When deciding on a gaming keyboard to purchase, it’s getting harder and harder to find a gaming keyboard that doesn’t break the bank. The majority of budget keyboards out right now are Chinese manufactured knock-offs with sub-par Cherry MX clones, or unreliable keyboards lacking strong feature sets. In this article, we’re going to show you our top picks of the best budget gaming keyboards currently out.
As we’ve stated before, when we gave you our top picks of what we though was the best gaming keyboard, although this was ultimately dependent on personal preference it came down to 3 main features:
Again it ultimately comes down to personal preference, whether a keyboard would be right for you, but the following are what we think are the best budget gaming keyboards.
Corsair K55 RGB – Top Pick
Arguably the best gaming keyboard manufacturer in the world, Corsair returns by offering a great gaming keyboard that won’t break the bank. The Corsair K55 RGB, is undoubtedly the best keyboard you can buy under $50.
The Corsair K55 Features
- Full RGB Lighting
For under $50, the Corsair K55 features RGB lighting with three-zone dynamic back lighting. This Keyboard has 3 zones which you can customize with multiple lighting effects. For under $50 this keyboard offers solid lighting.
- Great Membrane Switches
Although the K55 does not feature mechanical switches, the proprietary membrane switches included get the job done. The included switches are quiet, responsive and offer anti-ghosting, and are more than good enough for this price
- 6 Dedicated Macro Switches
The Corsair K55 features 6 dedicated macro keys, which you can customize to whatever you like in Corsair’s CUE 2 software. Again for this price you’d be hard pressed finding a keyboard with this much customization
The Corsair K55 was designed to impress. This keyboard follows multi-zone RGB, and a design that’s very familiar as its similar to most other Corsair keyboard. On the bottom of the keyboard, is the detachable wrist-rest which is fairly comfortable; and on the top are the dedicated media keys and volume controls. To the side of the keyboard are the 6 macro keys, which can be set to both simple and very complicated macros and can be customized with and without the Corsair Cue software. The keyboard features industry standard hard plastic, and reliable feet to stop it from slipping. This keyboards feet can also be raised to an angle.
With the 6 dedicated macros, windows lock key and reliable membrane switches this keyboard is designed to perform. What reduces the price of the keyboard down so much is the membrane keys that Corsair included with the keyboard. Membrane keys are significantly cheaper to produce and manufacture than most mechanical switches, let alone authentic Cherry MX keys. If you’re comfortable gaming with membrane switches and don’t mind the soft and responsive feeling then I’d recommend them, but if you’re a die hard mechanical keyboard fan then save a bit and buy a keyboard with mechanical switches.
Overall what makes the Corsair K55 a fantastic keyboard is its price. At under $50 it is very hard to find a keyboard from a reputable manufacture with dedicated macro keys, full RGB lighting, a wrist rest and the overall robust feature-set that Corsair included. This keyboard is a great performer in and out of games and possibly the best keyboard you’re going to get at that price. What it ultimately comes down to is the switches, don’t get me wrong these switches are solid membrane switches and more than good enough for the price, if not great; but if you want a budget mechanical keyboard look to either the Corsair K66, which is a few dollars more but with fewer features, the Re dragon K552 or maybe increase your budget
Redragon K552– Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard
The Redragon K552 is also a contender of the best budget gaming keyboard, but what separates this keyboard from the Corsair K55 is the mechanical switches.
The Redragon K552 features
- 87-key Compact Design
The Redragon K552 features a compact 87-key design meaning this keyboard lacks a num-pad, what this entails however is a sleek and minimal looking keyboard and honestly at its price who can complain.
