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Best Keyboards 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated April 1, 2019
Best Keyboards of 2018
Now, let’s get to the gist of the matter: which are the best keyboards for the money? If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best keyboards.
We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs. I have a variety of material used in the construction of keyboards including metal, plastic, and glass.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
№1 – JAR-OWL J1 Anti-ghosting 104Keys Wired Gaming Keyboards LED Backlit Wired USB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches
Why did this keyboards win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this keyboards come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this keyboards take third place?
We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Keyboards Buyer’s Guide
Slow USB 2.0 pass through
This beautiful keyboard has been lovingly engineered for a lightning-fast actuation point of 1.5mm and this alone makes the Logitech G41Carbon a force of nature. This mechanical power-house is defined by its extremely affordable price tag in addition to its use of Logitech’s Romer G switches, which have time and time again proven to be all but equal contenders to the switches made by Cherry. It also manages to keep a low profile, thanks to its stealthy frame and its nigh silent keys.
Only one USB slot
Hoping to find a gaming keyboard that matches the rest of your Chroma-lit accessories? Then this is the one you want. Not only does the BlackWidow Chroma Vcarry an equal balance of comfort and performance, but it went a few steps further in the process. Complemented by the fact that Razer has tacked on five macro keys that can be assigned to virtually any in-game action, the BlackWidow Chroma Vsupports 16.million colors worth of LED lighting as well.
No included keycap puller
The Realforce RGB is a multi-talented keyboard that feels incredible to type on due in part to its capacitive Topre keyswitches, which offer superior tactile feedback compared to their Cherry MX equivalents. Boasting high-quality PBT keycaps and depth from 1.5mm to 3mm, the Realforce RGB is a hugely versatile keyboard that suits whatever task you’re doing at the time. Yes, even typing since its keyswitch stems are compatible with both Topre and Cherry MX keycaps.
Rubber palm rest gets grungy quickly
Like the Corsair K70 Rapidfire before it, the K9RGB Platinum is a gaming-first mechanical keyboard with plenty of versatility to get the job done, whatever that job may be. It even packs in 8MB of memory dedicated to storing the profiles of its six macro keys. This keyboard is not only backlit by up to 16.million colors, but it’s the perfect travel buddy too, made better by its military-grade aluminum finish, including the wrist rest.
Lacks extra features
Lending it to fast response times, the Cherry MX Board 6.0 is defined by its Cherry MX Red switches, hence the make and model. However, because the keys are positioned fairly close together they’re excellent for typing in addition to gaming. What’s more, housed in an eye-catching aluminum chassis, the MX Board 6.0 certainly doesn’t feel cheap and its blood-red key lighting is deliciously ominous.
No USB pass-through ports
Sporting Logitech’s own Romer G switches, which aren’t quite as squishy as Cherry’s various switches, the G8possesses a snappier feel than other gaming keyboards whether typing or gaming. And, with smart media keys that work equally well on both Windows and macOS, this board is a solid all-round offering. If you’re fed up with the weird markings, LCD screens and strange parts that come with competing “gamer-focused” keyboards, the G8might be for you.
Cherry MX Reds only
Unlike most gaming keyboards in its class, the SteelSeries Apex M500 gets straight to the point, omitting unnecessary additives along the lines of RGB lighting and discrete media controls in favor of a compact design that wastes no space. Although the M500 neglects to let you choose your key switches beyond the standard Cherry MX Reds and Blues, these are damn fine options for a mechanical board in this price range.
WASD 6-Key Cherry MX Switch Tester
This 6-Key Switch Tester incorporates a steel mounting bracket made from the same material as the steel back plate in our keyboards. This provides a more accurate representation of feel and noise when testing the switches. of each type of our sound dampening O-rings are also included. Clear keycaps makes it easily to distinguish which switch and O-rings are being used.
Solid construction. The keys are properly affixed and don’t wobble. The metal bracket is good too- many mechanical keyboards have metal bases, so it’s good to know how the sound can reverberate.
Everything is included. Six keys, with clear keycaps so you can see which key is which, and they even included two sets of rubber o-rings that prevent keys from “bottoming out”, a popular way to make keys quieter and more gentle on your fingers.
Good key choice. The keys present- including the relatively rare MX Clear- highlight all the major styles of Cherry MX key.
Full keys. Nothing was lost, so each key has its contact points intact, meaning they can easily be placed into any keyboard or wired to another project. When you get your mechanical keyboard, you’ll have six replacement keys and spacers.
Make a neat toy, you can easily use this as a finger exerciser.
Hundred of thousands of typing everyday not only make a person exhausted, also the keyboard. One of the biggest benefits of mechanical keyboards is that they’re durable and meant to stand up against heavy use. The keys are rated for dozens of millions of keypresses, which is way above and beyond the standard duty expectation of a membrane keyboard. If you’re the type of person who wants a good keyboard to stick with you for the long haul, or you notice you’re hard on your membrane keyboards, a mechanical could change the way you work.
