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Top 5 Keyboards for Gaming Under $50

Havit KB472L
Best Choice

Havit KB472L

4.9

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Razer Cynosa Chroma
Premium Pick

Razer Cynosa Chroma

4.7

View At Amazon
VicTsing USB Wired Keyboard
Best Value

VicTsing USB Wired Keyboard

4.5

View At Amazon

Fifty dollars isn’t worth what it used to be, but for most people, it’s still considered to be a lot. If you disagree, then ask yourself if you wouldn’t be a little annoyed, upset, or hurt if you lost that amount of money.

If you’re smart or savvy enough, there’s plenty you could do with $50. Depending on where you live, it could get you nearly 18 gallons of regular gas. That’s more than enough to fill the gas tank of a reasonably large car (a sedan not an SUV).

$50 could be used for a romantic date. How about a bottle of some quality wine on a lonely summer night? If $50 can be stretched out to do all of these things, why shouldn’t it be able to get you a good gaming keyboard?

In this guide, we’ll show you how you can get a gaming keyboard under $50 without flashing your Ulysses Grants. ⌨️ 💰


Best Gaming Keyboards Under $50

While $50 won’t even get you a budget gaming PC, it can be more than enough to secure a decent gaming keyboard. There is a misconception that gaming keyboards are expensive. With this guide, we’re here to disprove that notion. $50 can get you a good base gaming keyboard. This is not to say that the keyboards in this guide are temporary solutions.

It was vital for us to find affordable keyboards that are durable and have a great look and feel. While aesthetics took a backseat to functionality in this guide, you’ll find that many of these keyboards will not cramp your style.

Although gaming keyboards in this price range tend to be membrane keyboards (because they’re cheaper to manufacture), we also included a few affordable mechanical options because a lot of gamers and typists prefer the sound and tactile feel.

Whether you want your keyboard to be fully programmable or have built-in media keys, this guide should cater to nearly everyone’s tastes. If you find that the keyboards in this list aren’t what you’re looking for, we’ve also included a buying guide as well as an FAQ. These might help you find what you’re looking for on your own.

Best Choice: Havit KB472L

Pros & Cons

  • Keycap puller to make physically customizing your keyboard easier
  • Fully customizable RGB Backlighting and side-lighting
  • Three-way channeled USB Cord
  • 5 Mode keys that can be easily customized via software or function key
  • Retractable Phone holder
  • Dedicated volume roller
  • Doesn’t come with a detachable palm rest
  • The keyboard’s body is made out of plastic

Key Features

  • Adjustable LED Backlit keys
  • Dedicated Multimedia Keys Featuring Volume Control
  • Phone Holder
  • Includes 5 Customizable Mode (Macro) Keys

Specifications

  • Weight: 3.6 pounds/ 1.63 KG
  • Dimensions: 18.3 x 7.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Size: Full-Size Keyboard (104 Keys)
  • Keyboard Type: Blue Mechanical Switches
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Backlighting: RGB LED Backlighting
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Cable length: 1.7m
  • Key-rollover: Full N-Key Rollover

Havit KB472L Review

Havit is a Chinese based company founded in 1998, known for producing high-quality audio accessories and gaming peripherals - especially some great gaming keyboards under $100.

The first thing I noticed about Havit’s KB472L keyboard is how beautifully crafted it is. Even with a plastic build for its base, it looks more expensive than it actually is. This could be attributed to its sleek design and radiant backlighting.

It comes with fully customizable backlighting. You could spend hours just playing around with the software and the keyboard’s light settings. The side lighting can also be customized to work independently from the keys’ backlighting.

The keyboard comes with five macro mode keys, aligned horizontally across the top right-hand corner of the keyboard. They can be easily mistaken for traditional macro keys but they’re strictly made to record and set your keyboard’s backlighting modes. So they won’t help you much if you need to map out custom keystrokes for your games.

Despite its plastic body, the keyboard feels sturdily built. The blue mechanical switches have a nice click and feel to them. I also appreciate the retractable phone holder. While it’s not a dock, it’s still convenient.

All in all, considering everything Havit KB472L has to offer, it’s definitely a bargain at this price.

