9 Fastest Gaming Keyboards in 2022 – Best Keyboards for Competitive Gaming Reviewed

Fastest Gaming keyboards

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When it comes to online gaming, whether you win or lose isn’t measured in seconds, it’s measured in milliseconds. Having a fast, responsive gaming keyboard is a make or break in high levels of competitive play. To help you secure victory, we’ve found the 9 fastest gaming keyboards in 2022.

Of course, high speeds can be offset by a keyboard that’s uncomfortable, poorly constructed, or has poor customization, so we’ll look at how fun and comfortable the fastest keyboards are as well.

The Fastest Gaming Keyboards in 2022 Round-Up

The table below will give you a quick look at the 9 fastest gaming keyboards currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in the respective row.

Product

Image

Rating

1. Razer Huntsman V2

''The fastest gaming keyboard in 2022''

9.7

2. Corsair K100 RGB

''Second fastest gaming keyboard in 2022''

9.8

3. EVGA Z20

''Third fastest gaming keyboard in 2022''

9.6

4. HP Omen Sequencer

''Great performance per dollar''

9.5

5. Pulsar Nova Optical Pro

''Fastest budget gaming keyboard''

9.4

6. ROCCAT Vulcan Pro

''Fastest low-profile gaming keyboard''

9.3

7. ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX 

''Honorable mention''

9.2

8. Steelseries Apex Pro

''Honorable mention #2''

9.1

9. Keychron K3

''Honorable mention #3''

9.0



1. Razer Huntsman V2

Interface: USB Type-C | Switch: Razer Linear/Clicky Optical Switch | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 100 million clicks | Weight: 2.51 lbs / 1.14 kg

Razer Huntsman V2REASONS TO BUY

  • Insanely fast gaming performance
  • Super responsive optical switches
  • A fraction of a millisecond response time
  • Quality and durable construction
  • Extremely satisfying feedback on switches
  • Per-key RGB lighting
  • Comes with a comfortable magnetic wrist rest
  • Dedicated media control buttons

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Pricey, even for a premium gaming keyboard
  • Dimmer keycaps
  • No dedicated macro keys

Our Rating:   9.7/10

The Huntsman V2 is Razer’s update to the Huntsman Elite, which was already an excellent keyboard in its own right. With this new version, Razer made a lot of the upgrades that gamers and keyboard aficionados thought were absent from the original Huntsman, making this a top choice for competitive gamers and currently the fastest gaming keyboard available.

The Razer Huntsman V2 is a full keyboard with an aluminum body, 2nd generation optical switches, and per-key RGB lighting. At a glance, it’s everything you’d want from a gaming keyboard. It also includes a magnetic wrist rest with an RGB ring that syncs with the keyboard, making it a more exciting option than the usual, almost afterthought quality.

On a technical level, the biggest thing that distinguishes the Razer Huntsman V2 is the polling rate. Polling rate is one of the two key measures of a keyboard’s speed and is a measure in Hz that refers to how frequently the keyboard is checking for a signal (a keypress).

A 1000Hz polling rate, (the standard for most gaming keyboards) means that your keyboard is communicating once per millisecond. The Huntsman V2 has an astonishing 8000Hz polling rate, meaning that it’s scanning for signal once every 0.125ms, or 8 times a millisecond.

This extremely high polling rate makes this an extremely fast and responsive keyboard. But, as we mentioned, there is a second metric that’s just as important or even more important than polling rate, and that’s latency.

In other words, latency (or response time) is the amount of time it takes between a completed keystroke and the corresponding effect to register on your computer. Lower is better, but typically anything 1ms or below is going to be suitable for even high levels of competitive play. The Huntsman V2 benchmarks with a 0.2ms latency, which is, again, the fastest you can get.

Keep in mind though, this isn’t a huge difference you’ll notice as a gamer, especially because of internet latency. However, if you want the fastest keyboard, nothing currently beats the Huntsman V2 in terms of how quickly the keyboard register and send signals to your PC.

