Tips To Find a Laptop With a Gaming Keyboard – A Gamer’s Guide

Laptops have come a long way from when the first portable computer was released in 1981, to the powerful gaming laptops we have today. It's no longer a question of,  "Can I have a gaming laptop?", but rather, "What capabilities can my gaming laptop can have?". In this article we discuss how to find a laptop with a gaming keyboard that will suit your gaming needs. 

To choose a laptop with a gaming keyboard, look for customizable per-key RGB and programmable keys. Try a gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard for smoother keystrokes and better responsiveness, a detachable keyboard if portability and versatility are important, and an external gaming keyboard to improve the gaming experience. 

Whether you're a gamer or not, the best gaming keyboards may make or break your regular computing experience. It makes no difference what sort of laptop you have. When your keyboard also serves as a game controller, it becomes more than simply an instrument for work. A quality gaming keyboard is an integral part of a gamer’s setup. As such, ensuring you're working with the best keyboard that fits your needs and gaming style is pertinent. In this article, we'll discuss helpful tips on how you can find a laptop with a gaming keyboard.

A laptop with a gaming keyboard will have features such as N key rollover and clicky mechanical switches.
A gaming laptop with an RGB keyboard provides a more immersive gaming experience. Image Source: Amazon.  

What Is a Gaming Laptop?

A gaming laptop is a compact and portable personal computer with a built-in screen that is designed for gaming on the go or in places where you don't have access to a desk. They are, at their heart, the same as regular or business laptops but with several enhanced features that make all the difference and allow users to play games.

A gaming laptop differs from a regular laptop because of dedicated graphics cards, high-speed CPUs, and sophisticated cooling techniques. Screen size and refresh rate, performance speeds, memory capacity, graphics performance, and processing power differentiate gaming laptops from normal laptops.

Gaming laptops have larger screens with higher screen refresh rates for smoother gameplay. They also have substantial memory capacity, high-performance speeds, and significant processing power, to ensure a smooth and lag-free gaming experience. Perhaps the most important component of your gaming laptop is the graphics card. It enables the use of higher graphics settings and additional visual effects in games. This video from TechQuickie explains the key differences between a regular laptop graphics card and a gaming laptop GPU.

A gaming laptop is usually equipped with features, including a built-in screen and gaming keyboard, that allow for smoother gameplay.
Gaming laptops have a built-in screen and keyboard with powerful components you can’t find in regular laptops. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of Laptops with Gaming Keyboards

Laptop Name Gaming Keyboard Type Price
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop (2020) Membrane Keyboard ~$2,380
MSI GS75 Stealth Gaming Laptop Membrane Keyboard ~$1,650
ROG Zephyrus M Thin and Portable Gaming Laptop Membrane Keyboard ~$2,185
Asus Rog Strix Scar 15 (2021) Gaming Laptop Mechanical Keyboard ~$2,260
Razer Blade Pro 17 Gaming Laptop (2020) Mechanical Keyboard ~$3,090

Tips To Choose a Good Laptop With a Gaming Keyboard

While all gaming laptops come with keyboards, some of them may not be considered gaming keyboards. Most high-end laptops include gaming keyboards, while budget gaming laptops might have keyboards with fewer gaming features. These gaming keyboards allow you to work normally and also play games efficiently.

To choose a good laptop with a gaming keyboard, look for one with a mechanical keyboard that has RGB lighting, and macro keys that allow users to perform various commands without taking their eyes off the screen. 

These handy tips will help you to choose a laptop with a gaming keyboard:

Tip 1. Look For a Gaming Laptop With Customizable Per-Key RGB Lighting and a Lightstrip For Ultimate Gamer Aesthetics 

Customizable RGB lights are a completely aesthetic feature on gaming laptops, as are light strips. They don’t exactly improve gaming efficiently but they do look good. Unlike standard RGB lighting, per-key RGB lighting enables the unique customization of each key on your gaming laptop. It provides a truly personalized appearance, and feel, that aligns your gaming laptop with your preferences.

Light strips like these are a great way to add ambiance to your gaming setup. It usually goes around the base of a gaming laptop. Sometimes, it could also go around the keyboard and the mouse pad. You could also buy a mouse pad with a light strip border like this

A laptop with a gaming keyboard that has RGB lighting allows for gaming and use in low-light conditions.
You can use per-key RGB to see individual keys on your keyboard better in dark conditions. Image Source: AORUS.

