Which are the best gaming keyboards under $100?
When building a new gaming rig, you might be pouring all of your funds into the more essential components connecting to the motherboard.
It is also good practice to set something aside for the more hands-on components you will be physically working on while using your computer.
Did you know that some of the best gaming keyboards under $100 can match the quality of many more expensive gaming keyboards?
The Best Gaming Keyboards Under $100 Reviewed
You can only enjoy the most popular games of today if you have comfortable and reliable input devices.
The following reviews will do a rundown of the five highest-rated products that fell on our shortlist.
1. SteelSeries Apex 5
The SteelSeries Apex 5 is a feature-rich, full-size hybrid gaming keyboard with an intuitive and user-friendly software bundle.
All of its keys are macro-programmable. Plus, RGB backlighting is available across the board for users who like PC gaming in the dark.
In addition to the programmable keys, the keyboard has dedicated media keys and a scroll wheel.
This product comes with an easily removable premium magnetic palm rest that measures 900 by 300 by four millimeters.
SteelSeries Apex 5 Review
The SteelSeries Apex 5 is an exceptional gaming keyboard with hybrid switches that only require a light depression force and a short pre-travel distance.
However, although the keyboard uses a wired connection, the latency is relatively high.
Another downside is the lack of dedicated macro keys for MMO gaming.
Overall, the Apex 5 has an excellent build quality, and it provides a good typing experience for every user.
- Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Switches
The hybrid key switches on the SteelSeries Apex 5 combine the tactile click of a mechanical Cherry MX Blue and the smooth recoil of a rubber membrane.
- OLED Smart Display
Like other models from the same product line, the Apex 5 has a customizable OLED screen that lets you display almost anything you want.
- Aircraft-Grade Frame
The frame of the Apex 5 is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which means it is incredibly durable.
- Dynamic RGB Illumination
The individual keys on the Apex 5 keyboard have their own programmable RGB lighting, creating astonishing effects and exceptional color mixing.
- Includes a NumPad
- With macro-programmable keys
- With a premium magnetic palm rest
- Extreme durability
- Individual RGB lights per key
- Latency is relatively high for a wired keyboard
- Does not have MMO-dedicated macro keys
2. Corsair K63
The Corsair K63 is a wireless mechanical TenKeyLess (TKL) gaming keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches.
TenKeyLess means the keyboard does not have a ten-key numeric keypad on the right side.
Corsair K63 Review
If you look at the essentials, the Corsair K63 is probably the best keyboard under 100.
It is a great gaming keyboard, and its versatility gives you the option to use it over wired or wireless connections.
- Optimized Wireless Technology
The keyboard can use its wireless USB receiver or a Bluetooth connection for pairing.
The best part? It can pair with two devices simultaneously, allowing for easy multitasking.
- Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switches
The Cherry MX Red mechanical switches feel light and highly responsive.
What’s more, you will also notice that the latency over a wired connection is pretty low.
- Exceptional Battery Life
On a single charge, the built-in rechargeable battery can last up to 15 hours of continuous operation.
- TenKeyLess, compact and space-saving
- Can connect to two devices at a time
- Perfect for multitasking
- Impressive low latency over a wired connection
- Dedicated media controls
- With a palm rest
- Most expensive option on the list
- TenKeyLess, no NumPad
- Unchangeable lighting color
3. Razer Ornata V2
The Razer Ornata V2 is another exceptional, full-sized gaming keyboard, replacing the Ornata Chroma.
It has dedicated media keys, a volume wheel, macro-programmable keys, and a detachable magnetic wrist rest.
The built-in magnets on the removable wrist rest allow quick and easy realignment.
Razer Ornata V2 Review
When it comes to the best gaming keyboards under $100, the Ornata V2 has the solid build you might need.
Aside from its remarkable feature set, there’s the magnetic wrist rest.
It is an ergonomic attachment made of soft-touch leatherette and provides maximum comfort over extended gaming sessions.
- Mecha-Membrane Switches
Razer equips the Ornata V2 with the same hybrid mecha-membrane switches on the Ornata Chroma.
These hybrid switches combine the tactility of mechanical buttons and the softness of rubber membranes.
- Razer Chroma Personalization
The Ornata V2 features full RGB lighting, and you can personalize its lights using the Razer Synapse3 application.
- Programmable Macros
Using Razer Hypershift, you can remap all keys and keypress combinations to execute complex macro commands.
- Reasonably priced
- Click latency is low
- Has macro-programmable keys
- With a dedicated NumPad
- All-around RGB lighting
- Mecha-membrane switches need more force for actuation
- No built-in memory
4. Redragon K552-RGB
The Redragon K552-RGB is the cheapest product on this list if you are looking for an affordable alternative.
Like the Corsair K63, it is a TenKeyLess keyboard. However, it only uses a wired connection to maximize low latency keystrokes.
Radragon K552-RGB Review
The Redragon K552-RGB may be cheap, but it is still a good gaming keyboard.
With its TenKeyLess design, it is both functional and simple.
The keyboard comes with impressive RGB backlighting, making it highly competitive against keyboards that cost twice as much.
One thing we don’t like about the Redragon K552-RGB is that it doesn’t have accompanying software.
- Outemu Blue Switches
Redragon uses Outemu Blue mechanical switches similar to the Cherry MX Blues.
These switches offer exceptional durability and responsiveness, with an audible clicky resistance.
Each typing or gaming keystroke returns crisp, precise, and tactile feedback.
- Customizable LED RGB Backlighting
The Redragon K552-RGB offers 18 lighting modes, nine different colors, and five backlight brightness levels.
All the keycaps on the keyboard have been precisely engineered to provide a crystal-clear uniform illumination.
