Affordable Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: 11-Way Roundup

By Steve ยท 12 replies
Oct 14, 2015
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  1. Not that long ago gamers had a rather limited choice of keyboards, particularly mechanical keyboards, and most were too expensive for the masses. However, over the last few years there's been an explosion of mechanical keyboards, many of which could be considered affordable, and we've gathered nearly a dozen of them for testing.

    When it comes to mechanical keyboards, the vast majority use the same switch hardware from Cherry MX and those that don't still tend to have knock-off switches such as those from Kailh, which do a pretty good job of replicating the Cherry MX feel. Therefore, manufacturers aim to differentiate themselves by adding extra features such as macro keys, backlighting, storable profiles, media keys and connectivity.

    For this roundup we have selected the Tt eSports Poseidon Z, CM Storm QuickFire TK, Aorus Thunder K3, Logitech G710+, Ozone Strike Pro, Roccat Ryos MK, Corsair Strafe, G.Skill KM780 MX and Cougar 700K -- ranging in price from $75 to $140.

    Read the complete review.

  2. trgz

    trgz TS Addict Posts: 222   +50

    Now I'm not a console gamer (though I do own an Xbox controller) and I do feel that controlling (most) games should be done with a keyboard but I really don't consider any of these to be a gaming devices as the WASD is still 'staggered'. I know the majority of gamers are OK with this but it doesn't make it right - why can't there be mechanical versions of keyboards in the style of the Steelseries Merc Stealth or Wolf Claw?
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,150   +916

    AND left handed versions :)
    trgz likes this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Prices must vary wildly from market to market. I use the Roccat Ryos MK Glow and it cost $20 more than the base model. The Pro version nearly doubles the price of the base model. That said my kbd has the Cherry MX Black but for me even those are not quite stiff enough, I'm used to them though. The only switches I know of that have more resistance is the Cherry MX Green but they are as scarce as bird crap in a cuckoo clock.
  5. trgz

    trgz TS Addict Posts: 222   +50

    Very true - even though I'm right-handed, I actually go left-handed at work due to keep the RSI down (it's not actually RSI, I have some weird wrist joint problem) - so I should have thought about that.
    Of course there have been standalone gamepads that can sit alongside a keyboard (I did have one - a Cyber Snipa) regardless of LH/RH orientation- they've never been mechanical but at least they are true gaming devices
    Burty117 likes this.
  6. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I have a Razer Orbweaver Stealth but the keys are still unstaggered, but it is at least mechanical if that is a requirement for you - And the fact it costs more than most mechanical keyboards in this review is another negative.
    Found it very comfortable for BF4, but find it usually takes a bit of motivation to configure it and mess around for new games.
  7. Jeff Schmidt

    Jeff Schmidt TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +23

    I've owned the Logitech G710+ for about a year and a half. About a year ago a portion of the bottom row keys stopped working. Contacted Logitech and I had a new keyboard in about a week.

    Great keyboard. Mechanical keys aren't that great for typing as your fingers will get tired quickly. The same with gaming if coming from a dome cap keyboard. It doesn't take long to get used to it. I think the key switches are the biggest draw. If your thinking about a mechanical keyboard. Try different key switches out and get one that is more towards what you will use it for.
  8. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,150   +916

    That looks like a Lefty could use it as well! I might genuinely go looking into that! :)

    Edit: No Wait, I lie, still not much help for a lonely lefty like me :(
    I'm used to manually configuring all my buttons anyway, if only they did a Left-Handed version of the Orb Weaver!
  9. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I guess you want a right-handed version for those who mouse/trackball with their left? since to be factually correct the existing Orb Weaver is for use with the left hand :)
  10. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,150   +916

    Exactly ;)

    I mouse with the left, if they could just sort of, reverse the ergonomics that would be perfect!
    Arris likes this.
  11. PC EliTiST

    PC EliTiST TS Enthusiast Posts: 51   +7

    I never had mechanical keyboard because I always thought the completely soft and silent "normal" ( currently still got the X6 Sidewinder ) keyboards are better. The other day I was in an electric-store and tried one... Damn, it felt amazing!

    I'd like to ask... When you say a keyboard has blue, red and brown switches, does this mean the 70$ keyboard includes 3 sets of keys or I have to buy the other 2 sets separately?
  12. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,150   +916

    It's the type of Key that the keyboard comes with only.
    So if a manufacture offers the keyboard with "Brown, Blue or Red" switches. If you bought the Brown key version, all Switches would be Brown, if you bought it with Red Switches, all keys would be Red.
    I believe their may be the odd keyboard that breaks this rule, but they are clearly marked as a feature.
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Blue, red or brown are the types of Cherry(the manufacturer) switches built into the keyboard that the key caps (plastic or other material top pieces with the letters on) fix on to. Brown is what I have on the Logitech 710+ and Razer Orbweaver Stealth and is considered by most as the best compromise between noise/comfort for typing and for easy/fast actuation and responsiveness. Blue is a little noisier but faster actuation so better for typing. And Red is marketed as the gaming switch. A good article with detailed explanations of each is here :
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

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