Best Mechanical Keyboard with Media Keys

Those who are in an older generation of computer users will remember a time when typing on a keyboard meant direct print onto a sheet of paper. Typewriters were really the first mechanical keyboard. As computers came onto the scene, a different type of mechanical keyboard emerged. The early keyboards were heavy duty and solid. The new wireless mechanical keyboard model used today reflects on old mechanical key tech. Today’s mechanical keyboards are meant to feel solid, not flimsy disposable technology.

A popular option for a gaming keyboard would be an ergonomic keyboard with RGB backlighting, and each mechanical keyboard switch differs based on needs.

Along with a good mechanical feel, having a keyboard with media keys is also beneficial. Media keys are specific programmable keys that have no other function but media. This can be a stand-alone key or one combined with the Function key. There are various ways these are laid out on different keyboards but having easy access to media on the keyboard is helpful.  Because the cost is generally higher for mechanical keyboards with media keys, make sure to have the information needed so you can make an informed purchase.

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The Key Switch

The main item that makes a mechanical keyboard preferable, is the key switch. Many cheaper boards use a dome switch rather than a key switch type. The dome registers a key tap that pushes down a silicone dome and then connects two circuit board traces. These are cheap to manufacture but need a heavy finger push to make it work. After about 5 million key taps, the dome can lose its springiness, so it is less reactive or stops working completely.

In contrast, mechanical switches do not use silicone at all. There is a physical switch with a spring for pushback that registers what is being typed. These keys have a longer life span than dome so while they are more expensive, they are actually more reliable over time. They are great to use and are well worth the extra investment.

When purchasing a mechanical keyboard, check the switch it uses. There are different kinds of mechanical switch types, with the most common being a Cherry MX red switch, a Cherry MX brown switch, and a Cherry MX blue switch. See if it gives auditory feedback, tactile or both. Also, make sure it has the right amount of functionality, so you are not going to get finger fatigue due to switches that need too much pressure.

Choosing the Best Mechanical Keyboard with Media Keys

There are some great mechanical keyboards with media keys on the market. They have strength, longevity and style. They are great for typists, hardcore gamers and anyone else who wants a keyboard that has a great feel.

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Media Keys

This mechanical keyboard is one of the best for heavy-duty gamers. Each key is backlit with a 19 zone LightEdge that runs along the top of the keyboard. The lighting effects are stellar and can be customized. It is low noise and has 6 dedicated macro keys that are completely programmable. They allow for complex macros, key remaps or change to S-key keycaps with specific streaming commands with Elgato Stream Deck software. The Cherry MXRGB silver mechanical key switches offer quick 1.2mm response and will be reliable to around 100 million keytaps. This keyboard has full media control allowing easy access to any media. The palm rest is soft and textured along with being removable. This keyboard is great for long gaming sessions.

SteelSeries Apex 7 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – OLED Smart Display – USB Passthrough and Media Controls RGB Backlit

This is a great board for those gamers who are into Esports. This keyboard comes with blue switches that are guaranteed for 50 million keypresses. The player can feel as well as hear when the key is registered. The board has a command center for making setting adjustments as well as tracking info right from the game being played.

It is durable, made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, and has stellar lighting that can be customized. The wrist rest offers great palm support and is ergonomically designed. The dedicated media keys allow for volume adjustment as well as other settings that can be changed quickly and easily. Brightness, rewind, skip, halt and more just with a click.

KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard (MX Brown)

This is a great mechanical keyboard with a split design that is perfect for typing or gaming. It allows for space modification depending on what the keyboard is being used for. It allows for an ergonomic posture with the option of using a lift kit tenting to help get rid of any forearm strain. There are also palm supports that are thick, cushioned and detachable.

The switches are Cherry MX Brown for low force tactile feedback. They are durable and responsive. The RGB lighting is awesome, with backlighting on every key that can be customized in many ways. There is an expansion pack to increase the lighting options to include dual-layer and two-tone effects.

All keys are programmable and customizable. It has macro keys as well as media keys for complete programmability. It can remap 9 game keys with settings saving right to the keyboard’s 4MB memory when in tournament play.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem old-school, using a mechanical keyboard with media keys is now making a comeback. Heavy-duty gamers and typists who like that feeling of switches versus domes love the durability and versatility of a solid mechanical keyboard. While gaming has grown in leaps and bounds technology-wise over the last two decades, heading back to a great mechanical keyboard is a good way to go. These keyboards have not only gotten better with new technology, but are going to enhance your gaming and online experience to the max. There is nothing old-school about their ability to taking gaming and business to the next level.