Quick typing is a crucial factor of a good keyboard
Theoretically, it’s possible to work on a PC without using any keyboard. A touch screen is enough. But that thing is quite expensive. Not to mention, that typing on it becomes torture. That’s why various keyboards will remain popular for a long time. This article is about the best keyboards of 2020, according to the users’ and experts’ reviews.
Just a couple of decades ago, all the keyboards were almost identical. The only differences were the producers’ logos and design features. Today, several separate categories have emerged.
- Office keyboards. They still remain that plain design of the 80s. Basic keys, used in Windows, plus rudimentary Pause/Break and Scroll Lock. Such keyboards are supposed to be a cheap typing device with limited functionality. All available improvements are represented by a USB slot.
- Multimedia keyboards. They have an extended set of functions. It may be represented by an extra row of keys. Besides, the Fn-key can be held down together with the keys of F-row. That resembles how it works on a laptop. That makes it possible to regulate the volume level, switch tracks. You can also open frequently used programs (usually browser, mail client). It’s really convenient and fast. That made this type so popular.
- Gaming keyboards (like any of this segment) are famous for their design, often kitschy. Still, this category has its own features that are necessary for gamers. For example, extra programmable function keys. It’s even possible to fix the macros there. Nice, when the manufacturer of a gaming keyboard develops an ergonomic design. It becomes convenient to work with large volumes of texts. The author of this article has personally made sure of it.
- Rating of the best keyboards for PCs and laptops
- How to choose a keyboard?
Rating of the best keyboards for PCs and laptops
|The best wireless keyboards for PC||1||Logitech Craft Advanced keyboard Grey Bluetooth||9.8 / 10|
|2||Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 Black USB||9.7 / 10|
|3||HP K2500 (E5E78AA) Black USB||9.1 / 10|
|The best wireless keyboards for laptops||1||Logitech Wireless Keyboard K360 Black USB||9.5 / 10|
|2||Apple Magic Keyboard White Bluetooth||8.5 / 10|
|The best wired keyboards||1||Logitech Corded Keyboard K280e Black USB||9.5 / 10|
|2||Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600 Black USB||9.4 / 10|
|3||HP QY776AA Black USB||9.3 / 10|
|The best membrane gaming keyboards||1||Logitech G213 Prodigy RGB Gaming Keyboard Black USB||9.5 / 10|
|2||Razer Cynosa Chroma Black USB||9.3 / 10|
|3||A4Tech Bloody B120 Black USB||9.3 / 10|
|The best gaming mechanical keyboards||1||Logitech G G513 CARBON Linear Black USB||9.5 / 10|
|2||ASUS ROG Strix SCOPE||9.4 / 10|
|3||HyperX Alloy FPS (Cherry MX Brown) Black USB||9.3 / 10|
|4||Redragon Indrah Black USB||8.8 / 10|
|Ergonomic keyboards||1||Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 Black USB||9.7 / 10|
|Non-traditional keyboards||1||Razer Tartarus V2 Black USB||9.6 / 10|
|2||A4Tech X7-G100 Black USB||8.9 / 10|
The best wireless keyboards for PC
1. Logitech Craft Advanced keyboard Grey Bluetooth.
Apparently, a good keyboard combined with a Bluetooth-module was too boring for Logitech. The designers work a lot on it. The keyboard itself is amazingly beautiful. Those who love Apple production will be surprised – it’s compatible with macOS. The spinner on the upper-left corner can be used as an extra manipulator on the apps. For example, it’s suitable for Adobe products. Still, the developers of applied software don’t hurry to support a single keyboard model. That’s why you have to use the spinner to regulate the volume level only. But this is very convenient.
It’s a laptop keyboard with the keys of the island style. They are comfortable to touch, especially while blind typing. Despite the visual lightness, this keyboard weighs an entire kilo. So, it comfortably fits your working area. An integrated battery provides a good autonomy. To charge it, you should use popular type-C.
Keyboard illumination works excellently. Besides, it automatically adapts to the light intensity. An integrated sensor is used for that. There’s also a proximity sensor. If you move your hands far enough, the illumination will turn off automatically. That’s how it saves the charge.
