Our office experts have spent the last half-decade finding the best keyboards. We researched over 100 models before purchasing over 30 of the best devices to help you find the best option to keep your fingers happy as you type and play. We used these devices with desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. We evaluated and scored each model based on essential metrics like connectivity, ease of use, battery life, software, backlighting, comfort, portability, media keys, and more. Whether your typing needs include casual emailing, school, mobile office, work from home, research papers, reports, grant writing, or serious gaming plus and all of the above, we've compiled this list of the best options for each type of keyboard.If you're looking for a specific kind of keyboard, we've got you covered. For maximum gaming performance, check out our exhaustive best gaming keyboard review. For excellent wireless connectivity and on-the-go portability, see our review of the best wireless keyboards and best wireless mice. And if you spend long hours at the desk and you're looking for some hand and wrist relief, check out our best ergonomic keyboards review. We've also reviewed all types of products to maximize the comfort and efficiency of your home office. We'll make it easy to find the right product for your needs and budget.
10 Best Keyboards of 2023
Our Top Picks
Best Overall Keyboard
Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless
The Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless is an excellent all-around wireless keyboard that will keep you streamlined and efficient, whether you're coding, designing, or pouring through spreadsheets. This device will connect to your device with the Logitech Unifying nano dongle or Bluetooth. Both of these connection types are super fast, with no noticeable lag. The MX Keys Advanced works with all common operating systems. So, whether you're running MacOS, Windows, or Linux, this will connect without any additional drivers or software. You can also connect with up to three devices at once with this model and switch between them with the push of a button. This model has a full tenkey pad, loads of hotkeys, media keys, and programmable F-keys. It's backlit, and the brightness of this backlighting is controlled by ambient light detection. It comes with the Logitech Options software, which lets you customize your keyboard in many ways. When it's not in use, it automatically goes into sleep mode. Then when you move your hands close, it wakes up with motion detection before you even start typing.
While the MX Keys Advanced is a great keyboard, it's not perfect. This has approximately 90 hours of battery life. This means if you're using it for 45 hours per week, it might not make it a whole two weeks. Compared to other wireless options, this battery life is relatively short. But you can still use it while it's charging. And it recharges via USB, so the shorter battery life isn't a huge deal. For an all-around great keyboard with wireless connectivity and tons of features for efficiency, this is an excellent choice.
Best Overall Ergonomic Keyboard
Goldtouch GTN-0099 V2 Adjustable
The Goldtouch GTN-0099 V2 Adjustable is an impressive ergonomic keyboard that can be adjusted into many different tenting and lateral settings. This is one of the easiest models to adapt to an ergonomic design with since you can slowly adjust it to be more and more ergonomic. It can be used flat, just like a traditional model, but it gives you many options to adjust its orientation. You can split this outward to keep your elbows in a natural position. Also, you can set this up with a triangularly shaped slope down from the center to put your wrists in a more comfortable and natural position. The simplistic overall design of this device is quite pleasing, too. And the buttons press down effortlessly, making typing an easy task.
The GTN-0099 V2 has a very simple layout, in some ways, this is a detriment. It has no dedicated media keys or a number pad. If these are features you want, we suggest you look elsewhere. But, for an outstanding ergonomic keyboard that you can start using without learning to type all over again, check out this option.
Best Overall Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries Apex Pro
The SteelSeries Apex Pro has endless customization options for profiles, macros, and lighting. It also has loads of unique features that make gaming better. For these things and more, this is the top full-size gaming keyboard. It allows for endless lighting effects you can easily program. The mechanical Omnipoint keys have adjustable actuation as well. You can quickly switch between profiles with the profile-switching "meta" button. The SteelSeries software is intuitive and makes all these customizations easy. Every aspect of the software is simple to decipher, from meta bindings, key actuation adjustment and illumination, keybindings, OLED, and other settings. Plus, this device has a 104-key rollover. That's right, it has 100% anti-ghosting.
There are a couple of design elements we didn't like as much about the Apex Pro. For instance, the media keys are less intuitive than some. There is an unmarked button for a media key that uses different click patterns for pause/play, forward/skip, and previous track. This isn't terribly difficult to operate, but it's a little annoying. The roller on this device has a lot of resistance and is pretty small, too. Plus, it comes with no extra keycaps. However, keycaps that come on it feel awesome, and this is a thoroughly well-executed gaming machine overall.
