Best Computer Keyboard

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While keyboards may seem simple and identical to one another, there are actually a wide range of different devices available from numerous manufacturers. From standard keyboards that don't have a lot of bells and whistles, to illuminated gamer keyboards with a dozen programmable hotkeys, to ergonomically-designed split keyboards, there’s a lot of types for you to choose from.

If you're just looking for a basic input device, check out the best overall keyboard list. But if you want something special, perhaps an edge in your favorite PC game or you’re seeking relief for aching wrists, there’s also a number of specialty keyboards available to users with unique needs. To help you better understand what is available to you and pick the right model for your needs, take a look at the computer keyboard buyer’s guide below for more information and recommendations.

Best Keyboard Overall:

With such a wide variety of models form a very large range of manufacturers, making a list of the best keyboards overall is a tall order. The best keyboards overall we've chosen for this list all have several outstanding features allowing them to stand apart from the competition. All of the keyboards have extremely responsive key switches that feel good under the fingers as you're typing away, their key layouts are designed intuitively so users will find using them goes easy on the arms, hands and fingers. Likewise, every keyboard on this list comes from a reputable manufacturer to ensure you these picks ensure the best in build quality for years of reliable use.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

This is a best of the best keyboard that offers many perks on top of its outstanding workmanship, including a slim build, multimedia function keys, and a two port USB 3.0 hub. However, expect to pay a premium for all that this keyboard offers. Read Full Review

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    Das Keyboard 4 Professional

    ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    This keyboard offers top of class customization options and built-in processors to help manage any computing task you're looking to throw at it. If you are a truly serious gamer, power user, or just a general user wanting some exceptional extras, this keyboard more than fits the bill. Read Full Review

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      ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

      Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001)

      Top notch ergonomic design and exceptional build quality allow this offering from Microsoft to go easy on your hands and wrists. Chicklet-style keys and a bundled ergonomic mouse round out this keyboards excellent value. Read Full Review

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        Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001)

        Cherry G80-3850LYBEU-2 MX 3.0 Professional Keyboard

        Cherry, maker of top notch key-switches offers this keyboard which stands out for it's clean, minimalist design. If you need a straightforward keyboard board of the highest quality with no fancy extras getting in the way, look no further. Read Full Review

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          Cherry G80-3850LYBEU-2 MX 3.0 Professional Keyboard

          Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

          This class leading keyboard from Corsair features outstanding customization and top notch build quality. However, its flexibility and workmanship come at a high price. Read Full Review

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            Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

            Best Wireless Keyboard:

            Wireless keyboard are a very popular genre among users who want the added convenience of not having to worry about a lot of wires. Many wireless offerings features compatibility with smart phones and tablets as well for even more connivance. The boards I've assembled for my list all offer several features that bring them to the top of the class. First they all provide exceptional RF Rradio Frequency or Bluetooth wireless sensors and receivers to allow connectivity ranges of at least fifteen feet away from your workstation, they all feature responsive, soft touch key-switches, and lastly these keyboards have been designed with specific function keys that provide fast access to common functions such as e-mail and internet browser access.

            Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 Keyboard

            This award winning keyboard/mouse combo from Logitech has great features such as an integrated wrist rest, LED key illumination, prep-programmed media keys and more. This is a top notch keyboard offering if you're looking for the greatest value for your dollar. Read Full Review

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              Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 Keyboard

              Microsoft Comfort Desktop 5000 Keyboard

              This is a outstanding ergonomic keyboard from Microsoft which delivers a full range of great features including wireless capability good up to 30 feet away. It would be hard to go wrong with this choice if you are interested in an keyboard/mouse combo which is suitable for use on a wide range of surfaces. Read Full Review

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                Microsoft Comfort Desktop 5000 Keyboard

                Cherry JD-0700EU-2 DW 3000 Entry Level Wireless Desktop Set

                This is an excellent offering from Cherry that features an outstanding mouse and a soft touch keyboard. With wireless connectivity up to 24 feet away, this combo deserves a close look. Read Full Review

