The best keyboards for 2022: Work, gaming, compact, and more

Buying a better keyboard is one of the easiest things you can do to upgrade your PC setup. But which to buy?

Whether you need a gaming keyboard, a mechanical keyboard, a wireless keyboard, or even just a basic work keyboard, our complete list of the best keyboards has the ideal choice for everyone.

Microsoft Surface Keyboard


Microsoft Surface Keyboard

The best keyboard for work

Pros

  • Simple and sleek design
  • Quiet, comfortable typing
  • Aluminum base feels sturdy
  • Up to a year of battery life

Cons

  • Only connects to one device at a time
  • Requires batteries

As popular as mechanical keyboards have become, many people still prefer quieter, simpler keyboards for getting work and general use. That’s where the Microsoft Surface Keyboard comes in. It’s simple grey aesthetic is bound to fit most desk setups, and the build quality is as good as it gets.

This full-size, wireless keyboard feels comfortable and familiar to type on, which is just what you want. The layout puts everything you need in reach, and thanks to the claimed one year of battery life, needing to recharge the keyboard is extremely rare. The only downside is that it is powered by two AAA batteries, and cannot be used wired.



<p>Microsoft Surface Keyboard</p>
<p>“/>
					</p></div>
<div class=

Microsoft Surface Keyboard

The best keyboard for work

Logitech G Pro X


Logitech G Pro X

The best gaming keyboard

Pros

  • Clean, understated look
  • Swappable switches aid customization
  • Detachable USB cable is durable
  • Solid build with rubberized feet
  • Game mode is useful and simple

Cons

  • RGB lighting doesn’t cover entire keycap
  • No dedicated media keys
  • Only F keys can be remapped

Logitech’s G Pro X is a fantastic, compact gaming keyboard that ditches the number pad for a more dense, portable design. Not only does it sport a more restrained form, but it also has a unique feature in the way you can swap out the mechanical switches if they die (or you just don’t like them). Compatible with both Logitech’s own GX switches and Cherry’s MX range, you can effectively equip this board with whatever you want. Just swap in the switches when you want them using the handy picker tool.

The Logitech G Pro X is also packed with top-tier gaming features, including fully customizable RGB lighting, solid media controls, and a swappable cable that removes one more potential point of failure and makes it more portable. We loved how durable this keyboard was and could be, and we think it’s one of the best we’ve used in some time. If you don’t care about swapping switches, though, the new, standard G Pro is much the same, but without that one feature — and it’s $30 cheaper.



<p>Logitech G Pro X</p>
<p>“/>
					</p></div>
<div class=

Logitech G Pro X

The best gaming keyboard

Keychon Q1


Keychon Q1

The best mechanical keyboard

Pros

  • Range of customizable elements
  • Aluminum case is durable
  • Works with Mac and Windows
  • Key mapping software compatibility

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • No height or angle adjustment

Mechanical keyboards are all the rage these days, and Keychron has been one of the brands pushing the category forward with beautifully minimalist aesthetics and premium designs. The Q1 is one of the company’s latest products, which puts customization at the forefront, one of the hallmarks of the mechanical keyboard craze.

You can purchase it preassembled with switches and keycaps, of course, but the magic is the long-term viability of the Keychron Q1, which can be customized to your heart’s content. “It’s a keyboard that can grow with you,” as our review puts it.



<p>Keychon Q1</p>
<p>“/>
					</p></div>
<div class=

Keychon Q1

The best mechanical keyboard

Logitech G915 Lightspeed TKL


Logitech G915 Lightspeed TKL

The best wireless keyboard

Pros

  • Superb typing experience
  • Bright RGB lighting
  • Fast wireless technology
  • Long battery life
  • Bug-free, useful software

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Incompatible with most mechanical keyboard accessories

The best wireless keyboards are natural companions to more flexible computing arrangements and more casual positions, but people sometimes worry about performance issues or lack of quality when going wireless. No need to worry with the G915: It’s a wireless keyboard created to provide high-performance results with low-profile mechanical keys that deliver a 1ms report rate, which Logitech claims outdoes many wired keyboards.

We especially like the slimmed-down design of this Logitech keyboard, which makes it easier to find the right position or even hold it in your lap. There’s also unobtrusive RGB lighting that can be customized per key as desired or even synced to music and games. The battery takes around three hours to charge and can deliver up to 30 hours of gaming before needing a power connection. There are also five G Keys that you can customize with macros of your own for often-needed tasks, plus a volume roller and dedicated media controls.



<p>Logitech G915 Lightspeed TKL</p>
<p>“/>
					</p></div>
<div class=

Logitech G915 Lightspeed TKL

The best wireless keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard


Apple Magic Keyboard

Best keyboard for iPad

Pros

  • Tactile, precise typing experience
  • Responsive trackpad
  • Perfectly weighted for desk or lap use
  • Genuinely increases productivity on iPad Pro

Cons

  • An expensive accessory
  • Screen angle adjustment is limited

Apple has an array of Magic Keyboards for various Mac and iOS devices, all durable, flat keyboards with quick responses and a general Apple aesthetic. But when it came to the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro, Apple understands that people expect a bit more. And it delivers.

This iPad keyboard is made to both magnetically connect to and prop up iPad Pro models for serious, long-term work. The keys are full size, backlit, and use a scissor mechanism with a 1mm travel time. That magnetic attachment also can charge the iPad Pro via a USB-C connection on the keyboard, which leaves the USB-C port on the iPad open for other attachments (something many professional users desperately need). It even has a trackpad, which you’ll want if you plan to use your iPad as a laptop replacement.