If you’ve used the Huntsman Elite, the first thing you’ll probably notice about the V2 is the steeper angle of the keyboard. Whether this is an improvement is going to come down to personal preference, but if you’re a fan of flatter typing surfaces, the wrist-rest can mostly counteract it.

In addition, the switches are a lot sturdier than in previous iterations of the keyboard. There’s a very little rattle or wiggle, and you get incredibly satisfying feedback if you opt for the clicky optical switches. Not only do these optical switches perform incredibly well, they also sound and feel extremely satisfying.

Furthermore, the default keycaps are fairly slim, which will again come down to preference to decide whether that’s a selling point. They don’t let a lot of light through, so you’ll be getting fairly intense light spilling around the keys, but not a lot of per-key illumination.

That’s a bit of a letdown considering how well-known Razer is for the lighting on their peripherals. If you’ve got some money to spare, consider swapping out the keycaps for something brighter and more fun.

In terms of connectivity, the Huntsman V2 uses a USB Type-C connector by default, but ships with a USB-A adapter if you’re using an older motherboard or have your USB-C ports otherwise occupied.

In addition, the keyboard comes with a USB pass-through port located on the left side of the keyboard as well as dedicated media control buttons right at your fingertips.

Overall, the Razer Huntsman is an outstanding piece of hardware and currently the fastest gaming keyboard on the market. In addition to its performance, it offers excellent build quality, top-of-the-line optical switches, and lots of customization and extra features.

However, you probably guessed this as soon as you saw the Razer logo, but the Huntsman V2 isn’t cheap. It feels worth it in terms of user experience, and it’s the perfect way to round out a premium gaming build, but it’s not your only choice for a competitive gaming keyboard. But, in terms of speed, this is currently the best you can get.

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2. Corsair K100 RGB

Interface: USB | Switch: CORSAIR OPX | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 150 million clicks | Weight: 2.88 lbs / 1.31 kg

Corsair K100 RGBREASONS TO BUY

  • The fastest gaming keyboard in 2022 along with Razer Huntsman V2
  • Excellent performance for gaming
  • Impeccable build quality
  • 1mm actuation point 
  • Quality keycaps with clean font
  • Tons of bright RGB onboard
  • Fantastic optical-mechanical switches
  • Comfortable magnetic memory-foam wrist rest
  • Dedicated media control buttons
  • Dedicated macro keys

REASONS TO AVOID

  • The iCUE wheel isn’t up to the task of controlling the sheer amount of RGB options available
  • Keys are a bit wobbly

Our Rating:   9.8/10

If you were reading this article this time last year, the Corsair K100 RGB would have been the uncontested number one.

However, in February of 2021 Razer launched the Huntsman V2, which is a bit more responsive on paper, but soon after that, Corsair released a firmware update that enables the same 8000Hz polling rate you get with the Huntsman V2.

The K100 has a bit higher overall response time, but 0.05ms isn’t even worth mentioning. In terms of performance, these two are basically at the same level.

Performance aside, the K100 is a fantastic keyboard, and the fact that Corsair was in a position to be the first company to launch a keyboard with a higher than 1000 Hz polling rate speaks to the quality of design that you’re getting from them.

Like most premium gaming keyboards, the Corsair K100 uses optical-mechanical switches. Corsair has their own brand of OPX-RGB enabled switches that they’ve used here, and they deliver both solid experience and a high level of responsiveness with a 1mm actuation point.

The Corsair was the first to market with a greater than 1KHz polling rate, and the 4000Hz (8000Hz after update) polling available from the K100 is going to make for an incredibly responsive gaming experience, especially if you play fast-paced competitive games where every millisecond counts.

Having a keyboard that is communicating multiple times per second is going to make it easier to perfectly time shots, jumps, and dodges. If you couple that with a mouse with a similarly high polling rate/low latency it’s going to make for an even faster and smoother gaming experience.

As we touched on earlier, the Corsair K100 offers a 0.25ms latency, which is 0.05ms higher than the Hunstman V2. This only matters for the purpose of this list, but otherwise, the difference is unnoticeable.