USB port on Razer’s BlackWidow Ultimate 201Edition
TENKEYLESS MODELS. A recent trend has been toward “tenkeyless” or TKL models in a vendor’s line. These are shorter versions of a keyboard without a numeric keypad, meant mainly for gamers. TKL keyboards save space on the desktop and allow for your hands to be held closer together during gameplay. They also save the keyboard maker money (fewer of the pricey mechanical switches are needed!), and they therefore tend to be a bit cheaper, all else being equal. A TKL board is a matter of personal preference, but make sure you don’t buy one in error if that’s not exactly what you want.
Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid-i, a “tenkeyless” board.
DEDICATED SHORTCUT KEYS. These, again, are found in keyboards meant primarily for gamers. They tend to be fewer in number than on non-mechanical gaming keyboards. Also note that not all mechanical gaming keyboards use mechanical switches under every key. Shortcut or media keys tend to be the ones that don’t, if there’s a mixture.
GAMING SOFTWARE (OR NOT). As you’d expect, you’ll tend to find a dedicated macro/profile utility in gaming-focused boards, but not all gaming keyboards come with one. Logitech, Corsair, and Razer, among others, tend to include their own “overlay” utilities that can govern shortcuts, macros, game-profile settings, and lighting schemes across your whole game collection. The functionality can get quite sophisticated.
You’ll want to look at our individual reviews for details on what’s programmable and what’s not in a given keyboard’s software. Gaming-keyboard models that are more basic may lack any such software and leave you to rely only on the key-shortcut settings within each game, but that is sufficient for many players. Other models may lack a software utility but implement basic macro-recording and -playback functionality purely in hardware.
Macro creation in the Logitech Gaming Software
Which kind is best for you is your call, depending on how serious your gaming is. The models with the dedicated software utilities tend to be the most sophisticated and pricey, all else being equal. The main utilities from the major makers are Logitech’s Gaming Software, Razer’s Synapse and Chroma (the latter governs key backlighting and LED bling), and Corsair’s Utility Engine, or CUE (which was recently given a rework with the rollout of the aforementioned K9RGB Platinum.
Scroll down for the full list
In this guide, we’ll take you through all that you should consider when buying a mechanical gaming keyboard. You’ll come away equipped to make the best choice to level up your gaming rig and buy the best gaming keyboard possible.
Related: Complete your setup with our best gaming mouse guide
It is where this article comes into play.
After making a checklist of features – which has been revealed later in this article, we have selected the TOP Gaming Keyboards available on
Put simply, if you stay with us for the remainder of this article, we’ll lead you to a keyboard which will take your gaming experience to the next level.
First thing first, the Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has been equipped with a LED Black light display. If you are a fan of gaming in the dark, you’ll absolutely love this feature. As for the layout, eSports have gone classic, hence providing the gamers with the retro feel.
Secondly, you might be aware of the awkward feeling when – deep into your game, you inadvertently press the Windows Key to disturb the flow. Thankfully, since it contains a disable windows key option, this keyboard will rid you of any such miseries.
As we have talked earlier of the benefits of Macro keys, this keyboard – via its programmable Macro feature, will provide you just that. In fact, apart from the Window and Fn key, you can convert all keys into a macro key.
Another useful feature of this keyboard is the set of profiles it allows you to create. For, it allows five profiles for different games – hence saving you from the hassle of setting controls every time you switch between games.
Some users have complained of the space bar being stuck after they used this keyboard for some time. Others feel annoyed with its battery saving mode complaining they have to click the buttons a few times to get it back from its slumber. – Compatible with a wide range of operating systems – Operates quietly – Buttons lag a bit when it is in the battery saving mode
Gamers want one of these two things from their keyboard. First, if they play on a computer table, they want their keyboard to consume less space. Second, if they play while resting their keyboard in their lap, they want it to be conducive to their sitting posture. A gaming keyboard, due to its reduced size, provides both.
Ask those using traditional keyboards – and if they are honest, they will complain of burning hands. This is the problem which comes from using traditional keyboards. And as gamers use them more frequently than any other person, they are more exposed to this problem. However, thanks to their ergonomic design, gaming keyboards give gamers no such pains to deal with.
Wired or Wireless
Ever since the time when the first wireless keyboard was invented, a debate continuously rages on between computer users: wired or wireless? To settle this debate, we have listed down the pros and cons of both. Take a look.
As you know already, wired keyboards require being plugged into the USB port of your computer. Because of their simplicity, they are the most common gaming keyboards available on the market. – Inexpensive – Thanks to the wire running around, they have less aesthetic appeal – Restricts movement of the gamer
Currently, in the vogue, wireless keyboards have become a part and parcel of the life of a gamer. However, their huge appeal doesn’t mean that they don’t have any shortcomings. – Distance from desktop bodes well for your health – Expensive – Battery life is limited
If you don’t want your computer to push back the game because of some malfunction, toggle keys are essential. For example, all of us faced the problem of a “Start menu” springing up while playing Virtual Cop Toggle Keys prevent these occurrences from happening.