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                  Cherry JD-0700EU-2 DW 3000 Entry Level Wireless Desktop Set

                  Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard (920-006342)

                  User convenience and unmatched hardware compatibility with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, iOS, Android devices which characterizes this offering from Logitech. It is worth a close look if you need a keyboard that will work with your PC and your smart phone or tablet as well although keep in mind it doesn't offer a number pad. Read Full Review

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                    Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard (920-006342)

                    Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 Keyboard & Optical Mouse

                    This is an outstanding keyboard and mouse budget from Microsoft that is compatible with any Windows, Mac OS, iOS or Android device. With a wirless range of up to 15 feet away from your workstation, this is a great choice if you need a keyboard that will work with both your phone and PC. Read Full Review

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                      Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 Keyboard & Optical Mouse

                      Best Gaming Keyboard:

                      Gaming keyboards are a complicated component to address because there’s such a great variety of design considerations to take into account when choosing the best of class offerings The best gaming keyboards we’ve chosen for this list all have several key features in common that place them among the best of the best. First, they all use mechanical key switches which are the most preferred among gamers who want a keyboard that gives audible and tactile feedback to keystrokes and as little lag as possible. They are also the most durable and long lasting key switch design and they are the most easily customized and repairable.

                      Additionally, all these keyboards feature programmable keys so users can assign specific functions or special lighting profiles to assist gameplay. Next, they all feature wired USB connections to your PC. For gaming keyboards, this is an important consideration because wireless and Bluetooth keyboards can induce response-time lag gamers do their best to avoid. Finally, these keyboards all offer customizable key-switch back-lighting which is a great aid in low-light conditions as well as providing visual key feedback.

                      ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                      For the ultimate in keyboard customization, ease of use, and durability, this keyboard from Roccat definitely fills the bill. If you are a truly serious gamer, this one deserves a close look thanks to a range of customization options and on board memory to keep track of all your presets. Read Full Review

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                        ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                        Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                        Highly customizable and built to last, this keyboard from Corsair features a black anodized aluminum chassis as well as one hundred thirty-four keys/ buttons and eighteen programmable macro keys. If price is no object, this one should be on your short list. Read Full Review

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                          Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                          Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2016-Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                          This fine board from Razor offers proprietary switches with quicker response times and a range of excellent key lighting options. If you want the most robust key switches and exceptional key durability, this keyboard is worth closer examination. Read Full Review

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                            Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2016-Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                            CM Storm QuickFire Rapid-i Fully Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                            This is a sleek design from Cooler Master that offers compact construction, mechanical key switches and great flexibility at a good price. However, it lacks a ten-key numeric keypad so it may not appeal to gamers who want that feature. Read Full Review

                            CM Storm QuickFire Rapid-i Fully Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                            Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                            This excellent keyboard from Logitech offers fast response proprietary key switches with class leading response-times. It also offers great lighting options for outstanding visual key feedback. However, the feature packed keyboard comes in at a fairly high price point. Read Full Review

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                              Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                              Best Budget Keyboard:

                              For the category of budget keyboard, we placed a price limit of twenty-five dollars or less and searched far and wide for the best product available in this price range. Although you may have purchased keyboards for budget builds over the years, most individuals are always surprised at how much value which can be found in this price range. We've chosen the following best in class budget keyboards because they offer responsive key-switches that yield good feel when you're typing and long life. They're also equipped with specific function keys for fast access to commonly used elements like internet and email. Finally, all of these offerings are from top-tier manufactures which assure you these keyboards are built with durability and quality in mind.

