Best Gaming Keyboards for Under $100 Windows Central 2021
PC gaming is a potentially expensive hobby, but it doesn't have to be. It's entirely possible to work on a tight budget and still create an epic setup that'll give you thousands of hours of gaming bliss. This is true of keyboards, too. You can spend a fortune, but you don't have to. We set a limit of $100 and selected the best gaming keyboards you can get within that budget.
- Silent but deadly: Razer Blackwidow Lite
- Low profile: HAVIT HV-KB395L
- Speedy keys: SteelSeries Apex M400
- Spill proof: VicTsing Gaming Keyboard
- One-handed: Koolertron Gaming Keypad
- Compact Keys: G.SKILL KM360
Bearing a famous name, the Blackwidow Lite is perfect for gamers who travel a lot or just those with a tighter budget. It lacks some of the bells and whistles of fuller keyboards, such as media keys and full RGB lighting, but where it matters most, this is a proper Blackwidow. With Razer's orange switches, you get a superb feel and feedback without all the noise. The cable is removable, and Razer even includes a bag of O rings to make the switches even quieter if you wish.
This affordable keyboard is a delight to type on. HAVIT opted to go with low-profile Kailh Blue switches, which are like Cherry MX Blue but have a much shorter travel and actuation — it feels as though you're typing on a premium laptop. It's also rather capable of gaming, and the audible and tactile feedback you get with each press is a joy.
If you're hunting for a super-fast gaming keyboard, the linear switches on the Apex M400 are just the ticket. Each switch has a low actuation point and force, and since linear switches lack the traditional bump, the result is incredible speed. The M400 also has 100% anti-ghosting and is entirely customizable through SteelSeries' companion software.
You might have never heard of this brand, but it makes some good keyboards at crazy low prices, and this one is no exception. It's a full-sized layout, and if you like to drink coffee while you game, never fear since it's also spill-proof. You also get a full N-key rollover, 25 anti-ghosting keys, integrated wrist rest, and a smartphone holder. The RGB lighting is also completely customizable with a companion application.
When you're gaming, you don't necessarily need the whole keyboard, and that's where this excellent one-handed keypad comes in. It contains the main buttons you'll need for gaming and nothing else and even has options for various color Cherry MX mechanical switches. It's perfect, too, if you game on a laptop frequently, and is so small it's the ultimate in portable gaming keyboards.
The KM360 is a basic, affordable mechanical keyboard. It doesn't have flashing colored lights, nor does it have an aggressive stylized design, but G.SKILL managed to make quite the keyboard at a low cost. It does away with the number pad to keep it compact and uses the superb Cherry MX Red switches for a great feel.
If we had to choose...
Right now, the Razer BlackWidow Lite is one of our favorite keyboards at any price. The Razer orange switches are a delight to type and game on, with a nice tactile bump without the loud click. It's compact, so great for the traveling gamer, has a detachable cable, and thanks to the neat trick of Hypershift, you can add custom functions and macros to any key on it.
The BlackWidow Lite is also really well priced, just as is the SteelSeries Apex M400. SteelSeries keyboards are always excellent, and the Apex M400 packs great switches with a solid design, without going overboard on the LED lighting.
The VicTsing gaming keyboard is also well worth consideration. We've long been impressed by the quality this affordable brand offers in its gaming hardware, and the addition of enough waterproofing to save it from drowning under a cup of coffee is undoubtedly enough to make us take notice.
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