Find Your Type: 11 Keyboards You’ll Love

image of J. Fergus
By |
Find Your Type: 11 Keyboards You’ll Love

You spilled something on your keyboard, didn't you? It's okay, it happens to the best of us, and clearly you don't want to go back to what you had before.

Keyboards are literally known as peripheral accessories, but we decided to put them front and center. You can choose from precision-oriented mechanical keyboards, affordable wireless keyboards, or even a glass keyboard, if you're ready to turn your desk into spaceship.

We narrowed down the field so you could find the best computer keyboard that's right for your typing needs, budget, and design preferences.

01

Best Keyboard

Best Keyboard

If you want a great keyboard, look no further. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional comes in three modes: Windows, Mac, and Ultimate (blank keycaps). We recommend this keyboard for the typing experience it provides, its customization options, and design.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard

This Das keyboard is mechanical and you can choose to have clicky or tactile switches underneath the keycaps. Clicky switches (Cherry MX Blues, in this case) offer the most auditory and physical feedback. Tactile switches (Cherry MX Browns) aren't as loud and focus more on physical key feedback. We recommend the tactile keyboard if you're not used to mechanical keyboards.

What Works

Guide.com
  • There are three versions: Mac, Windows, and Ultimate. The Mac and Windows keyboards have keys specific to their operating systems while the Ultimate is completely blank. The Ultimate version is a great way to take the training wheels off your typing or use a different operating system (Linux, Chrome, etc.). If you want a Mac-specific mechanical keyboard with a softer design, we also recommend the Lofree Four Seasons Keyboard
  • It uses Cherry MX switches. The Brown (tactile) version is louder than most laptop keyboards, but quieter than the Blue version which is a clicky (re: loud) acquired taste generally used by typists.
  • "The Ultimate version is a great way to take the training wheels off your typing or use a different operating system."
  • It has a volume dial and dedicated media keys for quick, easy control of whatever you're watching or listening to.
  • It uses USB 3.0 ports for faster data transfer than its 2.0 counterparts.
  • The design is sleek and attractive, making it a nice desk peripheral accessory.

What Could Be Better

  • The footbar, a magnetic, detachable bar that elevates the keyboard, is flimsy and lacks rubber grips to stabilize the keyboard when it's raised. On the plus side(?), the footbar is also a ruler.
  • It doesn't come with a keyboard wrist pad/palm rest.
  • The keyboard isn't backlit. If you really need a backlight, we also recommend WASD's CODE Keyboard. It has a little less flair and also lacks a wrist pad, but it's another great mechanical keyboard.
  • It's a pricey keyboard, but it will give you years of use, offers a superior typing experience, and looks great on your desk!

Warranty and Customer Support

Das offers a three-year limited warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. The Das customer support team is on the slow side and there's a disparity to how helpful they are, but they handle in-warranty replacements well.

02

Best Wireless Keyboard

Best Wireless Keyboard

Wireless keyboards are great for avoiding wire clutter on your desk. We recommend Logitech's Easy-Switch K811 Keyboards because they look great, provide a great typing experience, and let you switch between devices with, well, ease.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard?

The Logitech Easy-Switch Keyboards are membrane keyboards that use Bluetooth to connect to multiple devices. The membrane design allows them to be quieter and cheaper than our main pick.

What Works

Guide.com
  • The keys are backlit and you can adjust the brightness level. The keyboards also have ambient sensors that adapt the brightness to match the environment.
  • The Bluetooth connection is reliable, according to user reviews.
  • If you are considering Apple's Magic Keyboard, former Magic Keyboard users consider this a significant upgrade. The Easy-Switch one improves on Apple's product with its backlight, more comfortable key spacing, and overall typing experience.
  • The Mac version supports iOS and Apple TV. Users also report that it works with Linux and Chrome OS.
  • It can remember and connect to three Bluetooth devices, allowing it switch between them with ease.
  • You can type while the keyboard charges. Each charge gives 10 days to one year's worth of battery life, depending on the brightness level of the backlight.

