Best Mechanical Keyboards: The Best Retro Picks For Your Desktop


As technology advances, it often tends to go in a thinner and more compact direction, and computer keyboards are no exception. Keyboards have gone from big and chatty to thin and quiet, but the deep keys and loud clicks of a mechanical keyboard remain popular. There is something incredibly satisfying about mechanical keyboards, with their individual springs and switches delivering a distinctive sound and click feel. Enthusiastic gamers and typists often prefer the mechanical route because of the precision it offers.

While some mechanical keyboards retain their clunky 1980s retro office building look, others have been given a contemporary twist with funky designs and additional lighting effects. So whether you’re missing the familiar tapping sound, or just craving a workspace or a gaming overhaul, embrace the nostalgia and take a spin with a mechanical keyboard.

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The best mechanical keyboards for 2021

Full size Perixx keyboard

This choice of Perixx certainly has a classic look thanks to its off-white and gray appearance. So if you fancy a trip down memory lane, this could be a solid option. It has a curved frame and adjustable feet to create a tilt, so it’s been designed with comfort in mind. You can store any excess cable behind the keyboard using the cable management system. It’s a welcome feature for those who can’t stand a messy and cluttered desk.

The spherical keys are plump and have a concave design so that your fingers rest well on the top. It works with Windows 7, 8 and 10 and weighs a little over a kilogram, so it’s a sturdy design that should last a while!

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Havit mechanical keyboard

White and multicolor mechanical keyboard

This quirky mechanical keyboard features brightly colored keys that are sure to brighten up a dull desktop scene, but it’s the layout that makes this mechanical keyboard such an interesting choice.

Rather than having more than 100 keys like a traditional full-size keyboard, this mechanical keyboard only has 89. It preserves commonly used number keys and you will notice that the numeric keypad sits above the arrow keys, leaving more space for your Mouse. This makes this choice a practical and space-saving solution if you are short on space and crave a compact keyboard.

It is recommended for both gamers and workers, so it is intended to become a well used item in your household. It works with a number of systems including Windows 7, 8, 10, XP, Vista, and Mac OS.

Rymek typewriter style mechanical keyboard

Typewriter-style mechanical keyboard

Are you writing your first novel and want to play the part? This mechanical typewriter keyboard is a nice mix of old and new. It pairs with devices via Bluetooth so you can work on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone while enjoying the benefits of a responsive mechanical keyboard.

There is a convenient stand for you to support your device. Another cool feature is the backlight, which is useful when you are working late at night. It’s also available with pink accents if you’re looking for a more jazz design.

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Drop Entr Mechanical Keyboard

Gray and blue mechanical keyboard

This mechanical keyboard is a great choice for gamers and speedy typists as it features an N-key rollover. This means that it can detect and record every keystroke, even when you press simultaneously, so that it can track fast typing and intense play when you press many keys at the same time.

It also features Gateron Yellow switches which are renowned for their linear and smooth action. They aren’t too heavy either, if you prefer a lighter feel when typing. Despite its 1980s vibe, it’s backlit, which is still a useful feature.

We love the charcoal and light blue colors of this pick, which makes it interesting without being too loud a design.

Filco Majestouch-2 Keyless Keyboard

Black mechanical keyboard

This is another mechanical keyboard with N key rollover qualities, but this one is much more modern in appearance. So if you are looking for the mechanical feel without the brightly colored or overly old-fashioned design, this is a great option. Its sleek appearance allows it to fit into a modern office space without looking out of place.

It’s a space saver as it lacks the numeric keypad, so if you can get by without the calculator function, it’s a good choice. This keyboard has Cherry MX Brown switches, so you should feel the tactile bump when typing. These switches aren’t as loud as the Cherry MX Blue switches which produce an audible click, so Brown may be a good option if you prefer a quieter typing experience.

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BOYI 60% mechanical keyboard

Blue and pink mechanical keyboard

Want to brighten up your workspace? This mechanical keyboard is neat, dynamic and definitely eye-catching. It’s a 60% keyboard with just 61 keys, so if your job only involves the most common keys, it’s an easy way to save desktop space. It’s about 30cm long, so it’s a portable pick. With 10 different lighting modes and interactive play options, this is a fun and entertaining option.

Hot-swappable Keychron touchscreen keypad

Orange and black mechanical keyboard

This keyboard has keys for Windows and macOS, so it’s a versatile choice that lets you work between different devices effortlessly. Not all keyboards come with Mac media keys, so this is an especially attractive feature if you’re a Mac fan. There are 18 different types of backlighting, including static white and flashing, so you can liven up your gaming or spreadsheet sessions, depending on your mood.

Personalization is also an option here as this is a hot-swappable keyboard that lets you easily change your switches whenever you feel like a change! Hot-swappable keyboards are useful if you’re new to mechanical keyboard playing, as you can experiment with different switches and decide whether you prefer a linear, clicky, or tactile feel as you type.

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