                              Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 with Keyboard and Mouse

                              This a a well built, wireless combo that is a great value for the money. If you don't mind using a small mouse, this keyboard and mouse set should be on your keyboard. Read Full Review

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                                Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 with Keyboard and Mouse

                                Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 Keyboard & Optical Mouse

                                This is a reliable keyboard offering from Microsoft that will provide many years of use for the price. If familiar operation and a time tested design are your priority, this board deserves a look. Read Full Review

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                                  Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 Keyboard & Optical Mouse

                                  Zalman ZM Series Multimedia Keyboard with 20 Hot Keys (ZM-K300M)

                                  Lots of extra features (especially considering the budget price) characterize this fine keyboard offering from Zalamn. If you are interested in a wired board, it is hard to find a board in this price range with more to offer. Read Full Review

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                                    Zalman ZM Series Multimedia Keyboard with 20 Hot Keys (ZM-K300M)

                                    Gigabyte Compact Keyboard Mouse Set (GK-KM5300)

                                    Although this wired combo offers few extras, it stands out with high quality components at a great price. If durability and simple design are what you look for, this combo should be on your list of options for consideration. Read Full Review

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                                      Gigabyte Compact Keyboard Mouse Set (GK-KM5300)

                                      KeyTronic KT400U2 Keyboard

                                      This is a very well made offering from a PC peripheral leader you may or may not have hearsd of. What this well-constructed keyboard doesn't offer in extras, it makes up for in its innate durability and familiar, comfortable design. Read Full Review

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                                        KeyTronic KT400U2 Keyboard

                                        Best Ergonomic Keyboard:

                                        Ergonomic keyboard are constructed to be more comfortable to use and to ease the physical stress put upon your hands, wrists and arms. In turn, this helps you avoid problems associated with long stints of keyboard use which can result in repetitive stress injuries (RSI) such as carpal tunnel syndrome and radial tunnel syndrome.

                                        We’ve chosen the following best ergonomic keyboards because they’re all designed with user comfort in mind and all of them feature design innovations which can potentially reduce the chance of RSI's. These keyboards all have horizontally angled keys which reduce the lateral stress put upon your wrists. They also allow you to adjust the vertical angle of the keypads or have integrated wrist rests which further reduce stress upon your arms and wrists. In fact, many experts state the ability to adjust the keyboard vertically (or have a wrist rest so that your wrists lay at a ninety degree or greater angle) is at least as important as correctly angling your wrists laterally.

                                        Kinesis Freestyle2 Keyboard

                                        This is an exceptionally designed keyboard that provides the user with a range of stress reducing features. The adjustable ten degree lateral typing angle alone definitely makes it worth a look if price is no object. Read Full Review

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                                          Kinesis Freestyle2 Keyboard

                                          Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001)

                                          A well thought out design and high quality keys characterize this keyboard offering from Microsoft. An angled key-switch pad relieves stress on the hands, wrist, and arms while the keyboard is sloped to further reduce stress on the wrists. Read Full Review

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                                            Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001)

                                            Logitech MK550 Black Keyboard and Laser Mouse Combo

                                            If your needs call for a wireless, ergonomic keyboard/mouse combo that is both wireless and ergonomically designed, this offering from Logitech has you covered. It features adjustable vertical height and can wirelessly function up to thirty feet from your computer. Read Full Review

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                                              Logitech MK550 Black Keyboard and Laser Mouse Combo

                                              Microsoft Comfort Desktop 5000 Keyboard

                                              A good value for the money, this keyboard/mouse combo brings a lot to the table including an angled key frame, integrated hand rest, and a range of media function keys. However some of it's ergonomic design isn't as well thought out as some keyboards. Read Full Review

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                                                Microsoft Comfort Desktop 5000 Keyboard

                                                Fellowes Microban Split Design Wired Keyboard

                                                With an antibacterial coating and built in wrist supports, this basic ergonomic keyboard is a good offering if you’re on a budget. While this pick doesn't offer as advanced ergonomic design as some more expensive keyboards, it’s still easier on your hands and wrists than a conventional keyboard. Read Full Review

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                                                  Fellowes Microban Split Design Wired Keyboard

                                                  Best Keyboard / Mouse Combo:

                                                  Keyboard and mouse combos run that gamut from expensive high-end offerings that feature many extras to straight forward, minimalist combos that have value as the utmost priority. We’ve chosen the best keyboard/mouse combos because they all feature durably constructed keyboard designs engineered with user-friendly key layouts and bundled with well-constructed, ergonomic mice known for their reliability. They also feature convenient extras like LED readouts or multi-function media keys which add to their overall functionality. No matter what your needs are in a keyboard/mouse bundle, you’re sure to find one suited to your needs listed below.