What Could Be Better

  • Some users report that the keys become loose over time, but the length of the warranty should cover key replacements.
  • There's no onboard indicator that your battery is dying or dead.
  • There was originally a Windows version, the K810, but it's been discontinued. Windows users can still use the Mac version keyboard, but they'll have to use Logitech's software to format the function keys.
  • It's not a full-sized keyboard. If you like having a number pad, we recommend the non-backlit Logitech K780 Keyboard.
  • It's not spill-proof. Unlike the Apple Magic Keyboard and a few other competitors, this keyboard won't survive a spill.
  • It doesn't automatically shut-off. If you don't remember to turn the keyboard off, the battery will drain while it's not in use, but this also means it won't turnoff if you've just been idle for a while.

Warranty and Customer Support

Logitech offers a three-year limited hardware warranty for the Easy-Switch.

03

Best Keyboard for Tablets and Smartphones

Best Keyboard for Tablets and Smartphones

For a lightweight option that doesn't break the bank, take the Arteck Wireless Keyboard for a spin. This backlit keyboard is light, wireless, and compatible with several operating systems. The keyboard is ideal for tablets and smartphones, but can also be used with laptop and desktop computers.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard?

This is a thin, membrane keyboard that doesn't provide as much tactile feedback as our other picks, but it makes typing a smooth experience.

What Works

    "The keyboard is lightweight at less than half a pound."
  • The keyboard is designed to work with Windows, Macs, iOS, and Android operating systems. You can also connect with other Bluetooth ready systems like Linux, Chrome OS, and Amazon's Fire. 
  • The keyboard is lightweight at less than half a pound, making it easy to carry with you.
  • It's backlit with seven colors to choose from, if you want a more customized look.
  • It can be used while it's being charged.

What Could Be Better

  • Some users find that the keyboard is quite loud for a membrane keyboard, but we didn't find it to be significantly louder than our other wireless picks or the Apple Magic Keyboard.
  • The keys stick over time, according to user reviews, but customer service is very helpful when it comes to replacing keys or the entire keyboard.
  • The keyboard is small. Our wireless picks are already on the short side, but the Arteck is over two inches shorter lengthwise. This is ideally meant for use with tablets and smartphones, so it might feel a bit cramped with heavy computer use.
  • It can't hold your phone or tablet. You'll need a separate kickstand or the Logitech K480 Keyboard which has no backlight.

Warranty and Customer Support

Though their website is MIA, Arteck is known for its responsive customer service. Their team can be reached via the information in the user guide. The keyboard is covered under a two-year limited warranty, which is quite impressive at this price point.

04

Best Gaming Keyboard

Best Gaming Keyboard

For a great gaming experience, we recommend the Logitech G413 Keyboard. It's one of the least expensive mechanical gaming keyboards out there,and you don't have to sacrifice performance.

To get more backlight color options, faster Cherry MX Silver switches, and a built-in wrist pad, be prepared to spend more than double on the Corsair K95 Keyboard. Unless you're a really serious/professionally competitive gamer, we don't think you really need to shell out the extra bucks.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard?

This keyboard is mechanical and uses Logitech's Romer G switches. These switches make the keys feel similarly to Cherry MX Brown switches in their tactile response, but have a fluidity that's almost akin to a membrane keyboard.

What Works

    "There's a 26-key rollover and anti-ghosting feature."
  • The Romer G switches make for great gameplay, but also don't feel out of place when doing everyday typing.
  • It has a full keyboard with programmable keys and additional keys you can swap out. If you want a more clicky feel for certain commands, these extra keys can help you customize the board.
  • There's a 26-key rollover and anti-ghosting feature to allow you to press multiple keys to send complex commands.
  • For its design and features, the keyboard is fairly inexpensive.
  • The keyboard has a red backlight and you can control the brightness levels.
  • It's designed to work with Windows 7 and up and the Windows key can be disabled in "Game Mode."

What Could Be Better

  • The Romer G switches don't offer as much tactile feedback as a Cherry MX switch would. We think gamers looking to get more feedback can take advantage of the 12 swappable keycaps included with this keyboard.
  • There's only one backlight color and it resets to the brightest setting when the keyboard is turned on.
  • The software doesn't support Mac or Linux, but you might be able to get some limited use sans the ability to program keys.

