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6 Reasons to Avoid a New Gaming Keyboard Today

Best Mechanical Keyboards

6 Reasons to Avoid a New Gaming Keyboard Today

Key Points

  • Not every gaming keyboard is made with quality in mind.
  • Good gaming keyboards can be much higher in cost than a comparable mechanical keyboard.
  • You might not need all of the features on a gaming keyboard.
  • Users might prefer different options over the noisier switches found in some gaming keyboards.
  • You might not want RGB lighting on your keyboard.
  • Most users won’t benefit from higher polling rates on a keyboard.

What are some reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard? Gaming keyboards can be a great fit, depending on your needs. That said, not every user will benefit from getting one in terms of day-to-day usage.

As with most gaming accessories, keyboards benefit from a slew of features and upgrades you won’t see on a standard keyboard. This is supposed to make gaming a smoother experience, but these features might not be beneficial if you’re looking for a keyboard for productivity.

What Is a Gaming Keyboard?

A gaming keyboard is generally a higher-end mechanical or membrane keyboard. It might have features like a higher polling rate, severely reduced key rollover, and feature mechanical switches. You’ll typically find gaming keyboards with RGB lighting, which is a supremely popular feature with gamers.

There are gaming keyboards at just about every price point, so it can be a bit daunting to pick a good one. However, there are some drawbacks many don’t consider when looking at one of these devices.

Reasons to Avoid a New Gaming Keyboard

Here are six reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard.

Reason #1: Not All Gaming Keyboards Are Equal

Since gaming keyboards come in at many different price points, there is quite a bit of disparity in terms of build quality. You’ll find this to be especially true when browsing around Amazon’s keyboard section. There are gaming keyboards there well over $100, like the ASUS ROG Azoth.

Now, you certainly get what you pay for, but most users would be better off skipping both the low and high-end gaming keyboards. It is far better to get something more suited to your needs rather than try to hope for a gaming keyboard at an agreeable price point with ideal feature sets.

Reason #2: Higher Cost

Getting a well-built gaming keyboard can be an expensive endeavor. This is just one of the reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard. Returning to the ASUS ROG Azoth, you’re paying a suggested retail price of $249.99 for a device that’s tenkeyless.

Well-built gaming keyboards are going to be more expensive, on average, than an equivalent mechanical keyboard. If you’re looking for something with customizable keycaps, replaceable switches, and all the other benefits of a mechanical, just get a regular keyboard.

Reason #3: Additional Features Might Not Suit Your Needs

reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard
You may not need additional macros and programmable features for daily productivity work.

Some gaming keyboards come with programmable macro keys and miniature screens with CPU and GPU readouts. If you’re using a keyboard with the likes of a laptop for some additional comfort while working, these features might not be worth it for you.

Gaming keyboards and their marketing really hone in on packing everything and the kitchen sink into an attractive package. As such, this might be one of the reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard. Every user isn’t going to need detailed readouts they can quickly glance at.

You could just as easily get away with a cheaper mechanical keyboard and view Task Manager or Activity Monitor when needed.

Reason #4: Noise Considerations

While switches are easily replaced on most mechanical keyboards, you might not want the noise. Some users do quite well with the likes of butterfly switches and scissor switches. Typically, you aren’t going to find these sorts of switches in a gaming keyboard.

If you’re a user who values a quieter keyboard with a light touch, then something with linear switches or scissor switches might be more to your liking. Now, you can certainly find linear switches in gaming keyboards, but you can save a fair bit when going with different options.

Noise can be a heavy consideration when shopping for keyboards. Users who prefer a quieter keyboard might find this is one of their biggest reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard.

Reason #5: You May Not Want RGB Lighting

RGB lighting can be divisive. While it is certainly nice to have backlit keys for nighttime work, you might find RGB doesn’t fit your needs. Some users might find RGB lighting to be distracting, especially as there are usually keypresses and additional software needed to get the most out of it.

So, if lighting isn’t important to your keyboard usage, this is just another one of the reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard. You can find some highly compelling choices without it on the market currently.

Reason #6: If You Don’t Game, Higher Polling Rates Aren’t Necessary

Polling rates can make or break your input latency. Most typical gaming keyboards will have a higher-than-average polling rate. What this means is that a keyboard with an 8000Hz polling rate will be sending data to the computer eight times per millisecond.

