Whether you are a professional gamer, a newbie or just a regular computer user, you would have wondered the perks of using a gaming keyboard. Sometimes one is really bothered between two same devices having somewhat different specs and functionalities. That is why we have written this detailed article covering a complete article on Gaming Keyboard vs Normal Keyboard.
A keyboard is one of the most important and crucial component of any computer. Gaming keyboard is not just about aesthetics, design and lights; there is much more. Obviously a normal keyboard is going to fulfill all your requirements of typing and basic functionalities. However, if you are a professional and especially a gamer, the worth and productivity of a gaming keyboard cannot be ignored.
What is a Gaming keyboard?
A gaming keyboard similar to regular keyboard is equipped with all basic functions. Whether you are writing alphabets from A to Z, numeric from 0 to 9 or any other special characters, function keys from F1 to F12 and performing all operations like copy/ paste, the regular and gaming keyboards are similar.
However, the RGB backlights, advanced media controls, and special programmable keys are some of the main features that gives a visible superiority to its user. In competitive ventures like gaming, one needs to be equipped with some advanced gadgets in order to have dominance over the counterparts. That is why whether it is some high quality headphones, a higher DPI mouse or an advanced gaming keyboard; a gamer needs to own these.
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How Do Gaming Keyboards and Normal Keyboards Differ?
As mentioned earlier, both these keyboards are similar in their basic functions. However, a low cost regular keyboard is going to support you only in basic programs such as regular MS Office usage. For constant usage such as gaming and type writing, a regular keyboard is not going to be your companion for long.
The reason is gaming keyboards, though costly, are equipped with state of the art hardware as well as functionalities, that gives these a real edge over regular keyboards.
Moreover, your accuracy and speed with gaming keyboards are going to improve dramatically. Also the tactile response and audible feedback will provide you with most satisfying experience. That is why we have written this detailed article on Gaming keyboard vs Normal keyboard to make the differences easy for you.
Reasons to Buy a Gaming Keyboard
If you are a competitive gamer or a professional having a greater keyboard time, it is always recommended to go for a premium gaming keyboard. There are several reasons to buy a gaming keyboard instead of a regular QWERTY keyboard. Some of these reasons are explained below:
Programmable Keys (Macros)
Almost all gaming keyboards are equipped with extra programmable keys. These additional programmable keys known as Macros or Macro Keys, allows you to assign and bind complex commands to these special keys.
This helps a lot especially while playing RPG (Role Playing Games) or RTS (Real Time Strategy) games. Thus, using macros, instead of pressing 7 different keys, you may assign such command to a single key. Therefore, whether you are going to throw your special powers or just entering a dominant phase, is possible with one key instead of pressing several keys.
Similarly if you are a constant command guy, then you can assign that command to programmable key and you are good to go. Some of the keyboards have their own app for binding commands (macros) to a programmable key. While, in some keyboards you will find a shortcut to record a specific macro for a key.
In short, Macros make your life easier, by giving you an edge in precision as well as accuracy in a quick and swift manner.
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Keyboard RGB Backlighting
Sometimes it’s not all about performance, but aesthetics and presentation are equally important. The keyboard RGB backlighting is a feature which is admired and loved a lot by gamers as well as tech geeks.
This is a really cool feature that is very rare in some normal regular keyboard. You may have single or multi colored backlights. This means you may have all keys lit by just a single color such as white or green or multiple RGB colors. A good premium gaming keyboard is going to have different multiple color backlights.
All quality gaming keyboards allow you to assign different colors to specific keys. Thus if you are using keyboard in low light, then for a specific game or frequent used keys, you may have no issues.
Similarly, to give a more awesome look to your overall build, most of the premium tech manufactures such as Razer, Corsair and Logitech allows color synchronization. Using this feature, you may synchronize color of all your peripherals such as mouse, headset, keyboard as well as your PC. Resultantly, you will have a brilliant color theme of overall system.
