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Your Guide to Buying the Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard in 2017

Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard
Christopher M.    , , , , , ,   -

Your Guide to Buying the Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard in 2017

PC gaming has become more and more popular and this year it’s not just about the games but it’s now all about the hardware! And aside from fancy gaming screens, cool gaming mice, headsets and more, a player’s gaming keyboard should be durable, efficient and can withstand rigorous use too.

Mechanical gaming keyboards have become more popular because these are highly responsive, able to work even when multiple keys are pressed and all the amazing features such as customizable backlighting, visualizers and more. Every mechanical gaming keyboard uses a mechanical switch which improves gaming responsiveness while eliminating loud disruptive noises while playing.

Thinking of buying a mechanical keyboard for gaming or computing? Here are some tips for you.

Durability

Mechanical keyboards should withstand the rigors of hardcore gaming and therefore should be durable and should last for months. Read reviews and find out the usual “lifespan” of a keyboard before you make your purchase.

Design

Mechanical keyboards come in a variety of design and in general can be divided into full keyboards and compact keyboards. Full keyboards have complete keys along with the numerical keys while compact ones don’t have these keys. Ergonomic design features are also popular with built-in or detachable palm rests, cascading keys and more.

Materials Used

All plastic keyboards could become worn out in just a matter of weeks if you are a hard core gamer. Invest in a keyboard with strong aluminum or metal body and of course switches that won’t break, fade or crack.

Backlight

Backlighting steals the show when it comes to gaming; it makes your game more fun and exciting. There are many backlighting features that are very popular and of course a variety of LED colors to choose from. Choose a mechanical gaming keyboard with customizable backlighting and dimming features.

Features

There are a lot of features to consider. Some keyboards are waterproof, dustproof, with easy to access volume, multimedia and keyboard lock controls, preset backlighting features, ergonomic features and more. Choose the one that you simply cannot do without.

100% All Mechanical Switches

Be careful, some keyboards claim they are mechanical but not completely built with mechanical switches at all. Expect high-end ones to be fully or 100% mechanical while midrange to low-end keyboards to only have mechanical switches for major gaming keys.

Weight

If you plan to take your keyboard anywhere then consider a lighter one at around 2 to 2.5 pounds but of course you have to compensate on the construction, material used and design. Most light keyboards may only be made of light plastic.

Brand and Price

The brand counts a lot when considering quality, overall construction, features and design but of course these come with a price. Simply put, high-end keyboards could be more expensive and vice versa. Still there are cheap mechanical keyboards in the market that have reasonable features that would fare well with your gaming needs.

There are a lot of awesome mechanical gaming keyboards with backlights available for less than $100 and even for less than $60. We have here ten of the best ones.

10 Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards in 2017


Patriot Viper V760 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

With Full RGB Backlight

Patriot Viper V760 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros:
Uses Kailh mechanical brown switches
With 104 key rollover anti-ghosting features
Capable of 104 programmable macro keys
Cons:
Hard to configure software
Palm resting area could be awkward for large hands
Mouse causing problems

Reviews:
The Patriot Viper V760 is a mechanical gaming keyboard known or its radical design, awesome gaming features and high-end price. It is available online at $90. But as they say, you get what you pay for which makes the Patriot Viper one of the best budget mechanical keyboards under $100 for its features and design. Here’s what you will find.

First the Patriot Viper looks sturdy, well-built and very durable. The keys are 100% Kailh mechanical brown switches which means these are very durable and will withstand millions of keystrokes. It is the keyboard for hardcore gaming capable of 104 key roll over anti-ghosting with full spectrum RGB backlight keys.

Some gaming keyboards claim to be fully mechanical but have keys that are not especially ‘function’ keys. But the Patriot Viper is all-mechanical and all keys are even programmable. This means you got the edge in any game you play. And because this keyboard is designed for tough gaming, you can also expect that it is very strong. Its body is made of aircraft –grade aluminum so it’s strong as well as sleek.

