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Writers – whether amateurs chasing their inspiration, or professionals meeting that extra deadline – will usually write until something happens to stop them. A phone call. Starvation. Crippling pain up both their arms, that sort of thing.
Writers tend not to care about any of those things until they loom large. That means they need all the help they can get not to encourage self-injury with half-baked desk set-ups. They need quick and easy ways of ensuring their mouse isn’t giving them stiff fingers.
That their chair is not turning their spine into a question-mark. That their screen is not gently frying their eyeballs with blue light and migraines. And most of all, that their keyboard isn’t encouraging the development of occupational hazards like carpal tunnel syndrome.
On top of which, writers tend to be sensitive to the subjective ‘rightness’ of things. The sound of keystrokes. The spring and pushback as they type. The size of the keyboard’s from factor – some won’t touch a keyboard unless it has a number pad, others won’t go near it if it does.
This mixture of hard factual elements that can save writers from the injuries of their own doggedness and the individual sensitivities of writers comes together to make the ‘best’ keyboards for writers.
So we’ve put together a list of the best keyboards any amateur or pro typist can purchase and feel right at home with.
The variants of keyboards can determine where they will fit, how they connect to your PC/Mac, and how versatile they are for other things. Having a keyboard with a full number pad is vital to anyone who works on a lot of spreadsheets or works with numbers in general.
A 10 keyless keyboard is great for someone who doesn’t have a lot of space available for their setup. A wireless keyboard can work wonders for anyone who might be working from the couch or who may not have the space for a cable to be loitering around.
Whichever your specific need, we’ve tried to include the best keyboard for all situations. The other thing to consider with a new keyboard is your performance.
If the keyboard is helping to increase your accuracy and words per minute count whilst still being supportive and fitting comfortably into your setup then that’s what matters. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide at the bottom of the article to aid you in making the best decision on a keyboard to improve your work setup.
The current issue is that the market is saturated with high tech gaming models that whilst being great for typing they come with way too many gaming centric features like programmable macro keys and NKRO. These features can prove to be very useful for writing but more often than not you’re going to be paying a premium for features you may not use.
There are a few different criteria that we’ll be measuring these keyboards against to test their efficacy for the job. These are the key type and switch type, the size of the keyboard, its connectivity, and its extra features/components. If the keyboard you get meets or exceeds these criteria then you’ve got yourself a good writing device.
In a rush?
Have you got that project deadline coming up or is the publisher on you to get that final chapter in? Not to worry, we’ve got our top pick right here for you with a few reasons why we love it.
This mechanical gaming keyboard has all of the features you need to be able to type effectively without costing so much that you’d have to sell your whole PC to afford it.
- Either Cherry MX Red or Brown switches.
- Full sized 104 key keyboard.
- Media controls and volume dial.
- Full RGB backlit keyboard.
OUR TOP PICK
The Vulcan 121 AIMO keyboard from Roccat is a gaming keyboard that works perfectly for writers. Roccat has created a gaming keyboard that just happens to meet the needs of a writer. The full sized 107 key keyboard uses Roccat’s half height keycaps that are meant to reduce key noise and increase stability.
You have the option to choose between Cherry MX Red or Brown switches. Red switches are slightly quieter and have a longer more accentuated travel distance than Brown switches.
The sound of these can be further dampened with O-rings which also reduce the travel distance. The ‘Titan’ switch reduces the compression weight of each key making it easier to depress and reducing the likelihood of RSI.
As we said this is a full sized 107 key keyboard that moves the status indicator lights to the bottom of the board to make room for media control keys. Roccat has also included a volume dial alongside the other media controls to make this a one stop shop for your PC.
The board is exceptionally weighty because of the full metal base plate that reduces board flex and increases the durability of the board in general.
The only downside to this board is that it is a USB wired board. This is necessary due to the fact that each switch is individually backlit with an RGB LED. If the board was battery powered you’d have to charge it very often.
You also get an included magnetic wrist rest that is easy to attach and detach. The wrist rest is great for reducing RSI and wrist strain. Because this board is designed for gaming you get features like NKRO that reduces ghosting and increases your typing accuracy.
- Designed for gaming so includes gaming features that make the board more durable.
- Choice between Red and Brown switches to customize your typing experience.
