Best gaming keyboards $100 and under

Performance doesn't always have to come at a premium.

Image via Razer

A good gaming keyboard doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Some of the most reputable brands like SteelSeries, Logitech, and Razer have gaming keyboards at $100 and under. Despite the affordable price, many of these keyboards have premium features like aluminum frames, RGB lighting, and mechanical keys.

There are plenty of keyboards coming in at $100 and below, but some are more fully-featured than others. Ergonomic features, like a wrist rest and adjustable feet, go a long way to ensure that you are comfortable. Many of the best gaming keyboards in this price range also have added design features to enhance their appeal. Some of these include RGB lighting and waterproofing. Not every keyboard will boast all of these features, but there are plenty of solid options that will serve you well on your grind to Diamond.

Here are the best gaming keyboards for $100 and below.

Best overall

Logitech G512

Image via Logitech

Logitech’s G512 may be inexpensive, but it punches above its weight by allowing users to choose between three types of mechanical switches. Buyers can choose between GX Blue, GX Red, and GX Brown. The Blue switches have a clicky feel, the Reds have a linear feel, and the Browns feel tactile.  

Another standout feature of the G512 is the design. Instead of the plastic frames often found in this price range, the Logitech G512 uses an aluminum alloy frame. The aluminum frame is solid and gives the keyboard a sturdier feel.  Another helpful design feature is the USB passthrough that allows you to connect your mouse directly to the keyboard. Plugging your mouse into the passthrough frees up a USB port, allowing you to use an extra mic or webcam.

Unfortunately, there’s no wrist rest or additional media buttons, but the price point makes up for those missing features.

Thanks to the downloadable software, there are plenty of customization options. Users can program the per-key RGB lighting and sync the keyboard to other devices with the Lightsync app. It’s also possible to create different profiles for each game you play using the Logitech G Hub software.

If you’re looking for outstanding value in a keyboard, the Logitech G512 is a great overall option because of its mechanical switch options and aluminum alloy construction.

Best membrane option

SteelSeries Apex 3

Image by SteelSeries via Amazon

SteelSeries’ Apex 3 is a quality membrane keyboard that undercuts the price of every other option on this list by a wide margin. It uses a plastic frame instead of an aluminum frame and has an IP32 water and dust resistance rating. The IP32 rating means the Apex 3 can withstand light water spray, so you don’t have to worry about spilling a bit of your drink on it. 

Instead of mechanical keys like the G512, the Apex 3 uses membrane keys. These keys can’t match the feel of the G512’s mechanical keys since they use a less precise switch design, but they are near-silent and have a decent response. The benefits of the membrane keys are that they make the Apex 3 spillproof and cut down the cost significantly. 

SteelSeries cut a few corners to keep the Apex 3 reasonably priced. There’s no USB passthrough, and there’s only 10-zone RGB lighting instead of per-key RGB lighting. The flimsy rubber cable and membrane keys don’t exude quality, but the massive magnetic wrist rest and phenomenal price make up for some of its shortcomings.

The Apex 3 has a lot to offer considering the price, but the lack of mechanical keys is a big turn-off for some gamers. 

Best tenkyless option

Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless

Image via Razer

A tenkeyless keyboard is a better option if you need more space on your desk. Instead of taking up all of your desk space like the Logitech G512 and SteelSeries Apex 3, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless removes the number pad to create a smaller form factor.

One of the main attractions of this Razer keyboard is its customization options. If you want a change from the usual black color, the BlackWidow V3 TKL also comes in pink. This keyboard is available with Razer’s Green and Yellow switches. The Green switches have a tactile feel, and the Yellow variants are linear. Razer also sells PBT keycaps in colors including Mercury, Quartz, and Green to replace the standard ABS keycaps. Gamers often prefer PBT keycaps because of their durability and even texture.

Razer’s BlackWidow V3 boasts an aluminum frame that adds to the keyboard’s sturdy feel.

There are a couple of disadvantages to the BlackWidow V3 TKL. There’s also no wrist rest or USB passthrough, and the cable is rubber instead of braided. It’s possible to configure user profiles on the Razer Synapse app, but they can’t save to the keyboard.

Despite the minor drawbacks, the BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless is an excellent TKL mechanical keyboard with impressive customization options.

Best connectivity options

CORSAIR K57

Image via Corsair

Corsair’s K57 is the most versatile option on the list, with three connection modes. It uses either a 2.4GHz wireless connection, Bluetooth, or wired connection. The K57 uses Corsair’s Slipstream technology that changes frequency to maintain the strongest connection possible and allows multiple devices to connect to a single USB receiver. The technology makes it easy to use a wireless mouse, headset, and the K57 without taking up multiple USB ports. It also allows you to sit far from your monitor or control your PC if it’s connected to your TV.

Corsair makes some compromises to keep the costs of the K57 down. Instead of using mechanical keys like the Logitech G512 and Razer BlackWidow V3 TKL, it uses membrane keys similar to the SteelSeries Apex 3. The K57 also has a plastic frame instead of an aluminum frame, making it less sturdy than other options on the list.

Despite the cost-cutting, Corsair’s K57 boasts a couple of features not found on any other options. This is the only keyboard on the list featuring dedicated media keys. It also has six programmable macro keys on the left side, making it far more versatile than the Alloy Origins 60 or BlackWidow V3.

Like most Corsair products, the K57 uses the iCUE app for configuration and customization. The app lets you set up macros and RGB lighting. It also allows you to monitor the keyboard’s battery life. Corsair’s K57 lasts between 35 and 175 hours, depending on the lighting options and connection type.

With so many connectivity options and extra features, the K57 has a lot going for it, but the membrane keys might not suit every user. 

Best small form factor option

HyperX Alloy Origins 60

Image via HyperX

If the BlackWidow V3 TKL is too large for you, the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is a better option. Instead of having a tenkeyless design like the Razer BlackWidow V3, it removes the direction and navigation keys to reduce its footprint further. The compact size frees up lots of space for your mouse and other devices without sacrificing gaming functionality.

Mechanical switches are another standout feature of the Alloy Origins 60. The downside is that you don’t get to choose the switches like on the BlackWidow V3 and G512. Instead, it comes with HyperX’s proprietary Red switches. HyperX’s switches mimic Cherry MX Reds but have a slightly faster actuation, making them great for competitive gaming.

This keyboard has a durable design that outshines the rest of the boards on the list. Instead of a metal frame like other keyboards on the list, the entire casing of the Alloy Origins 60 is made from aluminum.

A useful feature for frequent travelers is the detachable USB-C cable that makes it easy to take this keyboard on the go.

For such a small size, the Alloy Origins 60 boasts a surprising level of functionality. It has three onboard profiles that are configured using the Ngenuity software. Ngenuity also configures the second keyboard layer and the RGB lighting. You can program the second layer to have media keys or navigation keys missing from the standard layout.

HyperX’s Alloy Origins 60 competes with larger keyboards thanks to its sturdy build and feature set, but it’s too bad the board is limited to a single switch type.

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