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Top 6 Keyboards For Gaming Under $100

Redragon Devarajas K556 RGB
Best Choice

Redragon Devarajas K556 RGB

4.9

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HAVIT Mechanical Keyboard RGB Backlit
Premium Pick

HAVIT Mechanical Keyboard RGB Backlit

4.7

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ET Robot RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Best Value

ET Robot RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

4.5

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Back in my day, having a gaming keyboard meant that my friends would come to my place after school and we’d play games in multiplayer. On a single keyboard. They’d take the left side, and I’d get the right one, where all the cool buttons were. Some might call this cheating, but I prefer to think of it more like home-field advantage.

Alas, those carefree, keyboard-hogging days, in which I ruled supreme as the neighborhood Mortal Kombat 2 champion, are now gone and now everyone can afford a gaming keyboard. A really good one, too, like the ones below.

So, what are the best gaming keyboards under $100? ⌨️ 🤔

Best Choice: Redragon Devarajas K556

Pros & Cons

  • All-aluminum alloy
  • Hefty and sturdy design
  • The weight hinders its mobility

Key Features:

  • Mechanical Brown switches
  • 18 backlit modes
  • 100% anti-ghosting 104 keys
  • Ergonomic, durable, and waterproof design
  • Flexible removable keycaps and wide compatibility

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 17.1 x 4.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.05 lbs
  • Connector: Gold-plated USB
  • Keyboard layout: 104 keys
  • Multimedia keys: 12
  • Keys life span: ≧50 million times
  • Compatibility: USB Port
  • Compatibility OS: Win XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/10, Mac OS, LINUX OS

Redragon Devarajas K556 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

The first thing you will notice about this keyboard is its considerable weight. The frame is fully anodized aluminum, making for a really sturdy and durable construction that feels like it can withstand a lot of damage.

The sense of quality can be seen in almost every aspect of its design - the font is elegant and the keys are double-shot injection molded, ensuring that their engravings will not fade any time soon. The Brown switches are tactile like Blue ones but aren’t as loud, and the K556 comes with eight spare switches - two of each type - for you to experiment with.

When it comes to lighting, the LED RGB has a whole bunch of lighting effects that can be adjusted using the Fn key + the Insert/Home/Page Up/Delete buttons, while the brightness can be turned up or down with the Fn + the arrow up/arrow down keys. The additional software allows you to set all of the lighting options in a simple-to-use menu.

To guarantee that the keyboard stays in place, there are two anti-slip rubber pads underneath, and the flip-out feet at the top are also rubberized. This is a great keyboard to use at home, but its weight means that it isn’t meant to be lugged around to other locations such as gaming tournaments.

Premium Pick: HAVIT Mechanical Keyboard RGB Backlit

Pros & Cons

  • Thin and compact
  • Customizable keys
  • Comfortable and very responsive to play on
  • No wrist rest

Key Features:

  • Ultra-thin and light, compact design
  • Kailh Blue switch
  • RGB custom backlit modes
  • Detachable USB to micro cable
  • Plug & play
  • Win 10/8/7/Vista/Mac/Linux compatible

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 16.77 x 4.96 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.26 lbs
  • Key number: 104 keys
  • Travel (Total): 3.0mm
  • Interface: USB
  • Operating current:≤100mA (No backlight),≤400 mA (brightest backlight)
  • Operating voltage: 5V±10%
  • Cable length: 1800mm
  • Keys life span: ≧50 million times
  • Fully compatible with Win 10/Win 8/Win 7/Vista/Mac/Linux

HAVIT Mechanical Keyboard RGB Backlit Review

The HV-KB395L is a low-profile mechanical keyboard, designed for gamers who value functionality over bells and whistles. Less than an inch thick, and with a comfortable, classic 104 key layout, it’s also available in a tenkeyless version if you are looking to save even more space.

Unlike many other keyboards that tend to go overboard with illegible and extreme font styles, the font here is crisp, perfectly readable, and works well with the RGB lighting. There are several backlit effects and presets, and you can easily adjust their direction, speed, and brightness using keyboard shortcuts.

The Kailh Blue switches provide a pleasant tactile sensation, coupled with a clear clicking sound. The response time is fast and without any latency issues. It is a plug and play device, but if you want even greater control of the keyboard, you can install Havit’s software that will allow you to fiddle around with advanced options such as the response rate.

