The annual Black Friday deals are arriving, so if your fingers are twitching for some new keys, the time to buy a new keyboard is nearly at hand. It's going to be a great time to snag a deal on the best gaming keyboard you can afford. Just remember that cheap shouldn't always mean an instant buy. Before you key in your credit card info, read our Black Friday sale guide to find the best keyboard for you (or someone else).
Here's how to pick the right Black Friday gaming keyboard deal.
Decide on a switch
We always recommend mechanical switches, but some gamers prefer the simplicity and low price of membranes. We get it: it’s just a matter of preference. Since there are way too many switches to cover here, we’ll take the simple approach and just say that Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Red, and Black mechanical switches are always a solid choice. Other excellent offerings include the Logitech Romer-G, Razer Opto-mechanical, and Roccat Titan.
If you want to see the full list of switches, check out our complete switch guide.
Big, small, or something in between
Keyboards come in a range of sizes expressed in percentages, the most common ones being 100 percent, 80 percent, 70 percent, and 60 percent. 100 percent represents full-size keyboards, meaning you get all 108 keys. 80 percent, also known as Tenkeyless (TKL), trims the number pad in favor of more portability. If you don’t work with numbers or professional tools like Photoshop, then going with an 80 percent TKL can save some serious desk space.
70 percent and 60 percent keyboards are a bit too small for gaming, as they start shaving off the function row and scrunching the arrow keys. Then again, it all depends on your personal taste.
Features galore (or not)
Keyboards, especially gaming ones, are usually decked with extra features like dedicated macros, media controls, USB and audio pass-through, and RGB backlights. These features not only dictate convenience, but also aesthetics. When implemented right, they can enhance both function and look; done poorly and you can end up with an unsightly monster.
Set a budget
Don’t overspend. Take a look at your balance statement and gauge how much you can afford. Going by today’s market, a good mechanical keyboard can cost within $80 and $100. Add a good deal more if you want more premium features, subtract if you don’t. Even in that narrow price range, you’re going to be able to find a massive array of options.
The best Black Friday gaming keyboard deals from last year
Logitech G610 Orion Mechanical Keyboard: $60 (save $50)
This great mechanical plank comes in either Cherry MX Red or Brown switches, and offers a solid core feature set that will satisfy a majority of gamers. Both the Logitech G610 Red and G610 Orion Brown were on sale for $60. View Deal
Das Keyboard 4 Professional: $140 (save $30)
In addition to great switches, The Das Keyboard's volume wheel and sleep button are are fantastic. Also attached is a solid three-year guarantee. View Deal