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Best cheap mechanical keyboards under $100 in 2017

Best cheap mechanical keyboards under $100 in 2017

Mechanical keyboards are amazing – nearly everyone who tries one agrees! They’re tough to live without! But some people may find the price tag to be a deal breaker.

This article covers a number of cheap keyboards, but we have other options available too. If you want to see an updated list featuring mechanical keyboards for everyday use, including cheap ones, look here. We also cover keyboards with Cherry MX switches and gaming keyboards in separate pieces.

Due to the recent surge in mechanical keyboard popularity and the maturation of the technology, it’s very much possible to get a high-quality mechanical keyboard for cheap! In this guide, we’ll take a look at what’s available on the market and what minor sacrifices you’ll need to make.

If you’re OK with spending a little more to get one of the best mechanical keyboards out there, be sure to look at our best mechanical keyboard list. Otherwise, check our table below of the 6 best cheap mechanical keyboards, then continue on to learn more about them.

Keyboard Switches Backlighting Price
HAVIT HV-KB389L (RK PRO104) Kailh Brown 7 color RGB View on Amazon
Corsair STRAFE Cherry MX, various Red View on Amazon
Rosewill RK-9000v2 Cherry MX, various None View on Amazon
CM Storm QuickFire XT Cherry MX, various None View on Amazon
Logitech G710+ Cherry MX, various White View on Amazon
Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z Kailh, various Blue View on Amazon

 

Fewer Features, Great Quality

When looking for a cheaper mechanical keyboard, there’s good news! You can still expect to get an exceptional keyboard with the same quality switches in the more expensive keyboards that will last you for years to come. You’ll get the same typing experience as the more expensive keyboards, so don’t worry about major functionality being hampered. If you don’t know what all of this means, read our starting page. It will help you grasp what’s going on.

The drawbacks will be in the bells and whistles. Most sub-$100 mechanical keyboards won’t have most of the following features, which you would expect in more expensive models:

  • Aluminum chassis
  • Dedicated media keys
  • Built-in USB hub
  • Fancy backlights
  • Extensive macro support
  • Extra programmable keys

If you can live with those sacrifices, then check out the best cheap mechanical keyboards below, most of which are under $100!

 

HAVIT HV-KB389L RGB (RK PRO104)

HAVIT HV-KB389L RGB

Brand new for 2016, the HAVIT HV-KB389L was a very pleasant surprise that delivers a ton of value for such a small price tag!

The main attraction here is the side RGB lighting, which is absolutely incredible, especially at night in a dark room.

Overall the construction feels great and the keyboard is simply beautiful to look at. The main downside is the keyboard has a plastic case, not aluminum, but you could say the same about most keyboards in this list. Read our HAVIT HV-KB389L RGB Review for more details, images, and videos.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

 

Corsair STRAFE

With the release of the Corsair STRAFE, Corsair edged out their rival Razer for the best gaming keyboard under $100!

While this keyboard might be one of the more expensive options on the list, it’s very feature-rich for the price.

For starters, you get a USB pass-through port and dynamic red LED backlighting that can be completely customized with the Corsair CUE software.

Gamers will love the textured keycaps, which help you easily keep your fingers on the right keys during frantic battles. The STRAFE comes with both a FPS and MOBA set of textured and contoured keycaps.

Perhaps best of all, this keyboard is available with Cherry MX Red, Brown, and Blue switches. If you have more or less to spend but want to stick with the Corsair brand, take a look at our list of Corsair keyboards to find one that suits you.

We also have a review of the STRAFE RGB, which is similar to this product.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

 

Rosewill RK-9000v2 Mechanical Keyboard

rosewill rk9000v2 components

The next spot on our best cheap keyboard list goes to the understated Rosewill RK-9000v2. While this keyboard doesn’t look super sleek or sexy, it is a great no-frills keyboard available in 4 different Cherry MX switch types – Red, Black, Blue, and Brown.