Even if you are in a position to notice, the polling rate is typically going to be the bigger factor in your gaming performance, especially heading into the future where super-high frame rates and refresh times from your video display are going to become the norm.

More than any other brand, Corsair is synonymous with RGB lighting, and they pulled out all the stops with the K100. Of course, you get the per-key RGB lighting, but there are also 44 lighting zones and 23 layers of hardware lighting available.

This can be controlled, to an extent, with the multi-function iCUE wheel at the top of the keyboard, but with the sheer amount of customization available the iCUE wheel (and even the lighting control software) can start to feel inadequate for the task.

For most users, the multi-function wheel is going to get more use as a media control tool. That coupled with the volume control and tempered glass display panel makes this feel really sleek and modern.

Corsair has also included five programmable macros keys down the left-hand side of the keyboard. This makes the keyboard larger, and can take some getting used to, but unlocks a ton of extra functionality once you’ve got them set up.

The keys themselves have a bit more rattle than we saw with what it clearly considers its closest competitor, the Huntsman V2, and they only come in a linear version. The keys have good bounce, and with a 1mm actuation point, feel incredibly responsive.

Along with the Huntsman V2, the Corsair K100 is currently the fastest gaming keyboard available in 2022. It’s a bit more expensive than the Huntsman V2, but the RGB lighting is much better, plus, you get some extra features in comparison, like the dedicated macro keys and the little display at the top of the keyboard.

With that being said, if you’re an RGB lover and looking for the best performance a gaming keyboard can offer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better.

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3. EVGA Z20

Interface: USB | Switch: Optical Mechanical Switch | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 100 million clicks | Weight: 2.49 lbs / 1.13 kg

EVGA Z20REASONS TO BUY

  • Extremely responsive gaming performance
  • One of the fastest keyboards on the market
  • A lot of add-on controls for extra customization
  • Unique Time of Flight feature
  • Quality build overall
  • Per-key RGB lighting with additional RGB on the sides
  • Five dedicated macro keys
  • Dedicated media control buttons
  • Comfortable wrist rest

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Lower quality finish and font on keys
  • The keys are a bit wobbly

Our Rating:   9.6/10

If you’re familiar with EVGA, it’s probably because you bought or at least priced out some of their components. They haven’t done a lot in terms of gaming peripherals until now, but they came out swinging with the Z20. It’s rare that a company’s first outing will be this strong, especially on something that can be as fiddly and subjective as a keyboard.

The Z20 uses a mixed construction for the case, unlike the aluminum you’ll see on the Razer and Corsair flagships, so it doesn’t feel quite as sturdy. That can make it a bit harder to justify paying the MSRP and setting it as the center of your desktop. The keyboard uses Lightstrike LK optical-mechanical switches from Bloody, and the outsourcing to a more established brand explains why the Z20 is an early success from EVGA.

The EVGA is one of only a very small number of keyboards in 2022 that offers a polling rate above the previous standard of 1000Hz. However, the 4000Hz polling rate available from the EVGA isn’t quite as fast as the industry-leading 8000Hz available from the Razer and Corsair.

But, unless you’ve been using that one, all you’re going to notice is how much smoother and faster this keyboard is. 4000Hz feels extremely fast and responsive, and is already a level of performance that very few users outside of high-ranking competitive gamers are going to notice.

Further, the latency also tests at a level that is only going to really come into play for extremely high-level gaming performance. With a response time of 0.25ms, which is on par with the Corsair K100, you’ll get instantaneous results, allowing you to stay at the absolute cutting edge of competitive performance.

The Z20 is available with both linear and clicky switches, but this review is only concerning the linear model. The keys have a little wobble, especially on the larger keys that use stabilizers, but are overall fairly quiet considering the materials at play. The feedback isn’t as firm, but it has a decent bounce.

EVGA chose a cartoonish “gamer” font for the keys, and the finish collects fingerprints and finger oils very quickly, but those are the only major issues. Similar to Corsair’s K100, you get five macro keys along the left edge of the keyboard that can be programmed using the keyboard software and a set of dedicated media keys.

