Best Budget Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Under $50 & $100
Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Under $50
Razer Deathstalker Essential
- Responsive keys
- Comfortable design
- Expensive (for a membrane keyboard)
- Bad macro recording interface
The Razer Deathstalker Essential is a not a mechanical keyboard, yet it is an excellent choice for gaming, especially if you are on a budget. When it comes to budget mechanical keyboards, There are very few options and being honest, non-mechanical keyboards will deliver a much better experience than cheap mechanical ones.
Though there are few mechanical keyboards which are phenomenal for the price, most of them lack durability and likely to not stay with you for a long time. Mentioning that, Let’s learn more about the DeathStalker essential and why you should consider it over any other cheap keyboard.
Firstly, Razer is an established brand. Though they mainly have their name in the enthusiast gaming market, they do have some great options for value-oriented buyers too.
The Deathstalker necessary measures 20.3 x 10.2 inches, putting it somewhere in the middle-sized keyboard category. With the standard Razer green backlit and a low-profile compact design.
- Anti-ghosting – Anti-Ghosting is old technology but most manufacturers still avoid it, or at least they avoid implementing it on the whole keyboard. In short, It allows for multiple-key presses to be registered correctly, this is very advantageous for gamers.
- Razer Synapse 2.0 – Razer does something many manufacturers are yet to do, It is plug-play setup. Razer Synapse is a software that takes over all the work from downloading required drivers, keyboard firmware updates, etc.; Ultimately saving you a lot of time and hassle. It is also capable of saving your personalized settings on a cloud server and allow you to access them from anywhere anytime.
- RGB backlight
- Fully mechanical keys
- Great feel and sound
- Saves desk space (tenkeyless)
- Anti-ghosting (n-key Rollover)
- Keys are not Cherry MX equivalent (as advertised)
Redragon has established its name in the budget-friendly gaming peripherals market. The Redgradon K552 Kumara is a fully back-lit keyboard with a minimalistic and simple design, Available in 2 variants, one that features a fully back-lit design while other is funny RGB and looks comparable for the higher-end gaming keyboards.
It is a tenkeyless, which is a term used to design keyboards without num-pad. Tenkeyless keyboards are an excellent choice if you have limited desk space. Also, they allow to position mice much closer to the keyboard which makes them a popular choice among gamers. The keyboard has a matt-finish, which prevents unnecessary shiny and slippery keys. Moreover, it adds a classic look.
- Anti-ghosting - The K522 also features anti-ghosting, making all the keys conflict-free(n-key Rollover). This makes the keyboard very suitable for gamers looking for an affordable mechanical keyboard to enhance their gaming performance.
- Tenkeyless design - With only 87 keys, this keyboard consumes a significantly less desk space. It can be considered a downside depending on your usage, but for generic gaming purpose, It doesn't make much of a difference.
Gigabyte Force K83
- Durable Cherry MX switches (Red/Blue)
- Simple and elegant design
This keyboard from Gigabyte is one of the best mechanical keyboards under 50. The K83 is equipped with cherry MX (blue/red) mechanical switches; these are very durable and reliable. Unlike few others mentioned under $50 mechanical keyboard range, Gigabyte is an established brand and has great support, so if something goes wrong with the product, you always have them backing you up.
It is a very minimalistic keyboard with very basic design and has no dedicated macro keys; if you are a hardcore gamer, you probably hate them anyways but none the less, It is a downside.
From underneath, It has two rubber pads, they provide great grip to the keyboard and can also be used to adjust the keyboard profile.
- Anti-Ghosting - Another keyboard with Anti-Ghosting. Since we are mentioning the best gaming keyboards, anti-ghosting is a feature most keyboards on this list are likely to be equipped with.
- Hot-link Function keys - Function keys can be used to control multimedia directly. Note that it doesn't have dedicated buttons for this, the function keys(F1-F12) are capable of fulfilling the purpose.
- Windows lock - The Major reason why every keyboard is not suitable for gaming is the windows key, placed neat control and CTRL key, accidental key presses are more recurring that imaginable; For the reason, gaming dedicated keyboard feature windows lock, which blocks activation of the key while gaming. So, Next time you are in an intensive Fortnite 1v1, you don't have to worry about hitting the windows button instead of the crouch key.
E-Element Z-88 RGB
- Simplistic Design
- RGB lighting (Adjustable brightness and speed)
- Fully mechanical switches
- RGB lighting is not programmable
- Durability is doubtable
E-Element is not a very well known brand, but this keyboard caught our eyes. RGB lights look great on any keyboard or any other peripheral, but the truth is, you usually have to pay an excessive amount of money to get them. A $50 keyboard with RGB lights? It's pretty imaginable, but this keyboard from E-Element has done it. Unfortunately, after trying for days, we couldn't manage to get our hands on one but here is an overview of what the keyboard has to offer and several trusted review sources have rated it as a decent keyboard.