Warranty and Customer Support

Logitech offers a two-year limited warranty and has a fairly responsive customer service team. 

05

Best Ergonomic Keyboard

Best Ergonomic Keyboard

Separated keyboards allow you to keep your arms at your sides and your hands less cramped while you type. They can also help people who aren't able to bring their hands together on a standard keyboard. We recommend Freestyle 2 Keyboards and VIP3 accessory kit for their comfort, accessibility, and Bluetooth connection.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard?

This is a membrane keyboard, but it has a very clicky, mechanical feel to it. For the price, we would love a mechanical option, but the keyboard seems durable and we appreciate the wireless connectivity.

What Works

Guide.com
  • It offers nine inches of separation between the keyboard halves to help users improve their posture and limit strain.
  • The wireless connection and angled risers from the accessory kit allow a bit more mobility than typical separated keyboards
  • You can pair with three devices via Bluetooth.
  • You can use the keyboard while it's charging.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com
  • You need to buy the accessory kit in order for the keyboard to really shine. The VIP3 kit comes with angled risers and wrist pads.
  • There's a learning curve to the key spacing. Some buttons are also different sizes so it takes some getting used to, but the differences aren't insurmountable.

Warranty and Customer Support

Kinesis offers a two-year limited warranty on these keyboards, but customer support can be on the slow side. 

06

Best Large Print Keyboard for the Vision-Impaired

Best Large Print Keyboard for the Vision-Impaired

If you have trouble seeing the keys on standard keyboards, you should rethink what kind of keyboard you use. The Azio Vision Keyboard easy to see and use, so we recommend this keyboard for the vision impaired.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard?

This is a membrane keyboard, but it's louder than average if you like a little auditory feedback from your keys.

What Works

Guide.com
  • The font size increases, not the keys. Each key is designed to fit as much of the length and width of the keycap as possible. This way, the letters and numbers are bigger, but the key spacing is the same as a standard keyboard (you'll only feel a difference if you use island a.k.a. chiclet keyboards).
  • The keys are backlit and there are five different colors to choose from. You can also adjust the brightness.
  • This keyboard is designed to work on Windows, but Mac users have found success using it as well.
  • It comes with a comfortable wrist pad.
  • It's a full keyboard with dedicated media keys, so you don't have to sacrifice functionality for the ability to easily see your keys.

What Could Be Better

  • The keys stick or become unresponsive over time, but the three-year warranty should cover any hiccups along the way.
  • Keys that share characters show the main character at the top and secondary character at the bottom. This might be visually confusing for some since the standard layout has the opposite key design. The keys still function the same way.
  • Some users find the keys to be loud. We think this can be helpful for some people used to mechanical keyboards and we don't think the keys are overwhelmingly too loud for the general public to use.

Warranty and Customer Support

Azio offers a three-year limited warranty, but their customer service team is on the slow side. They are ultimately effective and helpful, but require a bit of patience to deal with. Azio will also offer refunds within 30 days of purchase.

07

Best Old-School, Buckling Spring Keyboard for Serious Typists

Best Old-School, Buckling Spring Keyboard for Serious Typists

For the discerning typist, mechanical keyboards don't get much better than those with a buckling spring. Get more in touch with what you're typing with the Unicomp Model M Keyboard. We recommend this keyboard for typists due to its lauded clicky switch and operating system specific versions.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard?

This is the mechanical keyboard. Other mechanical keyboard switches, especially Cherry MX Blues, aim to emulate the significant auditory and tactile feedback of the buckling spring. This switch type might be a bit much for casual use, but serious typists will get the most use out of this keyboard.

What Works

  • Unicomp is one of the original manufacturers of the buckling spring, making their keyboards the most faithful modern recreations of the IBM keyboards or yore.
  • The buckling spring's feedback can improve typing precision and make you more aware of your movement around the keyboard.
  • It comes in a Windows and Mac version, but we're not sure how well less popular operating systems interact with these keyboards.
  • "Make no mistake, this is a loud keyboard."
  • The keyboard has adjustable legs that alter its angle.