Now, the per-key lighting is towards the top half of each key, which isn’t a big deal on single-function keys, but you’ll notice a definite difference in brightness along your number row. Other than that, the lighting is good, plus the keyboard even has two RGB bars along the sides for added underglow lighting. There’s not as much customization as you’d get with a corsair keyboard, but that’s not saying a lot.

EVGA also equipped the keyboard with what they call a Time of Flight sensor, essentially a proximity sensor, that can be used to wake up your computer as you approach, or trigger different lighting effects, which is actually a really cool feature.

In terms of connectivity, the keyboard comes with one USB pass-through at the top, and surprisingly, a 3.5mm headphones jack located on the left side of the keyboard. In addition, you also get a leatherette magnetic wrist rest.

Overall, given this is one of only a couple of EVGA’s keyboards, we’d call it a success. It’s an incredibly fast keyboard, with some unique features you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, there isn’t anything we’d call a real drawback.

Taken as a whole, we probably wouldn’t buy the EVGA Z20 if we had to pay full price for it. However, EVGA really seems to be in a hurry to get these out the door.

If you have any other EVGA parts, you can register for their EVGA Elite program and get almost 50% off. If you can manage to do that, for between half and a third as much as its two closest competitors, this keyboard is an absolute steal.

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4. HP Omen Sequencer

Interface: USB | Switch: Optical Mechanical Blue Switches | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 70 million clicks | Weight: 1.83 lbs / 0.83 kg

HP Omen SequencerREASONS TO BUY

  • Low latency, perfect for fast-paced competitive gaming
  • Affordable compared to similar fast keyboards
  • Quality, durable construction
  • Super responsive optical switches
  • Cool angular design
  • Customizable RGB lighting
  • Dedicated macro keys
  • Dedicated media control buttons
  • USB pass-through port

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Less than vibrant lighting
  • No onboard memory for profile storage
  • No additional RGB on the chassis

Our Rating:   9.5/10

HP’s gaming division isn’t as large as its competitors, like ASUS or even Dell, and they’re not nearly as focused on peripherals as Razer or even (again) ASUS.

However, they have a decent baseline of competence that means with the right budget, they can make something that delivers a level of competitive performance even high-ranked gamers can be satisfied with, like the HP Omen Sequencer.

Construction-wise, the Omen Sequencer has an anodized aluminum body and uses Optical-Mechanical Blue switches. It’s a level of construction quality that you could expect to find from a lot of premium gaming brands, just without the gaming brand price tag.

Further, the keyboard features a 1000Hz polling rate, which is, for now, the industry standard. It will be interesting to see how quickly the 4-8000Hz keyboards catch on, but we expect that 1000Hz keyboards, especially ones with very low latency, will remain competitive for at least a couple more years.

The difference between those higher polling rates and the 1000Hz standard might seem astronomical, but in reality, we’re talking about a difference of fractions of a millisecond.

Unless you’re playing on a dedicated tournament network, the ping rate on your local network is going to make a much larger difference and will fluctuate by margins that are tens, if not hundreds of times higher than the difference in performance you’d see between the relative polling rates available.

Among the standard keyboards, the difference in latency is going to be much more noticeable and makes the 0.2ms available from the HP Omen Sequencer that much more impressive. This low latency is going to be especially useful in fast-paced local games, not so much in online gaming.

HP has made some interesting choices when it comes to the keys. They’ve fallen into using the same oversized blocky “gamer” font that companies use when they first start making gaming equipment. The spacebar is also twice as wide as it needs to be, and extends half that width below the row of keys.

It’s very satisfying to hit, but there’s not much practical justification for it. On the other hand, you get some very useful features, like five programmable macro keys, and a very prominent tactile volume control wheel. Individually the keys are sturdy with good feedback but very loud.

The per-key RGB lighting isn’t as bright as you’d see on a dedicated gaming brand, but it’s there and still allows for some cool programmable effects with HP Command Center. Unlike some more premium keyboards, there is no RGB lighting along the sides as well as a wrist rest, which, however, keeps the price at an affordable level.

