Corsair is renown among other things for making great gaming keyboards and they’re taking the crown for the second year in a row but with a different recommendation. Last year, we advised our readers to opt for Corsair’s K70 RGB Rapidfire; an excellent, straightforward, and as-of-then affordable mechanical keyboard.
For 2019-2020 we’re recommending instead the K95 RGB Platinum. Compared to the K70, the K95 is a direct upgrade, with little in the way of downsides or trade-offs. The only reason it wasn’t our number one pick last year was its hefty price tag — at the time, it came in at a whopping $250. Now, it can be had for $160, which is significantly more reasonable.
For your money, you’re getting a durable aluminum construction, a plethora of RGB lighting customization options (everything from the top light bar to the Corsair logo can be recolored), a handy metal-plated volume scroll wheel, and six fully-programmable macro keys, labeled G1 through G7.
The K95 ships with your choice of Cherry MX Brown or “Speed” mechanical key switches. Both switch types are almost entirely silent, but the latter will trigger after 1.2mm of travel distance versus the former’s 2mm. While this keyboard isn’t strictly intended for productivity use-cases, it’s certainly no slouch when it comes to typing — that’s pretty much granted with decent engineering and Cherry MX switches.
As was the case with the K70, the K95 includes keys for media controls, a Windows button lock toggle (helpful for preventing accidental presses), and a key for rapidly adjusting backlight brightness. Naturally, many aspects of the keyboard can be changed using Corsair’s iCUE software. Finally, the K95 ships with a nicely-textured rubber wrist rest, which is always appreciated.
Gaming and Budget Friendly
If you’re looking to spend a bit less, Logitech’s G513 is another solid option, coming in at $125 with a standard 104-key layout. It offers a better wrist rest and more switch options (Tactile, Linear, or GX Blue) than the K95 at the cost of dedicated macro keys, a volume scroll wheel, and media buttons.
Even more budget-conscious PC gamers might consider Corsair’s $70 K68, which ships with Cherry MX Red, Blue, or Speed switches, as well as IP32 dust and spill resistance. It’s not a tenkeyless device, so you’ll still have access to a full set of function keys and a numpad. Like the G513, it lacks a dedicated scroll wheel and macro keys, but it does include media buttons and a wrist rest (though it doesn’t look nearly as comfortable as the K95 or G513’s). It’s also worth noting that the K68 connects via USB 2.0, which isn’t ideal in modern times.