What Mechanical Keyboard to Choose? – A guide to the best console and PC gaming keyboards in 2022 & 2023!
Would you like to improve your gaming experience? Are you used to playing on a PC, but have recently switched to a console? Are you a fan of PC gaming and looking for new gaming improvements? Or are you simply keen on technological innovations and gadgets? Whichever answer you are leaning towards, there’s something for you in this article because today we are covering the topic of the best console and PC gaming keyboards in 2022!
Mechanical or membrane – what is the best keyboard for gamers?
Membrane keyboard for gamers
The membrane keyboard is the type that is the most common due to its versatility of use, quiet operation, simple design, along with its affordability due to its mass production. The membrane design works by pressing a rubber, spherical element directly above it on the membrane against a given button. The membrane design works by pressing a rubber, spherical element directly above it on the membrane against a given button. As a result of the mechanical contact between the layers of the membrane, a short circuit is made which is responsible for the subsequent reaction, namely the execution of a character or command. Thus, in order to obtain an action, the key has to be pressed as far as possible, roughly to the level of 4 mm, which ultimately affects the response time and the return to the initial position, making such a keyboard for gamers to perform slightly worse than the second option.
Mechanical keyboard for gamers
The second option model is easily recognisable, among other things, by the higher-profile keys and, in particular, by the characteristic loud clicking that can be associated with the sound of a typewriter. The main difference, therefore, is the type of switches, in this case, referred to as mechanical. Each key has its own separate switch to activate on average as early as halfway through the keystroke, which also translates into a faster response time and bounce. Furthermore, RGB mechanical keyboards have a longer lifespan than membrane keyboards.
What is the best keyboard for gamers?
The best keyboard for gamers is a mechanical keyboard, where there is no room for argument. RGB mechanical keyboards are more durable, more accurate and, above all, more enjoyable than membrane keyboards, significantly improving the gaming experience, whether you play as a hobbyist or professional. RGB mechanical keyboard technology allows you to achieve better speed and precision in your actions with greater ease of use and a longer-lasting design. The usual 2 mm key press gives an advantage over commands made with other types of keyboards. The low travel translates into faster response and, therefore, faster in-game reaction time. The shorter recoil moment allows the key to be pressed more times than membrane keyboards.
Wired or wireless – what’s the best keyboard for gamers?
The vast majority of gamers opt for wired solutions, which minimise any signal delays. In addition, they are often simply the more affordable proposition, with the most noticeable price of ownership simply being the extra cable on your desk. One other advantage of wired keyboards is worth mentioning – the fact that you don’t have to think about changing batteries.
Wireless PC gaming keyboards make up a much smaller slice of the market offering. They typically use Bluetooth or radio waves in the 2.4 GHz standard. And while this does not translate into noticeable delays in practice, it does carry some risks. Well, if there are several devices operating on the same interface at the workstation, wave overlap can occur. Then there is indeed a risk of temporary delays and interference. However, this is not so significant a problem as to exclude the RGB wireless mechanical keyboard from the shopping list because a lot depends on individual preferences in this respect.
List of the best PC gaming keyboards in 2022 & 2023
Below, you will find our picks when it comes to the best console and PC gaming keyboards in 2022 & 2023. Our roster includes both wired and RGB wireless mechanical keyboards, so there is something for every gamer.
A well-deserved first place goes to the AimControllers RGB mechanical keyboard, which is one of the best keyboards on the market in terms of durability and technology. This RGB mechanical keyboard is distinguished by its significantly higher durability and 10 times longer service life compared to classic keyboards. Furthermore, the robust metal casing ensures even greater gaming comfort during long gaming sessions, and the full RGB backlighting makes it excellent to game on, even at night. The RGB mechanical keyboard also has AimControllers multimedia function keys that will give you an edge over other gamers.
Wired Full-size Mechanical keyboard
RGB Light illumination (13 customer settings)
Tailor Make Program Macro Keys Function
Multimedia & Function Keys
Mechanical Blue Switches
Metal top cover, 104 keys, double injection keys
Plug & Play USB Cable
Supported operating system: Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
Razer Huntsman V2 RGB Mechanical Keyboard
The Razer Huntsman V2 RGB mechanical keyboard is our second, slightly more expensive offering for fierce gamers. The Razer Huntsman V2 Tenkeyless has been optimised with ergonomics in mind, and designed for long gaming sessions. Made from high-quality materials, it features higher durability and resists vigorous keystrokes. This PC gaming keyboard features smooth and consistent switches that have been improved with dampers to make the keys even quieter to press. They also now respond faster with a polling frequency of up to 8000 Hz, which reduces input lag.
