7 Best Gaming Keyboards in 2019: Top Budget, Mechanical & RGB Picks
Get a great keyboard and increase your gaming performance
If you’re looking for the best gaming keyboard in 2019, there are plenty to choose from. With the plethora of switch types and features to pick from, we have narrowed it down to the best of the best to help you make your decision.
To help you dodge the marketing minefield, we have bought and tested every keyboard we recommend and the list is designed to offer a solution to everyone. We look to cover the needs of gamers whether you want a mechanical TKL board, a 100% RGB premium keyboard or even a budget option to tide you over.
So let’s cut to the chase take a look at the best gaming keyboards of 2019:
Corsair K70 MK.2 Low Profile
- Full RGB backlighting
- Full mechanical switches
- Dedicated media keys
- Extensive customization possible through CUE software
- Amazing build quality
- High price
The new and improved K70’s design and features match the brilliance of its predecessor only this time with a much lower ‘profile’. The Cherry MX Speed switches combine with the low profile keycaps to give you the ultimate in typing and gaming performance.
The K70 MK.2 is still one of the best keyboards available at the minute but the introduction of a low profile edition turned a lot of heads. Low profile keyboards have been gaining popularity in the gaming community with some finding the alternative a bit too chunky. With the Corsair Low Profile K70, you get all the benefits of the previous model only now with the newer Cherry MX Speed switches which are 35% lower than your normal Cherry MX and deliver the same level of precision.
The keyboard reminds us of a laptop keyboard thanks to the low profile keycaps. Underneath the caps is a brushed aluminum plate which adds some serious style points to the board whilst also offering a slightly reflective surface for the RGB. The keys appear to float on the surface making the low profile version one of the nicest looking mechanical keyboards on the market. The design and build quality is top notch as you would expect from Corsair and it features dedicated media keys too.
The keyboard features a USB passthrough for your mouse, headset, or whatever it may serve you, unlike the K95 Platinum. The board comes with a full-length detachable soft-touch wrist rest that will maximize your comfort when gaming. It also has slightly wider keys, which makes it great for big handed users (and sausage fingers). The RGB lighting can be customized and synced up to your other Corsair peripherals via Corsair’s proprietary software, iCUE.
ASUS ROG Strix Flare
- Choice of switches
- Brilliant volume bar (dedicated media keys)
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Plastic all over
The ROG (Republic Of Gamers) division at Asus has been bringing out some seriously good keyboards over the last few years with the Strix Flare being the best so far.
This keyboard is packed with features and includes some clever aesthetic and functional design. The Asus Strix Flare as you would expect is a very visually appealing board and this is largely down to the brushed aluminum effect alongside the fantastic illuminated keys. There is a white base under the keys to really show off the RGB. The keyboard caters for gamers with all sorts of different switch needs, whether that is clicky blues or rapid reds.
The dedicated media keys set this board apart from its competition as a little extra consideration for the right-handed gamer has come into play here. The volume bar (which is the best we have ever seen on any board) is located on the left-hand side so it is easily reached from the keyboard hand when in game. Aside from these functionality tweaks, the board is of solid construction despite being entirely plastic. You get a detachable wrist rest with the keyboard and there is a bit of plastic in the corner that can be personalized, which lights up and is a lovely touch from Asus.
this brightly colored beast also features a USB passthrough which is always a convenient thing to include and you simply cannot go wrong with this board.
ROCCAT Vulcan 121
- SizeFull-size (100%)
- SwitchROCCAT Titan switches
- Wrist restCan be bundled with a detachable wrist rest
- Attractive low profile design
- Great RGB and brushed aluminium combo
- Fantastic switches
- Wrist rest costs extra
Despite some of its foibles, both typing and gaming on the Vulcan is a pleasant experience. But it doesn't lean far enough in one direction for it to truly excel at either, and it's also not the most attractive mechanical keyboard. The main issue with the Vulcan is that, at its current price point, there are a number of other, higher quality, more fully featured keyboards available, like the Corsair K95 or Razer Huntsman. If you are considering it, I strongly recommend trying to get some hands-on time with it ahead of your purchase, to see if the weird hybrid formula Roccat landed on for their switches appeals to you. For me, it's difficult to recommend at $150.
German manufacturer and eSports sponsor Roccat has largely made their name producing peripherals squarely targeted at gamers, emphasizing in-game performance and flashy aesthetics over workspace productivity. The Vulcan is a prime example of this design philosophy, a board that attempts to lure gamers with vivid RGB lighting and proprietary switches, but some unfortunate missteps leave it short of a bar that, in the realm of mechanical keyboards, is ever rising. And unfortunately, the Vulcan doesn't do any one thing so well that it stands out, or incorporate any appealing new tech that would push it free of the morass of mechanical decks that are constantly vying for PC gamers' precious dollars. For an overview of the cream of that particular crop, make sure you stop by our best gaming keyboard roundup.
Logitech G Pro
- Built to the exacting specifications of eSports athletes
- Simple and attractive design
- Durable switches
- Macro assignment limited to Function keys
With the Logitech G Pro mechanical keyboard, it appears to be focused towards the professional eSports community. The 80% TKL sized board makes this ideal for taking to tournaments and when you combine this with the low actuation switches you get something extremely responsive in game.
This board is mostly only functional with flashy extras such as dedicated media keys and detachable wrist rest not featuring in this keyboard despite the high price tag. As we expect from Logitech the construction is solid and the design albeit simple is actually really pleasing on the eye.