As far as the backlight is concerned, no other keyboard could be as colorful as the Patriot Viper with its multi-colored backlight that you can personalize. You can also adjust how bright or how dim lights will be and even lights specific for a game you are playing! This feature definitely adds to the excitement and fun of online game playing.

But as every mechanical gaming keyboard has neat features, there are also disadvantages too. First, the software that came with the keyboard takes time to configure and may not even work for the first try. The keyboard is said to be ergonomically designed but gamers with large hands found it a bit awkward to use the palm rest. Luckily this was removable. Some had problems using this keyboard with their mice too and took time to configure everything out before playing. The price is too steep for a gaming keyboard but most players agree that with the features that it has, the price is definitely worth it.


Pictek 104 Keys Anti-Ghosting Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch

PICTEK 104 Keys Anti Ghosting Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Backlit Game Keyboard Computer Keyboard With Blue Switch

Pros:
Anti-ghosting with multiple-key rollover
Waterproof and dustproof with drain holes
With cap puller to clean each key more efficiently
Cons:
The palm rest and other ergonomic features were out of place
The keys are too loud
Lights are way too bright

Review:
The Pictek 104-keys mechanical gaming keyboard has tons of features to make gamers happy and unbelievably it is available online for less than $60. It is definitely the best cheap mechanical keyboard online with quality features. To begin, the Pictek’s looks like a sturdy and well lit keyboard that has a lot of ergonomic features for hard core yet comfortable gaming.

As you use this mechanical gaming keyboard, you begin to notice a lot of differences from other ergonomic keyboards of the same price and features. You can perform better with its sensitive and responsive blue switches with removable key caps. The manufacturer guarantees the keyboard as durable of up to 50 million keystrokes. The keys don’t fade and are made of top quality ABS and metal for ultimate durability.

A unique feature of the Pictek is that it is waterproof and dustproof to some degree. There are drain holes that will allow you to completely dry the keyboard and the keys can be completely removed for cleaning. A special key cap puller comes with the Pictek keyboard to easily pull keys and clean them from the inside.

Typing and gaming in the dark or just to please your competitors is the aim of Pictek which is why it has the brightest backlight display. There are also 9 backlight effects with 6 different colors to choose from. There are easy access keys too for volume, key lock, media player controls and calculation.

The dazzling Pictek gaming keyboard has amazing features but despite these there are still downsides to its use. For one, people with large hands find the ergonomic features out of place. The keys are audible but some say that are way too loud to concentrate. There are different light settings for the backlight but no switches or commands to dim them. It is too bright for average gaming in a dark room.

All in all, the Pictek could be the ergonomic mechanical gaming keyboard for you. If you are not that annoyed by backlights and keystroke noises then this may be worth using to improve your gaming stats.


Aukey Mechanical Keyboard

With Blue Switches, 104-Key Gaming Keyboard with RGB Backlit

Aukey Budget Mechanical Keyboard

Pros:
Has high accuracy making gaming more immersive and fun
Individual switches making key presses more responsive
Choose from a variety of lighting pre-sets for games
Cons:
Cool lighting modes but some are quite unnecessary
The keys are loud
The spacebar is flimsy

Review:
The Aukey mechanical keyboard with Blue Switches is a 104-key gaming keyboard which has an RGB backlit is considered one of the best cheap backlit mechanical keyboard that you can purchase for less than $60. Upon first glance it looks very different from other high-end brands because it has no fancy wrist pads, panels that open or additional switches on the side. But when you use it, you will agree that it is a gaming keyboard worthy of praise for the best price.

The Aukey is has 104-keys and are very accurate for improved gaming and typing experience. It is not whisper quiet like most gaming keyboards but the clicks are audible and satisfying. The switches are individually set so this means you can expect accurate responses and commands in every game. The manufacturer even specifically stated that this keyboard has a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes! Quite a great deal for its mid-range price.

A cool feature of this Aukey gaming keyboard is that you can select from a variety of lighting effects with different color patterns and modes. Some gamers and users found this fun and exciting for a mid-range mechanical gaming keyboard but some found it a little bit annoying.

