The Best Keyboards of 2019!
Welcome to our best and worst keyboards out of 2019. It’s been a good year in terms of unique releases and we are going to go over our favorites.
Best: Ducky One 2 SF
The first keyboard I want to highlight as one of my best on the list is the Ducky One 2 SF. This is a 65% keyboard that this portable, affordable, cute in some ways, and it’s currently on my workstation desk. It has got so many great features including dedicated arrow keys, as well as Delete, Page Up and Page Down. It basically has the same functionality on the right side as a TKL keyboard, but much smaller, and since the F keys are built into the top row you’re also saving space there. We have a removable non-braided USB Type-C cable, and an extra set of colored accent key caps for white or black models. The key caps are Double Shot PBT with beautiful light shine through, although with some inconsistencies here and there. The stabilizers are fine, the space bar is beautiful, and you can pick this board up with many flavors of MX switches. Speaking of which, this is by far the smoothest and most satisfying MX Brown keyboard that I’ve used due to its soft tactile point. I personally don’t use any of the secondary functionalities like mouse navigation, but it’s really cool to have them built-in. Plus you can record all types of macros to secondary layers or different profiles to really make this keyboard your own.
Best: SteelSeries Apex Pro
The next worthy keyboard on my list is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This model comes in full-size and TKL options, and comes with many add-on features like a full-sized illuminated USB passthrough port for peripherals, very comfortable magnetic wrist rest, and monochrome display. That display is pretty useless outside of showing .GIF’s or helping you change up colour or profiles without accessing the software, so in that sense it’s actually pretty useful. The best thing about the keyboard are the new OmniPoint switches that are linear and smooth. They remind me of Gateron Red switches that I absolutely love. They are light at 45 grams and have adjustable actuation point that you can set yourself between 0.4mm to 3.6mm. This gives you an option to create your own speed switch by setting the actuation point to be quite high, which is so cool. Or if you love to bottom out and want a totally different feeling keyboard set the maximum actuation to 3.6mm. We have seen similar designs from Wooting keyboards, by letting you set the actuation point among a range, but it’s awesome to have more options on the market, especially from a mainstream gaming brand like SteelSeries. Now we have adjustable actuation points for the masses… that is if you’re willing to spend a lot of money, as both versions of the Apex Pro are quite expensive.
Best: Razer Huntsman TE
Let’s move on to the next special keyboard, the Razer Huntsman TE, which I just reviewed it after two months of hands-on time. This is the gaming TKL keyboard that surprised everyone in the community because Razer listened and delivered. We have got a removable USB Type-C cable that you can swap for something custom and fancy. The bottom row is standard for key cap swapping. The included key caps are Double Shot PBT with a coarse texture that feels nice, but picks up dust on the sides over time. There are some lighting inconsistencies throughout, but otherwise the illumination is absolutely beautiful and bright. This keyboard comes equipped with Razer’s Red optical switches that are insanely fast and light, actuating at 1.0mm and only requiring 40 grams of force to actuate. This switch will not be for everyone, it took me about a week to get used to it, and after two months of usage I still sometimes rest my fingers on the keys and activate Shift, A, W, or the space bar. With this keyboard you just have to be cautious because the keys are so light, the weight of your hand, and your fingers will depress the keys. Nevertheless, this is definitely my keyword of choice for gaming, and if fast and light switches are what you crave the Huntsman TE is an easy recommendation for me. Having said that, be aware that this is a pretty noise keyboard, the switches are certainly not silent.
Best: DREVO BladeMaster TE
The last best keyboard I have on the list is the DREVO BladeMaster TE. This one is also a TKL keyboard, but it is quite basic and affordable. I don’t mind the angular frame, it’s still low-profile, but not just a rectangular slab. The bottom row is standard for key cap swapping. The cable unfortunately is non-removable, but it is non-braided and quite flexible, which is nice. The key caps are standard ABS, but we have this multifunction wheel on the side that you can macro to suit your workstyle and game play. This model is offered with four flavors of Gateron switches, with Reds being my favourite, which is why I love this keyboard so much. There is also a PRO Wireless version of the BladeMaster with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connectivity. This one comes with MX Cherry switches, a USB Type-C cable, a silver body instead of black, and the same custom wheel on the left side. I would actually not recommend the wireless model because the wireless connectivity has been kind of wonky after the review, so switching between Bluetooth and 2.4GHz did not fully work as advertised. This is why I would still recommend the BladeMaster TE, because it’s wired, it’s still the one I use today, and it has a very quiet sound profile.
