much comfort as some of the other rests in this guide. The keys feel tactile and are quite high in profile, however, that for me felt great.

The main features of this board include wireless technology, the LED backlight we just touched on, macro & media keys, and the Cherry MX Red gaming switches this thing comes equipped with.

As far as wireless keyboards go, this one was really easy to set up. We used Corsair's iCUE to get this thing customized, and it took no time at all. You can set all your macro keys and binds in the software as well. The wireless battery will give you 15 hours of life when in full use. That's not too bad considering you can just plug it in when you need some extra battery.

The Cherry MX Red switches on this board are by far the best feature. They are widely considered the best switches for gamers thanks to the actuation pressure required to use them and their quick response time. Not to mention that you will get years of usage out of them as well.

Corsair is no strangers when it comes to value for money products, and this board is absolutely no different. Another top recommendation at a great price.

#3

Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

The Razer Ornata sticks to Razer's blueprint and brings excellent aesthetics, vibrant customizable RGB, and versatility to the table. It's Razer's middle of the road board which comes in at just under $100. The Ornata has plenty of high-end features making it fantastic value for money. Before we look at the features though, let's have a little look at the design.

Straight out the box, this board looked really impressive. Like the rest of the Razer range, the Ornata keeps the sleek black theme. The contrast between the backboard and the super vibrant RGB gives you an end product that looks extremely cool. If you're into RGB, you'll love this thing. The keys are quite low profile and are definitely something I noticed when switching from an ordinary, full-size keycap. The transition took me a little while to get used to but nothing too crazy. From a design point of view, I can't really knock this board; it ticks all the boxes.

So, features. This thing has some cool, gamer-oriented features which include macro keys, Mecha-Membrane switches, Razer's Chroma lighting, ergonomic wrist rest, and more.

Let's talk about that wrist rest first. As soon as I unboxed it, I knew it was going to be a joy to use. The material used for the wrist rest is extremely soft and almost leather-like in texture. It has been ergonomically designed to encourage longer gaming sessions by reducing any wrist and hand stress. It attaches to the keyboard via a magnetic strip that works very efficiently. It is definitely one of the better wrist rest's I've had the pleasure of using.

The switches have been defined as Mecha-Membrane switches which are a hybrid switch between mechanical and membrane dome switches. They feel fantastic. They react in a very similar way to actual mechanical switches, only slightly quieter.  The RGB is something any Razer user knows about. It's superb. Fully customizable via the Razer Synapse software where each key can be tweaked individually. It also comes with some handily placed macro keys which can be bound to in-game commands.

Overall, for the price tag, we feel this keyboard showcases superb value for money and should be high up on your list of considerations when looking for the best keyboard for under $100

#4

CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming

Corsair's K70 is the most expensive in our list and one that offers excellent build quality, fantastic mechanical switches, and FPS/MOBA keycaps.

The design of the K70 is very similar to the other keyboards in the range. It is sleek and stylish, with strict angles on all sides. The RGB illuminates the board in superb fashion, making it fit perfectly within a gaming background. The wrist rest is fully detachable meaning you can switch the design of this board where and when you choose.

The features of this board include FPS/MOBA keycaps, 100% anti-ghosting with full-key rollover, windows key lock mode, USB pass-through port, dedicated media keys, and more. The list really does go on.

One of the standout features is the Cherry MX Red gaming switches which offer the best overall gaming performance, respectively. They have excellent responsiveness and a low actuation pressure point, meaning you can be more reactive to your enemies.

Unfortunately, this board pushes the boat out on the price end of things; it comes in at just over $100. Even though this board is over budget if you're willing to spend a little more, you're theoretically getting superior build quality and in-game performance.

#5

Cooler Master CK550

The Cooler Master CK550 is our budget offering, however, don't let the price tag fool you, this thing comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a higher-priced mechanical board.

The design is relatively modest and comes with high profile keycaps which feel great for gaming and typing. The backplate is aluminum and comes with a brushed texture, which adds a luxurious feel to the board, especially when you pair it with the subtle RGB.

One of the great features of this board is that you get to choose which switches you use before the purchase. You can choose between Cherry MX Red, Blue, and Brown, meaning you will be able to tailor your board to your specific requirements.

The CK550 has a USB passthrough so you can plug additional devices into the back of the board and have them charge without taking any PC slots.

Cooler Master has released their new and improved software which lets you customize everything from lighting modes, fine-tune macros, and on the fly binds.

If you're looking for a board that is slap bang in the middle of price/performance, then look no further, the CK550 has everything you could want for a reasonable price.

Selection Criteria

Looking for the absolute best keyboard for your needs comes down to a number of different factors. For this reason, we've established what we believe are the most fundamental aspects of a keyboard. Whenever you're looking to purchase a new board, you should always take the following areas into consideration before purchasing.

All the boards we've chosen have been judged in relation to the following aspects. Let's see what those aspects are:

Switches

Switches are up there with the most important features of any board, but even more so on a board that is hovering around the $100 mark. This is where the mechanical keyboard market is the most competitive. Keyboard manufacturers work tirelessly to try and incorporate the absolute best switches they can to try and secure your hard-earned cash. Switches range from Cherry MX red to blue and everything in between.

Some manufacturers have branched out and started developing their own mechanical switches which offer better durability and different levels of responsiveness and actuation.

Durability

For me, durability has got to be considered as one of the most important aspects of a keyboard as well. You probably don't realize it, but the keyboard plays one of the most crucial roles in your gaming experience. Ask any esports professional, and they will undoubtedly tell you they've used the same keyboard for a good while.

Your hand becomes accustomed to the keyboard you're using, switching keyboards during your development stages can literally make or break your potential.

Macros

Macros are an important feature of any keyboard because they allow the user to bind in-game commands and functions to those specific keys. This allows the user to activate certain commands without having to take their hand off the mouse.

Rollover

More specific to the MMO/MOBA players is key rollover. What this refers to is the accuracy of each keypress. When you play a MOBA/MMO game, you soon realize that button bashing is a very practical thing. The Anti-ghosting feature this board comes with makes sure every keypress is registered.

Looks

Sounding shallow for a minute, your keyboard has to match the scenario you intend to use it in most. This is a list of the best gaming keyboards under $100, for that reason, all the boards have a gaming style and aesthetic.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, our comprehensive run-down of the best gaming keyboards for under $100. It wasn't an easy task picking the five keyboards we finished up with because the market is currently flooded with a mass of quality keyboards around that price point. That being said, we managed to come up with what we believe are the best of the current crop.

All the keyboards we recommend have been selected off the back of the same criteria list. The five we finished with all showcases the best qualities overall.

Let us know what you thought of our list by leaving a comment in the section below.

If you have any recommendations, we would be happy to consider them.

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