Best mechanical keyboards in india 2021

When a casual computer user hears the words mechanical keyboards all they can imagine is CLICK! CLAK! CLICK CLICK! But they are more than just those satisfying mechanical sounds! Mechanical keyboards are high performance keyboards which have switches under the keys, this allows for tactile and accurate audio feedback. The high quality of these keyboards also stems from their durability and construction. 

If you spend most of your time coding, gaming or typing, a mechanical keyboard will be a heaven sent item for you. These keyboards offer a high level of personalization, customizable RGB lights, custom keymapping, you can even swap individual keys!

Doesn’t matter if you are finding a partner for those tense gaming sessions or your ultimate coding buddy, this guide will surely be useful in your pursuit! So dive in!

 

Membrane vs mechanical keyboards

 

Membrane keyboards are the most common and affordable keyboards in the market. The reason behind their popularity is their cheap price range. These are mainly bundled with pc builds and cheap laptops.

It has a 3 layer design. The first layer is called the top membrane layer; it has a conductive trace underneath it. Once the key is pressed it moves through the second layer which is made up of holes(holes layer) and makes contact with the bottom membrane layer which completes the circuit and a signal specifying the key pressed is sent out. 

 

 

Pros:

  1. Quiet as compared to the mechanical keyboards
  2. Is portable
  3. Is affordable for most of the people

Cons:

  1. There is no feedback
  2. Pressing the keys partially will not register the keys
  3. It has a shorter lifespan as compared to the mechanical keyboards
  4. It is difficult to clean

 

Mechanical keyboards unlike membrane keyboards have actual switches underneath the keys. There are a plethora of different switches available for mechanical keyboards each of which has a different travel and response time. The most common of these switches are the Cherry MX.

The keys on mechanical keyboards have a more of a tactile feel and provide audio feedback. The accompanying switches are made to last upto 50 million keystrokes whereas the membrane switches typically last up-to 5-10 million keystrokes.

 

Pros:

  1. Highly customizable design
  2. durable
  3. gives tactile feedback
  4. Easy to clean

Cons:

  1. More expensive than membrane keyboards.
  2. The audio feedback may annoy some people
  3. Heavy

 

Under the hood it’s all about switches

 

Mechanical keyboards have actual switches underneath every key which handle the activation of keystrokes. Each of these keys and switches are customizable and can be replaced with a personalized choice.

Every key switch is made up of multiple components, let’s take a quick look at these components:

1.Upper housing

Upper housing or keycap is the top most component that you will be making contact with. It is not a part of the switch but it still helps in generating the audio feedback when the key is bottomed out.

2.Switching stem

The actuation and travel distance of the switch depends upon the type of stem. It is the component that determines the switch type and gives it the tactile, clicky or linear feel.

3.Gold cross point contact

Gold cross point is a metal contact that registers the actual keystroke. When the key is pressed the contact mechanism closes the circuit and registers a keystroke. It is sometimes made up of gold to provide better conductivity.

4.Precision coil spring

The coil spring determines the amount of force required to actuate the key. Depending upon the key the resistance provided by the spring will be different. It also pushes the key back to its original position after the key is pressed.

5.Base housing

This is where the switch is mounted. It is attached to the PCB.

 

Due to copyright and patent issues Cherry was the only brand making switches for mechanical keyboards. Now that their patent has expired a number of manufacturers have popped up offering comparable switches.

Key switches like Cherry MX are mostly labelled by color like ‘blue’, ‘brown’ or ‘red’. Each color signifies a different type of switch which are either linear, tactile or clicky.

 

Brown switches: Light tactile switches

 

 

Brown switches offer a tactile bump halfway through the keypress. It sort of turns into a linear action after the bump at the top. This little bump at the top is what earns the title ‘tactile’. Even though these switches have that tactile feel they often lack proper audio feedback. 

They have a softer click and require less power to press down. These are mostly preferred by gamers and typists who like to have good tactical feedback.

Eg. Cherry MX brown switches

 

Blue switches: Clicky switches 

 

The blue switches are similar to tactile brown switches but offer a loud sound after the initial bump. These are suitable for the people who need reassuring feedback from the key after the key is registered. They bump around with audio feedback which is pretty satisfying. The sound can be annoying to people around you though!