- Full Mechanical Switches
The Redragon K552, unlike competing keyboards features mechanical switches. However, these switches are likely Otemu Cherry MX clones, which closely mimic the feeling and feedback of Cherry MX Blue switches
- Water Resistant, Quality Design
The Redragon K552 features a combination of metal and ABS plastic which feels premium and sturdy and offers a level of water resistance which is highly unexpected from a keyboard at this price range
The Redragon K552 is an underestimated keyboard for the value it truly offers. The keyboard features a minimalist black design and is made with a hybrid metal and ABS design, which feels sturdy and resistant to bending. This keyboard has good key caps, which are actually impressive judging from these keyboards current price. What s missing from this keyboard however is the numerical keyboard which we believe honestly makes this keyboard look better. If you need a numerical keyboard look towards the Re dragon K551, in which the only difference between that and the Re dragon K552 is the numerical keyboard.
Both in and out of game the Redragon K552 is a more than solid keyboard. The included switches are fairly close to the Cherry MX Blue, which unsurprisingly makes them very loud and tactile. The lighting on the RGB variant of this keyboard is good, but nothing that will blow you away. You can expect similar lighting quality between the different models of this keyboard as Re dragon offers an option with no back lighting, red back lighting, rainbow, and RGB which are all within around $15 of each other. In game this keyboard is very responsive and loud as previously stated and you can expect similar performance to Cherry MX Blue Switches. Overall it is both comfortable to type and game with and these are some of the best mechanical switches at this price point.
What makes the Redragon K552 a solid keyboard is its offering of mechanical switches at an affordable price point. This keyboard might not feature the most robust feature-set not the flashiest feature set but you can’t really complain, with the inclusion of decent mechanical switches under $50. What also makes the Redragon K552 a fantastic keyboard, is its no-frills design. The minimalist, 10-keyless design of this keyboard means it will look great on virtually any desk without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for a solid while affordable mechanical gaming keyboard, the Re dragon K552 might be the best option for you.
Logitech G213 – Another Solid Option
Another high-end gaming company that has managed to impress with its budget options is Logitech with their relatively new keyboard, the Logitech G213. The Logitech G213 features
- Full Spectrum RGB Lighting
The Logitech G213 features full RGB lighting with up to 5 RGB zones. The RGB included is very thorough and can be customized with the very robust Logitech Gaming Software
- Great Membrane Switches
Like Corsair, Logitech includes membrane switches. The included switches on this keyboard are more responsive and tactile than the keys on the Corsair K55 and may actually be better; however they still don’t compare to mechanical.
- Dedicated Media Keys
The Logitech G213 features dedicated media keys and a windows lock key. It’s function keys can also be assigned to custom commands with the use of the Logitech Gaming Keyboard.
The Logitech G213 features a no-frills, minimal design with RGB. The RGB lighting in this keyboard is projected through the keys instead of around like the other keyboards but whether you prefer that is up to your personal preference. This keyboard also features a wrist-wrest but unlike other keyboards the wrist-rest included on this keyboard is not detachable. This keyboard also has full numerical key-pad and comfortable and tactile media control keys. A problem that I personally have with the keyboard’s design however, is that it is oversized compared to other keyboards and without the detachable wrist-rest there’s not much you can do to change that.
This keyboard is a good performer in games and performs exactly how you would expect a membrane keyboard to perform in game. This keyboard is kind of dead zone between the K552 and the Corsair K55 where it strives to out-do both but sort of ends up just as an alright option. Although this is a great performing keyboard which also looks great, it’s kind of just alright. At under $50 though this keyboard is a high quality option, and since you’re purchasing from Logitech you’ll know you’re getting a quality product which will be backed up by their solid support for years to come.
Ultimately, which option you decide to buy between these 3 keyboard will depend on your preference of either mechanical or membrane switches, or your reference between Logitech and Corsair. In the end, if you want a great budget, mechanical keyboard you’d have a hard time finding a better deal than the Redragon K552, and if your want a solid, premium and feature-rich budget gaming keyboard, the Corsair K55 is overall the best option. At this price-point, you will honestly not go wrong with either of the 3 option knowing that you won’t be breaking the bank.
If you’re looking for even keyboards and have a bit more to spend, look at our article on the best gaming keyboards here., and if you need a budget mouse to go with your keyboard look at our article here on the best gaming mice under 50.