If you are looking to dramatically improve your competitive gaming experience, investing in a dedicated gaming keyboard is one of the easiest and best way to go.
Over the years, the best gaming consoles have become more and more popular on Black Friday, due to the fact that many gamers value them more as well as the fact that a good amount of them can be quite expensive – especially since high-end consoles tend to include the possibility of customization and macros. Mechanical switches, RGB lighting, ultra-fast response times, higher build quality and more premium features. But with the right Black Friday deal, you can easily get one of the more expensive models for under $100 or even under $50.
And if you’re looking in the mid- or low-range category, sales will make those prices even sweeter. Best of all, there are actually plenty of options that offer the same high-end experience at a lower cost.
However, there are some bargains that you don’t want to touch with a ten-foot shaft, and that doesn’t just apply to the lower-range models either. Sometimes you can get what seems like an excellent deal on a high-end gaming keyboard but it doesn’t offer the features or build quality that it should come with.
But this is where we come in. We tested Much It’s one of the best consoles out there and we know what it takes to make or break a gaming experience, so we’re here to walk you through the process so you can get the best deal possible as we head into the holidays.
What to look for in a Black Friday gaming keyboard deal
So what should you look for when you go shopping Black Friday? There are a few key points to remember when it comes to buying a gaming keyboard and ensuring that you get the best possible experience.
Significantly, gaming consoles have a wide range of features and builds to suit a variety of buyers’ needs. However, depending on which end of the price range you are looking to buy from, there are tips and tricks that can help you with your experience.
The first feature to look for when shopping for a quality gaming keyboard is the build quality. Most of the other features are also important, but if your gaming keyboard is made of cheap plastic, it will break quickly. For an expensive keyboard, it should be made of aluminum alloy and the keys should be mechanical.
The first means that the body of the keyboard has to be strong due to the amount of punishment they are subjected to and most high-end keyboards have to be mostly made of aluminum. The latter refers to the fact that keyboards either use membrane or mechanical switches. Mechanical switches have a switch under the switch and membrane switches send an electric current between two plastic membranes. The mechanic reacts to clicks faster and lasts much longer than those cheaper diaphragms.
Cheaper consoles tend to use membrane switches and have plastic bodies, which can be detrimental to vigorous gaming sessions but would be well suited for casual gaming and productive work. And some low- and mid-range keyboards can mimic the mechanical feel of more expensive keyboards even with membrane switches. But keyboards in this category should be no more than $50, and anything above this price range should have at least mechanical switches.
A Black Friday consideration to mention as well is that you’ll see a fair amount of high-end consoles getting deep cuts this time of year. Here is an example from last year:
The features that gaming consoles should have are a certain level of customizable keys and/or macros (although the amount and level will vary depending on the price point) and a fast response time with 1ms or less considered ideal.
Another factor you’ll want to look for is size, which depends on how much office space you have. If you have a lot, a regular sized keyboard with a keyboard will work just fine. But it may require less space a keyless keyboard, which abandons the keyboard and is smaller and more portable. You can find the best mini keyboards in all price ranges, and many will be on sale during Black Friday and Internet Monday.
All kinds of gaming consoles will see price cuts
We have years of experience finding the best tech deals during the holidays, so we know how sale events tend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The past couple of years have flipped the norm a bit, with the pandemic and resulting supply chain issues making things even more chaotic.
Even so, there are still plenty of consistent patterns to work with. The tech industry in general has a lot of practices that have survived the past couple of years, such as the tendency to lower the prices of older products to make way for newer models.
The latter is unlikely to receive price cuts, although you may see the occasional sale of such products, which makes it worth keeping track of the latest gaming consoles. Vintage consoles aren’t the only ones that will be on sale during the holiday season.
Furthermore, as new technology tends to emerge either during the holiday season or early next year, demand for existing gaming consoles will drop and retailers will have to cut prices as a result.
One of the best ways to see what kind of gaming keyboard deals to expect this year is to take a look at what we saw last year. And in order to help you compare deals from last year, we can provide some highlights from our 2021 Black Friday coverage to prove it.
Things to avoid in a Black Friday gaming keyboard deal
Unfortunately, the holiday season means more opportunities to sell mediocre gaming consoles at prices that are often inflated but disguised as a good bargain. And while it can be hard to root out every poor keyboard rendering, there are ways to weed out the most outrageous examples.
These tips apply even more to high-end gaming consoles, as more retailers trying to pay less than stationary models are leaning on mediocre buyers while pretending to be excellent.
Any high-end keyboard should be made of aluminum or alloy steel, period. If you are spending premium prices, it should be made of premium materials. This doubles as for switches, which should always be industry-standard Cherry MX mechanical switches.
In terms of specifications, it should have a response time of 1ms or less and should contain customizable keys and macros of some sort. Of course its type and amount depends on the price and type of gaming keyboard, as MMO games require more of each, but it needs to be an advantage as strong and competitive games require it.
Features like RGB lighting are usually included but it’s just a window sill – a very expensive window that can easily bump up the price of a gaming keyboard by tens of dollars. So if you see a keyboard with it but the specs are a little lower than usual, that’s a terrible deal.
Finally, there’s the eternal wired keyboard versus the wireless analog, and we’re here to tell you that it’s largely down to personal preference. There isn’t enough difference between response time to justify one or the other, so get which one works best for you and don’t incur the additional wireless network charges because it ensures that it’s not worth the extra cost.
If you use wireless, and plan to play competitive esports, make sure your keyboard supports 2.4GHz wireless and not just Bluetooth. Bluetooth has a higher input latency than 2.4GHz wireless, so it is not suitable for competitive gaming.
Today’s best gaming keyboard deals
If you don’t want to wait until Black Friday, check out some of the best gaming keyboard deals out there right now.