The Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboards – October 2018
The last ten years have been a showcase for the rise and return of gaming PCs as viable alternatives to consoles like the PS4 or the Xbox One. What was seemingly dead in the 2000s found a major revival when Valve began focusing their energy into polishing their Steam marketplace into a go-to place to buy video games and other digital goods. Now, nearing the end of the decade, PC gaming seems to be more alive than ever. Major third-party titles are almost always made available on PC; when they aren’t, as was the case with Final Fantasy XV, gamers request the title for PC until it finally arrives in a deluxe package, ported to the system. Part of the joy in PC gaming comes from the flexibility of the system: you can build your PC to run games at medium settings for the price of a new console, or you can invest thousands of dollars into a 4K, VR-ready gaming machine that doubles as a workstation PC for video production, photo editing, and more.
Owning a slick, new gaming PC isn’t enough, of course. With the rise of desktop PCs for niche audiences, we’ve seen some accessories become must-owns for PC gaming. Enthusiasts spend hundreds of dollars on the perfect monitor, sound systems, gaming mice, and of course, keyboards for the perfect typing experience. Over the last decade, mechanical keyboards have become more popular for gamers and writers alike, thanks to their tactile feel when typing, their audible and satisfying clicking noises, replaceable keycaps, and the general design of the actual boards themselves. But while gaming and professional mice alike have moved to wireless technology, keyboards—especially mechanical keyboards—have largely remained wired affairs. For some, this may not matter, as a keyboard largely remains in one place at a time throughout its lifespan of use.
Still, there’s plenty of reason to want to look for a wireless model when shopping for a new mechanical keyboard, from aesthetic purposes to the ability to easily move your keyboard around the house for playing games on the couch or working on your laptop in a different room in the house. Wireless mechanical keyboards have existed for some time, but thanks to their input lag and connection issues, they’ve long been ignored by hardcore gamers and typically only used by average PC users looking for a nice tactile keyboard. That changed in 2017, when the big-name keyboard and gaming brands began bringing wireless technology to their mechanical keyboards, making it easier than ever to lose the wire on your desk and switch over to a fully-wireless setup.
When you’re shopping for any keyboard, it’s important to look at the design, style, and appearance, the switch style used for typing, and the price tag associated with the hardware. With wireless keyboards, you also have to consider the battery life of the unit, how responsive the wireless technology is between the keyboard and your computer, and of course, whether its worth the increase in price over traditional keyboards. So allow us to break it down for you in one simple, easy-to-follow guide. These are the best wireless mechanical keyboards for October 2018.
When it comes to choosing a wireless mechanical keyboard, the decision truly comes down to one of two options. Both are good keyboards in their own right, with solid designs, clicky and tactile switches that make typing a breeze, and modern technology that allows you to experience low or non-existent latency when typing. Likewise, neither keyboard is perfect; each have their own small flaws that may make it easier to pick one over the other, depending on your needs as a typist or a gamer. Only one can be our top recommendation, though, and for its combination of advanced features, modern charging technology, accessories, and an affordable price, Corsair’s new K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard is that pick.
Unveiled earlier this year, the K63 Wireless shares its name with another one of Corsair’s mechanical keyboards, the K63 Compact. It’s easy to see why: the K63 Wireless is a near-identical model, created to look almost identical to the older wired version with the one exception of the backlight color change (more on that in a moment). Neither version of the K63 feature a ten-key number pad to the left of the keyboard. For some, that will be the dealbreaker for the K63; others may find it acceptable or even preferred. Everything seen on the original K63 is here: the Corsair branding along the top of the keyboard, the textured space key, the media controls featured above the function keys. Everything is more or less where you’d expect it to be.
Outside of the lack of a ten-key number pad, the design of the keyboard is solid for most gamers to adapt. Still, those looking to use a mechanical keyboard at their workplace may want to look elsewhere. The design here, like so many gaming laptops before it, falls victim to some telltale signs of “gamer.” The font on the keys is rough, to say the least, as is the aforementioned textured space key. The palm rest that comes with the keyboard shares the grip, though it doesn’t look quite as gaudy as the space key. The blue glow is nice, and far more subtle than the red glow on the standard K63 Compact, but it doesn’t make up for the choice in font here.