The only real downside to this model is its lack of a wrist rest, meaning that it isn’t suited for marathon gaming sessions. But, if you can overlook this, the HV-KB395L is an all-around top-notch product and one of the best gaming keyboards on the market today.

Best Value: ET Robot RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros & Cons

  • Great price/quality ratio
  • Excellent response time
  • Many lighting options
  • Gimmicky font

Key Features:

  • MX Blue switch
  • 16.8 Million colors, 18 backlit lighting modes, 13 sidelight modes
  • Multimedia keys & 104 anti-ghosting keys
  • Ergonomic design, adjustable supports, friction resistant
  • Aluminum alloy body, non-fading, and never shade
  • Plug and play device

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 17.48 x 5.71 x 0.95 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Hardware connectivity: USB 2.0 165cm +/- 5cm
  • Keyboard layout: International 104 keys
  • Keyboard switches: MX Blue Switches
  • Keys life span: ≧50 million times
  • Compatibility: USB Port
  • Compatibility OS: Win XP/ 7/ 8/10, Mac OS LINUX OS
  • Certification: CE, FCC, ROSH
  • Language: English

ET Robot RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with MX Blue Switches

ET Robot’s SHJIN feels like a keyboard that is much more expensive than it actually is. A great example of a quality inexpensive gaming keyboard, it manages to include a lot of pizzazz into a very attractive price range.

Apart from the plastic back cover, the rest of the body is made of aluminum alloy, providing a firm and rigid construction. The MX Blue switches are loud and clicky, and the keys are concave-shaped, so you can easily identify their center by touch. The font is an unfortunate choice - some of the letters and symbols can be hard to read at first glance.

The lighting effects are the best thing about the SHJIN - there are 18 RGB backlit light modes, and an ambient light that stretches from one side of the keyboard to the other has 13 lighting modes. The effects are controlled with the standard Fn key plus the six keys above the arrow keys, with the side lighting controlled by the Print Screen key.

Coupled with excellent response time and the anti-ghosting feature, the SHJIN is an outstanding budget mechanical keyboard that a lot of care and effort clearly went into creating.

Best Non-Mechanical: Razer Ornata Chroma

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable wrist rest
  • Membrane emulates mechanical
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes close to, but can’t compare to a real mechanical keyboard

Key Features:

  • Mecha-mechanical switches
  • Syncs with Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30+ partners
  • 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
  • Fully programmable macro support
  • Ergonomic, magnetic wrist rest made of soft leatherette
  • Supports up to 80 million clicks

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 18.24 x 6.67 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Hardware Connectivity: USB
  • Keyboard layout: 103 keys
  • Keyboard Switch: Razer mecha-membrane
  • Keys life span: ≧80 million times
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Compatible with Xbox One
  • Software: Razer Synapse

Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Mechanical keyboards are not for everyone - some gamers simply prefer using membrane ones instead. The Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard is a mecha-membrane model that provides a great middle-ground between standard mechanical and rubber dome keyboards.

The tactile sensation is very similar to real mechanical switches, and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference without directly comparing this to an actual mechanical keyboard.

It comes with a magnetic wrist rest that is super easy to attach and feels really soft and comfortable, almost like a cushy pillow for your wrists. Every gamer knows how important this is - we often spend hours with our hands in more or less the same position, so comfort is a big plus here.

The lighting is full RGB and comes with the usual presets and effects that can be changed and customized as you like. You can also assign macros and rebind commands. The keys are mid-height, with a lifespan of 80 million clicks - more than the usual 50 million most other mechanical keyboards have.

If you are looking for a membrane keyboard that combines the best features of a mechanical one, the Razer Ornata Chroma has got you covered. If you're interested, we go more in-depth about it in our Razer Ornata Chroma review.

