Are you looking for one of the best gaming keyboardsthat will enhance your gaming experience?
Do you want a gaming keyboard that will help you easily maneuver every move when playing your favorite game? Don’t allow your keyboard limit you and prevent you from crushing the enemy.
A good gaming keyboard that make a difference between victory and failure. Check out the man who reinvented the keyboard.
It is therefore necessary to select only the best gaming keyboard for an awesome gaming experience.
What is a gaming keyboard?
The gaming keyboard was designed with hardcore gamer in mind. It has limited keys when compared with the conventional keyboard.
It is often enhanced with features that makes it appealing for fast action games. This possible because of the mechanical keyboard that allows customization and recognition of fast movements with every key stroke.Some additional keys not found on the normal keyboard are added to the gaming keyboard.
Next is the array of backlight that enhances both look, feel and performance of the user. This is a special keyboard for long hours of touch. Due to the length of time involved in its usage, some manufacturers have additional features such as the wrist rest where users can rest their wrists and remain comfortable for long hours.
What is the best gaming keyboard?
Knowing what to look for is essential and this will determine the type of gaming keyboard you will eventually buy. Some features to look for include:
- Mechanical switches: This is important for boosting key travel and rapid tactile feedback. Gamers require a lot of rapid action and response with every key stroke, so this feature is very vital and should not be compromised.
- RGB Lighting: Although this option might push up your budget, it will enhance your keyboard and give it a matching look with the rest of your game setup.
- Ease of setting up: Your keyboard of choice should be easy to set up. Installing of the software and adjustment of its settings should also be easy.
- Extra Macro keys: This is important for gamer engaged in MMO’s or competitive shooting and they should be customizable.
- Being unique: A great gaming keyboard should stand out and be different from the traditional keyboard. The keys should be easy to find and highly responsive.
- Backlights: There are essential not only for illumination in the dark but also highlighting frequently used control keys. The color should also be adjustable with multiple lighting zones.
- Swappable keycap: These are important for better tactile control. The mechanical switches are usually distinct and separate from the keycap and the keys can be removed and swapped to enable molded sculpting.
- Programmable keys: These are important for customization and to enable total freedom and flexibility when you are engrossed in gaming challenges.
There are weird and fun about computer keyboards you didn’t know about.
Other additional but not necessary features of a gaming keyboard include touch screen displays, text and audio communication as well as statistic tracking.
Why do you need a gaming keyboard?
No matter how good your gaming skills are, if you do not have the right gaming keyboard to portray your skill, you will not have a fully engaging gaming experience. But with the right choice of gaming keyboard your performance is drastically improved and makes it possible for you to leave a lasting impression on the leaderboards.
So for the hardcore gamer out there wondering which gaming keyboard to buy in 2018, you should read this!
This guide covers some of the best gaming keyboards, 2018 and beyond and has highlighted the key features that will provide you with the winning edge against competitors.
Here are some of the best mechanical gaming keyboards in 2018 in no particular order:
|Gaming Keyboard||Interface||Keyboard backlighting||Programmable keys|
|Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire|
|Razer Blackwidow Chroma||Wired||Yes||Yes|
|Turtle Beach Impact 100||Wired||Yes||Yes|
|Logitech G910 Orion||Wired||Yes||Yes|
|CM Storm QuickFire Rapid-i||Wireless||Yes||Yes|
|Logitech Wireless Wave||Wireless||No||Yes|
|CM Storm QuickFire TK||Wireless||Yes||Yes|
|Tesoro Excalibur G7NL||Wireless||Yes||Yes|
|ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro||Wired||Yes||Yes|
|Mad Catz STRIKE TE||Wired||Yes||Yes|
|SteelSeries Apex M800||Wired||Yes||Yes|
This is the first in our review series and it is a gaming keyboard that is high tech with flexible features.
The Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire gaming keyboard is one of the best mechanical keyboards designed with Cherry MX Speed RGB switches. It is also made from durable aluminum frame and is light weight especially for gamers who move around a lot.
The advanced lighting control and keycaps with large fonts is enhanced with a dynamic and vibrant multi-color backlight for an amazing gaming experience.
It had added sophisticated macro programming intertwined with animations and dramatic lighting effects.
It is 100% anti-ghosting with rollover on USB for the full key. This ensures accurate key strokes which translates into precise gameplay.
Features of the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire
- Aluminum frame: This gaming keyboard is built with anodized aircraft-grade brushed aluminum frame that can withstand billions of keystrokes without jamming. This is a great feature for gamers engaged in fast paced games that require rapid movements.
- Anti-ghosting: The Rapidfire technology is very impressive and can recognize every single key pressed at any point in time. This means that you can easily keep up with fast action games without fear of missing some key strokes.
- Enhanced keyaps: The keycaps have a large font while the lighting system of the keypad is multi-colored and highly customizable to suit your needs.
- Detachable soft-touch wrist rest: Sometimes, gaming sessions can last for long hours at a go, and this makes it important to have comfortable hand placement as you enjoy the action. The wrist rest feature ensure that you have the required comfort throughout any marathon gaming session.
- USB port: The USB pass-through ports features an adapter for either your best gaming mouse or wireless headset.
- FPS and MOBA key set: These keys appear contoured and textured for ease of feel that will give you full control of your gaming experience.