Like the Compact, the Wireless model uses Cherry MX Red switches, one of the most popular switch types on mechanical keyboards today. The Cherry lineup has been around since 1983, and their success is largely due to how timeless and tactile the feel of each switch is in the hand. Reds are perfect for gamers, thanks to their light feel and minimal resistance. Once again, modern typists and office workers may suffer because of the choice here. We would have loved to see an alternate K63 Wireless model with Cherry MX Blue switches, which feature a clicky press and a loud, satisfying sound when used, but for anyone worried about sound here, the Reds are absolutely the way to go. Cherry MX Brown switches also would’ve been a good middle ground, offering gamers and typists alike a solid experience. It’s clear that Corsair knows their market audience is gamers, though, and they’re sticking with the Reds.
Overall, it’s a solid keyboard on its own, but the true test of the K63 comes from its performance, both in registering presses and in maintaining a charge. Corsair uses 2.4GHz wireless tech here, similar to what you may see on your router, to provide fast connections over Bluetooth. In their tests, Corsair claim to have reached a register speed of 1ms, and most reviewers seem to agree it lives up to the potential. The keyboard offers AES-128 bit encryption over Bluetooth in order to prevent your keystrokes from being tracked wirelessly as well, which is a nice way to prevent keylogging applications from picking up on your typing wirelessly. It’s unclear if this is a true threat, but it doesn’t add too much to the pricepoint of the keyboard, so we’ll gladly accept more protection where offered.
Corsair claims the keyboard has up to 75 hours of battery with the backlight turned off. In all honesty, this probably isn’t as great as it may sound, considering a weekend of gaming could bring you as much action as 30 hours of gaming if you’re going long enough. And again, this is without the backlight turned on. At medium brightness, the keyboard’s battery life drops hard, from 75 hours to just 25. And at full brightness, you’re looking at about ten hours total—enough to get through a gaming marathon during a night of high-intensity gaming or binging on an RPG, but not much else. The good news: the keyboard can be used with a wire, so if you’re sitting at your desk and you realize the keyboard is slowly dying, plugging it in to continue working is a fairly simple process.
Unlike most of the other keyboards on this list, Corsair offers an optional accessory in order to make the wireless aspect of the keyboard worth buying into. For an additional $60 on top of the keyboard price, you can purchase the lapboard designed specifically for the K63 Wireless, which allows you to play mouse and keyboard RPGs, shooters, and more from the comfort of your couch and your 4K television. The lapboard allows you to snap your keyboard into place, embedding it in the plastic mold instead of forcing the device to set on top of a piece of plastic. It also extends the wrist rest, making it easy to hold your hand there for a longer period of time, and gives you a full area for your mouse, in order to properly control your gameplay.
The K63 Wireless runs $109 at its normal price, a $30 price increase over the wired K63 Compact and just $10 more than the spill resistant version of the K63 Compact (however, at the time of writing, that version runs you just $69 on sale at Amazon). The increase in price is pretty minor, all things considered, especially since you can use the K63 Wireless with an actual wire. If you want to grab the lapboard along with it, you’ll have to buy it separately for the additional $59.99, or you can grab it combined with the keyboard for $159.99, saving you $10 altogether.
Despite the lackluster battery life and some qualms about design, the K63 Wireless is the perfect wireless mechanical keyboard for gamers looking to play at their desk and on the couch. When it comes to typists, unfortunately, the Red switches mean that you won’t be getting an optimal typing experience out of the board. Everyone else, however, may want to consider grabbing this board. It’s a solid choice, especially when it comes to the fairly limited market for mechanical keyboards. Corsair is a solid brand with a reputation for good customer service, and assuming you keep the keyboard clean and away from spills, it should last you years to come.
- Great for gaming
- Lack of input lag
- Lapboard support
- Gamer design aesthetic
- Cherry MX Reds are poor for typing
- Battery life
Months before Corsair unveiled their own wireless mechanical keyboard, Logitech became the first major keyboard brand to launch a wireless mechanical board of their own. Called the G613, there’s plenty to love about this board, even in comparison to the Corsair, which made choosing between the two keyboards a tough pick overall. Still, while we found the Corsair just edged out the Logitech in certain aspects and features, you’ll want to pay close attention to Logitech’s board here. The quality of what is offered—not to mention the appeal to consumers looking for a more well-rounded board—makes it impossible not to consider.
