In recent years, RGB keyboards have become both cheaper and more powerful than ever. There’s a lot of competition in budget price ranges for RGB keyboards now. Here we walk you through the best RGB keyboard picks available on the market in 2021.
Even if you’re new to the world of RGB PC hardware, this article should tell you all you need to know to pick a great RGB keyboard for your needs. Let’s get into it!
What Is RGB?
In this context, RGB refers to a specific form of LED lighting found within PC hardware. Standard LED lights can only display a single color, like white or red. RGB LEDs are set apart because they can display just about any color in the RGB (Red-Green-Blue) color spectrum, which is roughly the same used by most displays.
In the case of keyboards, an LED keyboard will only show a single color or a limited selection of solid colors. RGB keyboards, by contrast, can be made to show a cycle through the color spectrum or unique colors on a per-region or even per-key basis.
What Sets Apart Per-Key RGB from Per-Zone RGB?
When most people think of RGB lighting, they think of super-customizable RGB lighting that can recreate specific effects to their liking. They think of per-key RGB because that’s the form of the technology that popularized the current surge of RGB in PC hardware.
However, there’s another kind of RGB, one that’s fairly common on budget devices: per-zone RGB. With per-zone RGB, your RGB effects are based on entire zones of your keyboard, with sometimes as little as two or as many four or five. While this still adds visual flair, it doesn’t quite compare to a per-key experience, especially since the software on keyboards like this is usually limited to a few lighting presets that aren’t customizable at all.
Per-zone RGB isn’t all bad, though, especially if your interest in RGB is simply to have your entire keyboard be a specific color that suits your tastes. Even I use my Corsair K70 RGB to display a solid gold color scheme most of the time!
Why Bother with Mechanical RGB Keyboards?
When evaluating various RGB keyboards, you will notice that some are touted as “mechanical,” whereas others are not. You may even stumble on a few that claim “a mechanical feel,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. So what makes a keyboard “mechanical”?
In essence, a mechanical keyboard is a keyboard that does not use a rubber dome design to register keypresses. The rubber dome design is common even in slim laptops, where it’s slimmed down inside the majority of chiclet key designs. With a mechanical design, you’re instead using mechanical switches beneath each key, and the specific kind of Switch Type can vary between models of the same keyboard.
Click “Switch Type” above to check out our article on mechanical keyboard switch types if you don’t know what to look for. You may also want to check out my more general keyboard buying guide, which answers a lot of keyboard-related questions that aren’t addressed here.
Best Budget RGB Keyboard: Razer Cynosa V2 Gaming Keyboard
The Razer Cynosa V2 Gaming Keyboard is our pick for best budget RGB keyboard. Despite retailing for significantly under $100 at the time of writing, this keyboard offers a feature that few others in its price range cannot: individually addressable RGB keys, enabling full RGB customization at a low price range.
The caveat is that all of this comes in a membrane keyboard, which means you don’t get any of the benefits you normally would from a mechanical keyboard. If you don’t care about that or care about RGB more, this remains an excellent choice.
Best Budget Wireless RGB Keyboard: Redragon K599
The Redragon K599 is our pick for best budget wireless RGB keyboard. This is a fully-mechanical wireless RGB keyboard and even boasts a tenkeyless design to reduce weight and further improve untethered wireless usage. So it’s cheap, RGB, wireless, and even tenkeyless- what’s the catch?
It uses the zone-based lighting mentioned earlier in the article instead of per-key lighting. In addition, the ability to customize effects is extremely limited, making this keyboard less ideal for extremely specific customizations. If you just want the RGB effect or one of eight solid colors and aren’t looking for hyper-specific effects, this is still a great option.
Best High-End RGB Keyboard: Whirlwind FX Element V2
Here’s one of the big boys. Our pick for best high-end RGB keyboard is the Whirlwind FX Element V2. While this keyboard doesn’t come from a big name like Corsair, it more than makes up for that with great build quality and superb, unmatched RGB software and effects.
Whirlwind’s RGB software, SignalRGB, enables a genuinely insane level of RGB customization, including real-time RGB effects that mirror what’s happening on your screen. This is built into the Whirlwind keyboard for free. If you’re looking for the best RGB, it’s hard to argue that Whirlwind FX doesn’t have it already.
Of course, if you’d rather have that excellent RGB with another keyboard, you can pay to use SignalRGB with another per-key RGB keyboard on this list or something like the similarly high-end Corsair K70 RGB MK2, which should cost about the same but havs better build quality and more options of Switches.
Best High-End Wireless RGB Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
Last but absolutely not least is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, which in addition to being the best wireless RGB keyboard is arguably the best wireless keyboard overall. This is because of Razer’s excellent low-latency wireless technology, Green mechanical switches, and per-key RGB lighting and software.
While Razer’s RGB lighting offerings don’t quite compare to Whirlwind FX’s, you can still get those same effects on this keyboard by getting the SignalRGB software mentioned in the above review.
This keyboard is almost perfect … but there’s a problem. The price tag might be a little much if you aren’t prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on a keyboard, but that’s what happens when you make high-end RGB keyboards wireless.
After reading our list of the best RGB keyboards you can get in the market, f you have any lingering questions not answered, leave a comment in the comments section below;, and we’ll try to help you as soon as possible.
Image Credit: Ox1997cow