Bluetooth allows you to work with three wireless devices simultaneously. For example, you can connect a smartphone to it. That will allow you to reply to the incoming messages using the keyboard. Then you can switch the mode back and return to work. This device can be compared to the best Corsair wireless keyboard.
2. Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 Black USB
This is a keyboard of a common design. The user will see a high Enter key and a long right Shift (only the left one is shortened). The right part includes a traditional numeric keypad. This device has 4 extra keys. The large lower part serves as a support pad for wrists. In other words, this device has no unnecessary elements. You can work using this USB keyboard even when there’s no external illumination. Illuminated keys allow you to do that. Still, there’s a small drawback. It can work only ten days without a battery. In most cases, it’s permanently connected to the computer with a USB-cable. It’s rarely used as a wireless keyboard.
3. HP K2500 (E5E78AA) Black USB
Nice classical keyboard with well-placed extra volume control keys. Unfortunately, Lock-keys indicators have disappeared. That may cause plenty of problems for those who can’t type blindly. Still, there are nice low-noise keys with water protection. Along with that, the battery consumption is low.
To make the product more economic, the producer had to configure the keyboard in a certain way. If you haven’t pressed any key for a certain period, the keyboard goes to sleep. Someone can consider it as an inconvenient feature. But you’ll get used to do double-clicking after a long pause.
It’s connected to PC via a small Wi-Fi dongle. Unfortunately, the latter doesn’t always work correctly. The producer claims that it works in a range of 10 metres. Although it’s better not to insert it very far.
The best wireless keyboards for laptops
1. Logitech Wireless Keyboard K360 Black USB
Ambitious designers’ experiments are not equally useful. That’s exactly what happened with the wireless keyboard K360. It looks quite attractive on the counter. But in fact, it’s oddly designed and inconvenient to use. The arrow keys are not located where they used to be. Along with that, they are too small. Insert/Delete/Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys turned out to be in the upper part.
Still, this keyboard has perfect island-style keys. That is absolutely suitable for a short-stroke keyboard. Besides, there are extra basic multimedia keys. The Fn and F-row keyboard shortcuts are used to perform traditional laptop functions. This shows that the manufacturer made this keyboard specifically for laptops. But for some reason, it’s connected to the laptop via a USB-dongle instead of using Bluetooth.
2. Apple Magic Keyboard White Bluetooth
Most wireless keyboards and keyboards, in general, are used to work on Windows. That’s why Apple MacBook owners will find this product quite interesting. Experiment lovers who use hacked Macintosh will like it as well.
It goes without saying that the very name of Apple makes its products overpriced. Apple lovers can talk about good ergonomics and nice design all they want. There are indeed many advantages, but the price-quality ratio is not that good. That differs Apple from other manufacturers. So, that limits the circle of buyers.
Still, we need to note that this keyboard works long enough. An integrated battery provides good autonomy. The keys are really convenient to use, and… Well, that’s it.
The best wired keyboards1. Logitech Corded Keyboard K280e Black USB
This neat multimedia keyboard is the best cheap choice. It’s for those who prefer short-stroke island-style keys. The standard key row is extended. Fn-key is used in conjunction with the F-row keys. That’s a basic set that enables multimedia devices to work. Unfortunately, this set doesn’t include the keys of a quick switch between the windows or tabs. There is no key to open the browser, either. Enter key has become lower. This makes the whole device not so convenient.
This device can be easily washed. Nice opaque plastic makes it pleasant to use. The keys are not so noisy, and the paint layer remains intact for a long time. These are significant advantages for cheap devices like this one. So, this keyboard deservedly gets its place in the ranking of the best.
2. Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600 Black USB
Here is a traditional keyboard (with a narrow Enter again). There was added a basic multimedia set, which consists of five keys. They are supposed to switch tracks, regulate the volume level. They also open the calculator by default. People who have to work with texts a lot will appreciate this device. The keys are soft touch and comfortable. The fingers perfectly fit into their rough concave surface. If you have to work till late, you will appreciate the high-quality paint on the keys. The screen light makes them fully visible. Although this won’t replace the keyboard illumination.
Here comes another significant plus. It’s easy to remove the keys since they are fixed on the hard base plate. They can be removed very easily for cleaning and washing.