Best Tenkeyless Gaming Keyboard
Cooler Master MK730
The Cooler Master MK730 is a much more compact gaming keyboard, but it doesn't skimp on features. It has tons of LED light presets to choose from, a comfortable magnetic attaching palm rest, and a bunch of key binds you can perform on the fly. You can choose between Blue, Red, or Brown Cherry MX mechanical switches for the keys. And it comes with nine extra keycaps. It also comes with keycaps with large see-through lettering to read in the dark. This model has a hybrid key rollover, too. This way every key that's pressed is registered, no matter how fast you're pressing the keys.
Even though the compact footprint of the MK730 is great for gamers wanting more space for their mouse pad, the smaller size of the keyboard means that it lacks some convenient features. It has no dedicated media keys, macro keys, or a tenkey pad. Also, it doesn't have USB passthrough ports. But, if you are looking for a smaller mechanical gaming keyboard that is designed for gaming with multiple switch options and good-looking backlighting, this is a great option.
Best Value for a Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB
The SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB is an affordable gaming keyboard with a full-size design that includes a tenkey pad. It has media keys, including a mute key and volume roller. It also has 10-zone RGB lighting, so you can adjust the backlights to your liking. It has virtually silent rubber dome switches that are rated to 20 million actuations. These switches will last a long time, and they cut down on the clicking sound that's common with mechanical keyboards. You can remap the keys easily for even further customization. It has a very comfortable palm wrest that attaches magnetically. And it's rated to be IP32 water resistant, which means it can withstand minimal moisture.
However, the Apex 3 RGB makes some sacrifices to keep the price low. This board doesn't have the best light effects. And it has less customization than some gaming keyboards. Also, this model doesn't have USB passthrough. But for the price, this is a super-functional device that's easy to use. If this sounds good to you, check this one out.
Best Bang For Your Buck
Kensington Pro Fit Ergonomic Wireless
The Kensington Pro Fit Ergonomic Wireless is a super-affordable ergonomic keyboard. It's wireless and connects seamlessly via Bluetooth. And the Bluetooth has three power settings. This lets you can conserve battery life when closer to your computer or turn the bandwidth up when farther from your device. It has an ergonomic shape, and reverse tilt to get your wrists in the most comfortable position, too. This device won't be destroyed if you spill a drink on it, since it's spill-resistant. We've all had this happen, especially when you spend 40+ hours per week at your computer.
While the Pro Fit Ergonomic has media buttons, you also have to press the function button to use them. Also, there is nowhere to store the USB dongle on this keyboard, so be careful you don't lose it. Even considering these minor downsides, if you're looking for an ergonomic keyboard, this is a great choice for those on a budget.
Best Value for a Keyboard with Mechanical Switches
Redragon K552 Mechanical
For an inexpensive keyboard with mechanical switches, check out the Redragon K552 Mechanical. This gaming keyboard is tenkeyless and uses Outemu Blue Key mechanical switches. These switches are far superior to rubber dome switches. Although, they can be less consistent between keys compared to some switches. The keys on this board are backlit and come with 19 lighting presets. Eight of these presets group keys by color for gaming-specific organization. You can also customize which keys stay illuminated, and save these settings to two different profiles. It also has a 12-key rollover.
The K552 does not have any software to support it, though. It also doesn't have any standalone macro keys, media keys, USB passthrough ports, nor does it have a palm rest. This mechanical gaming device balances size, performance, and price. If you're looking for a mechanical keyboard that won't break the bank, check this model out.
Great Value for a Portable Wireless Model
Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard
The Logitech K380 Multi-Device has a compact and thoughtful design at an affordable price. It's easy to figure out immediately out of the box, and easily switches between up to three devices connected via Bluetooth. It also has round keys and looks sleek overall. When pounding on the keys it feels very durable, too. This is reassuring, considering this device is the perfect size to throw in a backpack. The keys have a quiet click that isn't annoyingly loud, and they have a pleasant feel to them as well. It has shortcut keys for MacOS and Windows.
The K380's round keys do take a little getting used to. Initially, we missed a few keystrokes, but once we got used to the shape, we had no more issues with them. Also, this model still requires alkaline batteries. This isn't as convenient as rechargeable either. However, for an affordable, versatile model that will go anywhere and connect to practically anything, we can live with having to change the batteries every two years.
Best for Customization and Accessories
The Kinesis Freestyle2 is an excellent option for users wanting full customization. If you know just what you want from a keyboard, this is definitely worth a look. This can be set up in many positions. There is a flexible pivot in the middle so you can tent it as high or low as you want. It can separate at this pivot, too, so you can position each side almost any way you could dream up. Whatever extras you want, whether that's a tenkey pad, wrist wrest, or more, Kinesis makes an add-on for this model.
