(Pocket-lint) – Looking for a new keyboard? You’ve come to the right place. This is our roundup of the best keyboards we’ve tested out.

As you’d expect, there are options for all requirements, from people who type all day to those who use them primarily for shortcuts.

There are also options for a range of different budgets, whether you’re prepared to buy something more premium or just want a cheap utilitarian keyboard. We’ve put together a handy guide at the bottom of the list where you’ll find some useful tips and tricks to find the perfect keyboard for your needs.

And, if you’re looking for something more adept at handling intense PC gaming sessions, check out our alternative guide to the best gaming keyboards.


Best Keyboards in 2022

  1. Logitech MX Keys Mini
  2. Apple Magic Wireless Keyboard 2
  3. Logitech ERGO K860
  4. Azio RCK
  5. Logitech K380
  6. Microsoft Surface Keyboard with Fingerprint ID
  7. Keychron K14

Our Top Pick: Best Keyboard

Pocket-lint

Logitech MX Keys Mini

squirrel_widget_6109248

For

  • Small, wireless and portable
  • Multi-computer switching
  • USB-C fast charging

Against

You’ll notice this list is dominated by Logitech, and rightly so. The MX Keys Mini shows all of why it’s so good at keyboards.

It’s a smaller version of the MX Keys, just like the name implies, bringing easy device switching, Bluetooth connectivity and some of the comfiest keys for typing that we’ve ever used.

All this in a lightweight design that still manages to have good key travel and lovely backlighting that reacts to the ambient light around you. It’s a premium keyboard, but one that’ll elevate your work.

Keyboards we also recommend

While the Logitech MX Keys Mini is at the peak of this list, it’s not necessarily the right keyboard for everyone, especially with such a wide range of styles and price points on the market. That’s why we’ve also selected the following devices for you to consider. 

Pocket-lintBest keyboards 2020 Our pick of the top PC and Mac keyboards image 1

Apple Magic Wireless Keyboard 2

squirrel_widget_161154

For

  • Apple ecosystem compatibility
  • Small, light and portable
  • Premium finish

Against

  • Not much use with Windows machines

If you have a Mac, the most convenient place to start is with Apple’s own peripherals. The Magic Keyboard isn’t literally magic, but because it’s Apple, it pairs automatically with any Mac with very little effort. 

What we love about Apple’s keyboard is how small and portable it is. It’s very slim, and the keys are nice and big, plus they’re light and easy to type on quickly. 

The low profile keyboard ensures your hands aren’t at too much of an angle, making it comfortable to type on over long periods as well.

And because of its size, and compatibility with iPad, it’s easy to throw in a bag with the tablet when you’re out and about. 

Pocket-lintbest keyboards 2020 our pick of the top pc and mac keyboards photo 13

Logitech ERGO K860

squirrel_widget_4261346

For

  • Reduces wrist strain
  • Lovely padded wrist support
  • Easy device switching

Against

  • The split keys can take some getting used to

Logitech has returned to ergonomic keyboards with a splash in the form of the K860, and we’ve loved transitioning to it.

It carefully gets your wrists into a more natural position to ease the strain on them and has a soft but firm wristpad built-in for added comfort.

With raisers that make it perfect for standing or sitting desks, the same superb key system as the Logitech MX Keys, and totally silent operation, it’s a dream to use.

Easy pairing and device switching make it even smoother, and once you’re used to it you’ll struggle to go back to a normal keyboard, at least for work. 

Pocket-lintBest keyboards 2020 Our pick of the top PC and Mac keyboards image 1

Azio RCK

squirrel_widget_161191

For

  • Retro typewriter looks
  • Tactile mechanical switches
  • Long battery life

Against

If you want your keyboard to be the centre-piece of your trendy chic, succulent strewn office desk, this is that keyboard. Azio’s RCK (Retro Compact Keyboard) is a stunning example of design and aesthetics, and one that’s clearly made to emulate the classic typewriter keyboards of yesteryear. 

It’s an incredibly sturdy and well-made keyboard that’s available in a handful of attractive finishes. The mechanical switches are tactile and clicky, meaning the feel and sound are both pretty wonderful. 

It’s wireless, too, and has a huge battery for long life, as well as working just as well over a Type-C cable. It also lets users switch between Mac and Windows easily by offering a switch on the back, with a matching wrist rest also featuring to help bring your hands up to level.

If you’re not a fan of the small compact design, Azio also makes a bigger version with a number pad. 

Pocket-lintBest Keyboards 2020 Our Pick Of The Top Pc And Mac Keyboards image 1

Logitech K380

squirrel_widget_239941

For

  • Great value for money
  • Cute rounded keys
  • Range of colour options

Against

For its sheer usefulness, it hasn’t taken us long to appreciate how impressive the K380 is – all for a very reasonable price.

This compact Bluetooth keyboard is multi-device, letting you switch between three paired devices at the touch of a button. Its keys are nice and quiet, though with solid travel, and its size makes it a great option for those whose working space changes often. 

You get a full range of function keys, which is really useful, and we’re also serious fans of the keyboard’s looks. We’ve got the white model, but all of its colour options, including a delightful deep blue, are stylish and modern.

As effectively a shrunk-down version of the excellent K780, if you’re a minimalist worker or just want a reliable, no-frills keyboard, this is likely to be a really superb option.

Pocket-lintBest keyboards 2020 Our pick of the top PC and Mac keyboards image 1

Microsoft Surface Bluetooth Keyboard with Fingerprint ID

squirrel_widget_239953

For

  • Fingerprint recognition is great
  • Very clean design
  • Really good battery life

Against

  • No customisation options
  • No backlighting for keys

Microsoft’s Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID might not have a sleek and minimal name, but its design and functionality is everything you’d want from a modern, slim, wireless typing tool. 

