Best Wireless Keyboard of 2021
The Logitech K380 Multi-Device keyboard is a thoughtfully designed, compact model that can easily switch between three different devices. It's attractive and feels durable, and the round keys add a unique design element. They may take some time to get used to, but they are actually pleasantly ergonomic and click away quietly underneath your fingertips. The shortcut keys that are MacOS and Windows-specific, and it is also Android compatible, making it available to a wide variety of users. It connects seamlessly right out of the box and once connected, can quickly switch between three different chosen devices. Many of the keyboards we tested require reading the instruction manual and following individual steps to set up. Logitech keyboards, on the other hand, are super simple to use, with intuitive set-ups and simple diagrams instead of lengthy instruction manuals.
Our lone complaint with this model is that it is powered by batteries, which will run up a cost over time. We'd suggest getting a set of rechargeable batteries for this purpose. However, by switching it off after use, you can assure that you'll get a long life out of this excellent keyboard, and you won't break the bank either.
OMOTON is great at making sleek, design-conscious products at affordable prices, and their OMOTON Ultra-Slim Bluetooth keyboard is no different. With its silver backing and white square keys, it mimics the design of the Apple Magic keyboard, but at a fraction of the price. It is a standard size, and typing is intuitive and easy. The keys have a longer travel time than on the actual Apple Magic keyboard and can be a bit "chatty" at higher typing speeds, but some might like the thicker feel over the thin membrane-style keys of the recent MacBooks. The shortcuts are also MacOS specific, but the keyboard will work with Windows or Android devices. We were impressed by its Bluetooth range, operating up to 20 feet away, outperforming more expensive models.
The keyboard is also constructed entirely of plastic, which gives it a "knock-off" feel, but still looks and performs exceptionally well. It is powered by batteries that are not included, which is more inconvenient than any other models tested — most keyboards were rechargeable, and usually, the ones that required batteries came with a set already in place. Additionally, this model could only connect to one device at a time, unlike some of the other models that allow you to switch between devices. Overall though, we felt this keyboard is a great choice for those on a budget, especially those fond of Apple product designs.
Logitech leads the pack with its extensive offerings of wireless keyboards, and the Logitech Multi-Device K480 keyboard was by far the most versatile keyboard in our lineup. It can be connected to up to three devices at once and has the unique design feature of a small, convenient dial to switch seamlessly between your laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone. Additionally, it has a cradle made of silicone where a phone or tablet can sit comfortably at a perfect viewing angle, making it an excellent option for someone who plans on using their keyboard for multiple purposes.
The keys are small and round, almost reminiscent of a typewriter, which may be strange to those used to typing on square keys. They have a long travel distance, requiring you to push down with some effort, and make a loud clacking sound. Some will like this tactile experience, while others might prefer the silent, low profile keys featured on other keyboards. The keyboard is also bulky and heavy, so it's less ideal as a travel keyboard. But for those who are multi-taskers that switch between many devices, this is a great versatile option.
Apple's latest wireless keyboard is the Apple Magic keyboard, an updated iteration from its previous model. Unlike its predecessor, this keyboard is rechargeable, which is a highly desirable feature. The ease of use for an Apple user is undeniable, as all you have to do is take it out of the package, slide the button on, and it automatically pairs with your computer with no setup required. The keypad is the same layout as any Macbook or desktop Mac, making it intuitive for someone who primarily uses MacOS systems. With its stylish, on-brand design, and ease of use, it is a great choice for someone with Apple products.
It does not connect to multiple devices at once, like some of the other keyboards we tested. For someone with a lot of Apple products, like a Macbook and iPad and iPhone, for example, it would be nice to be able to switch typing between devices seamlessly, a feature this keyboard does not have. Its shortcut keys are not compatible with other systems like Windows or Android, but the keyboard will still pair with these systems. Out of all the models we tested, this keyboard had the longest Bluetooth range, working flawlessly at 30 feet away. Overall, Apple's lightweight Bluetooth keyboard design is the best choice for someone with MacOS systems who wants a quick and easy keyboard that is useful enough to stay on a desk and lightweight enough to carry from home to the office.
The Arteck 2.4G Stainless Steel Ultra-Slim is a full-size keyboard with standard size square keys and a numeric keypad. It takes up a lot of space on a desk but will be familiar to those used to working on desktop computers with larger keyboards. This keyboard is the best option for someone who is looking for a wireless keyboard to minimize the clutter of a wired keyboard without losing the functionality of a full-size keyboard.
Our testers found that the nano USB performed noticeably poorly in our range test, only working at a max distance of 6 feet. The keys can also feel slightly sticky, requiring a lot of effort to depress. This resulted in some missed keystrokes but improved as we got used to the particular typing action. Those who often use a numeric keypad will love the addition of that feature in this slim, attractive keyboard. The Arteck 2.4G will modernize any desktop workspace with its wireless technology and no-fuss Nano USB setup, as long as you stay close to your computer.