Overall, the HP Omen Sequencer is in the awkward position of performing like a premium gaming keyboard, but not quite looking like one. With that being said, it is still one of the fastest gaming keyboards in 2022, and if you’re looking for speed and don’t care about extra fancy features, this seems like a good option.

Once you sit down and put it through its paces on the game of your choice, you can’t really find fault with it, and for a difference of $50-100 compared to the premium brands, it’s a good value.

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5. Pulsar Nova Optical Pro

Interface: USB | Switch: Swappable Mechanical Switches | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 100 million clicks | Weight: 2.64 lbs / 1.20 kg

Pulsar Nova Optical ProREASONS TO BUY

  • Extremely fast keyboard
  • The cheapest optical keyboard available
  • Good build quality
  • Per-key RGB lighting
  • A lot of customization available via the software
  • Fully waterproof
  • Good noise profile and feedback on the keys
  • Double-shot ABT plastic keycaps

REASONS TO AVOID

  • The RGB is not very bright
  • Simple design with a cheap-looking underside
  • No USB pass-through port
  • No wrist rest
  • No additional features

Our Rating:   9.4/10

Before we get to anything to do with specs or performance, there’s one big factor that’s going to recommend the Pulsar Nova Optical Pro. It’s the first (and last) full-sized keyboard on this list that retails for less than $100. That leads to some simplicity of design, but surprisingly few sacrifices in terms of performance.

The Pulsar Nova Optical Pro uses almost entirely plastic and rubber construction, which has allowed the manufacturer Pulsar Gaming Gears to make this a waterproof mechanical keyboard, which is another huge selling point right there.

Nothing stings more than dropping major money on a premium gaming keyboard and ruining it because you put your coffee on the wrong side of the desk. Additionally, it uses clicky blue optical-mechanical switches, for a high level of performance and comfort.

In terms of the two main metrics we’re looking at for this list, the Nova Optical Pro is very similar to the Omen Sequencer. It also has a 1000Hz polling rate, meaning that it scans the keyboard for input at a base rate of once per millisecond.

Plus, thanks to the optical switches, the keyboard has a latency of only 0.2ms, making this a very attainable option for both casual and competitive gamers. Some sellers will claim it’s only 0.1ms, but testing doesn’t consistently bear that out.

The keycaps are on the glossy side, and so will show off fingerprints and may need to be wiped down more often if you’re going to be bugged by that. The clicky switches make this a louder keyboard, but in a very satisfying and expected way, and it’s still a quieter keyboard than the Omen Sequencer.

The per-key LED isn’t very bright but shines through the caps very well. The elements are addressable from the keyboard itself if you need to adjust brightness or switch between pre-programmed cycles, but for the most part, to adjust the lighting you’ll want to use the control software.

Besides that, there aren’t very many features. There is no wrist rest, dedicated macro or media keys, and nothing that would make this keyboard stand out, except the waterproofness we mentioned earlier.

However, a lot of customization is available to you via the software. Things like remapping keys, creating macros and profiles, and adjusting the speed and lighting patterns are all possible with the software.

Overall, the Pulsar Nova Optical Pro is currently the cheapest way to get a well-performing optical keyboard. Despite the price, it’s still an extremely fast keyboard that won’t hold you back while you compete. As we mentioned earlier, there aren’t many exciting features, however, you’ll have a lot of customization available via the software.

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6. ROCCAT Vulcan Pro

Interface: USB | Switch: ROCCAT Titan Switch Optical  | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 100 million clicks | Weight: 2.05 lbs / 0.93 kg

ROCCAT Vulcan ProREASONS TO BUY

  • Quality low-profile keycaps
  • The fastest low-profile keyboard available
  • Beautiful design
  • Extremely solid and durable construction
  • Clear, vibrant RGB lighting
  • Smooth and durable linear optical switches
  • Comes with a magnetic wrist rest
  • Dedicated media buttons and volume knob

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Lots of light bleeding
  • Notably slower than competition
  • Premium price

Our Rating:   9.3/10

A lot of mechanical keyboards have a higher profile, which is why most of the keyboards on this list (including this one) ship with a wrist rest to reduce strain and create a more ergonomic keyboard. The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is incredibly fast and delightfully low-profile, delivering an all-around highly enjoyable gaming experience.