What Could Be Better

  • Make no mistake, this is a loud keyboard. We're talking borderline typewriter noise levels. Get ready to improve your typing skills and annoy your coworkers at the same time.
  • There's no backlight, but you're clearly a world-class touch typist who hasn't really looked at a keyboard in years.
  • The plastic construction. The inside of this keyboard has everything you could ever need from a mechanical keyboard, but externally, it feels cheaper than it is.

Warranty and Customer Support

Unicomp offers a one-year warranty and 30-day returns. Customer service is helpful and customers report being able to get replacement keys rather than the whole keyboard.

08

Best Keyboard with a Vintage Typewriter Design

Best Keyboard with a Vintage Typewriter Design

Let's bring this blast from the past into the future! Typewriter-like keyboards are plentiful, but the Azio MK Retro does the best job without hurting your wallet too much. We recommend this keyboard for its looks, it brains (mechanical switches), and its cost.

If you have a little more to spend, Azio makes an upgraded version of the Retro in a wired and wireless version. The Azio Retro Classic Keyboards offer Azio switches, leather top plates, and a backlight, plus the wireless version allows you to swap Windows keycaps for Mac ones.

If you have a lot more to spend and want a bit more steampunk in your life, Datamancer will send you some functional art. The Diviner is their least expensive keyboard, but verified users of their keyboards have no complaints.

Membrane or Mechanical Keyboard?

This is a mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX Blue switches to give you that clicky, typewriter-like experience.

What Works

Guide.com
    "You can get this keyboard in 7 different colors."
  • The keys are designed to look like those on a typewriter and create a full keyboard layout. 
  • It's officially designed for use with Windows, but Mac users report full functionality and the Windows key becomes the command key.
  • The number, caps, scroll, and windows locks have little indicator lights at the top right of the keyboard.
  • The keyboard has full key rollover so you can press multiple keys at once and be sure that your complex command will go through.
  • Directly from Azio, you can get this keyboard in seven different color configurations.

What Could Be Better

  • The keys aren't backlit, but users who usually like clicky keys are touch typists.
  • The keys are oil magnets, but each keyboard comes with a cleaning cloth.
  • The feet don't adjust very much, making the keyboard almost flat. People accustomed to typing on laptops probably won't find the angle to be an issue.

Warranty and Customer Support

Customer support for Azio can be on the slow side, but their team is ultimately helpful. Azio will offer refunds within 30 days of purchase and also has a two-year limited warranty for this keyboard.

09

Best Decor-Friendly Keyboards for Casual Use

Best Decor-Friendly Keyboards for Casual Use

If you've ever wanted a really cool looking keyboard and don't understand why they aren't more popular, it's because they often don't handle serious use well. These keyboards can handle typing in some searches on your TV though!

We specifically chose wireless keyboards, so they can connect to TVs and tablets around your home. Apple TVs officially connect with Bluetooth keyboards, but USB wireless dongles can work for just about anything else with a USB port.

Best Glass Keyboard: Bastron Bluetooth Keyboard $100

Guide.com

There are a few glass keyboards out there, but Bastron makes the best transparent one. This waterproof, tempered glass keyboard feels a bit like using a virtual keyboard on a tablet, and with the press of a button, the entire keyboard can also function as a trackpad.

Best Virtual Keyboard: AGS Virtual Keyboard $30

Guide.com

This little device projects a laser keyboard onto any opaque surface. It's dongle-less, but can connect with any Bluetooth-ready device. Like the Bastron, this keyboard has a mouse mode, but it unfortunately doesn't work with tablets or laptops.

Best Wood Keyboard: Sengu Bamboo Keyboard $49

Guide.com

Sengu makes the best wooden keyboards out there with bamboo. Some users actually got comfortable enough to use these 2.4 gHZ wireless keyboards regularly. Occasionally, there are complaints of key ghosting (keys not registering), but it's ultimately a sturdy decor piece. 

