If you’re using a desktop computer, you’re absolutely going to need a keyboard to do much of anything. And, there’s plenty of benefit to having a standalone keyboard when you’re using a laptop or tablet as well. The advantages of a physical keyboard over a touchscreen keyboard are numerous, but a standalone keyboard can also edge out laptop keyboards, which may make sacrifices in their design so they can fit within the confines of the laptop.If you’re trying to work, browse the web, tackle homework, or just generally be productive, a good keyboard can make a huge difference in how effective and quick you are. All that said, it will come down to the keyboard you get. Some make it easier to type but could take up too much space to be portable. Others may have multiple wireless connectivity options but might not have the high-performance specs of a gaming keyboard.Finding the right keyboard means knowing what your needs are. We’ve selected a variety of options that will perform admirably in different settings, so you can find one that’ll be just right for all your typing needs.
TL;DR – These are the best keyboards:
1. Keychron K4
Best Keyboard
Interface: Wired, Bluetooth Key switch options: Optical; Gateron Blue, Brown, Red, Yellow Features: Backlighting, swappable keys Battery Life: 72 hours Size: 371 x 124 x 38mm
The Keychron K4 is probably not on your radar unless youre an enthusiast, but it has so much going on for it that you should consider this one no matter your needs. The Keychron K4 offers up just about everything you might require from a keyboard. It supports both a wired, USB-C connection as well as Bluetooth for pairing with almost any device.The Keychron K4 is compact, so it will take up less of your desk space than other full-size keyboards. It also comes in a number of different configurations, including optical or Gateron mechanical key switches. All versions offer lit keycaps, but you can also go for RGB backlighting. What makes the Keychron K4 all the more impressive is that even the fully featured model with optical switches, RGB backlighting, and an aluminum frame only costs $99, while the simpler configurations cost as little as $69. Thats stunning value for such a feature-rich keyboard.
2. Corsair K70 RGB MK.2
Best Gaming Keyboard
Interface: Wired Key switch options: Cherry MX Blue, Red, Brown, Speed, Silent Features: USB 2.0 pass-through, 8MB onboard memory, three onboard profiles, dedicated media buttons, detachable wrist rest Size: 17.24″ x 6.53″ x 1.53″
When the competition is at its fiercest, youll want to turn to the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 (read our review). This gaming keyboard is tried and true, giving you everything you should expect from a product in its class. Youll get Cherry MX mechanical switches with a wide choice of types, whether you like clicky Blues or the muted Silents. You can even go for a low-profile version.The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 offers USB 2.0 pass-through, onboard profiles, dedicated media buttons, a detachable wrist rest, and no shortage of fanciful RGB lights. All of that is built onto a durable, aluminum frame.
3. Logitech K780
Best Travel Keyboard
Interface: USB Wireless, Bluetooth Key switch options: Membrane Features: Logitech Flow, device cradle Battery Life: 2 years Size: 15″ x 6″ x 0.86″
If your work keeps you on the move, youll probably want to consider the best travel keyboard, the Logitech K780. This is a low-profile, membrane keyboard that connects with up to three devices over Bluetooth or one device using the Unifying USB receiver. Dont worry about battery life dragging you down either, as it can run for up to 2 years on two AAA batteries.The K780 also works great with mobile devices, as it has a built-in cradle that can hold up smartphones and tablets for easier viewing. If youre working with multiple devices at the same time, the K780 also supports Logitechs Flow software for easy switching between devices.
4. Corsair K83 Wireless
Best Multi-purpose Keyboard
Interface: Wired, USB Wireless, Bluetooth Key switch options: Membrane Features: Volume wheel, joystick, windows lock, trackpad, backlighting Battery Life: 40 hours Size: 15″ x 4.93″ x 1.11″
If you want a keyboard that can do a bit of everything, the Corsair K83 Wireless (read our review) is a true standout. Whether its connected over Bluetooth to a mobile device, paired with a home entertainment center, or linked to a gaming PC over its 2.4GHz wireless dongle, the K83 proves a worthy device.Its membrane key switches are pleasingly poppy, making them a joy to type on, and they offer simple backlighting for visibility in dark home theatres. The wireless dongle offers a latency-free connection for serious gaming, and theres even a joystick and triggers on the right side for those inclined to try them out. The K83 goes even further as a multipurpose device with its inclusion of a trackpad, which makes bringing a mouse optional.