- Cheapest option on the list
- TenKeyLess, saves space
- Multiple lighting effects
- Switches similar to the Cherry MX Blues
- TenKeyLess, no dedicated number pad
- No palm or wrist rest
- Outemu Blue switches are not the best for quiet offices
5. Logitech G413
Last on our list of the best gaming keyboards under $100 is the Logitech G413.
This mechanical gaming keyboard delivers quality operation with just the right features.
It is compatible with the G HUB software, which lets you customize macro commands with the function buttons.
Logitech G413 Review
You can count the Logitech G413 as one of the best keyboards under 100 because it is reasonably well-built.
It has advanced gaming features that let you trigger game mode and deactivate some keys that might disturb your gameplay.
- Romer-G Mechanical Switches
The Logitech G413 uses Romer-G Tactile switches on its keys.
Romer-G switches offer minimal feedback through actuation and ensure precision without creating too much noise.
The Romer-G switches are ideal for FPS and competitive online gaming.
- USB Charging Port
You will find an extra USB port on the Logitech G413.
This additional port has its own data and power throughput, making it function like any other USB port on your computer.
- Aluminum Alloy
The Logitech G413 has a slim frame with a bladelike cross-section.
Made of lightweight, high-strength aluminum alloy, the Logitech G413 offers portability and durability in a single product.
- One of the more affordable options
- Has a number pad
- Individually backlit keys
- Provides a good typing experience
- Switches are light and responsive
- Does not have a palm rest
- Unchangeable red illumination
- Macro commands only available on function keys
Purchasing any of the best gaming keyboards under $100 is very similar to choosing the perfect components to go with your gaming rig.
You have to scrutinize all of the available features so that you can make the most out of your hard-earned money.
With that said, we can help you pinpoint the features you need using the following list.
The market is so diluted with many manufacturers of computer peripherals.
Even the best keyboards under 100 can come from the most expensive and highly sought-after brands.
Avoid purchasing peripherals from PC hardware shams and copycats, as they tend to have subpar quality.
With a little bit of research, you can surely find several listings of the most trustworthy brands in keyboard design.
The computer keyboard is a piece of hardware often associated with repetitive stress injuries (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
As such, it pays to have the best keyboard under 100 that incorporates ergonomics into its design.
With ergonomics, a keyboard can minimize muscle strain, fatigue, and other related problems.
Some of the keyboards we have here include palm rests, and most of them have mechanical keys that deliver keystrokes with less effort.
2. Membrane vs Mechanical vs Scissor
A keyboard’s keys can have one of three types of switches: membrane, scissor, or mechanical.
A membrane key switch uses a silicone or rubber dome membrane to generate keystrokes.
The keycaps will have a plastic plunger or stem that extends during a button depression to push the membrane and activate the input.
Most of the keyboards in production today have membrane key switches.
A scissor-type key switch is a distinct type of membrane switch.
Instead of a stem plunger, each keycap sits on top of plastic scissor-type retractors that guide the keycap to push the dome membrane below.
When it comes to maintenance, scissor key switches are the most difficult to clean and restore.
While membrane and scissor key switches have some mechanical parts, an entirely mechanical key switch is more intricate and has higher quality.
The advantage of a fully mechanical key switch is the luxury of not having to press keys down fully.
A membrane or scissor key switch requires a full depression to trigger successfully.
In contrast, a mechanical key switch generates the keystroke even with just half the distance.
The several types of mechanical switches include linear, light tactile, quieter tactile, and high audible tactile.
Each of these types varies in the softness or lightness of associated keystrokes.
Some mechanical key switches also work in tandem with membrane switches to maximize each type’s benefits.
These key switches are called hybrid switches.
3. Key Design and Material
Most keyboard keys have plastics as a primary material.
Plus, each of the different key switch types uses different materials, like rubber, silicone, and metal films.
Aside from the key switches that go underneath each key, many modern keyboards include key illumination in their overall design.
4. Keyboard Illumination
A keyboard with built-in illumination can improve the overall aesthetics of your computer and provide you with easily legible keys.
The letters, numbers, and symbols on your keys will light up in the dark with built-in illumination.
In our opinion, the best mechanical gaming keyboards under $100 should have backlit keys as an included feature.
Some keyboards offer customizable backlighting with effects and dynamics, while others have switchable monochromatic lights.
5. Keyboards Connection Type
Many keyboards will only give you the option to use a wired connection. Still, you will also find some that work wirelessly.
If you go for a wireless model, be sure that your computer has a built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth receiver or that the product comes with its own wireless USB receiver.
Some keyboards can work in both wired and wireless modes.
The most common wired connections available today are PS/2, USB-A, USB-C, and Thunderbolt.
USB-A is the most common connector for keyboards, even for receiver dongles of wireless units.
6. Extra Keys
Another feature to look for in the best gaming keyboards under 100 is the availability of programmable buttons.
With programmable buttons, you can customize macro controls into single keypresses, reducing the tedious commands you have to input within a game.
A good quality keyboard would also have a function (Fn) key, which doubles the controls accessible using the 12 function keys.
7. Special Software
If a keyboard comes with special software, it is more likely to have more customizable controls.
With a dedicated application, you might be able to change the lighting colors, keyboard shortcuts, and macro controls effortlessly.
If you like games that require maximum maneuverability, be sure you have a reliable gaming keyboard aside from a good mouse.
Among the products that we presented, the best gaming keyboard under 100 is the Razer Ornata V2.
It offers the best bang for your buck, and it does not fall short on programmable keystrokes.
However, if you want a wireless solution, we recommend the Corsair K63.
Keep in mind that the Corsair K63 doesn’t have a NumPad on it.
Additionally, you should carefully time your usage if you wouldn’t want dwindling battery power to alter the outcome of your games.
Which of the best gaming keyboards under $100 would you buy? Leave a comment below.
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