- CUE Support: The Corsair Utility Engine (CUE software) support gives added advantage of enabling an advanced macro programming coupled with unlimited customization for every game.
The Blackwidow Chroma Mechanical Gaming Keyboard from Razer has clicky mechanical keys with 50g actuation force. Its keys are designed to actuate at an optimal distance of 1.9mm into the keystroke and reset itself to fire again at less than half the distance of standard mechanical switches, this allows for fast actuations. It has programmable backlit keys with 16.8 million color options, which can be set through Razer Synapse. The left side of the keyboard is equipped with five additional gaming macro keys that let you access extra abilities and commands. This Overwatch edition of the keyboard features designs and logos from the video game.
Features of the Razer Blackwidow Chroma
- All-new Razer Mechanical Switches – Designed from the ground up specifically for gaming, the all-new Razer Mechanical Switches have an optimized set of actuation and reset points that improve your gaming performance by giving you speed and responsiveness like never before. Engineered to have an optimized tactile feel, these keys help you react faster and with more precision during critical game situations
- Chroma customizable backlighting – The Razer BlackWidow Chroma features individually programmable backlit keys with 16.8 million color options, all easily set through Razer Synapse. From preloaded lighting effects for different types of games, to your own custom uniquely programmed palette of colors, you can effortlessly enhance your gaming experience in a way that is unique only to you.
- Inter-device color synchronization – Whether it’s your favorite shade of green or your guild colors, Chroma gives you the freedom to decide. It could be one, three or even thirty-seven colors, with a spectrum of visual effects featuring 16.8 million colors; the possibilities are whatever you can imagine. With inter-device color synchronization, your Razer Chroma enabled Razer gaming weapons will always go together perfectly.
- Razer Chroma SDK – All Razer Chroma enabled devices come with an open SDK that will allow game developers to take advantage of the multitude of lighting options available for Chroma by integrating these advanced lighting effects to create in-game lighting alerts or actions per minute lighting features.
- Custom lighting controls via Razer Synapse –Razer Synapse is a cutting-edge, intuitive software that functions as the Razer Blackwidow Chroma’s brain. Sync your personal lighting settings – ranging from Spectrum Cycling, Breathing, Custom, Preloaded Templates, Reactive, or Wave – automatically with this unified cloud-based configurator.
When you finally get it setup, (which is super easy) and the keyboard changes color depending on your hero, it feels amazing! Not only does it change for every hero, but for some Herod the keyboard will slowly pan one side, to the other, or from top to bottom. The ASDW are lit, and E and SHIFT also light up, and so does H when you have the ability to change heroes. It’ll also send out a wave throughout the keyboard when you get your ultimate, or respawn. Overall, keyboard functions very well.
The key to securing victory all the time is having an arsenal of controls more impressive than your opponents. The Razer turret puts the power of desktop grade gaming peripherals right in your lap as you play your favorite game titles on the couch.
In addition to the undeniable precision achieved by using a keyboard and a mouse, this highly ergonomic lapboard also gives you power to execute typing commands while you are gaming or browsing, without having to switch devices constantly.
Arm yourself with the Razer turret, and dominate leaderboards from the comfort of your couch. If you sit at a desk with a monitor, you probably use a mouse and keyboard. If you sit back on the couch with a television, you probably use a gamepad.
Mouse-and-keyboard setups offer undeniable input superiority for first-person shooters, and simply work better for most strategy games, but they just aren’t comfortable to use when you’re not at a desk or a table. Razer tries to solve this problem with the Turret, a wireless gaming keyboard and mouse combination that features a folding lapboard with mouse surface and a charging cradle for keeping both peripherals ready and available.
It’s a well-designed package, but neither the keyboard nor the mouse can compare with dedicated, wired input devices on comfort and functionality.
Features of the Razer Turret
- Razer Orochi mouse – Better still, the mouse mat is slightly magnetized, which means the bundled Razer Orochi mouse – which is also magnetized – won’t slide off the surface. I found this really useful when playing on the sofa, as the Turret tends to sit at a tilt. Using a normal mouse (the Logitech G900, for reference) proved frustrating, but the sticky Orochi stayed glued to the mat.
- 3,500 DPI sensor – Still, you can use Synapse to do all the usual things you’d expect, such as changing the polling rate and DPI settings for the Orochi, or tracking your key presses using a heat map. Don’t forget that Synapse will also load settings based on the game you’re playing, so you don’t suffer the headache of quickly editing settings each time you start up a new title.
- 40-hour battery life (mouse) – Razer boasts that the Turret’s battery lasts 40 hours on a single charge. Surely we could make do with a shorter runtime in exchange for backlighting. I admit, it’s hard to even verify Razer’s battery claims, because 40 hours is a stupendous amount of time to keep the Turret running without returning it to its charging dock. All I can say is I never had it run out of battery while I was using it. Nor did I ever come close to running out of battery.
- 4-month battery life (keyboard) – While the keyboard’s battery automatically charges when the lapboard is in the dock, Razer says it can last up to four months at a time. The lapboard folds back less than an inch past the right edge of the keys. The other half of the board is a mouse surface apparently devoid of any electronics. The mouse surface is a very smooth material separate from the plastic of the lapboard itself. While the mouse pad half of the lapboard measures 4.8 by 8.2 inches (HW), the actual mouse surface is a smaller 4.6 by 7.4 inches. It feels sturdy, and the hinge of the lapboard keeps the entire thing flat when it’s unfolded across a lap.