Eg. Cherry MX blue switches

 

Red switches: linear switches

 

The linear switch has the simplest mechanism among all the others, the stem moves up and down registering every stroke without bumping anywhere. These switches allow for fast and unambiguous control over the strokes.

Eg. Cherry MX Red switches

 

Nowadays due to the popularity of mechanical keyboards the market has seen the genesis of a bunch of new switch manufacturers, but still Cherry MX switches guard their position on top being the most popular one.

Some of the other fine switches include topre, razer and kailh, each one of them has a different feel and personality.

 

Keycaps

 

With mechanical keyboards you can customize every key on the keyboard including their keycaps! You can easily swap out one keyset with another and give your keyboard a whole different look. 

While choosing a keyset you should check the keycap material, thickness, profile and the design and choose what best fits your needs.

 

Keycap material

 

Keycaps mainly come in two different types of materials, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate). Both of which are just fancy names for plastic! But both of them have a different feel, sound and look.

ABS caps are the most common one as they are the cheaper ones between the two. They develop a greasy or glossy look after some time and are smooth to work with.

Whereas the PBT caps are higher quality than ABS caps and have a long lasting textured feel to them. These are used in keyboards where audio feedback is the priority as they produce a better sound than ABS due to their thick nature.

But in the end it comes down to priority, some people like the glossy look and feel while some prefer the textured one, choose away!

Keep in mind that if you have a backlit keyboard you might need something called Doubleshot keycaps or pudding keycaps. The normal keycaps might block the light coming from the keyboard, for this special type of keycaps are used. 

Doubleshot keycaps are formed by injection moulding using two separate plastics. This allows the light to shine through the markings on the keycaps. This makes the keycaps nicer and easier to read

Pudding keycaps are similar to doubleshot keycaps but they also allow light to shine through the sides. This allows for a really cool looking setup.

 

Keycap profile

 

Once you are done with choosing the material next up is choosing the profile, which is a little complicated.

The keycap profile is the overall shape and design of the keycap. Some are flat, some are rounded, there are many options to choose from.

Every profile has a distinct design where different rows of keys are given a different height to provide maximum convenience. Having different heights and design also helps the keyboard to become more portable and compact.

Here are some of the most common keycap profiles

Finding the best keycap profile is just a matter of preference. The sculpted variants like Cherry and SA are easier to work with while typing because they are designed to be in perfect reach of your fingers. But at the end of the day typing with sculpted keycaps might feel weird and may hinder your typing speed. So use what you are already familiar with, what your muscle memory is comfortable with.

 

The mechanical keyboard lingo!

 

Clicky

Clicky is the term used to refer to the sound that the mechanical keys make when they are pressed to the actuation point.

Debounce

Debounce is basically a technique used to ensure that a key doesn’t register an input twice when pressed. So if a switch is debounced it is registering multiple inputs with a single click.

Housing

Housing refers to the component that actually holds all of the other components of a switch inside a key.

Actuation point

Actuation point is the point in a switch till where a switch needs to be pressed in order to send out an input signal.

Hysteresis

Hysteresis refers to a situation where the release point of the key switch is higher than the actuation point. This makes it difficult to hit the same key in succession.

Linear

Linear refers to the switches that provide no tactile or audible feedback. Their stem moves between the actuation point and its original position without any obtrusion.

Stem

Stem is the component of the switch on which the keycap is mounted on.

Switch

Switch is the component in the mechanical keyboards lying underneath every keycap that handles the actuation of the keys.

Tactile

Tactile refers to the switches that provide bump or tactile feedback on the actuation of the key.

Tenkeyless

Tenkeyless refers to a full sized keyboard layout without a number pad. 

Tenkey

TenKey refers to a full sized keyboard layout with a number pad. 

60% keys

60% keys refer to a keyboard layout with 60-61 keys with no function row.

65%/70% keys

65%/70% keys refer to a miniature keyboard layout with arrow keys and a total of 66keys.

75% keys

75% keys refer to a miniature keyboard layout with function keys.

 

Here’s the list of some of the best mechanical keyboards in India. jump in!

