Looking for a New Keyboard

Hi OzBargainers,

Ever since both my Razer DeathAdder mouse and BlackWidow keyboard died out a few years ago, I've made the switch to a Logitech G502 Hero mouse (Worlds better than the Razer counterpart I used) and $20 Dell Keyboard. Now that I've got a little bit of money to spend, what would your recommendations be for a good keyboard?

My preferences:

  • Under $200 AUD
  • Can type for long periods of time. (I am working full-time from home whilst studying part-time and so do a lot of typing every single day)
  • Can still perform relatively well on games, but my focus is still on comfortable typing
  • I'm hesitant about brand-matching, but if there's a Logitech keyboard that pairs well with my mouse, would be cool but not necessary.
  • Numpad not needed, I'm okay with a tenkeyless keyboard.

Thanks in advance. I'm out in Central Queensland so postage does take a while, but it should be okay.

Comments

  • Pop into JB Hifi and have a play with Logitech and Corsair keyboards. They even have dummies to test different switch types (ask them). There are far too many subjective factors for that budget so you'll need to pick what you like in terms of switches, size, look, numpad or not, extra features, built-in hub, programmable hotkeys etc.

  • I'm guessing your BW was razer greens/cherry blues - are you happy with those switches?

    • Yes, they were razer greens on a blackwidow tournament edition (tenkeyless). They were okay and when I was younger I wasn't a stickler for typing feel but as I got older and started to type a lot more I realised how important it is to have comfortable keys that I can type on for long periods of time. So I'm probably looking for something a bit lighter and more silent. I've read all over the internet that mx reds are usually the go-to over blues for typing - not sure if that's true. I'm definitely not an expert; If I was I would have probably bought the keyboard I wanted already. But here I am. :)

      • yeah nah that's fair enough. reds are certainly lighter than blues, but they're completely linear with no "tactile bump", which i find makes them feel a bit gutless (but who knows, you may love them if you dislike blues). browns may be a good compromise - lower actuation force and no click compared to the blues, but they still have a nice tactile bump. deciding what switches you want is more important than the brand imo.

        speaking of brands, i wouldn't necessary shy away from razer - i've owned corsair, ducky, razer, and cheap kogan boards, and honestly my razer BW X was as well-built as anything i've ever owned (sold it to a mate a while ago so i could buy a GMMK and it's going strong as ever). i'd say first decide what switches you want, then find the best price from a reputable brand.

      • I recently got the Corsair K70 MK2 SE. Had many Logitechs, MSI etc. For me typing is atrocious on mechanical keyboards compared to membrane. It's only because they have so much more features I put up with it. The new Corsair I got has MX speed switches which has a very short actuation point which helps for quicker typing but is very sensitive and you have to be so precise with the power and accuracy with each keystroke. While it is quieter than every other cherry switch (other than MX silent) it is still too noisy. Everything else is top notch though - build quality, very bright lighting, control of RGB with timing it any way you want, macro abilities etc.

  • Hi have a Corsair K70 with red mech switches, its great after a bunch of logi's

    • Thanks. May I ask, what is the nature of your daily tasks while using the keyboard? Is it mostly gaming? typing? something else? Thanks.

      • I personally have a K90 -https://www.corsair.com/ww/en/Categories/Products/Gaming-Keyboards/VENGEANCE%C2%AE-K90-Performance-MMO-Mechanical-Gaming-Keyboard/p/CH-9000003-NA

        Was a birthday gift on my 30th (turned 38 this year) so that gives you an idea of it's lifespan

        It's been hammered with a combo of MMO & FPS gaming, plus heaps of after hours work, and now working from home (with a little bit of gaming) thrown in through the day as well.

        MX keys aren't the loudest I've heard - compared to others i game with, mine only activate my mic when im typing full sentances - regular gameplay clicking doesnt seem to cause any issues (however RTX Voice will solve all my problems there anyway).

        Occasionally does some garbage spelling mistakes, but i feel that';s 50% keyboard fault, 50% my typing skills fault, and 50% my fingers being too janky.

  • I'm using Browns Outemu switch on a fairly no name Velocifire TKL keyboard. It is not as nice to type on as Blue Kailh, but I prefer it as it makes less noise and it has lower actuation force required. Usage 98% typing and 2% gaming (no time to game nowadays)

    Prior to that it was MX Blacks. Good for gaming but not typing, it was actually tiring to type on it.

    • Hey, that's awesome. How long have you been using this keyboard? Had a look at it on Amazon and it had fairly good reviews - I do game a lot but at the end of the day work is my priority and would love one that can type well but game reliably as well. The price on these is pretty great too - too bad I can't get one locally, means that shipping might take up to a month.

  • What are you looking for?

    I'd say that for most typists, mechanical keyboards are probably the best, with Blue or Brown switches being the most preferable. My personal preference is for blue switches, but brown is okay. I wouldn't get red (or other linear switches) for typing unless you're using it for gaming. The reason is that typing usually does not require multiple sequential keypresses on the same key, so the actuation speed is not as important as the accuracy.

    That said, you have options apart from mechanical, Logitech have been making some really nice non-mechanical keyboards as well - e.g. the Logitech MX Keys. I would suggest also looking at these if you do a lot of typing as well. They feel more like a notebook keyboard, are generally more pleasant to type on if you don't like the tactility of mechanical switches. In general, if you have smaller hands or if you don't like to slam the keys with your fingers, you might find these better than a mechanical.

    Overall, I think $200 is too much to spend on a keyboard. It really comes down to the features that you want. If you don't care about things like RGB backlighting, I'd just get a basic model from Ducky (I think they call it their Zero series). I've been really happy with all of my Ducky keyboards and the Zero series are great. They're a solid, well-built keyboard that does all of the basics really well without any of the fluff like lighting and macro keys.

    You can also get various different sizes as well. Some people like 60% keyboards, but I've never seen them as particularly attractive. I'd say TKL is the smallest I would buy, but I actually quite like the number pad, so I've always stuck with full size keyboards, apart from one that I use for travel. I've never found horizontal space a big deal.

    Another nice keyboard is the Logitech G613 which is a wireless model. They have Logitech's version of a brown switch. I don't think it feels much like a brown switch, but I actually don't mind it. Personally I wouldn't spend more than $100 - $120 on a keyboard. I've had Ducky Zero keyboards with Cherry MX Blue switches that have lasted over 10 years with daily use. I just replaced the caps (~$30) after a few years and gave it a good wipe down with alcohol and it looks and feels brand new.

    • Much thanks for the in-depth review and recommendations from your experience. I've never really treated my electronics that well as a teenager and young adult but need to start seeing the value in regularly cleaning and updating things to save money. Thanks!

  • SteelSeries Mechanical Keyboard, good stuff my brother brought one many years ago and still works as good as new.

  • I use CoolerMaster storm quickfire Tk. I think brown switches are best for typing and gaming. I'd never get Blues.

    My model is a few years old, no idea if still competitive.

    Only issue is quickly using numeric keypad results in double 0 iirc. Noticed when first bought, confirmed issue online, never noticed again the past 2 years.

  • After years of using various different Cherry switches, I picked up a Topre 55g keyboard and I haven't looked back. I study full time and work part time so most of my day is typing as well and this is the greatest keyboard I've ever used.

  • I type on a CM Storm Trigger with green cherry switches that was replaced under warranty when a blue switch one malfunctioned. I prefer the blue switches. That includes black, brown and red which I have tried. I always put O rings on my switches to dampen the sound a bit. I work in IT so my keyboard is used A LOT.

    FWIW I wouldn't spend $200 on a keyboard. Just decide which switches and form factor you would like and go for one of the cheaper options.