- Wireless 2.4GHz adapter – Also included in the box is a small wireless 2.4GHz Bluetooth adapter. This can be plugged into the USB port of a gaming laptop for instant connectivity. The Turret can also pair via a standard Bluetooth connection, which means you can sync it to your smartphone.
The Turtle Beach Impact 100 ($60) is a membrane gaming keyboard that functions like a mechanical one. The imitation isn’t perfect, but it gets the job done. I also like the compact design and easy setup. If you simply don’t have the cash to dish out on a mechanical keyboard, the Impact 100 really is the next best thing.
The Turtle Beach impact 100 is not your everyday gaming keyboard, there is a beast under the keys!
Neither mechanical nor traditional membrane, this hybrid uses smart guided keycap sleeves to emulate the sensation of a mechanical keyboard, but for a fraction of the cost.
Patented 30-key rollover with anti-ghosting means fast moving fingers can control games without the fear of missed moves and dropped instructions. The steel reinforced construction also ensures long lasting durability and the high quality PBT keycaps won’t wear out over time.
Features of the Turtle Beach Impact 100
- Smart guided keycap sleeves – The feeling of a mechanical keyboard made affordable to everyone. The keys are where the Impact 100 really distinguishes itself from the competition. I usually caution readers against purchasing membrane gaming keyboards because, for all their bells and whistles, their guts are essentially the same as a $20 office keyboard you can pick up at any department store. The Impact 100 uses membrane technology, and does not feel as good as a true mechanical keyboard, but it does try something different, and the innovation pays off.
- Durable Construction – Circuit board mounted on metal plate for stability and maximum durability. Although I liked the keys on the Impact 100 for the most part, there’s a fairly steep learning curve because of a curious design choice. The Impact 100 has a tiny Backspace button right next to the slash, instead of the usual larger Backspace button above the slash
- USB plug and play – No software required. The Impact 100 feels lightweight, both in physical and digital terms. The device requires no software and no special drivers. To install it, simply plug in the Impact 100, and start typing. That’s all it takes.
- Full anti-ghosting – Full anti-ghosting and a world-patent 30-key rollover. It creates a very fast keyboard which ensures keystrokes won’t be missed
- PBT keycaps –Unlike regular ABS, PBT keycaps don’t wear down over time.
Logitech’s G910 Orion Spark is a completely new keyboard with completely new switches, built from the ground up for gaming and full RGB backlighting. As such, it’s probably the device where we have the most to talk about because, well, it’s entirely unique.
There was a time, not so long ago, when purchasing a gaming keyboard meant you’d be stuck with some kind of garish neon green, blue or red backlighting. If your home décor didn’t match, that was just tough cookies.
Full-color keyboards, which let you choose your own backlighting color combinations, are finally starting to trickle into the market, and Logitech’s G910 Orion Spark ($180) wants to ride the wave early.
The Orion Spark is hardly cheap, but it is comfortable, user-friendly and drop-dead gorgeous. If the Orion Spark is any indication of what’s to come, the next few years look good for keyboard enthusiasts.
Features of the Logitech G910 Orion Spark
- Romer-G switches – The Orion Spark is a mechanical keyboard, but it brings a totally new kind of switch to the table. Logitech claims that its Romer-G switches are faster and more durable than competing mechanical switches. This may be true, but while the keys worked well, I did not notice a significant difference between them and the industry-standard Cherry MX switches.
- Backlighting – The biggest innovation that the Orion Spark brings is a veritable rainbow of backlighting options. Whether you want to make the whole keyboard a stately blue, have it pulsate in a shimmering rainbow or turn each key to a different color (there are millions to choose from, and even similar colors look pretty distinct), the Orion Spark will accommodate you.
- Macro recording – The macro recording, in particular, deserves a shout-out. I honestly can’t think of another keyboard that made recording macros so simple. There were no settings to fiddle with or awkward keyboard combinations to input. You simply press the macro record button, selected a G macro key, input my command and hit the macro record button once again. It records macro with perfect timing and absolutely zero fuss.
- Analysis mode – The device also features an analysis mode that gauges both how often you tap each key and how long you hold it down during a single play session.
- Lcd screen – The Orion Spark even takes a cue from Logitech’s old G19 and G19+ keyboards, which had LCD screens. This time around, Logitech lets you bring your own display, with a spot in the back for a mountable smartphone.
Speaking of Ten Key Less (TKL) keyboards, we are here today to see one of the latest TLK keyboards from CMStorm and their QuickFire series, the Rapid-i. Of course, that means we lose the number pad, but we also lose the need for drivers in this instance as well. That does not completely take away from the Rapid-i and its optional functionality either.
There are still some very cool lighting modes, you can adjust the repeat rate, there are profiles for lighting and key assignment, and there is a set of multi-media keys as well. There are a few other nice features to this latest design, and if you are in the market for a TKL, then the CMStorm QuickFire Rapid-i is a serious contender for your hard earned money.
CM Storm, the gaming division of legendary manufacturer Cooler Master are back once again with their latest mechanical keyboard. The CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-i is a popular choice with a lot of gamers, so let’s see what all the fuss is about.