Some lighting presets were fun while some were just simply annoying and unnecessary. But when completely lit, the Aukey is a dazzling spectacle in the game room! The main keys are lit yellow, green and blue while the arrow keys section is lit pink. The numerical keypad is lit red.

The keys have an audible clicking sound but to most who want a quiet keyboard, this could be already a noisy model! There are also specific complaints about a flimsy and loose spacebar which could be a remote issue and could depend on the type of gaming and usage of the device.

This best cheap backlit mechanical keyboard may be one of the lightest at 2.1 pounds. Compared to other models that can be as heavy as 4 to 5 pounds, the Aukey can be packed and taken anywhere you want to play.


Aula Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard

With Blue Switch, Ergonomic Gaming and Computer Keyboard

Aula Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard

Pros:
With numerous lighting options
Durable with 1-year warranty
With lock and unlock function for Windows
Cons:
Uneven typing with ergonomic design
Won’t last as promised

Review:
The Aula Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard is a gaming and computing keyboard that fits your budget. For less than $70 online, the Aula could be the best cheap mechanical keyboard that you could be looking for. This keyboard will give you an edge with gaming because of its responsive keys made using Aula Armor Technology and it does not matter what game you play or how experience a gamer you are.

The Aula has an ergonomic design which is ideal for long hours of online gaming. A special resting area for the wrist is found in both sides of the keyboard and this is meant to reduce wrist pain and pressure. The keys are also higher compared to other mechanical gaming keyboards with lights specific for every region. Users will be able to play more efficiently and locate the keys that they want to use despite very low lighting conditions. A button that locks and unlocks Windows is located on the keyboard. This eliminates clicking errors and distractions while a game is in progress.

Basically, the Aula Sapphire is a cool way to play games whether you are playing during the morning or in the dark. But there are also some disadvantages as well. First the ergonomic design looks great but once you use it, the wrist pad makes it harder to type (not gaming). The keys are exceptionally higher than most brands too which may be difficult for someone with small hands; you might end up pressing unnecessary buttons with your palm. There are also complaints that the wrist pads are rough which is impossible to bear especially with long-term gaming.

There are some reviews that the Aula does not last as promised with users saying it could only go as far as a year and then would fail. This is a remote issue and lifespan of the product could definitely depend on the way that it is used.

Finally, the Aula mechanical gaming keyboard is considered to be one of the heaviest at 6 pounds. Definitely this means that this hardware is better left connected to your PC at home and not as a portable keyboard.


Azio Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Azio Backlit Affordable Mechanical Keyboard

Pros:
Uses Kailh Blue mechanical switches
Anodized aluminum faceplate so its durable
Removable palm rest
Cons:
Uncomfortable palm rest
Non-flexible cable
Longevity issues; some said that it died a month later

Review:
The Azio Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a mid-range mechanical keyboard designed for hard core gaming and computing. Upon first glance, you might think that this is a mechanical keyboard for typing because of the straightforward design and detachable palm rest. But as the lights power on, you will see the difference.

The Azio is made with Kailh Blue mechanical switches so this means smooth, seamless and very responsive gaming and computing. You got the edge when you use this mechanical keyboard for gaming! It has white LED backlight that is totally adjustable; nothing fancy like the multi-colored backlit keyboards but it the white light does the job well.

This keyboard is also ergonomically designed, slightly raised and with a detachable palm rest. There are easy to access keys for multi media functions and keyboard lock plus a volume wheel to adjust volume controls on the fly. No need to pause a game to control volume and access multimedia controls as well.
Some say that the Azio could be too boring with only white backlight on its keys. But some disagree calling the Azio a professional-looking gaming keyboard which has all the best gaming functions for the best price. So if you are looking for a keyboard Christmas tree-like lighting then you better check out other mechanical gaming keyboards instead.

The Azio may be a great gaming keyboard but it has its fair share of cons. First is the palm rest which is uncomfortable for some users. This is made of hard plastic so this often ends up unused. The keyboard cord is too hard and inflexible which makes it hard to reposition the keyboard accordingly. But despite this small concern, the cord is strong and could withstand years of gaming use.