Switch type: Opto-mechanical – Razer Red Linear: Type.
For gamers: TKL
Numeric keys: No
Multimedia/function keys: Yes
Spot – each key with different colour
Zoned – each zone in a different colour
Single-zone – all keys in the same colour
USB-C connectors – 1
Wrist rest: Yes.
Keychron K2 C1H RGB Mechanical Keyboard
The Keychron K2 C1H is an exceptional keyboard in terms of simplicity as well as comfort. It allows both wired and wireless gaming. It allows you to play your favourite games and enjoy the excellent performance of the quick-change mechanical switches. The elegant, compact and durable design with an aluminium frame will fit perfectly into the space on your desk and will not look like a typical gaming gadget.
Switch type: Mechanical – Gateron Red
Connectivity: Wired and Wireless
Interface: USB and Bluetooth
Numeric keys: No
Multimedia/function keys: Yes
Spot – each key with different colour
Zoned – each zone in a different colour
Single-zone – all keys in the same colour
USB-C connectors – 1
Supported systems: Windows and Mac OS X
The best PC gaming keyboards
A high-quality PC gaming keyboard can improve your gaming experience immeasurably, so it’s worth thinking carefully about this decision. We guarantee that any of the above PC gaming keyboards will meet your expectations and help you improve your performance in your favourite games!
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) Keyboard Review: The One to Beat
9/10 ? 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
3 - Strongly Flawed Design
4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
5 - Acceptably Imperfect
6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
10 - Absolute Design Nirvana Rating: Price: $249
One look at the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) mechanical keyboard and you might be ready to fork over your cash. And thankfully, the Apex Pro TKL is more than its gorgeous backlighting. For all the hype, this keyboard mostly delivers on its promises of grandeur.
SteelSeries touts its Apex mechanical keyboards as industry-leading devices, and our Review Geek reviewers had positive experiences with the brand’s other offerings, like the Apex Pro 3 TKL. So after seeing glowing comments about the Apex Pro TKL Wireless keyboard, I’m pleased to say it didn’t let me down. From revolutionary OmniPoint 2.0 switches with adjustable actuation to five customizable user profiles, there’s a lot to say about this mechanical keyboard. It’s got spunk and power—and might even justify the cost.
But like any good thing, the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless has a few downsides. For example, you might curse the manufacturers for soldering the switches to the body (even if they come with smart actuation), and it’s easy to decry the $250 price tag. That said, if you’re a gamer who would gladly trade a hot-swappable keyboard for reliable performance and, arguably, some of the best switches on the market, you’ll love what the Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) keyboard can do.
Here's What We Like Three connection options
Different RGB settings are super fun
Excellent typing feel
The SteelSeries Engine makes it easy to customize your profiles
SteelSeries Functions are quick and painless And What We Don't Not hot-swappable
Bluetooth mode is less responsive than wireless mode
Review Geek's expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>
Design: A Stylish RGB Keyboard
Frame: Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy
Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy Keyboard: Tenkeyless layout
Tenkeyless layout Wrist Rest: Rubberized magnetic wrist rest
Rubberized magnetic wrist rest Switches: OmniPoint 2.0 adjustable mechanical switches; soldered, not hot-swappable
OmniPoint 2.0 adjustable mechanical switches; soldered, not hot-swappable Keycaps: Fadeless PBT keycaps (removable)
Fadeless PBT keycaps (removable) Lighting: Per key RGB illumination
Per key RGB illumination Display: OLED Smart Display for stats and notifications
OLED Smart Display for stats and notifications Legs: Adjustable rubber tri-level tilt legs
Adjustable rubber tri-level tilt legs Dimensions: 5.04 x 14 x 1.65in (128 x 355 x 42mm)
5.04 x 14 x 1.65in (128 x 355 x 42mm) Weight: 2.4lbs (1,070g)
The Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) keyboard comes in a sturdy box with standout branding. Inside is the Apex Pro TKL Wireless mechanical keyboard, a magnetic wrist rest, a key cap puller, a USB-C to USB-A cord, a USB-C wireless dongle, a USB-C to USC-C extension adapter, and a product information guide.
