did more for in a few months than I expected to see happen in a decade. People left or were pushed out of their offices and had to set up work from home spaces. On top of that, many have also seen their children moving from the classroom into the home, putting more demands on space, internet bandwidth, and equipment.
Having the right equipment can make a huge difference, not just to productivity, but also comfort. And there's one bit of equipment that can make a massive difference, and that's the keyboard.
Some considerations to bear in mind when choosing a keyboard:
- Wired or wireless: Wireless offers greater flexibility, but means batteries or recharging. Wired is fixed but there's less care and feeding to do.
- Backlit or not: Some find backlit keyboards a must, others hate them. The good thing is that most keyboards that have backlighting can be put into dark mode.
- Size: Small keyboards are nice, but they can be cramped for extended sessions.
- Bluetooth dongle included or not: If you want a wireless keyboard for a desktop, remember that a lot of systems don't have Bluetooth, so check if the keyboard comes with a dongle (most do).
- Ergonomic or not: Again, a personal taste thing. Some find ergonomic keyboards comfortable (especially if they suffer from ailments such as RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome), while others loathe anything that isn't a regular layout.
Here are a few top-notch productivity-boosting keyboards (not gaming -- that brings a whole raft of additional considerations into play) for those of you considering an upgrade. I've also picked a great all-rounder keyboard for all you left-handed people out there.
This is a solid, well-made, minimalistic keyboard that can last you a lifetime. Each key is equipped with a high-precision Cherry MX Brown switch, which is good for a whopping 50 million presses.
It features beautiful LED back-lighting which makes typing in low-light a pleasure.
This beautiful keyboard is one of the very best money can buy.$129 at Das Keyboard
Microsoft makes great hardware, and the Microsoft Keyboard is no exception. The split-style keyboard encourages a more natural wrist and shoulder posture, and the shortcut buttons can speed up your productivity across a huge array of applications and web services.
The keyboard is wired for reliability, so there's no battery to change or recharge.$59 at Amazon
This is a keyboard that's designed for people who have grown up on laptops. It has the look and feel of a high-quality laptop keyboard, from the key sizes, travel, and backlighting.
It's also great for people who want to have one keyboard for multiple devices. The Logitech MX Keys Advanced is multi device and multi OS, compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android systems. Best of all, you can pair a single keyboard with three devices.
This wireless keyboard has a battery life of 10 days (or up-to 5 months with backlighting off), and is recharged using USB-C.$100 at Amazon
I'm right-handed, but statistically some one-in-seven readers will be left-handed, and having to force yourself to fit into a world built for right-handers can be hard. So, why not grab yourself a keyboard made for people like you.
The DSI left-handed keyboard is built around the Cherry mechanical Red switch, each good for 20 million hits.
This is a wonderfully solid keyboard that's an absolute pleasure to use.$92 at Newegg
If you work primarily with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, this Logitech keyboard offers you the ability to work with a physical keyboard when the need arises. Can't choose what device to use? This keyboard offers the ability to switch quickly between multiple devices.
A great space saver!$79 at Logitech
This is the best solution for Mac users. It's stylish, practical, and very robust. I suggest getting the version with the numeric keypad, but if you are short of desk space, you could go for the basic keyboard.
The keyboard uses Apple's scissor mechanism, giving each key a great feeling of solidity and great tactile feedback.$129 at Apple
- Cloud Nine C989 Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard: Unique design, fantastic Cherry MX Red, and great ergonomics.
- Logitech Craft Advanced Wireless Keyboard: A great keyboard with a twist -- a creative input dial that accesses context-specific functions in favorite creative apps.
- Amazon Basics keyboard: Cheap and cheerful wired keyboard.