<p>Apple Magic Keyboard</p>
<p>“/>
					</p></div>
<div class=

Apple Magic Keyboard

Best keyboard for iPad

Logitech Ergo K860


Logitech Ergo K860

The best ergonomic keyboard

Pros

  • Adjustable palm lift
  • Comfortable keycaps
  • Lots of wrist support
  • Appealing design
  • Can connect to multiple devices

Cons

  • Not backlit
  • Not rechargable

Ergonomic keyboards can come in a bewildering number of shapes and sizes, but Logitech hit gold with this Ergo model, which provides important wrist support without being intimidating to use. The angled key sections, plus the cushioned rest, helps keep carpal tunnel at bay, while the sloped design and scooped keys ensure your fingers won’t easily get tired even during long sessions of work.

The slope and rest are also adjustable to three different levels, so you can change them to find which works best (for sitting versus standing, for example). But the Logitech Ergo keyboard isn’t just comfortable — it also has several features ideal for professionals, including FN keys that can be customized with macros and a full number pad. It can also go wireless up to more than 30 feet. Oh, and it’s fully compatible with Windows or MacOS. Pair it with a Logitech ergonomic mouse for the best results — you can often order them both together in a bundle to save money if you prefer.

Razer Hunstman V2 TKL


Razer Hunstman V2 TKL

The best wired keyboard

Most keyboard buyers in 2022 are looking for a wireless option. But if you’re old school, whether it’s because you’re a hardcore PC gamer or because you just would rather not deal with recharging, the Razer Hunstman V2 TKL is the best keyboard for you.

It sports Razer’s opto-mechanical switches for super smooth travel, and it comes with a comfy wrist rest if needed. And while, yes, this is a gaming keyboard, its design is simple enough that it won’t turn heads at the office either.

Logitech MX Keys Mini


Logitech MX Keys Mini

The best keyboard for Mac

Pros

  • Comfortable typing experience
  • Compact and lightweight for travel
  • Ergonomic
  • Advanced features
  • Sustainable design and packaging

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can’t be used as a wired keyboard

Most Mac users will stick with the generic Magic Keyboard, as made by Apple. There’s no shame in that. But if you want something smaller with some different features, the Logitech MX Keys Mini is your best bet.

Logitech’s MX Keys Mini is a tiny, wireless keyboard that pairs with up to three devices at once, much like our favorite wireless keyboards. It sports keycaps that offer both Windows and MacOS indicators, which are complemented by six levels of uniform backlighting throughout the board. Most people will not miss the lack of the number pad, and if you do, you can always opt for the full-size MX Keys.



<p>Logitech MX Keys Mini</p>
<p>“/>
					</p></div>
<div class=

Logitech MX Keys Mini

The best keyboard for Mac

How does a keyboard work?

Underneath each key, there is an electrical switch, and the full array of switches is called a key matrix. These switches come in many different designs, but they all serve the same purpose: When you press down on a key, the key presses down on the switch and completes a circuit. This sends a signal to your computer, which is programmed to know the key matrix and understand where that specific signal is coming from. It then registers the character of the key you pressed — and if you hold down the key, it will register it multiple times.

Wired vs. wireless: Which should I get?

Traditionally, wireless keyboards were easier to move around but somewhat slower to activate due to sending a wireless signal, while wired keyboards were faster but can’t be repositioned as easily. These days, there are high-quality wireless keyboards that have a negligible lag time, so there are fewer differences. However, if you’re interested in professional gaming or similar activities, the reliability of a wired keyboard is still a nice feature, as battery life can affect keyboard performance and use time.

What is a mechanical keyboard?

Mechanical keyboards use full switches with metal contacts and a small spring and avoid digital contact designs. This makes them one of the largest and loudest types of keyboards. However, they are also very durable and highly responsive, with clicks and bounces that make it easy to tell exactly how the keys are responding and when switches have been activated. As a result, they are a popular choice for fast, accurate keyboard work, seen in everything from gaming to professional work. The construction of the keys also makes them easier to replace than other designs.

What is a scissor keyboard?

A scissor keyboard uses plastic cross switches shaped a little like a pair of scissors. When pressed, the two pieces close together and activate. This design is not as responsive as a mechanical keyboard, but it does allow keys to have a much lower profile. That makes it a very common choice for compact keyboards, laptop and tablet keyboards, and similar models.

What is a butterfly keyboard?

A butterfly keyboard looks like an inverted scissor keyboard: Two cross switches meet in the middle and are pushed down to activate (like a butterfly’s wings flapping down). Apple created this design to create the slimmest keyboard possible. However, in recent years Apple has backed away from the butterfly design and gone back to a scissor-based keyboard, which tends to have a better feel and is more resistant to damage and dust.

What should I look for in a keyboard?

Start with the most important considerations. If you struggle with finger or wrist pain, look for an ergonomic keyboard or one with wrist support. If you are a competitive gamer, make sure you choose a keyboard that has key remapping and fast switches. If you need a numeric keypad, make sure it’s included. Always confirm that the keyboard will work with the devices you have in mind, too.

Otherwise, it’s a good idea to try out different types of keyboards in person, so you know which one is most comfortable. Some people love the feel and responsiveness of mechanical keyboards, while others find them too loud and expensive. Find out what kind of keyboard you currently use, and if possible, experiment with different keyboards in person before buying.

Where can you find the best deals on keyboards?

As with many electronics, it’s always a good idea to watch for deals on holiday weekends and similar occasions (Amazon Prime Day, etc.). However, if you want to cut straight to the current discounts, we keep our keyboard deal guides updated with the latest offerings, so that’s an excellent place to start. It’s also worth thinking about stores where you can get credit from trading in older computers or electronics, then use that credit to purchase your preferred keyboard.

Editors’ Recommendations






Source link

Related Posts