The guide included has some helpful information for users, including info on integrated key actions like Profile Switching (moving through saved user profiles), brightness control, and On-the-Fly Macro Recording (recording a series of key movements into a single button for speedy actions).
Also in the guide is a quick rundown of Bluetooth pairing, the low and full battery indicators, and a prompt to download the SteelSeries Engine app (compatible with Windows 10+ and macOS 10.13 or newer) to configure the actuation of the keys. One of the most important keys on the keyboard is the SteelSeries Function key beside the right-hand Control key. It’s represented by the SteelSeries logo (a bullseye-like design).
Thanks to its aluminum alloy frame, the keyboard’s body feels solid and looks striking when the RGB lighting flicks to life. The keycaps are a lightweight PBT, a standard material for included keycaps. Some might complain this feels cheap next to the frame, but these keycaps are removable, so you can always choose to upgrade them later.
With options like “Lord of the Rings”-themed keycaps to resin keycaps to NVIDIA’s aluminum keycaps, there’s no shortage of choices when upgrading keys—but keyboard keycaps can get expensive. so keep that in mind.
As for the layout, the Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) is compact, sans a number pad. Hence the “TKL” name, which stands for “tenkeyless.”
At the back of the board, you’ll find the USB-C port for charging and the wireless and Bluetooth switch. Flick the switch to the left, and you’re in wireless mode. Push it to the right, and you’re in Bluetooth mode. The middle setting works to power off your keyboard or to use it in wired mode.
In the top right corner of the keyboard is the OLED display notification center, which displays the keyboard’s battery level and other notifications while gaming.
Performance: Pleasant Type Feel and Adjustable Actuation With Awesome Shortcuts
Processor: 32-bit ARM
32-bit ARM Adjustable Actuation Points: 0.2-3.8mm
0.2-3.8mm Switch Rating: Guaranteed 100 million presses
Guaranteed 100 million presses Compatibility: Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, and macOS
When buying a mechanical keyboard, there are a lot of factors to consider. For starters, do you want a portable one? Are you interested in hot-swappable keyboards? Want a wired or wireless mechanical keyboard?
If you like options, the Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) does a stand-out job of providing plenty of them. I used my Apex Pro with the default settings before diving into the customization process. The default settings felt great—but customizing felt even better. If you’re a gamer and typist who likes control, you’ll want to use those five profiles to your advantage.
I saved customizations for all five nameable user profiles, which you can do in the SteelSeries Engine (more on how the app works later). I adjusted my actuation depending on the situation. For instance, I named one profile “Typing” and fine-tuned the actuation to 3.8mm for a stiffer typing experience and added a few key bindings using On-the-Fly Macro recording for some helpful shortcuts. One useful key binding was setting my right-hand Control key to “Windows + Shift + S” for quicker screenshots.
The type feel of the keyboard is pleasantly clicky, and the textured keys give your fingers purchase—even with sweaty hands. The keys are also fade-resistant—a feature I appreciated since I once had an ergonomic keyboard that was almost illegible after two years of use. In my forays into actuation settings, I found the OmniPoint 2.0 switches achieved the lightest of touches to the deepest actuation.
Tip: If you’re in the market for an ergonomic keyboard, the Moonlander Mark I scored a 10 out of 10 rating on Review Geek.
As for its noise profile, the Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) isn’t the quietest. If you enjoy a clicky, clangy sound, you won’t mind. But if you prefer a muted typing experience, you may want to quiet your mechanical keyboard with switch dampeners to lessen the noise of the bottom-out sound.
The detachable wrist rest has a rubber texture that feels soft and comfortable to type with, and I appreciate that it’s magnetic, so people have the option of using it or skipping it.
Wireless vs. Bluetooth vs. Wired Connections
Wireless: Quantum 2.0 Wireless (2.4GHz wireless connection)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0
Wired: Wired connection available with included USB-C cable
Remember, Bluetooth is never the best choice for gaming. In my experience, Bluetooth connections are often unreliable and have a greater latency than wired or wireless dongle connections. When you’re gaming, speed and precision are paramount, especially in combat-heavy games.
