7 best gaming keyboards to buy this 2015 holiday season

Whether you're shopping for yourself or that special PC gamer in your life, these keyboards are top-notch picks.

The holidays are almost upon us, and soon we'll have to be thinking about the special gamers in our lives. Whether you're buying for yourself or someone else, you can't go wrong with a good gaming keyboard. The right keyboard will turn a good gaming experience into a great one.

But finding that right one is often easier said than done. There are lots of things to consider. How important are macros? How much desk space is available? What kinds of games will the keyboard be used for?

If you aren't fluent in PC gamer speak, all the options out there might be a little confusing. So we're rounding up our top picks for the best gaming keyboards of 2015 -- just in time for you to catch all those sweet holiday sales. For each keyboard, we'll also add what sort of gamer it would be ideal for. 

Razer Blackwidow Chroma

Ideal for a well-rounded gamer
  • Price: $163
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Where to Buy: Amazon

The Razer Blackwidow Chroma has a little bit of everything. It's slightly smaller than some of the other keyboards in this list, due in large part to the lack of a large wrist rest. So it's a good keyboard to consider if desk space isn't readily available. 

The Blackwidow also boasts 5 macro keys to suit the MMO and MOBA crowd, as well as full multi-color backlighting, with the option to customize a variety of color schemes and pattern loops.

There's another model of this keyboard called the Blackwidow Ultimate, which includes Razer-exclusive key switches rather than the industry standard Cherry MX. 

Corsair Vengeance K70 RGB

For the FPS or RTS player
  • Price: $166
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Where to Buy: Amazon

Of all the keyboards on this list, the Corsair Vengeance K70 has the most color customization options. The Corsair Utility Engine tends to be confusing at first, but reviewers agree that it more than makes up for it with the insane number of options you have. You can choose from a near-infinite combination of colors, color schemes, and pattern loops. 

But form should always follow function, and the Vengeance K70 has the hardware to back up its lovely aesthetics. MMO players will be displeased about the lack of macro keys, but there are 18 customizable keys, which should more than suffice for the average FPS or RTS player. There are also swappable WASD caps to help deal with the extra wear on those keys. 

The Vengeance K70 also allows you to choose which Cherry MX switches you'd prefer to use -- Red, Blue, or Brown.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark

For the MMO/MOBA player (who doesn't type much)
  • Price: $129
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Where to Buy: Amazon

There is a lot to love about the Logitech G910. Expect it to take up a lot of desk space, at nearly 20 inches wide and just over 8 inches deep. It uses every inch, too, by packing in lots of macros and dedicated media buttons. There are two interchangeable arm rests, as well as multi-color LED backlighting. 

The Logitech Utility Software includes a Gaming Profile feature that will scan your computer for games you already have installed, then automatically create a profile for each game. You can edit these profiles, and set the keyboard to switch automatically between them when the utility software detects that you're running each game.

Logitech also loaded this keyboard with a brand new switch, which reviewers noted had great mechanical feedback, with much less clacking than some of its competitors. While this may tempt you to pick it up for typing on, you may want to think twice. Many reviewers agreed that the asymmetrical key layout may not be suited for non-gaming purposes.  

Roccat RYOS MK Pro

For the tech-savvy MMO/MOBA player
  • Price: $150
  • Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Where to Buy: Amazon

This is probably one of the most high-tech keyboards on this list. It packs in two 32-bit ARM processors, plus a built-in USB port and an audio jack. 

Macros and maximum keyboard options are the name of the game with this keyboard. For optimal touch response, you can choose from 4 different Cherry MX key models. The "Easy-Shift" key will remap the keyboard and/or light different key groups. You can also record and use up to 100 macros in-game. 

The only common complaint we saw from reviewers were the large wrist rest. And we hope that you or your gamer of choice likes blue, because that's the only color the backlighting is available in. 

Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E M

For the mobile gamer and gamers on the go
  • Price: $82
  • Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Where to Buy: Amazon

This is the only wireless keyboard on our list. It can connect to 4 different devices via Bluetooth, and easily switch between them. It's also the smallest keyboard on our list, coming in at a mere 14.1 x 5.75" -- that means it's perfect for traveling around with.

It may be small, but it packs a lot of punch. Unlike most of the keyboards on this list, it's a membrane keyboard rather than a mechanical one, but most reviewers said that the touch feedback was good. It's also got a built-in optical sensor with two buttons that can act as a mouse/trackpad, so it's multi-functional.  

SteelSeries Apex

For the gamer on a budget
  • Price: $63
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Where to Buy: Amazon

Hope you have a lot of desk space, because this thing is a whopping 22 inches. But don't let the size fool you -- this is easily the best budget keyboard on the market. It uses silicone dome keys rather than mechanical plastic, which cuts down on the cost. But reviewers said they couldn't tell that much of a difference. 

The Apex has 22 macro keys, as well as up to four layers of droppable presets to let you further customize your gameplay and make the most of this keyboard. With the specs and the size, this is the only budget keyboard that can compete with pricier options. 

Razer DeathStalker Ultimate

For the seriously high-tech (and deep-pocketed) gamer
  • Price: $260
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Where to Buy: Amazon

Though its price tag might be a little daunting, the DeathStalker Ultimate packs in a ton of features. This is the top-of-the line keyboard for any PC gamer. It's got dedicated media controls, five macro keys, fully programmable keys, and the ability to record macros on the fly. 

But what you're really paying for here is the touch screen and ten dynamic adaptive tactile keys, also called the Switchblade user interface. From this interface, you can view in-game information, open apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Gmail, and even use it as a trackpad or "secondary input" device with special gestures. The ten tactile keys can be bound to any number of macros, skills, etc., and they'll change as the in-game (or the active game itself) does. Pretty fancy, huh? 

Hopefully, there's something on this list to suit you or that special gamer in your life. Don't hesitate to pick up one of these keyboards when the holiday season hits.