It’s safe to say that PC fans are living in the golden age of keyboards. Since mechanical designs came back into fashion we’re awash in an incredible variety of styles, capabilities, customization options, and price points. And naturally, Amazon’s smorgasbord of deals on Prime Day will have more than a few of them available at steep discounts. Most of these will require an Amazon Prime account (which you can get free for 30 days if you don’t have it already), but competitors like Best Buy will join in the bargains, too.
Retailers all over the web, Amazon included, are already offering up discounts for Prime Day(s), running between July 11 and 12. Here are the best deals we’ve been able to find from all over, handily separated into standard and gaming mechanical models, as well as a selection of other boards. You should also check out our overall top picks for mechanical keyboards and PC gaming keyboards.
Prime Day mechanical keyboard deals
- Havit KB487L, compact design with num pad and PBT keycaps, $345.39 (31% off at Amazon)
- Keychron V1, 75% layout with hot-swap switches, PGBT keycaps, VIA programming, $79.99 (20% off at Amazon)
- DROP CTRL keyboard, tenkeyless RGB with hot-swap sockets and metal frame, $192.00 (20% off at Amazon)
- Keychron K7, 65% low-profile Bluetooth board, RGB three switch choices, $75.20 (20% off at Amazon)
- Epomaker EK68, 65% with knob, RGB, PBT keycaps, gasket build, 2.4GHz and Bluetooth, $71.99 (20% off at Amazon)
- Cherry MX 1.0 TKL, basic wired design with red switches and white backlight, $32.99 (60% off at Newegg)
- Zuoya GMK67, barebones kit, includes Bluetooth and 2.4GHz, gasket mounting $36 (55% off at What Geek, use coupon code “24WG24″)
As usual, Keychron sits right at the top of our recommendations, with discounts offered throughout their line. DROP’s CTRL board is a good starting point if you want a premium, ultra-customizable design, while Epomaker offers much of the same features at a much lower price. Cherry’s MX 1.0 is a good choice if you just need a basic, all-around quality mechanical board.
Prime Day gaming keyboard deals
- Asus ROG Falchion, wireless 65% travel board with dedicated dongle, toch volume, protective case, and speedy switches, $93.49 (38% off at Amazon)
- Corsair K70 RGB Pro, Cherry switches, 8KHz wired polling, magnetic wrist-rest, $119.99 (29% off at Amazon)
- Redragon K631, 65% layout, wired, RGB lighting, hot-swap, $33.59 (20% off at Amazon)
- Logitech G Pro X, high-end TKL board with RGB lighting, $71.90 (45% off at Amazon)
- SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL , adjustable actuation keys with OLED screen and PBT caps, $131.99 (30% off at Amazon)
- Corsair K100 RGB, full-sized with extra macro keys, optical switches, PBT keycaps and wrist rest, $184.99 (26% off at Amazon)
- Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed, 65% layout with RGB lighting and dongle/Bluetooth connection, $94.99 (52% off at Best Buy)
There are tons of gaming boards to choose from, but for my money, I’d go for the SteelSeries Apex Pro with its adjustable keys on the high end, or Redragon’s diminutive Fizz on the low end. For a tiny travel board, Rzer’s Blackwidow V3 Mini is unlikely to get cheaper any time soon, with the Asus Falchion being a solid alternative if you like a little protection (and don’t need Bluetooth).
Prime Day deals on other keyboards
- Logitech KM470 Slim Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo, compact num pad layout, $30.99 (38% off at Amazon)
- Redragon K585 Gaming Keypad, a great option for left-hand only gaming if you like typing on something else, $29.59 (50% off at Amazon)
- Anker travel Bluetooth keyboard, ultra-slim design for tablets, $9.69 (47% off at Amazon, use coupon code “ANKER2641”)
- Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard, full-sized design with split and curved deck, $44.99 (25% off at Best Buy)
- Adesso Tru-Forme Media 3150 Wireless, split ergonomic with built-in trackball, $49.03 (38% off at Newegg)
- Microsoft Designer Compact Keyboard, super-slim with Bluetooth, $39.99 (42% off at Newegg)
Those who need a split ergo design should check out the Adesso Tru-Forme, which includes a trackball right where your thumbs rest. And I personally recommend the Redragon K585 if you want separate gadgets for gaming and typing.
What kind of keyboard should I buy?
That depends on what you’re doing with it. If you have a laptop and you like typing on it, you’re good to go. But if you have a desktop, or you just don’t feel good typing for long periods of time on the keyboard you’re using now, it might be time for an upgrade. Most of the high-quality keyboards on the market are mechanical now, with big, chunky builds and long, loud key presses, because that seems to be what people prefer. But there are still slim, quiet boards available from companies like Logitech, Microsoft, and Apple.
What kind of mechanical switch do I need?
Again, that comes down to what you want to do with it. There are broadly three kinds of switch: Linear (smooth from the top of the key press to the bottom), tactile (a small “bump” where the key press registers), and clicky (a loud “click” where the key press registers). These are generically color-coded to Red, Brown, and Blue switches, respectively, though that’s not universal — if you want to be sure, look for the linear, tactile, or clicky terms.
It’s all a matter of individual taste, but gamers tend to prefer linear switches, because they can be pressed and released quickly. Those who type for long stretches of time like tactile switches thanks to their finger feedback. And if you want even more feedback, along with a bit of noise, go witch a clicky switch. Just be aware that the noise might not be so well-received by other people in your home or office!
If you want to experiment with different kinds of switches without needing to buy multiple keyboards, get a board with hot-swap sockets. These let you pull out the switches and replace them with a different type. You can even mix and match the switches you put on a single board, if you have enough of them — Reds for WASD and Browns for the rest, for example.
What layout keyboard should I get?
Keyboards come in a shocking variety of layouts these days, from full-sized (with the number pad on the left) to 60%, which is just the main alphanumeric section between the two CTRL keys with the Function row cut off. Tenkeyless, or TKL, is a good middle ground that doesn’t shrink any keys but chops off the number pad, and 75% preserves the function row and arrow cluster by shrinking a few of the less-used keys.
60% is great for travel keyboards, or those who don’t have a lot of space. Full-size is almost a must if you do a lot of data entry, and rely on rapidly inputting long strings of numbers. Everything else is a balancing act between space and comfort. But keep in mind, the smaller you go, the more often you’ll need to use a function key modifier — a standard 60% keyboard doesn’t have arrows or a Delete key on the main later, for example. Smaller boards include a learning curve if you’re not used to them.
Should I get a wireless keyboard?
That depends on what’s important to you. If your keyboard sits in front of your desk and never moves, it’s probably not important. But if your keyboard is constantly on the go with you in a bag, or needs to connect to multiple devices over Bluetooth, wireless is the way to go. The latest boards can connect to three or four computers (or phones or tablets) easily, and last for months and months on a charge…as long as you take it easy with the backlighting.
There’s one exception: gaming. If you’re playing PC games with your keyboard, you want to use a wireless connection with low latency, and that means a dongle you plug in. Unlike some older wireless keyboards, and just like newer kinds of mice, modern wireless gaming boards have almost zero latency. That means you’ll never notice a gap between when you press a button and when your character reacts on screen. Just don’t use Bluetooth (even if it’s an option), as the high latency and crowded wireless bands can cause performance issues.
Do I need a gaming keyboard?
Most of the time, no, you don’t. You can play PC games on pretty much any keyboard. Gaming keyboards offer a few nice perks, though, including fast polling rates (so even less lag time between key press and on-screen action) and custom programming tools. They also tend to be flashier, with rainbow lights and exotic case materials…not that any of that will really make a difference to how you play.
Again, if you want a wireless keyboard that’s also good for gaming, look for a gaming-specific model that uses a dedicated wireless dongle and not Bluetooth.