Games

Best Keyboard 2023

Seasoned gamers understand the need for a high-quality keyboard to bring their gaming experience to the next level, but when there’s an almost endless list of specifications for the clack of the keys to the width of the board, it can be more than challenging to find a keyboard that gives you exactly what you need. Fortunately, new and innovative keyboards were swarming the CGM office from all kinds of brands, packed with a ton of fun new features—perfect for even the pickiest of gamers.

Despite having so many worthy best keyboard rivals, manufacturers like ASUS, Logitech, SteelSeries, ROCCAT, and NZXT truly outdid themselves with their keyboards, offering players a number of innovative features that were all well handled, making sure that your gaming experience is as satisfying as possible. Heading into 2023, we wanted to find a capable and befitting winner for best keyboard 2023 worth adding to your gaming setup.

Here are CGMagazine’s nominees for Best Keyboard 2023:

ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate Keyboard

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Writer: Khari Taylor
Score: 9
Price: $279.99

The two words that come to my mind to best describe the feel of using the ROG Strix Flare II Animate are “premium” and “comfort.”  The memory foam of the wrist rest accommodates my hands so perfectly across the entire width of the keyboard that I imagine it will be hard going back to the generic rest I was using previously. More importantly, each and every PBT Doubleshot Keycap and the accompanying ROG NX Mechanical Switch underneath it feels precise, responsive and durable.

While the tactile feel and relative quietness of the Strix Flare II Animate are applaud-worthy attributes on their own, several quality-of-life features make the product even more attractive. In the top left corner users will find the keyboard’s bespoke media keys, which consist of a cylindrical toggle knob with a Pause/Play button embedded on its exposed side, a cylindrical volume wheel/button, a Windows Lock key and an RGB Brightness key. All of these controls have been intentionally designed to access by feel, and they can all be remapped to perform various keyboard, mouse, multimedia and macro functions, as well as other time-saving actions, such as launching a preferred app, web browser or other Windows shortcut.

The ROG Strix Flare II Animate is a full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard that delivers comfort, accuracy, convenience and “flare” well worth its asking price if you’re a hardcore KB+M gamer who likes equipment that stands out.

Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard

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Writer: Zubi Khan
Score: 9
Price: $219.99

The MX Mechanical uses a low profile quiet feeling key configuration that, in practice, delivers on that claim while still feeling very satisfying and comfortable to use. Logitech also offers a liner and clicky feeling variant on its official website. As someone used to MX Cherry switches as their daily driver, I was worried the switch to a more subtle feeling key set would take a while to adjust to, however, in truth, I found the writing experience with the MX Mechanical to be excellent.  

Finally, on the software side of things, the Logitech MX Mechanical uses the Options+ suite, an app that works across the board with Logitech’s MX series of peripherals, which is nice if you already own one of their newer MX products. The program allows the user to remap the function keys in addition to the numerical pad and row of buttons on the right side of the board

The Logitech MX Mechanical is an excellent mechanical keyboard that is likely to fit in any workspace or home office.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless Gaming Keyboard

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Writer: Ridge Harripersad
Score: 9
Price: $309.99

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless could be connected to one’s PC or laptop through a wired connection or wireless connection via Bluetooth 5.1 or the SteelSeries dongle. The board itself could be adjusted to three different, ergonomic heights as most boards: flat, half, and full extension. The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless also came with a detachable USB Type-C braided cable which felt exceptionally durable, but nothing special compared to other braided cords that came with other keyboards.

Overall, what I found when playing around with SteelSeries GG’s macro settings, various key binds, and key actuation was that this was a magnificent mechanical keyboard I would not comprehend pushing it to its optimal settings in one day. Maybe a keyboard enthusiast would be able to justify its price point even more with its complex systems, but as a beginner/intermediate user of various keyboards, I found the $310 price tag unnecessary for me.

Despite the extravagant price, the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless Gaming Keyboard provided high-class keycaps and switches on top of many of the common features typically found in mechanical keyboards of this quality. If you are willing to shell out lots of dough for a superbly versatile board with long-term durability and ease of connection, this may be your next investment.

ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Keyboard

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Writer: Philip Watson
Score: 9
Price: $159.99

The ROCCAT Swarm software suite lets the user customize the keyboard. Easy-shift keys can be utilized in games, and further keyboard functions can be adjusted. Not only that but individual accounts can also be made on the same device for separate users. I played around with these functions a bit, and the shortcuts can be used for lightning-fast gaming functionality. The ability to remap the key functions is just another reason why this is an ideal gaming keyboard. The swarm suite also allows the user to adjust colors on the RGB of the Vulcan TKL Pro to fit unique preferences.

The ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro keyboard is a stunning device that is not only great to look at but provides customization for the user that can fit individual needs. The Swarm suite allows for advanced functionality for gamers looking to up their K/D ratio. Without even utilizing the Swarm suite functionality, the light touch of the keys allows writers to march through daily activities with ease, and the satisfying clicks of the key presses never get old.

The ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Keyboard not only frees up a swath of real estate for mouse flexibility, but it also looks good doing it. A responsive upgrade for gamers in need of a keyboard if you have the funds to invest in one.

WINNER TIE: Best Keyboard 2023 ROCCAT Vulcan II Max Keyboard & NZXT Function Keyboard

ROCCAT Vulcan II Max Keyboard

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Writer: Dayna Eileen
Score: 9.5
Price: $229.99

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard on its own is damn near flawless. Not only is it beautiful, but it still has that same perfect clickiness I loved with the Vulcan Pro because of its TITAN II Optical Switches which last up to 100 million clicks. The LEDs under each key are under a clear base, allowing you to really appreciate the colours of an RGB keyboard. 

Among the secondary functions are four different lightings presets you can switch between without diving into the ROCCAT Swarm software (which you can open with another shortcut FN+F5). There are also shortcuts to mute your microphone, check your ROCCAT mouse or ROCCAT headset battery, answer voice/video calls from Discord, or begin streaming using Twitch Studio. Though many of these seem handy, if you don’t use only ROCCAT devices or Discord and Twitch, these functions are limiting.

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max feels premium and will absolutely revamp your desk space. For $229.99, it stays competitive with big brands and looks damn good while doing it.

NZXT Function Keyboard

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Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 10
Price: $120

 The Function keyboard is, without question, one of the best keyboards I have ever had. The design, style, and level of customization have made this an ideal choice for my daily use, even the keyboard layout and size feel perfect for office or gaming use, giving enough feedback for typing while still being comfortable to use over long periods of time. NZXT has a range of switches to choose from like the typical Brown, Blue, and Red. Additionally, you can choose from premium switches that include Silent Black, and Alias Silent, giving choices that fit the feel of the mechanical switch you crave while not forgetting about people that may need things quieter for an office environment.

NZXT has nailed the experience of building a bespoke keyboard. What once was something only very few could ever manage due to cost or knowledge, they have managed to make it easy and fun. With the clean design of the ordering process to the fact the end result is truly fantastic, the NZXT Function keyboard feels like a home run in every regard.

A fully customizable keyboard experience, the NZXT Function keyboard is one of the best and most well-designed keyboards I have ever used.

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