Let’s start with the visual design. The G613 is part of Logitech’s own gaming lineup, as evidenced by the inclusion of the letter G both in its product name and on the upper-left corner of the board itself. Still, despite being a gaming-focused board primarily, the design is far more understated than Corsair’s model. The font on the keys are basic yet modern, with a simple sans serif font that looks good in daily use. The font itself is white on black keys, and the only color on the keyboard comes from the programmable macro “G-Keys” along the left side of the keyboard. A ten-key number pad sits on the right side of the board, and above it, you’ll find dedicated media keys to control playback on your device. Shortcuts at the top of the keyboard also allow for toggling on and off the wireless connection, Bluetooth, a gaming mode, and a small battery indicator.
The physical design of the keyboard is excellent, offering a basic-yet-classy design that allows for use at home or in the office. There’s no textured spacebar, no overdesigned palm rest or tacky lights that scream “I’m a gamer”. Unfortunately, that last big is a problem with the board: the G613 lacks any backlighting, colored or otherwise, making using the board in the dark a much bigger challenge than it otherwise would be. The lack of backlighting pays off in the battery compartment, as we’ll note in a moment, but it’s always better to have the option to turn it on or off than it is to lack it altogether.
Like Logitech’s other keyboards, the G613 doesn’t use Cherry switches; instead, Logitech has developed their own mechanical switch called Romer-G switches, something we’d describe as a cross between Cherry MX Red and Brown switches in terms of feel. Like Reds, the feel is light and the click is quiet when you press down on a cap. The travel distance is about a millimeter shorter than Reds, and a shorter actuation point means that the keys register faster for typing than the comparable Reds. Like the K63, the G613’s key switches are primarily designed for gaming, though the shorter travel distance may make it more enjoyable for typing than what we saw on the standard Red switches above.
Overall, both keyboards may be poor for those trying to grab a keyboard for typing long articles, since Brown or Blue switches are more up that alley. It’s worth noting, however, that Romer-G switches have a much longer lifespan than the competing Reds, coming in at 70 million keystrokes versus just 50 million.
When it comes to connecting to your computer, including a nano-receiver in the box that combines 2.4GHz wireless technology with Bluetooth to create multiple connection points. The G613 can use basic Bluetooth to connect to multiple devices, be it your computer, laptop, or smartphone. For the best response time, however, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the nano-receiver in the box in order to gain access to Logitech’s Lightspeed technology, which allows for response time of under 1 millisecond. You aren’t limited to one or the other; using the buttons along the top of the device, you can choose whether you want to be connected via receiver or Bluetooth to your devices. Unlike the Corsair, it doesn’t seem like the Logitech board offers security when typing over wireless. For most users, this may not be an issue.
When it comes to powering the device, the G613 opts to use two AA batteries over a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which could be seen as either a benefit or a drawback, depending on how you feel when it comes to charging your wireless devices. While some prefer the flexibility and ease of use of rechargeable batteries, we actually think the Logitech comes out on top here. The company claims a full 18 months of use from the keyboard on just two AA batteries, which it includes in the box, so long as you use the keyboard for eight hours a day and turn it off when you aren’t using it. Even if you use it for 12 hours a day, it should last you about a year as long as you remember to turn the keyboard off. And since AA batteries are fairly easy to come by—not to mention how great rechargeable AA batteries have become over the last ten years.
Some other thoughts on the G613: first, the keycaps. While the shape and style is solid, the letters are printed instead of being embedded directly into the cap. For some, this may not be an issue, but select reviewers noted peeling and wear on the keycaps just weeks into use. For a keyboard designed to last for more than a full year before needing a new set of batteries, it’s relatively unacceptable. The wrist rest is built into the keyboard, thereby rendering it unremovable from the device itself. If you don’t mind it, that’s totally acceptable, but it’s another area where user choice would’ve trumped what’s provided by Logitech. Finally, there’s no broad accessory support like Corsair’s lapboard, but the unit does come with a smartphone stand in order to use the keyboard with a smartphone or tablet.
