The best keyboards of 2019: top 10 keyboards compared

The best keyboards of 2019: top 10 keyboards compared


If your keyboard is starting to show its age, collecting dust and looking like something from a horror film, you might want to think about picking up one of the best keyboards. Even if you don't’ have a keyboard that’s on its last leg, the benefits to comfort, speed and reliability you gain with one of the best keyboards easily pays for the cost of admission.

And, trust us: once you’ve used one of the best keyboards for yourself, you’ll never want to go back. Regardless of whether you’re writing up a term paper or just chatting with friends, the best keyboards will make your life so much easier. And, we’ve got you covered if you’re looking for a sick gaming keyboard, too.

Whether you’re trying to get some work done, talk to friends or even get some gaming in on your lunch break, you should look for any keyboard that can get the job done. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about breaking open the piggy bank, as many of the best keyboards are affordable. So, here’s our list of the best keyboards for work and play, so you can get to typing.

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

It has become the norm for keyboard manufacturers to implement their own custom keyboard switches, and Roccat – with the Vulcan 120 Aimo – is no different. While this keyboard is primarily marketed as a gaming keyboard, its Titan Switches are tactile enough to be satisfying, while still bouncing back quickly enough to be comfortable to type on for extended periods. And, we’d be remiss to not mention the looks – the Vulcan 120 Aimo looks like a science fiction keyboard, we love it.

Read the full review: Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo 

Topre Realforce

The Realforce, manufactured by the Topre Corporation in Japan is truly a force of nature. This is thanks to the unique Topre switches, which are smooth to type on and are typically compared to playing on a piano. The RealForce comes in both 45 and 55 gram configurations, but the one that’s right for you will depend on the importance of key weight. Oh, and it’s expensive – but the price is worth it for a keyboard this good. 

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HyperX Alloy Elite  

Realforce

As long as you don’t mind missing out on some of that signature ‘thock’ sound that’s associated with regular Realforce keyboards, opting for a silenced model like the 104 UBS offers some solid benefits. Hitting the 104 UBS’s keys produces sound on par with a membrane keyboard, so it’s going to be great if you work in a busy office or a shared bedroom. The ‘dampened’ feel of Topre’s silenced switches can feel kind of like typing on sandpaper compared to a non-silenced board, but we found that it’s worth the trade-off if you need a quieter keyboard. 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the .

Filco

Filco’s keyboards tend to be built like tanks, and the Majestouch TKL is no different. This space-saving mechanical keyboard features a compact tenkeyless design that has less than 1cm of space between the edge of the keys and the keyboard. Its durability doesn’t simply allow it to stand up well to knocks and scrapes – it has a positive impact on its typing feel too. You can hammer away on it at speed, even bottoming out to your heart’s content, and the Majestouch 2 will take every bit of punishment.

We’ve seen all kinds of keyboards over the years here at TechRadar, from stylish tenkeyless keyboards to RGB-laden gaming behemoths, but something has always been missing – a focus on creatives. Thankfully, with the Logitech Craft, this is no longer the case. Not only is this a sturdy, tactile and attractive keyboard but it also features a unique dial on its top left corner, which will help creatives expedite their workflow. This dial’s utility will vary depending on the application, from simply controlling the volume on the desktop, to changing levels in various tools in Photoshop. If you spend a lot of time creating content on your PC, the Logitech Craft is one of the best keyboards you can buy today.

Read the full review: Logitech Craft 

HHKB2

Somewhat legendary in keyboard circles, the PFU Happy Hacking Professional 2 (or HHKB2 as it’s usually referred to) is that rare beast – a 60% Topre keyboard. Aimed at coders but fantastic for document warriors too, it foregoes traditional arrow keys, instead making use of function keys and key combinations to provide such functionality. It only takes a short while to get used to, once you’ve got there the huge benefit is that the HHKB2 is small and light enough to take anywhere, giving you access to that sweet Topre “thock” sound and feel anywhere, anytime.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Das Keyboard Prime 13

 

You just need to look at Microsoft’s Surface devices to know that they’re kind of killing it when it comes to design, and the Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID takes things to a whole new level. If you’re running Windows 10, and you’re into the Surface aesthetic, this is easily one of the best keyboards out there. Not only does it feel great, but it also features biometric security, by including a discrete fingerprint scanner right next to the “Alt” key. It is an expensive device, but as with everything Microsoft, you can be sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.

Read the full review: Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID 

FC660C

Leopold’s Fc660c is more portable than the Realforce 87u, but less so than the lighter and more compact HHKB2. However, the Fc660c benefits from its extra heft and feels like the more solid board. Despite having the same 45 gram actuation force as the HHKB2, the Leopold’s keys feel slightly weightier – somewhere nearer to 50 grams. It results one of the most satisfying “thock” sounds on a Topre board.

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HyperX Alloy Elite 

Unicomp

Remember those old IBM Model M keyboards? Well, that’s what the Unicomp Classic 104 seeks to emulate. Available in both USB and PS/2 versions, it uses a buckling spring switch that takes more effort to press than just about every other modern switch. You’re rewarded for this hard pressing with a tactile response that feels like the classic mechanical keyboards of old, along with a noise that will drive everyone around you mad. 

Best keyboard

Some keyboards just ooze class, and the Das Keyboard Prime 13 is one of them. Its features a solid aluminum top panel for added rigidity and a very minimalistic look. With Cherry’s MX Red or Brown switches under the keycaps, you’re given a choice between linear and non-linear offerings with a range of actuation points.

It’s a great option for media enthusiasts thanks to side lit media control and the inclusion of white backlighting is another bonus. It’s not the most affordable keyboard on our list, but if you’re looking for something a little bit more premium, Das is the way to go.

Logitech K780

According to a government survey, the average British household owned 7.4 internet-connected devices in 2015. Logitech is targeting smartphone and tablet owners who prefer to see their device’s display while sat at a computer with its latest keyboard, the K780. If you liked its predecessor, the K380, there’s more to love here. (Literally thanks to its added numberpad.)

The K780 can still pair with up to three devices using Bluetooth or wireless, allowing you to chop and change between them, and it features the same comfortable rounded keycaps that remain a pleasure to type on. The star of the show, however, is the keyboard’s base, which can hold mobile devices up to 11.3mm thick in an upright position. This places them within arms’ reach to make anything from replying to WhatsApp messages or reading a digital magazine easy as pie.

 How to determine the best keyboard for you 

 

It goes without saying that if you demand the look and feel only mechanical switches can provide, rather than those that are slim and stealthy, we suggest perusing our best gaming keyboards round-up instead.

Gamers prioritize the actuation that clicky feeling mechanical keyboards bring, whereas traditional home and office users are more about practicality. That said, the sheer magnitude of sound produced by a lot of mechanical keyboards is offputting to some. For those folks, we have some membrane keyboards to recommend as well.

  • Image Credit: TechRadar

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article



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