Tip 2. Find a Gaming Laptop With a Mechanical Keyboard if Keystroke Sensation and “Clickiness” Is Important to You

Mechanical keyboards were formerly exclusive to desktop gaming rigs and were not available on laptops. However, with the rapid growth of technology in recent years, things have changed considerably, and you can now get a decent gaming laptop that is also fitted with a mechanical keyboard like this one

Mechanical switches, as opposed to traditional membrane keypads, provide a smoother keypress, more precise actuation, greater response, and tactile feedback. They also provide a clicky sensation that is satisfying to some users. Our article comparing mechanical keyboards and membrane keyboards explains the key differences and how they affect the overall gaming experience. 

The features of mechanical keyboards enable optimal gaming while using a laptop.
Mechanical keyboards are very important for anti-ghosting technology and n-key rollover. Image Source: TechSpot.

Tip 3. Look For a Keyboard With Key Actuation That Provides Resistance Without Being Uncomfortable

The definition of a perfect keyboard that provides the right amount of key resistance is different for everybody. Some users prefer to put a significant amount of force on each key before it is actuated, and others use keyboards that actuate when you barely touch the keys, and that’s how they prefer it. It’s essential to find a good gaming laptop with a keyboard that is perfect for you. Researching your desired laptop before purchasing it will help in this regard.

If you spend long periods gaming on your laptop, you may be putting yourself at risk of injury. As this article from the International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors explains, using a keyboard that puts your hands and wrists in an unnatural position can lead to persistent discomfort, even in your back and neck. It wouldn’t do you any good if you had the best keyboard in the world, but experienced chronic pain and discomfort when using it. A laptop stand with various height adjustments like this one can be helpful to alleviate neck strain when using a laptop for long hours.

A laptop that will be used for gaming should be comfortable enough to use for many hours at a time.
You should invest in a gaming laptop that has exceptional ergonomics to provide maximum comfort. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 4. Choose a Gaming Laptop With Macro Keys for More Efficient Gaming

Having macro keys allows you to perform repetitive actions quickly and easily in video games. This feature is essential for many gamers and should be present in a good gaming laptop. The option of multiple buttons on the gaming laptop allows you to perform different actions without taking your eyes away from the screen. Our gaming keyboard recommendations guide explains what features are essential when selecting a gaming keyboard. 

Gaming laptops with macros provide more customization options and leave room for more keys to be available for new keybindings. Users can also construct macros to access specific key sequences to boost functionality.

This article by HP mentions that macro keys take care of repeated actions, allowing players to concentrate on other areas of the game. There are various types of macro keys such as dedicated, game-specific, and custom macro keys. Depending on your needs, you can go for a laptop that has the type that you want.

Macro keys of a laptop allow for programming to perform special complicated commands without having to press too many keys on a keyboard while gaming.
You should invest in a gaming laptop that has exceptional ergonomics to provide maximum comfort. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 5. Purchase a Gaming Laptop With a Keyboard That Has Anti-Ghosting and N-Key Rollover Tech To Keep You Performing at Your Best

N-key rollover can turn out to be very helpful in gaming. If the system only recognizes part of your keystrokes, your performance will decrease. N-key rollover is also quite handy for people who type quickly enough to push two keys almost simultaneously. This function is available on many gaming laptops with mechanical keyboards, so read the product description before purchasing.

Ghosting is an uncommon condition that indicates a significant design defect in modern keyboards. Inspect the keyboard to confirm that it has anti-ghosting technology. Use an online keyboard tester to check the availability of anti-ghosting technology on the keyboard. If your keyboard happens to be showing ghosting effects or freezing keys even though it has n-key rollover and anti-ghosting tech, then the keyboard is most likely damaged. You can check out our article on how to unfreeze a laptop keyboard.

The keyboard of your gaming laptop will need to have n-key rollover and anti-ghosting technology for optimal gaming.
With n-key rollover and anti-ghosting technology, you can hold down multiple keys without getting unregistered input. Image Source: Amazon.

Make sure to also take a look at our tips for choosing an external vs. laptop keyboard and how to choose the right one for you.

Should I Look For a Gaming Laptop With a Mechanical Keyboard?

Gaming laptops with mechanical keyboards are ideal for gaming since they give the most satisfactory gaming experience and are pretty popular among gamers. Most gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because they are more tactile, robust, and speedier.

Look for a gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard for smoother keystrokes and more accurate actuation from the keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are more responsive and offer the tactile feel that many gamers prefer. 

It is well known that mechanical keyboards like these are already popular with gamers. Anybody spending time on a gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard will have an improved experience. They sound different and are easier to press than gaming laptops without them.

These tips will help you to find a gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard:

Tip 1. Choose a Laptop With a Mechanical Keyboard If You Enjoy Smoother Keypresses

If enjoying smooth and satisfying keystrokes is what you want, you should go for a laptop with a mechanical keyboard like this. This is especially fitting if you spend most of your time gaming for hours on end. The keycaps should also have a quality feel, and the tactile sensation should be consistent across the keyboard.

Apart from the comfort of these smooth key presses, you will be able to access keys more efficiently and faster. If you’re using the laptop for work, you can type much more comfortably and quickly. You should assess the mechanical keyboard on the laptop before buying it to determine that it feels comfortable for you.

Tip 2. Mechanical Keyboards Offer Better Responsiveness

On mechanical keyboards, each plastic keycap conceals an actual switch like these, that moves up and down. It can be actuated not just when you fully press the key but also when you press it halfway down. As a result, this provides better responsiveness on these keyboards. It can be beneficial when playing fast-paced games like competitive multiplayer shooter games, where every millisecond counts.

However, no conclusive evidence exists that a mechanical keyboard will always make you hit the keys faster and with better responsiveness. The additional benefits of utilizing a mechanical keyboard can give you a speed advantage over a standard keyboard. Our article about keyboard witches for mechanical keyboards looks at the 10 best switches and explains each type's pros and cons. 

Tip 3. For More Accurate Actuation, Look for a Laptop With a Mechanical Keyboard

A mechanical keyboard is often more pleasant to type on because the keys are more responsive to your fingertips, allowing for more accuracy. A gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard also reduces the likelihood of users making errors or pressing the wrong keys. It can significantly increase productivity levels for gamers and those who type a lot.

Also, the presence of anti-ghosting technology and N-key rollover makes mechanical keyboards more accurate as ghosting could prevent the system from registering several keys that you may have pressed simultaneously. 

The keys of a mechanical keyboard on a gaming laptop may be smaller making it important that you take care when pressing certain keys or key combinations.
The keys on the mechanical keyboard of a laptop are miniature and minimalized compared to an external mechanical keyboard so keystroke accuracy is important. Image Source: Amazon.</em

Tip 4. Mechanical Keyboards Give Better Tactile Feedback

As highlighted in this article by Wirecutter, every stroke of the keys on a well-made keyboard should register an action, as each key push provides your ideal tactile feedback. This shows how important it is to have a keyboard that relays a satisfying sensation when you use it.

The tactile keys of the mechanical keyboard on a gaming laptop give off a clicky sensation which many people find satisfying. If you happen to be one of these people, then you should consider getting a laptop that a mechanical keyboard built into it. It’s also useful to know that these keys can easily be switched to ones that you feel are better suited to your gaming style.

Each key pressed on the keyboard of a gaming laptop should register accurately for enjoyable and optimal gaming.
Using a keyboard should provide a satisfying experience as your fingers push down each key. Image Source: Das Keyboard.

Reasons to Purchase a Gaming Laptop With a Detachable Keyboard

Laptops with detachable keyboards have become more popular recently. You can be holding a tablet for one second, then attach a keyboard and have a full laptop that doesn't skimp on power. Besides being convenient, there's something liberating about efficiently switching between tablet and laptop. Most times, the screen of these gaming laptops with detachable keyboards may be touch-sensitive, while others may not. 

Choose a gaming laptop with a detachable keyboard if portability is important. A laptop with a detachable keyboard offers users versatility for gaming, work, hobbies, and professional presentations. 

Although not targeted initially at gaming, some laptops with detachable keyboards do an excellent job of both work and gaming tasks. So if you want a portable laptop and tablet that can also be used for gaming, then buying a laptop with a detachable keyboard like this will set you up nicely. What you'll use it for is one of the most crucial elements to consider when shopping for a device that can function as both a laptop and a tablet as this will determine what features you will need.

The following reasons to purchase a gaming laptop with a detachable keyboard could apply to you: 

Reason 1. Buy a Gaming Laptop With a Detachable Keyboard if Portability Is Important to You.

