If you'd wanted a new gaming keyboard in 2021, you wouldn't have been short of quality options. This year has been practically bursting with peripherals, and that's a small silver lining to an otherwise difficult year for PC building. The less said about that the better, though. Instead, let's dive into the key switches and keyboards that made our year that little bit better.
We've chosen quite the selection for this year's award nominees. There are the two titans of Razer and Corsair battling it out for gaming peripheral dominance, as they are to do until the heat death of the universe, but also the much smaller Wooting outfit. All three are worth contenders for the crown, however: either improving on a much-loved design or bringing something entirely new to the table.
Gaming keyboards especially need something special to stand out from the crowd of others vying for PC gamers' cash. And we don't depart with ours easily. That's because many share key switches and features, meaning it comes down to who can do it best, deliver more, or build something extra special.
For us here at PC Gamer, these three gaming keyboards did just that.
Best gaming keyboard 2021: the nominees
Razer Huntsman V2
This is the newer version of the Huntsman, though it includes and improves on the feature set of the premium Huntsman Elite. The key switches are Razer's Optical Purple or Red—clicky or linear, respectively—and use the power of light itself to deliver an incredibly swift actuation. There's definitely more Razer could do with the optical switch, we feel, but it's built a admirable and fully-featured keyboard in the Huntsman V2 nonetheless. That makes it a great candidate for 2021's gear of the year.
Corsair K70 RGB TKL Champion Series
The tenkeyless keyboard is a firm friend of the PC Gamer with minimal desk space. Not only that, though, they're easy to travel with and leave more room for your mouse movements while still being comfortable. It doesn't get much more polished than this Corsair K70 TKL either. Our Jorge called it the 'best feeling' keyboard of 2021, and that man has his fingers on many key switches.
Wooting Two HE
The Wooting Two HE is a lot more than meets the eye. It harnesses the power of magnets to deliver analogue key control, and that means exactly what you think it means. Each key stroke is measured on a sliding scale—you gently press the W key and you'll walk in-game. You smash the W key to bits and you'll run. You have to set it up in-game, however, and that can be a little tricky depending on the specific title, but it offers some great features otherwise to make good use of its analogue functionality.
Read our Wooting Two HE review.
The winner of the PC Gamer Hardware Award for the best gaming keyboard will be announced on New Year's Eve. It's all to play for, and any one of these three is completely deserving of the crown.