Optical keyboards are praised for their outstanding functionality, especially for competing in PC games. However, among many keyboards out there, what could be your best choice?

In order to help you choose the best optical keyboards that suit your purpose, we have a list of the top 12 optical switch keyboards right here. Now, let’s explore what’s there on the table for you.

12 Best Optical Keyboards – Quick Comparision

Middle To High PriceLow To Middle Price
Best For GamingCorsair K100, 

Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro

HK Gaming GK61, 

EVGA Z20

Best For TypingRazer Huntsman MiniEpomaker SK68, EPOMAKER SK64S
Best For BothRazer Huntsman V2, SteelSeries Apex Pro

Keychron K8 Wireless, 

Epomaker SK96S,

Geek GK61

In general, since the optical switches are quite new on the market. The prices of those opto mechanical keyboards are pretty high. Therefore, you can use this table as a guide to easily find the keyboards that suit your budget and purpose.

Please remember that our list of the best optical switch keyboards does not follow any order. The first appeared one is not the best one or vice versa. Take your trip and enjoy.

Corsair K100: Fastest Optical Keyboard for Gaming

Corsair K100 RGB Keyboard
Corsair K100 RGB Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • Mega fast with 8000Hz hyper-polling and 4000Hz key scanning
  • 20-layer lighting effects
  • 0.25 ms response time
  • Very expensive
  • Quite large
  • Not portable
  • Heavy software

Care for an animated illustration of this high-end keyboard? Watch this video.

YouTube video
Special features:

  • 44-zone three-sided RGB LightEdge
  • CORSAIR OPX optical-mechanical keyswitches or Cherry MX Speed Silver switches

At a first glance, Corsair K100 is a high-end gaming keyboard that is made especially for professional gamers. It has a standard design with 104 keys, 6 additional macro keys, and some extra media keys. Moreover, keycaps come with a double-shot PBT material, allowing the printed characters to last for a very long time. 

Inside each keycap, you can choose between the Cherry MX Speed Silver switch – the currently fattest mechanical switch, or Corsair OPX optical switch – even faster than the Cherry Silver. In addition, the keycaps are lubed so typing on them will not feel wobble but stable.

The unique design of this keyboard is its multi-function iCUE control wheel. This allows you to change your list of color codes with a simple wheel steering.

Talking about drawbacks, using an attached cable with two plugs is somehow contributing to the immobile issue. Besides, even though the special Corsair software gives you the benefit of 20 lighting layers, it uses up to 500 GB of your computer memory, so watch out for that.

To have a full view of this top-notch keyboard, let’s visit Corsair’s official website.

HK Gaming GK61 

HK Gaming GK61 Mechanical Keyboard
HK Gaming GK61 Mechanical Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • A lot of colored options such as purple or pink
  • Affordable price
  • Customizable keyswitches
  • Potable small device
  • Hard-to-use software
  • ABS keycaps

There is nothing beat a good introduction video. Check out this video for a quick view of the HK Gaming GK61 mechanical keyboard.

YouTube video
Special features:

  • hot-swappable Gateron optical keyswitches

HK Gaming GK61 has a very neat design with pastel color options which is definitely a plus point for female users. Their price is budget-friendly so you won’t feel overwhelmed when first coming to the custom-keyboard world. 

This keyboard uses ABS keycaps which can produce a nice sound when typing but are not sweat resistant. The good point is they use Gateron optical switches that can speed up to 0.2 ms response rate and you can choose freely your favorite type of switches among many Gateron offerings. Moreover, It seems like HK Gaming highly cares for stability so, besides pre-lubed switches, there are four rubber feet on the back to prevent slipping.

If you want to utilize the most out of its RGB Backlit feature, you can download HK Gaming software to customize the lighting. However, the problem is that the app is not fully translated, leading to annoyance when using it.

For more details, why don’t you check out HK Gaming’s website here?

Keychron K8 Wireless: Best Optical Keyboard for Gaming and Typing

Keychron K8 TKL Wireless Keyboard
Keychron K8 TKL Wireless Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • Sturdy design
  • 4000 mah battery
  • Wireless and wired mode
  • Mac compatibility
  • ABS keycaps
  • Slow response sometimes
  • Uncustomizable lighting effects

Watch a video of this multi-purposed keyboard right here.