However, anything you want to add to the Freestyle2 you'll have to buy separately. It isn't terribly expensive on its own, but once you start adding parts, the price begins to go up. Also, this model's function key is a toggle, which we didn't love. Overall, this is an excellent choice if you want to customize it to exactly your specifications.
A Premium Wireless Model
Logitech G915 TKL
The Logitech G915 TKL is a high-end, tenkeyless keyboard with some of the best features available. It has customizable backlighting and many key functions you can set yourself, too. You can save two lightning and three macro profiles into its memory. It works with Windows and MacOS, and connects via Bluetooth or the 1-millisecond Lightspeed performance USB receiver. It features 12 hotkeys. It also has a G-shift feature that allows each hotkey to perform a second function. And of course, this has media keys as well.
The G915 TKL is one of the most expensive keyboards you can buy. If you don't think you'll use all these features, you might be better off buying a different one. Also, it isn't as thin as some models, so some might find it less comfortable to use. All that being said, if you want an awesome wireless keyboard you can use in your day job and game with at night, we highly suggest this one.
Why You Should Trust Us
Over the years here at GearLab, we've tested more keyboards than we can count. We use them every day in the office to write the gear reviews you trust, and we test them all as rigorously as any other tech products that we review. We put every device through thorough test procedures and meticulously record the results. We purchased all these keyboards at retail prices, just as you would, from the same popular merchants you shop at.
Our team tested and rated all these keyboards for different qualities depending on the model type and its intended use. We wrote emails and reports, surfed the web, gamed for long hours, and carried them to the office. We inspected their construction, weighed them, and we measured them. In short, we put these devices through the wringer to find the best of the best.
The test team for this review is led by Sam Schild, Austin Palmer, and Ross Patton.
Sam is a writer and outdoor industry professional based in Denver, Colorado. He's followed many career paths in life He's worked as an academic, public school teacher, and bicycle mechanic. In all these career paths, he's used many keyboards over countless hours. He finds joy in adventures big and small and the tools to make the journey better. He appreciates a well-made piece of technology, whether it makes wordsmithing easier or lights his way on a dark fall run.
Senior Research Analyst at GearLab, Austin Palmer is a dedicated gamer in his free time and an electronics specialist during the workweek. Over the last half-decade, he has been on the leading edge of testing everything from VR headsets to smartwatches. All told, Austin spends the majority of his waking hours with his fingers dancing across a keyboard. Austin found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn't work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Austin entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and his love of problem-solving soon led him to build his own computers.
Ross has more than ten years of product testing experience, most recently in the tech product realm. He has reviewed all kinds of electronic devices, ranging from power tools to Bluetooth trackers. With the combined knowledge and experience of our testers, you can rest assured that you are reading an unbiased and straightforward review.
How to Buy the Right Keyboard
Choosing the right keyboard for your intended use is essential. You'll probably be using it for many hours at a time, so you want to make sure it has the features and is comfortable enough to fit your needs. Many different kinds of products can be used for multiple uses, but having the right design and features for certain tasks will likely be easier and potentially more comfortable.
If you're typing hundreds of words an hour for many hours at a time, you're going to want a different device than you would if you're gaming. If you need a keyboard that will connect to multiple devices and is small enough to carry with your laptop, there is an option for that as well. The right design can make your work easier, whether that work is emailing or gaming. We'll walk you through all the different types of models available to help you decide which features are right for you.
What Do You Want To Do With Your Keyboard?
Before choosing a keyboard, it's essential to know what kind of use you're going to get out of it. If you want something that's good for the occasional word document or sending longer text messages on your smartphone, that's going to be a very different product than a tenting model that prioritizes ergonomics. If you want a mechanical keyboard for gaming, that will be very different than an ergonomic model optimized to reduce wrist fatigue.
Many of the products we tested here can be used for multiple purposes, but there are some that are very specialized as well. Many of the products in this guide will meet your needs if you're casually looking for a device to make your laptop more comfortable to type at.
But while many of these products certainly look like standard keyboards, most are intended for a specific use. We don't think you have to have the exact right keyboard for every use case, but there are certain factors you should consider if you're serious about a specific use. We'll outline those below.
