Switching over to a mechanical keyboard for your daily typing and gaming activities might be one of the best choices you make. A new trend is that of optical mechanical switches but their adoption is currently slow because of their cost. The cost rises with the superior durability. While current mechanical switches offer up to 80 million keystrokes (Razer Green), optical mechanical switches like Flaretech are said to offer up to 100 million keystrokes. Apart from durability, it also opens up the possibility of supporting analogue signals where the depth of the key press can be interpreted for different actions. If you need a keyboard for gaming and typing as well, you would expect the entire gamut of features possible on a mechanical keyboard. And that is exactly what we were seeking throughout the year and here are the results.
2017 Zero1 award Winner: Corsair K95 Platinum
When we started testing the K95 Platinum, it ticked off almost every item on our checklist. We’re almost certain that this might be the best mechanical keyboard launched this year, we were still looking forward to other manufacturers to raise the bar. It isn’t happening this year, so the Corsair K95 Platinum takes away the Zero1 Award. Packing Cherry MX RGB mechanical switches, the entire chassis of the keyboard is sturdy and premium with no compromises in build quality. It has extra macro-keys and the key-caps are double-shot. The K95 Platinum sets the benchmark for keyboards.
Runner-up: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2
After undergoing a few changes from the original version, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 found its way into our labs. It was already regarded as a durable keyboard because of its claim to offer 80 million keystrokes per key. And it contains the necessary features you’d expect on a high-end keyboard such as audio and USB pass-through, extra keys for macros, RGB backlighting, etc. Also, the new Razer software really brings out all the features in the keyboard. Another aspect that we loved was the cushioned wrist rest with magnetic attachment instead of the old clamp technique. Although the Chroma V2 falls short on a few features from the K95 Platinum, the overall build quality scores higher on this one.
Best Buy: GALAX HOF Black
If you aren’t keen on spending more than `10k on a mechanical keyboard, there are several great options out there. The Best Buy award tries to find the mechanical keyboard that strikes a great balance between features, build quality, and price. Out of all the keyboards we tested this year, the HOF Black was always in the back of our mind because of its comparatively lower cost. It has audio and USB passthrough ports, and a textured magnetic wrist rest. Planning on getting on the mechanical keyboard bandwagon while on a tight budget? Look no further, the GALAX HOF Black might just be what you’re looking for if not the TVS Gold keyboard.