The Pro model of the ROCCAT Vulcan includes a stealth-black anodized aluminum cover, and a magnetic stealth black wrist rest, which you barely need. The overall build quality is amazing, and you get a premium feel across the whole keyboard.

In terms of switches, this keyboard uses ROCCAT’s linear Titan Optical Switches to create a slim, highly responsive keyboard. They’re one of the better switches and combined with the low-profile keycaps, deliver a lot of speed and comfort for both gaming and typing.

In addition, the Vulcan Pro is also using the industry-standard 1000Hz polling rate, and although it’s technically the highest latency we’ve seen so far on this list, the 0.7ms combined with the carefully calibrated actuation means that you’re hardly going to notice the difference between this and the Nova or the Omen.

If you’re operating at an extremely high level of competitive play and all other factors are equal you might notice a difference, but for the average user all boards with a latency of 1ms or less are going to perform equally well and you should make your decision on other factors.

To that end, this is the quietest keyboard on our list so far. The linear switches are super smooth and are carefully and firmly placed so there’s extremely little rattle and wobble. The presses are still audible though it’s more in the form of a pinging, rather than the click or thump you’ll get from clicky or analog switches.

You get a reasonable amount of feedback, but this is going to be a great choice if you’re working in a professional environment or have housemates who are sensitive to loud noises.

One of the best features of this keyboard is lighting. The RGB elements are gorgeous and bright and come through the keycaps perfectly. However, since these are low-profile caps with see-through housing, there’s going to be a lot of light bleeding, to the point where it’s distracting if you’re working in low-light areas or just prefer a more subtle lighting profile.

Lastly, the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro also uses a knob instead of a bar or keys for volume control. It’s easier to use, and more fun than the other choices, but it does throw off the low-profile look of this keyboard a little.

Overall, the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is currently the fastest low-profile gaming keyboard on the market. If you’re looking for a quiet, fast, and fully-lit gaming keyboard, the Vulcan Pro stands to be a very good choice. It’s smooth and highly responsive and has the best lighting setup since the Corsair K100 at the top of this list.

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7. ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX 

Interface: USB | Switch: ROG RX RED Optical Mechanical Switch | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 100 million clicks | Weight: 2.36 lbs / 1.07 kg

ASUS ROG Strix Scope RXREASONS TO BUY

  • Excellent RGB elements
  • Still fast for the majority of gamers
  • Highly responsive optical switches
  • Fantastic overall construction
  • Reasonably priced (for a ROG product)
  • Available in both linear and clicky versions
  • Includes a ‘stealth key’ for immediate privacy
  • Comes with a USB pass-through port (though only a 2.0)

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Keycaps are hard to switch
  • Less competitive performance
  • No wrist rest
  • No dedicated media keys

Our Rating:   9.2/10

ROG by ASUS, and especially ROG Strix is generally one of the better gaming brands available. When it comes to components and laptops/prebuilt PCs they tend to be competitive with Razer, so while it’s not at all surprising that they’d appear on this list, it’s a little surprising to see the ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX scrape just barely coming in under the wire of what you could call optimum gaming performance. Part of that is likely an effort toward keeping the price low while maintaining a high focus on design and engineering.

The Scope RX is available with clicky blue optical-mechanical switches, or red linear optical-mechanical switches. Since red switches are faster by design, that’s the version we’re looking at for this review. It also features an aluminum lid, rubberized feet, and has an IP56 resistance, making it not entirely waterproof, but resistant to most spills and less prone to dust and particle interference.

In terms of speed, the ROG Strix Scope RX comes with a 1000Hz polling rate, and a 1ms latency. Again, that’s just under the wire of what you could call ideal for gaming without any pushback. Tournament competitors are basically the only demographic that are going to get a serious edge out of something with 0.2ms or 0.5ms as opposed to the full 1ms available here.

