Most of us spend a considerable amount of time in front of a computer with a keyboard as our main input device. As such, it’s important to choose a keyboard with features that suit our needs, whether it’s for gaming or productivity.
Best Keyboard For Gaming: SteelSeries Apex Pro SteelSeries Apex Pro The best keyboard for gaming that we’ve tested is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This wired, full-sized mechanical board is an outstanding choice for gamers due to its customizable pre-travel distance and RGB backlighting. Its body is made of aluminum, while the keycaps are made of durable double-shot ABS plastic. Also, it’s quite comfortable with one incline setting and a detachable magnetic wrist rest. The cable that’s attached to the keyboard should be long enough for most gaming rigs and is covered by a rubber coating. It uses OmiPoint linear switches, which offer a very light typing experience. Not only that, but they’re also quiet enough to not disturb those around you. You can customize the RGB backlight and program macros with the outstanding SteelSeries Engine companion software, which along with the keyboard itself, are fully compatible with Windows and macOS. Also, all your settings will be saved to the on-board memory. You can also customize the pre-travel and actuation force to suit your needs.
Unfortunately, the wrist rest that comes with it is a dust magnet, while the inclination feet open vertically and are prone to closing on themselves if the keyboard is pushed. Also, while all keys are macro-programmable, there are no dedicated macro keys. On the upside, it has dedicated media keys, and there’s a customizable OLED screen that can display anything from an image to a GIF. Overall, this is one of the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested.
WIRELESS ALTERNATIVE: LOGITECH G915 LIGHTSPEED Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED If you’re looking for a wireless keyboard for gaming, check out the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. Its typing experience and build quality may not be as good as the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but it has unique low-profile switches and its compatibility options are better. This mechanical board’s pre-travel distance and total travel distance are quite low, and the switches are available in tactical, clicky, and linear versions. The wireless versatility is excellent, with Logitech claiming thirty hours of battery life with the RGB lighting turned to maximum. It can be paired with two devices, one via Bluetooth and one over its proprietary receiver, and you can easily switch between profiles with the press of a button. It’s fully compatible with Windows, and partially with all other major operating systems. If you want an excellent gaming keyboard that has a sturdier-feeling build and a much better typing experience, get the SteelSeries. However, if you’re looking to upgrade your setup and want unique low-profile switches, better connectivity options, and wireless capabilities to keep things clean, then get the Logitech.
Best Office Keyboard: Logitech MX Keys Logitech MX Keys The best office keyboard that we’ve tested is the Logitech MX Keys. This wireless, full-sized keyboard has a sleek design that feels more premium than other office keyboards that we’ve tested. The frame is made of metal, while the stable keycaps are made of dense, good quality plastic. It’s quite sturdy overall, and the grippy feet prevent the board from sliding around as you type. It has a white backlight, which suits the more professional design of the board. It uses scissor switches, which have a low pre-travel distance and don’t require much force to actuate. Each key has an indentation, making it easier to hit the keys in their center, which can help reduce typos. It can be used wirelessly over Bluetooth or with its proprietary receiver and can be paired with up to three devices at once. It’s fully compatible with Windows and macOS, with only some minor buttons not working on mobile devices.
Unfortunately, the ergonomics of the keyboard could be better, as it lacks a wrist rest, and the default inclination can’t be adjusted. The companion software, Logitech Options, allows you to set its programmable buttons, but you can’t set any macros, which may be a dealbreaker if you’re a programmer. The frame does exhibit some flex to it, and the metal under the spacebar feels a bit loose. That said, this is one of the best wireless keyboards we’ve tested.
ALTERNATIVE WITH BETTER ERGONOMICS: KINESIS FREESTYLE EDGE RGB Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB If you’re looking for something more comfortable to use, consider the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. Its build doesn’t feel as well-built, and it’s wired-only, which may be off-putting compared to the Logitech MX Keys, but it has better ergonomics and better software to customize it. This is a split board with two separate halves that can be positioned however you want, and it comes with detachable wrist support. It works with RGB SmartSet software, which allows you to save nine unique profiles to the onboard memory as well as program macros. If you want an even better ergonomic option with a ton of customization, check out the ErgoDox EZ, though it’s much more expensive. If you want a keyboard with a solid design and wireless capabilities, the Logitech is a great choice, but if ergonomics and comfort mean more to you, get the Kinesis.
Best Keyboard For Programming: Razer BlackWidow Elite Razer BlackWidow Elite The best keyboard for programming that we’ve tested is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. This full-sized, wired, mechanical keyboard has a great build quality due to a sturdy frame that doesn’t exhibit much in the way of flex. It comes with a detachable wrist rest, and there are two incline settings, which make this a pretty comfortable keyboard to type on. Also, programmers will be happy to know that every key is macro-programmable. The proprietary Razer Orange switches on our unit offer tactile feedback and low pre-travel. Not only that, but they’re quiet enough to not disturb those around you. If you don’t like the feel of the Orange switches, this keyboard is also available with Razer Green (tactile and clicky) and Yellow switches (linear and silent). It has full RGB backlighting, which can be customized in the companion software. Also, the cable that’s attached to the board ends in three different outlets, two different USB plugs, and one 3.5mm audio jack.
Unfortunately, the wrist rest that comes with the keyboard is slightly unstable when attached to the board. The ‘Scroll Lock’ and ‘Pause Break’ buttons don’t work on macOS, and Razer Synapse 3 is only available on Windows. Also, any RGB settings you make don’t seem to save to the onboard memory. On the upside, there are dedicated media keys and a volume control wheel at the top right-hand side of the board. That said, this is of the best keyboards for programming we’ve tested. WIRELESS ALTERNATIVE: RAZER PRO TYPE Razer Pro Type If you’d like a wireless option, consider the Razer Pro Type. Its ergonomics aren’t as good, and it lacks onboard memory like the Razer BlackWidow Elite, but it can be used wirelessly and can pair with up to four different devices at once. Unlike Razer’s gaming lineup, it’s only available with Razer Orange switches, which offer tactile feedback and don’t require a lot of force to actuate. The spacing of the keys is quite standard, and even though there’s some wobble, it’s not noticeable when typing. Also, the keys are quiet and shouldn’t bother those around you as long as you don’t bottom them out. You can connect to it with its proprietary receiver and pair an additional three devices over Bluetooth while switching between them is done with a button prompt. Unfortunately, its high profile could benefit from a wrist rest. While the Elite has full RGB backlighting, the Pro has white backlight instead that’s limited to two effects. Overall, if you want something with better ergonomics and on-board memory, then get the Elite. However, if you’re working on multiple devices at once and want to connect to them easily, get the Pro Type.
Best Mobile Keyboard: Logitech K380 Logitech K380 The best keyboard for mobile devices we’ve tested is the Logitech K380. It’s a simple option that’s small and light enough to carry around in your bag. It feels decently well-built, so you won’t have to worry too much about it breaking or falling apart if you carry it around. It uses simple chiclet-style scissor switches that offer a good typing quality. It has a low profile, and it’s comfortable to type on for long periods. The circular keys might take some time to get used to, but there’s enough space between them to help reduce typos. Except for some non-alphanumeric keys, it’s compatible with all common desktop and mobile operating systems. It has multi-device pairing with up to three devices via Bluetooth, and there are hotkeys to switch between each device.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any backlighting, so it’s not ideal if you work in dark environments. Also, the Logitech Options software doesn’t offer many customization options, but you can reprogram some function keys from a preset list. Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable keyboard that you can use with your mobile devices, this one is a good choice.
Best Cheap Keyboard: Redragon K552-RGB Redragon K552-RGB The best cheap keyboard that we’ve tested is the Redragon K552-RGB. This wired, mechanical TenKeyLess option is an adequate choice as it’s simple yet functional. It has a surprisingly solid build that’s made of hard plastic and metal that offers no signs of flex. There are plenty of variants to this keyboard, including black or white frames and different backlights. It uses clicky mechanical Outemu Blue switches, which provide tactile feedback and don’t have a lot of pre-travel distance, but might be too loud for an office environment. You don’t need too much force to actuate the keys, which provides a light and responsive typing experience. Also, the keycaps are made of double-shot ABS plastic and feel quite stable, with only the spacebar being a little wobbly. While there’s no companion software, the outstanding RGB backlighting can still be customized on the keyboard itself.
Unfortunately, there are no macros, and none of the keys can be reprogrammed. Also, this is a wired-only keyboard, meaning you can’t use it wirelessly over Bluetooth or a proprietary receiver. Ergonomics are okay overall despite having only one incline setting, but it could benefit by having a wrist rest. That said, if you’re looking for a simple yet effective mechanical option at a cheap price, the Redragon is one of the best cheap mechanical keyboards we’ve tested.