Choosing the best keyboard can help you be more productive with everyday school or office work. In order to sort out the best keyboards for programming, the best keyboard for writers, and the best keyboard for music, we focused on design, wired vs. wireless connectivity, keyboard feel, and battery life. We also explored complementary features such as backlights and programmable hotkeys to access frequently used applications and perform certain functions.
Our top pick, the Logitech K400 Plus Wireless Keyboard is easy to use and features a built-in touchpad and a 10-meter wireless range, making it a great choice to command a variety of smart home devices, Android/Windows tablets and Chromebooks. And, when you’re ready to upgrade to a new unit, check out our best motherboard that we recommend.
Top 7 Keyboards
#1 Logitech K400 Plus Wireless Touch TV Keyboard
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Easy to set up and compatible with a wide range of home devices, this multifunctional keyboard has a built-in touchpad, a great tactile response and customizable function keys.
- Best wireless
- Works with Linux, Windows, Android or Chrome OS
- USB port included
- Not iOS or Mac OS
- Not backlit
This multifunction keyboard is one of the best smart TV and home device keyboards in its class thanks to a simple set up and built-in trackpad for convenience. It also has good wireless connectivity and a USB port to connect it to a PC or smart television. It’s a great keyboard for gaming and work as one of the best keyboards for programming Raspberry PI devices too. Read our guide on the best CPU fans to keep your computer temperature cool.
While it doesn’t have backlit keys or offer Bluetooth as some other wireless keyboards do, it has fully customizable F-keys and offers broad compatibility with Linux, Windows 7 and up, and Chrome operating systems. This keyboard’s ease of use definitely puts it in the running for the best smart TV keyboard.
#2 Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: The high quality look and feel of the original Apple Magic Keyboard with the convenience of a full 10-key numeric keypad, plus easy Bluetooth connectivity.
Read Full Review: Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad Review
- Best for Mac
- Scissor mechanism keys
- Best keyboard for iPad and Mac
- More expensive than 3rd party iOS keyboards
- Lacks flip up legs
This Apple Magic keyboard has the look and feel of the original but adds upgraded key press mechanisms and a full numeric keypad. The latter is a great addition for work productivity, making this our pick as the best keyboard for writers and for business and finance applications on a Mac or iOS device.
The best keyboard for iPads and iPhones, this Apple keyboard has Bluetooth and a lightning cable, so you can use it wirelessly or as a wired keyboard with any Mac that has a USB port or any newer Mac using a USB- USB-C dongle. If you want a keyboard for your iPad mini, check this list of 11 of the bed iPad mini keyboards.
#3 Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard
Award: BEST GAMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This gaming keyboard features opto-mechanical switches promising unmatched clicking speed, plus a plush wrist rest and dedicated media keys (and colored LED lighting).
- Fastest key mechanism in its class
- Scissor mechanism keys
- RGB Backlit
- Takes up more space than some keyboards
- PC only
A popular choice among gamers, eSports aficionados and twitch streamers looking for the best keyboard for gaming, the Huntsman Elite has ultra fast and precise keys thanks to its optical-mechanical mechanism, which claims to preserve satisfying click feedback while shortening the keys’ travel distance to 1.5mm and increasing actuation speed. This combination of quality and speed makes it our pick as the best keyboard for WOW and other intensive gaming applications.
It also comes with programmable macro keys and a plush, leatherette magnetic wrist rest to help ward off carpal tunnel. Chroma RGB under lighting is standard and the keyboard comes with a 2-year warranty and claimed 100 million click lifespan.
#4 Redragon S101 Wired Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo
Award: BEST COMBO
WHY WE LIKE IT: A solid choice for the best keyboard and mouse combo in terms of value for the money, this wired keyboard is fully backlit and ergonomically designed, plus features a six-button mouse.
Read Full Review: Redragon S101 Review
- Included Mouse & spash proof
- 12 multimedia keys and full numeric keypad
- Keyboard with mouse
- USB connection only, not wireless
- No integrated wrist rest
This splash proof, backlit keyboard and mouse combo is a great value for gamers and students as well. It features precise keys with good feedback, a full array of programmable function keys and 12 multimedia keys. It also comes with a 6-button gaming mouse that has some nice specs like teflon feet and an 8-piece weight tuning set for precise, customizable tracking.
The connection is via an included 5’ long USB cable, and while there’s no wireless, the cable is long and durable enough. It works with Windows 10, 8,7 and Vista, and has basic keyboard functionality with Mac OS, as well. Did we mention this a great gaming keyboard as well? If style is important to your setup, take a look at the best backlit keyboard.
#5 AmazonBasics WirelessUSB Wired Computer Keyboard and Wired Mouse
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: A completely wireless keyboard at a bargain price with a built-in trackpad, making it a great choice for home theaters or road warriors.