The Z-88 is available in a variety of color variations(Black, White, Golden) and comes with different switch models (Green, Black, Red, and Purple). Make sure you don't mistake them as cherry MX; these colors are defined by E-Element and have no-relation with the Cherry MX range of switches.
It is another tenkeyless keyboard which refers to no num-pad, and thus it is a very compact and portable. It has an E-Element (Eagle) log on the spacebar, which is a bit off and doesn't suit the overall aesthetics; Neglecting that, it also has a simplistic design like the latter GigaByte K83. From underneath, the keyboard has a metal plate to give it rigidity and two extendable rubber pads which can be used to adjust slant/profile on the keyboard.
- RGB lighting - The keyboard is fully RGB, thought the lighting is not customizable and limited to hard-coded effects. These effects are surprisingly well done and look great.
Magicforce Qisan 60% Mini Mechanical keyboard
- RGB lighting
- Reliable Switches
- Elegant visuals
- DIP switches
- Little over $50
Magicforce is another unpopular manufacturer, Their range of mechanical keyboards are very affordable and feature decent quality aesthetics for the price. Very much like the latter E-Element keyboard, This one also RGB lighting. Again, These lightings come with hard-coded effects which cannot be changed or configured by any means.
It is a small 68-key keyboard with a very appreciable design; The base has an aluminum finish which acts as a great reflector for RGB LEDs, giving it another point in the aesthetics aspect. Magicforce seems to know the right way to put their brand logo on their product, unlike the E-Element logo which comes off a bit too noticeable, Branding on this keyboard goes really well with the design of the keyboard.
Underneath, it is guarded with rubber pads to prevent any scratches. It also comes with extendable rubber pads to manipulate the slant.
- DIP switches - These are not very common and can prove to come in handy for several purposes. Featuring 3 DIP switches, each with a different function. One allows easy Windows Key locking capability. Though it's achievable with software, it's appreciable that Magicforce considered it as a casually experienced issue and fixed it.
- RGB lighting - It comes packed with quite a few RGB effects and animations which are quite common on the expensive range of keyboards. Unfortunately, these lightings are not individually programmable which might seem like a downside, but considering the price, it's acceptable.
- Great RGB lighting
- High-quality aesthetics
- 8 Key Roll-over
- Non-mechanical switches
The Corsair K55 is not a mechanical keyboard, yet it makes a great budget keyboard for gamers. Featuring programmable macro keys and customizable RGB lighting, This sure is bang for the buck. Macro buttons are not necessarily something ever gamers look for, but they are great for video/photo editing and can help save a lot of time.
- Macro keys - This keyboard has six macro keys which can be configured to simulate any combination of key presses with a single click. To uses these keys, there is not even need of a software installation, It can be done with a button located on the head of the keyboard, beside the macro key, it also features windows-lock and volume control keys.
- Anti-Ghosting and 8 Key Roll-Over - 8 Key Roll-Over means that the keyboard can register eight key presses at the same time and anti-ghosting ensures accurate registration of key presses. With both these features, it makes an excellent choice for gamers.
- Detachable Soft Rubber Wrist Rest - Ergonomics is an essential aspect of any gaming accessory. Keyboard wrist-rest is a great addon to the keyboard. Unfortunately, it is not magnetic but still works great and features a very comfortable rubber texture padding.
- RGB Lighting - Just like many other budget-friendly keyboards on this list, this has also has restricted RGB customization abilities. Pre-loaded effects and animations are awesome and likely full-fill any needs; these can also be customized to fit your computer's color scheme with minor on-board tweaking.
Logitech G413 Backlit Mechanical
- Comfortable key switches
- Slick design
- Restricted lighting
Logitech has proved themselves in the gaming niche, their range of gaming mice are not the only favorite among casual players but also professionals. The G413 is one of the bests affordable gaming keyboard you can get.
It features backlighting which is not customizable but can be turned off and on anytime; This lighting is also not RGB. Some do feature RGB at the price range but most lack product quality, which is something to stay away from if you are looking for a long-term solution.
- Backlight - Keyboard features customizable RED colored backlight, it is a feature and a downside at the same time. Being restricted to a single color strictly limits the aesthetic match with a build.
- Entirely mechanical - It uses durable and responsive Roomer-GTM mechanical switches.
- Minimalistic design - With brushed aluminum-magnesium allow it has an exquisite design. If the restricted backlighting is neglected, it is a good looking keyboard.