At the end of the day, the G613 is a solid wireless mechanical keyboard, especially for gamers. It doesn’t quite hit the highs of Corsair’s model, but it has its own benefits not offered from the competition, including the crazy-long battery life and the price tag. While the MSRP is listed as $149 on Logitech’s website, the normal price on Amazon is $129 but is routinely available for less than $100, making it a solid pick for someone looking for a full-size mechanical keyboard that uses quality switches and provides a good experience while playing games on the couch or at a desk. While the Corsair remains our top pick for the time being, look for Logitech to roll out an improved wireless mechanical keyboard model before the year is up.
- Great, subtle aesthetic
- Solid battery life
- Cheaper than Corsair's model
- No backlight
- Can't use in wired mode
- Key print may rub off
At $62, the Drevo Calibur keyboard comes well under the $100 or so both of our top recommendations will run you, making it a more sensible model for those looking for a cheaper mechanical keyboard model. In fact, the device on its own is cheaper than a wide selection of wired mechanical keyboards, and despite coming from a no-name brand, actually features some pretty solid reviews thanks to its premium build at a lower-cost price. Unlike the Corsair and Logitech models, the Drevo comes with a minimal appearance, lacking much of a bezel around the keys for a minimalist approach. The keys are backlit, with RGB lighting that allows for seven special effects, though anyone looking for per-key RGB lighting will want to look elsewhere. Likewise, the lighting effects (not to mention the key font) may not be perfect for office use, but gamers will love the design and aesthetic offered here.
Our favorite part of the Calibur comes from the switch choice. While the keyboard doesn’t use brand-name Cherry MX switches, it does offer four different models with Red-style, Blue-style, Brown-style, and Black-style keys. Anyone looking to only play games with the keyboard should look at the Reds or Blacks. Those looking to use it in an office setting or for writing at home should consider the blues, which offer solid, clicky feedback designed for typing and not gaming. Someone looking to game and type—a student, for example—should consider the Brown switches, which offer a good middle ground between the two and make for a great, well-rounded experience. All of the different models are priced identically, though the Black switch-equipped keyboard is sold out at the time of writing.
The keyboard connects over Bluetooth, not a USB key adapter like Corsair’s or Logitech’s keyboards, which may lead to some slowdown or lag when playing fast-paced games like Overwatch or League of Legends. The biggest problem with the Calibur comes from its battery life, which registers at just 20 hours on a single charge before needing to be plugged back in. While that’s obviously better than a wired-only keyboard, there’s a good chance you’ll end up wanting to keep this thing plugged in most times you’re using it anyway, making for an ultimately odd experience where you’re using a keyboard over Bluetooth that still happens to need a wire. Still, if you don’t mind choosing an obscure brand, this is a solid keyboard for the price. Just make sure you’re running Windows 10 on your PC before you pick one up—Windows 7 and 8 aren’t supported.
- Multiple key switch options
- Pretty cheap
- Doesn't support older versions of Windows
- Design is questionable
- Poor battery life
At $100 MSRP and just $49 at the time of writing, the Velocifire wireless mechanical keyboard seems like a winner in our book from first glance. It’s the cheapest keyboard on our list, and easily one of the best when it comes to offering a gateway to the wireless mechanical keyboard market. The build and layout are basic, but look professional and mostly get the job done in terms of offering a slick and easy to use layout. The keys use Outemu Brown switches, a similar switch to the Cherry MX Browns we’ve discussed above, and though you’re better off buying into the full-fledged Cherry MX lineup if you can afford it, Outemu are decent switches that will work well for typing or gaming, depending on what you’re looking for in a keyboard. The keyboard includes its own adapter instead of opting for Bluetooth, which means you won’t be using this with a phone or tablet but can use it on basically any computer without having to worry about Bluetooth issues.
Unfortunately, like a good number of the keyboards on this list, the Velocifire lacks backlighting to type in the dark. The casing is solid, and the internal battery charges over microUSB instead of the older mini USB model we’ve seen on some keyboard types. The battery life could definitely be better, though, and unfortunately, a good chunk of Amazon reviews have complained about the quality control of the actual keyboard. Still, for $49, this is a bargain-budget entry into the world of wireless mechanical keyboards. You’re probably better off buying the Corsair or Logitech models, but if you can’t afford them, this Velocifire is always available for half the price.
