The 5 Best Mechanical Keyboards of 2024

Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity among gamers, typists, and computer enthusiasts due to their superior tactile feedback, durability, and customization options. As we enter 2024, the market is flooded with a wide range of mechanical keyboards, making it challenging to choose the best one. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the 5 best mechanical keyboards of 2024 based on expert reviews and user feedback. Whether you are a gamer seeking lightning-fast response times or a typist looking for a comfortable and precise typing experience, these keyboards offer exceptional performance and features. Let's dive into the top picks for mechanical keyboards in 2024

The best all-around mechanical keyboard we’ve tested is the Keychron Q5 Max. This wireless keyboard has premium-feeling construction, a heavyweight aluminum case, and top-of-the-line typing quality right out of the box. It offers versatile wireless connectivity, supporting Bluetooth, which provides the best battery life and support for multi-device pairing, or a 2.4GHz connection, which offers excellent raw performance that can easily handle casual or competitive gaming.

The Keychron Q Max series is known for its premium build quality and high-end features. These keyboards incorporate elements commonly seen in boutique mechanical keyboards, such as hot-swap switch sockets, gasket mounting, full aluminum bodies, and support for open-source programming tools like VIA .

Design and Features:

  • The keyboards in the Q Max series have a solid aluminum case with no deck flex. They also feature a polycarbonate plate and a double gasket-mount design, which helps reduce vibrations and provides a cushioned typing experience .
  • The keyboards come with multiple layers of acoustic dampening material, including IXPE foam, latex pad, and PET film, which contribute to a quieter typing experience .
  • The keycaps are made of high-quality, doubleshot PBT plastic with a slightly textured finish for better grip .
  • The keyboards have four rubber feet on the underside to keep them firmly in place during typing .
  • The Q Max series keyboards come with pre-lubed switches and stabilizers for smoother and more consistent typing .
  • They offer customizable RGB lighting and support for QMK and VIA programming
Pros
  • Excellent build quality and premium design
  • Tons of high-end features and customization options
  • Improved typing experience with cushioned feel and reduced vibrations
  • Multiple layers of acoustic dampening material for quieter typing
  • Pre-lubed switches and stabilizers for smoother typing
Cons
  • Some users have reported inconsistent and slightly rattling stabilizers on larger keys
  • Lack of adjustable feet and wrist rest

Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard

Keychron V5 Max

We recommend the Keychron V5 Max as a less expensive option. This keyboard is essentially a budget version of our top pick, the Keychron Q5 Max. While it doesn’t feature the solid aluminum frame found on the more premium Keychron’s Q Max series boards, it has a surprisingly sturdy plastic frame. It also boasts a gasket mount design for a softer typing experience, along with high-quality PBT keycaps and layers of sound-dampening foam inside the board to help reduce the ping and rattle while you type.

The Keychron V5 Max is a mechanical keyboard that offers a range of features and options for a comfortable typing experience. While I couldn’t find a specific review for the Keychron V5 Max, I have gathered information from various sources to provide an overview of its key aspects.

Design and Build Quality:

  • The Keychron V5 Max features a compact design with a 1800-layout, which includes a number pad for those who require it .
  • It has a sturdy case and durable PBT keycaps, which provide a premium feel and long-lasting durability .
  • The keyboard is available in different switch options, including Gateron Jupiter Red, Gateron Jupiter Brown, and Gateron Jupiter Banana
  • It offers customizable RGB backlighting, allowing you to personalize the keyboard’s appearance .
  • The Keychron V5 Max comes with both USB-A and USB-C dongles for wireless connectivity .

Typing Experience:

  • The Gateron Jupiter Red switches, which are lightweight linear switches, provide a smooth typing experience .
  • Some users have reported a small tactile event that appears late in the travel of the switches, which is unusual for linear switches .
  • The keyboard is available with other switch options, such as Gateron Jupiter Brown and Gateron Jupiter Banana, which offer different tactile experiences .

Wireless Performance:

  • The Keychron V5 Max offers smooth wireless performance using the 2.4GHz dongle .
  • It comes with both USB-A and USB-C dongles, allowing you to use it with different devices without the need for constant switching .

Overall Impressions:

  • The Keychron V5 Max is praised for its comfortable typing experience and thoughtful design .
  • Users have appreciated the wireless performance and the inclusion of both USB-A and USB-C dongles .
  • The keyboard’s switch options provide flexibility for different typing preferences
  • Some users have reported a slight tactile irregularity in the linear switches, but it may not be noticeable to everyone .

Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

ROYAL KLUDGE RK61

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is a popular 60% mechanical keyboard that offers a compact form factor and various features at an affordable price.

For an even cheaper option, we recommend the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61. This lightweight keyboard has a tiny footprint, making it a great companion for smaller workspaces or use on the go. It’s a wireless unit that supports multi-device pairing with up to three devices using Bluetooth, so you don’t have to worry about cables except when charging. Speaking of charging, this keyboard’s major weak point is its battery life—although it can last up to 10 hours before recharging. While this keyboard doesn’t offer the same premium-feeling build quality as some of the options above, it does have a hot-swappable PCB, which means you can pull out the stock switches and replace them with switches you prefer to control how your keyboard feels and sounds.

