Table of Contents
- 1 The best mechanical gaming keyboards
- 2 1. Cooler Master SK621
- 3 2. Logitech G915 Light speed
- 4 3. Steel Series Apex 3
- 5 4. Razer Cynosa a Chroma mechanical gaming keyboards
The best mechanical gaming keyboards
1. Cooler Master SK621
With its SK621, Cooler Master offers us here a remarkably compact mechanical gaming keyboards. Accompanied by Cherry MX Low Profile Red switches, a generous battery, and a wired and Bluetooth connectivity mode, the SK621 has many advantages to stand out from the crowd.
Cooler Master SK621: mini-keyboard, maximum efficiency
Demonstrating remarkable compactness (29.3 x 10.3 x 2.9 cm / 424 g), the SK621 has only 64 keys among which we will not find a numeric keypad.
Its small size makes it perfect for nomadic players who take their keyboard with them (especially as a carrying case is provided) ; for those who do not want to clutter their desk with a standard size model. Finally, note that a keyboard of this format makes it possible to adopt a much more natural posture for playing compared to a standard-size keyboard reduced gap between the two arms; which is also true with the TKL model (SK630) of this new range of keyboards from Cooler Master.
Compactness is not its only asset, the SK621 brings together everything (or almost) that you want to see on a gaming keyboard: full anti-posting, wired connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0; autonomy between 20 and 1000 h (in depending on the use of RGB), successful backlight, etc. The quality and performance of the switches are also at the rendezvous since the manufacturer has called on Cherry here to offer MX Low Profile Red which does not fail to seduce. Relatively silent (no audible click), these switches are ultra-responsive with an actuation distance of 1.2 mm for a total travel of 3.2 mm. Only the lack of relief of the keycaps could come to bother some users accustomed to using profiled structure keys.
Finally, if the SK621 has only 64 keys, it does not forget to offer a multitude of functions, starting with the management of macro commands which can be programmed either without or with the CM Portal home software. Note also that most of the keys allow multiple functions, up to four functions on some keys! While that can be a bit confusing at first, this keyboard turns out to be fully functional after a few days of use. To find out a little more, do not hesitate to consult our full review of the Cooler Master SK621.
Cooler Master SK621 a mechanical gaming keyboards: Cubic’s user review
Like the Logitech G915 and G815, the Cooler Master SK621 shines with performance, high-end character, ultra-slim design, and multiple features.
If certain criteria have however been discount for more compactness, like the dedicate macro and multimedia keys, the SK621 has the advantage of being a nomadic keyboard, but above all of being offer for a much lower price (€ 129) to the latest Logitech G.
Available in three variants with the SK630 in TKL format, the SK650 in standard format, and the SK621 that we have just present, this series sign Cooler Master is easily place in our comparison of the best mechanical gaming keyboards, but also as being one of the best value for money of the moment!
2. Logitech G915 Light speed
Until then absent from our comparison, Logitech G has hit hard in recent months by unveiling top of the range headsets, mice, and gaming keyboards. Available in two variants, the G915 Light speed (wireless) and the G815 Light Sync (wired), these mechanical gaming keyboards make a big splash in our review; however, it will be necessary to be ready to put your hand in your pocket!
Logitech G915: ultra-thin and high performance
If the price of a keyboard like the Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 could have put you off, you might as well tell it; the Logitech G915 might make your ears whistle. Positioned with a price of 249 € (and 199 € for the wired version), the Swiss manufacturer has attempted here to develop the “Rolls Royce” of gaming keyboards!
For starters, know that these two models are in all respects similar, except that the G915 has dual connectivity; with Logitech’s Light speed technology as well as with a Bluetooth “multi-host” mode, while the G815 is a “simple “wireframe model.
We, therefore, find a standard size keyboard, no TKL version here; the length of the keyboard is even slightly lengthen due to the presence of 5 dedicated macro keys. Despite this standard size, the G915 seems compact on our desk, and for good reason; its chassis make of a brush aluminum alloy and magnesium is incredibly thin (no more than a small centimeter); thinness are add new GL switches develop by Logitech in partnership with Kaila, ultra-thin and responsive; they bring the total thickness of this keyboard to 2.2 cm!
Logitech leaves of a mechanical gaming keyboards
Like Cherry and its MX switches, Logitech leaves the choice here between several switch variants: linear/tactile/sound. If the linear GL seems to us to be contraindicate for gaming use (no relief when switching to the activation point), the tactile and sound GLs provide superb sensations in the game. A little adaptation time is necessary when the ‘we are used to standard size switches; clear that Logitech’s ultra-thin switches do their job very well and are pleasant to handle!
To top it off, they offer increased responsiveness compared to most switches on the market; except the MX LP Red which can be found on the excellent Cooler Master SK621. or MX Speed Silver. Their activation point is indeed at a distance of 1.5 mm, for a total stroke of 2.7 mm. Despite their low profile character, there is no fear of having the feeling of a keystroke too short, as is the case with many laptop keyboards.
