Lots of people like to game on their laptops, but if you play a lot or type for hours every day, then the keyboard is one of the most important parts of your setup.
Furthermore, keyboards take a lot more abuse than other computer peripherals and they’re also much cheaper (you can get the best mechanical keyboard under $100). If you want to make sure that your set-up lasts longer and feels better while playing games or typing documents, it’s worth investing in one of these budget mechanical keyboards. This is a list of the best cheap mechanical keyboards that you can buy.
Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards:
Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Corsair K70 LUX comes with a bunch of features and some cool design choices as well. For example, the solid aluminium frame provides your keys with increased stability and accuracy when pressed or tapped, while also keeping it lightweight at only 2 lbs. Additionally, those who care about their looks will be happy to hear that this great keyboard has customizable red LED back-lighting (four different modes including ‘breathing’, ‘rainbow wave’ and ‘trigger pulse’).
The keys are very responsive which makes them ideal for gaming in all, but also typing reports or sending emails. However, this good mechanical keyboard doesn’t come cheap (about $113).
Thermaltake Poseidon Z
The Thermaltake Poseidon Z is another decent budget mechanical keyboard that’s worth considering if you’re on a low budget (it costs about $60). The keys are great for typing and gaming thanks to the tactile feeling they provide while being pressed. Furthermore, its customizable blue LED backlight will help you type in dark rooms or game at night.
However, it leaves much to be desired when it comes to build quality so only buy it if it fits your price range. Customize your experience with programmable macros via software or just enable one of the 6 hotkeys for faster access to media controls/adjustments.
Logitech G213 Prodigy Gaming Keyboard
Logitech is perhaps the most popular peripheral maker in the world and one of its best budget keyboards with mechanical keys is the Logitech G213 Prodigy (about $70). It’s an ideal option for those looking for both quality and good price because it provides a decent set of features including programmable macros, customizable RGB backlighting with 3 lighting zones (keys/wheel/underside) and anti-ghosting technology that can handle up to 10 simultaneous key presses at once.
The overall build quality feels solid enough to last through plenty of hours spent typing or gaming. Furthermore, you get all of this great stuff in a small footprint since this keyboard is relatively thin but also very light at only 1.2 lbs.
SteelSeries Apex M500
The SteelSeries Apex M500 is one of the best budget gaming keyboards on the market today (it costs about $77). It’s slim, lightweight at only 1.5 lbs., responsive, customizable with 3 different backlight modes and has an interesting design that looks neat for both gaming or typing purposes. The key travel distance seems to be just right while still providing tactile feedback when pressed which makes it good for gaming/typing in all but also great for long sessions.
The keys are not entirely silent either which is something you’d expect from mechanical keyboards. However, there are two major drawbacks: its wrist rest is not detachable which makes it harder to transport and doesn’t provide enough space for bigger hands (the wrist rest might also be uncomfortable during long typing/gaming sessions).
Logitech G610 Orion
The Logitech G610 Orion Red is another decent budget keyboard with mechanical keys that provides an excellent performance/price ratio (it costs about $93). This good gaming keyboard has custom designed Romer-G switches with 25% faster actuation than standard keyboards so it’s great for both gaming and MX-Board 3.0 uses Cherry MX Red switches engineered to deliver ultra fast actuation. This makes it perfect for MMO games or other titles where you need ultra quick response times.
The overall build quality feels solid, the size is just right (not too thick) and it’s not considerably heavier than other regular keyboards (only 2 lbs.). However, there are four significant drawbacks: the design is nothing special, its wrist rest isn’t detachable or flexible, it has no USB passthrough ports so you’ll need an extra port for your mouse if you’re using one and finally, this budget keyboard with mechanical keys costs about $15 more than our budget limit.
Corsair K65 Rapidfire
Corsair is another well-known company manufacturing various computer peripherals including gaming keyboards. One of their best options at that price point is the Corsair K65 Rapidfire (about $110). This good gaming keyboard features ultra fast 1.2mm actuation (so it’s great for games that require fast response times) and a detachable wrist rest.
Furthermore, it has an interesting design with contoured keycaps, a compact size and weighs only 1.32 lbs. However, the Corsair K65 is made of plastic which makes it feel less sturdy than other options here (the overall build quality feels ok though). Also, this budget keyboard with mechanical keys has no backlighting but there is a slightly upgraded variant (Corsair K65 RGB Rapidfire) that costs about $20 more and adds customizable RGB lighting.
SteelSeries Apex M800
The latest addition to SteelSeries’ lineup of gaming keyboards, the Apex M800 (about $150), is one top tier gaming keyboard you can’t ignore if you’re looking for fast response times because it comes with exclusive QS1 switches which actuate faster than Cherry MX switches by 5%. Additionally, this amazing device features an ultra-durable build quality with aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame so it feels very sturdy and durable.
Also the size is just right (not too thick) and it’s made of plastic (with a brushed aluminum finish) which makes it easy to transport despite its 1.42 lbs. Furthermore, this keyboard with mechanical keys offers customizable backlighting and comes with an extra large wrist rest that’s well-padded and very comfortable which can also be attached/detached depending on your needs.
The only major drawback of the Apex M800 is its steep price tag; unfortunately, we can’t deny that there are much better choices at this price point but if you want the best performance possible, go ahead and get this premium device because you won’t regret it!