Best keyboards for PC & Mac in 2023on January 19, 2023 at 15:56 Tech Advisor

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Keyboards these days come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and people’s preferences tend to be just as varied depending on what they’re doing.

Do you want wired or wireless? Portable or bulky? Low-profile laptop-style keys or chunkier desktop versions? Does it need to be mechanical? Do you need a numpad? Do you want LEDs, custom hotkeys, USB passthrough, and other typical gaming features?

We streamline the process of choosing the perfect option by outlining what we know to be the best keyboards available in 2023 and offering buying advice for those new to the market too. 

Best keyboards in 2023

1. Logitech MX Keys – Best Overall

Pros

Premium design

Logitech Flow technology

Solid tying experience

Cons

Short battery life

If you’re looking for a keyboard that doesn’t compromise on quality or experience, look no further than the MX Keys. 

The MX Keys is a full-size wireless keyboard with a tidy design. It boasts an improved key feel compared to other office-focused Logitech products, featuring slightly concaved keycaps that guide your fingers towards the centre when typing.

The backlighting is intelligent thanks to built-in proximity sensors, lighting up whenever you bring your hands near the keyboard and turning the lights off when you’re away from your desk to conserve battery life. Rather uniquely, it can also adjust the brightness of the backlighting based on ambient light levels in your environment.

The issue is that even with intelligent lighting, the backlit keys can have a negative effect on battery life. The MX Keys, with 8hrs of use a day, can last around five months with backlighting disabled, but that drops down to only 10 days if you turn the lighting on.

Keys aside, the MX Keys feels solid and that’s thanks, in part, to the metal sheet at the core of the body and is improved further by a grippy strip to stop the keyboard from skating across the desk while typing – even during the most intense email arguments.

You’ve got compatibility with Logitech Flow on offer too, allowing you to connect to up to three devices at once, and thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, that includes mobile devices and tablets too. There’s also 2.4GHz Wi-Fi support and a USB receiver in the box, ideal for products without Bluetooth. 

2. Hexgears Venture – Best mechanical keyboard for work

Pros

Great mechanical feedback

Low-profile design

For gaming and office

Cons

Loud clicky feedback

Varying battery performance

RRP:



£123

Best Prices Today:



£123 at Hexgears

The Hexgears Venture has a simple goal: to be the best low-profile mechanical keyboard in the world. Simple, but ambitious – but the Venture just about pulls it off.

The Venture uses Kailh Choc mechanical switches, with a choice of red (linear), brown (tactile & smooth), or white (clicky AF). Our review unit came with the white switches, and while they do make a proper clatter, they’re satisfying as hell for it. The brown should run quieter if you’re more worried about noise in an office, while the red are recommended for gaming.

Speaking of which, the Venture is designed to suit both gaming and productivity equally well. I’ve mostly used it in the office, where the sleek, compact, and minimalist design is welcome. But whack on the (optional) RGB lighting and suddenly you’ve got a flashy gaming board, with both per-key lighting and a light ring, all configurable from the keyboard itself. 

The low-profile keys mean that typing on this falls somewhere between a laptop and a classic mechanical – essentially ideal for anyone (like me) who loves mechanical keyboards but has ruined their muscle memory through years of typing on low-travel laptop keys.

The board comes with rechargeable AA batteries, charged over USB-C (a welcome bit of future-proofing). Battery life is variable – Hexgears claims it’ll last four weeks on two-three hours’ usage a day, but that’s without the RGB lights. Switch the lighting on and the company estimates 16 hours of use, which is roughly what I’ve seen, and in practice means plugging it in once every few days.

You can of course use it wired while it’s charging, or wirelessly over Bluetooth, with support for hot-switching between up to four devices. Hexgears even throws in a few Mac keycaps just in case, though since these weren’t included in my review sample I can’t comment on them (but, y’know, they’re keycaps, so I’m sure they’re fine).

3. Logitech MX Mechanical – Best wireless keyboard

Pros

Mechanical switches

Satisfying, comfortable typing experience

Multi-device connectivity

Cons

Premium price

Switches aren’t hot-swappable

Logitech’s MX Mechanical is the first mechanical keyboard in the MX collection, bringing with it all the joys of a satisfying typing experience and the smarts that the MX range is known for.

It’s sleek, sporting a grey and black colour scheme that looks like a cross between the MX Keys and Logitech G’s G915 – and that’s no bad thing. The mechanical switch (Tactile Quiet, Linear and Clicky) feels satisfying with that signature click-clack as you type away, though it’s certainly not a quiet experience.

The concaved keycaps feel stable when depressed, helping avoid mispresses and providing a comfortable low-profile typing experience. The only downside is that, unlike many mechanical alternatives, the switches aren’t hot-swappable.