YouTube video
Special features:

  • Keychron Blue, Red, or Brown optical switches
  • Three different versions.

The Keychron K8 wireless optical keyboard is fully made with plastic. However, Keychron offers you a choice to switch to a plastic keyboard with an aluminum frame. Besides, you can choose between RGB white or RGB backlight and pick among three different Keychron optical switches – Red linear, Blue clicky, or Brown tactile, on a tenkeyless layout.

The keyboard is designed in a way that makes it suitable for different purposes. You can bring it to your office for work and then have it back home to enjoy playing games. That is because this K8 keyboard is very flexible. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac and can be used interchangeably between wireless and wired connections. And, what is a benefit of having wireless mode besides connecting to tablets or smartphones then?

Another strength of this keyboard belongs to its large battery.  With 4000 mah, you can use K8 for about 240 hours without backlighting.

However, K8 uses ABS keycaps, and despite saying there is a 1000 Hz polling rate, the response rate of key-pressing can be slowed up to 30 ms in wireless mode. Furthermore, they do not have an add-in light self-custom function or software, so you have to download additional apps for that purpose.

EVGA Z20 RGB Optical Mechanical Gaming Keyboard 

EVGA Z20 RGB Optical Gaming Keyboard
EVGA Z20 RGB Optical Gaming Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • 4000 Hz report rate
  • 0.25 ms response rate
  • Programming compatibility
  • Useful extra functions
  • ABS keycaps
  • Slight wobble

How about seeing the beauty of this keyboard with your own eyes here.

YouTube video
Special features:

  • ToF proximity sensor
  • Light Strike optical switches
  • Fully customizable RGB LEDs

When it first came out, the EVGA Z20 RGB Optical keyboard is introduced to us at a price of over 100 dollars, making it one of the high-end class. However, now you can find them with a nearly 40% discount so we can say that this keyboard is a real bargain. You can have the EVGA Z20 which has top-grade quality at an affordable price

The keyboard is a combination between a plastic body and a metal base, which gives it a very sturdy structure. Besides, EVGA equips their products with a leather wrist rest, adding a luxury touch to the whole design.

You can choose between Light Strike Linear or Clicky switches for the ultimate feedback satisfaction. Moreover, this is a full-size keyboard with an N-key rollover that allows you to play fast-paced games.

When it comes to EVGA Z20’s selling points, we cannot forget to mention the Tof sensor RGB light bar customization. The Tof proximity sensor is an extremely useful function as it can detect your movement to send the keyboard to work or to sleep. And, regarding the bar customization, you can have full control over the LED lighting effects and be creative with any color scheme.

The two drawbacks of the optical keyboard are ABS keycaps and some unstable keypresses. However, if we consider how awesome other features of this keyboard are, those problems become minor.

Visit this link to take a look at these high-premium keyboards which are on discount now. 

Epomaker SK96S: Best Optical Keyboard With A Unique Layout

Epomaker SK96S Optical Keyboard
Epomaker SK96S Optical Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • Can choose your keycaps’ materials, type of switches, etc
  • Left-hand version
  • Compatible with MAC
  • 4000 mah battery
  • Supporting with multi-devices
  • Portable.
  • Hard-to-see keys 
  • Not good RGB lighting
  • High price

The first noticeable thing about this 96-layout hot-swappable keyboard is its aesthetic design. Soft white, greyish black, and earth-toned orange get together to make a pretty-looking keyboard.

Besides, the Epomaker SK96S has a great variety of choices to choose from. You can pick between ABS or PBT keycaps, and you can also choose among Gateron switches, ranging from optical or mechanical to blue, black, or more.

In addition, this keyboard allows you to work with 4 different devices at once thanks to the latest Bluetooth 5.1 chipset. And, whether your operating system is MAC or Windows, you are able to connect with the Epomaker SK96S pretty well. Plus, it has a long-lasting battery that is up to 240 hours and is friendly with left-hand people.

On the other hand, it has a pretty hefty price but the RGB effects are far from being worthy of the price. A lot of people complained about how poor the LED colors are and their dull brightness. Moreover, the printed characters on the keycaps are not made well, resulting in being difficult to see when the light turns down.

You can visit Epomaker’s website to learn more about the SK96S optical keyboard.

Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro: Best Optical Keyboard with RGB

Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Keyboard
Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • 1000hz polling rate
  • Vivid RGB lighting effects
  • Detachable case
  • Somehow too bright for some people
  • Quite expensive

We think you might want to see this video to check out the RGB lighting of Roccat Vulcan keyboard.

YouTube video
Special features:

  • Transparent double-shot keycaps
  • Roccat Titan switches

If you are a RGB effect maniac, there is a high chance you will fall in love with Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro keyboard – the best optical keyboard for RGB lighting. Besides brilliant color effects coming from the LED lights inside the keyboard, Roccat Vulcan keycaps are designed with transparent edges that allow the light to come out vividly. 

The keyboard has a plastic body with a metal backplate. Unlike other keyboards, the Vulcan TKL Pro‘s legs are pretty solid that won’t move with whatever you do. It also comes with a detachable cable and USB-C port which is truly convenient.

Adding more to the table, it uses the award-winning Titan optical switches that promise you a tenkeyless gaming experience. Insanely fast and buttery smooth, you can compete in those fast-paced games without worries of typing problems. However, due to the very light feeling, we do not recommend this keyboard to those who are not skillful typists.

Roccat Vulcan is a Chinese company so their website may be hard to follow. But, it is beautifully arranged just like their Roccat keyboard and awfully detailed, so please don’t miss out. 

Razer Huntsman V2 Optical Gaming Keyboard

Razer Huntsman V2 Optical Gaming Keyboard
Razer Huntsman V2 Optical Gaming Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • Customizable RGB effects
  • Fast operating
  • Can macro-program all the keys
  • Double-shot PBT keycaps
  • Price is very high
  • Large keys are somewhat wobbled

The pretty wild and futuristic keyboard’s video is here for you to enjoy.

YouTube video
Special features:

  • Sound dampening foam
  • Razer linear or clicky optical switches
  • Specialized keys for media 
  • A combination of on-board memory and cloud storage

The Razer Huntsman V2 is a full-size keyboard with a TKL layout. As an enhanced version of the already-so-famous Razer Huntsman, the V2 keyboard improves the typing sound experience by adding a dampening foam, allowing you to type in silence. Therefore, it is suitable to create a wonderful experience for both typing and gaming.

You can expect this superb keyboard will be equipped with first-rate functions. First, you are allowed to custom the RGB backlighting and program the keys with built-in software. Second, the hybrid memory can be used to store your macros and settings. Last, for completed satisfaction with the media experience, the keyboard includes extra media keys which help you to control the media functions conveniently.

Besides, the Razer optical switches are very famous for their highly smooth performance with an extremely fast response time. You can choose between linear or clicky based on your preferences. Moreover, they are laid under high-quality PBT keycaps, which enhances the durability of both switches and the Huntsman V2 keyboard. However, some large keys like spacebar or enter are reported to be quite shaky, which is definitely a minus for the keyboard with such a high price.

You may want to visit Razer’s website at this link. They also include the sound test from typing the Huntsman V2.

Epomaker SK68

Epomaker Skyloong SK68 Keyboard
Epomaker Skyloong SK68 Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • Has beautiful keycap layout options in different colors
  • Wired and wireless mode
  • Macro-programming
  • Mac/Win/iOS/Android compatibility
  • Delay Bluetooth signal
  • Slightly slow polling rate

Special features:

  • Dye-subbed PBT GSA profile keycaps
  • Gateron optical switches

Epomaker knows how to make pretty keyboards that attract female customers. The Epomaker Skyloong SK68 is not out of that category. Besides the black and grey layout that is suitable for men, it has two other versions with white-red and white-pink layouts. 

The strengths of this SK68 keyboard are its portable ability and flexibility. By allowing us to switch between wired and wireless modes and a wide range of operating system compatibility, we can feel free to connect the keyboard with whatever devices we want. However, some people complain that the signal response time when in Bluetooth mode is quite slow.

Another fun thing about this keyboard is its customizable ability. By using hot-swap Gateron optical keyswitches and durable PBT keycaps, you can mix and match different color Gateron switches to create your ultimate keyboard with your unique personal touch.

Let’s immerse yourself in the cuteness of Epomaker SK68 by visiting this link.