The switches are surprisingly tactile for being linear optical-mechanical, and you’ll get a good solid crunch out of each of them without being too loud. A few of the larger keys are a bit wobbly, and the keycaps are a design used primarily by ASUS ROG, so you might have a harder time switching them out if you want to customize.

The good news is that they are very nice keycaps. Just enough texture to not take on fingerprints easily, and very clear when it comes to showing the per-key RGB illumination.

In fact, the entire RGB setup is done very well. There’s very little light bleeding for how bright the LEDs are, and the keyboard can store up to six lighting profiles that can be addressed with the macros.

ASUS has also added a few fun features that can make this a more enjoyable overall experience. They’ve increased the size of the control key (you only need to Windows out in the middle of a heated battle once to understand why that’s nice), and added a privacy mode button, which immediately resets you to the desktop.

The ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX is going to be less about competitive gaming performance (though it does that quite well) and more about an all-around well-engineered user experience that gamers of all skill levels will enjoy.

It’s not the fastest keyboard available but it’s not as expensive as some of the options that you’d typically expect ROG to be competing with, which definitely makes this a more accessible level of performance than some of the other keyboards on this list.

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8. Steelseries Apex Pro

Interface: USB | Switch: OmniPoint Adjustable Mechanical Switch | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 100 million clicks | Weight: 2.14 lbs / 0.97 kg

Steelseries Apex ProREASONS TO BUY

  • High-quality aluminum construction
  • Still a very fast keyboard despite being 3 years old
  • One of the best selling keyboards ever produced
  • Adjustable actuation point with OmniPoint switches
  • Bright and vibrant RGB lighting
  • Comes with a smart OLED display
  • A large variety of switches available
  • Comes with a magnetic wrist rest
  • USB pass-through port

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Lots of light bleed from the RGB backlights
  • Slower than many newer keyboards
  • Premium price

Our Rating:   9.1/10

Steelseries at one point had a legitimate claim to the fastest mechanical gaming keyboard, a fact they have not updated in their promotional materials despite it objectively no longer being true. The Apex Pro is still an excellent keyboard in most respects, though with the advances made by Corsair, Razer, and even EVGA it’s not going to boast nearly the competitive advantage it did when launched.

In terms of construction, the Apex Pro uses an aluminum alloy for extra durability and sturdiness. In addition, you get a large number of choices for the type of switches you want on your keyboard, including linear reds, clicky blues, tactile browns, and most notably, OmniPoint switches, which allow you to customize the actuation point from 0.4mm all the way to 3.6mm.

The Apex Pro is still reasonably quick, with a 1000Hz polling rate and a 0.7ms latency. Considering this is a three-year-old keyboard, that’s impressive and still really fast even in 2022. Again, that’s not going to be a dealbreaker for casual gamers, but high-level competitive gamers will probably pass with how many faster keyboards are currently available.

The feedback on the keys is solid, though there’s a bit more rattle and wobble than you’d like to see from a premium keyboard, especially one that hasn’t pivoted to the ultra-responsive switches available in this price range. It’s not a very loud keyboard, and there’s no pinging, but the noise isn’t as clean as you can get from other switches.

Like the rest of the keyboards on this list, the Apex Pro uses per-key RGB lighting and allows lighting profiles to be stored and toggled using key macros. A lot of the lighting is going to bleed through, and it’s going to make the lighting through the keycaps look even dimmer than they are.

There’s a volume slider bar, and a dedicated media control button to play/pause without changing windows or tabs, which can make multitasking or listening to music while you work easier. You also get a mini OLED screen, which can be used for programming the actuation point to your keys, as well as displaying custom images.

The Steelseries Apex Pro was once the fastest gaming keyboard available. However, with the advent of faster keyboards in similar price ranges, there’s not a lot the recommend it over something that retails for the same price, like the Razer Huntsman, or something that’s both faster and cheaper like the Pulsar Nova.

