Optical keyboards are taking the gaming world by storm. People are quickly falling in love with their lightning-fast response times, durability, and sleek designs. In this article, we’ll dive into the best optical keyboards available and examine their standout features, benefits, and drawbacks.
One of the most crucial steps to build a gaming setup is a great keyboard. Whether you’re a professional gamer or simply in search of a trustworthy and comfortable keyboard, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover the best optical keyboard for your needs.
What is an optical keyboard?
Optical keyboards detect key presses using an optical sensor, while traditional mechanical keyboards use physical switches. This allows optical keyboards to be much more quiet, and also much more durable. In fact, gamers and heavy typists prefer optical keyboards because they are durable, and resistant to wear and tear.
Additionally, since opto mechanical keyboards use light to detect key presses, they are also able to provide a much faster response time than a traditional mechanical keyboard.
Why choose an optical keyboard?
There are several reasons why one might choose an optical keyboard. Firstly, optical keyboards have faster response times than traditional mechanical keyboards. This is important for gamers and typists who need quick and precise input. Additionally, optical keyboards are often more durable and resistant to wear and tear, making them a good choice for heavy users.
They also tend to have a sleeker design and can be quieter than mechanical keyboards. Furthermore, optical keyboards do not require physical contact to register a keypress. This reduces the risk of keys becoming stuck due to debris or spills. Overall, optical keyboards offer a reliable, high-performance alternative to traditional mechanical keyboards.
So, if you’re looking for a keyboard with fast response times, durability, and low noise, an optical keyboard is a great option for you.
The Best Optical Keyboards
1. Keychron K8
The Wireless TKL
A wireless TKL optical keyboard crafted to maximize your workspace and enhance productivity.
What really sets this optical keyboard apart from the rest is the fact that it is wireless. With wireless Bluetooth 5.1 compatibility, users are able to connect up to three devices at once. The keyboard also features a USB-C port, allowing for fast and easy charging and data transfer. The battery life of the K8 Optical is quite impressive. You won’t have to worry about charging it frequently, as this optical keyboard features a battery that gives 240 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Another great feature of the K8 Optical is its build quality. The keyboard is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and is built to withstand heavy usage. The K8 optical switches are available in Optical Blue, Optical Red, and Optical Brown. This means that you won’t have to compromise your favourite switch to switch to optical.
The Keychron K8 is a TKL optical keyboard. This reduces a lot of weight, and also reduces desk clutter. If you’re looking for a durable and portable optical keyboard, then the Keychron K8 is the perfect keyboard for you.
The K8 Optical also has several customization options that allow users to personalize their keyboard. Users can easily change the keyboard layout to match their preferences, with support for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. The keyboard also comes with a keycap puller, allowing users to switch out the keycaps for a different look or feel.
The Keychron K8 Optical is a great choice for those looking for a high-quality mechanical keyboard that offers an exceptional typing experience, wireless connectivity, and customizability. It is obvious why it is featured in our list of the best optical keyboards. Its optical switches, wireless connectivity, and build quality make it a great option for those who demand performance and durability.
2. Corsair K100
Our top choice
The Corsair K100 RGB is the pinnacle of Corsair keyboards, offering the cutting-edge performance, style, durability, and customization that gamers need to stand above the rest
The Corsair K100 Optical is a high-end mechanical gaming keyboard that comes packed with a variety of advanced features designed to take your gaming experience to the next level. As soon as you unbox the keyboard, you’ll notice its impressive build quality and sleek, modern design.
One of the standout features of the K100 Optical is its “AX Optical” switches. These switches feature an optical sensor to detect keystrokes, which results in an incredibly fast and responsive typing experience. The switches have a linear feel, making them ideal for gamers who require quick and precise inputs.
The K-100 Optical also features full per-key RGB backlighting. This allows for customization of each key’s lighting to fit your gaming setup. The RGB lighting is bright and vibrant, making for an immersive gaming experience. Additionally, the keyboard comes with six dedicated macro keys. These can be programmed with custom commands to help improve your gaming experience.
Another great feature of the K100 Optical is its iCUE control wheel. This control wheel allows you to adjust various settings, including audio and lighting, without ever having to leave your game. It’s a convenient and useful feature that sets the K100 Optical apart from other gaming keyboards.
The K100 Optical is also built to last, featuring a durable aluminum frame that provides a solid feel and helps ensure the keyboard will withstand heavy usage. Additionally, the keyboard comes with a detachable wrist rest, which provides additional comfort during long gaming sessions. The Corsair K100 is hands-down one of the best optical keyboards on the market.
3. Razer Huntsman V2
Enter a higher dimension of control with the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog, Razer's first analog optical gaming keyboard.
The Razer Huntsman V2 is a top-of-the-line gaming keyboard that offers exceptional performance, customization options, and an immersive experience. The keyboard boasts several advanced features that make it a standout choice for gamers and typists alike.
One of the key features of the Huntsman V2 is its “Razer Optical Switches,”. They provide incredibly fast response times and precise typing experience. The switches utilize an optical sensor to detect keystrokes, providing tactile feedback with an audible click, making it ideal for gaming and typing.
Another great feature of this optical keyboard is the per-key RGB backlighting. This allows the user to customize the lighting of each key individually. Featuring six macro keys, this keyboard will make your gaming experience much better. The keyboard’s media dock, which features media controls, a USB hub, and a 3.5mm audio jack, is another convenient feature that sets the Huntsman V2 apart from other gaming keyboards.
The Razer Huntsman V2 is a high-end gaming keyboard that offers an exceptional typing experience, advanced features, and customization options. The Huntsman V2’s impressive build quality and included wrist rest make it a great choice for gamers looking for a high-performance keyboard.