If you’re a professional gamer, then this could be a massive benefit. However, if you’re just looking for a keyboard that can game and also work, it isn’t necessary. When it comes to polling rates, it is usually a more important metric for mice. Keyboards aren’t as reliant as nonstop streams of data.

Polling rates aren’t the greatest selling point for a mechanical keyboard. As such, this is just one of the reasons to avoid a new gaming keyboard.

Alternatives to a Gaming Keyboard

There are some high-quality alternatives to most gaming keyboards on the market today. High-end gaming keyboards typically use mechanical switches, so here are three of our favorite mechanical keyboards.

Ducky One 3

Premium Mechanical Excellence
Ducky One 3 Matcha TKL Keyboard
  • Tenkeyless design
  • Cherry MX Red switches
  • Excellent PBT keycaps
  • Three levels of adjustment for keyboard feet
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Yes, the Ducky One 3 is one of the more expensive options included on this list. There is plenty to like about this particular mechanical keyboard, though. You really get a premium experience when using the Ducky One 3.

It comes with hot-swappable Cherry MX Red switches, improved stabilizers, and double-shot PBT keycaps. A comparable gaming keyboard could easily cost twice as much to get a comparable feature set. The Ducky One 3 isn’t backlit, but you likely won’t miss it.

Ducky has been a reputable mechanical keyboard manufacturer for several years, and the latest in their lineup are some of the best options.

G.SKILL KM360

Mechanical on a Budget
G.SKILL USB KM360
$49.99
  • ABS dual injection keycaps
  • Cherry MX switches
  • Compact design with USB Type-C connector
  • White backlit keys
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01/16/2024 09:22 am GMT

The KM360 is an entry-level mechanical keyboard that isn’t short on features. You get backlit keys, Cherry MX Red switches, and a compact tenkeyless design. The KM360 makes for a rather compelling choice, especially given its lower price tag.

Now, you can certainly find other mechanical keyboards for less, but the KM360 is a great midpoint between high-end features and an overall lower cost. It isn’t going to be an ideal fit for everyone, but for daily typing needs, you get all the benefits of linear switches.

Logitech G413 SE

Flexible Mechanical Keyboard
Logitech G413 SE
$144.97
  • Cherry MX style switches
  • PBT keycaps
  • 6 key rollover
  • Metal top case and base plate
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01/16/2024 09:23 am GMT

The Logitech G413 SE rounds out the alternatives and is a more subdued take on the high-end features you’d expect of a gaming mechanical keyboard. It isn’t festooned with RGB lighting or additional displays. You do get access to a full keyboard layout, complete with Numpad.

The switches aren’t the best, but they do make a great base for a dependable mechanical keyboard. One of the biggest upgrades from the original G413 SE is the switch to Cherry MX style switches, so you can readily replace them with whatever you’d like.

The backlight is plain white, which is great for nighttime use. The G413 SE is a great platform to start your ideal mechanical keyboard.

Closing Thoughts

Gaming keyboards can be ideal for many scenarios but aren’t the best fit for everyone. If you’re after a comfortable key bed and quiet switches, there are numerous mechanical keyboards on the market intended for universal use.

Reasons to Avoid a New Gaming Keyboard
1. Not every gaming keyboard is made with quality in mind.
2. Good gaming keyboards can be much higher in cost than a comparable mechanical keyboard.
3. You might not need all of the features on a gaming keyboard
4. Users might prefer different options over the noisier switches found in some gaming keyboards.
5. You might not want RGB lighting on your keyboard.
6. Most users won’t benefit from higher polling rates on a keyboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use any keyboard for gaming?

You can certainly use any keyboard you’d like for gaming. However, depending on the game you might find additional features that may be a bonus.

Are all gaming keyboards mechanical?

No, some are membrane-based. It really depends on the price point as to what you can expect from a gaming keyboard.

Are mechanical keyboards the best sort to get?

Mechanical keyboards have been receiving a lot of love as of late. They do offer a stellar typing experience which could reduce wrist pain.

Can I use a gaming keyboard with my Mac?

Yes, you might have to remap certain keys for shortcuts and modifiers, however.

Is Ducky a reputable brand?

Ducky has been a very reputable mechanical keyboard manufacturer for a number of years now.

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