Worst: Logitech G Pro X
Alright, switching gears, let’s talk about the most disappointing keyboard of the year for me, the Logitech G Pro X. This is so unfortunate because I love the original model. I will say that I love seeing hot-swappable switches on a mainstream gaming brand keyboard. You don’t need to buy Logitech-branded Kailh switches, although they do recommend it because of some tolerances, but don’t listen to them. My Halo Clear switches fit just fine. They did not update the connection, it’s still using micro USB. The bottom row is not standardized despite having such an awesome feature like swappable switches, the key caps are glossy ABS, and the price is too high. At $150 USD for the keyboard and $50 USD for a set of switches, that is just too much when things like the $110 Glorious GMMK TKL exist. That models offers a swappable frame, just like the G PRO X, with so many switch variations, but at a much lower price point. I love the G Pro X keyboard, but having a hot-swappable frame doesn’t justify its price. They should have done more.
Now let’s hear what Eber and Mike have to say about their best and worst keyboards.
Eber: So my pick for the best keyboard of 2019 has to go to the Logitech MX Keys. Ever since I reviewed this keyboard it has been my daily driver, because I love the low-profile nature of this keyboard. Most importantly, Logitech Flow is absolutely fantastic with this keyboard. I’m using the Master 3 mouse along with this keyboard, and I can easily switch between my notebook and my desktop PC while using a single pair of peripherals, which is awesome. The keys themselves have great feedback, but it’s obviously not going to give you that same mechanical feel as a traditional mechanical keyboard. The MX Keys is also a wireless keyboard and the battery lasts really long. It charges via a USB Type-C cable and it does support fast charging, which is nice.
Eber: My pick for the worst keyboard of 2019 has to be the Cooler Master SK650. In fact, the whole SK lineup is bad. So why is it my worst keyboard of 2019? Well even though the Cooler Master targeted this as a low-profile mechanical keyboard, it really isn’t low profile at all. Compared to a traditional mechanical keyboard it’s really not that slim, especially next to the MX Keys from Logitech. Furthermore, the switches are absolutely horrible. I mean there’s no life to them when you’re typing. To make things worse, the spacing between individual key caps is not even, and it’s also very sharp, so it makes typing super uncomfortable. The backlighting is also pretty bad, and it’s just way too expensive. Basically, it’s bad all around.
Mike: Okay, so I am not a keyboard guy, but I did have one choice and that is the G.Skill KM360. I like it because it basically goes against what a lot of other companies are trying to do, which is hike up the prices of peripherals as much as they can. This thing is not going to be the best keyboard, but at $50 USD – if you can still find it at that price – it has everything. It has a good frame, it has Cherry MX Red switches, and what I did is I just popped on a $25 HyperX pudding key cap set. With this combination I’ve been using this as my daily driver for gaming for the better part of four months now. It has really held up well and I’m super happy with it.
Mike: Now my choice for the worst keyboard is the Logitech G915. I know some of you will probably say that I’m absolutely crazy, but it’s getting some dust on it because I haven’t been using it. I just don’t like this thing. Unlike what the G.Skill is, this keyboard represents everything that’s wrong with the peripheral space right now, or at least the gaming peripherals. It’s expensive and it tries too hard. It does have a really good wireless connection though. However, at $330 CAD for an oversized “slim” keyboard that’s not really slim, to me this is where peripherals shouldn’t head, especially when you have custom keyboards that offer much better performance and value. There are some some amazing keyboards from Varmilo and Leopold that you can get for a third of the price. Therefore, this is my pick for the worst keyboard of the year.
Alright, so that was fun hearing from the guys. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have a favorite keyboard of the year, what is it? And do you agree with our choices for worst keyboards selections for 2019? Let me know!