Best For Beginners: Rosewill RK-9000V2 BR

Pros & Cons

  • A good, reliable choice for beginners
  • Ergonomic and practical design
  • Very solidly constructed
  • The USB connector can bend or break after prolonged use
  • Barebones

Key Features:

  • Cherry Brown MX Switches
  • The N-key rollover function
  • Multimedia keys
  • Rubber pads help stabilize it from sliding
  • The lifetime of up to 50 million clicks
  • Gold plated USB and PS2 connector

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 17.32 x 5.43 x 1.52 inches
  • Weight: 3.45 lbs
  • Keyboard layout: 104 keys
  • Keyboard switch: Cherry MX Brown switch
  • Keys life span: ≧50 million times
  • Interface: PS/2

Rosewill RK-9000V2 BR Keyboard Review

If you are an old-school kind of gamer - one that first and foremost cares about results and functionality, then the Rosewill RK-9000V2 BR is right up your alley. It is minimalist, with things like RGB lighting eschewed in favor of a clean, straightforward experience.

The Cherry MX Brown switches are less noisy than the Blue ones but are equally tactile, so this type of switch is a common choice for those who use their keyboards primarily for gaming, and less for typing. Still, its utilitarian design means it can also be used just as effectively for work as well.

It comes with a USB and PS2 connector - the PS2 one will provide you with true n-key rollover, while the USB connector gives you a 6-key rollover. The USB connector has a tendency to break or become bent and deformed in time. Like the rest of the design, the font is classical, functional, and subdued.

While the Rosewill RK-9000V2 BR can be considered far too barebones for most, those that are looking for a keyboard that is both practical and high-quality will no doubt appreciate this model and its understated sophistication.

Best For Professional Gaming: Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition

Pros & Cons

  • Easily portable
  • Satisfying clicky noise
  • Durable
  • Synapse software can cause problems on Mac installations

Key Features:

  • Razer Green Switch
  • 2-year warranty and up to 80 million keystrokes
  • Compact tenkeyless layout
  • A detachable braided fiber USB cable
  • Premium carry case

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (L x W x H inch): 14.42 x 6.3 x 1.61
  • Weight: 2.09 lbs
  • Keyboard switch: Razer Green switch
  • Keys life span: ≧80 million times
  • Software: Razer Synapse

Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Review

Professional gamers need their keyboards to be responsive, durable, and portable. Luckily, the Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition is all of these things. It is a tenkeyless model, so you will be able to easily carry it around with you to tournaments - either in the carry case it comes with, or in your backpack.

With an estimated lifetime of 80 million clicks, it is a remarkably durable model with absolutely no flex when you try to twist it. The switches inside are Razer Green, which are very similar to Cherry MX and Kailh Blues.

The official Razer Synapse software requires you to sign up with an email address, which feels like an unnecessarily long way to get full access to your keyboard’s functionalities. There are also reports of problems with the Razer Synapse software on the macOS.

After signing in, you can use the software to reprogram the keys and assign macros, as well as adjust the lighting of the Razer logo that’s directly below the spacebar.

The Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition is a great choice for gamers who are looking for a dependable keyboard they can take with them wherever needed. No matter if it is used as a keyboard for Fortnite, or to play some other fast-paced game, the 10-key rollover and rubber padding on the feet guarantee a stable and satisfying professional gaming experience.


Gaming Keyboards Under $100: Buying Guide

Fast Response Rate

Gamers - or, more precisely, their virtual characters - live and die by their response times. For a gamer, there is nothing more important than knowing their keyboard will respond to their commands with speed and accuracy.

Comfort and Ergonomic Design

Because gamers often play for hours on end, either for practice or just for fun, they need a keyboard that is comfortable to use. A solid ergonomic design ensures you won’t get cramps or other pains even after pulling an all-night gaming binge.

Razer Cynosa Chroma Wired Keyboard

You'll probably get cramps either way...

Backlit: One Color or Full RGB?

The full RGB spectrum allows you to customize your buttons, highlighting the most important ones in different colors. This can come in very handy if you often game in the dark, or want to make certain keys stand out more.

Size and Weight

Some gamers prefer their keyboards to be bulky, while others like them compact and light. If you are often taking your keyboard with you to different locations, these two factors are something you should consider.

Usability in Different Types of Games

Playing a high-octane FPS is different than playing a relaxing walking simulator adventure game. Some keyboards are better suited for certain types of games, but maybe you are looking for a keyboard where you can comfortably play any video game genre.

Usability for Things Other than Gaming

A good gaming keyboard can be used for any other non-gaming activity: work, typing out schoolwork, chatting online, you name it. Just because the keyboard is specialized for gaming use, doesn’t mean it’s unsuited for other tasks.

Mechanical or Membrane?

