It’s safe to say that PC fans are living in the golden age of keyboards. Since mechanical designs have come back into fashion, we’ve been inundated with an incredible variety of styles, features, customization options, and prices. And, of course, Amazon’s vast assortment of Prime Day deals will have more than a few available at deep discounts.
Amazon’s second multi-day sales extravaganza of the year isn’t producing the same kind of discounts as the first. Even so, there are particularly deep discounts on gaming models, so now is a good time to buy if you’ve been waiting for a deal or are on the hunt for gifts. You should also check out our overall top picks for mechanical keyboards AND PC Gaming Keyboards.
The best Prime Day deals on mechanical keyboards
Havit KB487Lcompact design with numeric keypad and PBT keys, $34.99 (30% off at Amazon)
RK Royal Kludge M75Bluetooth/wireless 2.3GH, gasket mounting, radial dial, 75% layout, OLED display, hot-swap, $79.99 (43% off at Amazon)
DROP CTRL keyboardRGB tenkeyless with hot-swap sockets and metal structure, $209.00 (30% off at Amazon)
Logitech POP Keys75% layout, Bluetooth, colored circular keys, programmable emoji keys, $69.99 (30% off at Amazon)
Keyboard DROP ALThigh-profile metal case, 65% layout, hot-swap switches, PBT keycaps, programmable, RGB lighting, $194.99 (28% off at Amazon)
Logitech MX Mini Mechanical75% low profile, silent switches, 2.4GHz and Bluetooth wireless, $129.99 (14% off at Amazon)
The 5Q keyboardfull-size layout with radial dial, custom program launch, RGB, color-coded information display, $169.00 (15% off Das Keyboard)
For pure typists, expensive Drop keyboards in various sizes are a good deal, filled with high-quality components and ready to be customized. But if that’s too rich for your blood, the Royal Kludge M75 is probably the best deal of the lot. It offers a generous discount on a feature-rich card, including dual wireless and hot-swappable customization. Logitech’s deals are solid, though we’ve seen these discounts before, and Das is offering a rare deal on one of its highly software-driven projects.
The best Prime Day deals on gaming keyboards
Asus ROG Falchion Ace65% travel board, dual USB, touch volume controls, protective case, quick lubricated switches, $89.99 (25% off at Amazon)
Red Dragon K556Full-size affordable gaming keyboard with hotswap and RGB switches, $47.38 ($40% off at Amazon)
Origins of the HyperX 60 alloy60% travel board, tactile switches, RGB lighting, PBT keycaps, $59.99 (40% off at Amazon)
Steel Series Apex 7full-size linear silent switches, radial dial, OLED display, palm rest, $92.99 (40% off at Amazon)
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini wireless60% adjustable magnetic switches, Bluetooth and USB-C dongles, $159.79 (33% off at Amazon)
Razer Huntsman V2 analogfull-size adjustable optical switches, palm rest, media controls and dial, $154.99 (38% off at Amazon)
Corsair K70 Profull-size optical switches, dial-based media controls, palm rest, 8000 Hz polling, $129.99 (28% off at Amazon)
Razer probably wins out of this batch of gaming keyboards, with nearly $100 off its top-of-the-line Huntsman with adjustable analog switches. But there are great deals from Asus, HyperX, and SteelSeries if you’re looking for something small and portable. Those who want the absolute best deal should take a look at Redragon, with a hot-swappable customizable card (oddly rare for gaming projects) that’s cheaper than even an entry model from high-end brands.
The best Prime Day deals on other keyboards
Logitech MX keys, full-size backlit board with soft-touch keys, 2.4GHz wireless for three devices and Bluetooth, $104.99 (12% off at Amazon)
MSI Vigor GK30 and GM11 gaming mouse combomembrane board with free wired mouse, $27.99 (44% off at Amazon)
Logitech MK270 keyboard and mouse combofull-size wireless card and basic wireless mouse with USB dongle, $19.99 (28% off at Amazon)
Amazon Basics Full-Size Wireless Computer Mouse and Keyboard Combobasic functionality with added browser controls, $34.99 (12% off at Amazon)
Logitech Mk825 wireless keyboard and mouse combomulti-device Bluetooth support, $49.99 (38% off at Amazon)
If mechanical cards of any kind aren’t your thing, then Logitech’s MX Keys is as good as it gets, even if its discount is a little lacking. For the serious bargain hunters out there, a basic wireless mouse and keyboard from Logitech for $20 can’t be beat. If you’re gaming on a budget, you can get a similar deal (without wireless, but you didn’t want that anyway, gamer) with an MSI keyboard and mouse bundle for a few dollars more.
