Looking for a great gaming keyboard? Here is our list of all the best keyboards available for gaming in 2017. Tested by our dedicated gaming team.
Having the bestgaming keyboard is quintessential to the gaming experience. It’s no coincidence that the best gamers, professionally and amongst your friend circles, have the best gaming keyboards. The worldwide market for PC games topped a whopping 32 billion dollars just this year. Which is higher than the console and mobile markets too. Marketing and crowdsourcing prowess displayed by companies like the Valve Corporation have seen titles like Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends and Social Network based gaming, enter the billion dollar league. A great gaming keyboard combined with your razor-sharp reflexes can elevate you to new heights in the gaming world. We’ve put together a list of 5 awesome keyboards, we think, should be part of your arsenal.
As a solid choice for the avid gamer, the Redragon Karura doesn’t disappoint. Packed with 19 non-conflict keys and adjustable input speeds. This keyboard is indeed a great buy, but not at all without flaws.
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This keyboard was on our list of the best keyboards for last year, and with the new 2017 model, it is no different this year. Although it is mostly its design that has been upgraded, the ergonomics are also a lot better. The keys have also been replaced with new ones. The keys were a big problem with the last version, and I would love to say that they have completely fixed it. Although the feel of the buttons has been improved a lot, they are still and issue.
What we have to remember is that this is a budget keyboard. So we shouldn’t hold it to the same standards as the Logitech and Razer keyboards of the world. The buttons do feel a little cheap, and that can be quite annoying. However, that is to be expected from a keyboard of this pricing.
You have the option of choosing between 7 backlit colors and 4 brightness levels which are very cool. And the new case design makes the LED lighting even better than before.
You have the option of swapping the WASD keys with the arrow keys, to elevate your gaming experience. This can be quite useful for FPS gamers in particular, but the truth is that very few people would actually use it. So it’s a nice extra touch, but nothing too useful.
The space bar is quite hefty, and this is a big no for most hard-core gamers. We feel the Redragon is a solid choice if you want a keyboard that doubles up as your work and gaming keyboard.
The big downside with this Reddragon keyboard is indeed the keys, which feel cheap. It is nonetheless one of the best keyboards when considering the price tag.
Very few would be able to create this kind of performance for so little money.
This keyboard is for the mid-level gamer, who aren’t serious enough to spend too much money but still want above average performance. In which case, we highly recommend it.
12 multimedia keys & 19 non-conflict keys
Interface: Gold plated USB with braided cable
Size: 17.75x8x.75 inches
Weight: 1.3 Pounds
Redragon Karura Keyboard
+ Highly customizable + Coarse texture so that you can really feel each key + Great for both work & gaming + Improved 2017 built & design
The AULA SI – 859 is another economical option, perfect for the novice or semi-serious gamer. What we liked the most was that the design made key transitions extremely easy.
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A minor letdown was that the laser carved characters can easily wear off.
You have the option of choosing between three backlight colors (red, blue, pink) which for the price we thought was just fine.
More often than not people who are gaming a lot tend to experience hand fatigue. This keyboard has a comfortable palm rest to assist you when gaming for extended hours. Although we would have preferred a detachable one, since it’s not everyone that enjoy wrist rests.
The big major issue with this keyboard is that it’s a relatively cheap build with really bright LED lighting. This can cause it to actually overheat if you play on it for too long. It has to be said though, that this requires you to play A LOT in one sitting and we did not experience it. The overheat can be easily fixed by unplugging the keyboard for a little while. This will never be a problem for a casual gamer, whom this keyboard is obviously made for. It is, however, an unforgiving problem for a serious hardcore gamer.
This keyboard is an excellent choice for any casual gamer, who games a few hours a day or less. And to those gamers, we highly recommend it, considering it is has a very affordable pricing.
This keyboard cannot be recommended for the serious gamer, in which case you need to be willing to spend a little extra money.
In term of performance, this keyboard delivers on a level far higher than most other keyboards of its price class. When in the midst of a gaming session, you most likely won’t notice you are using a budget keyboard. Unless you are used to a high-end mechanical keyboard or something of the sort.