Read Full Review: AmazonBasics Keyboard and Mouse Combo
- Built-in trackpad & wireless
- Low profile keys
- Includes three-button optical mouse
- Windows specific
- Lacks wireless or mobile function
This wireless keyboard is one of the best you can buy at this price point with a built-in trackpad. It offers easy set up, low profile keys and customizable hot keys for media and shortcuts.
A great keyboard for office use and programming, this keyboard works with any Windows 10, 8,7, Vista, XP or 2000 applications. And it includes a built-in trackpad, so it’s ideal for use from your couch or if you hit the road often and can’t stand your laptop’s keyboard. With a keyboard this nice, you’ll definitely want the best keyboard stand too.
#6 Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard
Award: BEST DURABLE RESISTANT
WHY WE LIKE IT: This well designed keyboard for gaming features an integrated palm wrest and is IP42 rated making it dust and splash resistant.
Read Full Review: Corsair K55 RGB Review
- Dust/Splash Resistant & dynamic RGB backlighting
- Detachable rubber wrist rest
- Dust and Splash resistant
- Some prefer mechanical to membrane keyboards
- Not very compact
This full size keyboard is a good value considering its IP42-rated dust and splash resistance plus attractive key font and dynamic RGB lighting. You can also set it to be one color backlighting or turn off the backlighting as well. If splash resistance is a priority you may find this the best keyboard for gaming in its price range.
It’s compatible with most recent Windows machines and connects via an included USB cable. Despite its low cost, it’s rated highly for durability. It is a membrane keyboard, and while this can be an advantage for those looking for a quiet keyboard for programming or work, dedicated gamers often prefer the feel of mechanical keyboards and its associated “clicks”.
#7 HP Wireless Elite Keyboard v2
Award: BEST FULL SIZED WIRELESS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This slim, full size wireless PC keyboard has foldable feet for comfortable typing, plus low profile keys,fast access hot keys and a full numeric keypad.
Read Full Review: HP Wireless Elite Keyboard v2 Review
- 2.4 GHz wireless works from up to 30ft
- Standalone design
- Integrated battery life indicator
- Not splash resistant
- Doesn’t come with mouse
- Windows only
This keyboard is great for writers working from home or those needing to control multiple devices; it uses HP’s 5-link wireless and has a 2.4GHz signal that allows it to work up to 30 feet away. A full size wireless keyboard, it has a full number pad and easy to use hot keys.
While it’s not splash resistant and lacks some of the features of high end wireless keyboards, it does come with four settings for height adjustment, which helps ease wrist strain, making it a real contender for the best keyboard for writers using a windows PC or laptop. However, it doesn’t have a built-in trackpad. Which is why our top pick is, well, our top pick and best wireless keyboard on the list. If you’re just looking for a keyboard to go with your iPad, take a look at the 6 best iPad covers with keyboards.
Beginner’s Guide To Keyboards
Though we often associate them with computers, a keyboard is one of the most basic components of any electronic device today. Even our smartphones have them. While there are many different types of keyboards, most of them have several things in common, such as a QWERTY layout.
What Exactly Are Computer Keyboards?
In a nutshell, a computer keyboard is an input device that is used to enter text, numbers, and other commands into a computer. A keyboard typically has around 80 to 110 keys. The most common layout for computer keyboards is called QWERTY, which gets its name from the first six letters in the top row of keys, though there are other layouts, such as AZERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak. Many models have a 10-key number pad separate from the main keyboard, and they are available in multiple languages, with different characters and symbols.
- What Exactly Are Mechanical Keyboards? A mechanical keyboard is a keyboard that uses physical switches to register key presses. Mechanical keyboards are often preferred by gamers and people who type a lot, as they offer a more satisfying typing experience than regular membrane keyboards.
- What Exactly Is A Membrane Keyboard? A membrane keyboard is a keyboard that uses rubber or silicone membranes to register key presses. Membrane keyboards are less expensive than mechanical keyboards, but they don’t usually offer the same level of typing quality.
Learn How A Keyboard Functions
There are many different types of keyboards from wired to wireless and it’s important to know how each keyboard functions so you can connect it properly. To learn how wireless keyboards function, you can read the instruction manual or search the internet for tips.
STAT: The keyboard market is expected to keep growing as computers become ever more a part of our lives. For the foreseeable future, the expected growth year over year is 1.61%. (source)
What’s The Usual Key Count On Keyboards??
The usual count on a keyboard is around 80 to 110 keys. This number fluctuates based on the model and brand of keyboard. Some keyboards have more keys to provide additional functions such as media control or internet browsing.
QWERTY: What Is It?
The QWERTY layout is the most common keyboard layout. It gets its name from the first six letters in the top row of keys. The QWERTY layout was designed for early typewriters and has remained the standard layout for keyboards.