Geek GK61

Geek GK61 optical keyboard
Geek GK61 optical keyboard

Pros 

Cons

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Full-key programming
  • Light effects following rhythm
  • Portable
  • 16.6 million RGB colors
  • ABS keycaps
  • Wobble

Special features:

  • 61-key layout
  • USB-C
  • Gateron optical switches

The Geek GK61 has a standard layout with 61 keys. In terms of appearance, it has a simple modest look which offers you two choices of colors- black or white. This keyboard is quite light with a body made wholly from ABS, from the keycaps to the backplate. 

In terms of functions, this affordable keyboard allows you to have so much fun doing game macro or programming light effects. With enough creativity, you can customize the LED lights to shine through your keyboard in a musical way.

The Geek GK6 uses Gateron optical switches like the Epomaker SK68 above. This allows you to choose which type of Gateron switches meets your requirements. In addition, the optical switches from Gateron are famous for their buttery smooth typing and high-speed response rate. That makes the Geek GK61 suitable for typing and gaming experience.

The drawback is that the keycaps are made of ABS and the key structure is slightly shaky.

EPOMAKER SK64S Hot Swappable 

Epomaker Skyloong SK46S Keyboard
Epomaker Skyloong SK46S Keyboard

Pros 

Cons
  • IP6X dustproof design
  • Wireless and wired dual mode
  • PBT thermal sublimation keycaps
  • Mac compatibility
  • Sometimes disconnected Bluetooth
  • Quite cramped key layout for some

Special features:

  • 60% layout
  • Gateron optical switches

This Epomaker Skyloong SK46S is one of the highly recommended 60% keyboards. It uses hot-swappable Gateron optical switches so you have free control over how you want your keyboard to be. 

Like other keyboards coming from Epomaker, the SK64S  is also portable as you can switch between wired and wireless connections. Additionally, the keyboard is also compatible with the MAC system

A unique selling point of this SK64S keyboard is the PBT thermal sublimation keycaps that are oil resistant. Another plus is it applies the IP6X dustproof technology. Hence, the printed character on each key can last very long and the whole keyboard can pass the test of time smoothly.

However, also just like other Epomaker keyboards, the wireless connection by using Bluetooth shows trouble sometimes. It can lose the connection or respond slowly. Furthermore, the layout can be quite cramped so for those who are not used to it, it can feel uncomfortable and easy to mistype.

Check out the Epomaker SK64S keyboard by visiting its website here.

Razer Huntsman Mini

Razer Huntsman Mini
Razer Huntsman Mini

Pros 

Cons
  • 1000 Hz polling rate
  • 16.8 million RGB colors
  • Oil-resistant double-shot PBT keycaps
  • Full-key programming
  • Expensive
  • Noticeably rattle keys
  • Plastic

Special features:

  • Razer Purple or Red optical switches or Raze Analog optical switches
  • 60% key layout

The apparent advantage of those keyboards from Razer is the ultra-fast Razer optical switches which have a 0.2 ms response rate. Therefore, we can be sure to believe in the insane speed of the Razer Huntsman Mini. This keyboard has a 60% layout and decent-quality PBT keycaps. Moreover, you can fully play with the light effect by freely programming its 16.8 million colors to create your own color scheme

However, given that the price is above 100 dollars, we want the body materials to be something different than plastic. But, that does not mean plastic is bad. It’s just a cheap material for that much amount of money we need to pay. 

Another problem is that the key is quite wobbled. Even though typing or gaming on the Razer Huntsman Mini keyboard is awesomely fast and smooth, it is still quite annoying to feel the wobble on those keys.

Visit Razer’s website to see more of the Huntsman Mini.

SteelSeries Apex Pro 

SteelSeries Apex Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries Apex Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pros 

Cons

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
  • 16.8 million RGB colors
  • Oil-resistant double-shot PBT keycaps
  • Full-key programming
  • Expensive
  • Easy to get dust on the wrist rest

Special features:

  • OmniPoint adjustable switches
  • OLED smart display

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a splendid full-key layout keyboard made with high-end aluminum alloy. Moreover, the brand includes premium double-shot PBT keycaps and a magnetic wrist rest that makes typing on this keyboard feels like another level. 

The key advantage of this gaming keyboard is it uses OmniPoint adjustable switches. This is a new kind of switch that allows you to change the travel distance from 0.4 mm to 3.6 mm.  In addition, OmniPoint switches have made a record as the fattest switches so there is no way this SteelSeries Apex Pro is inferior to any optical keyboard.