Does this feature improve your overall performance? Truly speaking, a big NO. This is a cool feature just for giving a dazzling look and is not having any link in terms of performance.
Mechanical Keys & Response Time
Most of the excellent quality gaming keyboards are having mechanical keys instead of membrane. There are some good gaming keyboards that are membrane based, however, most of the exceptional gaming keyboards are mechanical keys based.
The best thing about mechanical keys is faster response as compared to regular keyboards. This response may not be observed by a regular PC user. However, for a professional gamer or geek this response time is having a real worth.
In keyboards, the main competition is related to latency. It is actually the response time taken by a key on keyboard, from pressing the key till action is completed. Usually, latency or response time may be as higher as 30 or 35ms. Though this seems a very minute and slight time impact, however, for professional and competitive gaming, this is really a giant and critical one.
Moreover, the mechanical keys provide you with amazing type writer like feeling, each time a key is pressed. Thus, not only for gaming, but for constant writing, you may buy some good gaming mechanical keyboard.
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Faster Typing Experience
As mentioned earlier, most of the gaming keyboards are having mechanical keys. You will not only get an amazing response time but your overall typing experience is also going to improve a lot. As mechanical keys provide with an ultimate ease, thus you will have a much smoother typing experience.
In competitive E-sports as well as constant typing, you need to have an ultimate fast and smoother keyboard experience. From the moment a key is being pressed till the action is being performed, the response is of vital and crucial importance. Moreover, in such keyboards you will have real ease in pressing the keys without any fatigue/ pain. Thus you can have hours of keyboard experience without any suffering.
Sometimes in gaming, using a regular keyboard you will face a delay of 15 or 20 or 30 milli-seconds. This doesn’t seem much, however, in competitive and professional gaming, this means everything. Therefore, using a mechanical/ gaming keyboard is a must to have device for every Pro-gamer to have an amazing faster gaming experience.
Cherry MX Switches
If you ever come across a mechanical/ gaming keyboard, you will find a term written as Cherry MX followed by some color. Is this some code? If yes, what does it mean?
Cherry MX are special kind of keyboard switches created by Cherry Corp. in early 80s era. These days these switches are a part of almost every gaming keyboard. You will find different types of switches. Each switch is having own features like trigger force, travel distance, feedback response (tactile or linear or clicky) and produced sound.
The color code specifies its special characteristics. Generally you will find 7 different colors where each color defines specific characteristics and specifications of switches. Details of these, as given by Cherry MX are:
This means if you want an audible click sound as well as a hard press on each keystroke, then the RGB Blue will suit you better. On the other hand if you want complete silent switches with minimum applied force, the RGB Red will be your favorite ones.
It all depends on your choice as well as requirements, what specific kind of switches would you love in a keyboard. For example, for gamers, less operating force as well as travel distance is of utmost importance. The reason is quick and fast response with less fatigue and tireless efforts. For others, the case may be totally different.
You may also check some other good alternatives to Cherry MX switches. These include Romer-G Switches (Logitech), Titan Switches (Roccat), Kailh Copper Switches, and Razer Mechanical Switches.
Comfort & Ease
Regular keyboards are normally designed in some basic classic designs. Though some of these are having really attractive designs, however, their overall comfort cannot be matched to a gaming keyboard.
The reason is gaming keyboards are having paddings or wrist resting (detachable). These offer an ultimate wrist support as well as complete comfort in using a gaming keyboard. This is really important in using a keyboard for long hours such as gaming. Therefore, even for some long gaming hours, a gamer is not going to feel any fatigue or restlessness.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, a gaming keyboard is having comfortable keys. These keys require less action to operate along with an ultra-fast output. Also, these keys are well spaced. So you will not have to worry about pressing any wrong key accidentally.
In short, a gaming keyboard is going to give you an ultimate ease and comfort in every field.
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Durability & Feel
If you are spending a lot on a keyboard, the main concern is to get a keyboard that is going to last longer. That is where gaming keyboards get a real win. The durability and life span of each key of a gaming keyboard is really outstanding. Roughly, on average a good gaming keyboard is going to withstand for 50 million keystrokes. Isn’t this really impressive and unbelievable?
