Which wireless keyboard is best?
Wireless keyboards are useful for all sorts of situations. They’re primarily used with desktops as your standard keyboard, but they can also be used with your tablet or phones for working on the go. You also can use one if you dislike your laptop or office computer keyboard. They’re also available in all sorts of styles if you want to show off your personality.
The best wireless keyboard is the Logitech G915 Lightspeed RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. The mechanical keys are satisfying to hit, and it has no input lag.
What to know before you buy a wireless keyboard
Wireless keyboard compatibility is a little complicated. It’s based on your device’s operating system, referred to as its OS. Though not always the case, many keyboards can be used on desktop and mobile devices interchangeably. A wireless keyboard’s product listing should include a list of the OSs it’s compatible with.
- Desktop: There are two primary desktop OSs: Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s macOS. Keyboards are always designed to work with at least one operating system. This means it has — or lacks — specific keys integral to the functions of that OS. That said, many keyboards are still compatible with the alternate OS — you just need to either know which keys will trigger the other OS’s systems or need to specially program your choice of keys to trigger said systems.
- Mobile: There are two primary mobile OSs: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. There aren’t any special keys for these OSs — it’s only a matter of whether the wireless keyboard can connect to them.
Power source and battery life
Wireless keyboards are, by necessity, battery-powered. They typically use replaceable batteries or an onboard rechargeable battery. That said, some offer emergency power via a wired connection to your computer. Battery life varies widely with some lasting as little as 10 hours and others lasting a month or more.
Size and key layout
Wireless keyboards are available in all shapes, sizes and key layouts. Generally, the best of each aspect is simply what you’re used to, as adapting to new sizes and layouts can take hours of retraining your muscle memory. If you need or want to change things up, give yourself a full week of typing on your new keyboard. If it still isn’t clicking, it’s safe to go shopping again.
What to look for in a quality wireless keyboard
Wireless keyboards connect to your computer using either Bluetooth or a wireless USB dongle.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth is often considered the standard, as it doesn’t require anything other than a Bluetooth-compatible device to connect to. However, Bluetooth connections aren’t as stable, and they drain your battery faster.
- USB: USB connections may be more stable and burn less energy, but they have several additional requirements. First, the computer needs to have a USB port. If you use several accessories, you may need to either sacrifice using one or purchase a USB hub to add additional ports. Additionally, mobile computers — tablets and phones — rarely have a USB port. Second, your computer needs to download special files to communicate with the keyboard. However, since many keyboards are plug-and-play, this usually happens automatically.
The best wireless keyboards have backlighting so they can be seen easily in any lighting conditions. Many turn on and off automatically based on key presses. Some can even be multicolored based on your preferences.
How much you can expect to spend on a wireless keyboard
Wireless keyboards typically cost $20-$200 or more. Basic and small keyboards typically cost less than $25 with slight upgrades available for keyboards up to $50. The very best keyboards start around $100.
Wireless keyboard FAQ
How can I tell how much power my wireless keyboard has left?
A. That depends on the keyboard. Some models include LED indicators that show how much or little charge it has left, while others send a notification to your computer. Some even do both. That said, power indicators are rarely found in any but the priciest models.
If my keyboard comes with a mouse, does that mean I have to use it?
A. No. Any extra accessories, including mice and separate number pads, can be used with or without the keyboard.
What’s the best wireless keyboard to buy?
Top wireless keyboard
Logitech G915 Lightspeed RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
What you need to know: Its supreme performance is marketed toward gamers but works for everyone.
What you’ll love: Its battery lasts for up to 30 hours, and it has a low-battery warning that triggers when it has 15% battery life left. Plus, it can charge back to full in only three hours. It’s compatible with all major desktop and mobile operating systems.
What you should consider: The keys are low against the board, which may be uncomfortable to some. It’s among the most expensive available due to features you may not need.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top wireless keyboard for the money
Microsoft Designer Compact Keyboard
What you need to know: It’s low-cost and highly effective.
What you’ll love: It can store connections with up to three devices to effortlessly swap between them. The design is compact enough for easy travel but large enough not to feel cramped. It’s slightly raised for ergonomic comfort, and it comes in black and white.
What you should consider: It requires four batteries. It falls into sleep mode quickly and takes several seconds to wake back up fully. The right control button is replaced by an emoji key.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It’s perfect for Mac and other Apple computer users.
What you’ll love: The keys come in black or white, though the baseplate remains silver. It has a numeric keypad on the right side, and it features Apple’s Touch ID for logging in. If used moderately, the battery can last as long as a month on a single charge.
What you should consider: It takes Apple’s proprietary Lightning cable to charge and is designed for use specifically with Apple computers, so it’s not recommended for Windows users.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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