As gamers, we have to do some repetitive tasks to make sure data doesn’t get lost. If you are lazy like me, allow macros to do the same for you. Being a software, it lets you perform a series of function via a single command.
Improved Polling Rates
Talking about standard keyboards, they typically have a polling rate of 125Hz. It means that they send input to your computer 125times/second. It is good enough for typing, however, gamers deserve and need much more than that. Consequently, no matter which gaming keyboard you choose, it will provide polling rates between 500Hz to 100Hz.
All of us had the same problem with our keyboards when, on pressing more than one keys at the same time, it missed, causing our Virtual Car to crash straight into the boarding rather than taking a sharp left. To prevent this from happening, you need a gaming keyboard which can handle at least keystrokes at a time. This capability is known as Anti-Ghosting.
Every game requires different keystrokes to play. Tell me, is it feasible for you to change the controller settings every time you switch between games? Of course Not. Hence, you need a keyboard which supports profiles of 3-5games on average. What’s more, if you can afford to pay a premium, there are gaming keyboards which allow as many as 10profiles in one go.
Detachable Wrist Rests
Yes, even though you might never have heard of them, detachable wrist rests exist. While you are playing, they offer a gradient to your rest – by allowing it a smooth surface to rest on. Though not a major consideration, having a detachable wrist rest will add to your gamer swag.
Here’s the answers
Yes, absolutely! BUT you have to make sure you get the RIGHT type of keyboard. More about that below…
That’s a little more in depth. It really depends on your budget and your goals. But I’ve created a complete buyers guide here. And in this post I’ll go over the short nuts-and-bolts version of what keyboard is right for you.
Get “Weighted Keys”. This is HUGE.
Weighted Keys simply means when you push down the key there’s some resistance. As opposed to the “washboard keys” that don’t take any force to push down.
Ok, enough of the theory, here are my exact recommendations based on your budget.
This keyboard is an absolute legend when it comes to quality for the price. Weighted keys, and a pretty good piano sound for the price. It’s perfect for a beginner practice piano.
Here’s the link
This one’s basically an upgrade of the Casio Privia. The piano sounds are a bit more realistic, and they keys are weighted so that the lower ones are heavier and the high notes are lighter, just like a real piano.
If you have the money, I like it better than the Casio, but if money’s tight, you’ll honestly be fine just getting the Casio Privia.
What to look for
Whichever style of keyboard you buy, there are some general considerations to take into account.
Also think about how the keyboard is powered. The most common arrangement is an internal battery with a micro USB charging connector. Among the exceptions is the Apple Smart Keyboard which draws its power from the iPad.
And remember that bells and whistles such as keyboard backlighting will reduce the amount of work you can do from a single charge (all else being equal).
Layout & Features
When you sit down at your PC, where do your hands go? They go right to the keyboard, and they will likely stay there until you get up to walk away. With so much time spent dealing directly with the letters and keys, why would you ever settle for the generic keyboard that came bundled with your desktop PC? A good keyboard can spell the difference between frustration and efficiency, between gaming defeat or victory, and has a serious impact upon your joint health. For these reasons, and more, it pays to know what makes a keyboard a good fit.
One aspect of keyboard design that you’ll see mentioned in reviews—but that most people don’t give a second thought—is the type of switches used for individual keys. You may not care about the specific mechanisms that reside beneath the keys, but you will certainly feel the difference. The three primary types of switches are silicone dome, scissor switches, and mechanical switches.
Budget keyboards, such as those that come bundled with a new desktop PC, generally use silicone dome switches, which use two dimpled layers of silicone membrane, forming a grid of rubber bubbles or domes as the switch for each key. The springiness of the silicone rubber makes for a soft, mushy feel as you press each key. The switch type also requires you to bottom out with each keystroke, pressing the key to the bottom of the key well to type a letter. And because repeated flexing of the rubber membrane causes it to break down, silicone dome switches lose their springiness and responsiveness over time. The washable
Logitech Washable Keyboard K3uses this style for its waterproof qualities.
Some newer keyboards mimic the low-profile chiclet-style keyboards found on laptops and ultrabooks. While a few of these keyboards use plain silicone dome switches, many use a scissor switch, which adds a mechanical stabilizer to each key for a uniform feel, and an attached plunger under each keycap allows for shorter key travel. As a result, scissor switch keyboards have a shallow typing feel, but are generally more durable than rubber dome switches alone.
Ask any keyboard enthusiast, however, and you won’t hear praise for domes or scissors—instead, they’ll be singing the praises of mechanical switches, like those seen on the Rosewill Helios RK-9200. These keyboards are a bit more intricate, with a spring loaded sliding keypost under every key. There are several variations available, each tweaked to provide a slightly different feel or sound, but generally, mechanical switches provide better tactile feedback and have more of the “clickety-clack” sound that many associate with typing. The sturdy switch mechanisms and long-lasting springs are significantly longer lasting, and more easily reparable. These switches also register each keystroke with a much shorter amount of travel, making them ideal for touch typists.
One thing that makes this keyboard very easy to use is that it is equipped with a non-slip design. This is perfect for gaming because you certainly would not want to stop mid-way because the unit slipped off from your grip. As a result, you can enjoy the best gaming comfort and performance with this model.
