Best keyboards for 2013
Posted on 12 Feb 2013 at 11:54
Discover the best keyboards to buy for your computer
Considering how much time we spend tapping away at our keyboards, it’s surprising how many of us stick with the cheap thing our PC manufacturer threw in the box to keep the overall price down. Perhaps it’s time your keyboard got a little bit of the attention you normally devote to your other peripherals?
Here we’ve looked at a range of keyboards designed to make your fingers feel better, to add new functions to your PC or to let you kick back and relax as you surf. If you’re still using a bog-standard model, you should find something here that’s worth the upgrade.
Matias Quiet Pro
The first thing you’ll notice about this keyboard is its weight – it’s heavy and won’t slip around on your desk. The weight comes from the components inside. It’s a mechanical keyboard, which means each of the keys has its own dedicated switch that can send information to the computer independently.
The keyboard is an absolute dream to type on: the keys move down with a very tactile but gentle click. As its name suggests, it’s also quiet to type on. The mechanical switches are still louder than typing on the non-mechanical keyboards we’ve reviewed here, but compared to the Filco keyboard, it’s very quiet.
There are no headline-grabbing gimmicks on this keyboard but it has three USB ports, which operate as a mini-hub, so you can plug devices and storage into it.
Filco Majestouch 2
It’s not until you use this keyboard from Filco that you realise how noisy a mechanical keyboard can be. Typing on it made such a racket that it disturbed the people sitting around us in the office. However, it’s extremely satisfying to type on: despite the heavy clicks, you hardly have to press the keys at all.
The device itself couldn’t look more standard. It’s a USB keyboard but it comes with a PS/2 adapter, if you have that option on your PC.
Although it isn’t as good as the Matias Quiet Pro, it’s significantly better than all the other keyboards we tested. It’s expensive for a keyboard with no added extras, but it is a pleasure to type on. It’s noisy though, so you might want to use it in a room on your own.
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
The Logitech K400 is a wireless keyboard pitched at laptop users who plug their laptop into their TV. With a laptop-style touch pad in the place where the number pad would normally be, you can use both the keyboard and mouse while reclining on the sofa.
The touchpad works well and is big enough to use comfortably. There’s an extra mouse button in the top left so you can move the cursor with your right hand while pressing the button on the left, keeping the keyboard well balanced.
The keyboard itself feels cramped. The keys lie very low, with very little travel, and we found it too easy to hit more than one key at a time. The cursor keys have been shuffled in under the Enter key, reducing the size of essential keys such as Enter and Shift.
Ghosting - the phenomenon of multiple simultaneous keystrokes not being recognised (when playing games, for example) - wasn’t too bad. We found certain key combinations that would only let us press three keys at a time, though others were happy with six key presses.
Targus KU-2971 was the replacement I got for my last Microsoft branded keyboard which gave up the ghost. It is quiet, responsive and very easy to use. Mainly because it is designed for everyday workstation usage I guess. No media shortcuts, just a plain old school traditional key layout with full size keys. It is height adjustable too and has a removable wrist rest.
By mr_chips on 12 Feb 2013
A vote for the Apple USB keyboard. Takes up very little room is quiet and good to type on and finally looks terrific! Works on a PC or on Apple and isn't expensive in the company of your choices at £49.
By jmiii on 13 Feb 2013
Shame to see no love given to ergonomic keyboards which are by far the best keyboards once you get over the initial learning curve as your wrist will vouch for.
Lack of promotion of these is a contributional factor I am sure to the relatively low sales and therefore relatively low number of these available.
By nniillaa on 14 Feb 2013
Logitech K200 wired keyboard. £10, superb.
By snoog on 14 Feb 2013
Agreed. I love my MS comfort curve 2000. Watch out for the 3000 though it is new and inferior.
I would also commend Dell's arrangement of the navigation keys, with page up/down near the arrow keys.
By tirons1 on 14 Feb 2013
Why no option for left-sided people?
So these keyboards with pointing devices always have them on the right. Don't they know that your right-hand is for drinking coffee, and the left-hand is for mice/pointing.
I agree with jmiii - Why no Apple? I thought they were horrendously expensive until I saw this group. Now I see that they're on the cheaper end of the market.
By kpdirection on 22 Feb 2013
I love my Matias
I don't like the scrabble tile keyboards, they feel dead and unresponsive to me.
As someone who uses a keyboard for a living I've always been a fan of a proper mechanical keyboard.
I have a Matias Tactile Pro for my Mac, identical the one reviewed above except it isn't as quiet.
On my other machine, Windows and Linux I have a Corsair Vengeance K90 which is another superb mechanical keyboard with plenty of programmable keys for those Vi commands.
By njm1404 on 22 Mar 2013
For more details about purchasing this feature and/or images for editorial usage, please contact Jasmine Samra on firstname.lastname@example.org
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