Still, there are some weird design decisions. For example, the lower part is concave. That’s useful only when the device stands on the keyboard legs. But when you try to put it down, it will only get in the way. The long keys are a bit noisy. But it’s a typical situation for cheap models.
3. HP QY776AA Black USB
The classical 104-key device continues our list of the best keyboards. The brand itself has already become classical. This is what people buy when they want to spend less and get a reliable brand’s product.
This keyboard looks more than decent. It stands out in the row of the traditional angular ones. The angles of the housing are rounded. The keys of this membrane keyboard are designed to provide a high level of comfort. Unfortunately, extra opportunities are limited. All Fn-shortcuts are supposed to work. But in fact, only 8 of 12 keys perform extra functions.
On the whole, this keyboard turned out to be too average. There’s even nothing else to say about it. In case, you need a good and cheap 104-key model, why not? Perhaps, this will be the best description for HP QY776AA Black USB.
The best membrane gaming keyboards
1. Logitech G213 Prodigy RGB Gaming Keyboard Black USB
This classical stylish game keyboard is equipped with an RGB-backlight. It can be set via standard software or completely turned off. That will remove this kitsch. The keyboard’s assets include an extended multimedia series. It can boast of an average membrane stiff. Good water protection is provided. If you accidentally spill a glass of water on the keyboard, it won’t stop working. There are no extra keys (except multimedia ones). But the operation of the main keys can be configured using standard software. Moreover, it’s even possible to adjust the mouse sensitivity. It’s convenient if a mouse doesn’t have an easily accessible DPI button. This device is as good as a Corsair keyboard.
2. Razer Cynosa Chroma Black USB
Fortunately, the makers of this best gaming keyboard didn’t go too far while working on the design. Thus, it appeared to be plain enough. But its illumination can shine with all the colours of the rainbow. This is no ever the best one: the symbols look dimly. The light between the keys is too bright, so you may not even see the symbols. But there’s a possibility to set the illumination. So, you can adjust the keyboard to working at night.
Perhaps, we would recommend this one to World of Tanks fans. Why is that? The answer is simple. Fans of this game are known for drinking beer while playing. Cynosa Chroma will easily stand this test. Of course, the keys will be sticky, but the keyboard itself will “survive”.
Macro recording is provided as well. Besides, it can be done really fast. Those who love games with complex mechanics will find it useful. Technical specifications have a “game mode”. There’s even a separate led for this. It is supposed to show the activation of this mode. Actually, all this mode does is lock the Win-key.
This gaming keyboard’s cable doesn’t impress that much. It is not braided, and there’s no ferrite filter. Even a cheap Qumo Dragon War has those things. This is just a regular PVC shell, which looks terribly cheap. That’s not what you expect at this price.
Actually, the price made this model take its place in our ranking. Without any doubt, it is convenient to use. It also has functionality. But you feel like it’s overpriced after you’ve seen it.
3. A4Tech Bloody B120 Black USB
This rather cheap A4Tech keyboard deserves high praise for its discreet design. It doesn’t happen that often when it comes to gaming peripherals. The traditional set of 104 keys equipped with customizable lighting. The convenience of cleaning and high-quality membrane makes us recommend this model.
Traditionally, most often used keys in games are silicone. They significantly differ from the main row in tactical feelings. So, you may not fear that you will break the keyboard in a fit of rage. Even if you will accidentally throw a grenade under your feet instead of running back. If you wish, you can put regular keys instead of silicone ones. They are included in the kit.
The best gaming mechanical keyboards
1. Logitech G G513 CARBON Linear Black USB
Usually, the word «gaming» in keyboard specifications is just a marketing move. That is what makes students’ minds excited before another holiday. In tough cases, that means a tawdry design. Everything that can be illuminated is illuminated. It is good that Logitech keeps the bar high. This mechanical gaming keyboard design is different. It is deliberately minimalist and plain. The designers worked a lot on the quality, reliability, and ergonomics.
The keyboard is based on a frame made of polished aluminum-magnesium alloy. The switches are provided by the Romer-G Linear brand. They were developed jointly with Omron. They are triggered at a stroke of one and a half millimeters. They move smoothly and noiselessly. But there is no pronounced tactile recoil.
