Every serious desktop user will understand the need for the best backlit keyboards. If you spend hours sitting in front of a PC you will agree with me that the right tools are as important as the specs of the computer.
Most computer users will think about vamping up the RAM and the Space of the machine before any other need which is more than okay. The hardware is as important as the software because you spend more time interacting with it physically.
After spending a week reviewing 20 different products, we’ve narrowed down our list to the 5 best backlit keyboards that are available today. Backlit keyboards are great for gamers, editors, programmers, or anyone with a desktop PC who wants to add a bit more ambiance to their environment.
How important are the backlit keyboards?
Today, many keyboards have keys that light up. Is this a gimmick or is it actually useful? It depends on how you use your computer, but generally speaking, it is helpful to have a backlit keyboard.
- Laptops: Many mid-to-high-end laptops come with a backlit keyboard. Some have an on/off switch, while others have multiple brightness settings. I recommend getting a laptop that has a backlit keyboard with variable brightness. This allows you to choose a setting where you can see the keys in the dark, but not so bright that it is distracting.
- Desktop Computers: Desktop computers rarely come with backlit keyboards. But I think they are even more important for desktop computers since the keyboard is so far away from the screen. The only dilemma is power usage. Backlit keyboards use more power than standard keyboards, so wireless is rarely an option.
5 Best Backlit Keyboards of 2021:
|Logitech K800 Wireless||8.2 x 2.3 x 18.4 in||7.2 ounces|
|Razer Cynosa Chroma||18.2 x 6 x 1.22 in||2.09 pounds|
|SteelSeries Apex 150||5.9 x 17 x 1.57 in||2.79 pounds|
|Redragon S101||18 x 7.4 x 0.79 in||2.16 pounds|
|Corsair K70 Lux||17.2 x 6.5 x 1.5 in||2.76 pounds|
Logitech is a well-known brand in the computer world. The company manufactures computers and many of its accessories ranging from mouse, keypads to gaming desktop.
This product provides lighting in dark environment and uses a wireless connection. The keys on this product are laser etched for increased precision, less distraction and easy typing.
The keyboard can be charged using a micro USB cable. And you can say goodbye to disposable batteries. This keyboard can provide a reliable and constant 2.4GHz wireless connection; you also have the option of using the USB cable.
- Strong and Durable battery
- Wireless to keep space neat
- You can set your light level
- Bright lighted individual keys
Designed by Razer, the top-selling gaming peripherals manufacturer, the Chroma keyboard is an excellent keyboard all by itself.
Cleverly crafted to anticipate all your gaming needs, this amazing tool will compliment your gaming experience and really boost your gameplay and overall gaming performance.
With native support for 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys, a spill-proof design, and a 2-year warranty (courtesy of the manufacturer), you can immerse in another dimension with just a few clicks.
- End-to-end synchronization with top games
- Built to resist most accidental spills
- Native RGB support for 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
- Easy to set up macros on all keys and keys combinations
- No USB port
SteelSeries keyboards are gaining a lot of popularity with many of their more recent releases; the SteelSeries Apex 150 is helped lay the groundwork for this trend.
This gaming-oriented keyboard offers a full 104-key form factor despite being much more compact than the previous keyboards we have listed. The keyboard features a beautiful theme, with small diagonal white lines on the border of the keyboard. There is 5-zone RGB lighting on the keyboard which can be customized through the SteelSeries Engine (Software).
Apex 150 offers the “Quick Tension” switch, which provides better friction-free key-press and provides much better durability than other membrane keyboards at this price. There are no dedicated media buttons on this keyboard though (it uses the F5-F12 keys for such functionalities).
- Offers very durable keys
- Splash resistant design
- No dedicated media buttons
The Redragon S101 is a wired USB port compatible keyboard that’s designed with gamers in mind. It comes with 10 dedicated multimedia keys and 12 extra “FN+” key combinations for quick and easy access to volume, brightness, and other media settings.
The keys are quiet, and the board itself is designed to make long gaming sessions more comfortable. There are 7 different RGB lighting modes that can help set the perfect mood for relaxed or competitive gaming. The keycaps offer clear uniform backlighting and the WIN key can be disabled for gaming.
As a bonus, the Redragon S101 also comes with a gaming mouse that complements the illuminated keyboard’s aesthetic.
- 7 RGB lighting modes
- USB Wired connection – no batteries to charge
- Includes a gaming mouse
- Keys can be stiff
- Membrane keyboard
In my opinion, this is the keyboard all the other backlit keyboards want to be when they grow up. It is the true definition of a luxury experience. Encased in a rugged, yet lightweight aluminum frame, this mechanical keyboard can handle all the love that you are going to want to throw at it. The K70 comes available with all Cherry switches, however I prefer the MX Blues for their tactility and audible clickity-clack.
Not only that, but it comes with multiple backlit options including the ability to color sync with other Corsair components you may be using. It’s also a dream to read with large print font type on the keys making this ideal for late-night typists or for the visually-impaired such as myself.
- Dedicated Multimedia Keys
- Detachable Soft Wrist Rest
- USB Pass-through Port
- A little heavy due to compactness
Connectivity Options: Wired and Wireless
The simplest way to connect a wired keyboard to your PC is via a standard USB port. Non-gaming keyboards are usually plug-and-play devices, with no additional software to install, meaning that plugging in the keyboard cable is all the setup you’ll need. Gaming keyboards, the exception, will typically work as soon as you plug them in, but come with their own software that lets you adjust features such as onboard RGB lighting and the assignment of macro keys. (More on that in a bit.) Some cheaper gaming models, though, may lack their own software and operate key backlighting and macros/shortcuts wholly through hardware.
Besides transferring your keystrokes to the computer, a USB connection also powers the keyboard, so there are no batteries to worry about. Some premium gaming models with lots of customizable buttons and lights come with two USB cables, one for power delivery (and/or to feed an extra USB port or ports on the keyboard itself) and one for the data connection, which means it will occupy two available USB ports. This isn’t usually a problem, since you’ll likely be connecting one of these keyboards to a large gaming desktop with many available USB ports.
How we decided the backlit keyboards
The keyboard is one of the two main peripherals used to operate a computer. Its main use is to input data. If a keyboard can help you make your inputs faster and more efficiently, then it’s already a superior choice. After a week of testing and trying out different products, we ended up with a list of high-quality keyboard choices that are excellent for their intended use, whether for gaming or working.
We decided on our top picks based on their overall design: the functionality of the keys, the brightness of the backlights, their compatibility with different computers, and portability. For keyboards that offer a wireless option, we gave bonus points for long-lasting batteries.
Another option popular with avid writers that just missed our list is the Cherry MX Board featuring mechanical switches and palm rest. The Cherry MX offers high-speed key recognition accurately captures every keystroke and the wrist rest provides comfort and ergonomics when working.
Do I Really Need Backlit Keyboards?
Whether or not you need a backlit keyboard really depends on how you use your computer. If you use it during the day for work most of the time, you do not need to have this feature.
However, you might consider it if you use your computer at night or in the dark. In addition, gamers love to have backlit keyboards.
Gaming keyboards often support RGB color, and they look great. This is important to many people, and it is not necessary even if it is a lot of fun. You don’t need backlit keyboards, but most people like to have one.
Backlit keyboards are becoming increasingly popular among computer users; most laptops now come with a backlight. Backlight keyboards can come in handy in a dark environment or emergency situations. There are a lot of things to consider when buying such a computer peripheral.