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As of present I have a Genius K9 118-Key Wired Dual-Color Backlight Keyboard. enter image description here

Overall I've liked the keyboard, but it's reached the end of its lifespan. I've heard great things about mechanical keyboards, so I'm looking to make the switch.

I do a lot of programming, but also play a lot of games, so based on research it seems the best switch for me is either Cherry MX reds or browns. I've heard that browns aren't very good for perpetually shifting around keys like WASD, so I've decided on the reds.

Aside from that, my requirements for a new keyboard are:

  • Must have large enter key spanning two rows
  • Layout must be same as previous keyboard
  • Must have backlight that is or has option for blue or orange
  • Backlight must shine only through character text on keys -- not glow in between the keys
  • Body must be black
  • USB wired connection (if the keyboard requires multiple, that's fine)
  • Must be below $200, but preferably around $100-$150
  • Must be available from or shippable to US

Edit: I've decided it's fine if the key's aren't in the same place as my current keyboard, so long as the overall shape is the same (large shift on left, large enter, large backspace) and I can program the keyboard to change the location of keys.

I'd prefer if the spacebar was nice and fat as it is on my current keyboard, but I can adjust if it's not. I have no preference regarding multimedia keys, hand rests, or USB ports/headphone jacks built into the keyboard. I'm usually in a dark environment, so I need the backlight to distinguish between keys in the rare but possible event that becomes necessary, but I find the glow around the keys to be distracting, even if the color is static.

Out of the models I looked at, the two I liked the most were the ASUS Strix Tactic Pro and the Corsair K70 RapidFire. They both fit all but one of the requirements: the Strix doesn't have a double-row enter key, and the Corsair has glow around the keys instead of just through the characters.

Are there any options on the market that satisfy all of the listed requirements?

  • If you want a large enter key it's best to look at UK keyboards and have one shipped in. (Most UK keyboards have large enter key by default). – kotozna Jan 14 '17 at 18:49
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I recommend the Corsair keyboard. Just the switch to mechanical is going to make a HUGE improvement to your typing experience.

Personally I have a Corsair K90 that I picked up around a year and a half ago and it's been a dream, but I have been eyeing the K70 RGB since it came out. (The main difference is the lighting and I think fewer macro keys on the K70)

The thing you will notice straight away is how much more responsive the keys actually are, not to mention it can handle more key presses at the same time. The Corsair software for setting up macros and configuring the lighting is also pretty decent. The wrist rest is also very comfortable.

May I ask why you list the backlight glowing around the keys as an issue?

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  • I'm not a fan of backlighting around keys because it's distracting. I'm in the process of upgrading from a computer that had lights everywhere (which caused nothing but trouble), so I'd like to avoid flashy lighting, past what's useful. – Drew Feb 18 '17 at 1:30
  • I can understand that. Personally I find the lighting on my K90 quite subtle and you can adjust the brightness. Also since its a solid colour its less distracting for me. But I can see why it might be an issue for you. I guess my next recommendation would be to try and test one in person before buying if possible? – Peter-Ross Cuthbert Feb 20 '17 at 6:33

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