Finally, the Azio may be perfect only for home gaming because it is slightly heavy at 2.3 pounds. All in all, the Azio backlit mechanical gaming keyboard has the features that will completely improve your game but there are also disadvantages to its use. The price is affordable and with the features, this is really one of the best mechanical keyboard deals you will find online.


E-Element Z-88 RGB LED Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Backlit, Waterproof with 104 Keys Anti-Ghosting, Blue Switches

E Element RGB LED Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros:
Each keys controlled by an independent switch
With 10-mode backlighting features
Customizable mechanical switches
Cons:
Random keys lagging experienced by some users
LED lights, especially the blue ones, could be too bright
Not all lighting effects are perfect for gaming

Review:
The E- Element Z-88 is a mechanical keyboard with a mid-range price. It is considered one of the cheap mechanical keyboards on sale because it is affordable for less than $52 online with great features to boot. It also has unique features that let you massively improve the way you play.

Upon first glance, the E-Element looks compact and is even a full keyboard complete with numerical keys. The backlights look very exciting while the entire keyboard body looks sturdy and well built. Use it one time and you will feel the different keys working simultaneously even if you press n number of keys at once. Each key has an independent switch so this means that you get fast response no matter what game you are playing.

The blue switches are customizable and are designed for long term use and even look and feel durable and are very responsive. You will also enjoy the 10-mode backlighting features with additional color-flashing speed which will let you add fun to your game. Each key is double-shot injection molded so you can see every light, every flicker as you use the keyboard.

And if you want to customize the backlights according to your game, you may also do so with key by key LED color customization features. No need to use a program or set up software to do it. Finally, there are convenient multi-media buttons present on the keyboard such as gaming lock, calculator, multimedia and volume controls.

When it comes to the cons of buying an E-Element Z88, the most common complaint is that the lights, especially the blue LEDs are too bright while some of the custom LED backlight modes are not ideal for gaming as well. There are remote issues with the keys lagging even after just using the mechanical keyboard for a few months.

All in all, the E-Element Z88 could be the cheapest backlit mechanical keyboard for gaming and computing with the features that you need. The price is almost half the high-end models but the features and design are technically the same.


Logitech G710 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Tactile High-Speed Keys – Cherry MX Brown

Logitech G710 Budget Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros:
Quiet mechanical keys with superior tactile feedback
Adjustable backlighting
Configurable keys up to 18 unique functions for every game
Cons:
Key caps with moderate to poor quality, according to some reviews
No replacement caps offered by the manufacturer
Replacement caps could cost more than $25 each

Review:
The Logitech G710 is currently one of the best budget backlit mechanical keyboards in the market. It’s around $78 online but with its exceptional features it may be the best mechanical keyboard under $100. One of the most striking features of this mechanical keyboard is that it is exceptionally quiet compared to other brands with the same features. It delivers amazing responsiveness and superior feedback which will definitely give you an edge when playing.

The backlights are fully adjustable which allows you to personalize the way you use the device. You can adjust the brightness of the WASD and arrow keys independently from all the keys so you can play even in very low lighting conditions. Keys are also customizable and programmable with up to 18 unique functions for every game. This includes complex scripts, macros and single keypresses. Light moves? You can still expect precision as you play. Convenient volume and media player buttons located on the keyboard will allow you instant access to music, video and gaming controls too. Pressing 26 keys at once will never faze this mechanical gaming keyboard with cool rollover feature.

There are some issues with keys breaking and with complaints of poor construction but these could be remote issues. The construction, materials used and the design of the Logitech G710 is durable and would work even with years of use. Obviously issues with breaking keys could be experienced during hard core gaming for continuous hours of use. And possibly one set back is Logitech not providing replacement keys should one breaks or fails. A single MX key could cost around $25 per piece and this is not good at all.

All in all the Logitech G170 is tough, durable and reasonably –priced when it comes to the many features it has. Finally, it is also one of the heaviest mechanical gaming keyboards at 4.5 pounds. It is therefore not built to be taken anywhere but it will last for years or midrange to hard core gaming with good features that will enhance your gaming experience.


Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Essential Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Razer BlackWidow Affordable Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros:
All mechanical switches designed specifically for gaming
Very durable with up to 80 million keystrokes
With two –year warranty
Cons:
Connector to PC would drop when moved because of a loose connector
Issues with double pressing keys
Customer service issues

Review
The Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition mechanical keyboard is currently one of the best mechanical keyboards under $100. As an overview, its mechanical switches have been designed extensively for hard core gamers along with its durable and tough design. It has a compact layout meaning no numerical keys are present. So if you are looking for a keyboard that will work with everyday computing use then you must look elsewhere.

The switch from a traditional keyboard to a mechanical one has made gaming more efficient and even completely different with me. The Razer has a crisp and tactile feel when you use it which will allow you to deliver consistent results. I expect this gaming keyboard to last with its guarantee of more than 80 million keystrokes and superb 2- year warranty.

On the keyboard, buttons for easy access to volume and media playback are present which is perfect for watching movies, videos or listening to music on the fly. Should you want to reprogram your keys, you can easily do it using its easy to use interface.

Unlike other cheap gaming keyboards that will only last a few weeks for hardcore gamers, the Razer has detachable braided fiber USB cable. Along with its tough design, it looks like that this gaming keyboard will last for years to come.

One thing about this keyboard that could put you off is that it’s surprisingly heavy at 2 pounds. With this weight it is not compact and transportable at all. Cheap mechanical keyboards are very light and can be easily taken anywhere but I guess this is not possible with the Razer BlackWidow.

There are some issues that the keys could double press along with some connector issues but I guess these are simply remote issues. The Razer works efficiently, will level up your gaming with ultra-responsive keys and is durable inside and out. Anyone new to mechanical keys may experience double pressing issues since this type of gaming keyboards require very little effort to press.

Customer service issues are another remote complaint. Issues can be settled through email or by calling Razer customer service available 24/7.


Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Red LED, Cherry MX Red

Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros:
With Cherry MX key switches
Bright red adjustable backlight
Fully programmable keys
Cons:
Cord comes out from the center of the keyboard
Very thick cord which uses two USB ports

Review
The Corsair STRAFE is considered one of the best budget mechanical keyboards in the market because it looks sleek, strong and perfect for gaming. It pretty much looks like its predecessor, the K70 and has most of its features too although it is not made of anodized brushed aluminum.

First impressions, this keyboard looks well-built with high quality materials. It has white painted sides with backing mesh and the color is the perfect choice for tough gaming. The keys are made of genuine Cherry MX key switches so you get the perfect response all the time. All the caps are textured and contoured so you get the best grip and improved feel every time you use it.

The lighting is awesome, brilliant red, and can be adjusted to suit your needs. You can program the keys too so you can have a personalized gaming keyboard according to your own gaming needs. This keyboard also responds fast and in tune with your movements no matter how fast you play. Your moves register all the time!

The backlights can also be adjusted according to your play. Don’t be deceived with Corsair STRAFE pictures with very bright lights. You can pick from an unimaginable 16.8 million colors to be your backlight. There is even a function that lets you choose a color for each key. Definitely a great feature to enhance your performance no matter what kind of game you are playing.

Possibly another unique feature of this mechanical keyboard is that it can visualize music! But you need to download the Corsair Effects Engine to be able to do it. It is easy to configure and fun to use. There are only a few cheap mechanical keyboards in the market with this kind of feature and by far, Corsair STRAFE leaves all the competition behind.

Finally, if you have used other types of keyboards for gaming (bubble membrane keyboards and scissor key keyboards) then you may find using a mechanical switch-type keyboard rather unusual. It took e a while to get used to this but once I got it, I swear I would prefer no other keyboards than this.


Motespeed K92 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

RGB Backlit, 104 Keys N-Key Rollover, Detachable Palm Rest and Blue Switches

Motespeed K92 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros:
Fully-customizable keys
Easy to use interface
Adjustable backlighting system with 6 modes
Cons:
Awkward palm rest but removable
Lighting modes could be annoying

Review:
The Motespeed gaming keyboard is ideal for players and users who want to amp up their gaming experience with cool keyboard backlighting. It is a cheap mechanical keyboard with great features for less than $70 online.

