Best StarCraft 2 Gaming Keyboards

UPDATE: 2011.09.17 Corsair enters the gaming keyboard and mouse arena:

AnandTech - Corsair Enters the Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Market with Vengeance 

AnandTech – Corsair Enters the Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Market with Vengeancehttp://www.anandtech.com/show/4815/corsair-enters-the-gaming-keyboard-mouse-market-with-vengeanceThe MMO/RTS targeted products are called the Vengeance K90 and M90. The K-series are for keyboards while the M-series refer to mice. The K90 is backlit with over 90 individual… [...] . It uses Cherry MX mechanical red switches for each key which have a 2mm actuation travel (4mm total travel).

UPDATE 2011.06.24: evaluating two new keyboards that arrived. One has a “fatal flaw” and another looks like a strong contender for top value SC2 gaming keyboard! Results should be posted soon…

 

Q. What is the best keyboard for Starcraft II?

A. Well, the best keyboard will likely differ for various players and styles. However, here are a few popular keyboards that may be just the ticket for your SC2 gaming!


NOTE: spending oodles of bucks on a high-end keyboard is not going to instantly transform you into a superbly better SC2 player. However, some keyboards may have aesthetic or functional features that make your gaming sessions more enjoyable and they may actually enhance your performance a bit as well. :-)

$100 or more range

I haven’t found a $100+ keyboard yet that I would personally recommend, but this Razer model is one of the few “StarCraft” II marketed items is actually pretty decent. Proceed to the subsequent sections for some better deals IMHO.

Amazon.com: Razer Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard: Electronics

Razer Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard: Electronicshttp://www.amazon.com/Razer-Marauder-StarCraft-Gaming-Keyboard/dp/B003VV0CW6Elevated Keys with Optimized Travel Distance & Spacing The Razer Marauder features optimized key travel distance that allows for fast actuation while preventing accidental key…

$40-$70 Range

This Logitech keyboard is my top choice in the “near high end” price range. I am a huge fan of backlit keyboards and this Logitech is functional, stylish, and can be had for $60 or less if you watch out for deals (most of the $40 ones on eBay are refurbished though…)

I have owned the Saitek Eclipse series keyboards and found them to be satisfactory: good backlighting, good feel, not the best build quality IMHO.

 

Newegg.com - Logitech 920-000914 Black 106 Normal Keys USB Wired Ultra-thin Illuminated Keyboard

via Newegg.com – Logitech 920-000914 Black 106 Normal Keys USB Wired Ultra-thin Illuminated Keyboardhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126043Newegg.com – A great place to buy computers, computer parts, electronics, software, accessories, and DVDs online. With great prices, fast shipping, and top-rated customer service…
Roughly $80 as of 2011.06

Amazon.com: Logitech Illuminated Ultrathin Keyboard with Backlighting: Electronics

$62 via Amazon.com: Logitech Illuminated Ultrathin Keyboard with Backlighting: Electronicshttp://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Illuminated-Ultrathin-Keyboard-Backlighting/dp/B001F51G16Bright, Laser-Etched, Backlit Keys that Let You Type Easily–Even in the Dark Bright, laser-etched, backlit keys provide precise illumination that can be adjusted to suit your…
Roughly $62 as of 2011.06.20

Saitek Eclipse II Backlit Keyboard (PK02AU): Electronics

Saitek Eclipse II Backlit Keyboard (PK02AU)http://www.amazon.com/Saitek-Eclipse-Backlit-Keyboard-PK02AU/dp/B000H6AY6M/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1308583322&sr=8-10Key characters and keypad illuminate through laser-etched keys Media keys for volume control, play/pause and skip tracks Variable backlighting adjusts through dimmer mechanism.…
Roughly $49 as of 2011.06

Cyborg V.5 Keyboard: Electronics

Cyborg V.5 Keyboard: Electronicshttp://www.amazon.com/Cyborg-CCB44026N002-06-1-Keyboard/dp/B002SAJCYU/Technical Details Backlight illumination shines through the laser etched keys in a stealthy red for perfect night vision Anti-Ghosting in key gaming area / Media control keys…
Roughly $38 via Amazon 2011.06

The “legendary” Samsung Qsenn DT-35  $30+ after shipping

This is an interesting Korean membrane keyswitch keyboard that is relatively cheap though you normally have to get it shipped in from Kora.

There is quite a debate about whether it really is an awesome SC2 keyboard or not. One argument says that it just happens to be a cheap keyboard that lots of uber-good Korean players use (i.e. they just picked up a cheap-local keyboard). The other argument goes that you shouldn’t diss it until you try it and that it REALLY IS a great keyboard… Some people swear by it, I don’t know who’s right but here is some more info for you to make your own decision:

QSENN DT-35 (SAMSUNG)

QSENN DT-35 (SAMSUNG)http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=102727On September 28 2009 17:29 kimchiterran wrote:It’s not just the classic layout to be main advantage of having DT-35, it’s how the keys are made. Both cheap clone from…

Qsenn DT-35 - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

Qsenn DT-35 – Overclock.net – Overclocking.nethttp://www.overclock.net/keyboards/1003196-qsenn-dt-35-a.htmlI am always fascinated by the Samsung/Qsenn DT35 story – 1. Korean gamers buy this cheapass, generic keyboard entirely because they are cheap. 2. Korean gamers get really good at…

Samsung Qsenn on eBay

Samsung Qsenn on eBayhttp://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=Samsung+Qsenn&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=This page was last updated: Jun-20 07:58. FINDING_TREATMENT_196, FINDING_TREATMENT_123, FINDING_TREATMENT_124, FINDING_TREATMENT_85, FINDING_TREATMENT_31,…

 

$20 or less keyboards

While they normally lack backlighting and “cool” features, they can be GREAT gaming keyboards and they will also save you a ton of cash. :-)

Logitech Classic Keyboard 200 USB

Logitech Classic Keyboard 200 USBhttp://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Classic-Keyboard-200-USB/dp/B000MQK6BK/4.0 out of 5 stars Good keyboard I might rate this key board even higher after I have had it a bit longer and had time to explore its full potential.

