The Best Mechanical & Wireless Backlit Keyboards – Illuminated Keyboards
- Illuminated backlit keys
- Long battery life
- Auto brightness adjust
- Short wrist rest
Logitech claiming the first spot on this list is one of the dominant gaming peripheral manufacturers. The K800 is a wireless keyboard with solid color illumination. It is a very slim keyboard, perfect for space efficient desk setups. It comes in only one model variation backlit with blue LEDs.
- Intelligent Illumination – The keyboard has an intelligent feature built-in which automatically turns on the backlight when you start typing, the LEDs turn off after a span of time depending on it’s configurable settings. That’s not all, it also has a light sensor, which automatically sets the brightness of the backlight, saving you a lot of time. The brightness can also be manually set by using an easy set of key combinations on the keyboard. Since it’s built for portability, it’s a great feature which will save a lot of battery life, thus giving it a much longer lifespan on the run. If you need more advice regarding portable keyboards, check out our guide for the best compact keyboards.
- Rechargeable – Many wireless keyboards require an external and replaceable battery for operation. This is usually not a problem since a single pair of batteries can last quite a while, but when it comes to illuminated keyboards, battery drains rather quickly. K800 solves the issue with a rechargeable battery with a long lifespan.
If you are looking for generic usage keyboard which can be carried easily, this keyboard is undoubtedly worth the consideration. Whereas if you are looking for a gaming keyboard, this is not quite the solution, we will be discussing more keyboards for the purpose later in this roundup.
Corsair Gaming K70 RGB
- Gorgeous, RGB backlighting
- Minimalist design
- Exclusive Cherry Switches
- Convoluted software
Next up is a keyboard from Corsair. It's an older model and not very popular anymore. The new version K95 has completely taken over, the reason for featuring an older version is the price point. This keyboard is very affordable and features excellent RGB illumination and mechanical switches. Unlike the previous Logitech portable keyboard, this one is a full-sized and features programmable keys.
- Model Variations - Most Corsair keyboards come in several variations; The K70 is available in the RGB version and a robust backlit version, both have a similar build with the only difference being the backlit functionality.
- Keys and Switches - It gets interesting here, Corsair worked out an exclusive version of the Cherry MX switches for the RGB keyboard variant. In usual keyboards that use Cherry MX switches, LEDs are forced onto the switches since there is no space for its embedded integration. With exclusive switch design, Corsair managed to integrate the RGB lighting directly into the switch, giving it a much brighter and vibrant color. A question that is raised hearing this is the weather is compromises performance since the switches are different from the traditional Cherry MX, The answer is No, there is no difference in tactile what so ever.
- Anti-ghosting and N-key Rollover - It is not a special feature, you will find it in almost any decent keyboard these days. Ghosting is a problem of the past and every keyboard, budget ones of high-end ones have a great solution in place to deal with it.
- Macros - The keyboard doesn't have macro keys, which is a letdown, considering it's price and the overall size, It could have been possible to add a few macro keys to it.
- Minimalist design
- Convenient backlit keys
- Excellent Tactile
- Fixed wrist pad
Moving with yet another keyboard from Logitech. This one is a full sized keyboard with a very minimalistic design. It has a solid colored illumination and is very affordable. To maintain an affordable price tag, this keyboard has very responsive membrane switches.
- Keys and switches - As already mentioned it has membrane keys which are remarkably silent and perfect for a workplace. Mechanical keyboards can be very noisy and thus not recommended for office usage. We have a dedicated buying guide for quietest mechanical keyboards, Most of them use Cherry MX brown switches, but none has been able to achieve noise levels of a membrane keyboard yet.
- Extra Buttons - This keyboard also has multimedia buttons featured on the top right for quick access to volume levels and changing tracks. Illumination button is located just beside the multi-media keys, It would've been better if it had auto backlit functionality similar to the wireless Logitech keyboard mentioned first on this roundup, but it's acceptable since illumination is just a key press away and that is very doable. The brightness can also be adjusted by pressing the same button.
- Ergonomics - The keyboard is very comfortable to use and has a fixed wrist rest, which is a downside since many people don't like them or just want to use an external one. A fixed wrist rest strictly limits compatibility of external ergonomics accessories.