4. ROCCAT Vulcan Pro TKL
The award-winning Vulcan is re-imagined in a tenkeyless form factor. All the features you expect in a smaller design.
The ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Optical is an optical keyboard that offers a highly satisfying typing experience, sleek design, and innovative optical switches. It’ i’s a great choice for those who demand performance and style from their keyboard.
The ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro features new linear Titan Optical Switches. These switches offer an incredibly fast and responsive typing experience with minimal latency. This makes it a great choice for gamers and professionals who need high precision and fast input. The keyboard also has customizable per-key RGB backlighting, allowing users to adjust the lighting to fit their preferences.
The design of the Vulcan TKL Pro Optical is sleek and stylish. Featuring a brushed aluminum frame, the keyboard has a premium look and feel. The keyboard’s compact form factor also makes it highly portable and easy to take on the go. It features a detachable USB-C cable for easy connectivity and charging.
The Vulcan TKL Pro Optical also has several customization options, including the ability to remap keys and set up macros for added efficiency. The keyboard also comes with ROCCAT’s Easy-Shift[+] technology, which allows users to assign a secondary function to any key for added convenience.
In terms of build quality, the Vulcan TKL Pro Optical is highly durable and built to last. The keyboard has a solid frame that can withstand heavy usage, and the keycaps are made of high-quality PBT material for added durability and a tactile typing experience.
Overall, it is an exceptional keyboard that offers outstanding performance, sleek design, and advanced customization options. The keyboard’s build quality and customization options easily earn it a spot as one of the best optical keyboards available.
5. Razer Hunstman Mini
The budget option
Highly portable and ideal for streamlined setups, it’s time to experience lightning-fast actuation in our most compact form factor yet.
The Razer Huntsman Mini is a compact, 60% keyboard that offers a premium typing experience for gamers and typists alike. Its sleek design, high-quality build, and responsive switches make it a top choice for those who demand a high-performing keyboard in a compact form factor.
One of the standout features of the Huntsman Mini is its optical switches. These switches offer a fast and responsive typing experience. With a low actuation force and a short travel distance, it makes typing and gaming a breeze. The switches are also rated for 100 million keystrokes, ensuring that the keyboard will last for years of heavy use.
The keyboard’s build quality is also exceptional. It is made of a durable aluminum frame that can withstand heavy usage. Apart from that, the keycaps are made of high-quality PBT plastic that is resistant to wear and tear. Additionally, the keyboard’s white, doubleshot PBT keycaps are designed to resist fading, ensuring that the keyboard will maintain its clean and attractive appearance over time.
The Huntsman Mini also offers full customization through Razer’s Synapse software. Users can customize the keyboard’s lighting, remap keys, and create macros to fit their preferences.
Overall, there shouldn’t be any doubt why the Razer Huntsman Mini is featured as one of the best optical keyboards. Its optical switches, durable build, and customization make it perfect for gamers who demand the best in a smaller form. If you’re looking for a premium keyboard that can fit into your bag or take up minimal desk space, the Huntsman Mini is definitely worth considering.
Pros and cons of optical keyboards
Optical keyboards have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their fast response times, durability, and innovative design. While they offer many advantages over traditional mechanical keyboards, there are also some potential downsides to consider.
Pros of optical keyboards
- Fast response times: Optical keyboards use light to register keystrokes, resulting in a faster response time compared to traditional mechanical switches.
- Durability: Optical switches are rated for millions of keystrokes and are less prone to wear and tear, making them a more durable option for heavy use.
- Quieter: The optical switches on keyboards make less noise compared to mechanical keyboards which produce sound due to switches’ clicky nature.
- Innovative design: Optical keyboards often feature sleek and modern designs, with a variety of lighting and customization options available.
Cons of optical keyboards
- Limited switch options: Optical switches come in fewer varieties compared to mechanical switches, which can limit the feel and sound of the keyboard.
- Less tactile feedback: Some users prefer the tactile feedback of mechanical switches, and may find optical switches to be less satisfying to type on.
- Higher cost: Optical keyboards can be more expensive compared to traditional mechanical keyboards, due to the use of newer technology.
- Availability: Optical keyboards are not yet as widely available as traditional mechanical keyboards, which can limit the options for consumers.
In summary, while optical keyboards have many advantages, they may not be the right choice for everyone. When considering an optical keyboard, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether it is the right fit for your needs and preferences.
Is an optical keyboard faster than a mechanical keyboard?
In general, yes, an optical keyboard is faster than a mechanical keyboard. Optical keyboards use light to register keystrokes, which results in a faster response time compared to mechanical keyboards. With optical switches, there is no physical contact between the switch components. This means that there is no need for the switch to “bounce back” before registering the keystroke. To determine the actuated key, optical keyboards typically need to use a minimum of two beams, with the vertical and horizontal beams being the most commonly used.
This results in a faster actuation time and lower latency. However, the difference in speed may not be noticeable to all users. The difference may not be significant enough to impact performance for everyday use.
In conclusion, the world of optical keyboards is constantly evolving. New and innovative designs are being introduced every year. The keyboards mentioned in this article represent some of the best options available in 2023. With each keyboard offering a unique set of features and advantages.
Whether you are a gamer, a professional typist, or simply looking for a comfortable and reliable keyboard, there is an optical keyboard out there that is perfect for your needs. By considering the features, pros, and cons of each keyboard, you can make an informed decision and choose a keyboard that will enhance your typing experience.
Overall, the best optical keyboards in 2023 offer lightning-fast response times, durability, and innovative design, making them a great choice for anyone looking for a high-performance keyboard. So, take the time to find the perfect keyboard for you and get ready to take your typing and gaming to the next level!