STAT: China leads the world in revenue generated by keyboard sales, and given its enormous population, is expected to remain there for some time .(source)
What Makes Keyboards Feel Different?
There are multiple factors that affect how a keyboard feels. The type of switches, the material of the keys, and the overall build quality all play a role in the feel of a keyboard. Some people prefer mechanical keyboards because they have a more solid feel and make less noise. Others prefer membrane keyboards because they are quieter and have a softer feel. To figure out what you prefer, you need to know which keyboard switches are the quietest, which keyboard switches are the loudest, and what are scissor switches on keyboards.
How Long Should You Expect A Keyboard To Last? Generally speaking, you can expect keyboards to last around five years if they’re membrane keyboards and ten years or longer if they’re mechanical. Longevity is directly linked to how well you care for the keyboard, and how hard you hit your keys when you type, so take care!
Choosing A Keyboard
When choosing a keyboard, there are several factors you should consider. The type of keys, the size and layout of the keyboard, the backlighting, and the price all play a role in choosing the right keyboard for you.
Step 1. What Are You Using Your Keyboard For?
Should you get a mechanical keyboard for programming? The answer is maybe, but it depends on what you are using your keyboard for. If you’re primarily using your keyboard for programming, then a mechanical keyboard can be a good choice because the keys are more durable and have a better feel. However, if you’re also using your keyboard for gaming or general use, the answer to should you get a mechanical keyboard for gaming is no. A membrane keyboard might be a better choice because it’s quieter and less expensive.
Step 2. Should You Get A Wired Or Wireless Keyboard?
Comparing wireless and Bluetooth keyboards is a matter of personal preference so only you can decide if you should get a wired or wireless keyboard. If you want to be able to move your keyboard around without being tethered to your computer, then a wireless keyboard is the way to go. If you don’t mind being tethered, or you want to save money, then a wired keyboard is a good choice.
Step 3. What Size Keyboard Do You Want?
Keyboards come in a variety of sizes. The most common size is full-size, which has a numeric keypad and a full set of keys. If you don’t need a numeric keypad, or you want a smaller keyboard that’s easier to carry around, then you might want to try comparing tenkeyless and 75% size keyboards or comparing tenkeyless and 60% size keyboards. If you want an even smaller keyboard, comparing 60% and 65% size keyboards may help.
There are four common keyboard layouts: QWERTY, QWERTZ, ANSI, ISO, and AZERTY. Most people in the United States are familiar with the QWERTY layout but comparing AZERTY and QWERTY keyboard layouts or comparing QWERTZ and QWERTY keyboard layouts can be quite eye-opening. Comparing ANSI and ISO keyboards will give you better insight into where you prefer the positioning and the shape of keys like SHIFT and ENTER. Which keyboard layout suits your needs depends on what you want.
Step 5. What Kind Of Keyboard Have You Used Before?
Most laptops have scissor-switch keyboards with shorter key travel, making them faster to type on. Desktops use mechanical keyboards with longer key travel, but feel more responsive. Optical keyboards are used on mobile devices. Comparing linear and tactile keyboard switches as well as comparing optical and mechanical switches can help you decide which keyboard is right for you. It also may depend on what kind of keyboard you have used before and what you’re familiar with.
Step 6. How Much Should You Expect To Spend On A Keyboard?
Prices for keyboards can range from $20 to $200. If you’re just looking for a basic keyboard, you can probably find one for around $50. If you want a mechanical keyboard with backlighting and extra features, you can expect to spend closer to $100. Gaming keyboards with extra features are even more.
Types of Keyboards
There are many different types of keyboards, such as mechanical and optical, wired and wireless, and much more. They all serve different purposes and can be used in certain situations.
Keyboards For Gamers
- Gaming Keyboards
- Quiet Gaming Keyboards
Keyboards by Size
- 65% Size Keyboards
- 60% Size Mechanical Keyboards
- 75% Size Keyboards
Keyboards By Feature
- Ergonomic Keyboards
- Android Keyboards
- How Swappable Keyboards
- Mechanical Keyboards
- Mechanical Keyboards For Typing
- Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards
Keyboards For Tasks
Keyboards For Apple Products
- Macintosh Keyboards
- iPad Keyboards
- iPhone Keyboards
- Mechanical Keyboards For Macs
Computer Keyboard Risers
Computer keyboard risers are pieces of equipment that are placed under a keyboard in order to elevate it. They’re often called keyboard stands. This can be done for a number of reasons, such as to increase comfort or to decrease wrist strain.
Top Keyboard Brands
Razer keyboards are some of the best in the business, and they offer a variety of features to suit your needs. They specialize in gaming keyboards, but they also offer regular keyboards and even some ergonomic options.