The RK-9000v2 is a great option for those looking to experiment with a new switch variety without breaking the bank. You can usually find this keyboard for about $90.

If you’re looking for a keyboard to take to work or use in a professional setting, the RK-9000v2 is a great choice.

You can read our entire review of the RK-9000v2 here.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

 

CoolerMaster QuickFire

The CoolerMaster QuickFire series of mechanical keyboards are top-notch, high quality keyboards for under $100! With Cherry MX switches, a steel backplate, and detachable USB cable, these mechanical keyboards have everything you need.

They are available in full layout, under the QuickFire XT line, or if you want a compact mechanical keyboard, they also have the QuickFire Rapid keyboards which are even cheaper.

CoolerMaster is a trusted name in the computer peripheral industry; they offer a 2-year warranty on their keyboards.

While not a flashy choice due to the lack of backlighting, it sports high-quality construction that could last a decade.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

 

Logitech G710+

The Logitech G710+ might just be the most feature-rich keyboard on this list.

For starters, this keyboard has Cherry MX Brown switches, though it’s available in Blue as well. It’s also the only keyboard on our list that has dedicated media keys, allowing you to pause/play, stop, skip tracks, and adjust volume without having to leave your game or press multiple buttons.

Another selling point for gamers are the 3 macro profiles and 6 programmable dedicated macro keys on the left side of the keyboard. If you play games where macros are useful, having your own dedicated macro keys is a huge benefit.

The G710+ features a USB pass-through port and configurable white LED backlighting, which can selectively illuminate gaming keys. A detachable wrist rest is included as well.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

 

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z Blue Switch Illuminated Keyboard

 

Rounding out our list is the Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z mechanical keyboard. This keyboard is definitely made for more budget-minded consumers, as it’s priced below most of the others here.

This keyboard uses Kailh mechanical switches rather than Cherry MX, but it comes with a 5-year warranty which is the longest of any keyboard on the list.

Blue LED backlighting and a low profile design gives this keyboard a little something extra that earns it the final spot on our list of the best cheap keyboards.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

That wraps up this roundup of our best cheap mechanical keyboards. If you’re looking for a tablet keyboard, or maybe the best mechanical keyboards for programming, we have you covered!

 

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About The Author
Peter Nivison
14 Comments
Leave a response
  • November 12, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Really great write, I have Black-Widow by Razer it is really nice keyboard but expensive and over priced. If you were want to visit my http://bulletseo.com/ and leave a review would appreciate it.

  • Ryan
    January 4, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    To anyone who is interested in buying one of these I prefer Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z blue switch illuminated keyboard. It is somewhat like the Rosewill RK-9000v2 mechanical keyboard, yet the last choice has colour and it has a louder and better sounding clicks.

  • Gordon Edwards
    February 26, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Interesting. Surprised youse don’t mention the Unicomp brand, actually.

    I’ve had a Model M 82G2383, 25-Mar-95, since 1997, picked it up 2nd hand for about Au$20… Yes, I live there! PS/2 connection, 104 keys, 2lb weight, steel chassis, replaceable key-caps… It died of plastic fatigue last year, so I replaced it with a Unicomp Model M, same specs, 6/15/2015, Au$90…

    I’m a “general user”, typing mostly, and great believer in keyboard shortcuts. I’m not a Gamer. This keyboard is not for Gamers. It’s for Word Processors, Spreadsheets and Programmers’ Text Editors. OTOH, I have accidentally dropped the old keyboard on the floor once or twice, it’s had the odd coffee at my expense… They’re so easy to clean!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only accessory I have now is a skin from Hooleon, IMHO the best skins available. (Note to self: get a spare!)

    I love it because the Model M is the keyboard, the whole keyboard and NOTHING BUT THE KEYBOARD. I let the software do macro stuff & etc. I’m in control!

  • July 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Great list, I got the Rosewill RK-9000 keyboard myself.

    I think combined with the list on http://www.cheap-mechanicalkeyboard.com/ that’s all the important price/quality keyboards.

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