Many modern keyboards have moved from the membrane to rubber dome technology for better key resistance and tactility. The collapsible domes mimic the feel of mechanical switches without adding to the high price tag. A high-quality rubber dome keyboard can enhance your performance during typing, gaming, and other computer-related tasks.
Some of the best rubber dome keyboards currently available in the market are:
- SteelSeries Apex 3 – Best Overall Rubber Dome Keyboard (Full Size)
- Realforce R2 PFU Limited Edition – Best Hybrid Rubber Dome Keyboard
- Razer Cynosa V2 – Best Value for Money
- Corsair K55 RGB – Best Budget-Friendly Rubber Dome Keyboard (Full Size)
Rubber dome keyboards are quiet, unlike mechanical units, and they can be tactile or mushy, depending on the models. Along with using a couple of keycap mounting methods, these units also use various contact sheets including a dome membrane, a printed circuit board (PCB), or capacitive switching. Let’s find out which keyboards are ruling the rubber dome world.
SteelSeries Apex 3 – Best Overall Rubber Dome Keyboard (Full Size)
- Reprogrammable keys
- Whisper Quiet switches
- Decent typing and gaming experience
- Strong build
- Some water-resistance (IP32)
- No USB passthrough
- Weak RGB lighting
Apex 3 is arguably the best keyboard out there that feels like a mechanical keyboard without being mechanical. At this price, it’s almost impossible to find a keyboard with Whisper Quiet keys that are both tactile and silent. A strong build and solid plastic keys guarantee years of rough use. There is a magnetic wrist resting pad for the correct postures of your hands and wrists.
This is a full-size keyboard that has reprogrammable keys. Sadly, the 10-zone RGB lighting offers limited customization and weak light effects. It’s more like a glow around the keys, making it hard to see them in the dark. It lacks USB passthrough ports too. However, these are not a deal-breaker if you consider other features and the price point.
Apex 3 is a highly functional keyboard with a user-friendly interface. Moreover, it comes with an IP32 rating, which means it can survive slightly moisture environments.
Typing on this keyboard feels close to doing the task on a mechanical keyboard. If you are a fan of tactile feedback when pressing on a key, buy this product without giving a second thought.
The Whisper-Quiet switches are capable of 20 million keystrokes. A high actuation point is great for maintaining typing accuracy. A longer pre-travel distance reduces the chance of registering incorrect keystrokes. They don’t create any clicking sound and don’t wobble to create an uncomfortable feeling while typing. The keys still feel a little mushy, which you can’t avoid in a rubber dome keyboard.
Despite the inability of rubber dome keys in delivering pinpoint accuracy and razor-sharp execution in games, Apex 3’s gaming performance is decent. The soft ABS plastic keys are comfortable to press on apart from being highly responsive. By programming the macro keys, you can use the keyboard for playing various types of games — from Valorant to Fortnite and Age of Empires.
One problem is the absence of a ‘Game Mode’, which prevents minimizing the window by accident. Also, it does not have tons of extra features although a volume knob and multimedia key offer shortcuts for various commands.
You can buy the SteelSeries Apex 3 here.
Realforce R2 PFU Limited Edition – Best Hybrid Rubber Dome Keyboard
- Attractive look
- Ergonomic key design
- Good facility
- N-key rollover
- Actuation point adjustment
- Almost quiet keystrokes
- Non-detachable cable connection
Yes, the steep price tag stings. But consider this keyboard as a lifetime investment if you are actually looking forward to a rubber dome model. The impressive Japanese build quality meets Topre’s capacitive key switches, which can last up to 50 million keystrokes.
The sculpted keys are designed in an ergonomic way to eliminate physical discomfort during long typing and gaming sessions. Plus, the dye sublimation on the keycaps keeps them looking new even after years of use.
With solid switches and an industrial build, the keyboard can survive an intense working environment for a long time.
One highlighted feature of this keyboard is the 45g Topre switches, which provide the best tactility when typing. In fact, the experience is better than typing on Blue Alps and Zilnet switches. Topre keys are so solid and the actuation is so on point that the chance of making typos reduces dramatically.