- Each Key is backlit so the board can be used in low light.
- Comes with an included wrist rest to reduce the threat of RSI.
- Wired USB connection because of RGB so placement is limited to length of cable.
This low profile keyboard from Logitech is great for writing across multiple devices including different OSs. The keys have been individually dished to create a crater that nicely cradles your fingers and reduces incorrect key presses.
Logitech has opted for a chiclet style key switch that is similar to high end laptops. The key difference is that this keyboard uses a metal base plate that reduces board flex and couples with the keycap shape to give you a premium typing experience. The board is locally backlit and uses a proximity sensor to light up areas around your fingers.
This is also a full sized 107 key keyboard that includes extra shortcut keys for every OS that can be used to open the camera or calculator, to lock the desktop, or to lock the keyboard. The larger size of the keyboard works well for its wireless connection as it can house a larger battery.
The battery can last up to 10 days with the backlight on constantly or up to 5 months without the backlight. This keyboard uses a USB dongle based wireless connection.
The MX line of Logitech peripherals uses a Logitech technology known as Flow to be able to move documents from device to device regardless of its OS. To utilize this feature you would need a Logitech mouse and the software but it can be great for moving already written documents on the road by moving them from your PC to your phone.
- Molded keycaps for comfortable typing experience.
- Smart lighting compatible for premium backlit keys in the dark/low light.
- Included shortcut keys above the number pad for increased functionality.
- Up to 5 month battery life with USB C charging.
- Not a mechanical key.
This ergonomically designed keyboard from Logitech utilizes their ‘Wave’ form increase the comfort of your typing experience and reduce wrist strain exponentially.
This is the first fully membrane keyboard on the list and its price matches the switch type. The keycaps however have been designed with the wave in mind so that the necessary keys are easy and more comfortable to use.
The keyboard actually has around 120 different keys and so adds some odd functionality that other keyboards may not even consider. This is an exceptionally large keyboard and is almost as tall as it is wide. It comes with a wrist rest built on the bottom of the board that is also cushioned.
Logitech states that this keyboard can last 3 years without changing the 2 included AA batteries. For a wireless keyboard this is a very long time. If you use a compatible mouse you won’t have to add another wireless receiver.
You get extra keys on this board that allow you to zoom in and out of the screen, control your media, even power down your PC.
- Curved ‘Wave’ shape for ergonomic design.
- Matching ergonomic key caps.
- Up to 3 years of battery life.
- Built in cushioned palm rest and extra keys.
- Uses a membrane switch type.
This unusual looking typewriter style keyboard uses a few different technologies to sell the typewriter feel to writers and it’s very effective. Azio states that they have designed this keyboard for you to create literary masterpieces.
The board uses a very tactile and clicky Cherry MX Blue switch that feels extremely satisfying to type on. The keycaps have also been designed specifically for that typewriter feel.
With a dual layer design it works perfectly. Each keycap is also designed with translucent legends so that the LED in each switch shines through and effectively backlights the whole board.
This USB wired keyboard uses a 4 point adjustment system so that you can adjust the height and slant of the keyboard perfectly for you. You also get NKRO with the keyboard making it perfect for the speedy writers out there.
- Typewriter style interface including switch types.
- Each keycap is molded and placed to increase the typewriter feel.
- Complete height/lift adjustment for ultimate control.
- Dust and spill resistant.
- Cherry MX Blue keys can be very loud.
We’ve included this keyboard on the list for the writer who prefers the couch over the office desk. This backlit keyboard is the only one that has a 60% key count.
This is a low profile membrane keyboard so you don’t get the benefits of chiclet or mechanical keys unfortunately. The keys are however exceptionally quiet and are locally backlit.
The shape of the keyboard actually closely matches that of a full sized keyboard. This is because the right hand side of the keyboard (where the number pad would normally be) is covered by a trackpad for navigation without a mouse.
This is another dedicated wireless dongle type keyboard and so requires batteries to operate. Thankfully Logitech has included a rechargeable battery in this keyboard that is rated at 10 days of usage between charges.
- 60% keyboard making it lightweight and compact.
- Fully backlit.
- Trackpad included on the right hand side of the keyboard.
- Up to 10 days of battery life between charges.
- Key caps and switches aren’t made for extended typing.
