Of all the great mechanical keyboards on the market, we figured we needed to make an updated list; here’s our top 5 mechanical keyboards still under 100$, April edition.
If you are looking for a budget mechanical keyboard, follow the link.
A majority of these keyboards uses Cherry MX Switches, currently the market leader in manufacturing mechanical keyboard switches. They come in six different colors, each having varying features. If you find it hard to choose which particular Cherry switch would be most suited for you, it would be a good idea to purchase the 6-Key Cherry MX Switch Tester before purchasing one of the mechanical keyboards below.
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SteelSeries Apex M500
SteelSeries is a manufacturer that has always come up with fine gaming products, and the Apex M500 is no exception. This traditional-looking, 104 keys black keyboard is equipped with Cherry MX Red Gaming Switches. Weighing about 2.7 pounds and measuring 17.3 x 5.4 inches, The Apex M500 is a lightweight keyboard compared to its competitors.
Most of the SteelSeries keyboards are remarkably strong by build, and so is the Apex M500. It is manufactured using high-quality, durable plastic and has been reinforced with a steel back plate. They keys are well-spaced and illuminated with blue back lighting. At the back end of these keys lay the Cherry MX Red Switches, ensuring soft and quite keystrokes with high level responsiveness. These switches can be arguably regarded as the best ones Cherry has to offer.
The keyboard has an excellent cable management system. There are 3 gives on the bottom of the keyboard so whether you want to align the cable to the left, right, or center, it won’t get tangled. It comes with the SteelSeries Engine 3 software, which you can use to reprogram the keys and customize the brightness and pattern of the backlighting.
- Cherry MX Red Mechanical Gaming Switches
- Individual Blue LED Illumination
- 100% Programmable with SteelSeries Engine
Logitech G610 Orion Brown
Logitech’s gaming gadgets have always been adored by gamers, and the G610 Orion promises to maintain the quality and performance that is associated with Logitech’s gadgets. This efficient keyboard comes in two variations (Brown and Red), and for the purposes of this review we chose the brown one.
The core material of the mouse is thick, industrial-grade plastic. The overall look and feel of the keyboard is sober and gentle, without many distractions. The matte black finishing on the chassis, and the white backlit keys contribute to the streamlined appearance of the G610 Orion.
The keys of G610 Brown are slightly more resistant than the Red ones; however, both provide soft keystrokes and have an excellent actuation of 2mm. The G610 features dedicated media controls, enabling you to control the background and foreground sound adjustments without leaving the game. The gaming utility software of the keyboard lets you reprogram keys, define macros, and customize the backlighting of the keys. You cannot change the color (white) of the backlighting; however, the brightness and pattern of backlighting can be customized.
- Performance-driven gaming keyboard: Full-size keyboard delivering a pure, fluid gaming experience
- Tactile Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Key Switches: Low-noise switches have a tactile bump for feedback with every keypress
- Customizable Lighting: Personalize individual key lighting brightness to keep track of spells and other commands
Razer Ornata Mecha-Membrane
Razer is an accepted market leader in manufacturing both expensive, high-end gaming gadgets, as well as budget-friendly gadgets capable of delivering fine gaming performance. The Razer Ornata is one of their most versatile products in that along with being affordable, it is an unusual hybrid of mechanical keyboards and membrane keyboards. It offers a unique experience by combining the responsiveness of mechanical keyboards with the quietness of the membrane ones.
It is a standard size gaming keyboard featuring half-height keys that ensure easy and faster actuations. The keys are individually backlit and can be customized by choosing one of the several available dynamic effects. It features a remarkably soft and comfortable ergonomic wrist rest, made of faux leather.
It is powered by the Razer Synapse software, enabling you to fully reprogram the keys and record on the fly macros for your games. It possesses most of the features you can find in high-end mechanical keyboards and is undoubtedly a pretty good deal.
- Designed from the ground up, the all-new Razer Mecha-Membrane combines the soft cushioned touch of a membrane rubber dome with the crisp tactile click of a mechanical switch.
- The Razer Ornata Chroma features a custom designed keycap that has been made shorter to reduce the time it takes for your actions to register.
- The Razer Ornata features individually programmable backlit keys along with dynamic lighting effects all set easily through Razer Synapse.
Rosewill has been manufacturing good quality, affordable mechanical keyboards for years now, and the RK-9000V2 is their latest and perhaps finest product. Available in several variations of the Cherry MX switches (Blue, Black, Brown, and Red); the RK-9000V2 offers pretty much everything that an average gamer would desire.
This full sized keyboard has a compact shape with no wasted space and unneeded frills, and thus only occupies a reasonable amount of space on your table. Its build is strong and heavy, and the rubber feet at the bottom help it in resisting slips during intense gameplay. It is extremely durable and can survive years of rough use.
As regards performance, the keys have a great level of responsiveness and offer a comfortable gaming experience. There is an option to lock the windows key, thus avoiding accidental keystroke during gameplay.
The keyboard does lag behind in some features; particularly, the absence of backlighting and macros. Nonetheless, it is a good choice for average gamers who want to ascend into a higher gaming realm.
- 100% Cherry Brown MX Switches. They deliver a fast and precise response with great tactile feedback.
- The N-key rollover function is a must-have for gamers!
- Multimedia keys give you direct control from your keyboard.
The Azio MGK1 is a compact mechanical gaming keyboard that avoids frills and the jargon of extra keys. The keyboard is available in two variations (Kailh Black and Kailh Blue). The Kailh mechanical switches, although not as premium as Cherry MX, are an excellent substitute and are almost identical to them in terms of performance and durability.
The surface is made of brushed aluminum, with the base available in both black and red colors. A remarkable feature of the keyboard is its ‘driverless’ capability, i.e. you do not need to install drivers and as soon as you plug in the USB cord, your keyboard is ready to use.
Equipped with a comfortable and ergonomic wrist-rest, the MGK1 works well for both gaming experience and typing duties. It is a strong contender in an already condensed market, and has gained well-earned reputations in the past two years.
- Mechanical Key Switches (Kailh Brown)
- Black Anodized Aluminum Face Plate
- White LED Backlight w/ Adjustable Brightness
Mechanical keyboards do not have to be expensive.
These are considered in the mid range of mechanical keyboards in terms of price.
Our top choice would definitely be the Steelseries Apex M500 and is well worth the money. I have used this keyboard for about 1 year before I upgraded and I only upgraded to test and try a higher end model.
Hopefully we have helped you find a suitable mechanical keyboard and good luck on your adventures!