Size: 45.8*19*3 cm
Weight: 1.5 Pounds
6 Multimedia Keys
+ Non Slip ergonomic design + Great Price + Ultra-thin design + Great Palm Rest
- Enter key a bit off - Letters can wear off a bit quickly - Can overheat in rare cases after excessive use
We now turn to the Emarth Mechanical feel keyboard, the first semi-mechanical option on our list. This keyboard is great for the casual gamer, or anyone looking to get a feel for mechanical keyboards, but aren’t ready to buy a real one just yet.
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It’s quite impressive how great performance and mechanical feel you get for your buck with this one. It is obviously not as good as a real mechanical keyboard, but they are also quite a bit more expensive if you want a decent one at least.
If the work-life balance is your thing, then this keyboard might be a good choice for you. The mechanical feel works great for people who use their keyboard for typing, in relation to work etc.
The non-conflict keys and customizability was impressive for the price which makes it a great budget option. For those wondering, non-conflict keys are the budget version of anti-ghosting. Real anti-ghosting would have been better undoubtedly, but for a budget keyboard like this one, it’s pretty neat with some non-conflict keys.
The area where we found this piece wanting was related to comfort. While it does have a wrist rest, it can be quite uncomfortable to game for long hours. This can be a bit subjective though and wouldn’t be a problem if there were an option to detach it, but sadly there ain’t. However, the wrist rest is less prominent than most other wrist rests.
While this is not an actual mechanical keyboard, it does a good job of replicating the feel of one.
The LED lighting was pretty neat too. If you are just starting out or need a backup keyboard then we highly recommend the Emarth gaming keyboard.
If you are looking for a great mechanical keyboard, this is not the pick for you. However, if you are looking for something in between membrane and mechanical, it is an excellent choice. Certainly the best semi-mechanical option of its price range.
It is not the most comfortable of keyboards, but a budget option has to have its flaws. All and all you get a lot of great performance for your money with the Emarth keyboard, and we recommend it to any avid and semi-serious gamer.
19 nonconflict keys
Plug and play
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Size: 17.7 x 8 x 1.8 inches
+ Very low price + Good mechanical keyboard feel + Non-conflict keys + Decent LED
- Very noisy keys - Design has a cheap feel - Inferior to a real mechanical keyboard
The EnergyPal FireBold P360 is one of the major surprises of our list. This amazing keyboard truly does offer an effective mechanical feel and for a very affordable price as well.
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It’s rare to find a membrane based keyboard that is able to replicate the performance of most mechanical based boards, but this one sure holds its own.
It is a bit more expensive than the Emarth, but still very affordable and it also performs quite a lot better. Making that extra money spent, truly worth.
The first thing that caught our eye was indeed the lighting system. The backlighting on this keyboard is truly top-notch and can match or surpass most major brands.
This keyboard is primed for those looking to take the step up from a novice level to the pro stage.
The Firebold actually have 26 anti-ghosting keys, and we have no idea how they managed to put that into a budget keyboard. The Razer Blackwidow, which is the most popular mechanical gaming keyboard in the world, only have 10. Now that should put things into perspective.
The design makes for a very dust-resistant design, which we liked very much as well. The board is compatible with windows 10 as well and experienced no issues, unlike some other pieces that required driver changes and more.
The aluminum frame makes this keyboard feel a lot more expensive than it is. Most budget products have some major issues that reveal the cheap interior, but we did not manage to find it with the EnergyPal Firebold. You most likely won’t ever notice that this keyboard is so cheap.
We highly recommend this board to anyone looking for a semi mechanical option, as it offers solid performance for the price.
This is probably the best deal of 2017 in terms of keyboards. The amount of performance and features it manages to put out is simply astounding for its price.
It does still not perform on par with the high-end keyboards of the list, or a real mechanical keyboard for that matter. But it makes a great substitution.
Perfect choice for the serious gamer on a budget or anyone looking to get a feel for mechanical keyboards.
Semi-mechanical/ membrane based
Size: 17 x 3 x 7 inches
Weight: 2 pounds
Interface: Gold plated USB
26 Anti-Ghosting keys
EnergyPal FireBold P360
+ Amazing mechanical feel for a membrane board + High functionality & responsiveness + Good lighting system + Very affordable
The G105 is the first but not last Logitech keyboard on our list. Unlike the G510 series, this one is more for the mid-level gaming bracket.