It’s backlit, like many other keyboards on the market, but as with other MX products, the keyboard will only light up when it detects your hands. It’s admittedly a small feature, but it helps improve battery life and really does show an impressive level of detail.

There are also function buttons focused on work, including shortcuts to mute your mic in video calls and to activate dictation alongside standard media controls and an emoji key. If that’s not your style, the entire row of F keys can be reprogrammed via Logitech Options+ for PC and Mac. 

It’s also where you’ll be able to set up Logitech Flow, allowing you to use the keyboard on multiple devices without having to manually switch inputs.

Throw in other benefits like the ability to easily switch between 3 devices, Bluetooth connectivity, USB-C charging with long battery life and per-app shortcut customisation and you’ve got an impressive mechanical keyboard. If you’re on the lookout for something smaller, the MX Mechanical Mini is a solid – albeit still premium – option.

4. Wombat Pine Professional – Best mechanical keyboard for Mac users

Pros

Wired and wireless connectivity

Mac-focused shortcuts and keycaps

Stunning design and colours

Cons

Very heavy

Shortcut keys need manual setup in macOS

RRP:



£129.50

Best Prices Today:



$159.99 at Wombat Keyboards

Apple’s official Mac keyboards are great but there’s nothing like typing with a mechanical keyboard – and one with Red Cherry MX key switches in particular.

The Wombat Pine Professional looks to bring that experience to Mac users without having to sacrifice the Mac-focused shortcuts of Apple-focused keyboards. It features all the standard Mac keycaps in place of Windows alternatives, and even includes shortcuts to emoji, Siri, the calculator app and Do Not Disturb, though some functions have to be manually set up on your Mac with very little guidance from the manufacturer about how that’s done.

The typing experience with the Red Cherry MX key switches is superb, with that crisp tactile feedback making it a joy to use – though the associated click-clack may make it a rather annoying addition in an open-plan office. There is a quieter Tactile Brown key switch available, but where’s the fun in that?

Speaking of fun, the Pine Professional comes in some of the most stunning colour options we’ve seen, including black, grey, baby blue, green and pink, allowing you to match your keyboard to the rest of your setup.

You’ve got plenty of ways to connect too; either using the supplied USB-C cable, via standard Bluetooth connectivity or via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi with the supplied dongle, and while it’s focused primarily on Mac, it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, Android and iOS devices too, with the ability to quickly switch between four established connections at the push of a button.

If you’re on the hunt for a minimalist mechanical keyboard for use with a Mac, the Pine Professional ticks a lot of boxes.

5. Logitech MX Keys Mini

Pros

Premium build

Compact, portable design

Great typing experience

Cons

Varying battery life

If you like the idea of the Logitech MX Keys but you want something more compact, the MX Keys Mini is a solid alternative.

It offers the core MX Keys DNA, complete with concaved keys and scissor switches that make for an exquisite typing experience, but ditches the number pad for a more lightweight, portable design ideal for those on the go or with small desk setups. 

Just like the standard version, the MX Keys Mini offers intelligent backlighting that’ll automatically wake as your hands get close, you can quickly switch between up to three devices and it’s compatible with Logitech Flow too, allowing you to use the keyboard with multiple systems at once. 

That’s not to say there’s nothing new with the MX Keys Mini though; there are new buttons available, offering quick access to emoji, dictation, screenshot and mic mute functionality – with the latter three ideal for those working from home. Though the standard version is compatible with Windows, Mac and a variety of other platforms, there’s also a Mac-only variant available with Mac functions. 

There’s also an improvement in battery life compared to its bigger sibling, offering up to 10 days of use with backlighting on, and up to 5 months of use if it’s disabled. As with other Logitech peripherals, charge is provided via USB-C.

6. Keychron Q3 – Best customisable mechanical keyboard

Pros

Highly customisable

Compact 80% TKL design

Premium build

Cons

No wireless connectivity

No USB passthrough

RRP:



From $184 (assembled)

Best Prices Today:



£184 at Keychron

The Keychron Q3 takes the company’s popular approach to fully customisable mechanical keyboards and applies it to an 80% TKL form factor: a friendly midpoint between compact designs and expansive full boards that saves some space by omitting the numpad, but still leaves dedicated room for the arrow keys and the Home/End block.

You can order the Q3 fully assembled – with a choice of three colours, three Gateron G Pro switch styles (red, blue, or brown), and the option to include a programmable control knob or not. Those more willing to get into the guts of a board can also just buy a barebones setup and select their own keycaps and switches separately.

Those who do buy just the board will still get their money’s worth, not least since the body is built out of aluminium, giving it both a sense of quality and some serious heft. That’s enough heft to make sure it isn’t really portable though: this is a desktop keyboard, and picking it up once should be enough to disabuse you of the notion of ever using it for anything else.