Design and Build Quality:

  • The RK61 has a solid and premium feel, with a heavier weight than expected .
  • The LED backlighting is blue and has different modes, but it lacks RGB lighting .
  • The keycaps are made of ABS plastic, which is not as durable as PBT keycaps .
  • Some users have reported that the stabilizers can be a bit rattly .

Switches:

  • The RK61 comes with Royal Kludge branded switches, which are not as good as Cherry MX switches .
  • The switches have a satisfying click and tactile bump, making them suitable for typing and gaming .
  • The switches are comparable to Cherry MX Blues but have a higher pitch and slightly less stability .

Connectivity:

  • The RK61 offers triple mode connectivity, including Bluetooth 5.0, 2.4G wireless, and USB-C wired connection .
  • It is praised for its multi-device Bluetooth capabilities, making it compatible with various devices and operating systems .

Software and Customization:

  • The dedicated software for the RK61 has been reported to have issues and may not work properly .
  • Some users have tried flashing firmware from other ROYAL KLUDGE keyboards to get the software to work, but this method can cause problems and is not recommended .

Typing Experience:

  • The switches on the RK61 offer a tactile and clicky typing experience, suitable for both enthusiasts and those transitioning from rubber domes .
  • The keyboard layout has some drawbacks, such as the placement of certain keys and the need to use the function key for certain characters

Best Mechanical Keyboard For Gaming

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a top-notch mechanical gaming keyboard that offers unparalleled customization and impressive performance. It is a great choice for gamers and typists who value personalization and durability.

If you’re a mechanical keyboard lover looking for the best pick for gaming, look no further than the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This keyboard’s switches use magnets to register keypresses rather than a fixed physical mechanism. This technology lets you precisely adjust every key’s actuation and reset points, effectively adjusting how sensitive each keypress is. In practice, if you want a super sensitive WASD cluster for movements while gaming, you can set the actuation point down to 1mm. You can also create a profile with deeper actuation points on all keys for typing.

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a highly customizable mechanical gaming keyboard that offers unique features and impressive performance.

Design and Features:

  • The Apex Pro features a striking design with attractive RGB lighting.
  • It is built on a Series 5000 aluminum alloy frame, which gives it a durable and premium feel .
  • The keyboard comes with a magnetic wrist rest that provides comfort during long gaming or typing sessions .
  • It has an OLED screen that allows for easy customization without the need for additional software .
  • The keyboard also includes a USB 2.0 Type-A passthrough port for convenient connectivity .

OmniPoint Switches:

  • The Apex Pro uses OmniPoint switches, which are adjustable mechanical switches with an analog Hall Effect magnetic sensor .
  • These switches allow you to individually set the actuation point for nearly every key, providing unprecedented customization .
  • With the SteelSeries software or the OLED screen, you can set the actuation point for each key from 0.4mm to 3.6mm .
  • The linear feel of the OmniPoint switches provides a smooth typing experience, but it may feel mushy for those who prefer tactile switches.

Performance and Durability:

  • The Apex Pro offers excellent performance with 104-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting, ensuring that all key presses are registered accurately .
  • The keys are guaranteed for 100 million presses, which is twice the average of typical mechanical gaming keyboards, thanks to the OmniPoint switches .

Best Modular Mechanical Keyboard

NuPhy Gem80

The NuPhy Gem80 is a custom mechanical keyboard that offers a great typing experience without the hassle of assembling the entire keyboard yourself. It comes mostly built, only requiring switches and keycaps, which can be conveniently purchased at the same time

If you’re in the market for a mechanical keyboard that you can customize from the ground up, we recommend the NuPhy Gem80. This TKL model is only available as a barebones kit. All the internal components—including a PCB, sound-dampening materials, and stabilizers—are in place out of the box, but you have to buy and install your own switches and keycaps separately.

Design and Features:

  • The Gem80 is available in both wired and wireless configurations, starting at $150. It features a standard TKL layout with an extra F13 key and offers a layout that is familiar and accessible to most users .
  • The keyboard is designed to be an introduction to the world of custom mechanical keyboards, providing a taste of the building experience without the need for extensive knowledge or time-consuming assembly .
  • The Gem80 supports hot-swapping switches, making it easy to install switches without the need for tools or opening the case. It also offers customization options for sound and feel, with different mounting styles and foam options .
  • The keyboard has a stylish design with a variety of color options for the top case, and the keycaps are made of doubleshot PBT plastic with centered legends. The keycaps have a spherical shape and large concave surfaces, providing a comfortable typing experience .

Typing Experience:

  • The typing experience on the Gem80 will vary depending on the type of switches used. The keyboard supports various switch options, including Nuphy Mint, Lemon, Raspberry, and Cherry MX Silent Red switches. The switches are pre-lubed and offer a smooth and clackier typing experience .

Connectivity and Battery Life:

  • The Gem80 supports tri-mode wireless connectivity, allowing it to connect to up to three devices over Bluetooth 5.0 and a single 2.4GHz host using the included USB dongle. The keyboard has fast switching between devices and offers native compatibility with macOS .
  • The battery life of the wireless version is decent, with approximately 45 hours of total battery life with RGB backlighting turned on and around 70 hours with only the homing bars lit. The keyboard can also be used in wired mode via USB Type-C
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