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This keyboard has an impressive array of features including long-lasting keys and backlighting that helps you out long-term.
The programmable keys are just 6 which is lesser than the G510s or Razer for instance but the performance is quite solid. Ideal for the semi-pro gamer.
An improvement we thought Logitech could make for this, is to include more Anti-Ghosting options. Which would be quite reasonable considering its price. Pro gamers usually need more key combos and simultaneous presses. 10 or so anti-ghosting keys would make this a better option. The keyboard has 5 multi-press keys, which is a nice substitute for anti-ghosting, but we would have liked the real thing.
Most gamers, however, is pretty used to not having anti-ghosting buttons, in which case it won’t bother you at all.
For these sacrifices, there are a lot of benefits too. The price is very reasonable, responsiveness-wise the keyboard wasn’t spectacular but did the job.
One potential issue is the placement of the macro buttons. If you plan to use them they are in a great spot and is easy to reach. They can however easily be miss clicked when trying to hit your tab button or shift button.
The quality is rock solid and will last for as long as you will have it. Which is just the thing, we feel that while this is a great gaming keyboard, it is a little boring. Very standard in most ways and besides the G macro keys there is not much special going on.
Will you regret buying the G105? no. Will you be excited about it? probably not. The keyboard is very solid and performs great, but it has no real X factor. This makes it a clever pick, but probably not one that will improve your love for gaming.
This keyboard is a good fit for pretty much any gamer. Whether you are entirely new or have been gaming for a decade. Simply because it has no real flaws, but no real allure either.
6 Programmable Keys with 18 unique functions
5 Key Anti-Ghosting
Weight: 1.9 pounds
Size: 19.6 x 8.78 x 1.65 inches
+ Macro recording is very good + Reasonably priced + Great overall performance + Sturdy built
- LED quality could be better - Key spacing can take some getting used to
Another on our list that rivals a lot of mechanical board on the market is the K40 by Corsair. Corsair is quite a trusted brand in the gaming industry and they deliver a product worthy of that.
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One this Corsair can always be trusted to bring is quality. All their products are built for endurance and comfort.
The customizability that this keyboard offers from game specific anti-ghosting to on the fly macro recording really impressed us very much. It is so rare to see 100% anti-ghosting capabilities in a membrane keyboard.
It has 6 programmable keys, which may seem on the low side. But the truth is that most gamers don’t even use the macro keys and almost anyone will be content with 6 macro keys.
Although this keyboard is slightly on the pricey side it sure is worth the investment. The weight and quality aluminum frame make you feel every single penny you spent and gives a great feeling of quality to the product.
The rubber dome or pads house multimedia keys that offer all the standard on the fly customization options. This is always a welcomed feature since no one likes to go to the desktop to turn their volume up or down.
The accuracy and speed of the keystrokes were top-notch. Profiles are stored on the keyboard as well if you decide to use it on multiple PCs.
This board is extremely quiet too. The F keys are quite close to one another compared with other brands so this keyboard might need some time to bed in. Despite all that, this is definitely a must have for all serious gamers out there.
While it is not a cheap keyboard by any means, it holds great value for money. 100% anti-ghosting and quality frame build is not something you see often in a mid-range keyboard.
The k40 is the first keyboard on the list that we would recommend to the truly serious gamers, and it is among the best on the market.
The K40 was built while keeping hard-core gamers in mind. Which Corsair accomplishes nicely, with the anti-ghosting and fast, responsive button usage.
A minor issue is the macro keys, which can seem out-of-place to some people. So if you enjoy setting up those buttons, you might wanna look into another option on the list.
6 Programmable keys
Size: 18.4 x 7.1 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds
16.8M backlighting colors
+ 100% Anti-Ghosting + Extremely high quality design + Professional grade performance
- Aesthetics could be better - Some key placements need time to get used to
The Logitech G510 is a keyboard crafted specifically for the true professionals. The question is, can it live up to professional standards?