1. Corsair k95

Switch: Cherry MX speed, Cherry MX brown

Size: full size

Weight: 1.32 Kilograms

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: Detachable magnetic

Price: ₹ 17,099

Corsair k95 is an amazing mechanical keyboard that performs well both as a general purpose keyboard and a gaming keyboard. It comes in two variants one with the Cherry MX speed switches which are linear switches and another one with Cherry MX brown switches which are the tactile variant. Depending upon your taste and feel you can go with either of them. 

A great feature that Corsair k95 has are its macro keys. It has 6 programmable macro keys lined along the left side of the board. They are in easy reach of the left hand, they can be programmed by using the iCUE app. It also has media control keys on top right of the keyboard for quick access to start, pause, forward/backward and stop commands. Not only that it even has a volume control wheel!

The build quality is great, having a top aluminium plate with a good plastic base. The only region that it lacks in are the keycaps. The keycaps are made with ABS that might feel a little cheap.

The keyboards backlighting is amazing, each key is lit separately. You can control the brightness of the lights directly on the board.

✔️ dedicated macro keys and media keys

✔️ Great build quality

❌ Not a lot of switch options

 

2. SteelSeries Apex 7 Tkl Compac

Switch: SteelSeries Red, SteelSeries Brown, SteelSeries Blue

Size: TenKeyLess

Weight: 771.11 Grams

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: Detachable magnetic

Price: ₹ 21,939

SteelSeries Apex 7 is a great TenKeyLess Keyboard with exceptional features and great companion software. It even has a small oled screen that can be used to tweak settings without closing the opened software. It comes in three variants having different switches, linear SteelSeries Red, tactile SteelSeries Brown, clicky SteelSeries Blue.

Most of the keyboard is made up of plastic but has an aluminum top that gives it some rigidity. Being a TenKeyLess keyboard it is pretty compact, but can get pretty hefty when attached with a wrist rest. The keycaps are doubleshot made with abs.

It has full RGB lighting that can be customised by using the SteelSeries’ engine software. They work great in dark rooms as the backlighting is really good.

SteelSeries Apex 7 has dedicated media controls and are programmable through the SteelSeries’ engine software. The oled screen on the keyboard can be used to tweak settings while in-game and can also be used to display custom messages. The volume wheel can be used for navigation in the oled screen.

✔️ Great companion software

✔️ Great build quality

✔️ Handy oled screen

 

3. Corsair k70 MK.2

Switch: Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Silent Red, Cherry MX Speed

Size: full size

Weight: 1.2 Kilograms

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: Detachable wrist rest

Price: ₹ 10,899

Corsair k70 MK.2 is a versatile keyboard great for both gaming  and typing. The reason behind this versatility is the range of switches that it is available with. It is compatible with Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Silent Red, Cherry MX Speed, this encompasses all the styles and feels.

Corsair k70 MK.2 is a full sized keyboard with TenKey. The addition of the wrist rest makes it larger than normal full sized keyboard. It is mainly made out of plastic with an aluminum top plate. The keycaps are made out of ABS which feel pretty good while typing. Overall the build quality is pretty decent for the price range.

The keyboard has full RGB backlighting with individually lit keys. You can customize every key by using the dedicated software.

The device supports USB passthrough so you can attach a device like a mouse to the keyboard rather than attaching it directly to the PC. Every key on the keyboard is macro programmable which can be done by using the iCUE software. There are also dedicated media keys and  a volume wheel at the top as well. 

✔️All keys are macro programmable.

✔️ USB passthrough

 

4. hyperx alloy origins

Switch: HyperX Red(linear), HyperX Aqua(tactile), HyperX Blue(clicky)

Size: full size

Weight: 1.07 Kilograms

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: no wrist rest

Price: ₹ 9,990

HyperX alloy origins is a well designed full sized keyboard that skips all the fuzz and gets down to business. It doesn’t have any fancy features but is very well equipped with the necessary stuff. It excels both in gaming and typing because of its large array of switches. These are hyperX switches which are not so different from standard Cherry MX switches.

The keyboard has a full aluminum body with a soft finish. The keycaps are made of ABS and are doubleshot. The keyboard has full RGB backlight and each of the keys is individually lit.  The lighting can be customized by using HyperX’s  NGENUITY software.

The keyboard has no dedicated media keys but every key is programmable. So you can map a function  to any key of your liking.

✔️ Every key is programmable.

Customization software only available on Windows.

