Welcome to the world of mechanical keyboards! If you're reading this, you're probably on a quest to find the perfect keyboard to elevate your typing and gaming experience. However, you also would like to discover what are the top brands that go off the beaten path that focus on higher quality. Everyone knows Razer, Logitech and Corsair, so we will focus on lesser known, but higher quality brands. So many products, so many options, and brands that it is difficult to sort them out. So, let's dive into the mechanical keyboard universe and explore the top choices in 2023.
First of all, why mechanical keyboards?
Mechanical keyboards are what we use to have fun and be productive. Nowadays, they are not only a tool, but also take more and more space in our everyday life. At the beginning with the rise of personal computers world needed something that could be mass manufactured on the cheap. This is where membrane keyboards that most people use comes from. Membranes are usually made off cheap plastics and are designed to keep a product cost effective. Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, works by actuating a physical switch mechanism. This not only provides a tactile and audible response that is satisfactory, but also allows for faster and more precise typing.
I remember my first experience with a mechanical keyboard. It was like switching from a rusty bicycle to a high-performance sports car. The clickety-clack of the keys was music to my ears, and my typing speed instantly improved. There's a reason why mechanical keyboards have such a devoted following!
Customization and Comfort
One of the fantastic aspects of mechanical keyboards is customization. You can tailor your keyboard to your liking, not just in terms of looks but also in how it feels to type on. The key switches are the heart and soul of a mechanical keyboard, and they come in a variety of options.
There are many factors to think of when picking a keyboard. Materials, sizes, colors, sounds, keycaps, and many more. All these different factors play a huge role in how your keyboard performs at your desk. For instance, Different mechanical switches offer distinct typing experiences. Brands like Cherry MX switches, or Gateron switches are renowned for their smooth keystrokes. You can find really budget to really expensive switches. However, the most important aspect is that you are happy with the sound and feel they offer. My personal favorite is the HG Black switch
because it strikes a perfect balance between a smooth linear feel and a distinct sound when typing.
When choosing a mechanical keyboard, consider what kind of switch suits your typing style. If you prefer a more tactile satisfactory touch, you might opt for a switch like the BSUN Raw
Collect and resale
Most keyboard enthusiast spend so much time picking every material, matching colors, hunting through limited editions and, even more, limited stock that most people decide to collect them and display their keyboards in meet ups throughout the world.
It is also worth pointing out that keyboards (and even keyboard parts such as keycaps) can also be traded for money or for other keyboards. Depending on the keyboard, the brand, the style, your keyboard may retain or even increase the value in secondary markets.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's jump into the exciting part – the top mechanical keyboards of 2023.
1. Ducky ONE 3 Classic TKL
The Ducky ONE 3 Classic TKL
is a flagship mechanical keyboard that combines performance with typical RGB gaming flare. This keyboard uses Cherry MX Brown switches that offer a tactile feel that most people find perfect for both typing and gaming. Although since the keyboard is hotswap, this switches can be changed at any time. If you are a gamer, but also want to start exploring different switch options, this is the perfect keyboard for you.
2. Keychron Q1 or Q1 PRO
If you're ready to start getting more serious about your keyboards, then the Keychron Q1
is a must in 2023. This 75% keyboard is packed with features, with an amazing quality and flexibility. With the Q1, you can change the switches, experience the softer typing experience through its gasket mounting system. Of course, if you like wireless, choose the Keychron Q1 PRO
. Keychron has been so hot in 2022 and 2023 that it is sometimes difficult to keep in stock.
3. TKD Cycle7
The Cycle7 mechanical keyboard has been one of the craziest keyboard launches in recent time. This keyboard is found through a group buy method (like a kickstarter) and not often found in stock like other keyboards. However, if you manage to secure stock, do not doubt on picking one up. The Cycle7 checks all the boxes and then some. It is often said that the Cycle7 punches above its weight, with its amazing sound when typing, amazing building experience, and even comes with great stabilizers out of the box!
4. KBDFANS KBD67 Lite
KBD67 Lite is a keyboard that in 2022 took the world by storm. In 2023, it's not as popular as it once was; However, due to its very effective value-cost ratio and big upgrade opportunities, it has made it into our list. The KBD67 Lite comes in barebone, so you will need to buy keycaps and switches separately. This means the base keyboard is extremely cheap, and can be upgraded with your style of keycaps and switches.
5. Keychron V1
Probably one of the most affordable keyboards in this list. The Keychron V1 takes everything the Q1 does right, but by utilizing an ABS plastic body, it is able to cheapen it's cost significantly. It still comes in hotswap, so you are able to tune it with new switches and keycaps.
6. Eloquent Clicks Ziggurat 65XT
This keyboard is a project that the Eloquent team developed along side the keyboard designer Laminar. The Ziggurat 65XT has 2 main goals in mind: Incredible performance when typing (seriously, listen to a typetest) and incredible looks due to its powder paint coats. Far from a budget keyboard, the Ziggurat attempts to be one the best typing experiences thanks to its plateless design. Manufactured in very limited quantities.
Choosing the right mechanical keyboard is a personal journey, and in 2023, there are more options than ever. Whether you're after the satisfying click of a Ducky for your gaming or a Keychron for your typing, or a KBD67 for both, make sure your choice aligns with your needs and preferences. The world of mechanical keyboards is a beautiful one, and it's a joy to be a part of it. Happy typing and gaming in 2023!