2023 has been a great year for mechanical keyboards so far, as the pricing of hot-swappable and custom mechanical keyboard kits have come down quite a bit, lowering the barrier to entry for most consumers looking to get their first mechanical keyboard.
Of course, some may want to avoid the hassle of sourcing their own parts or building on a barebones kit, and just want something that works out of the box.
In this buyer’s guide, we have curated a few keyboard options that should at least be in your shortlist.
Cooler Master CK720
The CK720 is Cooler Master’s first attempt at creating a hot-swappable gaming keyboard, and they knocked it out of the park. This 65% keyboard has a solid build quality, comes with pre-lubed switches, and is well-dampened for that ever-desirable “thock”, which is pretty impressive considering the RM299 MSRP.
Despite coming with only a wired option, the CK720 is packed with features, most notably a rotary knob that is normally found on higher priced keyboards. The knob allows users to adjust volume, play/pause, media navigation and more.
For more information, do check out our in-depth review of the Cooler Master CK720 here.
The Keychron V2 is another 65% mechanical keyboard on our list. What sets this keyboard apart from the rest is that it is one of the few keyboards in this price point that offers QMK and VIA support.
The V2 also comes with high quality OSA keycaps and despite the plastic body, it felt solidly built. It boasts pre-installed dampening foam to make your keyboard sound more expensive that it is.
For more information, do have a look at our review of the Keychron V2 here.
If 65% keyboards are a bit too small for you, the Keychron V1 should be in your consideration. When compared the V2, this mechanical keyboard offers similar build quality and features, albeit in a slightly larger body.
Some users will appreciate the inclusion of an F-row instead of having to use a combination of Fn + number keys. It also comes with Windows and Mac modes, along with matching keycaps to swap around.
Akko has long been a staple in the keyboard enthusiast hobby, offering value-oriented products with decent features and performance. The Akko 5075S is a 75% mechanical keyboard with all the essentials.
It uses a gasket mount for a softer bottom-out feel, PBT keycaps, dampening foam and a rotary knob, which frankly speaking is more than enough for most consumers. You also get to choose between Akko’s own Wine White switches or factory-lubed Gateron Yellows.
Want to Assemble Your Own Mechanical Keyboard Instead?
If pre-builts are not your thing, we have a step by step guide for assembling your own custom mechanical keyboard. Do check out our custom mechanical keyboard build guide here.