Even if you opt for assembled, everything is hot-swappable and so easy to tweak on the fly in the future. VIA and QMK firmware support means every key can be remapped, including assigning macros, as can the RGB lighting. Keychron also ships the Q3 with both Windows and Mac keycap options, so you won’t be surprised to hear that it works on either OS too.

The Q3 won’t work wirelessly, but uses a single USB-C port to connect – though disappointingly there’s no USB passthrough option either. If you can live with that, this is easily one of the best customisable mechanical keyboards around.

7. Razer Pro Type Ultra – Quietest mechanical keyboard

Pros

Muted, but not silent, mechanical switches

Gorgeous design

Comfortable typing experience

Cons

Expensive

No Mac-focused keycaps

RRP:



£159.99

Best Prices Today:



£159.99 at Razer

Refining the experience of the Razer Pro Type, Razer’s Pro Type Ultra offers an improved experience that’s ideal for office workers. 

Why? One of the big changes is the introduction of Razer’s silent mechanical switches, which utilise sound dampening foam to provide the same clicky sensation without the accompanying clack – well, in theory anyway.

In reality, the noise feedback is far less noticeable than most other mechanical keyboards in our chart, but it’s not silent, especially if you’re a fast typer. But, if you insist on using a loud mechanical keyboard in a shared workspace, the Pro Type Ultra is a solid choice. 

That’s not the only selling point of the keyboard though; the silent switches will last 80 million clicks, the individually backlit keycaps are slightly concaved to guide your fingers during keypresses, and it’s lined with a fingerprint-resistant soft-touch coating, all resulting in a luxurious typing experience.

There’s also an equally luxurious leatherette wrist rest to rest on, making typing over hours of work a less fatiguing experience. It’s much plusher than others in our roundup, that’s for sure!

When it comes to connectivity, you’ve got Bluetooth, wired (via USB-C to USB-A) or Razer’s Hyperspeed 2.4GHz wireless technology. You’ve got the option to connect to up to three different Bluetooth devices, ideal for multi-device use, but it’s not as smooth or fast a switching process as what Logitech offers with its range.

The dongle for Razer Hyperspeed connectivity is stored within the keyboard itself – a very handy touch – allowing for plug-and-play support on PC and Mac, though it’s worth noting that the keys and functions are tailored to Windows, not Mac, users. You can also use the dongle to connect to Razer’s Pro Click Mini mouse for a tidier, reliable wireless experience.

While the combination of wireless functionality and backlit RGBs can come at a cost to overall battery life, Razer still manages to squeeze up to 207 hours via its Hyperspeed connection and a slightly longer 214 hours over Bluetooth. 

It’s undoubtedly a premium mechanical keyboard, but if you’re looking for something that feels like a mechanical keyboard without the ultra-loud clickity-clack, the Pro Type Ultra is a solid option. 

8. Logitech Ergo K860 – Best ergonomic keyboard

Pros

Incredibly comfortable to use

Concaved keycaps

Logitech Flow support

Cons

Expensive

Powered by AA batteries

Logitech’s Ergo K860 may look a little odd at first glance, but there’s method behind the apparently mad split-keyboard design. Logitech has been working on the keyboard for quite some time, aiming to create a keyboard that offers an ergonomic shape that’s both comfortable to use over long periods and easy to use, and it has hit the nail on the head with the K860.

Sporting a split-keyboard design and a curved keyframe, the keyboard places your hands in a more natural position when typing, reducing the strain in your hands when you type, and it’s an immediately noticeable change. There’s no need to move your hands at all, as all the keys are shaped to be well within reach.

There was a bit of a learning curve, but it was worth it: the Ergo K860 is one of the most comfortable keyboards we’ve ever used at Tech Advisor, mainly due to the split keyboard and ergonomic shape, but also because of the matching curved wrist rest.

The raised wrist rest matches the curvature of the keyboard perfectly, helping to keep your wrists straight and supported, and thanks to a combination of memory foam, high-density foam and a frictionless coated fabric topping, it’s comfortable too. There are even tilt lets at the front of the keyboard, allowing you to further adjust the angle for those working at standing desks.   

Shape aside, the typing experience is incredibly satisfying, with low-profile silent keys ideal for a busy office environment – you don’t want to annoy your co-workers, after all! The keyboard features the same low-profile membrane and scissor-switch combo as the MX Keys, actuating regardless of where you hit a key.

Pair that with Logitech Options with app-specific shortcuts and Logitech Flow, allowing you to use the mouse between two separate PCs and Macs, and you’ve got a capable, comfortable keyboard ideal for everyday use.