The Romer-G switches feel highly responsive and are a nice alternative to Cherry MX switches, with typing and gaming feeling great. The board features RGB and you can, of course, delve into the Logitech HUB software to personalize your setup.
BenQ Zowie Celeritas II
- High quality build
- Elegant design
- Brilliant optical switches
- Limited features
We love BenQ Zowie's simple yet elegant solutions for our gaming needs as they almost always seem to deliver highly functional peripherals. The Celeratis II fits in as one of these offering gamers a professional plug and play mechanical keyboard.
This masterpiece will look good on anyone's desk with its sublime yet simple looking design. The Flaretech optical switches are similar to Cherry MX Red's and offer the same responsiveness that people love from a red switch. The keys feel fluid when typing making this board great for gaming and work.
The construction on this keyboard is fantastic with the smooth matt finish feeling great against your wrist. The keys are backlit with red to match the red and black theme and the board is chunk meaning there is no need for any ergonomic feet.
This classy board was built with professional E-Sports in mind and it really performs as well as it looks.
Redragon K552-R KUMARA
- Great for small spaces
- Lighting channel is customizable
- Full anti-ghosting feature
- Does not have wrist rest
- No dedicated media keys
It’s surprising to see a mechanical gaming keyboard at such good value while still offering great features such as RGB backlighting, anti-ghosting functionality, tactile switches equivalent to Cherry MX’s Blue, and high-quality durable Metal-ABS construction. The K552 Kumara RGB keyboard is a tenkeyless(TKL) board giving gamers a portable option that also saves space on the desk.
This 80% keyboard features Outemu clicky switches that offer tactile feedback but still feel responsive like Cherry MX Reds. There are no dedicated media keys on this board as there is no extra room around the keys which are stylishly framed in a solid feeling base. You can, however, use the function keys to mimic media controls which is a nice touch.
The RGB feature lets you adjust a handful of lighting options such as the backlight brightness, backlight direction, and other lighting effects such as:
- Steady on
- Touch on
- Gaming on
- Slide left and right
- Slide diagonally
- Snake running
- Spillover effects
Overall, this keyboard is worth every dollar. If you’re on a budget and want a mechanical keyboard, The K552-R is a solid choice.
Corsair K55 RGB
- SizeFull-sized (100%)
- Wrist RestDetachable Soft Rubber Wrist Rest
- 6 programmable macro keys
- Highly responsive for a membrane keyboard
- Multi-key anti-ghosting
- Membrane switches
the Corsair K55 is the only keyboard on the list which doesn't feature mechanical switches. This keyboard features membrane switches which are comparable to Cherry MX Browns however they are a little 'mushier' and only mimic the mechanical feel. This budget board is sometimes bundled with the Corsair Harpoon mouse and has some great elements for a budget keyboard.
The keyboard is rather simple in its design which is unusual for a gaming keyboard and it is constructed entirely of plastic. The K55 is lightweight and although it features membrane switches they actually feel quite good and are arguably the closest to mechanical you can possibly get with a switch type such as this.
The keyboard features RGB lighting and on top of the 6 programmable macro keys, it has dedicated volume and media keys for convenience. The K55 has a multi-key anti-ghosting function too, ensuring each keypress is registered properly when pressed at the same time.
While you do get a wrist rest included, the board doesn't exactly feel premium when compared to the rest of the keyboards on the list.
It may not be the best keyboard Corsair has ever created but it certainly has some potential and is a great budget option.
How to Choose the Best Gaming Keyboard in 2019
When choosing a gaming keyboard, it’s important that you choose the right one for you. But how exactly do you choose one according to your needs? Here are the main factors to consider:
The first thing you have to ask yourself is how much are you willing to pay for a gaming keyboard. Are you only willing to get a gaming keyboard under $50? Your budget has the ultimate say about this matter and it’s essential that you evaluate ahead to make sure you’re investing right. The same goes if you’re looking to get the best gaming mouse.
Membrane vs Mechanical Keys
Membrane and mechanical keyboards differ greatly but only underneath the surface. Gamers prefer mechanical type keyboards because of how durable they are. Furthermore, mechanical keyboards are easy to customize and are considered to be highly responsive.
Mechanical switches often tend to be louder but there is such a wide variety of switches available that you can dampen the noise level and still benefit from the low actuation force required to press the key.
It is worth noting that membrane boards have a tendency to break quicker due to the membrane layer flattening out over time, resulting in the keyboard becoming less responsive. Mechanical keyboards are easy to disassemble and clean plus when you factor in the responsive switches they feature, they are a must for gamers.
Aesthetics vs Comfort: RGB and Wrist Rests
While it doesn’t have anything to do with performance, aesthetics play a huge part in the selection process. Keyboards with full RGB customization options are preferred these days and ideally, you’d want one that can be customized to your liking.
You would struggle to find an uncomfortable keyboard but you will find the more premium boards feature luxury extras like wrist rests and adjustable feet.
Keyboard Switches also factor into the comfort side of things as Cherry MX Reds may offer the ultimate for gaming performance but they do tend to be quite loud so make sure you get the right ones!
Other Features: Macros, Keycaps, etc.
Nowadays, there are a lot of features that are included on high-end keyboards. For instance, macro keys can be a huge asset while gaming, multimedia and volume keys offer some extra convenience, and replaceable keycaps can offer a textured feel. Just know the more features the board has will often be reflected in the price but we feel we have found some great keyboard deals in this list. If there are any boards you feel should have made our best gaming keyboard list then feel free to comment below with your suggestion.