At the right corner, there are a roller and a media key allowing you to turn on, off, up, down, pause the sound conveniently, or even adjust the brightness.

The minor problem is its magnetic wrist rest. Even if it is truly comfortable to place your wrist on, is easy to attract dust.

Since SteelSeries is one of the companies that are pioneers of exploring technology, their official website is a full pack of cool, awesome, futuristic stuff. So, don’t forget to check it out.

What does Optical Keyboard mean?

If you ask us what an optical mechanical keyboard is, our answer would be something like “a keyboard of the future that uses optical switches – the switches of light, and so on”. Well, not the most serious answer but this can give you a general idea of what makes an optical keyboard.

Even if you read the top-12 list carefully or just have a quick skim, we are sure that you will notice that those opto mechanical keyboards are exceptional in terms of speed. To understand why the response rate of optical keyboards are more superior to normal mechanical keyboards, you can visit this article of us ’What Is Optical Switch and are they worth trying?’ 

Advantages of Optical Keyboard

A Sneak Peek Of Roccat Vulcan’s Beauty
A Sneak Peek Of Roccat Vulcan’s Beauty

The advantages of an optical mechanical keyboard will be the benefits that are brought by the optical switches.

  • Super-duper high polling rate, therefore, an insanely fast response time from each keypress
  • Buttery smooth typing experience
  • High durability that can be with you for many many years
  • Dust-proof ability

Of course, there must be a reason why those optical keyboards make more appearances in professional gaming competitions these days.

Disadvantages of Optical Keyboard 

Beautiful SteelSeries Apex Pro In Detail

Same as advantages, the problems of optical mechanical keyboards are related to the issue of optical switches being pretty new on the market.

  • There are not many variants of optical switches to choose from in terms of types, actuation forces, and release sounds.
  • It’s quite difficult to mod or change the keyswitches in the way you prefer to like what you can do with mechanical keyboards.
  • You will find it hard to look for replaceable parts of the keyboards when they wear off for the same reason of being rare.
  • The typing feeling can be unfamiliar and need time to get used to if you first switch to them.

Is Optical Faster Than Mechanical?

Our answer is yes. It is like four-time faster than normal mechanical switches. And, supreme optical switches such as OmniPoint or Corsair OPX can even be eight times faster. This is thanks to optical technology.

To understand why this happens, how about taking a look inside the mechanical switch and also the optical one?

Inside the mechanical switch like Cherry MX, when you press the key, two metal leaves are allowed to contact and generate a circuit that sends a signal to the computer’s processor. All the processes will take around 5ms.

On the other hand, inside an opto-mechanical switch like Razer, there is a LED light that is blocked from touching an optical sensor. When you press the key, you move the blockage away so the light can reach the sensor. And, the required time for the light to touch the sensor successfully is only about 0.03 ms.

That is the reason behind the insane speed of optical switches on gaming keyboards.

If you want to know more about what the optical principle can do and whether they outperform our conventional mechanical switches, please visit our article ‘Optical vs Mechanical Switches – which is better?’ for a thorough analysis.

Conclusion

Optical Switch - The Character Behind Optical Keyboard’s Success
Optical Switch – The Character Behind Optical Keyboard’s Success

All the 12 opto mechanical keyboards we have listed here are pretty cool to go for. As the optical switch technology is quite new and high advanced, not all keyboard brands can have their pawns in this market. Maybe thanks to that, you can choose any optical keyboard and feel relieved with its qualities.

If you are a tech explorer, we truly think the optical keyboards will bring you a worthy journey. 

FAQs

What are the best Optical Keyboards for Gaming?

Here is our number one list:

  • Corsair K100 RGB
  • Razer Huntsman V2 Optical Gaming Keyboard
  • SteelSeries Apex Pro

What are the best budget Optical Keyboards?

Choose one of the names below if you’re looking for a budget optical keyboard:

  • EVGA Z20 RGB Optical Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • EPOMAKER SK64S Hot-Swappable
  • HK GAMING GK61
  • Keychron K8 Wireless

What are the most compact optical keyboards?

If you prefer a compact keyboard to a full layout one, those optical keyboards will probably satisfy your needs:

  • Razer Huntsman Mini 60% Gaming Keyboard
  • EPOMAKER SK64S Hot-Swappable
  • HK GAMING GK61