                                                  Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001)

                                                  This outstanding three piece keyboard/mouse offering from Microsoft features ergonomically designed components that are easy on your arms and wrists. If comfort is your primary concern, this combo should be on your short list. Read Full Review

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                                                    Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001)

                                                    Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 Keyboard

                                                    This award winning combo from Logitech offers a great keyboard feature set along with a very well designed mouse with exceptional 3200 DPI tracking. Together, they make a great value for buyer’s looking for a more moderately priced option. Read Full Review

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                                                      Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 Keyboard

                                                      Logitech MK550 Black Keyboard and Laser Mouse Combo

                                                      This is another outstanding offering from Logitech that offers great bang for your buck. It combines an ergonomically designed, feature-rich keyboard with a high quality mouse, both of which can wirelessly operate up to 30 feet away. Read Full Review

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                                                        Logitech MK550 Black Keyboard and Laser Mouse Combo

                                                        Microsoft Wired Desktop 600 with USB Port

                                                        This is a tried and true keyboard/mouse combo from Microsoft that makes up in value what it lacks in lavish bells and whistles found on some of our other picks. If reliability and cost are you main concerns, this offering fits the bill. Read Full Review

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                                                          Microsoft Wired Desktop 600 with USB Port

                                                          Kensington Keyboard and Mouse for Life Wired Desktop Set (K72436AM)

                                                          This is a no-frills offering from Kensington that features solid construction, soft touch keys and a bundled mouse that users will find comfortable and easy to use. If you are looking for an excellent value and simplicity, this one deserves consideration. Read Full Review

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                                                            Kensington Keyboard and Mouse for Life Wired Desktop Set (K72436AM)
                                                             

                                                            Computer Keyboard Buyer's Guide

                                                            There are a number of features and design considerations to keep in mind as you look at different computer keyboards. Wireless or wired connectivity is important, along with the ways in which the keys on the board function and respond to your touch. You want to choose a good manufacturer and a design that gives you the keys you need for easy input and system control. Additional features like programmable buttons and backlighting may not be essential, but can improve usability and provide some extra functionality for your system.

                                                            Connectivity

                                                            Like many other computer peripherals, you should consider both wired and wireless functionality when looking at different models of computer keyboards.

                                                            Wired keyboards are usually very easy to set up, use, and you never have to worry about battery life. On the other hand, wireless keyboards reduce desktop and work area clutter and give you more freedom in your setup. However, you do need to consider battery life or recharging for a wireless keyboard which can be a hassle.

                                                            Pick the connection type that works best for your setup, though wired keyboards are usually preferable for serious gaming due to better latency and responsiveness.

                                                            Mechanical vs Membrane

                                                            There are two basic ways in which modern keyboards receive input when you press down on a key. Most modern keyboards use a design where you press the key down onto a membrane that receives the impression and relays that as a signal to your computer. In contrast to this, older keyboards and modern, niche models use a mechanical design in which you press the key down to an individual switch that sends the signal to your system.

                                                            Soft-touch keyboards use membranes for easy and quiet use while mechanical keyboards are louder and often require a firmer touch from the user, but offer a more tactile experience. This is definitely a matter of personal preference, but you should pick a membrane keyboard for a soft, quiet model, or a mechanical keyboard for a louder keyboard that requires more force but also offers more feedback to the user.

                                                            Ergonomic Design and Features

                                                            There’s a few different ways in which ergonomic design can be incorporated into a keyboard, but it’s always something to look for. Basic ergonomic features include things like a wrist pad and raised keys that keep your hand in a comfortable position. More elaborate designs include angled halves of a keyboard or even split models that keep your hands angled outward to reduce wrist strain.

                                                            You should definitely look for at least minimal ergonomic options to keep your hands a wrists comfortable, especially during periods of extended use. If you need extra wrist comfort, then choose a model designed to keep your wrists elevated and positioned properly, though keep in mind that you can purchase a separate wrist pad if necessary.