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The G510s is quite expensive, which can be felt throughout the product. Quality is top-notch, as well as its performance. We do still feel that it is a little overpriced though.
A feature that strikes everyone is the LCD game panel mounted on the top. This is a feature that you either love, or you won’t find a use for. It can show various things and can be set up with specific games. Showing your in-game health and mana for an example, or you can choose to make it show the CPU/GPU’s current processing power. Which is quite handy when trying out different graphic options in-game, and to make sure you don’t push your computer too far. The possibilities are many with the LCD display, but truth is that most people won’t even bother using it. Making it a waste of money for some.
Performance wise, this gaming keyboard is a beast. Boasting six-key anti-ghosting and a hydrophobic coating on the surface, this board is designed for great performance over extended periods. Even though the keyboard was designed for Windows 7 & 8, it functions very well on Windows 10 PCs too. While 6 anti-ghosting keys are nice, we would like to see a full rollover keyset for this one.
Text broadcasts and DPI switching through microphone channels worked very well. If you are ready to gank and like to communicate with your team a lot, then this feature is cool.
Coming back to the LCD panel, we felt that this can be a bit better in a number of ways. The default apps present are very restrictive and the screen itself has a very poor refresh rate. The YouTube video player app present has had issues as well.
The backlighting feels a bit week, and could certainly stand to be improved. It helps a lot if you have another Logitech product it synchronizes with, not because it changes the keyboard’s lighting, but synchronizing LED light is always beautiful.
Overall, performance-wise this is a great buy, quite astounding actually. It has 2 major issues, however.
If you don’t intend on using the LCD display, this keyboard is simply overpriced. If you don’t mind to spend a lot of money in order to ensure you get a quality product, it is still a great product. But you will be better of with some of our other top choices if you don’t plan on using its one-of-a-kind features.
It cost the same as some of the best Logitech mechanical keyboards, so unless you are certain you want a membrane keyboard. You should look into the Orion series instead.
12 programmable keys/ 36 unique functions
6 simultaneous key presses without ghosting
2 high-speed USB ports
LCD game panel
+ Detachable palm rest + On the fly macro and profile swapping + The LCD Panel is great for stats, playback and more + High performance
We now come to the PX-1100 by Perixx. While not as good as the number 4 and 5 on the list, it is one of the best value for money deals on the market.
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Features from the intensity dial to all the other adjustments are primarily focused on the things that augment your gaming experience. Nonetheless, this is a great plug and play backlit keyboard option. The media outlet can make the keyboard feel a bit cluttered at times, but you rarely use that part of the keyboard anyway. Which makes it a non-issue.
The keyboard feels more durable and qualitative than any other of its price class. The keys have a life cycle of up to 20 million clicks, which is pretty incredible for a membrane keyboard.
A pretty comfortable keyboard that works on a MAC as well if you are looking for a piece to double up during work sessions too.
The palm rest is a real treat and fully adjustable. This adds a lot of comfort and freedom during longer gaming sessions.
One minor issue we discovered was about the keys. Then can end up being a little squeaky after long time use. Truth be told though, you most likely won’t notice it, unless you are typing in a completely silent environment. Making it a bad choice for a workplace, but just fine for gaming.
The LED options are really quite phenomenal, especially the red color option looks amazing. And let’s be honest… LED lighting matter!
This board is ideal if you are a semi-serious or entry-level gamer. I’d even argue it works just fine for hardcore gamers as well. Although I would recommend the Razer, SteelSeries or Logitech G510 if you are a competitive player.
While not a gaming monster, such as the G510 or the Razer Deathstalker, it performs admirably. Especially considering it is very affordable, it might even be one of the products with the best value for money we have ever reviewed.
Most gamers will be more than content with this keyboard, but if you are a high-end competitive gamer, we recommend you look into some of the other of our top 5 picks.
Key Life: 20 million key presses
Weight: 2.7 pounds
Size: 19.5 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
Interface: Wired USB with 6-foot cable
Plug and play
+ Adjustable Palm Rest + Light intensity adjustment dial + Many additional features + Great mid-tier keyboard
- The connectors to the rest pad could have been designed better - Cannot compete with high-end gaming keyboards
No list of gaming gear is complete without at least 1 piece of SteelSeries equipment. The Apex 350 is a true testament to Steelseries expertise and experience as a gaming brand.
