Best Gaming KeyboardsSource: Windows Central

Best Gaming Keyboards Windows Central 2019

Having the right tools at your disposal when PC gaming is critical, and the heart of your performance is your keyboard. It's your primary input for a large portion of your games, so getting it right is crucial. If you want the absolute best right now, you want the SteelSeries Apex Pro.

Better still, with Black Friday around the corner now is a great time to shop for a new gaming keyboard. Some of the products featured here will likely see discounts, and there will be several good alternatives also going for much less than you'll typically pay. We're frequently updating our buyer's guides to ensure we're offering the best buying advice and featuring the best deals to help you save money.

Latest Black Friday Gaming Keyboard Deals

Best Overall - SteelSeries Apex Pro

Apex ProSource: Windows Central

The Apex Pro is simply unlike any other gaming keyboard you can buy right now. Some go the mechanical route, others have started building optical switches based on breaking light beams. SteelSeries has gone for a magnetic actuation that you, the gamer, can change on a key-by-key basis to truly customize your experience to how you like to play games.

The Apex Pro makes it possible to adjust the actuation point between 0.4mm and 3.6mm using the on-board control wheel and OLED display or SteelSeries Engine. The software interacts with the magnetic Omni point switches to adjust how each key performs, and you can set keys to different values that can then be saved to profiles.

This means you can have different profiles for different games, and a mix of instant actuation and, as an example, a heavier actuation on something like a special ability or a grenade to prevent accidental misfires. It's quite pricey, but there's absolutely nothing else on the market like it right now.

Pros

  • Changeable actuation points
  • Onboard storage
  • Useful OLED display
  • Included wrist rest

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Best Overall

SteelSeries Apex Pro

You've never seen a keyboard like this before

Changeable actuation on a key-by-key basis makes the Apex Pro the first genuinely customizable gaming keyboard setting a new standard.

Runner-up - Corsair K95

Corsair K95Source: Corsair

If there's a dream gaming keyboard, the K95 is one of the closest to hit that mark right now.

It's big, and it's expensive, but if you're a PC gamer, it ticks just about every box on your wishlist. That starts with the Cherry MX Speed switches, which are so responsive it almost feels like you're cheating. They're probably not the best if you do a lot of typing, but for gaming, they're one of the very best mechanical switches around.

It's well made and thoughtfully designed, too. Sure, the font on the keys might not be your thing. Still, the fact Corsair included a detachable wrist rest, macro keys, a selection of textured keycaps, onboard memory for lighting and macro profiles, and that sweet scroll wheel for changing volume shows it is thinking about the people who will be using the K95. It's from a brand you can trust, and you can expect excellent reliability.

Pros

  • Cherry MX Speed Switches
  • Onboard storage
  • Textured keycaps
  • Included wrist rest

Cons

  • Speed switches not great for typing
  • Font will put some off

Runner-up

Corsair K95

Pricey, but absolutely worth it

This is a fast, well made, feature-packed keyboard for PC gaming with incredibly fast mechanical switches.

Best TKL - SteelSeries Apex M750 TKL

Apex M750 TKLSource: SteelSeries

If you travel about a lot or simply don't want a full-sized keyboard with a number pad, then this is for you. This version of the Apex M750 cuts off the number pad area but retains the most excellent QX2 linear switches for a smaller keyboard without sacrificing performance.

It's built like a tank with an aluminum frame, so if you do toss it in a bag a lot, it won't fall apart. SteelSeries' lighting system is pretty special, as well. Besides looking good, it hooks up to Discord for customizable chat notifications as well as offering a similar feature in supported games with GameSense.

The Apex M750 is also decent for typing on with responsive switches that aren't ridiculously fast, thus ensuring you're not prone to unforced errors.

Pros

  • Excellent QX2 linear switches
  • Discord integration
  • Great build quality
  • Compact size

Cons

  • No detachable cable
  • Fixed height

Best TKL

SteelSeries Apex M750 TKL

Compact gaming bliss

Perfect for the traveling gamer or those who simply have no use for a number pad and want to reclaim some of their desk space.

Best Budget - HAVIT KB-395L

HAVIT KB-395LSource: Windows Central

Havit has released a solid, low-profile keyboard with excellent Kailh mechanical keys. That's a feat in of itself, but to have it combined with such a sound typing experience is the icing on the cake.

The switches are still perfectly suitable for gaming, but this is a keyboard that comes into its own for anyone who wants to combine their gaming with a ton of typing for work. It's almost crazy how good this keyboard is for its low asking price; it's so comfortable to type on for long periods.

But it's still got RGB, a detachable cable, superb build quality, and durability, and some useful companion software that allows you to create macros, lockout the Windows key, customize the lighting profiles, and a dedicated "game mode."

Pros

  • Good value
  • Excellent typing experience
  • Detachable cable
  • Low-profile mechanical keys

Cons

  • Prone to flex in the middle
  • No media keys

Best Budget

Havit KB-395L

For when you type and game

This low profile keyboard is as good for typing as it is for gaming, and has a ton of customizable options all at a great price.