Finally, note that the G915 has dedicated multimedia keys and macros, anti-posting on 10 keys; works with the Light Sync ecosystem and the G Hub software. Regarding autonomy, you will need 30 hours before having to recharge this keyboard if you ever make full use of its RGB lighting. Logitech announces that the battery life can be extended to 1200 hours when not using the backlight and various effects! You can learn even more by reading our full review of the Logitech G915 Light speed.
Logitech G915: Cubic’s user review
Logitech offers here a very high-end keyboard, both in terms of its build quality and its ultra-thin design or the features it offers. Equipped with all-new ultra-thin and responsive GL switches; record-breaking battery life, dedicated macro, and multimedia keys, and even dual connectivity; G915 has something to appeal to most gamers in search of perfection.
Some weak points are to be noted: the special characters are not very visible in the dark; they are paint in a more or less opaque way and not laser engrave like the other characters.
3. Steel Series Apex 3
Steel Series generally strives to offer us high-end gaming peripherals, such as the excellent Arctic Pro headsets; or the “ultimate” mocha keyboard with the Apex Pro.
However, the Danish manufacturer also wants to make its product line accessible; the Apex 3 is one of those devices enjoying a price already a little more lenient.
Steel Series Apex 3 a mechanical gaming keyboards: the membrane alternative of the Danes
Like Razer and HyperX, Steel Series offers us a membrane alternative to its flagship range of keyboards; the Apex 3 which fulfills this role. Launched at a price that does not cross the bar of 80 €; this keyboard has an attractive design since it essentially takes the features of the Apex range.
Minimalist and without too much extravagance, the Apex 3 offers a fairly complete service with macros support; RGB backlighting (on 10 zones), a clickable volume wheel, and a multi-functional multimedia key, above all a magnetic wrist rest. The latter is a clear advantage over other models, providing additional comfort and ergonomics.
Regarding membranes, we will not necessarily find the sensations of a mechanical keyboard; but the qualities of rubber dome mechanical gaming keyboards are indeed present. First, the silence, almost absolute here, resistance to water and dust (IP32);very good durability since these switches are guarantee for 20 million clicks.
The disadvantages of the membrane are also present, the keys require more pressure to be actuate; tactile feedback is imprecise and the bump seems spongy, which results in a feeling of fatigue during long typing sessions. Despite this, these disadvantages are not so obvious in play; our fingers generally content to operate a small number of keys; let’s say it’s more a matter of habit than anything else. Only responsiveness will be a problem for the most seasoned competitive FPS players.
Steel Series Apex 3: Cubic’s user review
The Apex 3 is a very good alternative to the manufacturer’s mechanical keyboards; which are much more expensive since the first price starts at 130 € with the Apex 5. Quiet, elegant, and pleasant to live in overall; it has good strengths to be made in comparison to the other membrane models in this comparison.
4. Razer Cynosa a Chroma mechanical gaming keyboards
Among the membrane gaming keyboards, the Razer Cynosa Chroma remains, more than a year after its release; one of the best models on the market considering its value for money.
Thanks to its largely reduced noise pollution compared to mechanical keyboards, its pleasant typing sensation; Cynosa Chroma manages to stand out from its few competitors who dare to produce membrane mechanical gaming keyboards intended for gaming.
Razer Cynosa Chroma: absolute silence (or almost)
For its Cynosa Chroma, Razer has made the bet to use membrane keys with rubber dome; membranes which are therefore rather standard compare to the “mecha-membrane” hybrid switches of its big brother, the Razer Ornate Chroma.
While it does not benefit from this hybrid technology, the Cynosa Chroma is nonetheless a very good keyboard that can perform well in gaming, Ornate Chroma is equipper with a very noisy metal device that reproduces the sound click and the feeling of a mechanical keyboard; the Cynosa Chroma shines with its silence, while remaining very comfortable and enjoying ‘a reactivity certainly less likely than that of a mechanical keyboard; but quite reasonable for a good number of players.
The Cynosa Chroma has of course other arguments than its silent character; starting with its aesthetics as well as its impeccable finishes. At a functional level we will find an anti-ghosting on 10 simultaneous keys; which should be more than enough for all people who do not have more than ten fingers and two hands.
Synapse 3 software
Synapse 3 software brings real added value to this keyboard. Well thought out, it allows quite an extensive customization, such as the backlighting that can be configured key by key, or even when recording macros.
However, if the price remains low enough, it will be necessary to ignore the accessories that should have been present with this keyboard; a wrist rest for example!
Finally, the screen printing of the numbers and special characters is quite strange, these are indeed reversed and have a similar font size; which is also the case on the numeric keypad. A choice that breaks with our habits and which will undoubtedly have the effect of causing typing errors when entering numbers or special characters.
Our opinion on the Razer Cynosa Chroma
The Razer Cynosa Chroma is the ideal keyboard for those looking to maintain a calm and peaceful environment while gaming in front of their PC. Noise pollution is here reduced to its maximum, without clearly ignoring the responsiveness of the button. However, playing on a membrane keyboard like this requires some adaptation time, especially when you come from the “mechanical world”.