Logitech Keyboard K120

Logitech Keyboard K120http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-920-002478-Keyboard-K120/dp/B003ELVLKU/Buying on a budget you have to settle for a keyboard that’s boring and bulky. With its sleek style, virtually silent keys and durable design, this USB keyboard is built to give…

Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600 (Black)

Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600 (Black)http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Wired-Keyboard-600-Black/dp/B001OAR26K/Technical Details Media Center – Four hot keys let you control the most-used media activities (play/pause, volume up, volume down, and mute). Quiet-touch Keys – Quiet,…

 

Other custom SC2 keyboards, gear & peripherals (normally not worth the money IMHO)

Amazon.com: SteelSeries Zboard Gaming Keyboard-Starcraft II Edition: Electronics

Amazon.com: SteelSeries Zboard Gaming Keyboard-Starcraft II Edition: Electronicshttp://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-Zboard-Gaming-Keyboard-Starcraft-II/dp/B003XEETFW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1308583322&sr=8-2The SteelSeries Zboard for StarCraft II offers players the ultimate gaming tool as they jump back into the epic struggle between the Protoss, Zerg and Terran races in StarCraft…

Amazon.com: Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse: Electronics

Amazon.com: Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse: Electronicshttp://www.amazon.com/Razer-Spectre-StarCraft-Gaming-Mouse/dp/B003VTZO7G/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1308583322&sr=8-5Button Force Adjustment for Maximized APM Optimize the actuation force on your leftclick button by adjusting it to your personal preference. Dial in the perfect balance between…

Amazon.com: Razer Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset: Electronics

Amazon.com: Razer Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset: Electronicshttp://www.amazon.com/Razer-Banshee-StarCraft-Gaming-Headset/dp/B003VTZO7Q/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1308583322&sr=8-8Circumaural Earcups for Optimal Sound Isolation With its circumaural design the Razer Banshee is designed for optimal sound isolation to allow you to focus completely on your…

Amazon.com: SteelSeries QcK Starcraft II Gaming Mouse Pad-Marauder Edition: Electronics

Amazon.com: SteelSeries QcK Starcraft II Gaming Mouse Pad-Marauder Edition: Electronicshttp://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-Starcraft-Gaming-Mouse-Pad-Marauder/dp/B003WF5GNG/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1308583322&sr=8-11The SteelSeries QcK Limited Edition (StarCraft II Marauder) mousepad is made of a high quality cloth material, providing a precise and consistent glide. The combination of the…

General keyboard design and switch styles

Of course how your keyboard is made will determine the feel and some of the functionality, so here is some reference info on that topic:

Mechanical vs. Membrane vs. Scissor-Switch Membrane Keyswitches on Keyboards

Mechanical vs. Membrane vs. Scissor-Switch Membrane Keyswitches on Keyboardshttp://www.ergocanada.com/ergo/keyboards/mechanical_vs_membrane_keyswitches.htmlMembrane keyboards are by far the most commonly used with computers. They are designed so that all the keycaps are positioned above rubber domes, which in turn are above a…

Mechanical Keyboard Guide - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

Mechanical Keyboard Guide – Overclock.net – Overclocking.nethttp://www.overclock.net/computer-peripherals/491752-mechanical-keyboard-guide.htmlCommon Key Switches Introduction – A Switch is Not “Just a Switch” Many people ask for recommendations about switches without knowing exactly what they are looking for,…

Other roundups and thoughts on SC2 kb/mice (including covering/removing unused keys)

Starcraft 2 keyboard for me.

Starcraft 2 keyboard for me.http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=198445¤tpage=Allfatal1ty keyboard is what I use, it also has the super close f-keys like in your pic [...or...] Razer Marauder I love it. Keys are rubber coated and feel really good. But I wish it was mechanical. Backlighting is awesome.

Best Starcraft 2 Keyboard

Best Starcraft 2 Keyboardhttp://hubpages.com/hub/starcraft2keyboardSurprisingly or unsurprisingly for some, the gaming keyboard used by the best starcraft 2 players in the world actually aren’t fancy keyboards but cheap $10-$20 keyboards with a…

Best Keyboard/Mouse combo for starcraft 2? - StarCraft 2 forum

Best Keyboard/Mouse combo for starcraft 2? – StarCraft 2 forumhttp://starcraft2forum.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17194A keyboard like this: Preferably something that has mechanical springs so there is a very defined “click” to it. Removing the unnecessary keys as shown in that picture…

To be updated…

I am actively gathering feedback from friends and other players about what keyboards and mice they like. I will update this post as I find more info, and if you have any suggestions please comment (your input greatly appreciated)!

PS this list will likely be tweaked to focus on some of the less well known or unique keyboards that are not necessarily marketed as “gaming” keyboards. The goal is to get you a GREAT keyboard at a reasonable price, thus “non-gaming” keyboards (like Logitech or even cheap Dell kbs) could end up giving you the most bang for your buck…

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