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9. Keychron K3 V2

Interface: USB Type-C, Wireless | Switch: Low profile Gateron mechanical / Low profile Keychron Optical | Backlighting: RGB | Lifespan: 70 million clicks | Weight: 1.06 lbs / 0.48 kg

Keychron K3REASONS TO BUY

  • Wireless connection
  • Comfortable for longer gaming and typing sessions
  • Hot-swappable keys
  • Very fast wired response times
  • Good control and customization
  • Low-profile design
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Can be connected to up to three devices simultaneously
  • Slim and portable

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Keycaps don’t feel very sturdy
  • Poor wireless latency
  • Plain aesthetics
  • Dimm RGB lighting

Our Rating:   9.0/10

The Keychron K3 is a product of a Kickstarter project that launched in late 2020 and shipped in early 2021. It was the world’s first hot-swappable, wireless optical-mechanical keyboard. An auspicious if overly-clarified claim to fame.

Being the first generation of a first-in-its-class product, there were some minor downsides. However, with their second iteration of the keyboard, they managed to improve in a couple of important ways.

Firstly, the keychron K3 now features a galvanized steel plate which adds massively to the overall durability of the keyboard, which was something a lot of users complained about. Besides that, they added two-level adjustable rubber feet, that improve ergonomics and let you position the keyboard in the most comfortable position.

When it comes to switches, the Keychron K3 comes with a large number of options. You can choose between either optical or mechanical switches, with a selection of red (linear), blue (clicky), and brown (tactile) for both types. Besides that, it’s an 84 key/75% keyboard, which means that it’s missing a Numpad, much like the layout you’d see on a 13 or 15-inch laptop.

When it comes to speed, the Keychron K3 has a 1000Hz polling rate, which puts it on par with most of the keyboards we reviewed, however, that’s only in the wired mode. In wireless mode, you only get a 90Hz polling rate, which makes it by far the slowest keyboard on this list.

The same goes for the response time. With the Keychron optical switches, it’s got a 0.2ms response time, making it one of the fastest optical-mechanical keyboards you can get. However, with the mechanical switches, that drops significantly, and again, that’s going to be even worse if you use the keyboard wirelessly.

So in summary, to get a fast performance out of this keyboard, you’ll need to opt for the mechanical switches and only use it in the wired mode. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a lot less performance out of it. 

Now, all the keys are hot-swappable and fairly quiet. They have a lot of wobble and don’t feel super durable, but since this keyboard come out just recently, we can’t really comment on long-term durability. 

There is some RGB, but only just enough to illuminate the lettering on the keys and give it a bit of color. Again, think about what you’d see on an upper-mid-range laptop. You can store a lot of color and lighting profiles on the keyboard, but none of them are very striking or distinct, so it’s questionable how much of a value add that is.

In wireless mode, the K3 can connect up to three different devices, and switch between them using the function key. The battery saver is on by default and switches the keyboard into hibernate after 10 minutes of inactivity, and it takes a few seconds to restart once it falls asleep. On the other hand, turning that off will drain the battery a lot faster.

Overall, the Keychron K3 V2 is a great keyboard if you’re looking for something portable and low-profile. It’s a really fast keyboard for the price, and compared to the first model, it’s much more durable.

If you don’t have any need for a wireless keyboard, we’d recommend the Nova Optical Pro for basically the same price. If you travel and switch devices a lot, but don’t want to give up the speed and responsiveness of an optical keyboard this is your first (and basically only) choice.

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In Conclusion

The fastest keyboards available in 2022 all use optical switches, which also creates a premium and extremely satisfying feedback experience. There are a lot of truly excellent gaming keyboards available this year, including some groundbreaking new arrivals.

With all these options, keep in mind that anything that gets a 1000Hz or better polling rate and does better than 1ms or latency is really going to be a matter of design and feedback preference for most users.

About Joshua Hunsberger 9 Articles
Josh has been passionate about computers and PC games from a very young age. He has built and repaired his own PCs. Most of the time he's gaming, either solo strategy, building sims, or co-op games with friends.

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