Before buying a keyboard and mouse combo there are certain factors to consider seeing as these are some of the most crucial parts to your setup as a gamer. Keyboards vary in size and have multiple different switch options, which all bear different pros and cons. Furthermore, mice come equipped with varied sensors, with some being more reliable and accurate than others.
In this section, we are going to go over these different variables to help give you a better understanding of keyboards and mice in general.
First and foremost, you need to consider what kind of budget you’re looking to spend on your peripherals. A mouse and keyboard combo can range anywhere between $25 right up to $150. Figuring out the budget at the start will save you a lot of time in the long run.
That being said, it’s always nice to look at more luxury level items in case you want to scrap the budget altogether.
Once you’ve figured out your budget, you next need to ask yourself what you plan on using your new gaming keyboard and mouse combo for. Is it going to be an all-out gaming setup or more of an everyday combo? You might even be looking for a work keyboard which you’ll use for some light gaming in the evening.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you need before jumping into the keyboard and mouse market because there are hundreds of options to choose from.
When buying a new keyboard the first thing you will want to think about is its form factor. Keyboards vary in size and it’s important to know if you would like a full-size board with all the standard keys or a shorter board, sacrificing a number pad.
A full-sized board is exactly as you would expect, it’s 100% in size and comes with your number pad and dedicated function keys all in their usual places. These types of boards also feature extra room for niceties such as dedicated media controls and macro buttons.
Of course, there are quite a few size options catering to different types of players with different working environments. Keyboards have been developed to be as small as 40% a full-size keyboard and come in options known as Tenkeyless (TKL) with shorter form factors. With a shorter board, you will often lose the number pad and can find certain function buttons paired with others to save space.
60-65% keyboards are great for players who take their boards with them or just have a small desk, giving you more room to swipe that mouse uninterrupted. Some keyboards are almost pocket size, with 40% size boards losing even arrow keys, so be sure you know what you are buying and make sure you get one with the keys you need.
Switches: Mechanical Vs. Membrane
Switches can be a minefield, I mean, what do you go for? Mechanical or membrane? Well, the answer is almost always mechanical, if your budget can afford it, but this is still subjective to a few. In the past, most gaming keyboards for under $50 usually featured membrane but it is now possible to get some good mechanical options at affordable prices.
Mechanical switches tend to be more responsive and there are a plethora of options to suit different wants and needs. Membrane tend to all be rather similar, with only some being marginally better. That being said, mechanical are often louder.
It is worth noting that some poor quality membrane style keyboards tend to break down quicker. This can be caused by the single membrane layer flattening over time, leaving you with a less responsive keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are more modular, can often be taken apart easier and are generally easier to clean.
Gaming Mice Sensors
This is something for serious gamers to consider. If you’re a gaming hobbyist or someone who’s looking for a mouse that’s going to serve you well in a day-to-day type scenario, you probably won’t utilize an optical sensor to its maximum potential.
However, if you’re seriously into your gaming, and want to try and get every last bit of advantage over your opposition, you really need to consider an optical sensor.
Optical sensors, like mechanical vs. membrane keyboards, are more responsive and have higher accuracy than their laser counterparts. The optical sensor is just a better sensor in almost every department. And you know what that means, right? It means a much higher price tag.
Durability is a pretty obvious area to consider when looking to purchase a keyboard and mouse combo. You don’t want to be replacing them after six months when the switches go or the sensor faults.
That being said, buying into a reliable brand can usually have a knock-on effect in the price department. If you’re new to gaming, you can probably get away with buying a cheaper combo until you find your feet. After which you can splash out on something a little more suited to your requirements.
All the gaming keyboard and mouse recommendations we have chosen have excellent durability. You won’t need to worry about an upgrade for quite some time.
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