At first sight, the Motespeed looks like any ordinary keyboard save for the additional removable palm rest. But once you use it you can tell that it is well worth your time. This mechanical keyboard boost of high-performance features with customizable keys. From function keys to macro keys, you can choose the type of color, the dynamic effects and the brightness of the LED lighting but you need to do this through its interface.

There are 6 modes to choose from with 18 different kids of cool breathing patterns. It turns your keyboard to a dazzling gaming display! And with the Motespeed, you won’t have to worry of unresponsive keys with its anti-ghosting 104 key rollover feature. Individual keys are independently controlled to provide accurate response no matter what you are doing.

Motespeed creators guarantee that this gaming keyboard will certainly last for years with up to 60 million hits per key exactly. It also has a few ergonomic features such as keys cascading slightly to avoid fatigue after long periods of gaming or computing. The palm rest allows users to place the lower part of their palms to prevent fatigue and is removable so it won’t get in the way for people with large hands.

And while the Motespeed is gathering great reviews online for its features, design and durability, there are some critical reviews as well. First, the lighting feature is exciting but could be “too much” for some users. The interface that controls and customizes the keyboard may be harder to use for some. Still there are people who appreciate the removable palm rest plus other ergonomic features but still asks if there could be more.

All in all, the Motespeed K92 mechanical gaming keyboard fits the bill. It is affordably-priced and gives more than expected. The features make it easy to improve your gaming skills and the overall construction and design is worth every penny.


Conclusion – Our #1 Pick

Buying a cheap mechanical keyboard for gaming or computing is possible. You can find mechanical keyboards for less than $60 with great features, good design and construction fit for midrange to hardcore gaming. But if you are looking for a gaming keyboard that has the best features and the most durable design, then the Patriot Viper V760 mechanical gaming keyboard with full RGB backlight is for you.

Made of quality, strong aircraft-grade aluminum, this mechanical keyboard has a strong chassis built for long and hard core gaming. No wonder it is the choice of more PC gamers compared to other keyboards available in the market.

The Patriot Viper V760 has 100% all mechanical keys using Kailh mechanical brown switches. It has 104-key rollover features which will keep working even when multiple keys are pressed at the same time. The most striking feature of the Patriot Viper is its backlight keys feature a full spectrum of colors of RGB LED backlight keys.

USB pass through, programmable keys and cool lighting effects add to the great features that will surely amp up your gaming. And of course, the Patriot Viper has an ergonomic design with removable, comfortable palm rest. Those with large hands can opt to remove this palm rest if it gets in the way.

The Patriot Viper is slightly more expensive compared to other keyboards but for gamers looking for a quality mechanical gaming keyboard with backlights, the price is worth it. It is currently available online for less than $90 and carries a 2-year warranty.
What people are saying about the Patriot Viper V760

The Patriot Viper V760 currently has 4 ½ stars over 5 with 65% of reviewers giving it a perfect 5-star score. Customers recommend this mechanical keyboard for its
Durable construction and quality materials – it has brushed aluminum back plate with absolutely no cheap plastic material used to make the product.
Wrist pad has a matte finish, not padded – this avoids pressure over the wrist and won’t irritate skin as well.

Plug and play keyboard – just connect to your PC and it’s ready to use. Download and install the Patriot software to access more customization options for your keyboard; this is easy to do and won’t take long.

USB pass through – not all keyboards have this and it’s great to have so you can easily access a USB port for charging phones and other portables.

Some users have reported a few disadvantages of using the Patriot Viper. This includes the palm rest being uncomfortable and the palm rest very inconvenient for large hands. Luckily the palm rest is removable so problem solved! Software complaints are also common but Patriot customer service is ready to help customers with technical aspects of the keyboard anytime.

All in all, you are looking for a good mechanical gaming keyboard with backlight features for an affordable price; the Patriot Viper could be the one you are looking for. This product is available at online for less than $90