While it is possible to carry non-detachable gaming laptops like this around, it may be quite burdensome. This will be especially true when one travels and has to pack for the trip. Because of their small size, gaming laptops with detachable keyboards like this are highly portable.

They are readily transported from one location to another in a carrying bag or backpack. This makes them such a handy gadget to have with you when moving around. You can even leave the detached keyboard behind if you won’t need it on your trip. If this portability option sounds like a great deal to you, you should consider getting a gaming laptop with a detachable keyboard.

Using a laptop with a detachable keyboard, which is very portable, will be handy for use when traveling.
The portability of laptops with detachable keyboards allows them to easily be carried from place to place in a carrying bag. Image Source: ZDNET.

Reason 2. Try a Gaming Laptop With a Detachable Keyboard if You Want a Versatile Device That Is Good for Gaming, Work, and Hobbies

Even though a gaming laptop has the “gaming” suffix, it is often used for many other purposes apart from gaming. A gaming laptop with a detachable keyboard like this can provide way better versatility for work and play than a normal gaming laptop would. You can play games and code if you’re a programmer while the keyboard is attached. Then present a project to an audience with the keyboard detached and the screen standing on its own. 

You can even watch movies with the detached screen; if the screen is small enough, you can hold it while watching your movies like you would on a mobile tablet. If this freedom of flexibility is a must-have for you, you should consider a gaming laptop with a detachable keyboard.

A laptop with a detachable keyboard can be used for many tasks and activities and many different ways.
Laptops with detachable keyboards provide a certain level of flexibility with the different ways you can use the system. Image Source: Amazon.

Reason 3. Buy a Gaming Laptop With a Detachable Keyboard for Aesthetics and if You Want Something Flashy and Modern.

If you want your laptop to turn heads when you use it in public, you should probably get one with a detachable keyboard. Laptops can look great by design. They can be sleek, curvy, or edgy, and depending on your taste, they can really be a personality-defining accessory. Laptops should be the centerpiece and attract eyes with their beautiful looks and design.

The futuristic look of gaming laptops with their detachable keyboards can make you stand out. If you aim to impress, then you should look no further than these types of laptops. 

Summary of Gaming Laptops With a Detachable Keyboard

Gaming Laptop Name Keyboard Type Price
Asus Rog Flow Z13 (2022) Gaming Laptop Membrane Keyboard ~$1,600
Asus Rog Flow X13 GV301QE Gaming Laptop Membrane Keyboard ~$1,530
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Membrane Keyboard ~$2,400
Msi Summit E16 Flip Membrane Keyboard ~$1,735

Make sure to also take a look at our tips for choosing the best keyboard for gaming. Our related article is full of helpful tips and tricks.

Can You Use a Gaming Keyboard With a Laptop?

For people who often play video games on their laptops, it is common for them to wonder if it is ideal to use the laptop keyboard for gaming. One major concern about gaming on your laptop keyboard is how it impacts its lifespan. Other issues include how much gaming you do on your laptop keyboard and how it impacts your ergonomics, response times, and overall gaming performance. 

A gaming keyboard can be used with a laptop. Attach an external gaming keyboard to a laptop to improve comfort and performance. Gaming keyboards are typically larger than laptop keyboards, so use one for keystroke accuracy when playing games.

A standard laptop keyboard is delicate, making it less than ideal for gaming. If you intend to play games on your laptop frequently, it is worthwhile to get an external keyboard. An external keyboard provides more possibilities and is much easier to replace in the event of damage than a laptop keyboard. If you are getting an external gaming keyboard then you will also need a gaming mouse so consider a combo like this

Check out our article on the five best high-end gaming mice to buy for handy tips when looking at gaming mice.

When opting for an external gaming keyboard to use with your laptop, consider a keyboard and mouse combo.
A gaming keyboard and mouse combo are great for use with a gaming laptop. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of External Keyboards For a Gaming Laptop

Gaming Keyboard Why is it good for gaming laptops Price
SteelSeries Apex 3 Rgb Gaming Keyboard with Magnetic Wrist Rest Provides comfort while gaming for long hours ~$50
Corsair K55 Rgb Gaming Keyboard Has features like programmable keys ~$50
Corsair K100 Rgb Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Protects your laptop keyboard from aggressive and extensive use while gaming ~$205

Reasons To Use an External Gaming Keyboard With a Laptop for Gaming

When it comes to gaming keyboards, there are two options: built-in laptop keyboards and external keyboards. A built-in laptop keyboard is one that is incorporated into the laptop itself. An external keyboard is one that is not built into a laptop and must be connected through a cable or wireless connection. 

