Best Budget Gaming Keyboard
- Razer Cynosa V2
Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard
- Logitech MX Master 3
Best Budget Bluetooth Keyboard
- Logitech K480 Multi-Device Keyboard
Keyboards are important parts of using your computer, but there are a lot of styles to choose between. For example, you have got the full, TenKeyLess, and minimalist layouts. The TenKeyLess layout drops the numpad, reducing the keyboard footprint, while the minimalist format also drops the arrow keys and navigation buttons for an even smaller form factor.
Mechanical keyboards are all the rage nowadays, but quality ones generally fall outside of the budget price range. You may have to choose between weaker mechanical keys or a decent membrane keyboard. There are some budget Bluetooth keyboards too but don’t expect too many premium features with those as the Bluetooth functionality itself pushes up the price.
Without any further ado, here is our list of the best budget keyboards in 2021.
- Detachable braided USB Type-C cable
- N-key rollover
- ABS Double injection key caps
- Mechanical – Cherry MX Red (linear)
- White per key backlight
The G.Skill KM360 uses the TKL form factor to offer a compact keyboard. It comes in two colours, black and white, while the black version has a relatively understated black-on-grey colour scheme, everything is pure white on the white version, making it quite the aesthetic choice. It uses linear Cherry MX Red switches which have no tactile feedback or distinctly audible click.
Double injection keycaps are relatively rare at the $50 price point, but they ensure that the lettering on the keys never fades and you never have to deal with bumps from printing or indents from laser etching. The aluminium top plate gives the keyboard a sturdy feeling while keeping weight down. The portability is also helped by the form factor and the detachable USB Type-C data cable.
- Razer Chroma
- Spill resistant Membrane
- Almost all keys are reprogrammable and can be assigned a second function
- Full size
- Configurable per key RGB backlight
The Razer Cynosa V2 is coming close to pushing the definition of budget at $60 but it offers many premium gaming features. Each key on the keyboard has individual Razer Chroma RGB backlighting, which can be configured in the Razer Synapse 3 app, as can the primary and secondary functionality of almost all keys. Dedicated media keys make it easier to manage your audio.
While this keyboard isn’t mechanical, the membrane style does offer the advantage of allowing it to be spill resistant. You can’t unplug the cable, but you can choose to route it through one of three channels to have it come out at either of the back corners or the centre of the back, to help you minimise cable runs.
- Sandblasted anodised aluminium finish
- Subtle, office appropriate styling
- Sturdy 1.8m braided cable
- Full size
- Mechanical – Roamer-G (tactile & quiet)
- No backlighting
The Logitech K840 Mechanical keyboard is a bit of a beast, weighing in at just under a kilo. Its styling will help it feel right at home in an office environment, while still looking good enough to draw some attention. The mechanical switches are rated for 70 million key presses, so you don’t need to worry about overusing it. This is fortunate, as given the high price for a budget device and the lack of features, you’re mostly paying for styling and reliability.
The 26 key rollover means you’d actively have to try to cause key registration issues. The function keys can be rebound with the Logitech Options software. Tactile mechanical switches generally come with an audible click, but the Roamer-G switches are designed to be relatively quiet, meaning they won’t get you noise complaints in your office. The complete lack of back-lighting means this keyboard isn’t suited for use in dark environments, but as offices are generally well lit, this shouldn’t be a problem, unless you’re planning to double up the home office for some late night gaming sessions.
- IP32 Water and dust resistant
- Reactive RGB effects
- Includes magnetically attached wrist rest
- Full size
- Configurable 10 zone backlight
The SteelSeries Apex 3 is a membrane keyboard which allows it to boast the IP32 water and dust resistance rating. The 10 zone RGB backlight is configurable via the SteelSeries Engine software. You can even configure it to react to in-game events such as incoming damage, in supported games. You can also program each key with macros for extra functionality.
The underside of the keyboard has three channels so you can choose where you want the cable to come out. The plastic frame can be less rigid than other competitors with metal front or back plates. The 20 million key-stroke lifespan should be plenty, but other products offer more for less money. The included wrist rest magnetically attaches to the front of the keyboard helping to keep long gaming sessions comfortable.
- Integrated tablet/phone stand
- Can pair with and switch between 3 devices
- No backlight
The Logitech K480 Multi-Device Keyboard offers works via Bluetooth for wireless freedom. Its small form factor is designed to be close to that of a tablet, which does minimise the number of keys that fit. The integrated phone and tablet stand angles devices for ease of viewing while typing. It can support devices up to 10.5mm (0.4 inches) thick and 258mm (10 inches) wide. Any other device that supports the use of Bluetooth keyboards will also work but won’t fit in the stand.
The pair of included AAA batteries offer up to 24 months of battery life. It’s spill resistant. At 820g it’s pretty heavy for a minimalist Bluetooth keyboard. A dial in the top-left makes it easy to quickly switch between up to three paired devices.
That was our list of the best budget keyboards in 2021. Feel free to let us know what features are important to you, or which keyboard you picked and why down below.