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The cheapest gaming keyboard (that's still decent)

Here's a budget plank that can compete with the best of them.

Every gamer needs a keyboard. Actually, scratch that—every gamer needs a good keyboard. Although it’s easy to point at something pricey and see its merits, we want to see how cheap we can go and still get something decent.

First, we set some guidelines: the keyboard should offer mechanical switches suitable for gaming. We know that some gamers actually prefer membrane keyboards but as of right now, the most sought after models are all mechanical.

Second, the keyboard needs to be reliable. A gaming keyboard needs to stand up to abuse and the rigors of obsessive gaming. Long hours, dirt, accidental spills and crumbs, you name it, it needs to be able to take it.

Third, it needs to be cheap. There's an ocean of gaming keyboards out there, sometimes it just feels like there are too many choices. Of course, a keyboard, like a mouse, is personal. Everyone's different and everyone wants a different feel. But also, everyone wants affordability.

So after going through a pool of both expensive and cheap keyboards, we found an el-cheapo model that we think is superb. And it only costs $24—a perfect compliment to the ultra cheap but still decent gaming mouse we found.

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The cheapest gaming keyboard

  • Cheap
  • Otemu Blue mechanical switches
  • Compact, Ten-keyless formfactor
  • No number pad
  • Only available with Blue switches
  • No extra features and backlights (a pro for some)
  • Rubber feet could use more stability

There’s no shortage of cheap keyboards, but ultra-budget mechanical keyboard is an exotic species. We thought we wouldn’t be able to find anything worth buying below $60—until we ran in to the $27 Redragon K552-N Kumara. Over 1500 reviews on Amazon raving about this keyboard is in line with what we think: it's good!

The Kumara is likely the best looking keyboard you’ll find at this price range. It lacks the finesse of a premium board, but it at least doesn’t try to masquerade as something above its pay grade with a gaudy show. The plain black finish is easy on the eyes, and the company logo isn’t nailed onto every other key. The omission of the number pad may not bode well with users who crunch numbers, but gamers would certainly appreciate the extra wiggle room for their mouse.

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