Ultra-thin Sensitive Reaction
Because of its ultra-thin design, combined with sensitive reaction, you no longer have to keep pressing a key just to give the command that you want. Along with your press, the keys react instantly, allowing you to enjoy your game without any distraction caused by momentary stopping and re-pressing of the keys.
Laser Carving Characters
The use of laser carving characters in this keyboard serves different purposes. For one, it makes performance swifter, and more comfortable to the touch. At the same time, it adds to the aesthetic beauty of the keyboard.
Exposed Metal Frame
This is by far, the most visible change done on this model. The upper part of the keyboard is made of a single metal piece, wrapping around its top edge, through the key area, and going down to its tapered bottom lip. Since it does not use a stylized, bulky plastic shell, it feels smaller horizontally and vertically, more comfortable to your grip.
Cable Routing Option
Even though having a detachable cable is more preferred on most semi-custom and premium mechanical keyboards, the use of cable routing option with the BlackWidowX is an enhancement because it has turned this keyboard into a huge mobile and portable model.
Razer Synapse Software
This keyboard is also operated using the Razer Synapse software. With the use of this tool, you can store and program up to macro profiles using the macro editor, storing it on the PC. This only means that if you are planning to use this keyboard to tournaments, the software can easily create a customizable installation of the driver using all the saved settings. Some lighting patters are also available.
Chroma Backlighting Brightness
The backlighting of this keyboard has been dialed a notch back so that it does not project a rainbow on the ceiling anymore. However, it may still be configured accordingly to show a gorgeous display of millions of different colors, 16.million to be exact. Since the upper mounted LEDs only lights the top portion up, the company has designed the bottom half as opaque.
Another noticeable thing about this model is the use of exposed keys. This means that they are quite easy to remove, thus making it easier to clean, or to add customized key caps. One thing to note, though, is that the lowest key row are not a standard size, so you may have to find the right match for the sizes.
In order to make it easier for users to read the keys, the characters of the keyboard are laser-etched, and with bright backlighting features. As such, you can still continue with gaming even when playing in dimly lit or dark rooms. You can also automatically adjust the level of brightness for various lighting conditions.
PerfectStroke Key System
This key system even distributes force evenly through the surface of the keys, making each keystroke performed comfortable, quiet and fluid. The soft rounded concave keys properly position your fingers, helping them to glide from one key to another.
With this keyboard, there is no need for you to deal with disposable batteries. You can charge anytime, allowing you to do quick charging, through the use of a micro-USB cable. The best part is that you can do so even when you are still typing. A single charge can give you about days battery life.
Logitech Unifying Receiver
A small unifying receiver can be attached to the computer. All you need to do is to plug it in, forget all about it, and add a mouse or number pad that is compatible to it, without having to deal with several USB receivers. The wireless connection is strong and advanced at 2.GHZ.
The trackpad for this keyboard serves as the mouse of the unit. This is one thing that makes this design a standout, because you no longer need to use a mouse with this keyboard. In fact, there are dedicated left and right mouse buttons for assisting the clicks, as well as in doing a double tap to complete a right mouse movement.
Programmable Function Keys
This gaming keyboard can also be customized, as the function keys can be programmed. Every gamer or user has his or her own preferences regarding the use of keys. With this feature, you can experience convenience in any activity you need to use this keyboard for.
Corsair is one of the pioneering and biggest manufacturers of mechanical keyboards. They have entered the market slowly with a single keyboard, but expanded when a sister company decided to focus on the distribution of gaming-related accessories. The success of the company is attributed primarily to their exclusive deals with the company Cherry, considered as the most reputable mechanical key switches manufacturer.
Let’s take a look at one particular product under this brand, the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Keyboard. This mechanical gaming keyboard makes great use of space, allowing the keys to have some room for breathing, while offering the user a huge, textured, and detachable wrist rest. It is also equipped with several features that make it a good option as a gaming keyboard.
This gaming keyboard is not called as the best silent gaming keyboard for nothing. When we tested it right after unboxing, we immediately noticed that it is designed to highlight the Cherry MX Speed keys. The keys come in an attractive silver color, featuring a shorter actuation compared to standard Cherry keys.
As such, they are neither noisy nor extremely silent, but they offer a good level of silence that will be appreciated if you love gaming. The speed keys of this keyboard only need the lightest tap in order to activate, making the most for twitch-based gamers. This may come as a drawback for daily typing, as there can be imprecision compared to a regular membrane keyboard. However, as a gaming keyboard, this is a great option to consider.
Top Benefits of Corsair Gaming K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Keyboard
Cherry MX Speed Keys
These keys are designed in order to have the fastest switches. If you are familiar with the well reputed Cherry performance, you certainly recognize its capability when used for playing the best games available. This keyboard is effective for both casual and competitive gaming.
This feature will allow you to compete even at the highest level, as it offers lightning quick responsiveness. Combined with 100% anti-ghosting technology, you are allowed to strike the keys with an interesting combination of precision and speed.