- Cheapest on the list
- Full-size keyboard
- Cherry MX Brown alternative
- Poor battery life
- Poor quality assurance in some cases
- If it dies, you're probably out of luck
The first of two Filco-branded keyboards, the Majestouch Convertible 2 is a solid pick for those looking for something to use at work or around the house. With a basic, Dell-esque appearance, complete with a matte plastic body and standard 2000s-esque keys, design and aesthetic are pretty basic here. There’s a lot to like about the Majestouch line, though, starting with their use of basic Cherry MX Brown switches that make it a solid choice for gaming or typing. Unfortunately, that comes at a price: at nearly $200, the keyboard is more expensive than competition from both Corsair and Logitech. And considering the difficulty in setting up and interpreting the broken English instructions, that price really hurts to drop.
It falls short in a few other ways as well. In addition to being expensive, the keyboard lacks a backlight of any kind. At $200, most wired mechanical keyboards offer some kind of keylight; some even have per-key lighting at this price range. Frankly, we’d say it’s a difficult proposition to give up backlights just to gain access to Bluetooth support. The keyboard is powered by two AA batteries, just like the G613, but the battery life is far shorter: it lasts around 6 hours per day when used at an average of five days. The device does support being paired with up to four devices at once, and is able to switch just by tapping on a single button. Overall, the Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 is a solid keyboard, but for the price, you can get much better wired mechanical keyboards with backlighting and improved customer support.
- Solid, if unimpressive design
- Cherry MX Brown switches
- Way too expensive
- No backlighting
- Lackluster battery life
It’s best to think of the Filco Majestouch Minila Air 67 as a smaller version of the Convertible 2 reviewed above, one that might be more appropriate for use with a tablet or smartphone than a full-size computer. At $132, the keyboard still happens to be more expensive than either of our top picks, despite being smaller and more cramped than both the Corsair and Logitech models. The keyboard is similar in design, and still features Cherry MX Brown switches for typing and gaming. The keyboard can be used with a wire or over Bluetooth, but again, the battery life here suffers, especially compared to the larger models on this list.
The Milina Air 67, while a solid keyboard for the size, also lacks backlighting, making it a difficult choice to use in the dark. The keyboard doesn’t come with a stand for smartphones or tablets, despite being sized perfectly for what you might be looking for to work on throughout the day. And the instructions suffer from the same poor descriptions we saw with the Majestouch Convertible 2, which leads to disconnects and issues with keeping a steady connection between the two devices. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a Bluetooth-supported mechanical keyboard for your mobile devices, this isn’t a terrible bet. Still, for the price, we can’t recommend it over some of the other options on this list.
- Perfect for smartphones or tablets
- Compact device
- Small, compressed layout
SainSonic’s keyboards are similar to what we’ve seen from other compact wireless mechanical keyboards, on this list and elsewhere. Smaller than most of the other keyboard we’ve looked at, the ANNE Pro is perfect for using with an ultrabook or a tablet while on the go. With minimal bezel and full RGB lighting (albeit not per key), SainSonic has provided a solid, if somewhat lackluster mechanical keyboard perfect for using wireless. With 61 keys, it’s by far the smallest on this list, while still managing to offer backlit keys and quality keycaps. Most importantly, the keyboard offers the ability to choose between Brown, Red, and Blue switches when purchasing. If you’re looking to write your next novel in Starbucks, buy blue. Looking to play games with a keyboard and mouse, buy red. Looking for a little bit of both, buy brown.
The keyboard transmits its signal over Bluetooth, which makes it perfect for the mobile devices it’s set for, but for anyone looking to properly game on the keyboard, you’ll need to use the included USB key option for better connections and less lag. Unfortunately, there’s one major deal breaker with this keyboard: the battery life is abysmal. At five hours of operation using medium brightness and just two hours at max brightness, you’ll be lucky to get through an entire day’s worth of work at your local coffee shop before you have to charge the keyboard. We’ve also heard reports of users having difficulty pairing the keyboard over Bluetooth, thereby having to switch over to using the keyboard with the included wire. At $89, SainSonic’s ANNE Pro isn’t the most expensive on this list, but unless portability is your number one concern, you’d be better off picking from one of the other keyboards we’ve included above.
- Small and compact
- Full RGB backlighting
- Three switch options
- Problems with pairing
- Poor battery life
- Might be a bit too small