Easy Read Time: 6 Minutes
2020 was a year of change and adaptability as people began spending more time at home. Working from home became much more prevalent and there was a large influx of new gamers choosing to play a wide assortment of games. So whether you are new to gaming or you’ve just started working from home, this article aims to make your life easier and more comfortable.
Keyboards are an essential part of the computer because it’s used constantly whether you are gaming or working. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure you find the right one that suits you. Having the right keyboard will save you from having wrist pain, it will allow you to complete your tasks faster, and it can even be a nice part of your office aesthetic.
There are several things you will want to look for when choosing a keyboard. To better help identify what best suits you, ask yourself these questions:
- Ergonomics – How does the keyboard fit your hands? Is there a lot of strain on your wrists? If so, could it work well with wrist rest? Does it feel natural to type or is it a chore?
- Performance/functionality – What are you looking for in a keyboard? Does it have to be high performance with low response times? Are there any other features you would like it to have (Volume control, menu options, shortcuts, additional modifier keys, etc)?
- Aesthetics and feel – Do you have an existing theme/color combo to match? Do you like the look of RGB LED lights? Do you want a mechanical or regular keyboard? What size keyboard will fit your setup?
Asking yourself these questions prior to purchasing a keyboard can really help iron out any details or issues you will discover later on. For example, if you aren’t quite sure whether you want a mechanical or regular keyboard, try to test one out before buying one. Mechanical keyboards are notoriously loud, and some people can find it obnoxious to type on.
The list below has been put together utilizing similar criteria to what is listed above. There isn’t a single keyboard that will be the best option for everyone, so keep those questions in mind while looking at what each keyboard has to offer.
Table of Content +
- 1 Lightweight Form Factor – Razer Huntsman Mini
- 2 Feature Packed – Corsair K100 RGB
- 3 Most Ergonomic – KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge
- 4 Membrane Keyboard – Razer Deathstalker Essential
- 5 Best Overall – SteelSeries Apex Pro
The Razer Huntsman Mini is the go-to mechanical keyboard if you are looking for something lightweight and mobile. It has an incredibly small form factor which makes it great for those who have smaller hands or travel a lot. The downfall to this keyboard is the lack of arrow keys and Numpad, and the size and compactness may make it difficult to adjust to from a full size keyboard.
The Huntsman Mini is not going to be the most ergonomic keyboard due to its compact design. Using this keyboard for long periods of time may lead to some cramping or discomfort depending on hand size.
If you have ever owned a Razer product before, you will know that they hold their products to a very high standard of quality. While you may be paying more than other brands, you are guaranteed to get a product that performs reliably and will last for years.
Functionality wise the Huntsman is lacking due to the compact form factor. Because of the limited space, several keys have been stacked onto existing keys meaning that you will need to use the FN key in combination with them.
Razer has always been one to take pride in the looks and feel of their peripherals, and the Huntsman Mini doesn’t disappoint. It comes fully loaded with RGB lights with a number of different options, as well as Razer’s optical switches which provide a smooth and crisp key press experience.
If you are looking for a full sized, feature pack keyboard then you will be hard pressed to find something better than the Corsair K100. This monster of a keyboard comes with just about anything you would want including volume controls, custom macro keys, and even a programmable iCUE control wheel. The downside to this guy is its sheer size, you will want to make sure that there is plenty of room on your desk before you make this purchase.
Between the widesprawl of its keys and the included wrist wrest, this keyboard should provide optimal ergonomics for anyone with medium to large size hands. The key layout is similar to a typical keyboard but with the additional macro keys off to the side as well as some volume control and other programmable interfaces.
Corsair has been a well known brand in the computer hardware and peripherals market for a long time. Their hardware provides excellent performance and durability so you can use the same keyboard for years.
The K100 is packed with features so functionality shouldn’t be an issue. Corsair provides excellent software to help you set up your macro keys and program additional functionality into your iCUE wheel.
The Corsair K100 RGB is a beautiful keyboard and will definitely be the center of attention when sitting on your desk. Not only does the size make it hard to miss, but the RGB lights that can be custom programmed will impress anyone looking at them.
If you are someone who came to this list to find a keyboard that will make that wrist pain disappear, then this one’s for you. While it may look a little tacky, this keyboard is incredibly ergonomic which means that you can use it for hours with minimal wrist or hand pain. The split keyboard allows you to position it perfectly for both of your hands, and the wrist rest keeps the tension from going straight into your wrists. The downside to this keyboard is also its key feature, the two keypads. If you are migrating from a typical keyboard then it may take awhile to adjust to this unusual setup.
This keyboard wins hands down if you can get used to the odd setup of keys and positioning. This should be the goto keyboard for anyone who constantly struggles with pain because of their long use of keyboards.
KINESIS didn’t design this keyboard specifically for performance, but it’s still an exceptional piece of hardware. It is extremely durable and the key presses are smooth and satisfying.
The Freestyle Edge is loaded with functionality from the ten macro keys it provides, to the multiple user profiles it can store in the dedicated memory onboard. However it does lack a ten key so that could be a big downside for some.
While it’s quite unusual to look at, the KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB adds the addition of RGB lights to help bring it up to modern times. It’s also mechanical, so if noise isn’t your thing then you may want to skip this one.
If you aren’t a fan of the clicking and clacking of a mechanical keyboard then you might want to take a look at the Razer Deathstalker Essential Gaming Keyboard. This is a membrane based keyboard which lowers the noise considerably while also maintaining the high performance you would want from your keyboard.
The Deathstalker is a well designed keyboard that comes with a built in wrist rest. This can be good or bad depending on how you normally situate your wrists, but it helps with the ergonomics as well as complimenting the nice spread of keys on the keyboard.
While you won’t get the firm feedback of a keypress like you would from a mechanical keyboard, Razer has one a good job of making sure this keyboard can perform with the best of them. It’s well built and durable, and while membrane keyboards typically don’t last as long, the Deathstalker is a well tested keyboard that will last you a long time.
The Deathstalker comes with typical functionality you would expect from a gaming keyboard including fully programmable keys, as well as the ability to make custom macros on the fly.
When compared to the other keyboards on this list, the Razer Deathstalker can look a little drab. The lack of RGB lights can make it seem like it’s old and boring, but don’t let that fool you as it is an extremely reliable piece of hardware that will get the job done.
SteelSeries has been known to design some of the top gaming keyboards in the world, and the Apex Pro certainly lives up to the high expectations. The keyboard is extremely clean and comfortable to use while also being relatively compact. It provides great functionality and performance while also allowing there to be room on your desk for other things.
The Apex Pro is a well balanced keyboard that offers a spacious key layout, and a detachable and magnetic wrist rest. While the keyboard is a little more compact than others of the same functionality, the key spread allows for a wide variety of hand sizes to feel comfortable while typing.
SteelSeries has been responsible for some extremely high performing and high quality keyboards, and this just adds to their growing portfolio. The Apex Pro has an excellent feel and the durability is quite obvious when you are using it.
The keyboard has an excellent balance of functionality, offering most of what high end keyboards offer such as macros, media control, and programmable buttons, while also maintaining a good form factor.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a beautiful keyboard, the RGB lights are stunning and can easily be programmed just the way you want them. The small digital screen on the keyboard helps create a futuristic feel to the keyboard along with adding functionality. The size of the keyboard is one of its greatest strengths too, it feels as if it is the perfect combination of compact and spread out. It incorporates all of the needed keys, but it isn’t overly large so there is room on your desk for other devices.