Features of the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid-i
- High quality mechanical key switches – Genuine CHERRY MX Brown key switches provide satisfying, tactile feedback with low noise output and superior durability.
- Full backlighting – Completely backlit with white LEDs for total illumination and visibility in low-light environments. The completely backlit design with white LEDs allows for total illumination and visibility in low-light environments. A 32-bit ARM processor allows you to program individual keys, keeping them lit permanently. This makes it easier than ever to personalize while at home or away at an event. These backlighting customizations are stored within four separate lighting profiles, so you can store and use them as you like.
- Activelite technology – Rapid-i’s unique lighting technology enables instant response and trailing light effects upon keypresses. Switch to Activlite mode – keycaps react to your touch and turn off upon release. Customize this effect further by choosing between the backlight going off instantly or slowly fading away
- Customizable per key lighting – A 32-bit ARM processor allows you to program individual keys, keeping them lit and saved across four (4) different profiles without using any software
- Repeat rate adjustments over USB – Execute commands up to eight times faster than other keyboards and competitors by adjusting your keyboard repeat rate at a moment’s notice.
- N-key rollover – N-key rollover registers an unlimited amount of simultaneous keypresses for dependable command execution.
- Luxurious soft touch and minimalist style – Soft-touch paint creates both a comfortable feel and a luxurious look perfect for gamers and business users alike. Its compact size and simplistic, yet functional, design makes the Rapid-i occupy the perfect balance between a sophisticated design aesthetic and a gaming powerhouse.
The Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 is one of the few ergonomic wireless keyboards and mouse combos that we reviewed for this comparison. If you’ve never used an ergonomic keyboard before, it can take some getting used to.
As you might expect from the name, the Wave Combo’s keys ripple across the keyboard, with the G and H keys at the apex. The design looks a little strange at first, but after our reviewers used the keyboard extensively, it was apparent this is among the most comfortable components we tested. It pairs the user-friendly design with advanced features, earning our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse comes with freedom of motion while working at your PC with this keyboard and mouse that wirelessly connects to your computer from up to 33 feet away. The keyboard features Comfort Wave technology and a cushioned, contoured palm rest, and the mouse features contoured sides and soft rubber grips, so you can comfortably type and input data.
Features of the Logitech Wireless Wave Combo
- 2.4GHz wireless connection – The mouse and keyboard connect to your computer using a receiver and work up to 33 feet away.so you can work or play in more places-like your comfy touch-the long range wireless connections virtually eliminates delays .dropouts, and interference.
Compatible with most versions of Windows – Works across a variety of Windows computers.
- Laser technology – The mouse uses a laser to detect movement with accuracy across a variety of surface types, including glass.
- 3-button mouse design – Features a scroll wheel, a tilt wheel and 3 programmable buttons. Along with being comfortable to use, this is one of the few mice with additional features such as four-way scrolling and extra clicking options just above where the thumb rests. You can use the scroll wheel to move through a page vertically, but by pressing the left or right side of the scroll wheel, you can also navigate through your content horizontally.
Contoured sides and soft rubber grips – The mouse provides a comfortable feel.
Keyboard with Comfort Wave technology – Features an ergonomic, wave-shaped key frame that matches the length of your fingers. 128-bit AES encryption ensures your information remains safe. Ergonomic keyboards are not for everybody. They are designed to provide a more comfortable typing experience than a standard straight keyboard.
Some ergonomic designs are simply too different for typists to get used to. The Wave Combo MK550 is a great balance between a standard keyboard and a full ergonomic keyboard. The rippling keys make your hands feel comfortable in the home position while the extended wrist rest keeps your hands relaxed, especially after extended periods of typing.
Cushioned, contoured palm rest – Helps position your hands comfortably while typing using the keyboard.
- 128-bit aes encryption – It helps protects your information by encrypting data transfer between the keyboard and receiver with one of the highest levels of data encryption available..
Improve your performance during intense gaming action with this Cooler Master CM Storm QuickFire TK SGK-4020-GKCL1 keyboard that features mechanical Cherry MX switches for low resistance. N-key rollover ensures keystrokes are accurately registered.
You’re a gamer. You know that a mechanical keyboard means the difference between winning and losing. The original QuickFire Rapid gaming keyboard was embraced by gamers worldwide because it made the difference. Now the QuickFire TK takes the QuickFire Rapid and put it on steroids! Choose between 3 different Cherry MX switches. Each keycap is UV coated to make it durable.
There’s full LED backlighting with 3 modes and 5 brightness levels. NKRO over USB means every single keystroke will be registered. An embedded steel plate give you maximum stability and durability. 7 easy-access multimedia shortcut keys save time. A complete numpad lets you get work done while not gaming. The slim and lightweight size gives you plenty of room for your mouse. Great for LAN parties.
Features of the CM Storm QuickFire TK
- 7 easy-access multimedia shortcut keys – Along with F12: Win-Lock and FN: function key lock keys simplify operation.
- Integrated numeric keypad – With navigation and command keys allows simple data entry when you’re not gaming for multifunction use.
- Cherry MX mechanical blue switches – Provide force feedback (click) and low resistance for efficient performance and are rated for more than 50 million key presses for long-lasting use.
- N-key rollover in USB mode (Windows only) – Ensures every keystroke is registered accurately, so you can perform rapid gaming combos.
- Blue LED backlighting – With 3 modes and 5 brightness levels lets you customize the lighting to suit your preferences and allows easy visibility, even in dark rooms.
- UV- and grip-coated ABS key caps – Offer extended use. A key puller makes it easy to replace the removable key caps.
- Embedded steel plate – Provides optimal stability and durability. Super Grip pads and keyboard stand-offs with rubber feet prevent the keyboard from slipping.
- 1000Hz/1 ms polling rate – Ensures rapid feedback.
- Removable 5.9′ braided, gold-plated USB cable – Along with cable routing grooves beneath the keyboard helps reduce desktop clutter.
- USB 2.0 interface – Offers flexible connectivity.
- PC and Mac compatible -For use with your existing computer.
The Orbweaver takes everything good and adds design elements that adjust to your unique hand shape and programmable controls that can be tailored to your games and style of play. With so much going for it, it’s easy to see why the Orbweaver is or Editors’ Choice for gaming keypads.
The base of the device has large rubber feet, so once you’ve got it in a comfortable position, it will stay put. The Orbweaver is made up of three adjustable parts: the two-piece wrist rest, a keypad with 30 programmable buttons, and a thumb module with a thumb-friendly joystick and two thumb buttons.
The entire device is shaped and molded to provide easy access to all of your control keys while also cradling the wrist and palm in a comfortable position, letting you play for hours without experiencing wrist strain. The keypad has 30 programmable buttons, with the center buttons—conveniently placed just where the fingertips fall—set by default to the commonly used WASD keys.
The keys feature mechanical key switches with a short throw and light actuating force, making it a breeze to use. The keys are also back lit, with bright green back light which can be adjusted through several levels of brightness.
Features of the Razer Orbweaver Gaming Keypad
- Multi-award winning razer™ mechanical switches – Designed from the ground up specifically for gaming, the Multi-award winning Razer™ Mechanical Switches have an optimized set of actuation and reset points that improve your gaming performance by giving you speed and responsiveness like never before.
- 30 fully programmable keys including an 8-way thumb-pad – Arm yourself with 20 fully programmable mechanical keys for more skills, hotkeys, and macros right at your fingertips. The programmable 8-way directional thumb-pad can also be used either for movement or as modifier keys to expand your repertoire of game-destroying abilities even further.
- Thumb button – On the other hand, the thumb buttons have a light actuation force, and are positioned to prevent accidental clicking. The thumb buttons and joystick are also better positioned, in part because the entire thumb module of the device can be re-positioned.
- Adjustable hand, thumb, and palm-rest modules – The Razer Orbweaver Chroma was designed with adjustable, hand, thumb and palm-rest modules to let you customize the most comfortable experience with the keypad during marathon gaming sessions. Slide either part back or forth so that it sits under your thumb or cradles your palm perfectly, reducing hand fatigue, and optimizing ergonomic access to your controls.
- Chroma back lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options – The Razer Orbweaver Chroma features individually programmable back lit keys with 16.8 million color options, all easily set through Razer Synapse. From pre loaded lighting effects for different types of games, to your own custom uniquely programmed palette of colors, you can effortlessly enhance your gaming experience in a way that is unique only to you.
- Programmable Keyboard – Using a dedicated gaming keypad like the Razer Orbweaver is the sort of change that makes it difficult to switch back; the comfort and support are significantly better than a regular keyboard—even a top keyboard like the Corsair Vengeance K90—while the perfectly positioned, customizable controls top even the best programmable keyboards.
Other features include:
- Instantaneous switching between 8 key maps
- Razer Synapse enabled
- Unlimited customizable profiles via Razer Synapse
Earlier on we took a look at the Tesoro Lobera, one of the best mechanical gaming keyboard, which impressed us with its strong build quality, gaming features and multi-color backlighting.
Today, we’re looking at a simpler alternative named after another famous sword: the Excalibur. This less expensive keyboard uses the same Kailh mechanical switches, but dispenses with the unusual shape and multiple backlighting colors of the Lobera. The Excalibur looks promising, but how does it measure up?
We have seen a few Tesoro keyboards come through PC Gameware in the last few months and all have fared well, but how will their latest Tesoro Excalibur (G7NL) keyboard fare? The Excalibur is a fully mechanical keyboard featuring Kailh switches, this particular review sample (US Layout) has Blue switches; Brown, Black & Red are also available.
The Excalibur also features LED back-lighting (Blue) and 6N and Full N Key Rollover via USB. In addition to this there’s 512KB of on-board memory supporting up to five Profiles.
The Tesoro Excalibur could be considered a budget mechanical Gaming keyboard as (price wise) it sits at the bottom of the Tesoro range. This also explains why there’s no USB hub or Audio ports aboard the Excalibur.
Features of the Tesoro Excalibur G7NL
- Per Key Customizable Illumination – Sporting vibrant blue LED lighting you can light it your way with per key customizable illumination.
- 60 million reliable keystrokes – With 60 million reliable keystrokes, the Excalibur v2 is designed to stand the test of time and join you to the very end.
- Anti-ghosting for the Win – Full N-key / 6-key rollover means the Excalibur Spectrum can keep up with the speed of even the fastest of players.
- All Keys Full Programmable –All gamers are not created equal. With all keys being fully programmable you can adjust to your needs so you can have it your way.
- 1000hz ultra polling rate – Eliminate lag and be completely up to speed and on top of the competition with 1000hz polling rate.
- Lighting Effects Control –Choose from nine different pre-set lighting effects with easy control without the need for software.
- Instant Macro Recording – Instantly record your macros for on-the-fly macro sets to keep you ahead of the competition.
- 32bit Arm Cortex Processor – The brains of the keyboard offers zero lag, 100% performance. Rest assured that the Excalibur V2 will keep pace and every keystroke will go through no matter how chaotic the game gets.
- 512 KB Onboard Memory – With processing power and onboard memory at hand, create and save the most extreme macros to dominate in gameplay.
- Intuitive software – Utilize Tesoro software to customize your board to suit the needs of your gameplay.
Other features include:
- Quick profile switch, instant macro recording, reset hotkey, keyboard lock
- Compatible with Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 1.
The worst thing I can say about the Excalibur is that there’s little here to differentiate it from other keyboards which follow the same formula. If you want a standard-layout keyboard with backlighting and a few other features, then you can find one from almost every major manufacturer.
Other companies distinguish their wares through excellent software, custom LED backlighting patterns or integration with other products, but the Excalibur lacks a unique, must-have feature to set it apart from the crowd.
Regardless, the Excalibur is a solid keyboard that provides the essentials without any major flaws. If you can find this keyboard for a good price, then I’d certainly recommend it.
The Razer DeathStalker Ultimate incorporates all of the latest technology into a gaming keyboard, providing you with a touchscreen panel and 10 dynamic, fully programmable keys. Razer deems this user interface the Switchblade.
The panel and keys all feature LCD screens, which means that you can customize the images on the 10 keys. With a host of other features and extreme customization, the Death Stalker Ultimate is a great gaming keyboard.
The keyboard chassis is light and durable, sporting shallow chiclet-style keys that look great but feel shallow. A rubberized wrist rest along the lower edge attracts dust and crumbs like a vacuum but keeps you comfortable during extended typing sessions.
Like most Razer keyboards the DeathStalker Ultimate is fully programmable, and includes five extra macro keys on the left edge, a dedicated on-the-fly macro recording key, and a gaming mode key that functions as a toggle which disables the Windows key (and the Alt+Tab and Alt+F4 key combinations, if you like).
Alongside these Razer staples you’ll find a new key sporting the Razer logo, which you can tap to revert the LCD track panel and accompanying keys built into the right side of the chassis back to their default interface.
Features of the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate
- Switchblade User Interface – Razer’s award-winning, proprietary Switchblade User Interface puts more control in your hands with ten dynamic adaptive tactile keys and an LCD panel. Bind an unlimited number of commands, macros, skills, spells, and any other control you need to ten tactile keys that dynamically change to suit the in-game situation.
- LCD Panel – The LCD panel functions as a separate screen which displays in-game information or application widgets in full vibrant color, allowing you to stay ahead of the competition; or as a secondary mouse input device with new gesture controls
- 10 Key Rollover in gaming mode – Actuate as many keys as you have fingers, and have all of them register accurately and quickly in game. With the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate’s anti-ghosting capabilities, you can deliver overwhelming destruction to your opponents, and ensure that every command is registered and executed perfectly.
- Razer Synapse 2.0 – Razer Synapse 2.0 is cutting-edge, intuitive software that functions as the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate’s brain, automatically syncing the gaming keyboard to a cloud server to download driver and firmware updates, while saving your individual settings. Sync your custom settings and macros automatically with this unified configurator, allowing customization of all your Razer products with a single login.
- Multi-color backlighting – Whether you’re gaming under low-light, or no light, backlight illumination ensures that you never click a wrong button– after all, it could very well be the difference between victory and death.
- Ergonomic palm rest – The Razer DeathStalker Ultimate gaming keyboard has been designed with an integrated palm rest, so your wrists are supported as you WASD your way to victory, or stay up all night typing out that comprehensive ninety page strategy plan for your clan’s next tournament.
Today we will be looking at the Ryos MK Pro, the best mechanical gaming keyboard ROCCAT currently offers. The major selling points of this keyboard are the per-key lighting, fully programmable layout, thumb keys, and the advanced software. Some of these features are not difficult to find nowadays, but per-key lighting and fully programmable layouts were rather rare when the Ryos MK Pro was released – nearly a year ago, that is.
It remains one of the most expensive gaming keyboards currently available, forcing it to face tremendous competition from other manufacturers.
The ROCCAT “Ryos” MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard offers an incredible number of configuration options and your choice of a CHERRY MX key switch in four colors. Together with two whopping 32-bit ARM Cortex processors and 2MB flash memory, the comfortable and smudge-proof Ryos MK Pro is an ideal arsenal for every game and every gamer. It also offers an Achievement Display, allowing you to keep track of your vital statistics.
Features of the ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro
- Easy-SHIFT[+]™ technology – ROCCAT’s breakthrough EASY-SHIFT [+]™ technology means each button has more winning-edge value with a secondary programmable function, for a wide array of battle possibilities. Intuitive and easy to program, with options for simple commands or complex macros, Easy-Shift [+]™ expands your arsenal, letting you react both rapidly and efficiently in the heat of the battle.