Contrary to a normal keyboard, gaming keyboards are having a certified durability. Having premium mechanical switches and crafted with ultimate perfection, a gaming keyboard is a symbol of strength and toughness. On contrast, due to rubber domes and sticky keys, a normal ordinary keyboard is not that durable and long-lasting.
Another great feature in a gaming keyboard is its sensational feeling. From first key press, you will feel the premium touch and solid click sound. This is really amazing as compared to soft spongy feeling due to rubber domes in normal keyboard. Also, for people who want quiet gaming keyboards but with premium touch and feel, there are several other options as well. The different colored switches such as Cherry MX in a keyboard defines its features such as trigger force and sound.
Custom Control Pads
Though this feature is not applicable to every gaming keyboard, however, there are many keyboards equipped with this amazing feature. Being a gamer, this feature is really inspiring as well as helpful. Here what you get is a customized control pad on the left side of keyboard. You will have a control pad surrounded by number of custom keys.
As in most of the games, for movement of a player or an object, the keys WASD are frequently used. The control pad gives you a complete freedom by mimicking these WASD keys for controlling your character. Thus you will have WASD keys completely free and you can define these for some other functions as well.
Moreover, for each custom key you may define a frequent used function. Thus you will have quick and complete control of your character within a gaming scenario.
Build & Aesthetics
As explained before, the build quality of a gaming keyboard is really amazing. Due to its exceptional build quality and design, a gaming keyboard is going to last much longer. The durable components, design as well as material of a gaming keyboard make it worthy of its price.
Similarly, aesthetics and beauty is what makes a gaming keyboard a real love. Whether it is RGB backlighting, quality components, colorful buttons and wide array of colors, a gaming keyboard is equipped with all these. These are features that you don’t find in a regular keyboard. Because most of regular keyboards only come in black and white colors.
Moreover, shapes and patterns of a gaming keyboard is really versatile. The buttons are sometimes having a unique font and design that increase its beauty even further.
Almost all high end gadgets are equipped with their proprietary software. In similar way, all high end gaming keyboards come with own patent software. This software allows complete optimization and customization of a keyboard at different levels. Some of these keyboards are given in our list below.
What the software does is it automatically detects the keyboard. It also keeps the firmware up to date. This is sometimes very helpful, as it allows creating multiple profiles of a character within a game and then switching easily just with press of a button.
A patent software increases the credibility of a gaming keyboard as well. Some of the main features that a patent software/ utility tool can provide you with are:
- Key binding and assigning macros
- RGB color customization
- Profiles creation and sharing
- Downloading popular customization profiles
Best Gaming Keyboards in 2021
If you are looking for the best gaming keyboards in 2021, you will see tons of options. However, to make it easy and quick for you, here are Top 7 best gaming keyboards in 2021 that will make your life easy and productive.
