Other than the ultra shiok aircon, the best part of going to the computer lab for me as a kid was always typing on the big keyboards they had. You know, the large clicky ones that sound and feel oh-so-satisfying. Known as mechanical keyboards, you might be familiar with them if you’re a pro-gamer or if you’re into keyboard ASMR.
A quick Google search will most likely bring up results showing the typical black and rainbow-lit gamer keyboards, but if you’re planning on making your setup clean AF, you might want to consider other options. We’ve compiled a list of 8 Bluetooth mechanical keyboards under $200 no matter your aesthetic.
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When on the hunt for a mechanical keyboard, it’s normal to come across cheem terms like “80% keyboard” and “red switches”. Not to worry if you’re a tech noob; these terms are fairly easy to understand and can help you to make a more informed decision when purchasing your keyboard.
Whenever you see percentage signs on your keyboard specifications, it’s most likely referring to the size of your keyboard. Full keyboards have 104 keys in total, including a number pad by the side. This is the longest keyboard available and isn’t as portable as the others.
This is what a 60% keyboard will typically look like.
Image credits: @ohgi_kbd
80% keyboards (known as a tenkeyless) don’t have the number pad while 60% keyboards additionally lack the arrow pad and F-keys. The less common 75% has the same keys as the 80% keyboard but with smaller gaps between which can make it slightly harder to clean. The most popular size is definitely 80%, but this is up to your personal preference.
Image credits: @strawberry_choi
Arguably the most important part of any keyboard, the type of switch you get determines the overall “feel” when you type. There are three main types of switches – linear, clicky, and tactile.
Linear switches are the simplest and have a smooth feel when you press down on them. Clicky switches have an additional “click” sound and feel when you press it past the actuation point, which signals that your key has been pressed. Tactile switches, on the other hand, have the same extra “click” feel when you press down on them but don’t have the extra sound.
Depending on the manufacturer, these switches come in different colours and have different sounds. Linear switches are typically also called “red switches”, clicky switches are “blue switches” while tactile switches are usually “brown switches”.
Most gamers opt for the linear switches thanks to its smooth feel and not-so-loud clicks. Typists and other keyboard users tend to lean more towards the clicky or tactile switches because they have a traditional “typewriter” feel when you press them.
Going wireless can be a godsend if you’re always switching between devices, letting you get the most bang out of your buck as you wouldn’t need multiple keyboards. However, some gamers do prefer wired keyboards because it has a shorter lag time, so we’ve included a few options that can also be used both ways.
Now that we’ve got all the technical details out of the way, here are 10 aesthetic keyboards to match your setup at home.
Note: This list was curated based on the visual appeal of the keyboard and might not have the best quality when compared to more established brands. Do purchase them at your own discretion. Keyboards bought on Amazon do have a 30-day warranty for items that are “dead on arrival”.
Image credits: @_cozy.hoshi_
Perhaps one of the most famous mechanical keyboards online, you’ve probably seen this particular model floating around TikTok or Pinterest. The Mofii Wireless Keyboard (from $69.90) comes in many different colours like sage green, pink, blue, and red, which makes it a popular choice for many.
Not only can this keyboard be found on most major shopping platforms like Shopee and Lazada, but it’s also fairly inexpensive and comes with an additional matching mouse to complete your setup. The keycaps are also round which make them a unique and cute addition to any keyboard collection.
The Daydream colourway has lilac and honey hues. You can also get it in the Blast or Heartbreaker editions.
Image credit: Logitech
Keyboards are usually meant for typing letters, but the Logitech Pop Keys ($169) is bucking the age-old standard by letting you type emojis, too. On the right side of the keyboard are 4 emoji keys for you to quickly express your emotions. Did a message make you sad or have you laughing in stitches? A button’s all you need to let your group chat know.
There are 4 other emoji keycaps in the box for you to swap around depending on your mood, and the button at the top right corner lets you customise your emoji menu with ease. It can also connect to Windows and Bluetooth computers while sporting a whopping 36 months of battery life. Yes, you won’t be needing to replace any battery on the keyboard for some time.
Image credits: @perilariene
For those of you who want something more subtle but still with a bit of personality, the Akko 3084 (from US$84.00, S$118) is a great option. Featuring light blue and grey keycaps, this colourway is perfect for minimalists who want a pop of colour in their setup.
This keyboard has a white backlight for use in low light settings and just like the other Epomaker keyboards, you can also choose your preferred switch type when purchasing.
Image credits: Amazon
Cutting down on waste is a great way to do your part in the fight against climate change, and you can start by making more eco-conscious purchases. If you want to get a mechanical keyboard but don’t want to have to compromise on your values, the Trio Gato Bamboo Keyboard (from $154) can help solve this dilemma.
This keyboard and mouse is made using glass-coated bamboo, making it a sustainable choice. Better yet, this set can even be recycled at the end of its lifespan, meaning less additional waste to landfills. It also preserves power by going to sleep and is 100% wireless so you can use it for multiple devices without forking out extra bucks.
Image credits: Amazon
Another brand with high quality and affordable builds, Royal Kludge’s RK100 (from $98) is a steal for its price. Not only is the orange and grey combination pleasing on the eyes, but the 100-key keyboard also has all the functions you’ll need while keeping things relatively compact.
This keyboard is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Android and can be connected via Bluetooth, 2.4gHz wireless, and through a Type C-USB. Plus, you can even customise the brightness of the ice-blue backlight and the switches to create your dream keyboard.
This keyboard also comes with 24-hour customer support via Amazon message so you can clarify any of your problems directly with the seller.
Image credits: @blerv
Steampunk lovers will love the Azio Retro Artisan Keyboard (from $188.77). Forged using aluminum alloy with an outer layer made of genuine leather, this keyboard is made to last. With round keycaps similar to that of a typewriter, this keyboard also features tactile and clicky switches to replicate the same vintage typing feeling.
This keyboard can be used wired or wirelessly and its angle can be adjusted based on your optimal wrist position to type without getting wrist fatigue. While this keyboard may look vintage, the battery life on this gadget can last a few months per charge cycle and one reviewer even mentioned how they’ve been using it for over two years, so you know it’s hardy.
ARMYs will find this keyboard lookin’ just like BT21’s Mang
Image credits: Amazon
For all the maximalists out there who are so over the popular white Muji-esque look, the Boyi 61 Keyboard Mini Jokee Color (from $99.99) is a great keyboard to have. With a loud colour swatch giving us big unicorn vibes – or even BT21’s Mang – using this keyboard is sure to put you in a good mood thanks to its vibrant colours.
If these colours aren’t your cup of tea, Boyi also has other colourful keyboards for you to choose from that are under $100. Featuring the popular Cherry switches and customisable RGB lighting, this keyboard is also extremely well-built.
An example of the famous Cherry switches which are great for beginners in the keyboard community
Image credits: @the_cubed
Image credits: Amazon
If you want to channel your inner gamer girl, this fully-pink keyboard from Motospeed (from $99) is a great entry-level keyboard you can get without splurging too much. With an extremely long battery life of up to 500 hours without the white backlight, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to charge it.
Both wired and wireless functions are available – the latter allows use of the keyboard up to 10 metres away.
With most of us working from home these days, we spend a ton of time on our computers which is why investing in a mechanical keyboard can be a small luxury to indulge in.
All these options are under $200 so you won’t have to spend a ton of money just to have a good rig for all your gaming and typing needs. Plus, these keyboards are already set-up for you, so even tech noobs can use them without knowing too much about all the technical details.
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