The Klim Chroma Rechargeable Gaming is a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad and an impressive display of tri-colored backlighting. Though it is the bulkiest keyboard out of all the wireless models we tested, its mechanical keyboard-like feel will be appreciated by those who prefer deep, tactile clicking action. It is effortless to set up; just plug in the Nano USB and immediately start typing. The backlighting has two brightness levels and three modes: on, off, and "breathing," where it slowly illuminates in and out. This keyboard was made with gamers in mind; its colorful backlighting will help those who like to play in the dark, its full-size keypad allows for maximum utility, and its key's fast response time will make sure that you don't miss a stroke.
After 60 seconds of idle time, the backlight will automatically turn off to improve battery life, but for those who play strategy games that move more slowly, this might be inconvenient if you are playing in the dark. Since there are nearly twice as many keys on the board, the letter keys are slightly smaller than the ones found on the other keyboards we tested, and MacOS users will be out of luck with the Windows-specific hotkeys and shortcuts. The Klim also has a nano USB, and like the Arteck 2.4G, performed poorly in the Bluetooth range test. But for gamers with big, 4K displays who like to play fast games and want a keyboard to keep up, this one is well worth the purchase.
The iClever BK05 Bluetooth keyboard not only flaunts a tri-fold design but also comes with a cloth carrying bag and an additional phone/tablet stand. This makes it our pick for a convenient travel keyboard for those who will primarily use it with their phones or tablets. This keyboard connects to up to three devices via Bluetooth, and can also be used as a wired keyboard with its USB cable. Once connected, it can easily switch between devices, and also has a colored backlight option for those who might work in the dark.
Although it will work with different operating systems, it is more Windows-specific with its shortcut keys, making it slightly more difficult for MacOS users. The price tag may seem a little steep, but the included phone/tablet stand is a fantastic addition. It could easily hold our smartphone and 11-inch tablet at adjustable viewing angles. Many tablet case designs integrate keyboards these days, but they can sometimes be on the smaller size of what is comfortable and familiar. This travel keyboard is as big as our 13 inch MacBook Pro's keyboard, while still folding up into a compact size to take on the go, making it our top choice for heavy tablet users.
The Arteck Universal Slim Portable is a lightweight keyboard that is another great portable option. If you're not keen on the design of a folding keyboard, this one is easy to toss in a bag and even slim enough to slide in a case with a laptop or tablet. Its backlight settings make it an excellent option for those who like to see their keys better or who work in darker settings, and its on/off switch is conveniently located right on top of the keyboard, so you won't forget to turn it off, unlike models with switches on the side or bottom.
The keys themselves are quite small, and our testers found themselves often relying upon autocorrect for their spelling errors due to accidentally hitting the wrong keys. This keyboard, like its Logitech counterparts, has convenient settings to switch between iOS, Windows, and Android operating systems, making it a great choice for its versatility as well.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our testers at TechGearLab have been reviewing Bluetooth-connected devices for years. We know that wireless technology makes our lives easier, and therefore bring you honest reviews based on extensive side-by-side testing of the latest models in Bluetooth technology. Miya Tsudome, the primary tester for this project, has been using Bluetooth-enabled devices to streamline her desk space for over five years, always looking forward to reducing clutter and creating a more efficient work environment. Through our comprehensive research methods, we aim to bring you the most helpful and trustworthy reviews to help you find the right product to fit your needs.
Extensive measures were taken to put these to the task, from many hours of continuous use examining everything from their connectivity methods down to the subtle ergonomics of their height, angle, and curvature of their keys. We are confident that you'll find a keyboard you're looking for in these models.
Analysis and Test Results
We connected each of the nine keyboards to three different devices: a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone (if applicable). We measured the distances the keyboards could work from to see how strong their Bluetooth connectivity was. We left them on for days in a row to see how much of their battery depleted, tested to see if there was any lag time in typing, assessed how comfortable they were to type on, and even typed out each review using the specific keyboard mentioned.
To test connectivity, we first wanted to assess how easily each keyboard connected to our devices. Then we examined if there was any lag time in typing, if they went into sleep mode, how quickly they woke up, and from how far away they could be used.
The Arteck 2.4G and the Klim connected wirelessly through a nano USB plug-in, which proved to be the quickest way to start typing immediately since no Bluetooth pairing was necessary. But these also took up space in our ports, and for newer computers without USB ports (like the latest models of MacBook Pros), an additional converter was required for use.
The Apple Magic keyboard was the only one in our fleet that connected via Bluetooth automatically but is only compatible with MacOS computers. The simplest Bluetooth pairings were found on the Logitech keyboards, which can quickly switch between connected devices with barely any lag time. All of the keyboards tested woke up fairly quickly with a sleeping computer. They would connect automatically every time after the initial pairing, and we did not notice any significant lag time more than a second or two that would be considered inconvenient.
Our most interesting connectivity test was measuring the Bluetooth range of each keyboard. This was done indoors, and while Bluetooth devices typically have more range in the open air, we figured most people would be using their keyboards inside. The Apple Magic, K480, and Logitech K380 displayed incredible range. We were only able to measure up to 30 feet, but they were all typing easily from that distance away between walls. The OMOTON keyboard was also a surprising front runner, easily outperforming more expensive models at a distance of approximately 20 feet.
