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Best Mechanical Keyboard in 2017

Whether you’re the type of person to play hours upon hours of PC games or you’re able to type at a blistering speed, chances are you’ve come across someone recommending mechanical keyboards. Offering a much more satisfying feel for writers and more precision for gamers, here is our list of the best mechanical keyboards available right now.

For many PC owners and tech advocates, mechanical keyboards are the only way to use a computer. Many owners of these extra clicky boards will tell you that one you make the switch to a mechanical keyboard, you won’t be going back to your standard run-of-the-mill set of keys anytime soon. This is due to a whole range of reasons, of course, not least of which is down to the extra satisfying feel and sound of typing that these boards bring. Each mechanical keyboard is different, of course, and each will offer their own sets of pros and cons, but the one attribute that is widely agreed upon is an ease of use along with a build quality that is far and above any other form of keyboard available right now and extra precision needed for gaming as well as writing.

The feel of a mechanical keyboard harkens back to the days of early IBM and Microsoft computers. The kind you see in your mind when you think about old movies set in offices – big, lumbering, grey keyboards with that extra loud clack-clack-clack sound to them. As times went on, keyboard technology allowed typing to be a near-silent activity and for a while that was what consumers wanted. That is, but for the few diehards who noticed that the joy just wasn’t in it with these newfangled keyboards. Something between the activation of a key when it had a real, physical switch to hit alongside the satisfying noise that would accompany it was the key to really loving the act of typing, as well as the added benefit of absolute precision when using a keyboard for gaming.

So, sometime in the last decade, mechanical keyboards became big business for PC accessory makers and the craft has been honed and refined ever since, with a range of companies all vying for your clicky attention. But which is the absolute best mehcanical keyboard for your money right now? Well, we took a look at some of the best ones on the market right now and tested them, in order to help you find the right one for you. Here is our list of top picks for the best mechanical keyboard for typing, the best mechanical keyboard for gaming and the best all-around mechanical keyboard.

Best mechanical keyboard for gaming

Razer BlackWidow Chroma

Razer BalckWidow Chroma

When it comes to gaming accessories and other bits and pieces, Razer is a name that is difficult to avoid. The company has its hand in everything from mouse mats to microphones to headsets. Yet one of the best examples of Razer’s ability to deliver well made, fully-featured products comes from its line of gaming keyboards. On offer at the company’s site and at various retailers, you’ll find a whole host of gaming keyboards, each with their own features and doohickeys. some mechanical and some not. Where the company excels the most, however, is with the BlackWidow Chroma.

Carrying over the angular, almost flat design of Razer’s previous gaming keyboards, the BlackWidow Chroma manages to excel in a wide range of ways. As you may expect from its name, the BlackWidow Chroma features Razer’s infamous Chroma technology, meaning the backlight under the entire set of keys lights up in vibrant colours (a reported 16.8 million colour options, to be precise) and is capable of displaying this backlighting in a number of patterns, schemes and frequencies. In short, it looks bright, colourful and very pretty. In addition to the regular keyboard layout (including a ten-key num pad), Razer has also included five additional gaming keys which can be used to record your own custom macros for whatever use you may see fit.

This keyboard does away with the industry standard style of mechanical keys and instead, Razer has opted to create their own version of the infamous CherryMX switches that make mechanical keyboards feel the way they do. Razer’s own take on this technology fits somewhere in the range of a CherryMX Brown switch, with a careful balance between the extra loud clicky keys and the quieter, precise versions and are specially tuned with gaming in mind, creating an ideal balance for online games as well as offline ones. The customisable macros, as well as the proprietary switches, give users the ability to tune the BlackWidow to their own needs while delivering a solid

The BlackWidow range of keyboards has been around since 2010 although this latest entry capitalises on all the features that made previous iterations some of the most widely used gaming keyboards in the industry and makes them even more precise, more tightly wound and more satisfying to use. No doubt, it’ll be an eye-catching addition to your gaming PC setup.

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Best mechanical keyboard for typing

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

das keyboard 4

If you prioritise your typing over your gaming – be that for work or just for pleasure – you may want to opt for the sleek and minimalistic Das Keyboard 4 Professional mechanical keyboard. Rather than deck the keyboard out with backlighting, an edgy design or the plethora of features seen in many other mechanical keyboards, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional sticks to the basics but perfects them as best it can. Opting for a more streamlined and back-to-basics design, the only real ‘extra feature’ you’ll find here is the media controls on the top right of the board, which include the standard forward/back/play/pause buttons alongside a volume knob to control your media programs with extra ease. Instead of focusing on the bells and whistles, Das Keyboard has instead focused entirely on creating a solidly built mechanical keyboard that may very well be the most satisfying typing experience on the market right now.