You might be surprised by how many features can get packed into a keyboard, but we believe you ultimately make four choices: wired or wireless, membrane or mechanical, chiclet or standard, and backlit or not backlit.

Here's what we considered and why you should think about them too.

Wired vs. Wireless

Wireless keyboards are becoming increasingly popular, but you might not want to ditch wired keyboards just yet.

If you need your keystrokes to reach computer as fast as possible, such as when gaming, wired keyboards are generally better than wireless. Whether connected by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, wireless keyboards will have a slight delay.

Wireless keyboards also need to be charged on a regular basis. On the plus side, they reduce wire clutter and give the keyboard more mobility.

Membrane vs. Mechanical Keyboards

"Mechanical keyboards use a variety of different switch technologies to provide tactile and/or auditory feedback when you type."

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who know a lot about mechanical keyboards and people who've never heard of them. As Apple computers and laptops become increasingly popular and laptops from other companies get thinner, chiclet (see below) membrane keyboards are becoming the default keyboards.

Membrane keyboards are generally cheaper, quieter, and sometimes thinner than their mechanical counterparts. Beneath these keys are layers of plastic that trigger circuitry on the board, giving them a somewhat mushy feel. These keys generally don't provide as much feedback, leading to more aggressive typing.

Mechanical keyboards use a variety of different switch technologies to provide tactile and/or auditory feedback when you type. This trains you to type with more precision and to avoid bottoming out (pressing the keys all the way down into the circuitry). By having a lighter touch, the internals of your mechanical keyboard last longer, justifying their higher cost.

The most popular kinds of switches are linear, tactile, and clicky. Cherry MX switches are the current gold standard, but some companies make their own switches that blur the boundaries.

Linear switches are the most similar to membrane keys while tactile switches provide some physical and auditory feedback. Clicky switches are the most like older keyboards and typewriters because they provide substantial tactile and auditory feedback. Buckling springs take the clicky switch to another level and are known to be revered in the typing community.

Guide.com

Chiclet/Island vs. Standard Keys

Traditionalists may like their keys close together and high off of the board, but chiclet keyboards, made popular by Apple, are infiltrating PC and Chromebook designs. The difference between the two comes down to spacing and key travel time.

A high key travel time is just a way of saying the keys are tall and pressing each key takes more time. This style is typical of standard keyboards, but is more of an issue with membrane keyboards than mechanical keyboards. The latter are designed to avoid bottoming out. Chiclet keys have a shorter key travel time. Key travel time can affect speed, but in terms of comfort, it's a matter of preference.

Guide.com

Standard keyboards can feel a little cramped, especially if you're used to a chiclet layout. Standard keys are right next to each other, but most are smaller at the top than the base Chiclet keys are generally a bit farther apart and some people find this to create a more comfortable typing environment. Not all chiclet keyboards are the same, however, so the distance between the keys can be jarring even if you're used to this design.

Standard keyboards can be mechanical or membrane, but chiclet keyboards are almost always using a membrane. A few companies are working on mechanical chiclet keyboards, but we'll have to wait to see how effective they are.

Backlight vs. No Backlight

If you're a touch typist or you plan on using your keyboard in an office or other well-lit environment, you probably don't need a backlight. If you need a keyboard for personal use, like travel, gaming, or just some late-night web surfing, illuminated keys are your best friend.

Other Considerations

Footbars, Kickstands, and Risers: These are all ways to elevate a keyboard so it sits at an angle. Some people find typing at an angle is more comfortable, but others don't mind a flat keyboard.

Wrist Pads and Palm Rests: Another ergonomic plus, wrist pads are a continuation of the keyboard and offer a comfortable area for your palms so your wrists are a gentler angle.

How We Chose

We considered the keyboard features mentioned above and consulted expert reviews from Wirecutter, PC Mag, and several tech news publications. We also explored videos of various keyboards in use, to get a sense of their durability and the volume of typing. Finally, we cross-referenced this information with verified user reviews on Amazon to find the best keyboards for your needs.

At The Guide, we find products that help you thrive.

When you use our links, we may earn a commission, but it will never cost you extra or impact our recommendations.


Learn More

The Guide Team