- Outstanding processing power – Owing to its whopping two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors, the Ryos MK Pro comes out swinging. Since the MCU is so powerful, not one of the keyboard’s advanced features sacrifices an ounce of performance. And with 2MB of flash memory to store your configurations, your keyboard will execute all of your keystrokes and macros in real time, without any delay.
- ROCCAT® DRIVER + R.A.D. – The Ryos MK Pro features ROCCAT®’s comprehensive driver suite that provides total control over your keyboard. Easily create an army of time-saving macros, adjust your illumination, set your key functions, and build up to five profiles that auto-launch with your favorite games – and lots more. The ROCCAT® driver also features R.A.D. (ROCCAT® Achievements Display) for a host of useful stats on how you use your Ryos MK Pro, such as total keystrokes, most-used keys and much more.
- Integrated media hub – Thanks to its integrated media hub, the Ryos MK Pro offers extreme gaming convenience. With two USB 2.0 ports and audio in/out pass-through, you’ll be able to plug in your headset and mouse and get gaming in an instant. And you won’t have to worry about a mess of cables, since the Ryos MK Pro comes with a built-in cable channel underneath the keyboard.
- Add light to your arsenal –The Ryos MK Pro offers totally customizable, ROCCAT®-enginereed PER-KEY ILLUMINATION in two convenient modes: smart and manual. This means you can add awesome special effects to your keystrokes, configure your keyboard to highlight your in-game and application key bindings, your modifier keys, your macro sequences and cool downs, your system controls, and much, much more
- Key switches to suit every gamer – The Ryos MK Pro comes locked and loaded in the four most popular key switch colors – blue, black, brown, and red – meaning you can pick the key switches that suit YOU. With durable CHERRY® MX KEY SWITCHES that last up to an incredible 50 MILLION keystrokes and laser-etched, UV-coated keycaps, wear and tear will be the least of your concerns.
When it comes to weapons for battle, some gamers prefer features and functions, while others prize flashy designs. Generally, Mad Catz has gravitated toward the latter, but its latest keyboard may signal a change. The Mad Catz STRIKE. TE is the company’s first mechanical gaming keyboard, and while it still has an eye-catching design, it brings a new level of quality to the Mad Catz lineup.
The black S.T.R.I.K.E. TE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard from Mad Catz features 109 Kailh Brown mechanical switches to provide quick response times when gaming or typing. The keys have also been designed with 45g actuation of force to provide tactile feedback.
This keyboard delivers rollover technologies for detecting up to 30 keys pressed at the same time to handle fast-paced action from modern PC games. Additionally, this keyboard has anti-ghosting technology that allows you to press multiple keys without producing phantom strokes. It connects to your Windows computer via an integrated USB cable.
Features of the Mad Catz STRIKE TE
- Mechanical Key Switches – The keys are designed with 109 Kailh Brown mechanical switches, with an actuation force of 45g. These keys are also built to handle over 50 million presses.
- Full Key Anti-Ghosting with 30-Key Rollover – The completely redesigned track layout provides the most direct route to the central processor for every key on the STRIKE keyboard. This allows the keyboard to detect up to 30 keys pressed at the same time and no configuration is required if you prefer the ESDF block over WASD. Another attribute is anti-ghosting, which lets you press multiple keys without producing phantom strokes.
- 12 Programmable Macro Buttons – The S.T.R.I.K.E. TE keyboard incorporates 12 programmable macro buttons over three modes to create 36 user-definable commands. Each of the three modes can store your programmed macros, tripling mid-game access to available commands. Once programmed, custom profiles can be published to share with your community and saved for later recall, which allows for a seamless transition to another gaming PC.
- GUI for Macro Programming – An intuitive graphical interface simplifies the formerly tedious task of macro programming. Assign single or multiple keystrokes complete with custom timings to macro keys, and then easily fine-tune your settings. This ability is ideal for fast-paced games, which require clear but complex multi-key actions. Each macro is programmed using Mad Catz’s editing software that can store up to 255 individual keystrokes, with precise calibration to within 1/1000th of a second. They also offer 25 pre-made profiles to popular PC games.
- Multi-Zone Illuminated Keys – This keyboard offers the ability to individually brighten specific keyboard areas. Suitable for gaming in dim environments, you can assign distinct illumination to the main keyboard, cursor keys, and WASD.
- Conveniently Placed Shortcut Keys – Integrated shortcut keys provide the means to adjust media and back-lighting, without the need to open apps or programs. You can quickly and easily pause or skip music tracks, tweak the volume, and alter back-lighting brightness all from buttons F5 through F12.
- Windows Key Lock – You can completely disable the Windows key by merely sliding a switch to eliminate accidental pressing of the Windows key during an intense game.
The Apex M800’s £140 price makes it one of the most expensive gaming keyboards on the market. SteelSeries tries to justify the price by loading this unit with new features, from specially-designed mechanical switches to RGB-backlit keys.
The Apex M800’s mechanical switches set this keyboard out from the rest of the market. Rival units usually use CherryMX switches, but SteelSeries has abandoned that familiar hardware for its own-brand QS1 switch. It’s a collaboration between SteelSeries and Chinese firm Kailh, and it’s designed for low-profile operation that’s faster and quieter than Cherry-made keys.
The keys use a square plunger and a small spring with enough space in the middle to install an LED. That’s different from Cherry’s approach, which firm fits its LEDs on top of the mechanism. The result is an impressively even backlight and a smaller, more compact design.
