Many types of keyboards are on the market today, and choosing the right one is a daunting task for even the most advanced users. The right keyboard can make or break your gaming experience or work from the office or home.
The keyboard industry aims to please gamers and office workers by offering the most suitable features. Features comprising the "ideal" keyboard are difficult to discern as numerous options make the choices much more challenging.
We'll attempt to define the ideal keyboard, and along the way, we'll offer a few typing tips to improve your speed and accuracy.
What makes one keyboard better than the other is a matter of choice. Only you can decide if you prefer clicky, tactile, or linear key switches. Some features, such as key behaviour, are subject to your preferences.
When looking for the ideal keyboard, consider the following:
Purpose: Gaming, Work, Home Office, School
Form Factor: Miniature, TKL (Ten Key Less), Full
Ergonomics (Tilting): Front to Back, Back to Front, Left to Right, or Right to Left
Connectivity: Wired, Wireless (Bluetooth versus 2.4 GHz USB receiver)
Layout: 60, 68, 75, 104 keys
Switches / Switch Types: Mechanical, Optical, Capacitance (Topre)
Actuation Point (Pre-Travel)
Total Key Travel
Lifespan (Key Presses)
Brand: Cherry, Gateron, Keychron ...
N-Key Rollover: Ability to detect multiple key presses
Keycaps: Shape, Materials (ABS versus PBT)
Latency: Time to register a key press. Connection (wired versus wireless) and switch types affect latency.
Polling Rate: Keyboard response time, typically 1000 Hz or 1 ms). This is rarely, if ever, a concern for the average keyboard enthusiast. Gamers may give more regard to the polling rate, and some manufacturers provide the ability to change it.
Lighting: backlighting, colour (RGB vs White vs NONE)
Programmability: Key Re-assigment, Actuation Point, Colour Palettes
Size: Dimensions, Desk Space
Weight: Plastic versus Metal Construction, Size
Power: Battery, Rechargeable, Wired, Solar
Portability: Weight and Size
Wrist Rest: Materials.
Brand: The number of manufacturers continues to grow. I have a collection of keyboards from a wide range of manufacturers and intend to review them here. Some of the brands you may recognize are Logitech, Razer, Keychron, Drop, Realforce, HHKB (Happy Hacking Keyboard), Epomaker, Corsair, SteelSeries, Kinesis, DasKey, Deskeys Nexus, Microsoft, and many more.
Keep your wrists off the desk and your hands above the keyboard. Avoid resting your forearms against the leading edge of your desk, as this restricts and constrains the movement of your arms.