A support pad covered with good artificial skin is made for the wrists. Moreover, it is not attached to the keyboard itself. You can place it wherever you want, or not to use it at all. This is definitely a plus. If the workspace is small, such a big support pad will simply make things worse.
RGB-backlight doesn’t make you blind, shining between the keys. It highlights the symbols only. You can set it for your taste, or just turn it off. But if you use the computer till late, the right illumination will be useful.
Using the branded software, you can customize the illumination. Moreover, it’s possible to program macros. But the layout of the interface is not very convenient. That doesn’t necessarily have to be used for games. For example, you can program a set of emoticons for quick insertion into the text.
It’s possible to connect the flash drives to the back of the keyboard. There is a neat port for this purpose. The cable occupies two ports on the backside of the computer. But this port is the second version of USB. Now the third one is becoming more popular. This model is just as good as a Corsair mechanical keyboard.
2. ASUS ROG Strix Scope
This brand is known for maximizing the usefulness of space. Usually, such keyboards are as compact as possible. In the case of game keyboards, this also limits the vivid imagination of designers. That’s why many keyboards of this design look quite neutral. Not only keen gamers prefer to buy them. Well, even this text you see is typed on a mechanical keyboard (but not exactly on this).
The new mechanical keyboard was introduced just recently. It’s another keyboard that usually comes with Cherry MX switches. Mostly, they are red. But the company’s website also offers Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver, and Silent Red. There’s RGB-illumination compatible with Aura branded technology.
There is an interesting unusual feature which you will short notice on the F-row. The F5-F12 keys on the front represent their multimedia functions only. The F-symbols are hidden on the side facing the user (like the «blind» Das Keyboard). To use them as multimedia keys, it is not necessary to hold down Fn simultaneously. The shortcut of Fn + Ins switches the entire series. After that, you can use the keys as traditional or multimedia ones. A separate led shows the activation of this or that mode. The F12-key deserves special attention. It activates the “Stels” mode if you use it as a multimedia key. This mode should be called “Mom entered the room”. After pressing it, all the windows are minimized. The sound turns off immediately. It looks like, it can be useful not only while playing games… Another feature is extended left Ctrl. Apparently, it’s for those who like to crawl in games.
The cable is in the centre. There are two troughs from its exit point on the back side. So, you can put the wire on the left or the right. The front panel is made of aluminium. Still, it’s quite weighty. The total weight of the keyboard is a little more than a kilogram. That makes this game keyboard stable.
All the settings are done via branded software. You can flexibly adjust the illumination, key assignment, and record macros. The last ones are stored in the non-volatile memory of the controller of the «board» itself. The shortcuts allow you to control the light and record macros without any software.
3. HyperX Alloy FPS (Cherry MX Brown) Black USB
HyperX Alloy FPS is a classic full-size keyboard without too bright RGB-illumination. There’s only red colour. The brightness can be adjusted, and the dynamic effects can be disabled. A strong and weighty metal frame makes the keyboard stable, so it doesn’t move here or there. Its weight allows the rubber legs to cling more securely to the table. The switches are provided by Cherry MX brand that has already become classical. The options with red, brown, and blue are available. So, it’s you who decides whether you want linear switches or tactile. Maybe you want to hear those peculiar clicks when typing. This is possible as well. NKRO is provided too.
The illumination of the keyboard works effectively. The symbols on the key capes are correctly located (they shine through as it should be). Extra WASD and 1-4 capes are highlighted in colour and texture. The capes themselves are simple. They are made from ABS. Well, you wouldn’t expect two-layer casting on a cheap mechanical gaming keyboard. Besides, everybody knows that it’s easy to find key capes for Cherry switches.
In general, the keyboard has proved to be good. It is sold well, so it deserves recommendations.
4. Reddragon Indrah Black USB
Could the best mechanical keyboard be cheaper than the one ordered on Aliexpess? Yes, that happens. Besides, even a support pad and five separate keys for opening macros are provided. Moreover, these macros are stored in internal memory. They don’t use external software. All this is located on a weighty aluminum plate. Looks really impressive! There’s even a customizable illumination.
But it isn’t so cheap for nothing. The switches are not that bad, but they are produced by the Outemu Blue brand. That’s why we can’t say that it’s a reliable keyboard. They could use cheap Kaihl, for example. Besides, this company has improved the quality of its products significantly. The noise of the keys while working leaves much to be desired. Well, “blue” switches are supposed to be noisy. But like Outemu switches do.
