Maybe your trusty old keyboard has typed its last letter or trapped its last bagel crumb. Perhaps your gaming ambitions have outstripped the mushy, mediocre type that came with your PC. Or maybe your hands are simply shouting: Hey, cut me some slack here! Whatever the reason, anyone can benefit from a better keyboard. After all, is any part of your computer more hands-on?
Before you go shopping, though, it pays to know what makes a keyboard a good fit. Modern models come in a bunch of subtypes, from boards optimized for typing efficiency to sculpted ergonomic designs that cradle your hands and relieve stress on the joints. Let’s follow us to introduce different models of the best keyboards of 2021.
BEST RAZER KEYBOARD FOR OFFICE
The best Razer keyboard for office we’ve tested is the Razer Pro Type. It’s one of the only keyboards made by Razer that’s office-oriented and one of the few wireless models. It can pair with up to four devices at once via Bluetooth, as well as one more with its USB receiver, and it’s compatible with many operating systems, although some keys don’t work on a few operating systems. It’s only available with tactile Razer Orange switches, which don’t require much force to actuate and feel light to type on. There are media hotkeys on the F-row, and all of the keys are macro-programmable through the Razer Synapse 3 software.
Unfortunately, since the software is only available on Windows and there’s no onboard memory to save your settings to, so you can only use the board with its default functions on other operating systems. Also, it doesn’t come with a wrist rest, and since it has a relatively high profile, you may need to buy some separately if you don’t already have one. While it has backlighting, it’s white only, and there are only two different effects, which may bother some people. Nonetheless, this is a good option if you’re looking for a wireless keyboard for your office setup, and it’s among the best keyboards for writers that we’ve tested.
BEST RAZER KEYBOARD FOR GAMING
The best Razer keyboard for gaming we’ve tested is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. This sturdy-feeling mechanical keyboard has incredibly low latency, whether you use it wired or wirelessly, and it should feel very responsive while gaming. If you want to use it wirelessly, you can pair it with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth and another via USB receiver. It’s available with clicky Razer Green and linear Razer Yellow switches. The Razer Green switches we tested don’t require a lot of force to actuate, giving them a light and responsive feel. There are a few extra features, like dedicated media keys, a volume control knob, and a Windows Lock key. Through the Razer Synapse 3 software, you can set macros to any key, reprogram the volume knob, and customize the RGB backlighting.
Unfortunately, the software is only available on Windows, which means you can’t make customizations on a macOS or Linux device. However, you can customize the board on a PC and then save your settings to the onboard memory to keep them on a different computer or operating system. All in all, this is an incredible model if you’re looking for a gaming keyboard by Razer.
BEST BUDGET RAZER KEYBOARD
Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2. It’s a TenKeyLess wired mechanical board with full RGB backlighting, macro-programmable keys, and media hotkeys, all of which you can customize in the Razer Synapse 3 software. There’s also a Game Mode button that locks the Windows Key, preventing you from accidentally minimizing your game. The latency is incredibly low, and it’s even lower than some of the higher-end models. The board is available with linear Razer Yellow switches, tactile Razer Orange, and clicky Razer Green switches, and it comes with a detachable plushy wrist rest that should help reduce fatigue.
Unfortunately, there’s no onboard memory to save your settings to, so you can’t make customizations and keep them when you move to a different operating system, like macOS or Linux. Also, while it feels fairly well-built, it uses ABS keycaps, which are more prone to getting shiny than PBT keycaps. Also, it uses a mini-USB cable that feels flimsy. Nonetheless, this is a superb option if you’re looking for a gaming model while on a budget.
WIRELESS ALTERNATIVE: RAZER BLACKWIDOW V3 PRO
If you prefer something wireless, then check out the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. You can’t customize the pre-travel distance like on the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but at least you can connect it either with the USB receiver or three Bluetooth devices at a time. It’s available with clicky and linear switches, so you can get the ones you prefer, and the clicky ones we tested provide more tactile feedback for a better typing experience, but they get loud. You can set macros to any key. It also has full RGB backlighting. Unfortunately, the Razer Synapse 3 software isn’t available on macOS, and even though the keyboard has onboard memory, it doesn’t save the RGB settings.
