Our Guide to Picking the Right Keyboard for You

Our Guide to Picking the Right Keyboard for You
Image: iStock/Martina Rigoli
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While you can do just about anything on any old keyboard you want, if you’re looking for performance in a particular area, you’ll want a specific kind of board.

The world of keyboards is far-reaching and full of options. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference, but what you do for work or pleasure also plays a role in your choice.

If you’re a gamer, you’ll prefer vastly different keyboards compared to someone who spends a lot of time typing. Regardless of the task, there’s a keyboard that’ll fit the mould and meet your needs.

Gaming Keyboards

Razer BlackWidow Elite Keyboard

If you’re a gamer, you’ll want a couple of main things from a keyboard — the lowest possible latency and snappy response times.

While wireless gaming boards are capable of getting the job done these days, many still opt for a USB connection to keep latency as low as possible. Mechanical switches are also the go-to for gamers, providing fast response times and keys that’ll last longer than most.

The downside to mechanical keys is that they’re loud, so clacking away at one in an office environment might not be suitable for everyone, nor are they the most comfortable keyboards to type on. But if you’re into high levels of customisation and the option for lighting effects, you’re in the right place.

Prices vary from quite to cheap to fairly expensive depending on how crazy you wanna go. Boards like the Redragon K552 offer 60% mechanical function in a smaller package for $53.99, while premium units like the Razer BlackWidow Elite come with the full gamut of features like customisable RGB lighting, a digital display, ergonomic wrist rest and more. The multi-award-winning keyboard will cost you $155.41.

There’s a huge variety of options and prices out there so it’s all about finding something that works for you at the right price range. There are even options like the Corsair K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard which offers all of the perks of a premium mechanical keyboard along with dust and water resistance for $176.90. Great for those who’ve spilt a drink or two over a board in their time. 

Typing Keyboards

OMOTON Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard

You can type on any dang keyboard you want, but those who spend a lot of time tapping away will want something quiet and easy to glide over. Unlike gaming keyboards, flatter keys are generally the go-to here. Whether you go wired or wireless is completely up to you. Personally, I find wired to be less of a hassle if it’s for a desktop computer, but if you want the flexibility of, say, hooking your PC up to a TV and sitting on the lounge, wireless is a must.

The TopMate KM9001 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo offers a great clean aesthetics at the reasonable price of $49.77. The bonus mouse is also a nice addition. If you’re not fussed on looks and just want something functional, the Dell Wired Multimedia Keyboard is a tidy solution for $10.95.

The OMOTON Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard is a compact wireless solution for those using an Apple device, and Microsoft’s 600 Series USB Keyboard is an option for PC users looking for something low key.

Ergonomic Keyboards

Perixx PERIBOARD-512 Wired Ergonomic Natural Split

Those spending long hours on a computer may want to look into an ergonomic keyboard. Many manufacturers make split units that can be operated with two hands at more natural, comfortable angles to reduce stress and minimise injuries like RSI.

These options tend to be a little pricier than your standard boards but can offer a world of comfort to those who find it hard to type for long periods or even at all. An entry-level unit like the Perixx PERIBOARD-512 Wired Ergonomic Natural Split will cost you $72.60, while Microsoft’s L5V-00027 Wireless Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop USB Mouse & Keyboard runs a little higher at $128.66, but does come with an ergonomic mouse. 

At the luxe end of the spectrum, there are options like Logitech’s Ergo K860 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard, which can be used for both Mac and PC and offers a pillowed wrist rest, scooped keys, adjustable angles and more. All of this comes with a $345 price tag.