 

5. logitech g512

Switch: Romer-G Tactile, Romer-G Linear, and GX Blue Clicky, GX Red linear, GX Brown tactile

Size: full size

Weight: 0.8 kilograms

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: no wrist rest

Price: ₹ 8,920

Logitech g512 is a full sized keyboard with a sleek aluminum design that too at a decent price point. 

The aluminum top has a greyish finish to it which looks really great with the matte black keys at the top. The board feels sturdy and well made because of the aluminum top. Other than that the board is quite minimalist without any dedicated media control keys and no other fancy features.

The board has full RGB lighting and each key is individually lit. The lighting can be controlled by using the G hub suite. You can also sync to other logitech devices by using their light sync software.

The keycaps are doubleshot ABS. Even though they are made up of ABS they do not feel cheap. The keyboard is available in a variety of switches, namely Romer-G Tactile, Romer-G Linear, and GX Blue Clicky, GX Red linear, GX Brown tactile. These switches are similar to Cherry MX switches as they use the same stem.

The keyboard supports USB passthrough and has a well braided giving it a sturdy feel.

Overall the board is simple, sleek and stylish.

✔️ Well designed

✔️ Great build quality 

✔️ Great variety of switches

 

6. cosmic byte cb gk 11

Switch: JIXIAN Blue switch,  JIXIAN Brown switch

Size: full size

Weight: 1.12 Kilograms

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: with wrist rest

Price: ₹ 3,749

Cosmic byte cb gk11 is an inexpensive outperformer! Cb gk11 is a full sized keyboard with full rgb lighting. It’s a budget mechanical keyboard which offers a pretty decent build quality and features.

The top is made of aluminium which feels pretty decent. The top has a greyish finish with all black keys on top. The keys are doubleshot and are made with ABS. It also includes a decent detachable wrist rest.

It comes in either  JIXIAN Blue clicky switches or JIXIAN Brown tactile switches which perform great despite the price point. The keyboard has full RGB lighting, it comes with 13 RGB Back-light Effects and 4 levels of brightness. You can change the lighting profiles right from the keyboard which gets stored on the keyboard memory.

The keyboard also has dedicated multimedia keys which can be used to control volume, brightness etc.

✔️ Inexpensive

✔️ Decent build quality

❌ No customization software

 

7. ASUS Rog Strix Scope

Switch:  Cherry MX brown,Red, Blue, Silver Speed, and Silent Red

Size: full size

Weight: 1.63 Kilograms

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: no wrist rest

Price: ₹ 7,899

Asus Rog strix scope is a solid mechanical keyboard that focuses on the essentials. It is reliable, responsive and great for gaming as well as typing.

It is a full sized keyboard with ten keys and a lot of space between the keys, the ROG logo is as well spaciously placed. The keyboard lacks a wrist rest, but it can be purchased separately.

The keyboard comes with Cherry MX brown,Red, Blue, Silver Speed, and Silent Red switches, so there are a lot that you can choose from. Being the standard Cherry MX switches their quality is always going to be top notch.

It has full RGB lighting which can be customized using the ROG armoury software. The lighting can also be synchronized with other compatible devices by using the Aura Sync software.  The keyboard lacks dedicated media keys but allows programmable macros which can be again customized in ROG armoury software.

In the end it’s a no nonsense keyboard that is a great choice for both gaming and typing.

✔️ Great variety of switches

✔️ Great build quality

❌ No wrist rest

 

8. Xpg summoner

Switch: Cherry MX silver, red, blue

Size: full size

Weight: 951g

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: detachable wrist rest

Price: ₹ 9,749

Adata’s XPG summoner is a full sized mechanical keyboard which offers a very comfortable wrist rest and a handy volume knob. 

The top is made up of sandblasted aluminum that gives it a sturdy feel and a great look. It has a great metal volume wheel on the top right. Even with all that metal the keyboard feels light and easy to handle.

The XPG summoner comes with Cherry MX silver, red, blue so there’s a lot to choose from. It’s great for gaming as well as for typing because you can just choose between the clicky or linear switches.

One of the best features of XPG summoner is the faux-leather wrist rest. It looks and feels really great and can be attached or detached easily because of the magnets.

The board features full RGB lighting and doubleshot keycaps. The lighting can be adjusted directly from the board as there is no companion software provided. The macros can be  set in this way as well. But setting them this way can be confusing to some.