- Dedicated Function Keys - These keys come in really handy, they feature media controls (volume, play, next, etc.). Toggling lighting, execute certain application dedicated features, etc. These are common in big keyboards; smaller ones usually have a "function" key registers number keys as function keys when pressed.
CORSAIR K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE
- USB Pass-through
- Dedicated media keys
- Profile customization
- No dedicated macro keys
Moving on, We have the Corsair K70. From the range of Corsair's Rapidfire keyboard line up, this keyboard features way more than any other keyboard in its price range. Being priced at just under $100, This is a perfect pick for gamers.
With fully mechanical keys and appealing RGB lighting, this delivers excellent value for the money. It also features multi-media control on the keyboard header, with a volume control scroll wheel, which adds significantly to its aesthetics. Underneath, the keyboard has adjustable height legs, based on preferences comfortability; these can be adjusted within seconds.
- Highly responsive switches - Equipped with MX Speed Ultra switches with 45g actuation force and 1.2mm actuation distance, making it a highly responsive keyboard. These switches are claimed to be 30% faster than standard Cherry MX red switches.
- Detachable Wrist rest - We haven't emphasized much on wrist rest in this buying guide, but it is actually one of the more important factors to consider. This keyboard features a very comfortable wrist rest which is a breeze to remove.
- Multimedia keys - These are handy for adjusting volume controls in mid-game without having to go through a long process of doing it through game settings or adjusting it from the output device.
- Very quiet - These are surely one of the [Internal-Link]quietest mechanical keyboards[/Internal-Link] you can get. Much like the cherry MX blacks, this keyboard has a very quite switches.
Razer Ornata Chroma
- Excellent wrist rest
- Great RGB lighting
- Little expensive for the features
Next, up the Razer Ornata, It is one of the more popular keyboards under $100. Much like the latter keyboards, this one also has RGB lighting and has an elegant and simplistic design. Razer is mostly known for their high-end peripherals but it's fascinating they could manage one for the budget-oriented users.
Highly oriented towards better gaming performance, it uses Mecha-Membrane Keys which are incomparable with high-end mechanical keys, but still a great alternative for budget keyboards. These keys do have somewhat of mechanical feel but aren't as responsive, which is acceptable when the price is taken into consideration. Though it lacks key switches, It leads the charts when it comes to aesthetics. The RGB lighting is backed up with a white-plate that enhance it looks.
It might not be the best choice for competitive and hardcore gaming, but if you are looking for something that has great aesthetics with mediocre performance under the $100 price tag; The Razer Ornata is a great option.
- Mid-Height Keycaps - Low profile keycaps allows for a much better response time. A regular membrane switch takes a noticeable amount of time between keystroke and registration, the Major reasoning behind it is the time of key-travell. Low profile keys act as a great solution to the problem.
- Wrist rest - Let's face it, Razer's products are expensive but they are unbeatable when it comes to ergonomics, and they haven't hold it back for this one either; It comes with a high-quality wrist rest for more comfortable use.
- 10-Key Rollover Anti-Ghosting - 10-key Rollover is overkill; there can occur no circumstances which would require more than 10 keys to be registered at the same time. For gaming, 6-key is usually enough, but with 10-key rollover, you can be sure your gaming performance is not compromised due to hardware.
Corsair STRAFE RGB Mechanical Gaming
- Cherry MX keys
- Comfortably textured keycaps
- Great value for money
- No dedicated media controls
Strafe is manufactured in two variations; one has RGB while the other doesn't. RGB version priced just under $100, Is another option for hardcore gamers. Featuring fully-mechanical MX silent switches, this keyboard is a back for the buck.
Editor's note: Different switch variations of this keyboard are also available.
Both STRAFE variations are very similar in design and texture, with Corsair logo located just above the num-pad, another Corsair logo is located on the keyboard header, This one is illuminated, unlike the other one. Much like most other keyboards under $100 category, this one also comes with a detachable wrist rest. Underneath, it has 2 extendable rubber pads and anti-slip pads, This works great for preventing keyboard movement.
- FPS/MOBA keycap sets - it comes with an extra set of keycaps, These are a great addition if often experience problem locating right buttons while gaming. On the good side, it's not necessary to use them, unless it's something you look forward to.
- Gaming-grade circuitry - The keyboard is claimed to be no-ghosting and 104 key Rollover. Which sure is great but doesn't really have a definitive use.
- High-quality mechanical switches - When buying a mechanical keyboard, the switches are a part to always consider. Cherry MX is one of the most used switches mechanical switches used for high-end keyboards and keypads. This ensures durability and responsiveness of the keyboard.