Whether it’s because of the pandemic or not, it’s important to have a workstation that’s both ergonomic and functional if you’re working from home. While, yes, chairs and second monitors are important, an essential component for any workstation is a good keyboard — especially if you do a lot of writing.
Mechanical keyboards might be more expensive than your average keyboard, but in return you get a more satisfying and durable accessory that’s fully customizable and easy to repair. If you haven’t uses one before, a mechanical keyboard has a tactile, almost typewriter-like feel to it. Most of the time you can get a solid mechanical keyboard for just over $100, so it won’t break the bank.
And while you can build your own mechanical keyboard from scratch, if you’re just looking for a keyboard that feels good to use and looks great, these pre-built options will serve you well.
Keychron K2 Single LED Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
Keychron is one of the most popular names in the mechanical keyboard space, especially for those investing in their first one. The company has a wide range of accessories, but the K2 wireless mechanical keyboard is a particularly great option for anyone who needs a wireless keyboard that’s built to last.
The keyboard is compact thanks to its 84-key design that removes the numeric keypad. It charges through USB-C, making it perfect for those looking for a versatile keyboard that charges quickly and works with almost any workstation.
SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries is a popular accessory brand for gamers. They’re well known for their affordable-meets-quality offerings, especially when it comes to keyboards. The Apex 5 hybrid-mechanical gaming keyboard is a perfect low-cost option for gamers and typists alike.
It combines the tactile feeling of a mechanical switches with the membrane feeling of other popular keyboards. With lots of customizable options such as backlight colours, an OLED smart display and multimedia controls, it’s arguably one of the best keyboards for gamers on a budget.
Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed
Another accessory manufacturing company known to gamers is, of course, Razer. In addition to full-sized keyboards, Razer has recently released the Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed. This 65 percent keyboard has been building a name for itself thanks to its a portability, strong build quality, and satisfying feel.
As with most Razer products, the LED backlights are customizable, and can be synced with other Razer accessories. It also features fully programmable keys, a battery life of 200 hours, and the option to pair through 2.4GHz (for lower latency) or Bluetooth. It may be a bit pricier than the SteelSeries Apex 5, but it’s a solid option for gamers who want a feature-rich compact keyboard.
AZIO Retro Classic
While the functionality of a keyboard is important, it helps when it makes your workstation look great too. Available in black or brown, the AZIO MK Retro Classic is inspired by old-fashioned typewriters. The travel distance of the keys is designed to be higher than your average mechanical keyboard to make it sound and feel more like a typewriter, making the keyboard a joy for the eyes, ears, and fingers.
It also has removable keys that make it compatible with Mac and Windows. And though it’s on heavier side, the attention to detail on the keyboard is well worth the added weight. The only downside to the design is that it’s wired only. There is a wireless option available, but it comes at a higher price.
AZIO Retro Compact
If the Retro Classic sounds appealing to you then the AZIO Retro Compact might also be up your alley. Though priced a bit higher, AZIO’s Retro Compact still has the same great build quality—yes, that’s genuine leather—but with a smaller footprint. The numeric keypad has been removed, while wireless functionality has been added. It also features swappable feet to adjust the height as does swappable feet for adjustable heights. It’s a great choice for writers who want to bring that vintage typewriter look to their office setup
Ducky One 2 Mini
No mechanical keyboard list would be complete without a Ducky. Along with Keychron, Ducky keyboards are among the most recognizable names for pre-built mechanical keyboards thanks to their durability, customizability, and aesthetics. With Cherry MX switches, a detachable USB C cable, RGB lighting, and PBT double-shot seamless keycaps, this is easily one of the best mechanical keyboards you can buy for its price.
It has a 60 percent design, which might be a big step for those coming from a full-sized keyboard, but if you can get used to not having arrow keys, this might be a great fit for you. If you’re interested in getting into the world of mechanical keyboards, you can’t go wrong with the Ducky One 2 Mini.
This is just the tip of keycap pile when it comes to mechanical keyboards. If you’re interested in learning more about mechanical keyboards, keycaps, switches, and customizable boards, leave a comment below.
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