Even though the keyboard in itself is not backlit, the unit still comes with a lighting effect which offers enough light while gaming. What makes it interesting is that if you play in a dark room, it seems that there is an angry monster staring at you from your table.
This mouse is especially designed for gaming. It comes with weights, and a braided cord. This mouse is light up using LEDs, with variety in brightness depending on your actual DPI settings. Since it comes with two side buttons, you can change it to which ever function you want it to be.
The use of anti-ghosting keys in this keyboard means that you can expect flawless, simultaneous operation of its 1non-conflicting keys. The WASD keys are also interchangeable, with WIN keys which can be disabled easily for gaming.
The buttons of the keyboard come with two anti-skid mats. These additional features prevent the keyboard from sliding while you are playing. You certainly would not want to be disturbed while playing just because the keyboard will not stay in place like you would want it to.
Splash Resistant Design
If you are a gamer who likes having drinks by your side, one problem that you would want to avoid is damaging your keyboard due to liquid exposure and spills. This keyboard, however, is equipped with a splash resistant design, thus protecting the keyboard against liquid accidents. It even has drainage holes at the back to allow water to easily pass through, just in case.
If you take a closer look at this model, you would likely notice that it comes with an oversized spacebar. This makes the use of this keyboard more comfortable and convenient at the same time.
While the keyboard is good, the partnering mouse has some issues
Custom Membrane Keys
This keyboard uses custom membrane keys which offer satisfactory key presses, effective for longer gaming sessions. As such, you no longer have to worry about the keyboard getting damaged earlier due to continuous gaming use.
Full LED Backlit
Both pieces in the combo feature a blue backlight. This means that you can experience and improved visibility when gaming, even in low-light areas. This is particularly valuable for gamers who would like to turn their lights off in order to experience an intense gaming experience.
Razer is considered as the leader in creating high performance gaming software, hardware and systems. In fact, the company motto says “For Gamers. By Gamers.” Through the years, the company has evolved into the brand of gaming lifestyle, connecting with all types of gamers.
Razer has introduced a line which uses Chroma for its backlighting features. One specific product under this category is the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It is also designed for gaming, featuring the Razer’s Green Switches, which is by far, faster compared to the actuation force of the Cherry MX Blues.
Purchasing a product under the Razer brand is already a good catch. Added to it is the fact that this gaming keyboard comes at a very affordable price, making it the best gaming keyboard under 100. While it may be quite challenging to use as a keyboard for daily typing, it is ideal for gaming.
When we tested this keyboard, the first thing that got us attracted to it is the backlighting that uses Chroma features. It is something that helps users to customize the way their keyboard looks. The backlighting is simply gorgeous, regardless of the color that you select. The keys are lit evenly, without a lot of light leakage on the key edges.
Top Benefits of Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The first, and one of the most important things that can be noted about the keys of this model is that it stayed away from the standard in the industry – the use of Cherry MX switches. It uses exclusive switches under the Razer brand, equipped with high actuations, as well as very satisfying clicky noises.
Razer Synapse 2.0 Software
This program enables you to reassign keys, program macros as well as activate a gaming mode easily. When this happens, you can also disable some keys which may minimize the game. On top of that, you can also have control over the extensive backlights of the keyboard.
Another main selling point of this model is the macro recording. Starting a recording needs you to tap a combination of buttons. While the process has stayed the same since its earlier models, it is still a huge magnet to most gamers.
Another thing that is fascinating about this model is its design. It uses a single lens that is embedded within an opaque black plastic material. With the incorporation of more than 16.million color options, this is ideal for gamers who want to take their gaming level a notch higher.
Customizable Backlighting Options
The backlit keys can help you to locate the keys even in lights out, or low-light condition in playing. There are also hundreds of color options available, enabling you to customize it just the way you like it.
This keyboard comes equipped with 2programmable keys, which means that you can have full control over your game. You can also easily setup customizable button profiles for every one of the titles, even creating macros without pausing your game.
A lot of people think that the backlit color of a keyboard is installed there for mere design purposes alone. While this may be true at a point, there are valid reasons why they are there. For one, if you are in a dark room where you cannot see the keys clearly, having a backlit keyboard will help you see well as you type. The choice of backlit color on your LED gaming keyboard, on the other hand, completely depends on your personal choice and preference. Different models come with one or more backlit color options. It is up to you which one to choose. As a reminder, though, you can choose the color that suits your vision well, otherwise, you may not be comfortable while using your Backlit gaming keyboard.
Number of Backlit
Some models do not just have a single backlit color. In fact, some come in three or more, allowing you to switch among them. While playing in a dark area using your gaming keyboard, your eyes may start to get irritated with the single backlit color guiding your fingers while giving commands to your game. By switching to another color midway, your eyes can get readjusted, allowing you to feel more comfort while playing, or while doing other typing activities. At the same time, you can give your keyboard a different look everytime you change the backlight.
