Clacking Keyboard

tips-button-on-keyboard-image-from-shutterstock

Clacking Keyboard: a reader asks…

I recently got a new Windows 10 desktop computer that I’ll be using for gaming as well as regular work. It came with this cheap keyboard which I’d like to replace, the keys are too uncomfortable, don’t seem as responsive and don’t light up. Can you recommend a good keyboard for gaming?

Mechanical keyboards are all the rage for gaming, because they have a fairly large amount of key travel, and because you can get them with so many features (like color-changing LED, individually lighted keys). Really, the sky is the limit on what you can spend on a good gaming keyboard. That said, you need to be aware that these aren’t the quietest keyboards around. In fact, they make a clacking sound as you type. That’s usually not a bother when you’re gaming since you’re only using a few keys at at time, but when you’re doing regular work, the constant chatter of the keyboard as you type can become distracting or annoying.

corsair-strafe-gaming-keyboard

That said, there are some good gaming keyboards that aren’t as loud. For example, the Corsair STRAFE RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard ($50 at Amazon.com) is a good compromise between noise and gaming performance. The keyboard uses mechanical switching, prized by gamers for quick and accurate responsiveness, but is a lot quieter than most other mechanical keyboards. For the money, this is a pretty awesome keyboard, it includes a removeable wrist rest, multi-colored dynamic lighting for the keys, different keycap coloring for the all-important W A S D keys (used in movement), and special ‘anti-ghosting’ technology to ensure your key presses are accurately registered.
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logitech-g170-gaming-keyboard

You can step up to the Logitech L170 ($82 on amazon.com) which already has sound dampening o-rings pre-installed at the factory, so it’s going to be even quieter. It includes some extra keys for dedicated functions (and is fully programmable). I have to say that I have tried a number of different keyboards and think that Logitech has made just the right mix of trade-offs to yield an excellent gaming keyboard that doesn’t sound like one. It has all the usual features you’d want in a gaming keyboard, with one nice addition: the key travel action gives good feedback so you know when the key has been fully pressed. This is like the way a piano key has a slight resistance in the middle of the travel down as you press the key. It can really help once your fingers get used to the feel, speed typists treasure such tactile feedback.
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Of course there are also some really high-end gaming keyboards like the Razer Deathstalker or BlackWidow Stealth that are a bit quieter than normal, but since your keyboard use is going to be both work and gaming, I’d stick with something a little less…extreme?

 

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