✔️ Great variety of switches

✔️ comfortable wrist rest

❌ No companion software

 

9. Corsair K68

Switch:  Cherry MX red, Cherry MX blue

Size: full size

Weight: 1.41 Kilograms

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: detachable wrist rest

Price: ₹ 12,199

Corsair k68 is a great mechanical keyboard that can work as both a gaming keyboard as well as a productivity tool. It is well built and comes with full RGB lighting and there’s also a more affordable red led variant. It is versatile as it comes in both Cherry MX blue and red switches, so you can have the clicky blue switches or the quieter red ones.

The body is completely made out of plastic, which feels decent and robust as it doesn’t have any flex to it. The keycaps are made of ABS and are doubleshot. The keyboard is also rated IP32 for dust and water resistance.

The board has full RGB lighting, the lighting can be customized in the iCUE software. If the RGB variant is too expensive you can always opt for the affordable red led variant.

The keyboard offers dedicated media keys to play/pause, skip tracks or you can even control the volume. There’s a windows lock key which is a boon for gamers. All of the keys can be reconfigured by using the iCUE software.

✔️ Dedicated media keys

✔️ Great typing experience

 

10. HP Omen Sequencer 2VN99AA

Switch:  LK optical-mechanical blue switches

Size: full size

Weight: 830 Grams

Connectivity: Wired USB

Backlights: 16.8 million color RGB

Keycap: doubleshot ABS

Wrist rest: no wrist rest

Price: ₹ 10,999

Hp omen sequencer is a full sized mechanical keyboard that boasts its experimental optical switches. At first glance it makes a great impression with its metallic black design and a ton of features.

It has an anodized aluminium frame giving it a sturdy and reliable feel. On top of this aluminium frame are the black keys and a large metal volume roller. It has a sort of asymmetric design with those angled edges.

The omen sequencer has  LK optical blue switches which are similar to Cherry MX blue switches but have less travel distance because of their optical nature. While the cherry switches operate purely on mechanical means these opt for optical means for actuation. Omen sequencer claims that this method reduces the response time drastically.

It has full RGB lighting which can be customized by using the HP Omen software. There are five programmable macro keys placed on the left. But you cannot assign macros to any of the other keys.

✔️responsive optical keys

✔️ cool volume controller

❌ simplistic companion software

 

Frequently asked questions

 

1. What are Keyboard sizes (40%, 60%, TKL etc.)?

The keyboard size generally refers to the number of keys on the keyboard.A standard (or 100%) keyboard has 104 keys, a TenKeyLess removes the Number Pad Cluster and a 60% Removes the Nav Cluster and arrow keys. A 40% board also removes the number row. There are more sizes, such as 30% or 50%, although they’re less defined. 

2. I want to build a keyboard but know absolutely nothing about the process, where do I start?

Check out this reddit field, pretty good stuff to get started with.

3. Are there other switches besides Cherry? 

Yes. There are several types of mechanical switches but the Cherry brand is the most prevalent. Some other good switches include topre and kailh.

4. How can I replace the keycaps?

You can use a tool called keycap puller to pull out the keys. These keycap pullers are often bundled with the keyboards.

5. What switches are the best for gaming?

For gaming you would need something with tactical feedback, your best bet would be Cherry MX brown, Cherry MX blue or topre switches.

6. What kind of keycaps do I need for backlit keyboards?

For backlit keyboards doubleshot keycaps and pudding keycaps are recommended as they propagate light properly.

 

So which mechanical keyboard should you opt for?

 

Believe it or not mechanical keyboards are here to stay as they appeal to everyone, from hardcore gamers to grealty focused typists. And they are getting affordable every passing day! We are seeing some great feature packed boards at an affordable price.

Before buying a mechanical keyboard decide for what purpose you will be using it. Go for tactile blue switch keyboards if you chose gaming as that tactile feedback from the keyboard could make a great difference in the experience. Go for linear red switch or speed silver switch keyboards if you will be using your keyboard for just typing or programming, these are fast, responsive and quiet  offering a great productive experience.

And that’s it we’ve gone through some of the best mechanical keyboard fitting in all budgets, now time to flex those RGB lights!

 

 

Leave a Reply

*