The decision on the dimensions of your gaming keyboard is entirely up to you. We have met some gamers who prefer longer keyboards, as they give them better control of the game. There are also some who prefer smaller ones, such as those who want a portable option for their mobile devices. You may also want to take into consideration the type of game that you will be playing. Some games do not need a big keyboard for playing, while others can be played conveniently with bigger ones.
Color is all about preference. Therefore, you can select a color that will not just meet your needs, but also one that suits your taste. Some gamers prefer colorful keyboards, while some prefer the basic ones, such as having a white gaming keyboard. To some, this helps them to concentrate better on the game. Regardless of your choice, you will be delighted to know that there is a wide array of options out there.
Feels good man. Relatively high activation force (~75g). Nice Click upon activation, and Clack upon deactivation. A good metaphor is like wearing fat boots on a wood floor. Like a cowboy. Clunky and crisp, in a good way. Please see Ripster’s Shoe Theory for more shoe/switch metaphor. A user once said that every key on a buckling spring feels like the launch button on a space ship!
Some say this is the most elegant feels. It’s said to feel smoother than Cherry, but far more solid than a rubber dome. They’re soft when bottomed out, and are not clicky. They’re only featured on a few, expensive keyboards. They use a combination of a rubber dome and a spring for their mechanism, so it’s said they adopt the best of both worlds.
WHERE TO SHOP
I have heard that Costco has nice weighted keyboards at a good price. Guitar Center or any music store will have a good selection of quality keyboards, and usually a knowledgeable staff. Piano stores will have nice brand-new and used instruments, and will likely have partnerships with movers and tuners so everything can be taken care of in one place. Feel free to try out the instruments in the store, and ask a lot of questions. I’ve gotten great deals on keyboards during sales at these brick-and-mortar stores.
Also, you can rent a piano for a very reasonable price, and delivery and tuning are usually included in the rental fee. I have not tried this myself in San Diego, but know there are many options out there (just search for piano rentals in San Diego). This option has been recommended to me, and I trust that it is a good route if you’re looking for an actual piano with little commitment.
If you read the previous comparison to food or VR porn I made in the previous review of BenQ Zowie XL2430 you know what I was about to say here. If you didn’t, go and do that for me, I’ll wait right here, because I’m lazy and not interested in repeating myself. Honestly? I really don’t see THAT much difference in performance between these two monitors, even if ASUS VG248QE is almost a hundred bucks or two cheaper. Maybe I’m not pro enough, who knows.
The reason why this monitor is that much cheaper is that while BenQ provides BOTH picture quality and awesome response times, ASUS focuses on response times. The picture quality (colors mainly) needed tweaking before I was content with what I was seeing and I missed all those jacks and other ports. Don’t forget to use DVI cable to get 144Hz output, since HDMI supports only up to 60Hz.
I was BLOWN AWAY by the difference between a standard 60Hz monitor and this one, AGAIN. I think they should stop selling 60Hz monitors, just as they don’t serve you trash bin contents in restaurants, such is the comparable experience.
Econo keyboards are a better option for people looking to get a board without breaking the bank. The features are similar to a budget keyboard but include velocity sensitivity, sustain pedal input jack, and sometimes a usb input for interfacing with a computer (sometimes they can even function as a controller).
Semi-Pro & Professional:
Professional keyboards have great sounds, a wide range of additional feature, mainly for manipulating sounds and integrating with other musical equipment. They have a lot of cutting edge technology integrated and therefore the price reflects it. The learning cure on these boards tends to be steeper.
Suggestions: Every musician’s genre and musical demands are different and therefore no one-size-fits-all suggestion can be made. That said, here are the key players for semi-pro keyboards: Alesis, Roland and for professional keyboards: Korg, Kurzweil, Moog, Nord, Yamaha.
If you are looking to buy new you can check out your local music store or piano dealer. Here is a list of popular stores in the Madison area:
Ward Brodt Music
If you are looking to save some cash you can get a great instrument for well under the price of a new board. Just make sure to test all the keys and buttons before you buy. Be sure to give the instrument a good look-over for any damage or defects. Lastly, I do not suggest buying something used online without being able to test it first (or return it later).
A quality acoustic instrument that produces sound from real strings and real wood offers a level of responsiveness and a range of dynamics and tone color than even the nicest digital piano cannot match. The sooner a student has the opportunity to practice on an acoustic instrument with that kind of nuanced musical responsiveness, the better. True, acoustic pianos are expensive. The typical price range for a quality acoustic upright (also more. Hoffman Academy considers the
Yamaha Ua favorite upright piano, but there are other good brands such as Kawai, Boston, and Schimmel. Not sure about buying? Many piano stores have affordable acoustic piano rental programs. If you already have a piano, or plan to purchase or rent a used instrument, be
While it’s impossible to entirely simulate the experience of playing on an acoustic piano, there’s nothing wrong with starting a beginning student on a digital piano.
Acoustic vs. Digital or Electronic
There are certain advantages to having a digital piano or electronic keyboard over an acoustic piano, such as the ability to plug in headphones so that a child can practice without disturbing anyone. Many digital or electronic instruments can also be connected to a computer with a midi cable and used with all kinds of educational and music production software. They’re more portable, and, unlike acoustic pianos, digital pianos and electronic keyboards never need to be tuned. A beginning student can get a good start on learning the piano with one of these instruments.