Best Membrane - Razer Cynosa Chroma

Razer Cynosa ChromaSource: Windows Central

Not everyone enjoys the added noise you get from mechanical switches, while still wanting something reliable for gaming. Razer's Cynosa Chroma is one of the best membrane keyboards around with a quiet sound and a soft cushioned key press.

Naturally, this Razer keyboard comes with Chroma lighting and supports 10-key rollover with anti-ghosting. Thanks to the Synapse 3 companion app, you have additional features like being able to lock out the Windows key when gaming, and you can add other functions or macros to any key using Razer Hypershift.

Perhaps the icing on the cake though, is that the Cynosa Chroma is spill-resistant, which makes it a good companion for the office, too, since you'll never have to worry about that inevitable coffee spill!

Pros

  • Quiet membrane keys
  • 10-key rollover and anti-ghosting
  • Macros and customizable key functions
  • Spill-resistant

Cons

  • No detachable cable
  • Membrane not as responsive as mechanical

Best Membrane

Razer Cynosa Chroma

A quiet gaming experience

Quiet, cushioned key presses, gamer-centric features, and protections against spills, this is a keyboard perfect for work and play.

Best Wireless - Logitech G613

Logitech G613Source: Logitech

There was a time a wireless gaming keyboard would be unthinkable. Not only is it now an option, but thanks to the Logitech G613, it's a great option with mechanical switches.

Thanks to the company's Lightspeed technology, you get a one-millisecond report rate while being able to clack away on Logitech's Romer-G switches. That's important because latency without a cable is a thing, but Logitech has worked black magic on keeping it as low as possible.

The wrist rest is permanently attached, and incredibly Logitech is claiming it possible to get a full year's battery life from the G613 through general use. For a pretty affordable price, you get all that, macro keys, and, most importantly, no wires, which certainly helps keep your desk a little tidier!

Pros

  • Wireless
  • Romer-G mechanical switches
  • Macros and customizable key functions
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Quite large

Best wireless

Logitech G613

The wireless quality you get from Logitech

Wireless is now a real possibility for gaming, and the response time of the G613 is proof that the future may indeed be cable-free.

Best for Competitive Gaming - Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Huntsman TESource: Windows Central

Razer designed the Huntsman TE with professional gamers, using their feedback throughout the process to get the product just right for the most demanding competitive players. And the results are astonishing.

Simply put, no other keyboard feels as fast as this one does, which when you're in the middle of the action, means you're getting an instant reaction. It uses optical linear switches, so the actuation is immediate, and there's no 'bump' so you can go as fast as your fingers allow.

It's also a TKL design, perfect for those attending LAN events, and with built-in profile support, a detachable USB-C cable, and a solid build, it's absolutely designed for tossing in a bag and taking with you. The one thing to be wary of is that it's so fast that it's not really an excellent choice for spending your days typing on. This is purely for competitive gamers, who will absolutely love it.

Pros

  • Insanely fast optical switches
  • Detachable USB-C cable
  • Doubleshot PBT keycaps with the standard bottom row
  • Onboard memory

Cons

  • Almost too fast for regular typing
  • Pricey

Best for Competitive Gaming

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Stupidly fast optical switches for killer gaming performance

Optical switches mean virtually no delay, and the new red linear ones here are as fast as you'll find on any keyboard.

Final thoughts

There are a lot of great gaming keyboards out there right now, and PC gamers are spoiled. If the price doesn't put you off, the SteelSeries Apex Pro is the one to get right now.

It brings something genuinely new and innovative to the table with its use of magnets to allow customizable actuation points on a key-by-key basis. No other gaming keyboard does this right now, and it's one of those features you didn't know you wanted until you try.

SteelSeries has top-notch build quality, too, and a decent companion application that really will help you get the most from your keyboard. Whether you're typing or gaming, you're in excellent hands with the Apex Pro.

How to shop for the best Black Friday deals on a new gaming keyboard

Black Friday is an excellent time to shop for new hardware, but it's also a time to shop smart and ensure you don't jump on the wrong deal. Just because something is reduced, doesn't automatically make it a good buy. In terms of a gaming keyboard, it could mean you're able to get a normally out of your budget model for what you want to pay, but don't lose sight of your budget first and foremost. Also ensure that you're getting one suitable for your needs, for example, not getting fast switches if you do a lot of typing, or going for a TKL keyboard if you pack it away and travel with it.

You can expect to see Black Friday deals on keyboards from leading players, such as Razer, Corsair, Logitech, and SteelSeries, and there will be chances to get some truly great deals. Look out for substantial discounts on some older models, too, potentially at a considerable saving to your wallet.

Our deals team's mission is to deliver the best deals on laptops as we enter one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year, and you'll find them all here on Windows Central.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

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