Some key specifications and features of Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard are:
- Pioneer performance, design, strength and customization
- Durable aluminum frame
- Dynamic per-key RGB backlighting
- 44-zone three-sided LightEdge (up to 20-layer lighting effects)
- CORSAIR AXON Hyper-Processing Technology
- CHERRY MX SPEED RGB Silver keyswitches
- 1.2 mm operating distance
- 100 million keystrokes
- CORSAIR iCUE software with programmable iCUE control wheel
Some key specifications and features of SteelSeries Apex Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard are:
- OmniPoint adjustable switches (allow adjusting actuation distance from 0.4 mm to 3.6 mm)
- OLED smart display integrated command center
- Aircraft grade aluminum alloy material
- Designed for a lifetime durability and stability
- RGB Illumination customization (16.8 million colors)
- Premium magnetic wrist rest for palm support
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Some key specifications and features of Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard are:
- Aircraft grade anodized brushed aluminum frame
- Lightweight, rugged and durable enough for lifetime
- 8MB profile storage (up to 3 profiles storage)
- Hardware macro and lighting playback
- Dynamic multicolor per key backlighting
- Cherry MX Speed RGB mechanical key switches (1.22 mm actuation)
- 6 programmable G-keys for in game macros
Some key specifications and features of Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard are:
- Faster Razer optical switches (light based actuation)
- Clicky feedback
- 16.8 million colors personalization with Razer Chroma
- Rugged aluminum frame construction
- Ergonomic plush leatherette magnetic wrist rest
- Fully programmable Macros support
- 100 million clicks durability with 2 years warranty
Some key specifications and features of Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard are:
- Light-speed wireless with premium performance
- RGB lighting with LightSync technology
- Low Profile mechanical switches with speed and accuracy
- Compact Tenkeyless design for more mouse usage freedom
- Thin, rigid and durable aircraft-grade aluminum alloy design
- 40 hours of gaming on a single charge
- Quick full recharge in 3 hours
Some key specifications and features of Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro Mechanical Wireless Gaming Keyboard are:
- 3 different connectivity modes (Bluetooth, HyperSpeed and USB-C)
- Efficient power consumption, Lag-free gaming and charging capability
- Razer Green Signature Mechanical Switches
- Clear and brighter design
- Labelling of keys never wears off with Doubleshot ABS Keycaps
- Ergonomic plush leatherette magnetic wrist rest
- 80 million clicks durability
Some key specifications and features of KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard are:
- Versatile split design for gaming and typing
- Up to 20 inches split space
- Genuine Cherry MX Brown 100% Mechanical switches
- 16.8 million colors Immersive RGB lighting
- Fully programmable keys (All 95 keys)
- SmartSet key for keys remapping and Macros
- 9 available customization profiles
- 9 different Gaming keys
- 1ms response time
- 4MB onboard memory
- Plug and play compatible with Windows, MAC, Linux and Chrome
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Best Mechanical Keyboards in 2021
As explained before, mechanical keyboards are having better functionality and provide you with ease and freedom. Whether it is the quick actuation or the amusing clicky sounds, a mechanical keyboard is the ultimate choice.
If you have finally decided to go for a mechanical keyboard, here are some of the finest options to be considered as best mechanical keyboards in 2021:
Check detailed specifications as well as current pricing at amazon of Drop CTRL Mechanical Keyboard — Tenkeyless TKL (87 Key) by visiting the above link.
Check detailed specifications as well as current pricing at amazon of Das Keyboard 4Q Smart RGB Mechanical Keyboard by visiting the above link.
Check detailed specifications as well as current pricing at amazon of Razer Turret Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard by visiting the above link.
Check detailed specifications as well as current pricing at amazon of Havit Mechanical Keyboard Wired 89 Keys Gaming Keyboard by visiting the above link.
Check detailed specifications as well as current pricing at amazon of Code V3 87-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard by visiting the above link.
Check detailed specifications as well as current pricing at amazon of Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2 (White) by visiting the above link.
Check detailed specifications as well as current pricing at amazon of Logitech G710 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard by visiting the above link.
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Advantages of Mechanical Keyboards
Though the advantages and benefits of a mechanical keyboard are numerous, however, most favorite ones of these are listed below:
- Versatile functionality
- Stable output and performance
- Consistency of each Key press
- Smooth multiple key presses support
- Accurate and Fast Response Time
- Ruggedness/ Longer lifespan
- Professional typing experience
Can I Use A Gaming Keyboard For Regular Use?
The answer is YES, definitely. A gaming keyboard is not something that requires any expertise or experience. These are just like regular keyboard, however, with number of additional functions and features.
Even frankly speaking, one must always go for a good mechanical or gaming keyboard. Because these are going to last for life due to their ruggedness and premium quality.
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So you have seen almost every aspect of a gaming keyboard has been covered in this guide. We hope that you liked our detailed guide on Gaming Keyboard vs Normal Keyboard. However, still if you want us to include some other great features as per your practical experience, do share with us in comments.