If you’re in the market for the best full-size keyboard for gaming, you can’t go wrong with the feature-rich SteelSeries, but if you’re a fan of wireless keyboards with really low latency, then check out the Razer.
Best Office Keyboard: Logitech MX Keys
The best keyboard for office use that we’ve tested is the Logitech MX Keys. It’s a slim, full-size model with a metal chassis, base plate, and ABS chiclet keycaps. It uses scissor switches that require a bit of force to get over the tactile bump, but it feels light overall and shouldn’t cause fatigue over time. While it doesn’t have any incline settings or wrist rest, it has a low profile, so you shouldn’t need one.
You can use it wirelessly via its USB receiver or Bluetooth, and you can pair it with up to three devices and easily switch between them with the dedicated keys. It has white backlighting with a built-in sensor that automatically turns the lighting on when you’re in the dark. You can remap most F-row keys to different functions and set a second layer of controls that you activate by hitting Fn+Esc, but you can’t set any macros.
Unfortunately, while its scissor switches are quiet, there’s a bit of a pinging sound when you bottom out a key because of the board’s metal base plate. Also, its key customization is limited to a preset list of functions, which may disappoint some people who like to set macros. Nonetheless, this is a good office keyboard if you’re looking for something low-profile, wireless, and doesn’t have a curved ergonomic shape
Best Keyboard For Programming: Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT
The best keyboard for programming that we’ve tested is the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. This full-size mechanical board comes with a plushy wrist rest and one incline setting, which should help you type comfortably for long periods. Our unit has clicky Cherry MX Blue switches which feel responsive, but they are a bit heavy and loud to type on. However, it’s available with Cherry MX Red and Brown switches, which should be lighter and quieter. The board has bright RGB backlighting that you can customize on a per-key basis within the iCUE software.
Unfortunately, since it’s a wired board, you can’t use it wirelessly or pair it to more than one device, which isn’t ideal if you work on multiple devices during your day. Also, some keys like the macro keys don’t work on macOS and Linux, but at least it has onboard memory where you can save your settings to. All in all, this is a great mechanical option for programming if you’re looking for a full-size model with lots of customization options.
Best Mobile Keyboard: Logitech K380
The best mobile keyboard we’ve tested is the Logitech K380. This is an excellent option if you’re looking for a model that’s slim, compact, and wireless to take with you while traveling. You can pair it with up to three devices via Bluetooth and easily switch between them using the F1-F3 hotkeys, and it’s compatible with most common operating systems, although some keys don’t work on certain devices.
While it doesn’t have any incline settings or wrist rest, it’s very thin and low-profile, so you should feel comfortable typing on it during long periods. It uses scissor switches that require some force to get over the tactile bump, but the overall feeling remains fairly light. It’s very quiet to type on, so it’s suitable for noise-sensitive environments.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any backlighting, which could be an issue if you’re typing in a dark room. Also, while you can remap some of the keys, there aren’t many keys that you can customize, and you can only choose from a list of presets. Also, it uses two AAA batteries instead of one rechargeable one. That said, this is still an amazing choice if you’re looking for a small mobile device keyboard to take around with you.
Best Budget Keyboard: Logitech G413
The best keyboard that you can get when on a budget is the Logitech G413. It’s an entry-level mechanical option that provides fantastic gaming performance. It’s available in two different colors and lighting schemes. However, since it only comes with Romer-G Tactile switches, our review is valid for either variant.
The tactile switches have a low pre-travel distance, even lower than other gaming keyboards, and they’re light to press, so they provide a quick and responsive gaming experience. Latency is also extremely low, meaning that you won’t experience any delay. Typing quality feels good, and you shouldn’t experience too much fatigue, but the keys feel a bit stiff at times, and it doesn’t come with a wrist rest. It has backlighting, but it’s limited to a single color.
While you can set macros to the function keys, you can only do so with those keys and not all of them. The doubleshot ABS keycaps feel a bit cheap and develop oil shine. It’s a full-size keyboard, and the cable isn’t detachable, so it’s not ideal for your travel bag. If these issues don’t bother you, it’s one of the best keyboards we’ve tested.
Here we introduce the best keyboards for various tasks such as typing at work or playing games. But what is your favorite key? What features should your favorite keyboard have?