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If you're ready to ditch your membrane keyboard and quickly become the coolest member of your office, you're ready for one of the best mechanical keyboards of 2020. Besides garnering you a solid amount of PC street cred, mechanical keyboards are more versatile and robust than their membrane counterparts.
With mechanical keyboards, you get a far more personalized and customizable experience. Everything from your keycaps to what kind of switches you want can be tailored to your exact specifications.
If you're itching to know more, read our article all about mechanical keyboards to get the skinny.
Good build quality
Our choice for "best overall" checks a lot of boxes: it's affordable, well-designed, durable, and super versatile. If you're looking for a moderately-priced mechanical keyboard that feels great and isn't too noisy, the Logitech K840 is a professional-looking full-sized keyboard with specially engineered switches that give you the quiet, comfortable touch you want.
The K840 is a corded USB keyboard with the perfect balance of comfort and toughness. The solid aluminum top case can withstand heavy use, and each key is tested to over 70 million strokes. The keys are built with Logitech's Romer-G mechanical switches that offer a high level of responsiveness without excessive noise. Instead, they give you just the right amount of tactile feedback and travel with 26-key rollover to ensure accuracy. The keyboard size and built-in tilt legs reduce fatigue even during long typing sessions.
Download the Logitech Options software and you can customize the F1-F14 key shortcuts. There are also media keys (pause, play, volume, etc.) built right in for extra convenience. To take advantage of all the features, you need a computer running Windows 7, 8, 10, or later.
While the Logitech K840 isn't a designated gaming keyboard, it makes a great "starter" gaming keyboard for someone who wants something a little more multipurpose for their PC.
Sleek aluminum frame
Only available with blue switches
This affordable mechanical keyboard from Redragon comes with 87 extra-responsive keys, each controlled by an independent switch, which allows multiple keys to be used simultaneously. This helps you improve your speed and accuracy when gaming or typing. Concave key tops conform to the natural curves of your fingertips for a comfortable computing experience. This sturdy keyboard is made from ABS and metal with a modern matte-finish texture and is waterproof so you don’t have to stress about small spills. With eighteen different backlit modes and six themed backlights, you can customize your keyboard’s look and adjust its brightness to suit your style.
Multiple switch options
Das Keyboard is well-known among gamers, programmers and other serious computer users for its quality and longevity. Now, in good news for Mac users, the DasKeyboard 4 Professional Mechanical Keyboard is specially designed for Mac OS X to help you maximize performance and speed. Featuring Cherry MX mechanical key switches and gold contacts, this keyboard also comes with NKRO over USB technology for faster response times. The two-port USB 3.0 SuperSpeed hub provides up to 5Gb/s, 10x the speed of USB 2.0, so you can leave your competition in the dust. An instant sleep button helps conserve energy and laser-etched key inscriptions ensure durability.
Wraparound RGB underglow
No customization software
Are you ready to raid? Don’t let your keyboard let you down; try a mechanical keyboard specifically made for gamers such as this ETRobot Mecanical Gaming Keyboard. The 104 anti-ghosting keys allow multiple keys to work at the same time even when you’re typing at full speed, ensuring that you get the best response for your mission-critical double and triple taps. This keyboard was tested by professional gamers to make sure every detail was in place such as the ergonomic keycaps, durable full-metal keyboard and 21 different red LED light effects. This keyboard also comes with a three-year warranty, so you can feel comfortable making this purchase.
Sturdy build quality
Layout has a bit of a learning curve
If you want only the best mechanical keyboard, the Happy Hacking Professional 2 is a great choice. This nondescript keyboard with its matte dark gray finish uses Topre switches, known throughout the industry for their sound, feel and high-quality performance. Though these switches lack a loud audible “click,” they still have an improved tactile feel and heavier push than dome or membrane keyboards, making them a great choice if you prefer to remain silent, but want the performance benefits of a mechanical keyboard. The keycaps are made from a high-quality plastic that resists wear and tear, so you can count on this keyboard for top performance for years to come.
"Another important consideration with keyboards is the layout. While most people are familiar with the standard 104-key layout, most mechanical keyboards have tenkeyless or TKL options as well." — Alice Newcome-Beill, Associate Commerce Editor
No software required for customization
Can't remove USB cable
Not true cherry switches
This beautiful backlit mechanical keyboard has serious style. The edgeless case and brushed aluminum panel have a minimalist sensibility, but with nine pre-set LED lighting effects, five editable game lighting combinations, and seven color options for each key, this keyboard knows how to get flashy, too. Featuring Outemu Blue switches, all 104 durable keys have individual mechanisms that “click” when you push them, provide full n-key rollover, and are optimized for anti-ghosting for improved performance and accuracy. The only downside? If you make a typo, you can no longer blame it on your keyboard.
No wrist rest
Ready to make the switch to a mechanical keyboard? Simply plug and play with the Havit RGB Mechanical Keyboard – no drivers needed. The gold-plated USB interface guarantees efficient and stable data transmission between your keyboard and PC, so you won’t miss a keystroke. This keyboard comes with easy-to-reach multimedia keys and a metal base with a wrist rest to help promote healthy typing postures and provide more comfort to you as you work or play. Want to add a little fun to your gaming experience? This keyboard also comes with nine backlight pre-set modes: always-on mode, single-color breathing mode, pro-gamer mode, seven-color breathing mode, on-click lighting mode, single-color or mixed flowing mode, running back and forth mode, as well as ripple-spreading mode.
Whether or not you're a gamer, the Logitech K840 brings together all the best features that mechanical keyboards have to offer. However, if you're really keen on having RGB backlighting, the Aukey RGB Mechanical Keyboard might be a better option
Our experts haven't had the chance to get their hands on any of our top picks just yet, but once they do, they'll be doing more than than just checking out their words-per-minute. They'll be paying attention to the type of switches the keyboard uses, as well as the layout; that is whether the keyboard includes a number pad, macro keys, or dedicated media controls.
Patrick Hyde lives in Seattle where he works as a digital marketer and freelance copywriter. With a Master’s degree in history from the University of Houston and a job in Seattle's booming tech industry, his interests and knowledge span the past, present, and future.
Alice Newcome-Beill currently has over 5 mechanical keyboards at home, fully aware that she is only capable of using one at any given time. She has reviewed keyboards for PCMag and PC Gamer. Her favorite switch color is silver.
Switches - At the heart of every mechanical keyboard are its switches. These specially designed mechanisms are what give mechanical keyboards a feel unlike any others on the market. Be sure to research the different available switch types to understand how each differs in feel and noise. Cherry MX switches, for example, have been well trusted for decades.
Backlighting - Will you be typing in the dark? If so, make sure to grab a mechanical keyboard with backlighting. Additionally, if you’re a gamer looking to make a statement, many mechanical keyboards are available with customizable RGB backlighting.
Platform - Mac or PC? Each operating system tends to have a different keyboard layout, and while technically all keyboards will work, it can be confusing if your keys aren’t in the right place. Most mechanical keyboards are geared toward PC users, so if you are on a Mac, be sure to find a keyboard that sports the correct keys.