The capes are too cheap. Red Dragon is even worse than ZET Blade, which has the same price. The latter is equipped with much neater capes, which are shone better through. Besides, the software is more functional in recent updates.
We should mention something else. The third revision of a single model has already emerged on the market. Let’s describe the first one. The symbols of the Cyrillic alphabet were simply painted and did not shine through. At least there were multimedia keys. Now the Cyrillic letters are well-seen. But the volume level is controlled using Fn-shortcuts. Well, the Chinese manufacturer doesn’t sit back and improves its products. The new Indrah models don’t look so creepy. But we still hope that once they will choose another brand to produce the switches. Is it worth buying? If you want precisely a mechanical keyboard, that’s ok. It’s also a nice option when your budget is limited. But, in general, this is a quite mediocre device.
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 Black USB
Looking at this USB keyboard you will probably be surprised. It seems like this device is melting like an ice-cream. In fact, this shape is designed to prevent the user’s hands from getting tired. They are always in the right position, so it’s easy to work with huge volumes of text. The only drawback is that the Enter-key is too low. For the first time, it’s inconvenient to use it. The price could be lower: such a simple device should cost less. Apparently, the manufacturer spent a lot on leather wrist rest.
1. Razer Tartarus V2 Black USB
This device combined a whole bunch of programmable keys. They are made using membrane-mechanical technology. There’s also an eight-position D-Pad, fully programmable. What is membrane mechanics, as it was called in Razer? These are the mechanical contacts. There’s no spring that makes them elastic, as you could think. Here they used a dome, like in the ordinary membrane keyboards. That means the softness and reliability become higher. But this construction makes quite a weird noise.
Here is something that gamer will appreciate. You can create an unlimited number of profiles for the device. Moreover, you can write macros of unlimited length. The manipulator itself is very ergonomic. The fingers themselves get where they need to. There is a customizable RGB-illumination. This makes it easier to remember the keys assignment.
Is this device worth buying? No, if a game keyboard is not what you look for. It’s for those who kill time in MOBA and other MMOs. In this case, this is the best option. Besides, there’s not so much choice.
2. A4Tech X7-G100 Black USB
This device looks like a traditional keyboard. But in fact, this is a specific device developed for gamers. It saves space on the table. The keyboard has A4Tech X7-G100 55 keys, which are enough for most games. All the keys are easily accessible. You almost don’t have to use the second hand while playing. It will be on the mouse. But ergonomically, this device is a bit worse than a similar Logitech product.
How to choose a keyboard?
Let’s start with the key design. Now you can choose from three options:
- Membrane keyboards. This is a budget option due to the ease of manufacturing. Although there are some keyboards which cost a lot. Each key rests against an elastic hemisphere. In its centre, a contact of conductive rubber is fixed. When pressed, the finger bends the dome. This is how it rests contact with the lower substrate with the tracks. There are several drawbacks. It doesn’t last for long, though some keyboards work after 20 years. It’s better not to spill water on it. The water penetrates between the membrane and the substrate. It stays there without drying for a long time. That’s true for cheap devices. After a while, it becomes harder to press the keys. It seems like you’ve pressed one, but it won’t work.
- Scissor mechanism. It’s an improvement of membrane keyboards. Extra levers under the key stabilize its movement when pressed at an angle. A short working stroke makes the work easier. Sometimes this mechanism is used on membrane keyboards under wide keys. Others remain membrane-based.
- Mechanical keyboards. They have a separate microswitch under each key. That gives excellent feedback. They are long-lasting. You don’t have to press a key until it finally works. This significantly increases noise. But that’s not true for special low-noise series. This is the oldest category of keyboards. But it’s in the high demand now. Still, it doesn’t have that many advantages. They are just fashionable now.
The configuration of the keys can be very different. It can be traditional, established in the late 80s, or the modern one. You should choose the right device for yourself. What if you often work with the clipboard? It’s better to buy a keyboard with strong Cut-Copy-Paste keys. A separate set of multimedia keys for the home PC keyboard will be a good choice. Controlling the media player without switching windows will be a good option.