Premium Pick: Razer Cynosa Chroma

Pros & Cons

  • Utilizes a spill-resistant design
  • Provides a near silent typing experience
  • Light-weight but sturdily built
  • Every key is programmable
  • Built to last and comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Doesn’t come with a palm rest
  • Does not come with dedicated media keys

Key Features

  • Individually backlit keys
  • Makes use of Razer’s Synapse 3 Software for customization
  • Fully Programmable Macro Support
  • Two Year Warranty

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.09 pounds/ 0.948 KG
  • Dimensions: 18.24 x 6.207 x 1.22 inches
  • Size: Full-Size Keyboard (104 Keys)
  • Keyboard Type: Membrane Switches (Gaming Grade)
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Backlighting: RGB LED Backlighting (16.8 Million Colours)
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Key-rollover: 10 key Rollover

Razer Cynosa Chroma Review

If you read the official specs of nearly any Razer membrane gaming keyboard, you’ll notice how Razer tries to avoid using the term ‘membrane.’ For instance, Cynosa Chroma’s key types are categorized as Gaming-grade.

I don’t understand why this is the case cause some people actually enjoy the soft touch and quiet of a membrane keyboard, especially gamers who use their membrane keyboards primarily for gaming (not typing).

The Razer Cynosa perfectly packs all the advantages of a membrane keyboard. Each keypress requires very little force. However, the keycaps feel reliable enough that typing on it doesn’t feel like wading through the sand with your fingers.

The keyboard sports a compact design. The keys are a bit small, but typing doesn’t feel too cramped even for my bear-like hands. The keyboard’s backlighting is radiant - some of the best I’ve seen for a keyboard in this price range.

While it doesn’t come with macro keys or dedicated media keys, through Razer Hypershift and their Synapse 3 software, you can remap and customize nearly every key and keypress combination to execute your custom commands.

If you’re looking for a high-quality membrane keyboard that costs just under $50, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t give the Razer Cynosa Chroma a try. Alternatively, check out our Razer Ornata Chroma review, as these two are practically sisters.

Best Value: VicTsing USB Wired Keyboard

Pros & Cons

  • Extremely Affordable
  • Spill-resistant
  • Durable Metal Body
  • Quiet
  • Keys are a bit bunched up together
  • No dedicated media keys

Key Features

  • 7 Color Rainbow LED backlighting
  • Integrated wrist rest
  • All metal build
  • Floating keycap design
  • 12 Integrated Multimedia keys

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.11 pounds/ 0.960 KG
  • Dimensions: 17.2 x 7.48x 1.1 inches
  • Size: Full-Size Keyboard (104 Keys)
  • Keyboard Type: Membrane
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Backlighting: RGB LED Backlighting
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Cable length: 1.7m
  • Key-rollover: 19 N-Key Rollover

VicTsing USB Wired Keyboard Review

The first thing you’ll notice about the VicTsing gaming keyboard is the fairly prominent spacebar and arrow keys. It’s like it’s trying to overcompensate for something. But to be fair, users often complain about these keys sticking, this was probably VicTsing’s solution to that problem.

The Keyboard is almost cartoonish in design. If you could pull out a keyboard from a comic book or the cel-shaded world of Borderlands, this is how it would probably look. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have eccentric tastes like I do.

However, it means the keyboard may need some time to adapt to. It’s made primarily of metal parts and is built with a splash and spill-resistant design.

It uses thin floating keycaps to minimize key travel while making it more responsive. Although it doesn’t have a removable wrist-rest, it’s designed in such a way that you can rest your palms near the bottom edge.

While the backlighting isn’t as customizable as I would like it to be, it does have seven different modes and presets. You can also adjust the backlight intensity and brightness. The color zones help guide your fingers in the dark. For $50 dollars, you could get yourself this keyboard and the best gaming mouse under $50.

Best Membrane: HyperX Alloy Core RGB

Pros & Cons

  • Can take up to 120 ml of liquid spillage
  • Quiet
  • Comes with a flexible braided cable
  • Lightweight
  • Does not come with a detachable wrist rest
  • The backlighting makes a slight but audible noise

Key Features

  • RGB backlighting
  • Dedicated media keys
  • Quick access buttons for lighting, brightness and mode switches
  • Spill-resistant design

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.5 pounds/ 1.13 KG
  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 6.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Size: Full-Size Keyboard (104/105 Keys)
  • Keyboard Type: Membrane
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Backlighting: RGB LED Backlighting
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Key-rollover: Multi-key anti-ghosting

HyperX Alloy Core RGB Product Overview

The HyperX Alloy Core has a straightforward and efficient design. If you switch off the backlighting completely, it looks like any other generic keyboard. Which is great for people who are into less gaudy gaming peripherals.

Since it’s a membrane keyboard, it’s quiet. But it’s deceptively heavy for its type. This could be credited to the fact that it’s made with reinforced plastic (not alloy as its name suggests). Despite it being a membrane keyboard, each keystroke still feels responsive though it doesn’t give you the same tactile feel of a mechanical keyboard.

The HyperX Alloy Core features adjustable five-zone backlighting. Customization is minimal, but what you see is what you get with the keyboard. You get 6 Led Modes with three different brightness levels.

What you see is what you get with this keyboard. All settings and adjustments for the keyboard can be set through the keyboard itself – no software necessary. It comes with three buttons to access brightness, lighting effects, and game mode, respectively.

While I appreciate the keyboard's backlighting and feel, however, there’s a slight but audible drone that can be heard permeating from the keyboard’s LEDs when your room is silent enough. It isn’t very distracting or noticeable (especially when you have your headphones on), but it might be concerning to some gamers.

With that being said, if you’re looking for a membrane keyboard with a durable build and a decent price, you should give this keyboard a chance.

To see more value options, check out our article on the best budget gaming keyboards.

Best TKL: Redragon K552-RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros & Cons

  • The base is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and ABS.
  • The molded keycaps help deliver near crystal clear backlighting
  • Fully mechanical
  • Built with a water-resistant design
  • Affordable
  • No palm rest (As with most TKL keyboards)
  • Key-presses and clicks are a little loud
  • Keycaps are a bit thin

Key Features

  • Adjustable RGB LED lighting
  • Cherry Blue equivalent Switches
  • 12 integrated multimedia keys
  • Double shot injection molded keycaps

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.16 pounds/ 0.979 KG
  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 4.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Size: TKL (87 keys)
  • Keyboard Type: Custom mechanical switches (Cherry Blue Equivalent)
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Backlighting: RGB LED Backlighting
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Key-rollover: Full key rollover anti-ghosting

Redragon K552-RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Overview

TKL keyboards are known to be affordable. Their compact size and weight mean they’re more portable than full-sized keyboards. If you’re dead-set on buying a quality mechanical keyboard, then your best bet is to choose a TKL mechanical keyboard like the Redragon K552-RGB.

It uses Cherry Blue equivalent switches which are very clicky. They provide a very satisfying typing experience, but some gamers may complain that they’re too loud. While I’ve never been a fan of how Redragon places its logo above the arrow keys, I like the font on the keycaps.

The backlighting is pretty decent. It has five different presets, and you can even create your custom modes. The backlighting doesn’t shine through the keycaps; it illuminates and colors them in such a way that it looks like the letters were painted or printed that way.

It’s a pretty compact keyboard with an almost old-school design. Despite it being a TKL keyboard, it’s still pretty heavy. So if you’re looking for an awesome mechanical keyboard that’s also compact but sports a hefty profile, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t give the Redragon K552 a try.


Budget Gaming Keyboards under $50: Buying Guide

Did you know that in some gambling circles (particularly horse-racing) a 50 dollar bill is known as a ‘frog’ and it symbolizes terrible luck? While your options may seem limited at this price range, having a fifty dollar budget is certainly not bad luck.

There are a lot of decent gaming keyboards at this price range, but you need to be armed with enough information to know which ones to pick. You also have to use some self-discernment by examining your needs and requirements. What do you want from a gaming keyboard?

Corsair Strafe Mechanical Keyboard

Should the emphasis be placed on its quietness, do you need wide keycaps for your ET-like fingers, should it have a removable cable, is backlighting vital to you and how long do you plan on keeping the keyboard. Once you’ve made a mental outline of what you want from your gaming keyboard, the following buying guide should help fill in the rest of the blanks.

Keyboard Switch Type: Membrane vs. Mechanical

You’ll find that a lot of keyboards at this price range (especially the best ones) are membrane keyboards. This is because membrane keyboards are cheaper to manufacture. While mechanical keyboards are composed of separate moving parts, membrane keyboards work on a singular uniform surface. Think of your calculator or old cell phone. These use membrane switches or circuit boards.

There are quite a few differences between membrane and mechanical keyboards. The first one is that they are lightweight and quiet, which is perfect for people who may suffer from sensory issues or gamers who don’t want the sound of their keyboard to be too distracting while playing. Also, because there are less moving parts on a membrane keyboard, they tend to last longer.

Most low profile keyboards are membrane keyboards. You may dislike membrane keyboards because they do provide you with the same tactile feel that mechanical keyboards do, but there’s a solution to this. Most manufacturers produce alternative membrane keyboards with a dome switch design that utilizes rubber switches to imitate the feel and tactile response of a mechanical keyboard.

mechanical keyboard

However, people still prefer the sound and authentic clicky feel of a mechanical keyboard. Mechanical keyboards tend to weigh more, and they deliver a robust typing experience. A lot of typists claim that they type faster and more accurately on a mechanical keyboard.