Kitted out with CherryMX mechanical switches as well as gold contacts for extra precision with minimal delay, the keyboard also features a two-port USB 3.0 hub just in case you wanted to connect your headset, gaming mouse or any other number of gadgets to use or charge. Available with either Brown switches or the extra clicky Blue switches, the choice is down to the customer for which style they prefer to type with. The laser etched keys and extra long cable are also both nice touches, as well as the unique footbar with which you can tilt the keyboard towards the user which connects magnetically and can, for whatever reason, be used as a ruler when not connected.

Das Keyboard has a reputation for delivering impeccable quality in its products and the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a clear example of that. It’s not edgy or flashy but it performs better than almost every other keyboard on the market and is especially ideal to use when writing longform pieces or even the occasional article about mechanical keyboards.

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Best high-end mechanical keyboard

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

K95 Corsair

If money is no object in your search for the perfect mechanical keyboard, you may do well to look into getting a Corsair K95 RGB Platinum. Aside from its rather wordy name, this keyboard is a bit of a beauty that also happens to perform in an absolutely stellar way. The build quality is second-to-none thanks to an aluminium body along with laser etched keys. On top of that, there is a full spectrum RGB backlighting system in place, which creates a strangely hypnotic discotheque look to the whole board. For your money, you’ll also get a surprisingly comfortable wrist-rest coated in thick, grippy plastic and a handful of programmable macro keys and media controls.

Much like Razer’s BlackWidow Chroma, the Corsair K95 boasts a full 16.8 million programmable colour options as well as a full set of Cherry’s own ‘Speed switches’, for those with the ability to type like the wind. The board also manages to cram in 8MB of onboard memory to store any and all profiles you wish to save, per user. On top of all of that? Well, frankly it’s gorgeous. The metal body and brushed aluminium design coupled with the full RGB colour backlighting create a truly outstanding keyboard to behold, and that’s all without even typing a letter. The typing experience is a dream for most, too, with an intensely satisfying click under each key as well as a gamut of macro keys to do with as you please. It works just as beautifully when typing long essays as when you’re into hour six of an intense online game.

All of this, though, comes at a price. A steep one, to be fair, which puts this keyboard firmly in the realm of a ‘luxury’ mechanical keyboard. If you have the budget for it, though, it’s really hard to go wrong with the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum from any conceivable angle.

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Honourable Mentions

Ducky Shine 6 Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard

shiny 6

Ducky may not be as widely known as a company as some of the others on this list but that may not be the case for very long. Its series of ‘SHINE’ mechanical keyboards has given the company a name in the mechanical keyboard scene. With good reason, too, as the Shine series has managed to improve in great strides since the first iteration and provides some fierce competition for the heavy-hitters out there. Featuring CherryMX Blue switches as standard and a full backlighting system as seems to be the norm for keyboards in the modern era, the Ducky Shine keyboard goes out of its way to impress with some intensely tactile, clicky and most of all satisfying typing.

From the picture above, you’ll also notice the strange protrusion on the right of the keyboard. This is a mouse bungee, which helps keep your mouse’s cable high off your desk and away from any potential tangles. This, along with the truly unique lights on either side of the keyboard, help secure the Shine 6 some serious style points as well as offering some unique elements tailor-made for gaming. For my money, the Shine 6 may be the mechanical keyboard to keep your eye on and if you spot it at a significant discount, it has the potential to beat most of the other keyboards on this list. Watch this space.

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Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

G810

Ah yes, what would a list of PC peripherals be without a Logitech product making an appearance? Logitech being the PC gaming behemoth that it is, consistently delivers some of the most worthwhile, versatile and well-made PC accessories to date. The Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum keyboard is no slouch, either. Just one of a long line of gaming keyboards, the G810 strikes the perfect balance between the company’s other models. Remaining true to its mechanical keyboard roots while also being incredibly accessible as a gaming keyboard is a hard line to tow, but the G810 does it effortlessly, combining the best of both worlds into one very pretty, truly sleek package.

Choosing not to opt for the inclusion of an array of customisable macro keys, Logitech has instead focused on making the most versatile and satisfying keyboard to use for any purpose. Instead of dedicated keys, users are able to reprogram any of the 12 Function keys instead and save profiles per user to best fit the way they will use this keyboard. It’s an elegant option and definitely not one that will break the bank compared to other options, it might just be the one you’re looking for.

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With that, we’ve come to the end of our list. Keep in mind, though, that the world of mechanical keyboards is ever-evolving, with new models being released monthly from a huge plethora of companies all competing for your attention. The best way to find out which one is for you is, of course, to get out there and try some for yourself. Be warned though, that thing people say about never being able to go back to a regular keyboard after switching to mechanical? It’s pretty true, at least in my own experience. Happy typing out there!

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