9. Truly Ergonomic Cleave Keyboard – An interesting ergonomic keyboard

Pros

Unique ergonomic design

Handy, easy-to-reach shortcut keys

Choice of mechanical switches

Cons

Steep learning curve

Expensive

If you thought the Logitech Ergo K860 looked a little odd, the Truly Ergonomic Cleave takes things to another level – and it’s all in the name of ergonomics.

It’s hard not to notice the distinctive look of the Cleave as soon as you see it – it’s not only unique in its overall shape, but many of the keys have been moved, rotated and even switched out completely.

The idea behind the changes is to allow you to touch type without moving your hands or twisting your wrists, providing a much more comfortable typing experience free of wrist pain and other discomfort, and that aim is largely achieved.

The catch? You’ll have to undo years of touch-typing muscle memory first, and that took a good few weeks in my experience. In the meantime, I was hitting incorrect keys, accidentally copying and pasting and generally taking longer to get my work done.

But, with a bit of perseverance, I began to type more fluently and, as I type this entry on the Cleave, it feels almost second nature – and incredibly comfortable too.

It’s not just the layout of the keyboard that makes it a great keyboard for work though; it features other staples of a high-end keyboard, including an aluminium alloy frame that gives it a solid feel and cushioned palm rests.

It sports optical infrared mechanical switches for instant tactile feedback, with options including Silent, Clicky and Linear depending on your needs. Those switches are hot-swappable, by the way, as are the domed keycaps.

The only real downside to the keyboard besides its premium price tag is connectivity, with no wireless options available. Instead, you’re stuck with a 6ft USB-A cable. But hey, at least that provides support for Windows, Mac and Linux right?

10. Rapoo E9100M – Best budget slimline keyboard

Pros

Affordable

Multi-device connectivity

Ultraslim design

Cons

No LED indicators

No wired mode

Uses AA batteries

RRP:



£29.99

While Rapoo’s E9100M may not have the catchiest product name around, it steps up where it counts, offering an ultra-slim wireless keyboard with great connectivity options and a satisfying low-profile typing experience too.

Sporting an aluminium alloy base and chamfered edges, the E9100M doesn’t feel like a budget-focused wireless keyboard, and at 4.9mm thick at its thinnest point, it’s one of the slimmest keyboards in our chart. At 302g, it’s a great laptop keyboard companion too – just throw it in your laptop bag and forget about it.

But, despite the thin body and compact build, the membrane keyboard offers full-size keys with great travel and surprisingly clicky feedback without the noise generated by mechanical keyboards, making it ideal for use in an office or other shared environments.

Along with a number pad, the E9100M covers all bases with function keys that double up as media controls with shortcuts to various Windows and Mac functions. The keyboard can be used with iOS and Android devices too.

In fact, with a combination of Bluetooth 4.0 and 2.4GHz available, you can switch between up to four devices seamlessly. It’s not quite as advanced as the automatic switching on offer from Logitech’s Flow technology, but it’s great to see at an entry-level price. The only downside is, with not a single LED on the keyboard, it’s hard to see which source it’s connected to at any given time.

It’s powered by AA batteries, which may not be as convenient as rechargeable batteries, but great power efficiency should provide an entire year of use before needing to replace them.

The downside is that, without a USB-C or microUSB port, there’s no option to simply plug the keyboard in once the batteries die. It’s wireless or nothin’.

Keyboard buying advice

1.

Consider the basics

A lot of the considerations in buying a keyboard are pretty self-explanatory.

Whether you prefer high or low-profile keys is mostly a matter of preference, how bulky you mind it being depending on desk space and if you need it to be portable. Dropping the numpad also saves some space, but at the cost of a little functionality.

Have all this in mind before you even begin looking and you’ll have a much easier time at finding one that suits your needs.

2.

Wired or wireless?

One major consideration is whether you want to go wired or wireless.

The latter gives you less clutter and added portability, but does mean you suddenly have to start worrying about battery life. If you’re looking at wireless, you should also consider whether you want a Bluetooth keyboard that’s compatible with Android or iOS, so that you can also use it to turn your phone or tablet into a productive work device.

3.

Mechanical or membrane?

The biggest decision in buying a keyboard is probably the choice between mechanical or membrane key switches.

Membrane keyboards use a layer of conductive plastic underneath the keys which forms an electrical contact when pressed. Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, use physical switches underneath each key that are actuated when pressed.

Mechanical keyboards are generally said to be more crisp and responsive, and keyboards using the high-quality Cherry MX mechanical switches are a particular favourite. The principal downsides of mechanical keyboards are that they are generally more expensive, bulky, and much more noisy than their membrane counterparts.

Mechanical keyboards are especially popular among PC gamers because of their superior responsiveness, and are common in gaming keyboards. They also often include features like LED backlighting, pass-through USB ports, and customisable hotkeys and macros for more efficient gaming.

If you like the sound of that, take a look at our full guide to the best gaming keyboards.

Keyboards

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