The QS1’s low-profile design is obvious. The buttons are about half as tall as most Cherry hardware, and they’ve only got 3mm of travel – one millimeter less than a CherryMX Red switch. The M800’s reset point is set to just 1.5mm, too, which is half a millimeter shorter than CherryMX and means that a key only needs to be pressed half-way for the unit to register an input.
Features of the SteelSeries Apex M800
- Unlimited Customization – As gamers we are all different. But whether you like to destroy your enemies, explore new areas of the latest x-pac or build a new city, the Apex M800 has virtually unlimited ways in which to customize it to make it yours. From advanced custom lighting schemes, to advanced text macro creation, to in-game integration, the M800 has everything you need to make it yours…;
- Newly Designed Switches – We partnered with experts in switch technology to create the perfect switch for the M800. The result is the incredible QS1 switch. With a smooth linear action and 25% faster actuation than the traditional mechanical switch, the QS1 is built for pure speed.QS1 switches have a 3mm throw depth, a 1.5mm actuation and only require a 45cN actuation force. All of the design choices in the QS1 switch specifications were made with two goals in mind: React faster and spend less effort as you destroy your competition.
- Low Profile Layout – The keyboard is built at an ergonomic low angle and with an optimally designed linear key layout that cuts down on finger travel distance. This allows for seamless, quick transitions between keys and across the keyboard for less fatigue on your fingers no matter how furiously they fly.
- Dual Processors – Your 600 APM would go to waste if the brains of the keyboard couldn’t keep up. That’s why we added an additional CPU inside the M800 that is dedicated only to processing key presses. No lag, no excuses. And when the gaming gets hectic, N-key rollover allows up to 256 key presses at once with zero issues.
- Quick-Access Keys – The left side of the keyboard features 6 quick-access macro keys. This gives you more choice, customization and control right at your fingertips. And just like every other key on the Apex M800, these are also fully programmable.
- Individual Key Illumination – All of the LEDs on the M800 are individually customizable and feature a centered LED and a clear switch housing. The new keys are the perfect solution to show off your keyboard’s 16.8 million colors and 8 brightness levels with crisp illumination and minimal light bleed.
- N-Key Rollover – Apex M800 is a zero ghosting gaming keyboard. In game mode you could press up to 256 keys at the same time. Thankfully you don’t have that many fingers, the M800 doesn’t have that many keys, so you never have to worry about a missed key strike in the heat of battle
- Cable Convenience – Some additional features were packed in to make life easier managing your devices and cords. No more worrying about cables getting in the way of your gameplay, we crafted a cable management routing area under the center of the keyboard. We also built in a USB 2.0 hub to give you quick access to your USB devices.
- Lighting Patterns – It has some incredible pre-configured lighting options, like Breathe, Color Wave, Cooldown Timers and Reactive Keys that highlight the keyboard’s vibrant and crisp illumination. Further personalize Apex M800 by creating and programming your own illumination designs.
- Powerful Macros – The feature-rich macro editor is incredibly easy to use, for both casual and advanced users. We even include powerful text-based macro capabilities, for unlimited macros from SteelSeries Engine to the in-game console. M800 can also record macros on the fly with a simple button press. To top it off, every key on the Apex M800 is individually programmable to any keyboard key, mouse button, media control, application or macro.
Razer decided to blend mechanical switches and rubber domes to make the best of both worlds, and in fact has created a Frankenstein’s monster that’s an absolute joy to use and a terror to listen to. Razer calls this new tech “Mecha-Membrane,” and has built it into its all-new Razer Ornata keyboard.
In what’s now become a crowded market of mechanical keyboards, one that Razer helped create, the peripheral maker is trying something new to stand out from the crowd. Razer’s latest plank, the Ornata, uses brand new “Mecha-Membrane” technology, which is a fancy way of describing a hybrid key switch that combines elements from both membrane and mechanical designs.
From Razer’s vantage point, gamers and typists in general are split between choosing membrane rubber dome keyboards for the squishy comfort they provide, and mechanical planks for fast typing and distinct tactile feedback. The Mecha-Membrane is supposed to offer the best of both worlds.
The new key cap is a mid-height design that sits between a full-height key cap and chiclet style key caps. It’s made shorter to reduce the time it takes for your actions to register while offering both a soft cushioned touch of a membrane rubber dome with the tactile click of a mechanical switch.
Features of the Razer Ornata
- All-new razer™ mecha-membrane – Designed from the ground up, the all-new Razer Mecha-Membrane combines the soft cushioned touch of a membrane rubber dome with the crisp tactile click of a mechanical switch to enable swift actuation for each key stroke.
- Mid-height keycaps for faster actuations – The Razer Ornata Chroma features a custom designed keycap that has been made shorter to reduce the time it takes for your actions to register, allowing your fingers to move freely between each key without missing a single stroke.
- Razer chroma™ customizable lighting with full 16.8 million customizable color options – Powered by Razer Chroma, the Razer Ornata Chroma goes beyond being able to create and display incredible lighting effects. With interactive in-game effects, you’ll experience more immersive gameplay as your keyboard reacts to your game.
- Ergonomic wrist rest for extended gaming comfort – Specially designed for the Razer Ornata Chroma, this wrist rest features ergonomics which ensure that no matter how intense your gaming marathons are, you’re always comfortable.