One of its key features – as its name suggests – is the built-in fingerprint scanner. It’s compatible with Windows Hello, meaning you sign in to your PC by resting your fingerprint on the scanner. 

As for typing, it’s quick and easy, thanks to those big square keys and the keyboard’s overall slim profile. It’s relatively ergonomic, too, with it being slightly slanted, in a similar manner to Apple’s keyboards. And with it being built primarily from a sturdy sheet of aluminium, it’s both attractive and durable. 

It connects by Bluetooth to your PC or laptop, and with a battery life of up to four months on a single charge, which is fantastic.  

Pocket-lintBest keyboards photo 17

Keychron K14

squirrel_widget_6660495

For

  • Superb build quality
  • Very comfortable to type on
  • Friendly RGB

Against

Keychron is no stranger to delivering superbly rounded keyboards, and the K14 is among the very best we’ve used. It has a bit of a chunky profile and a retro feel to it, which perhaps won’t be to everyone’s taste, but we’ve found it an absolute joy to type on.

It’s comfortable, it delivers a satisfying sound without it being too loud for open offices, and there are even some RGB backlights to keep you entertained if you’re using it in lower lit environments.

Where the K14 stands out, compared to other Keychron models, is that it’s a more compact, 72-key design. It’s also able to work over Bluetooth or USB-C, and we’ve not noticed any significant latency issues during testing.

All in all, if you want something that feels and sounds like a premium keyboard, this is absolutely one to learn more about.

Our only real gripe with the K14 is that there’s no wrist rest, but it’s still very useable even for those who don’t have a third-party rest to draft in.

Other products we considered

When deciphering what we believe are the best keyboards, we spent hours testing the devices in real-world scenarios. Not just in typing, but in gaming, video editing, photoshop work and more. We consider a range of factors when it comes to recommending devices – and also when a new device enters our top five selections. We don’t just factor in our own testing, either, but also consumer reviews, brand quality and value.

In all of our roundups, there are also many products we test that don’t make the final cut. Since they may be the right fit for some people, however, we’ve listed them below.

How to choose a keyboard

With such a wealth of options on the market, it can be hard to narrow down the right keyboard for you. With that in mind, we’ve put together a shortlist of things to think about before you commit to your next keyboard.

Keyboard Sizes

A traditional keyboard has 105 keys and includes a number pad as well as arrow keys and a function row, many modern keyboards remove the number pad in favour of a smaller and more portable design. These keyboards are called tenkeyless (TKL) designs, and many prefer them as they take up less desk space, leaving more room for your mouse.

Some designs are even smaller and are usually referred to as a percentage of the size of the traditional keyboard. For example, 60% is a popular size that removes the function row and either relocates or removes the arrow keys. These styles are largely reserved for keyboard enthusiasts as they take a fair bit of getting used to, for the majority of people we’d recommend sticking with either full-size or TKL.

Switch Types

The two main types of switch you will encounter on your search are membrane and mechanical. Some keyboards are advertised as “memchanical” but this is mostly just a marketing term, it means that the keyboard is membrane but the brand has taken some steps to make the keyboard feel closer to a mechanical design.

In reality, both styles work just fine, the majority of the keyboards you will have used are membrane. It’s the cheaper option and is found across the widest number of devices. Mechanical keyboards have a cult-like following and offer a tactile typing experience that’s almost reminiscent of using a typewriter.

Mechanical keyboards are available in a variety of switch choices that vary in the sound produced as well as the weight needed to actuate the key. If you want to learn more about mechanical keyboards, have a browse through our gaming keyboard roundup.

Special Keys

Some keyboards have special keys that allow you to control functions on your computer. Media keys are the most commonly found, these allow you to play and pause music and videos on your PC as well as skip songs and control the volume.

Some keyboards have more niche keys for specific activities like gaming or video editing and if they’re the kind of thing that will be useful for you, then you’ll likely know it.

We are also starting to see keyboards with special emoji keys included. This is something we’re expecting to see more of in the future as emojis certainly aren’t going anywhere and dedicated keys are undeniably useful for spamming cry-laughing faces in your group chats.

Wired or Wireless?

While a keyboard spends most of its life sitting on a desk, going wireless can add a lot of flexibility, as well as allow for a more minimalist look. There is something to be said for never having to worry about charging, though. So, if you know you’ll never take the keyboard away from the desk, you might prefer a wired option.

When it comes to wireless options, there are two main types. Some require a USB dongle to be inserted into the computer to function, while others use Bluetooth to connect – some even offer both in the same device.

Bluetooth allows for the most flexibility as it can enable you to connect to smartphones and tablets. Using Bluetooth on a desktop device means you won’t have to sacrifice a precious USB port either. That said, the wireless dongle options often provide a more rock-solid connection with PCs and can be easier to set up initially.

More about this story

Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.

A keyboard is the kind of device that gets used every day for long hours and often for many years. To ensure our picks are up to the task, we tested everything from typing-feel to battery life.

As with any roundup, it’s not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user, but we use these tests and the opinions of the experts on the Pocket-lint team in order to determine a small number of keyboards to recommend.

What we always tend to avoid when compiling these picks are in-depth spec comparisons and marketing jargon; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each keyboard is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity. Rest assured all the things on this list have been fully tested.

Writing by Cam Bunton. Editing by Conor Allison.





Source link

Translate »