But the Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) keyboard does its best to handle every connection available and mostly knocks it out of the park. I tried Bluetooth while gaming for kicks, and compared to the wireless option, I experienced the dreaded latency I expected. This wasn’t helpful, no matter if I was playing “Life is Strange: True Colors” or typing in cheat codes on “The Sims 4,” where keystrokes were often left out, and I found myself stopping to fix the typos.
Bluetooth was OK for everyday work, such as typing up articles or writing emails, and I loved the three-device capability. I regularly swapped between my laptop to texting on my phone without taking my hands off the keyboard once. This is achievable thanks to the Bluetooth profile switch shortcut—hit SteelSeries Function Key + Enter + 1, 2, or 3 for your registered Bluetooth devices.
Still, I preferred the wireless and wired connections. Both of these gave me the speed and precision I was looking for while gaming. Overall, I experienced a swift typing speed and accuracy—faster than other keyboards I’ve used, which leads me to believe SteelSeries’ claims that the Apex Pro TKL is 11 times faster in response time and 10 times faster in actuation than standard mechanical keyboards are true.
The SteelSeries Engine App: Customizations Galore
Software: SteelSeries Engine for Windows (8.1 or newer) and macOS (10.13 or newer); not all features supported on macOS
The Apex Pro TKL Wireless’s control center is the SteelSeries Engine app (for Windows and Mac), which makes it possible to fine-tune everything from actuation to key bindings to your RGB lighting.
Using the app is easy. From the homepage, click the tab that says “Engine.” You’ll see your keyboard listed under the “Gear” tab.
Next, click on your keyboard, and the app will show you your onboard profiles on the left-hand side and tabs labeled “Key Bindings,” “Actuation,” “Dual Bindings,” “Dual Actuation,” “Meta Bindings,” and “OLED & Settings.”
Profiles, Key Bindings, RGB, and SteelSeries Functions
Memory: Five custom profiles
Five custom profiles Bindings: Customizable per-key, dual, and meta bindings
Customizable per-key, dual, and meta bindings RGB Presets and Effects: Eight color presets and three custom effects
Eight color presets and three custom effects RGB Layers: Active, Reactive, Idle
Active, Reactive, Idle RGB Wave Options: Six settings include Horizontal, Vertical, and Radial
Six settings include Horizontal, Vertical, and Radial RGB Colors: Fully customizable, hex-code compatible, per-key RGB
I saved one standard typing profile and four gaming profiles with custom actuation and bindings. In the app, I selected which profile I wanted and started customizing. The app has a little learning curve, but if you’re a newbie to mechanical keyboards, it helps to read up on some confusing mechanical keyboard terms before you get started.
In my time with the Apex Pro TKL Wireless, swapping between profiles was a cinch (via the SteelSeries Function key + F9 + 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5). And it’s no question the dual actuation was a game changer for some game actions (such as binding the “W” key with a half press for a walk and a full press for a run). Per key actuation means you can get ultra-sensitive on your W, A, S, and D keys for movement, while you can make other keys harder to press if you don’t want to accidentally hit them, such as “X” for shooting if you’re on a stealth mission and don’t want to alert non-player characters (NPCs).
On-the-Fly Macro Recording worked like a charm. To record an action, I hit the SteelSeries Function key with F10, held it for three seconds, and then typed in the key combo I wanted. To save the macro, I pressed the SteelSeries Function key and F10 again and then chose which key to bind my recorded action to.
To customize your backlighting, you’ll need to choose the “Prism” tab from the main Engine page. There, you can customize your lighting for the entire keyboard or go bold with per-key RGB settings, which you can select via a slider or enter a hex code for color accuracy.
The functions and adjustable actuation were my favorite features, and in countless hours of use, I didn’t experience a single glitch when switching profiles, recording macros, using a key binding, or adjusting my keyboard’s brightness.
Battery and Charging: Full Week of Use Is No Problem
Battery Life As Advertized: 37.5 hours (Wireless), 45 hours (Bluetooth) with default lighting setting
I found SteelSeries’ tested battery life estimation to be a correct ballpark. I didn’t have to charge the Apex Pro TKL Wireless for six days of use (about five to six hours per day). When I was done with the keyboard, I switched it off. I expect there would be a faster decline in battery life should you leave it on overnight.
