The 8 Best Optical Switch Keyboards
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in July of 2020. Since they use light to detect keystrokes, as opposed to mechanical switches or rubber membranes, optical keyboards tend to be more responsive than the more common type of keyboards. Typically preferred by gamers who seek precision in their virtual worlds, these often come equipped with many additional features, such as customizable RGB illumination and programmable keys. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 15, 2020:
When it comes to optical switch keyboards, there are significantly fewer options on the market than their mechanical counterparts. Many well-known brands that produce PC peripherals like Logitech and Corsair don’t offer any products that leverage light-based keystroke detection. Yet, optical switches require less force to be triggered and still can support popular features like backlighting and audible feedback. The main downside is that devices utilizing this technology tend to be pricey.
I chose the Razer Huntsman Elite for the top spot on this list because it has a premium feel and is designed to be a benchmark optical switch keyboard. Not many keyboards are able to boast a plush leather wrist rest like this one can. It also fits seamlessly into Razer’s PC gaming peripheral ecosystem, syncing up to their hardware configuration tool with minimal setup.
The Redragon K587-PRO fell a few spots behind the Redragon K580 mainly because the former doesn’t offer a numerical keypad. While this makes it more portable, most people looking for optical switch keyboards won't intend to bring them on the go, as these devices fit best in stationary spaces built for competitive gaming. PC gaming enthusiasts and tinkerers will likely appreciate additional keys since they provide more overall flexibility.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that the HK Gaming GK61 is the most customizable keyboard on this list. It has hot-swappable switches, meaning they can be easily replaced without soldering. It also comes with a handy tool that assists with keycap removal. Even the outer shell can be easily exchanged out, making this a great option for someone looking to personalize a base keyboard through various hardware modifications.