Gaming peripherals usually fall on the expensive side of things, be it gaming monitors or dedicated gaming headsets and keyboards. Thankfully, things are changing now, and the demand for price-conscious gaming peripherals is slowly growing and the same can be said of gaming keyboards. If you are looking for frills-free affordable gaming keyboards, there are several options out there.
While some of these affordable gaming keyboards might not have fancy features like customizable lightning zones or macro keys, they do the basic right—giving you a comfortable experience while gaming.
So, if you are in the market looking for some affordable gaming keyboards under $100, here's our recommendation for the best ones out there.
The Redragon K556 is a decent option for gaming keyboards if you are on a budget. Surprisingly, it bundles RGB backlight with 18 different lighting modes. And if that's not enough, there are dedicated lighting zones for different gaming genres like FPS, RTS, MMO, or MOBA. Plus, it lets go of membrane switches and instead sports Outemu Brown switches.
One of the primary advantages of these switches is that they are tactile and have excellent response. And while they are loud, they are not as loud Blue switches. Simultaneously, the keys are comfortable to use and let the RGB lighting shine in all its glory.
Aside from that, this gaming keyboard has a solid build despite the low price point. The low price point doesn't negate the keyboard's comfort factor, especially during long gaming sessions.
There are no dedicated macro keys. On the upside, you can use the companion software to remap the shortcuts as per your preference.
Again, the compact design means there's no wrist rest, but you do get two adjustable feet that let you incline the keyboard. There are two height settings.
Another inexpensive gaming keyboard that's making the mark recently is the Logitech G413 Carbon. In fact, it's considered one of the best gaming keyboards in the affordable section. You will find a compact yet sturdy design. Some might even call this frameless keyboard stylish.
Though this keyboard falls under the affordable section, Logitech has packed it with Romer G switches. Romer G switches are in-house mechanical keys that are mostly silent and do not make noise. More importantly, they are immensely responsive and faster despite the 2.5mm key distance. When it comes to durability, these keys are rated to last around 70 million clicks.
Like the keyboard above, you won't find any dedicated macro keys. So yeah, the function keys are all you got to map your shortcuts. There's no RGB lighting in this one. But given the price, key responsiveness, and the immense praise it has received, the Logitech G413 Carbon is worth considering.
The Razer Cynosa V2 differs from the gaming keyboard above because it doesn't pack mechanical switches. Yes, you read that right. This one packs neat membrane switches, and surprisingly these switches are accurate and reliable, and more important;y, quieter. Since this one is an RGB keyboard, the membrane switches let the light diffuse beautifully.
Razer Cynosa V2 has a few nifty tricks up its sleeves. For one, it's a water-resistant keyboard. The build is solid, even though it has a plastic frame. Moreover, it allows you to customize the keyboard's shortcuts and to light as per your preference. And hey, the RGB backlighting is excellent, despite the low price tag.
There are few limitations. There's no wrist rest or dedicated macro keys (isn't that becoming a thing at this price point?). On the upside, the Cynosa V2 has excellent ergonomics and lets you prop up the keyboard diagonally.
The crux of the CoolerMaster CK552 is its looks. Like its counterparts above, it also bundles a frameless design. However, the curved edges and the brushed metal backplate make it stand apart from the rest. Plus, RGB lighting adds to the design and looks of this affordable gaming keyboard.
The CoolerMaster CK552 gaming keyboard sports Gateron Red keys. These keys offer smooth action, and this comes to the picture during a long gaming session. However, these keys are loud, and if you are someone who enjoys a quiet gaming session minus the clickety sounds of keystrokes, this might not be the one for you.
You will find the usual things missing, such as wrist rest and macro keys, being a budget gaming keyboard. You can fill the latter's absence easily through the function keys at the top. Furthermore, the cable is fixed and doesn't have any braiding, thereby limiting its portability.
The bottom line is if you can bear a loud keyboard that oozes style, this one will certainly add to the decor of your gaming room.
Another affordable gaming keyboard is the Razer BlackWidow TE Chroma v2. This one is a full-sized keyboard and has everything from the alphabet keys to the number keys (no macro keys, sorry!). The crux of the BlackWidow TE Chroma v2 is its premium yet minimalistic looks. It has a cool matte black-top, and the lower edge gently curves inwards, giving it a gentle curve.
More importantly, the Razer BlackWidow TE Chroma v2 boasts of Razer's own Green switches. In theory, they behave much like the classic Cherry MX Blues—they are loud yet are light and highly responsive. However, these keys are quick to respond when gaming. They are not the best for typing.
Apart from that, this gaming keyboard comes with its share of cable management at the bottom, using which you can thread and route the connecting cable. The cable is braided, which makes it travel-friendly (see best USB data blockers) and adds to the product's durability.
As noted earlier, there are no macro keys. Luckily, the Synapse III software fills the void with ease. Apart from letting you remap actions, you can also customize actions on every key of the keyboard, thereby letting you create an army of hotkeys. Ingenious, I'd say.
But at the end of the day, the highlight of this keyboard is its studio lighting. You can customize the lighting and build and store profiles. And if that's not enough, you can change the lighting of each key. What more do we need for a sub-$100 keyboard, right?
Last but not least, we have the HyperX Alloy Origins. And well, this one is an exceptional (affordable) gaming keyboard. Not only do you get a stylish design, but you also get a keyboard with great performance for the price. It has an aluminum body, which ends up giving it a solid feel. All these features are further polished by an excellent lighting system.
The HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard bundleHyperX Red switches, though there are options for HyperX Aqua and HyperX Blue switches.
The Reds have a lesser actuation distance than some of their counterparts above. If we talk numbers, they have an actuation distance of 1.8mm. In real life, they work a lot like the CherryMX Red switches and are comfortable to use, and are easy to press down.
You can customize the lighting. While you can do simple things like controlling the brightness right from the keyboard, doing something complicated means you will have to open up the keyboard software. It's not perfect. Unless you know your way around the keyboard software, it proves to be a tad difficult to use.
Last but not least, this keyboard is also ergonomic. You can prop it up in two heights as per your preference.
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A price limit puts several limitations on the product. For example, you do not get macro keys, neither do you get options like palm rest or dedicated number keys.
However, if you just want a keyboard and can spend a bit of time customizing the keys, the odds are that you will be sorted.
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