Only a gentle press is enough to register a keystroke. Such responsiveness is great for accuracy in typing and gaming. Also, you can increase the typing speed by around 25% by adjusting the actuation point of the switches. The NKRO (N-key rollover) also helps with quick typing without missing out on recording a keystroke.
Despite having solid, strong keys, the keyboard does not make much sound when typing, thanks to the inbuilt silencing pad. You can completely eliminate the keystroke sound by wearing headphones.
Razer Cynosa V2 – Best Value for Money
- Keys are responsive and tactile
- N-key rollover
- Three-way cable routing
- Customizable backlighting
- Reasonable price
- No USB passthrough
- Bulky, plain design
- No wrist pad
A feature-packed keyboard that provides nice performance for office work and casual gaming. The backlight with 11 preset lights and a customizable option Synapse software makes the unit just perfect.
Despite lacking a wrist pad, the ergonomic of Cynosa V2 is quite strong. The ABS plastic keycaps that last up to 80 million clicks don’t feel rough and two incline settings allow you to use it at a convenient height and angle.
Given the cost efficiency, it makes sense that there is no USB passthrough. But you won’t be too disappointed since there are three-way cable routing and dedicated media keys. A spill-resistant construction protects against accidental liquid spills.
The Cynosa V2 is pretty good for gaming and typing despite having somewhat slippery keycaps. Tactile feedback is there but the switches still feel a little mushy. At first, the keys may feel too stiff but they break in after a while. There is no way you will feel tired even after typing for long periods.
Also, the keyboard is completely fine for official settings because the keystrokes are nearly silent. You can also use it at home without disturbing others.
Despite not being mechanical, the Razer Cynosa V2 provides a superior gaming performance. The switches are highly responsive and keystrokes are precisely recorded because of the N-key rollover option. These features are important for keeping up with the pace in action and first-person shooter games.
Another plus point is the fully programmable macro keys. Macro gamers will absolutely love that all the keys are eligible for remapping and assigning different functions. This will help with keeping all the command functions close to your reach and executing complex commands with the flick of a switch.
You can buy the Razer Cynosa V2 here.
Corsair K55 RGB – Best Budget-Friendly Rubber Dome Keyboard (Full Size)
- 8-key rollover
- Quiet keystrokes
- Wrist pad
- Decent for gaming
- Zone type backlighting
- No backlight for media keys
- No USB passthrough
The Corsair K55 RGB is a full-size pocket-friendly keyboard that might not be the best for typing but offers decent performance for gaming and programming. There are fully-programmable 6 macro keys for the users to customize as they like. The stable keys won’t give up even if you are addicted to fast-paced games.
The RGB backlighting is divided into three zones instead of per-key lighting available in high-end models. However, the colorful diffuse glow is enough to illuminate the upper surface, making it easier to operate in dark. Unfortunately, there is no backlighting for the media keys.
No USB passthrough is a setback and limited N-key rollover could be annoying to many users. However, these are minor disadvantages that you can overlook considering such a reasonable price for a full-size keyboard.
The Corsair K55 RGB offers softer keypress with almost silent strokes. However, they are nowhere near mushy. You will feel enough resistance; far better than cheap membrane keyboards.
The key responses and precision are adequate for enjoying popular games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty. You can keep up with the pacing of action-packed and shooting games without any issue. The concave surface and metal support underneath the switches eliminate wobble, which further helps with a better gaming experience.
Macro-using gamers will be delighted because the six macros are great for key remapping, providing the upper hand in certain types of games. Setting them up is quite easy and the reassigned functions work flawlessly.
The keyboard is just alright for official use because the soft keys have a big pre-travel distance and high actuation force. Pressing the keys could get tiresome after a while.
Fortunately, the ergonomics are good with a wrist pad. Adequate distance between the keys reduces typos and an 8-key rollover increases the typing speed. Also, the keystrokes are quiet, suitable for any formal setting.
You can buy the Corsair K55 RGB here.