All of our other models were seriously lackluster in this category, averaging 6-15 ft, with the worst connectivity coming from the nano USB-connected keyboards. We realize that most people won't ever find a need to use their keyboards from very far away, but this connectivity test gives evidence of the true strength of each keyboard's connectivity.
For some wireless keyboard users, portability is a valuable asset. If you're interested in transporting your keyboard, whether from home to office or just to use it with your tablet or phone on the go, we've done the leg work of examining each keyboard to see how easily they could be moved from place to place. The most portable keyboards we tested were the foldable models. All keyboards varied in size and weight, with some of the slim and lightweight boards being reasonable to carry in a bag along with a laptop and others better suited to be a mainstay on a desk.
The iClever BK05 Bluetooth has a convenient tri-fold design, and comes with a carrying case and a phone/tablet stand, making it an excellent choice for those who will be using their keyboards for those types of devices.
The Logitech K480 and Klim Chroma were the heaviest models in our lineup, making them less suitable for transport. The Arteck 2.4G is slim and lightweight, it is a full-size keyboard, which hinders its portability.
Obviously, the battery life of any wireless electronic device is important to take into consideration. Some of the models we tested were rechargeable, and others required alkaline batteries. Others had light settings that affected battery life.
All of the models that recharge via USB cables can be connected to a computer so they can be charged and used simultaneously. For these models, which include all but the OMOTON and both Logitech's, battery life is not an enormous factor — assuming you are always near your computer while using your keyboard. The OMOTON, Arteck Universal Slim Portable, Arteck 2.4G, and Klim Chroma all have automatic sleep modes that kick in after a certain amount of idle time, helping to extend battery life immensely.
The backlit keyboard models, including the Arteck Universal Slim Portable, Klim Chroma, and iClever, will all have significantly shorter battery capacities if their backlights are left on. To conserve battery, the Klim will automatically turn off its backlights after 60 seconds of idle time. The Arteck will turn off its backlight after 10-15 seconds of idle time. The iClever will not automatically turn off its backlight, but it can be turned off manually, extending its battery life from an advertised 5 to 30 hours.
The Arteck Universal Slim Portable and Logitech K480 are the only models with battery life indicators. However, they are not perfect, as the Arteck's will only blink if the battery is low, and the Logitech's low battery indicator is inconveniently located on the underside of the device. The Apple Magic keyboard will tell you exactly how much battery is left in the device with a handy icon display on the computer itself.
Many of the Bluetooth keyboards we researched can be connected to multiple devices or easily work with different operating systems. Of the nine that we tested, a few stood out as the top of the class for having these versatile features.
The Logitech K480 has two unique features that makes it the most versatile keyboard we tested. First, it features a dial to toggle between connected Bluetooth devices, making multi-tasking efforts a breeze. It also sports a cradle built into the keyboard for a tablet or phone, enabling you to type away on either of these screens at a convenient and comfortable viewing angle. If you are busy working on your computer but need to send a quick text it becomes incredibly easy to do so with this keyboard, and arguably aids productivity as you don't have to stop what you're doing to use your phone.
Many of the keyboards we tested were Windows or MacOS systems-specific, but Logitech thought of it all and included options for each of these operating systems, as well as Android. The Logitech K380 was another model that shared this convenient feature.
Many models such as the Apple Magic, OMOTON, Arteck 2.4G, Arteck Universal Slim Portable, and Klim keyboards were not able to connect to multiple devices, making them less desirable for those who favor multi-tasking and versatility.
For those who spend long days typing, the ergonomics of a keyboard can be important. The size of the keyboard, its angle, the shape of the keys and their noise-level and travel distance are all contributing factors in how comfortable a keyboard is to type on for long periods. Most of the models we tested were a similar size to a laptop keyboard and tended to lay flat, which puts the wrists in a neutral position, lessening joint strain. All of the tested keyboards had standard square keys, with the notable exception of the Logitech brand's round keys.
While the Logitech K380 and K480 models have unique, rounded keys reminiscent of old typewriters, our testers found that their slightly curved shape created a noticeably pleasant typing experience. The K380 had the quietest keys out of all the boards we tested, while on the other hand, its sister model, the K480 had noticeably loud keys. We struggled to adjust to the iClever and Arteck Universal Slim Portable keyboards' smaller keys.
Our testers preferred keyboards whose keys had less travel distance. We found that we would often miss keystrokes with the models where the travel distance was longer. The Klim and OMOTON boards stood out the most to us in this way and were also the only keyboards we tested that had a slight angle to their build rather than lying flat. To someone else, these could be desirable features. For those who prefer a more tactile experience and like typing at a slight angle, these keyboards may be what you are looking for.
In the modern age, wireless technology not only makes your desk space less cluttered and more streamlined, but it also allows you to have your setup with you wherever you go. Whether you're looking for a small keyboard to use with your tablet or need one at your desk that can switch seamlessly between multiple devices for ultimate multi-tasking, we're confident you'll find a keyboard that works for you in this lineup.
— Miya Tsudome