Best Membrane Gaming Keyboards
In the last few years, mechanical keyboards have become all the rage in PC gaming. Their clackiness and haptic feedback are definitely a plus for many people. One keyboard type you never hear much about is membrane keyboards. Despite not being in vogue right now, they are a fantastic choice for any gamer, writer, or casual PC user.
What’s the Difference?
Membrane and mechanical keyboards are terms frequently thrown around by PC enthusiasts and gamers alike. Many people may not be aware that they are actually distinct rather than a couple of nerdy buzzwords.
Mechanical keyboards are pretty much exactly what they imply, mechanical. Each key is supported by a switch, of which there many different types, that requires a full press in order to send your computer the signal. Because they are mechanical, they offer a lot of haptic feedback and can be pretty loud. These keyboards tend to be larger as the keys need room to fit over a switch, and the form-factor needs to fit the switches.
A great resource to learn more about these is the subreddit /r/mechanicalkeyboards. They offer a more in-depth explanation of the different types of switches and form-factors.
Believe it or not, you’ve probably already used a membrane keyboard. These keyboards are a lot flatter, lightweight, and not very noisy. Rather than switches, they use three main rubber rows which interface between the key and the board. These keys don’t require nearly as much pressure to activate, and the keyboards are much more portable.
These are more common as they are much cheaper than mechanical keyboards and are easier to carry around if you’re a laptop or tablet user.
What are the Best Membrane Keyboards?
Now that we’ve explained the differences between the two main types of keyboards, which membrane keyboard should you keep an eye on?
Redragon K512 Shiva
If you’re in the market for something inexpensive and durable while still giving you the best possible performance for gaming, the Redragon K512 Shiva is the keyboard of choice. At just over $30, users get a slew of awesome features. This is a full keyboard with a numpad and six programmable buttons. These buttons, as well as the RGB backlighting, can be programmed in Redragon’s desktop client, giving owners as much customization as they want. The keyboard is also built to feel like a mechanical keyboard, without requiring a hefty sum of cash to pay for it. Finally, the keyboard comes with a magnetic wrist-rest to help you during long gaming sessions.
If you’re looking for a fantastic keyboard for a fraction of the price of other gaming keyboards, the Redragon K512 Shiva is a must-buy. Packed full of features, no gamer can go wrong with this keyboard.
Razer Cynoza Chroma
Probably the most popular membrane gaming keyboard, the Razer Cynoza Chroma is everything a PC gamer could want. Razer has a long history of offering amazing gaming peripherals for a good price, and this keyboard is no different. Like many other Razer products, the Cynoza Chroma allows an insane amount of customization. From the RGB backlights to remapping every key, gamers can personalize this board to their hearts’ content. All of this is controlled through the Razer Synapse desktop client. The keyboard is also compatible with many smart home products, turning your room into the ultimate gaming battle station.
While not as inexpensive as the Redragon K512 Shiva, Razer is known for their excellent products and their reliability, with this keyboard being no exception. The Razer Cynoza Chroma is easily one of the best keyboards on the market and a great choice for any gamer.
Corsair is up there with Razer as one of the best gaming peripheral manufacturers right now, and the Corsair K55 is proof of that. This membrane keyboard is a fan favorite among gamers, offering users an insane amount of features and reliability for an extremely low price (especially compared to Corsair’s mechanical line-up). The customization that Corsair is known for is back in this keyboard as well. Using iCUE, users can choose between a nearly endless number of options for their RGB backlighting. The keyboard also features six programmable macro buttons, which are great for optimizing your work or play.
Corsair’s K55 is definitely a keyboard worth buying. Its quiet, ergonomic design, as well as its fantastic customization options, offer a lot for a pretty low price.
HyperX Alloy Core
Another beloved gaming peripheral company, HyperX is one of the best manufacturers when it comes to long-lasting peripherals. The HyperX Alloy Core is no exception. This membrane keyboard is a lightweight and silent keyboard, perfect for your desk setup or even on-the-go LAN parties. Just like many of the keyboards above, this keyboard also features RGB backlights which can be customized. This keyboard is also spill-resistant, like many other membrane gaming boards.
The HyperX Alloy Core is an inexpensive option when it comes to a gaming keyboard. It’s quiet, lightweight, and highly durable for long-term use.
LANGTU Membrane Gaming Keyboard
While not as widely known as the manufacturers above, LANGTU has released one of the best membrane gaming keyboards yet. This keyboard is extremely slim and lightweight, making it the best on the list for travel. LANGTU’s board also features RGB backlighting, like many other gaming keyboards, allowing for quick and easy customization.
Despite not being the most popular type of keyboard right now, a membrane keyboard is a great option for gamers looking to not break the bank. These are incredibly durable keyboards, especially for their price, and offer many of the same features some of the more expensive keyboards have.
All of the keyboards on this list are great buys. They are all less than $100 on multiple online retailers, so you should get a good deal if you shop around.