Charging was easy, too, and since you can use it via a wired connection, you can charge it while you’re typing. In about 15 minutes, the charge shot up 10%, but in my experience, the Apex Pro TKL took about an hour and a half or two to charge fully from 0%.
The Best Keyboards of 2022 Best Keyboard Overall Razer Pro Type Ultra Best Budget Keyboard Logitech MK270 Keyboard and Mouse Combo Best Wired Gaming Keyboard Razer Huntsman V2 Best Wireless Gaming Keyboard Logitech G915 TKL Best Bluetooth Keyboard Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard Best Ergonomic Keyboard Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard Best TKL Keyboard Logitech G915 TKL Best 60% Keyboard GMMK 60% Percent Compact Best Mac Keyboard Apple Magic Keyboard
Should You Buy the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023)?
In my opinion, the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023) is one of the best keyboards of 2022. Whether you’re a competitive gamer or a hobbyist, you’ll appreciate this feature-packed beauty that combines stylish design with functionality. It’s expensive, but considering the effectiveness of the OmniPoint 2.0 switches and customizable everything, you’d be hard-pressed to find something comparable at a cheaper cost—unless you opt for SteelSeries’ wired version, the Apex Pro TKL (2023), which is $60 less.
If you prefer a hot-swappable option or find the price too steep, you may want to look elsewhere. For beginners who want a mid-range starter, the Vissles V84 Pro Mechanical Keyboard costs less than $150. For more advanced gamers, the DROP ATL Mechanical Keyboard is a favorite pick and starts at $140.
Those of you who are sold on the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless mechanical keyboard can purchase one today for $250.
These are the best Mac keyboards you can buy
2. Apple Magic Keyboard With Touch ID (2021) – Best for M1 Macs
At first glance, the two Magic Keyboard models launched by Apple in mid-2021 look very similar to the original models – which are still available and reviewed here as well. However, these newer models bring a number of new features that aren’t available on the older Magic keyboards. For starters, these new models are officially referred to by Apple as (1) the Magic Keyboard With Touch ID For Mac Models With Apple Silicon ($149/£149), and (2) the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Keypad for Mac Models with Apple Silicon ($179/£179). Note there are Space Gray versions that cost more ($199/£199) so make sure you select the white models if you want to save money.
That’s a bit of a mouthful, but Apple is making it abundantly clear that the new keyboards are specifically designed for the latest Mac models that have Apple’s home-grown M1 processors. You can use these new keyboards with older Macs that have Intel processors, but you’ll really only be able to use them as basic QWERTY keyboards for typing, as most of the new features – including the Touch ID sensor that sits in the top row of Function keys – won’t work on Intel Macs.
The basic design of the two keyboards hasn’t actually changed that much, with the same slimline design and month-long battery life as their predecessors. The smaller Magic Keyboard With Touch ID is priced at quite a premium for the Touch ID sensor. And, like the standard Magic Keyboard, it feels rather cramped, with a small Space bar and cursor keys. The lack of ‘travel’ – the up and down movement of the keys as you press them – also makes the keyboard feel a bit lifeless for people who type a lot and need a bit more tactile feedback when they’re typing up a storm. Then again, you might feel that your fingers have to do less ‘work’ compressing the key. Apple also introduced new versions of the Touch ID keyboard with black keys in early 2022.
The key feature of these new keyboards, though, is the Touch ID sensor, which sits by the F12 button on the top row of Function keys. This works just like the Touch ID sensors on the iPhone and iPad, and – on Macs with Apple Silicon – you’ll see a new Touch ID panel appear in System Preferences when you first connect the keyboard. This allows you to store up to three fingerprints, which you can use to unlock your Mac, or to make secure payments on the Apple Store, or other online stores that support Apple Pay.
There are a few other new features as well, including an Emoji command on the Fn key in the bottom-left corner of the keyboard, which displays the Emoji viewer panel so that you can quickly add emojis to any document or message that you’re typing. There are new Function commands too, for activating Spotlight, Dictation and Do Not Disturb.
As always, the larger version of the keyboard is even more expensive but the numeric keypad will be useful for people who do a lot of number crunching at work.
There’s more room to provide a larger Space bar too, and larger navigation keys. Even so, the thin keyboard panel means that the keys still feel a bit lifeless, so business users and budding novelists may prefer to look at one of the larger and more solidly built keyboards available from other manufacturers.