5. Keychron K1 (Version 4)
Best Low-Profile Keyboard
Interface: Wired, Bluetooth Key switch options: Gateron Low Profile Red, Blue, Brown Features: Backlighting (RGB optional), Swappable Mac/Windows keys Battery Life: 36 hours Size: 435 x 120 x 18mm
You dont have to get a thick, clunky keyboard to get the benefits of mechanical key switches. Low-profile, mechanical switches are available, and the Keychron K1 delivers them with aplomb. The Keychron K1 offers a delightful blend of this low-profile design with Gateron Low-Profile Red, Blue, or Brown switches and an aluminum body.The Keychron K1 also offers flexibility. It can connect over both a USB-C cable or Bluetooth, letting you pair it with just about any device. You also get your choice of simple, white backlighting or full RGB lighting. Theres also a tenkeyless version that shaves a bit off the price and size. Keychron has kept both Mac and Windows users in mind, and includes swappable keycaps for both operating systems.
6. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop
Best Ergonomic Keyboard
Interface: USB Wireless Key switch options: Membrane Features: Detached number bad, palm rest Battery Life: 36 months Size: 15.4″ x 8.96″ x 1.77″
If you do a ton of typing, you should do yourself a favor and make sure you have an ergonomic keyboard. These can help ensure your hands and wrists are in the proper alignment to avoid getting an RSI. Microsofts Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard delivers on this. It features a split design that can help keep you from angling your hands inward and a curved shape for wrist pronation.If you need a higher angle, Microsoft has included a stand for reverse tilt. It also features a detached number pad. If you use it frequently, you can keep it next to the keyboard, but if you rarely need it, you can keep it out of the way and reduce the amount you have to move to reach your mouse. Youll be doing your body a favor by typing with a proper posture, even if it does take some time to get used to the slightly unusual shape.
7. Das Keyboard 4C TKL
Best High-End Keyboard
Interface: Wired Key switch options: Mechanical Greetech Blue or Brown Features: N-key rollover, 2 x USB 2.0 passthrough, swappable keys Size: 393 x 154 x 29mm
Das Keyboard’s 4C TKL is as capable as it is compact. The Das Keyboard 4C TKL offers a tenkeyless design, giving you more room on your desk for a mouse or any other items you may need while you’re hard at work or play. An anodized aluminum top panel offers a solid structure to the keyboard, while mechanical key switches deliver consistent performance. The Das Keyboard 4C TKL is available with either Greetech Blue or Brown key switches, which both have a tactile bump. They also use gold-plated contacts to ensure a long lifespan.As an added perk, the keyboard features a USB pass-through connection, letting you use it as a two-port hub, which is perfect for connecting a mouse, wireless headphone dongle, or charging devices over USB. So, whether you’re working or gaming, the Das Keyboard 4C TKL has the functionality you need and a premium build, albeit without any fancy backlighting.
8. Razer Pro Type
Best Silent Keyboard
Interface: Wired, 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth Key switch options: Razer Orange Mechanical Features: Backlighting, Macro recording Battery Life: 84 hours (BT), 78 hours (2.4GHz) Size: 371 x 124 x 38mm
When you’re doing a lot of typing, you want something that’s going to feel good while hopefully not being too obnoxious to everyone around you, anyone you’re on a call with, or even to your own ears. That can be difficult with a mechanical keyboard, but Razer’s Pro Type keyboard sorts this issue out by using the company’s own Orange mechanical switches for a more subdued typing experience.This keyboard may feature hushed keys, but that’s not all that makes it a great option. It features three types of connectivity. You can plug it in using an included USB-C cable, which will also keep it charged up. You can also use it wirelessly with a 2.4GHz wireless receiver or over Bluetooth. Using Bluetooth, the Razer Pro Type can pair with up to three devices at the same time, letting you quickly switch between multiple connected devices.
9. Raspberry Pi 400
Best Keyboard PC
Interface: Wired Key switch options: Membrane Features: Complete computer, included mouse Size: 11.26″ x 4.8″ x 0.9″
A compact keyboard is cool and all, as it makes for a tidier desk space by not taking up a ton of surface area, but what if the keyboard was the computer? That’s just what Raspberry Pi has done with the Raspberry Pi 400. In what looks otherwise like a small, membrane keyboard, Raspberry Pi has packed a fully operating computer. The hint that this keyboard is more than meets the eye is on its back edge, where there’s a smorgasbord of ports for connecting other peripherals.The Raspberry Pi 400 runs on a 64-bit Broadcom SoC with four Cortex-A72 processing cores and 4GB of LPDDR4-3200, giving it a little bit of muscle. As long as you’re down to run a Linux distro, the Raspberry Pi 400 can be all the computer you need on your desk. It has two micro HDMI ports, letting you set up even a dual-display workstation. There’s a gigabit ethernet port as well as dual-band Wi-Fi for solid networking capabilities. There are even three USB ports, with one ready to connect to the included mouse. For all it offers, this still manages to be one of the smallest keyboards on this list.
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark