Keyboards are one of those types of products that can be suitable for high volumes of typing or for gaming, with a single good product. This is what our computer keyboard buyer’s guide is aimed at fulfilling.
For a start, mechanical keyboards are the keyboard of choice. They offer such a good feel and response. You couldn’t go back to a membrane keyboard after using a mechanical one for a few days.
Computer keyboard buyer’s guide
The keyboard that I recommend is the Corsair K70 LUX RGB gaming keyboard (click here to see it on Amazon). I have been using one since the beginning of 2019, and I am extremely happy with the quality of it.
This keyboard will last because of the mechanical switches and its sturdy construction.
Why I chose the Corsair K70 LUX RGB gaming keyboard
For most of my time owning keyboards, I was always a Logitech fan. I still am.
But since keyboard manufacturers have been putting in a better effort to compete, new options became available.
So let’s start with the most discussed component of the keyboard. And that’s the mechanical switches.
Mechanical switches and key shape
So the Cherry brand has been around for a long time. I myself have used keyboards back in the ’80s that actually contained these switches.
Over the years, I have actually missed having mechanical keyboards. There was a period where all you saw on the shelves were just membrane keyboards.
So having the chance to get some quality back in my keyboards with lots of variety to choose from has been great.
So I started with the Logitech G910 mechanical keyboard. I tried a couple more that didn’t really impress me much.
Don’t get me wrong, the G910 is a good keyboard. But, being a person that types a lot, makes me bring up one very annoying fact about it.
The keys are bucketed so when you are typing at your better speeds, your fingers tend to catch on the edges of the keys and cause you to press the incorrect key at times.
This to me is a fatal flaw for people that are typists or in any other profession or hobby that requires some typing.
But when I bought my first Corsair keyboard, I was immediately hooked.
My typing accuracy also improved as a result. When you have a keyboard that feels right, typing becomes easier.
It wasn’t just the fact of having some reminder about how nice mechanical keyboards were years back, but the fact that corsair does such a beautiful job of making them feel solid, responsive and sounding great.
I tried out the various Cherry colors in my local store’s display area. I finally chose the Cherry MX Brown switch.
It wasn’t too loud, didn’t need too much pressure to activate the keypress fully and had a tactile bump. It also wasn’t too overly sensitive.
Here is a list of common Cherry MX switches and their properties:
|Type of Cherry MX Switch||Behavior||Operating Force||Feel||Travel Distance||Actuation Point||Noise Level|
You read about more variations on Wikipedia.
The last thing I’ll mention about the keys is that they won’t give you any ghosting when pressing any combination of keys.
What is keyboard ghosting? It’s when a combination of keys get pressed and some keypresses are ignored.
The overall look and size of the keyboard
If you are someone that likes colorful lights on your keyboard, we have that in common.
I love good quality RGB lighting on my keyboard. RGB Simply means that the keys can produce most colors by using combinations of red, green, and blue.
The Corsair keyboard, in my opinion, has one of the best key illuminations on the market.
Why? Because of the level at which the keys are mounted on the chassis. Part of the body of the actual key is exposed so more light can pass through underneath each key.
This serves another purpose other than light but I will touch on that a bit further down the page.
The key letters themselves are nice and large, so they can let through more light.
This makes for a tremendous light show. It doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but when you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The software allows you to display a good variety of display patterns and offers a speed adjustment for most patterns.
Typically though, I really only have it on a rainbow wave passing from left to right.
With certain games, however, they can make use of this feature quite nicely. One example was with Farcry 5. The American flag sways over the keys which I loved.
Apart from the lights, the clever design of it allows it to take up less desk space compared to other keyboards I’ve tried.
The keyboards dimensions: 1.50″ (3.8cm) x 17.20″ (43.68cm) x 6.50″ (16.51cm).
Cleaning it is easy
As I’ve mentioned, the top of the key switches protrudes just above the level of the chassis.
This makes it easy for cleaning all around the keys and the top of the keyboard.
This is my favorite brush kit for cleaning (links to Amazon). It also comes with a key puller in case you don’t like the key puller that comes with the keyboard.
Here is another one (links to Amazon) I use in tandem with the afore mention brush kit.
If your keyboard has some stubborn dirt on it, you can remove the keys with the key puller which makes cleaning far easier.
My advice is to not wait until it gets that bad, then keeping it clean is quick and easy.
If you have a reasonably clean keyboard containing dust buildup, using a plain cheap paintbrush like this will do a good enough job of cleaning it.
The chassis of the keyboard is made from aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum.
I love that finish because it’s so hard to produce smear marks on it and it’s so easy to keep clean.
When I rest my hands on the palm rest, I don’t get any creaking sounds that a plastic molded keyboard would give off.
And when you type, you can hear and feel the keys stopping against a solid surface. Not in a noisy way, but in a good way.
The palm rest feels awesome
I have felt many types of keyboard palm rests for keyboards in my time. The Corsair palm rest has something almost magical to it.
It doesn’t get dirty and smudgy as a solid plastic surface does. The matte finish is a nice touch for an area that gets a lot of contact with your palms.
It has a rubber-like coating that has the right amount of grip to it, without collecting specs of dust and other bits of debris.
Grip pattern on the space bar
If you have a habit to press the spacebar with the side of your thumbs, like me, you may find this a useful feature.
The plastic is molded in such a way that feels comfortable and yet, provides some grip to prevent your thumb from sliding off the edge of the key.
The volume wheel, which I use all the time, is made from aluminum and has a nice knurled surface.
This allows you to easily adjust your volume accurately, with plenty of control.
The only thing I’d say that could be improved on it is the actual diameter of the cylinder.
I find it to be slightly undersized, but that could be a personal preference thing.
The multimedia buttons (Stop, Previous Track, Play/Pause, Next Track) are located just under the volume wheel.
I would like to see them slightly raised, but they are nicely lit anyway, so you can see which one to press.
You also get a mute button which is nicely placed to the immediate left of the volume wheel for easy access.
USB Port on the rear edge
While you will find USB connectors on a lot of competitors’ keyboards, I’m still glad Corsair has included one.
This is really useful for a mouse, headset, or any other USB device on your desk.
Not only does it free a USB port up on your computer, but it also helps you manage your cable better for that device.
How long do you keep a keyboard for?
Apart from wanting a chance to try something potentially better than you have now, I’d say hold onto a keyboard until something breaks on it.
Wait for a key to go wobbly, to stop working, or maybe for a plug or cable to lose connectivity.
It’s not a computer part that needs changing that often for better features. A good keyboard can last for years, and still be a comparable product to the latest model out there.
Key properties of a good keyboard personally are how well do the keys illuminate, how nicely it types and if it’s responsive for gaming.
After all, its a keyboard, you press keys on it to interact with your computer. How much can it evolve before crossing over to something completely new?
Wired keyboards vs wireless
I have never been a fan of wireless keyboards. Although I do own one, it was bought for a specific purpose.
I got it to control my Mame arcade cabinet, without having to mess around with wires.
But, when it comes to gaming on the computer or the avoidance of dealing with charged batteries, to me it’s a no brainer.
I don’t want lag from wireless keyboards when I’m gaming. I also like the USB port on my keyboard.
And, I don’t like messing around with recharging batteries where possible.
Maybe one day when technology solves all these issues, will I consider a wireless keyboard.
That my take on the best keyboard I could find on the market. I will keep using it until I find something better, or if something stops working.
It’s nice to see a company putting in a good effort into a product that makes you feel like keeping it once you own it.
I just hope that the level of effort stays up there, so future fellow computer enthusiasts can enjoy what technology has to offer in its entirety.