Still, nothing can compare with an acoustic piano. If your family has space in your home and your budget for an acoustic piano, I encourage you to go with this option. An acoustic piano adds so much to your home, and makes a clear
Ergonomics and circumstances
Is your piano student taller or shorter than average? How easy is to adjust the height of the instrument, seat or stand? Musicians should play sitting at a height where the forearm is parallel to the ground.
We offer a complete selection of keyboard stands and racks to match any student and budget.
The Pro Platinum Keyboard Stand from On Stage Stands is sturdy, with adjustable height and width to help you play comfortably.
You’ll find a complete selection of keyboard instrument cases, gig bags, and covers here.
Does the instrument need to travel with your student, and if so, how portable is it? What about the power source? Will you need to play in areas where it may not be easy to plug in? Read specs to find out if the keyboard can be powered with batteries, an AC adapter, or both. Not all keyboards include an adapter—read descriptions carefully so you order the appropropriate extras.
Graded hammer-action keys with velocity sensitivity give the Casio CD-13Digital Piano real acoustic-piano feel.
Synthesizers are keyboards that for the most part just produce sounds. Most synthesizers today use sample-based synthesis—that is, they use pre-recorded sounds as opposed to analog synths that manipulate electrical signals to create their sounds. In the past few years, analog synths have experienced a bit of a renaissance, owing to their unique sound, and (typically) knob-per-function control. AThe technology of analog synthesizers has improved greatly over the years, and they have distinct sounds that many players demand, although many digital synths emulate them with great accuracy. Sample-based synths generally provide a larger sound set, including piano, organ, horns, strings, and even digital re-creations of classic analog synths. Some synths offer basic sequencing and step-sequence functions as well.
Novation’s MiniNova performance synth gives you 25amazing sounds to tweak and twist while adding in your voice in real time.
The Novation Mini Nova synth can generate old-school sounds but also offers digital dexterity no analog synth can match.
The first thing you should do before shopping for a synthesizer is define your needs. What style of music do you play? How many keys will be sufficient for you? What sounds are most important to your style? A keyboard player in a metal band will obviously have different answers than someone in a country-western band. Sound clips for many of the synthesizers are available for online preview to help you get an idea of their soundsets. It’s also important to decide what your budget will be for your synth. Thanks to technological advances, even less-expensive synths come with quality soundsets and keyboard action. So there are plenty of synths to choose from if you don’t have tons of money to spend.
With its robust mixing section, monophonic or duo-paraphonic performance options and a fully analog sound source, the Moog Subsequent 3synthesizer will please old-school electronic musicians while delivering modern programming capability.
Synthesizers include a number of sounds built into the ROM. If you are the kind of player who just wants to plug in and start playing, then you’ll want a synth with a lot of presets. If you’d rather create your own unique sounds, be sure to select a synth with plenty of user patch locations (memory slots that allow you to save your sonic creations). Being able to expand the ROM is valuable as well, as it will allow you to update your synth with new or different sound sets.
The Sub Phatty 25-Key Analog Synth delivers genuine, vintage Moog sound while its 3knobs and 1switch controls offer a vast palette for audio creativity.
Other Things to Look for When Shopping for a Synthesizer
Check the ROM capacity; more is better in terms of saving and expanding sounds. As noted above, things like weighted keys, and high-polyphony counts make the synth more playable, powerful and versatile.
Envelope controls let you tailor the attack, sustain, decay, and release time of a sound. A low-frequency oscillator, or LFO, allows you to alter various parameters of a tone. For example, applying the LFO to a tone’s pitch creates a vibrato effect. A synthesizer’s filter section can be used to remove certain frequencies from a sound and change its timbre. Many synthesizers also have built-in effects like reverb, delay, chorus, and more. If you enjoy pushing the sonic boundaries with what you play, then these are features you’ll want to look for in your purchase.
The new Montage Series synths from Yamaha represent the state of the art when it comes to creating powerful and enveloping textures that are beyond the reach of ordinary synths. The cornerstone of its operation is the Motion Control Synthesis Engine—an environment in which you control two fully independent sound engines that can be zoned or layered to create huge tapestries. Using Motion Sequences technology opens up new worlds of synth control and performance possibilities.
Composers and musicians will love the enormous range of control and workflow options presented by Yamaha’s Montage 76-Key Flagship Synthesizer.
Anyone who has dragged a classic Hammond Borgan and its hefty Leslie speakers to a gig knows what a hernia-inducing experience that can be. The good news for today’s organ players is that modern electronic organs can capture the retro sound of old Hammonds and Wurlitzers without breaking your back (or wallet). The best modern organs replicate subtle nuances of old-school organs right down to the sound of their key-thunk! Most organs today use digital modeling, but incorporate drawbars like a traditional organ to change the sound. Digital organs also have features like effects, pitch bend and modulation wheels, and MIDI compatibility.