                                                            Connection Interface

                                                            Whether you choose a wired or wireless keyboard, you need to consider the interface used by the device to connect to your system. Wired keyboards typically connect through either a USB port or PS/2 connection. Wireless keyboards usually connect through a wireless dongle or via Bluetooth connectivity. If you have Bluetooth technology already in your computer, then a Bluetooth keyboard is great because it’s not only easy to connect, but they can also work with other devices.

                                                            Consider a keyboard that includes a wireless dongle, which you typically connect to a USB port on your computer if you don’t have Bluetooth in your system. Be sure to look at the ports available via your motherboard and computer case and choose a keyboard that can connect to your system along with your other peripherals.

                                                            Full vs Compact Design

                                                            There are two big considerations when you look at full and compact designs: size and functionality. Full keyboards include a 10-key keypad on the right side of the keyboard, and can often include other keys at the top or left side while a compact keyboard doesn’t have the 10-key pad. Keep in mind that full keyboards are larger so consider the size of your workspace and if you have the room for a full keyboard or not.

                                                            In terms of functionality, a full keyboard definitely makes it easier to input numerical data when typing. If you need to prepare spreadsheets or documents with a lot of numbers, then a full-size model can make these tasks go by much faster. Choose the keyboard that will fit your desktop or workspace and gives you the functionality you need.

                                                            Key Switch Type

                                                            This is a very specific consideration that really only matters if you choose a mechanical keyboard. In a mechanical keyboard, the keys have three parts: base, spring, and stem. The shape of the stem determines if it is linear or not and can add tactile or “clicky” elements to each key press, while the tension of the spring changes how much pressure you have to apply to have a key press recognized by your system. There are four common types of switches to be aware of, indicated by color:

                                                            Black Switches
                                                            These are linear switches that do not have a tactile or “clicky” component to them so they are quick and easy to use. They require 60 cN of pressure to activate, so they can produce fatigue for long periods of typing but help prevent accidental input.

                                                            Red Switches
                                                            Red switches are also linear and do not have a tactile or clicky element. They only require 45 cN of force to press down, making them fast and light with great responsiveness. Red switches have become pretty common in gaming keyboards and are a great choice if you’re a serious gamer.

                                                            Brown Switches
                                                            Brown switches are not linear; instead they have a tactile element to them, but no extra click. You can feel when this type of key is pressed down enough to send a signal, making it a great choice if you do a lot of typing. This switch also only needs 45 cN of pressure, reducing fatigue and keeping it comfortable.

                                                            Blue Switches
                                                            These switches have both a tactile feel to them when you press them down and produce an audible clicking sound. This is a great option if you’re a typist because these key switches let you feel and hear the input, making it easier to look at another document or screen while typing. This type requires 50 cN of force, which makes it less than ideal for hardcore gaming, but still a solid choice.

                                                            Backlighting and Other Features

                                                            While backlighting may not make a huge difference in how you use your keyboard, it looks great and can make it easier to find keys if you are sitting in the dark. Some keyboards let you program different lights, even in different areas of the keyboard, making it very easy to find certain keys in poor lighting.

                                                            If you like to listen to music and watch movies on your computer, then look for a keyboard that includes media buttons, making it easier to skip tracks, pause a movie, or mute audio. Programmable buttons and keys can bring some great functionality, especially for hardcore gamers or professionals who use software with a lot of shortcut options.

                                                            Are you a big fan of using keyboard shortcuts? You might consider a keyboard option with programmable buttons, which let you create keys for quick access to common commands.

                                                            Manufacturer's and Warranty Protection

                                                            As an input device, computer keyboards are one of the most used and abused peripherals you will connect to your system. With that in mind, you definitely want to pick one made by a reliable manufacturer that protects its work with solid warranties. Companies like Microsoft, Logitech, and Kensington make great keyboards.

                                                            If you want an excellent keyboard with a more specialized design, then consider a manufacturer like Razer or SteelSeries for gaming keyboards and Kinesis for excellent ergonomic models. You want at least a one-year warranty on your keyboard, though three years of protection is definitely ideal.

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