What kind of keyboard should I buy?
It depends on what you do with it. If you have a laptop and like to write, you’re good to go. But if you have a desktop or just don’t feel comfortable typing for long periods of time on the keyboard you’re using now, it might be time for an upgrade. Most high-quality keyboards on the market now are mechanical, with large, sturdy builds and long, loud key presses, because that seems to be what people prefer. But thin, quiet cards from companies like Logitech, Microsoft, and Apple are still available.
What type of mechanical switch do I need?
Again, it depends on what you want to do with it. There are basically three types of switches: linear (smooth from top to bottom when you press a key), tactile (a small “bump” where the key press registers), and clickable (a loud “click” in the point where the key press is registered). ). These are loosely color-coded for the Red, Brown, and Blue switches respectively, though that’s not universal: if you want to be sure, look for the terms linear, tactile, or clicky.
It’s all a matter of individual taste, but gamers tend to prefer linear switches, because they can be pressed and released quickly. Those who type for long periods of time appreciate tactile switches thanks to the feedback from their fingers. And if you want even more feedback, along with some noise, use a snap switch. However, keep in mind that the noise may not be perceived as well by other people in your home or office!
If you want to experiment with different types of switches without having to buy multiple keyboards, get a board with hot-swap sockets. These allow you to take out the switches and replace them with a different type. You can also mix and match the switches you put on a single board, if you have enough: red for WASD and brown for the rest, for example.
Which keyboard layout should I buy?
Keyboards these days come in a surprising variety of layouts, from full-size (with the numeric keypad on the left) to 60%, which is just the main alphanumeric section between the two CTRL keys with the Function row cut off . Tenkeyless, or TKL, is a good middle ground that doesn’t reduce any keys but eliminates the numeric keypad and 75% preserves the function row and arrow group by reducing some of the less used keys.
60% is great for travel keyboards or those who don’t have a lot of space. The integer size is almost essential if you enter a lot of data and rely on quickly entering long strings of numbers. Everything else is a balancing act between space and comfort. But keep in mind that the smaller you are, the more often you’ll have to use a function key modifier: for example, a standard 60% keyboard doesn’t have arrows or a Delete key on the main keyboard. The smaller boards include a learning curve if you’re not used to them.
Should I get a wireless keyboard?
It depends on what’s important to you. If your keyboard sits in front of your desk and never moves, it’s probably not important. But if your keyboard is constantly on the go with you in a bag or needs to connect to multiple devices via Bluetooth, wireless is the way to go. Newer cards can easily connect to three or four computers (or phones or tablets) and last months and months on a charge… as long as you take your time with the backlight.
There is one exception: games. If you’re playing PC games with your keyboard, you want to use a wireless connection with low latency, and that means a dongle to plug in. Unlike some older wireless keyboards and just like newer types of mice, modern wireless gaming cards have near-zero latency. This means you’ll never notice the lag between when you press a button and when your character reacts on screen. Just don’t use Bluetooth (even if it’s an option), as high latency and crowded wireless bands can cause performance issues.
Do I need a gaming keyboard?
Most of the time, no, you don’t. You can play PC games on virtually any keyboard. Gaming keyboards offer some nice benefits, however, including high polling rates (so even less lag time between key presses and on-screen action) and custom programming tools. They also tend to be flashier, with rainbow lights and exotic case materials… not that any of that really makes a difference in how you play.
Again, if you want a wireless keyboard that’s also good for gaming, look for a gaming-specific model that uses a dedicated, non-Bluetooth wireless dongle.