Logitech is another top keyboard brand that offers a wide range of keyboards for different purposes. Logitech keyboards are particularly popular for gaming, but they also offer basic keyboards, wireless keyboards, and more.
Corsair is a gaming peripheral company that offers some of the best gaming keyboards on the market. Corsair keyboards are known for their durability, build quality, and features.
Ducky is a Taiwanese keyboard company that offers high-quality mechanical keyboards. Ducky keyboards are known for their excellent build quality, innovative features, and stylish designs.
Owning A Keyboard
Now that you know what to look for in a keyboard, it’s time to start shopping around. There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a new keyboard. If you only use your keyboard for occasional typing, you might not need to spend as much as someone who uses their keyboard all day for work or gaming.
Fixing A Broken Keyboard
If you have a broken keyboard, there are a few things you can do to try and fix it. First, check the connection to make sure it’s secure. If that doesn’t work, try cleaning the keyboard with compressed air. If that doesn’t work, you might need to replace the keyboard. The process is different for replacing the keyboard on a Macbook Air, fixing broken keys on keyboards, fixing laptop keyboards, and fixing Chromebook keyboards.
Get Rid Of The “Choose Your Keyboard Layout” Message On Windows: Generally speaking, you can expect keyboards to last around five years if they’re membrane keyboards and ten years or longer if they’re mechanical. Longevity is directly linked to how well you care for the keyboard, and how hard you hit your keys when you type, so take care!
Cleaning Your Keyboard
It’s important to keep your keyboard clean, especially if you use it all the time. If you don’t keep your laptop keyboard clean, the keys can get sticky and hard to press. You can clean your keyboard with compressed air, a vacuum cleaner, or even just a damp cloth. Whether you’re cleaning your laptop keyboard, cleaning a Macbook keyboard, or cleaning a mechanical keyboard, keeping it clean is equally important. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Removing Keyboard Keys: If you need to remove keyboard keys, the process is different for each type of keyboard. For most keyboards, you can just pop the keys off. But for laptop keyboards and Macbook keyboards, you might need a special tool. And for mechanical keyboards, you’ll need to know which key switches you have before you start.
- Lubricating Keyboard Switches: If your keyboard keys are feeling stiff, you might need to lubricate the key switches. The process is different for each type of switch, but it’s generally pretty easy to do. You can use a variety of lubricants, such as WD-40, silicone spray, or even just soap and water.
Connecting Your Keyboard To Devices
Connecting your keyboard shouldn’t be difficult. Connecting a keyboard to an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or computer is usually just a matter of using the right cable or wireless connection. It’s also possible to connect a mouse and keyboard to your Xbox or PS4, and you can use a keyboard and mouse on the Xbox One without using adapters.
Did You Know?
How was the QWERTY Keyboard Invented? Thanks to the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the typewriter, Christopher Latham Sholes and his friends, Carlos Glidden, Samuel Willard Soulé, and James Densmore, wanted to create a key layout that would increase a typist’s efficiency. After a few iterations, the QWERTY layout was born.
What Is Scroll Lock And What Does It Do?
Scroll lock is a feature on some keyboards that allows you to scroll through long documents or web pages using the arrow keys. This can be useful if you’re working on a laptop and don’t have a mouse handy.
What Is Numlock And What Does It Do?
Numlock changes the function of your 10-key and can also enable the use of some of your alpha characters as numbers. The alternate functions the keys have are commonly printed on the keys themselves; for example, the 9 and 3 key become “page up” and “page down”, respectively.
Useful Tips And Tricks For Your Keyboard
There are a few keyboard shortcuts that can make your life a lot easier. For example, “ctrl + c” will copy whatever is selected and “ctrl + v” will paste. You can also use “ctrl + p” to print or “ctrl + t” to open a new browser tab. Changing the language of a keyboard is a bit more complicated but can be done. You can even add a language to your keyboard or disable your laptop’s keyboard. If you do change these, you’ll also want to know how to change keyboard keys back to defaults.
Building Your Own Keyboard
You can build your own, but it requires soldering a keyboard. You may sometimes even have to remove switches from a keyboard. If you’re looking into this, you will also want to compare brass and aluminum plate keyboards to find what works best for you.
Did You Know?
What Are Hotkeys? A hotkey is essentially a shortcut programed into your keyboard to perform a specific task. It can be a single key, or a combination of keys pressed together.
Troubleshooting Problems On Your Keyboard
If your keyboard isn’t working, there are a few things you can do to try and fix it. First, check the connection to make sure it’s secure. If that doesn’t work, try cleaning the keyboard with compressed air. If that doesn’t work, you might need to replace the keyboard. No matter your issue, you’ll want to do research to troubleshoot the issue, regardless of the reason, from why your keyboard is typing letters different that the key you press to how to unstick keyboard keys.