Arteck HB030B Slim
- Compact and Inexpensive
- 24-month warranty
- Rechargeable battery
- Metal construction
- Doesn’t work while charging
Moving on, we have a wireless keyboard from Arteck. It is not one of the known brands, but their range of portable keyboard stands out of all the other in the market. It is inexpensive and features seven different LED backlit colors with multiple brightness levels. It is operational with all devices that have Bluetooth support; A keyboard sized like this one is usually a great choice for portable use. They are not necessarily designed for gamers, but the low profile design makes the keys quite responsive with fast accusation.
- Lighting - All the keys are illuminated with solid colored LED lights, the color of these lights can be switched easily directly from the keyboard, making them a great utility for typing in the dark.
- Battery Like - It is one of the essential factors to consider when buying a wireless keyboard. The Artech HB030B has intelligent auto-backlit functionality, which automatically turns off the backlight if no keys are pressed in a span of time. This conserves a lot of energy. It comes loaded with a rechargeable lithium battery which is claimed to last for more than six months. On a single charge, the keyboard can go up to 2 hours of non-stop use, which is nowhere close to good but considering the slim and compact design, the battery space is very limited, and thus it doesn't compete with another high-end wireless keyboards in this aspect.
- Price - The best part about this keyboard is it's price tag, costing just about $20, it is a steal, though it might not sound very cheap but compared to the keyboard with similar features, it ranks above all.
Granvela MechanicalEagle Z-77
- Tactile and responsive switches
- Solid and durable constriction
- Unattractive keycaps
Granvela is another unpopular brand, but their range of keyboards are very affordable and high-quality products. The Z-77 is a mechanical keyboard from Granvela's Range of MechanicalEagle keyboards. It is an affordable tenkeyless keyboard with mechanical switches and RGB lighting.
- Keys and Switches - It uses Outemu Blue key switches, which are not comparable to other high-end mechanical switches but still have great tactile and most importantly, have the "clicky" sound, which is very satisfying and great for fast typers, as it acts as a great signal for confirming that the key was indeed pressed and registered.
- Illumination - It is fully backlit with RGB LEDs, these can be switched and manipulated using FN and INS key on the keyboard. There are not as many patterns or options to choose from, but it's still good enough for some casual late night usage. If you are looking for a more minimalistic and professional look, this keyboard is likely not the one for you.
- Other Features - Anti-ghosting is very common in keyboards these days and not a feature worth mentioning; In case you are unaware of what it means, in short, it prevents registration of unpressed keys. N-Key rollover on the other hands maks sure; each pressed key is registered.
Choosing the Best Backlit Keyboard
With so many manufacturers and their innumerable range of keyboards, It can be hard to find the keyboard which suits your needs. Here are a few factors to consider while looking for a new illuminated keyboard.
Many cheap keyboards are often advertised as backlit keyboards, which is quite true, but the visibility and usability of the illumination are very limited. These keyboards sometimes can have painted keys, which wear off after some time of use, making LED's shine brighter than they should. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict its visibility and quality by just looking at the keyboard. To counter this issue, we recommend only buying from a reputed manufacturer.
Do you need RGB?
The term backlit communicates whether a keyboard has LED illuminated keys for better use in the dark. With growing popularity of RGB LED's, some of these keyboards have RGB illumination, which looks great but their use is just limited to that. "Need RGB?" is not right questions to ask, it should be whether you "want them?". So, RGB LEDs largely depends on if you like them. For a gamer, they might mean the world, but for casual web surfing, writing or even programming is quite unnecessary. RGB illuminated keyboards are also usually very expensive. So, if you are looking for good RGB keyboards, be prepared to pay few extra dollars than the non-RGB version.
Comfortability should always be prioritized no matter what you are buying. Don't make the wrong buying decision just because a keyboard had better lighting others in the same price range. As for the keyboards, major features that make a keyboard more comfortable to use are as follows
- The wrist pad - Wrist pad is one of the essential parts of any keyboard, a good keyboard can make any keyboard comfortable to use. Moreover, they are necessary to prevent cramps and other health conditions.
- Keyboard slant - Almost all keyboards come with rubber pads for adjusting the slant. It is not a necessary factor; its based on your personal preference but remember, combined with wrist rests, slant can prevent sore arms.
- Angled keys - All the factors mentioned above are interdependent, Slant is necessary if you use wrist pads and Angled keys are necessary if the keyboard is slanted. Here, angled keys refer to keys that are angled towards you instead of straight up, they feel very comfortable and a must for long hour typing or gaming sessions.