Plus mechanical keyboards are more varied and provide more potential for customization than membrane keyboards do. There’s a wide range of switch types to choose from, and keycaps can be swapped out and re-arranged easily. If you want to know more about switches and mechanical keyboards, take a look at our best budget mechanical keyboard guide.

You’ll find that most mechanical keyboards at this level don’t use official Cherry switches. Instead, manufacturers will cheaply produce their variants or custom switches that may have the feel or equivalency of authentic cherry switches.

Keyboard Sizes (Form factors): Full vs.TKL

Most gamers would prefer to have a full keyboard. They have better spacing and more keys. A TKL keyboard with dedicated media keys is a rare find. But TKL keyboards are cheaper, more affordable and a lot more portable. If you’re looking for an inexpensive mechanical keyboard, then your best bet is to get a TenkeyLess gaming keyboard. An excellent example of this is the Redragon K552.

Ducky One 2 RGB TKL Mechanical Keyboard

While it’s uncommon to find a gaming keyboard with fewer keys than a TKL keyboard, it’s worth noting that Full Size and TKL keyboards aren’t the only sizes available to you. You can also get a compact keyboard (60%/65%) and a ten-key (number pad) keyboard. Neither are ideal for gaming or even serious typing.

Ergonomics: Your Health Matters

What most people take for granted while shopping for keyboards is how ergonomically inclined the keyboard is. Proper typing posture can only take you so far, but if a keyboard’s height isn’t adjustable or the keys aren’t spaced out adequately, this could give you a pretty cramped typing experience.

This isn’t just uncomfortable; it’s dangerous. You could risk getting carpal tunnel, tendonitis, or RSI. So this isn’t just about your gaming experience, it’s about your health.

The two previous points also influence a keyboard’s ergonomics. Make sure you pick a switch or keyboard type that suits you best. Make sure you’re using a keyboard with decent key spacing. Try to find keyboards that come with a palm rest.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Gaming Keyboard on a Laptop?

Most gaming keyboards interface and connect to your PC through a USB cable. If your laptop has a USB port, then you should be able to use your gaming keyboard on a laptop.

Is a Mechanical Keyboard Better for Gaming?

The answer to this question depends on your preference and style of play. While some gamers enjoy the feel and tactile response of a mechanical keyboard, some players feel that it hinders them. However, it is of my opinion that mechanical keyboards are better for gaming because of their customizability and speed.

How Many Keys Can Be Pressed Once on a Keyboard?

Standard generic keyboards have two key roll-overs, which means that the keyboard can only detect two keys being pressed simultaneously. Ctrl, alt, and shift are often exceptions to this rule.

G-Cord Wireless Mechanical Keyboard with LED Backlit 2.4G Connection Side View

Your gaming keyboard should have at least a 6-key rollover. You can tell the quality of a keyboard by its NKRO. A good gaming keyboard will have full-NKRO, which will allow you to press nearly all the keys at once.

What’s the Difference Between Gaming Keyboards and Regular Ones?

The main difference between gaming keyboards and regular keyboards is that gaming keyboards are enhanced and customized for gaming. For example, the finest Logitech keyboards are programmable and far more customizable than regular ones.

Gaming keyboards tend to have a higher n-key rollover than standard keyboards. Most gaming keyboards also have backlighting to assist players playing in the dark. In most cases, they are fine-tuned to be more responsive and faster than standard keyboards.


Conclusion

In this article, we explored some of the best gaming keyboards under $50. Once again, we proved that you could build a decent gaming setup on a near shoestring budget.

Your journey shouldn’t end here, though. While the five keyboards in this list are by no means temporary solutions, they should be considered entry-level. Once you’ve saved up enough money for a more high-end solution, you should check out our best gaming keyboards overall. Our personal recommendation would be first going through our Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 review.

Once again, remember to practice proper typing posture, rest often, and stay hydrated. The most significant impact on your performance and experience isn’t from what tools or peripherals you use; it’s from your health. So stay healthy.


Sources:

  1. Importance of Ergonomics - Keyboards, David Zych
  2. Havit Keyboard FAQ, Prohavit

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Mduduzi Sibisi
Written by Mduduzi Sibisi

A lover of code, freelance writer, a misanthropic humanist and a comical absurdist. Mdu first fell in love with gaming after his parents bought him a Super Nintendo gaming console at the age of six. It would later become an obsession after playing Doom and Duke Nukem on PC. Now, not only is he playing them but he’s writing about them and creating them. He has an eclectic taste in games. His favorite games of all time include Legend of The Dragoon, Dark Cloud, GTA Vice City, Dark Souls, and Devil May Cry.

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