Best Keyboard for Writing Buying Guide
As we said there are a bunch of different features that we’ve used to evaluate the quality and efficacy of each keyboard as your main typing device at home or in the office.
As we stated above the areas we’re going to be evaluating are the key type and switch type, the size of the keyboard, its connectivity, and its extra features/components.
Each one has its own purpose and an appropriate combination of each means you have yourself a good keyboard. Each writer is unique and so the best combination of features is also going to be unique to you.
Key and Switch Type
The Key shape and switch type are responsible for the feel of the keyboard. How each key feels when you depress it is dependent on the key switch.
The shape of the key determines how your fingers feel when on the key and can be massively advantageous or detrimental to touch typists.
The most common and cost effective switch type is a membrane switch. The more expensive but objectively better option is mechanical switches.
Membrane keyboards use a silicone membrane that covers the whole base of the keyboard and has small bumpers that when compressed activate an electronic switch on the PCB. These keyboards are so much more cost effective due to their lack of mechanical switches.
They are also massively quieter due to the lack of any actuators built into the keycap, the silicone membrane also acts as a sound dampener for the keycaps. If you’ve ever encountered those novelty roll-up keyboards, they are essentially the silicone membrane without a hard plastic covering.
Mechanical switches use individual switches underneath each keycap to offer an independent depression that doesn’t affect the keys around it. They also offer a tactile feel to each key bump with a customizable travel distance. With these key switches, you also gain access to extra features that could exponentially increase your words per minute count.
The size of your keyboard doesn’t just impact how large each key is and how much space you have to place your fingers and palms/wrists but it is also a determining factor in the number of keys that you have.
The size of a keyboard is categorized by the number of keys it has, for example, a standard keyboard with a dedicated number pad has 104 keys in total, these are perfect for anyone dealing with spreadsheets or numbers in general.
There are a few different sizes of keyboards but we’ve focused mainly on standard sized boards. The 2 other, popular sizes are TKL (TenKeyLess) and 60%. You can get these very easily online and some of the boards we’ve featured also come in TKL or 60% variations.
TKL boards have 87 keys and essentially just omit the dedicated number pad and 60% keyboards have 68 keys and remove the arrow keys and navigation keys, the number pad, and function keys.
The smaller boards are great for saving space on your desk but they can remove functionality that you may need. Adversely, these boards also offer space for other features that increase the versatility of the keyboard.
The connectivity of the keyboard makes all the difference in which device the board is compatible with. There are a few different connectivity options available, the most common currently is still USB. A standard USB connection makes a keyboard compatible with almost all devices you can type on including android phones and tablets.
The other 2 connectivity options are wireless connectivity and PS2 connectivity. PS2 connectivity is an antiquated connection method that is normally only available on specific PCs. Because of its reduced compatibility we’ve excluded PS2 keyboards, if you do have a compatible PC then feel free to use one.
The IBM Model M keyboard is widely recognized as one of the best typing keyboards ever produced and is only available with PS2 connectivity. With wireless keyboards there are a couple different methods of wireless connection, Bluetooth and dedicated USB 2.4GHz wireless connectivity.
Bluetooth keyboards are compatible with all Bluetooth devices, including smartphones and tablets, they are widely accessible but can suffer from input lag. Dedicated USB wireless keyboards come with a USB dongle that only the keyboard can connect to, this reduces interference and almost completely eliminates input lag.
Extra Features/ Components
The main function of a keyboard is always typing words, some features can hugely aid in typing but others can add functionality to the keyboard and make it suitable for different setups.
Features like non standard keycap shapes, backlit keys and wrist rests can make a huge difference to your typing experience.
They increase your comfort levels, your typing ability if you aren’t a touch typist and also if you are, and with features like N key rollover, your maximum typing speed and accuracy.
Non typing centric features like an included trackpad or media controls can make a keyboard more versatile and massively more suitable for a living room or couch based setup.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do wireless keyboards work with smart TVs and mobile devices?
Yes! Most of the wireless keyboards we’ve featured on this list can work directly with smart TVs by plugging the receiver into an available USB port. With android devices you may need an OTG cable but it will still work with no problem.
So if you’re trying to get some writing done on the TV or simply trying to make it easier for you to search on Netflix and YouTube or if you’re trying to write your novel on the move then you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues.