There isn’t an office peripheral that’s more important than the keyboard – along with your mouse, it’s the key point of contact between you and your work. Getting the right bit of kit here is crucial, and can transform your working day.
The keyboard market is surprisingly diverse, with conventional hardware lined up alongside pricey mechanical units, wireless devices that can switch between PCs, laptops and tablets, ergonomic units and slimline options for easy travel.
We’ve picked out six of the best for every scenario, with ergonomic and wireless models covered alongside cloud-enabled smart keyboards and top-notch mechanical devices.
What are the best keyboards in 2020?
The best keyboard you can buy right now is the Razer Pro Type (£97). It’s a top-notch mechanical unit that combines the best of Razer’s gaming keyboards with the design and reliability required by the office, and it’s also wireless.
View the Razer Pro Type for £97 on Amazon
The Logitech Craft (£162) is our best keyboard for creatives. Its core typing action is top-notch, the design is stylish, and it serves up an innovative dial that adds easy functionality to key apps, like Adobe’s Creative Suite and Microsoft’s Office tools – alongside popular web browsers.
View the Logitech Craft for £162 on Amazon
If you need an ergonomic keyboard that can provide more comfort and combat RSI, the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic (£120) is our top choice. Its angled design is supremely comfortable and is bolstered by a great wrist-rest, the buttons are snappy, and it’s enhanced with smart shortcuts and Bluetooth operation.
View the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic for £120 on Amazon
Razer Pro Type
WIRED Recommends: The Razer Pro Type is a top-notch wireless keyboard
Switch type: Razer Orange mechanical | Lighting: White LED | Layout: Full | Connectivity: 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, wired | Materials: Metal, soft-touch plastic | Weight: 900g | Dimensions: 442 x 133 x 39mm (WxDxH) | Extras: Programmable keys, device switching
Razer is best known for its gaming peripherals, and the firm has a hard-won reputation for producing hardware that delivers huge quality over prolonged periods of time. Those attributes are also key for professional devices – so it’s no surprise that the Razer Pro Type (£97) is a top-notch bit of kit.
It all starts with Razer’s own Orange mechanical switches, which are fantastic – comfortable, fast and consistent, with a classic mechanical bump. They’re reassuringly weighty, and have also been designed with the office in mind – so they’re quieter than most mechanical keyboards. The Razer delivers a top-tier typing experience, and its 80 million keypress endurance rating is also excellent.
The keys are installed into a plastic base with a metal top plate that looks great and has brilliant build quality, and the Pro Type has bold white backlighting that can be disabled. Razer’s Synapse software can be used to customise the lighting and the keys, and you can save custom profiles and record macros.
Razer’s device uses wireless and Bluetooth connections, and the Pro Type can effortlessly switch between up to four devices – so you can jump between desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. It’s got a USB-C port for charging and wired use, media shortcuts, and it can be paired with the Razer Pro Click – a high-end wireless mouse with many of the same features as the Logitech MX Master 3, which is our favourite office rodent.
The Pro Type offers twelve hours of battery life with its backlighting activated – only a moderate amount – and a whole week’s worth if you disable the lighting. There’s also no wrist-rest, which is a disappointing omission.
That’s not enough to put us off, though: the Razer Pro Type delivers top-tier mechanical typing alongside versatile wireless ability and great build quality.
Also consider: If you want a more affordable mechanical keyboard, pick up the Logitech G413 (£80). It’s not wireless and it’s not quiet, but it’s still an effective, satisfying and consistent device. If you’re searching for more speed or features, look to the Corsair K100 (£230), which combines mechanical hardware with laser actuation for devastating pace. It’s packed with features, too.
Pros: Fantastic mechanical quality; robust, smart design; lots of customisation options; wireless connectivityCons: Moderate battery life; no wrist-rest
Price: £97 | Check price on Amazon | Razer
The best keyboard for creative work
Switch type: Chiclet | Lighting: White LED | Layout: Full | Connectivity: 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, wired | Materials: Plastic | Weight: 960g | Dimensions: 430 x 149 x 32mm (WxDxH) | Extras: Creative dial
The Logitech Craft (£162) is designed for creative applications, and its key feature is called the Crown. It’s a tall, round, touch-sensitive switch that can be spun, pressed and tapped in different creative applications.