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This keyboard is for gamers, true gamers. Not writer’s, desk workers or any of the sort. This keyboard is for people with gaming in their blood. This keyboard has some of the best tactile feedback and most responsive buttons we have ever experienced on a regular gaming keyboard. Only matched by some of the best mechanical keyboards.
The design is beautiful and the LED looks stunning. It is quite big, however, which is something you should be prepared for when buying it.
There are a ton of macro button customization, making it ideal for MMORPG’s, MOBA’s and RTS games. The macro keys are also ergonomically elevated, making them a lot more easy to use than most macro buttons.
Some of the buttons can come off as a bit too sensitive at times, especially the space button. This was never an issue for me when testing it out, but my colleague did find it a little annoying.
It has 10 fully functioning anti-ghosting buttons, which honestly seem better than most rollover keysets. We were sad to see that the entire keyset did not have anti-ghosting. However, 100% anti-ghosting is very overestimated, since it is very rare to use more than 10 keys at a time.
The Danish SteelSeries really made a true quality product with the Apex 350. The keyboard feels extremely solid and sturdy, this is mostly due to the weight of the board and the quality fabrics used.
We were torn on whether or not this keyboard deserved the number 1 or 2 on this list. However, we never considered ranking it worse. And being the second best among the best of the best is quite the accomplishment.
Any gamer would be lucky to have the Apex 350 as part of their gaming setup. Doesn’t matter if you are a competitive or a casual gamer, this keyboard will suit you perfectly.
Because of the price we would mostly recommend it to the serious gamer.
10 Rollover anti-ghosting keys
SteelSeries engine for macro management and gamer profiles
Fully LED backlit
SteelSeries Apex 350
+ Premium Danish quality + Anti-Ghosting + Media outlet + Fast & responsive
Just like almost every Razer keyboard out in the market, the first thing that caught our attention is how amazing it looks. The super elegant design with slim chiclet keycaps is quite stunning from the outside.
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The Deathstalker is fully loaded on the inside too, with fully programmable keys and on the fly macro recording, which is perfect if you are looking to move up into the pro arena. The Razer synapse records all your customizations and preferences in the cloud. This is a nice touch but not many gamers find this necessary.
Like any Razer product, the Razer Synapse can be used to synchronize with other Razer products. Making it possible to make an absolutely stunning LED gaming setup.
What we love about this keyboard is that every command is executed accurately, and the precision is second to none, at least among membrane keyboards.
A great feature with any Chroma Razer product is the LED lighting. Customization is virtually endless and the brightness level is just right.
Razer Synapse is great for people who are new to gaming software. It is easy to use and have a ton of features. Everything from simple things like changing the backlight to macro management and key usage heatmaps. The software is a real treat if you enjoy that sort of thing.
The Deathstalker have no media outlet, which was a minor letdown. We also feel that the wrist rest could stand to be a little softer. Since it doesn’t feel that much like a wrist rest but more like an extension of the keyboard itself.
The price is a bit over the top for the Chroma version, which is worth to bear in mind. You get the exact same keyboard, minus the LED customization, with the expert version, however. Which is worth considering, unless you really enjoy the backlighting.
The DeathStalker Expert/Chroma is a must have for its performance alone. But the LED, ergonomics and pure quality, simply add to the product’s overall rating. Which left us with no choice but to place it as our number 1 pick for 2017.
There are many different keyboards offering many different solutions. We at Progamerreview look through all these features and ascertain which features are essential and need to be uncompromised for a great gaming experience. Irrespective of your gaming level, if you are in the market for a gaming keyboard, make sure you keep all these factors in mind when making your purchase decision.
From a technical standpoint, the ergonomics are not part of the core function of a keyboard but from a user standpoint, it is extremely vital. Everything from key placement to wrist rests and slopes for your wrist is utilized, to make sure you have an injury free and comfortable experience. The feel of the keys is also dependent on the material used to make them. Some keyboards retain the sweat and offer a sticky experience, we have ruled these out of contention too for your benefit. Gaming for long hours is quite common these days, and the longer your hands stay planted and in a neutral position the better. This helps prevent stress on the joint and inflammation too.
Core Game Performance
Anti-Ghosting is a feature that is exclusive to gaming keyboards. Anti-Ghosting is basically the ability to register multiple keys pressed simultaneously. This is vital for most competitive gamers.
Connectivity is another aspect to watch out for. People tend to prefer wired over wireless despite the clutter cables cause. Wired keyboards don’t have to deal with any interference issues and connectivity lapses, especially in-game. It would be pretty bad to have a lag that is created by your own device. Despite all that wireless devices do have their upsides. Most keyboards have a standard 2.4 GHz wireless connection to your PC and can the quality is steadily seen to be improving. Wireless come in handy especially when you use the PC for activities besides gaming by offering a great deal of convenience.
Whilst a casual gamer tends to look for plug play models in the market. Hardcore gamers who are constantly pushing boundaries need all sorts of data to improve their game. Everything from macro recording, pre-set profiles, lighting and mapping need to be optimized to ensure that their technique and performance constantly improves. Some keyboards we have picked out also have the added advantage of cloud storage for settings, which means that even if you decide to upgrade or buy a new keyboard you always have your best settings available to you at all times.
Key Switch Type
Non-mechanical keyboards make use of something that is called silicone dome switches. If you happen to be like some of us curious gamers then you would have pulled out a few keys on your keyboard back in the day or in the early 2000s, you would find a small silicone domes that use a rubbery material as a switch. For regular folk, this basically means it takes more time to register a key press and it may also have a sort of mushy feel. While these don’t have much of a great feel, you will find that a scissor variant which utilizes a stabilizing mechanism offer better performance and durability by reducing the depth of a keystroke significantly. This is quite common on a lot of thin laptops on the market today.
Not the most vital of features for some but it sure makes the keyboard look amazing. LED lighting can be found on most mechanical and non-mechanical keyboards. If you like to customize each and every aspect of the lighting then make sure you go for keyboards that have a single key or sectional lighting rather than the entire piece. Software like SteelSeries Engine and Razor’s Synapse are great to have. Most of all, these make the keyboards look super slick and expensive.
Q & A about gaming keyboards
Frequently asked questions about keyboards for PC gaming
Q: With mechanical keyboards flooding the market, is membrane keyboards even a legit gaming option anymore?
A: Yes, definitely! All humans are so different, and it is down to every single one of us to decide what things we like and what we prefer. We should not let other people dictate what to play on. On paper, mechanical keyboards may have more pros than a regular keyboard, but that does not mean it is the superior option for everyone. Not to mention that ordinary keyboards generally grant more value for money.
Q: do professional gamers still use membrane keyboards?
A: Generally, no. Almost all professional gamers prefer mechanical keyboards, but most gamers are not professionals. Unless you play at a very high level, you should not compare yourself with eSport players, but instead, focus on what you enjoy to play on. For a lot of gamers, the extra money for a mechanical option may very well not be worth it.
Q: Is it true that ordinary keyboards are not very durable?
A: No, but it is a popular argument against them. A decent membrane gaming keyboard usually last about 20 million keystrokes, compared to mechanical keyboards which usually last twice as long. However, most people won’t even use a keyboard for the 20 million. So even though the enhanced durability in a mech board is nice, it is something that very few will actually benefit from and most people won’t even wear out an ordinary one.
Q: Do ordinary keyboards also have anti-ghosting?
A: Yes! in fact, it was first introduced a long time before mech keyboards where mainstream. While mech keyboards may have superior rollover keysets, some normal keyboards still have very decent anti-ghosting and most gamers will not experience the difference. Keyboards such as the SteelSeries Apex 350 has excellent anti-ghosting, which actually perform on par with very decent mech options.
Q: What is RGB and is it an important feature?
A: it may be important to some, but in terms of gaming performance, it has no effect what so ever. RGB mean red-green-blue and it is a feature that enables you to configure and customize the LED lighting with every single color variant known to man.
Q: I have always used normal keyboards but I am considering trying out a mechanical option, what would you recommend?