Before we get into the best of list, let’s briefly discuss some of the key things you should be looking for in a Bluetooth keyboard, if only so you know what we’re waffling on about during the reviews.
Simply put, latency refers to the delay in communication between two devices. The higher the latency, the longer the delay, and the lower the latency, the less delay there is. As most gaming involves gut reactions and lightning-fast reflexes, we need equipment that exhibits as little latency as possible.
Without the physical connection, Bluetooth peripherals tend to have slightly higher latency than their wired counterparts, so you need to hunt down one that keeps this extended delay to a minimum.
The good news is that Bluetooth technology has come a long way, and the performative gap between wired and wireless peripherals is constantly shrinking.
A strong wireless connection is absolutely essential in a Bluetooth keyboard, otherwise, we might lose control halfway through a game, leaving us sitting ducks for an opponent to mosey on up and take us down.
You may also want a Bluetooth keyboard with the ability to link up to multiple devices at the same time, saving you from constantly pairing.
There are tons of different keyboard form factors, but the ones you’re most likely to encounter are Full Size, TKL/80%, 75%, and 60%
Full size variants are the quintessential design you’ll picture in your head when you think about keyboards. They come with all the trimmings, including 104 keys and dedicated access to most functions.
TKL/80% Keyboards sacrifice the numpad (everything right of the Enter button), in favor of a smaller form factor. They tend to feature 88 keys and free up a nice bit of desk real-estate for greater mouse autonomy.
75% boards have full TKL functionality, but the buttons are crammed closer together, and 60% boards are a 61-key minimalist’s dream.
On a mechanical keyboard, the switches are the mechanisms that sit beneath each key. They define how far the keys travel, how the travel feels, and the noise the key makes during actuation.
There are three main types of mechanical switches: clicky, tactile, and linear.
Clicky switches are exactly what they sound like…each actuation has a responsive clicking sound. They’re quite noisy, but the affirmation of each full key depression can be extremely helpful.
Tactile switches offer a satisfying bump upon actuating. Much like the click of clicky switches, it informs the user that the key has been registered.
Linear switches go up and down without bumps or clicks, making them fast and quiet.
In this context, ghosting refers to a situation in which you press a key, and the keyboard doesn’t register the actuation. It happens if you exceed the “rollover” of the keyboard.
The rollover of a keyboard is the number of buttons it can register simultaneously. Say that you’re using a 5-key rollover keyboard. You can push five buttons at the same time, and it will understand your command. However, a sixth button would go unnoticed.
Anti-ghosting keyboards simply offer you larger rollovers, allowing you to execute the complex demands required of certain games. NKRO keyboards are the best anti-ghosting designs as they have no key limit whatsoever.
RGBs are the integrated LED lighting arrays you’ll find on your peripherals. They’re not for everyone, but they can help to make your setup feel special and create an even more immersive gaming experience.
They can normally be controlled using specialized software, enabling you to alter their brilliance and hue, and even create custom light sequences — awesome, right?
Of course, RGBs don’t have any bearing on the quality of the keyboard, so you may choose to put your money towards more practical features, but we think they’re great regardless.
Media keys give you extra control of a number of things such as screen brightness and music, so you don’t have to minimize your gaming screen to switch things up a bit.
They’re not essential, and they can really bulk out the footprint of a keyboard, but they’re a nice little feature to have if you want to streamline your gaming experience.