The Hammond SkOrgan conjures up the sounds and feel of the classic Bwhile also offering capabilities and voices undreamed of by old-school organists. At 1lb., it has great potential as a stage organ that won’t break your back.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of the important things to look for when considering a keyboard or digital piano. Armed with that information, you’re now better equipped to find the right gear to match your needs and budget.
We want you to be pleased with your keyboard purchase, and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and generous return policy so you can order with confidence.
The following are some common terms you will encounter when shopping for your keyboard, piano, or synthesizer. Use this glossary as a reference while you browse Musician’s Friend’s huge selection of synths, workstations, MIDI controllers, portable keyboards, arrangers, and digital pianos.
A/D and D/A conversion » The process of converting an analog signal to a digital one (A/D) or a digital signal to an analog one (D/A).
Aftertouch » A control activated by pushing a key past the point where the note sounds.
Arpeggiator » A keyboard function that generates an arpeggio when a single note is played.
Assignable » The ability to have a keyboard control affect specified parameters selected by the user.
Auto-accompaniment » A keyboard feature that plays backing performances, often made up of a number of instruments.
Bit depth » The number of bits captured in one sample, or slice, of an audio signal as it is converted from analog to digital by an A/D converter. Measured in bits and represented as 16-bit, 24-bit, 32-bit, 48-bit, etc. Higher bit depths usually produce higher quality sound.
CompactFlash » A memory storage system developed by SanDisk that uses small cards to transfer data to and from compatible devices.
Damper pedal » A pedal that, when pressed, maintains a note’s sustain until released.
DSP » Digital signal processing. The means by which most keyboards produce effects, equalization, filters, etc. that can be applied to an audio signal.
Effects » Processes that modify a tone or tones, such as reverb, delay, vibrato, etc.
Envelope » An electronic circuit that changes a selected setting by a desired amount at certain intervals. Commonly used to alter basic waveform pitch settings.
Filter » An electronic circuit that alters a tone by removing specific frequencies.
FireWire » A high-speed connection protocol developed by Apple that is similar to USB but much faster.
Hammer action » A keybed that uses small hammers to trigger notes in an effort to re-create the feel of an acoustic piano.
Keybed » The keys of a keyboard and their underlying mechanisms.
Low-frequency oscillator (LFO) » An inaudible oscillator that alters basic settings of a waveform to create unique effects like vibrato or tremolo.
Layer » A keyboard function that lets you create a sound by layering several different tones.
MIDI » Acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A protocol that allows musical instruments and digital devices to communicate. GM is short for General MIDI, a music industry standard since 199that ensures consistent performance on all GM-compatible instruments and standardized sounds and locations. GMis an extension of GM that requires 32-voice polyphony (instead of 2for GM) and includes more programs. mLAN » A network protocol designed by Yamaha for transmitting digital audio and MIDI data among a number of devices using a FireWire cable.
Modulation wheel (mod wheel) » A keyboard controller that can alter various elements of a tone.
Multitimbrality » The ability of a keyboard to play different sounds at once, i.e. flute, drums, strings, piano, etc. Multitimbrality should not be confused with polyphony.
Oscillator » The sound-producing device in an analog synth.
Pitch bend wheel » A keyboard controller that alters the pitch of the note being played up or down.
Polyphony » The number of tones a keyboard can produce at once.
Rhythms » Beats that are built into a keyboard in various musical styles.
Sample rate » The number of times an audio signal is measured (sampled) per second as it is converted from analog to digital by an A/D converter. Measured in kHz and represented as 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88kHz, 96kHz, etc. The higher the sample the greater the musical fidelity.
Sampler » A device that records digital audio and allows it to be altered and played back in various ways.
Sequencer » A hardware or software device that records MIDI performance data and plays it back in a user-programmed sequence.
SmartMedia » A memory storage system developed by Toshiba that uses small cards to transfer data to and from compatible devices. Similar to CompactFlash, but SmartMedia cards are smaller.
Sostenuto pedal » A keyboard pedal that mimics the pedal of the same name found on grand pianos. It sustains only the notes that are being held down when the pedal is pressed.
Split » A keyboard function that allows the user to divide the keybed into different sections and assign various tones to each one.
Style » A musical passage, complete with many instruments, built into a keyboard.
Tones (waveforms) » The sounds that a synthesizer or other keyboard produces. Waveforms have different shapes that give them unique tonal properties. The most common shapes are sawtooth, square, and sine.
Touch sensitivity » The ability of a keybed to respond to various player actions, such as the velocity with which keys are pressed and the amount of pressure placed on the key. These elements are designed to replicate the feel of acoustic piano keys.
USB » Universal serial bus. A common connection protocol for computers. Many keyboards provide a USB connection to transfer data to and from a computer.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Keyboards wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Keyboards
- №1 — JAR-OWL J1 Anti-ghosting 104Keys Wired Gaming Keyboards LED Backlit Wired USB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches
- №2 — LESHP Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard with Touch Pad
- №3 — AmazonBasics Wired Keyboard