The Craft comes pre-loaded with profiles for apps like Adobe’s Creative Suite, Microsoft Word and Excel and several popular web browsers, and it can adjust settings in Photoshop, edit images and videos, switch between tabs and apps and zoom in and out in Office tools. It’s a smart, tactile way to smooth out your workflow. The Crown doesn’t just work with Logitech’s default profiles – it’s customisable, too.
Elsewhere, the Craft continues to appeal to creatives. Its buttons are short, speedy and snappy, with a concave design and a typing action that’s more akin to an Apple keyboard or a high-end laptop than a hefty mechanical unit. Logitech’s keyboard is wireless and has three dedicated buttons to effortlessly switch between machines – so you can take it between different devices.
It’s got an off switch to preserve battery life, it charges using USB-C, and it can combine with some of Logitech’s mice to deliver more complex keyboard and movement shortcuts. It’s got proximity sensors to activate its white backlight when you’re nearby, and it looks the part – it’s sleek and slim, with rounded corners, a silver bar at the top and a matte black body. The sub-kilogram weight is fine, too.
Logitech’s Craft is an innovative and impressive bit of kit. If you want a wireless keyboard that’s more stylish and useful than most, it’s a top choice.
Pros: Great, versatile creativity features; snappy, short buttons; reliable device switching; smart backlight
Cons: Pretty expensive; light keys may not satisfy some users
Price: £162 | Check price on Amazon | Logitech
Das Keyboard 4Q
The best keyboard for smart, integrated features
Switch type: Cherry MX RGB | Lighting: RGB LED | Layout: Full | Connectivity: Wired | Materials: Aluminium, plastic | Weight: 1.3kg | Dimensions: 457 x 173 x 20mm (WxDxH) | Extras: Smart features, USB hub, media controls
It’s hard to find a keyboard with more professional credentials than the Das Keyboard 4Q (£181). This unit uses applets and integration with IFTTT and Zapier to automate common work tasks – delivering you lashings of information through the keyboard itself. It works by manipulating the RGB LEDs that sit beneath each button and by flashing shortcuts up on your desktop, and it’s supremely clever.
You can get notifications for emails, messages on Discord, activity on Slack, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Trello and other sites, and even weather reports and stock alerts. The 4Q can deliver reminders to get up, stretch and drink water – and even warnings if your PC’s components exceed certain temperatures. An open API means that developers can create their own integrations, and the 4Q has a dedicated button to launch the Q app that controls the unit’s applets, its RGB LED profiles and other settings.
Beyond those smart features, the 4Q is an impressive professional unit. Its uses CherryMX Brown switches, which are a tactile, quiet switch that delivers a balanced, comfortable and consistent typing experience – they’re excellent. The unit is built from plastic and aluminium and offers tremendous build quality, and around the rear it’s got a couple of USB 2.0 ports. It has dedicated media controls and a volume dial, too. The only thing missing is a wrist-rest.
Not everyone will need the 4Q’s smart features, and not everyone will want to spend £125 on a mechanical keyboard that’s relatively basic beyond those additions. But if you’re a developer or anyone else who needs information routed through your keyboard, this could prove invaluable.
Pros: Great smart integration; Versatile software options; Top-notch mechanical hardware, USB portsCons: No wrist-rest
Price: £181 | Check price on Amazon | Overclockers
Apple Magic Keyboard (with Numeric Keypad)
The top keyboard for Apple users
Switch type: Scissor | Lighting: n/a | Layout: Full | Connectivity: 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, wired | Materials: Metal, plastic | Weight: 231g | Dimensions: 279 x 115 x 11mm (WxDxH) | Extras: n/a
There’s no doubting that the Magic Keyboard (£127) is an Apple product – it’s sleek and slim, with white (or ‘space grey’) buttons and a stunning aluminium unibody shell.
The latest version of Apple’s keyboard includes a full numberpad, which makes it more useful than previous iterations, and it includes full-size cursor keys, and this Bluetooth unit lasts for around a month between charges. Useful functionality can be found elsewhere, with loads of secondary functions scattered across the top row. Build quality is typically impressive, and this keyboard is just 11mm tall and only weighs 390g, so it’s easy to slip into a bag. The typing experience is good, too – Apple’s scissor switches are snappy, light and easy to use for hours.
The only major disappointment is the lack of a backlight, which could make the Magic Keyboard trickier to use if you regularly work in darker environments.
If you’re more of an iPad worker then you should consider Apple’s dedicated Magic Keyboard, which is robust and satisfying – and they include a backlight.
Hopefully Apple includes a backlight on its full-size keyboard in the future. Until then, this remains an impressive option for Mac users thanks to its sleek design and satisfying typing action.
Pros: Sleek, slight and robust body; snappy and comfortable keys; good secondary functionsCons: No backlight
Price: £129 | Check price on Apple | Amazon | John Lewis
The best wireless keyboard for switching between devices
Switch type: Chiclet | Lighting: White LED | Layout: Full | Connectivity: 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, wired | Materials: Plastic, rubber | Weight: 875g | Dimensions: 380 x 158 x 22mm (WxDxH) | Extras: Device switching, device cradle
Logitech’s K780 (£75) wireless keyboard deploys many of the impressive connectivity features that are found across the rest of Logitech’s range – it can switch between different devices effortlessly and can use Logitech’s Unifying Receiver to connect, so you don’t need multiple USB dongles for different peripherals.
The K780 really leans into Logitech’s multi-tasking abilities. The main keyboard is made from a smart matte black plastic, and it sits on top of a base that’s covered with from soft-touch, grippy material. That base section rises up into a trench behind the keys, and it securely holds smartphones and even the biggest tablets. If you regularly switch between devices, this is ingenious – you can work on your PC and switch to your mobile hardware without having to move from your desk.
The Logitech’s keys are round and stylish, and they have a soft, shallow and fast typing action – they’re not the snappiest, but they are very comfortable. This is great for rapid work, but may not suit people who prefer more robust keys. The K780 has a full-size layout, its flatter design aids comfort, and it uses both Bluetooth and wireless connections. It accepts a pair of triple-A batteries and won’t even need to be charged annually. The only issue here is the lack of a backlight.
This is a slick, well-designed keyboard that’s perfect if you want to work on multiple devices without any hassle.
Pros: Smart, versatile design; clever device switching; Soft, fast keys; great battery life
Cons: No backlight
Also consider: If you need a conventional wireless keyboard with those soft, shallow buttons, then Logitech’s own MX Keys Wireless costs £100. The stunning Logitech G915 Wireless is a gaming keyboard, but it does a tremendous job of balancing snappier mechanical hardware with lower-profile buttons, wireless technology and more features – albeit for £209.
Price: £75 | Check price on Amazon | Logitech | Currys
Microsoft Surface Ergonomic
The best ergonomic keyboard
Switch type: Chiclet | Lighting: White LED | Layout: Full ergonomic | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Materials: Plastic, fabric | Weight: 1.01kg | Dimensions: 460 x 229 x 35mm (WxDxH) | Extras: n/a
Ergonomic keyboards are not new, but Microsoft’s latest model combines a comfortable, domed design with the soft-touch materials that make many of its Surface devices and accessories so attractive.
The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic (£120) is sloped, with the main body of the keyboard divided into two sections – key for improving the experience of people who suffer from RSI, or those who find conventional keyboards difficult to use.
The buttons are light and fast – comfortable and easy to use – and they’re bolstered by media shortcuts and keys that can adjust brightness, open the search function and to load key services, like the Settings menu and the calculator. The shape makes this keyboard easier on the wrists, of course, but the rest of the design just makes life easier in general. There’s a comfortable double-cushioned wrist-rest, too, and build quality is fantastic.The Surface connects using Bluetooth, but not wireless, and it requires two triple-A batteries that only need changing once a year. The only thing missing – as with lots of other office keyboards – is backlighting.
The £120 Surface is a brilliant bit of kit – well-designed, effective and straightforward. If you’re searching for a keyboard that can relieve pain and make your typing life easier, this is our top pick.
Pros: Top-notch ergonomic design; fast, soft and responsive buttons; smart shortcuts
Cons: No backlighting; only connects using Bluetooth
Price: £120 | Check price on Amazon | John Lewis