Wireless keyboards are usually the smallest and most portable designs. They connect to a variety of devices via Bluetooth, a USB receiver, or both. Sometimes wireless models sacrifice certain features to be lightweight and portable. These models are easiest to throw in a bag with you and bring to work. They also take up less real estate on your desk. But, not all wireless models are small and light. Some of them have a full tenky pad and plenty of extra buttons, like media controls and more.
Ergonomic keyboards typically have a non-traditional shape to them so that your hands, wrists, arms, and elbows are in a more natural position. Ergonomic models can often split into pieces, bend into a tent shape, or both. Typically, these designs are for people who spend long hours at their computers. But really, ergonomic keyboards are great for anyone who uses a keyboard regularly since they're better for the joints in your arms and hands.
Gaming keyboards are optimized for pressing a lot of keys quickly, often all at once. They usually connect to a computer via a USB cable because that's the fastest possible connection. Gaming models usually have keys with mechanical switches so that every time you press a key, you never miss a keystroke and lose in your game. They are often customizable in areas such as keystroke depth, backlight colors, and more.
What Else To Look For
Once you've figured out the style that best suits your needs, looking at the specific design features of different individual models will help you narrow down the field considerably.
Keyboards generally can connect to a computer or other device in one of three ways: a cable, radio frequency and USB receiver, or Bluetooth. Some models have multiple options for connecting to your computer or other devices as well.
A wired keyboard is the simplest and fastest connection. You simply plug it into your computer and can start using it. A wired model is also the fastest possible connection. This is very important for gaming, but for most other applications a super-fast connection like this isn't necessary. The wire is going to cause clutter on your workstation, too.
A keyboard that comes with a small USB receiver, or dongle, connects to your computer via this little device. The USB dongle is a radio frequency receiver that takes the signal sent by the keyboard and feeds it to your computer via the USB port. Models that connect with a USB dongle like this are the second fastest connection. However, you need to not lose that tiny USB dongle, or you'll render your keyboard useless. Many models have a place to store a dongle, but not all of them do.
A keyboard that connects via Bluetooth is by far the simplest connection. It does take the most work to connect the first time, but the process is usually pretty quick. Once you've paired a Bluetooth keyboard to your computer, it will automatically connect whenever it's turned on and in range.
Ease of Use
This examines how simple it is to use each device. When rating for this metric, we assess how easy it is to connect the keyboard to a computer. We also look at what features make it easier or more difficult to use. If it requires becoming an expert on an owner's manual before starting, a product won't score as high as if it is simple to use right out of the box.
We rate every product based on what features make your user experience better. Features like backlighting make working in dark rooms easier, this is important for gaming keyboards. Features like media keys to control or pause what you're listing to help with productivity and are very convenient. Having the ability to switch between devices easily is a great feature for those who are always working on multiple screens. Having a tenkey pad is a nice feature for some, but if you prioritize portability, then this feature isn't as great.
This measures how easily a keyboard can be packed and brought with you. We weigh and measure every product during testing to assess this rubric. Some models have other specific portability features, like smaller keys or folding features.
For ergonomics, we measure how well each device minimizes discomfort. We evaluate the natural feel and pleasantness of each model by using every one for many hours at a time and recording how our hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders feel when in use. Design aspects such as lateral angle, slope, tenting, and having a palm rest all affect the ergonomics of a device.
Some keyboards come with software to help you set up and customize them. The complexity of this software varies greatly and isn't all that necessary for many users. But if you want to get the most out of a higher-end or a gaming keyboard, then whether or not it comes with software to customize is important. The best software is easy to learn and operate, and allows you to navigate the complexities of customizing things like macros and other shortcuts, multiple screens and devices, backlighting, and more.
Most keyboards have a fairly long battery life. In fact, wired models have infinite battery life since they're drawing power from the computer they're connected to, as long as that computer has power.
If a keyboard is wireless, it needs its own battery supply. Some devices use alkaline batteries to power them. These batteries need to be replaced every so often, but it's generally a few months of use before a keyboard will need new alkaline batteries.
Some models have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These batteries tend not to last as long as alkaline batteries, but since they're rechargeable, it isn't a big deal. Most keyboards can be used while they're being recharged via a USB cable. And since you're generally using a keyboard with a computer, finding a power source isn't an issue, either.
We hope this guide should help make your buying decision a little bit easier. After assessing your goals and needs, choose one from his list that fits your needs best. We're always looking for the best new keyboards, so rest assured, we'll keep buying, using, and reviewing the best ones to help you find the right product for your needs and budget.
— Sam Schild, Austin Palmer, and Ross Patton
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