Use an external keyboard with a laptop for gaming to protect the laptop from aggressive use or to enjoy features like programmable keys when gaming with a laptop.

Our article on the ten best wireless mechanical keyboards lists the most popular keyboards and their features. 

Here are some good reasons for you to use an external gaming keyboard with your laptop for gaming:

Reason 1. To Protect Your Laptop Keyboard From Aggressive and Extensive Use While Gaming 

Most laptop keyboards are unsuitable for gaming because they feature fragile membrane keyboards. They are not designed to endure the pressures of gaming, such as occasional or frequent severe key pressing.

Normal laptop keyboards, like this one, are intended for light operations such as typing and scrolling that do not need frequent or repetitive key presses. When standard laptop keyboards are used for gaming, the risk of premature wear increases. An external keyboard like this can easily be replaced while a laptop keyboard replacement will be very expensive. 

External keyboards are ideal for gaming since they are specifically engineered to withstand the abuse that typical gamers dish out. They are not readily destroyed by heavy gaming because they are specifically designed for that purpose. It also protects the body of your gaming laptop from aggressive button smashing.

Use an external gaming keyboard to save your laptop from premature wear and damage.
In order to protect your laptop from the harsh conditions of gaming, you should use an external keyboard. Source: Great Lakes Computer.

Reason 2. To Stay Comfortable While Gaming for Long Hours, Purchase an External Gaming Keyboard

If the keyboard that came with your laptop isn't as comfortable as you'd like, or if you want to improve ergonomics and performance, you should consider purchasing a gaming keyboard. When used in conjunction with a mouse, an external keyboard allows you to sit further away from the screen, eliminating the need to slouch during lengthy gaming sessions.

Slouching can be bad for your posture, especially if you play for long periods of time without taking breaks, which is common in professional gaming. You may easily recline back in your gaming chair, relax your back, and make full use of your peripheral vision. Many users have found one-handed keyboards like this to be the go-to ergonomic keyboards for gaming. To read more on the eight best one-handed keyboards to buy, check out our article.

Using an external gaming keyboard can help you to have a better posture when gaming using your laptop.
Having to hunch over your laptop keyboard can cause aches and pains for you in the long run. Source: Freepik.

Reason 3. To Enjoy Features Like Programmable Keys While Using Your Laptop for Gaming, Try an External Gaming Keyboard

It’s quite unlikely to find a laptop keyboard that comes fully equipped with programmable keys. Programming certain keys is a terrific feature available with some external keyboards. You may use this to allocate commands and shortcuts to certain keys. If you often use a key combination, you may save it to a programmable key. It makes it simple and quick to issue complicated key commands by pressing a single button in the middle of a game. You may also rearrange the controls of individual games to make them more efficient, increasing your competitiveness.

Some keyboards come with even more sophisticated programmable keys that come with their own software. You can use this software to customize what the keys activate in the windows environment if you’d like to use them there. 

Our article about that lists E-gaming keyboard shortcuts provides some of the most popular shortcut combinations used for gaming and some are even used for everyday computer tasks. 

A gaming keyboard will have programmable keys that allow you to conveniently program a particular key to represent complicated multi-key commands while gaming.
Programmable keys allow you to save key combinations and give you quick access to them while you're gaming. Source: PC HUB.

Reason 4. Start Gaming With the Laptop You Already Have By Purchasing an External Gaming Keyboard 

You may already have a laptop that you’ve owned for some time. It might be a laptop that was not marketed as a gaming laptop but you still use it to play some games. If that is the case, you may want to get an external gaming keyboard to be able to utilize the extra features your laptop keyboard doesn’t offer.

You might even be using a gaming laptop for work but want to start using it for gaming. There are several types of keyboards you can get for gaming. If you would want to get an external keyboard that is easy on your pocket and is compatible with your gaming laptop, then take a look at our article that discusses the six best gaming keyboards under $30

By purchasing an affordable gaming keyboard you can convert your trusted laptop into your new gaming tool.
Use an external keyboard if the only problem you have with your current laptop is its keyboard. Image Source: Keyboard Kings.


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