Mechanical and membrane keyboards differ in several important ways. Membrane keyboards are like the lite version of their mechanical counterparts - cheaper, quieter to work on, lighter. On the downside, they feel less tactile, have a shorter lifespan, you will need to press the key all the way for it to register the command, and are harder to clean.

Apple Magic Keyboard

Actually, if you're interested, we have a detailed guide on the mechanical vs. membrane issue.

Number of Keys

The standard keyboard comes in 104 keys, but tenkeyless versions of many models are also available. Because of their shorter length, they are cheaper and easier to carry.

Wired or Wireless?

Wireless keyboards often suffer from latency issues and fast depletion of battery power, so the best gaming keyboards are - still - all wired ones. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good ones out there - here are our picks for the best wireless gaming keyboards.

Requires Additional Software to Work?

Can the keyboard work right out-of-the-box, or does it need additional software to work as intended? Many keyboards have optional software that unlocks extra features.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are Gaming Keyboards Better?

If your main concern is gaming - definitely. They come with heaps of options that make gaming easier, faster, and more precise. Take for example the response times of modern gaming keyboards - they are often measured in milliseconds, so you will never have to worry about your games ignoring your keystroke inputs. And if it does happen, it won’t be because of the keyboard.

hyperx keyboard

Another point in their favor is their dependability. Anti-ghosting and n-key rollover are common gaming keyboard features. This is because many games require us to press several buttons at once, all of which the computer has to register and execute independently - and simultaneously - from one another.

Their construction also contributes to their quality. They are frequently made from metal instead of plastics, so they don’t bend and buckle under pressure, no matter how intense your gaming habits are. If you aren't quite impressed with the models we talked about today, we recommend looking at some high-quality Logitech gaming keyboards.

Do Mechanical Keyboards Make a Difference in Gaming?

This has long been a point of contention between gamers, but the majority seem to prefer the tactile feel and speed mechanical keyboards offer. Besides, a mechanical keyboard is a wise investment. Barring extreme damage (like placing it in the path of an incoming steamroller), a mechanical keyboard is likely to outlast every other piece of gaming equipment you own.

Computers need to be upgraded every couple of years if you want to play the latest games with all the settings maxed out, but a quality mechanical keyboard is designed to keep on working flawlessly for years - even decades - if you take good care of it.

Corsair Strafe Mechanical Keyboard

Because they are made with gamers in mind, premium mechanical keyboards are also designed with an ergonomic approach in mind. Wrist rests, keys that are easy to push and ideally spaced out from one another, rubber padding that minimizes slippage and surface scratching - all of these are meant to ease the strain our hands have to endure on a daily basis.

Not every mechanical keyboard comes with RGB lighting, but many gamers love to highlight their most important keys, and having your keyboard light up makes playing games at night a whole lot more fun and enjoyable.

What Is the Best Type of Keyboard for Gaming?

It comes down to personal preference, so try out as many keyboard models until you find one that feels just right for you.

For example, if you play games where you have to quickly push buttons as fast as you can, then maybe Red Switches are a perfect choice. They offer minimal resistance, and no tactile feel and clicky sound. On the flip side, it is these very qualities that make them unsuited for typing and similar work.

keyboard switches

On the other end of the switch-spectrum are the Blue Switches. Unlike the Red ones, they are very loud and tactile. Some people use them just fine for gaming purposes, but others will find the sound grating and can have issues with quickly double-tapping the keys.

There are also Brown switches (the middle ground between Reds and Blues), Black, Green, Orange, Yellow, etc. - all with their own sets of characteristics. Everyone has different tastes and needs, and keyboard manufacturers are aware of this.


Conclusion

To be honest, the best gaming keyboard under $100 doesn't differ that much from the overall best gaming keyboard. I mean, just look at the overall keyboard market and the prices.

Still, if you are looking for a great pick for an even lower price, we recommend you check out the best gaming keyboard under $50.

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Vladimir Sumina
Written by Vladimir Sumina

Vladimir grew up playing classic adventure games. Then he discovered CRPGs, a genre that showered him with an abundance of choices, and soon realized that blowing up a door can be just as fun as unlocking it. Instead of playing through his ever-growing Steam and GOG backlogs, he has a bad habit of replaying old favorites – heavily modded, of course.

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