It’s no secret that a good home workplace benefits both your comfort and productivity. You may first think of your desk, chair or monitor, but the peripherals you work on can also make a world of difference. In this article, we’ll discuss the best keyboards for the optimal work-from-home experience.
If you occasionally type an e-mail, practically any keyboard will suffice. But if you’re typing all day, you’ll have more demands. The better keyboards have a finer touch, are more durable and ultimately lead to a faster typing speed.
But it’s not just the typing experience, other features can make a big difference. There are keyboards that you can use simultaneously on your desktop PC at home and on your laptop. Some even have bluetooth support so you can quickly switch to your phone.
The format is also important: most keyboards have a full layout with about 104 keys and are suitable for almost everyone, but there are also keyboards with extra buttons, useful for users of complex macros, or extra compact keyboards. The latter category is nice if you write a lot or have limited space, but it is undesirable if you write a lot Excel works.
The best thing to avoid are so-called rubber-dome keyboards. An example of this are the ‘free’ keyboards that you get with many ready-made computers, although some manufacturers also know to sell these keyboards separately for tens of euros. These keyboards have a soft, spongy and unresponsive touch.
We prefer to look at keyboards with scissor switches, known from Apple keyboards and the better laptops, or mechanical switches. The latter category is the most sustainable, but also comes with a heftier price tag.
Cheap and good: Cherry Stream 3.0
The Cherry Stream 3.0 proves that a solid typing experience does not have to cost much. It is available from around 25 euros and is normally also available in many different country formats. It is a solid keyboard with very pleasant switches, which stands head and shoulders above the direct competition. In addition, it is available in both black and white (grey-white), if you are more style sensitive.
We can easily overlook the aspects where Cherry leaves points because of the price. It is old-fashioned on the wire, there is no possibility to easily connect multiple devices at the same time, and although the build quality with its sturdy plastic is good, there are of course sturdier, metal products for sale for higher amounts.
But if you just want to type well for a modest amount, then this is our absolute must. When it comes to typing pleasure, it is hardly inferior to many a product that costs four times that.
Cherry Stream 3.0
8 Score 80
- Nice typing experience
- Limited possibilities
The Best Keyboard: Logitech MX Keys
With a price tag of about 100 euros, the Logitech MX Keys not cheap, but when we say that you get the ultimate work at home keyboard for that amount, it is actually not that bad. The build quality is excellent, the finish is sublime and the possibilities are impressive.
The keyboard has a detachable USB-C cable with which you can charge the built-in battery. If you turn off the key lighting, you can use it wirelessly for months. And even with the lights on you can quickly get weeks ahead. This is partly thanks to a built-in sensor that turns the backlight off as soon as you pull your hands away from the keys, and turns it back on when you continue typing.
The MX Keys can also be paired with multiple devices at once. You can switch seamlessly between these devices with the help of a button or via the included software. Do you combine the MX Keys with a MX Master Mouse, then you can link different machines together and operate them as if it were one PC with multiple screens. Ideal for those who have several computers at home.
A keyboard stands or falls with the typing experience, of course. This is again excellent, partly thanks to the scissor switches with their solid build quality. We won’t claim that the experience is four times as good as the Cherry Stream 3.0, but this is excellent working from home. Pay attention to which version you buy, because some webshops sell this product without the accompanying wrist rest, while others sell it with wrist rest for about the same price.
Logitech MX Keys
10 Score 100
- Excellent typing
- Extensive options
- Build quality
Working from home and gaming: Leopold FC900
Although the MX Keys for 99 euros leaves little to be desired, there is indeed a superlative, at least in terms of pure typing experience. And for anyone who also finds gaming important in addition to work, there is still something to gain in terms of reaction speed. Many manufacturers offer mechanical gaming keyboards for that target group, in which the attention seems to be mainly focused on RGB lights.
But the relatively unknown Leopold combines the top switches and speed of gaming keyboards with an extremely sturdy, understated design. At least, if you get the black version. It is also available in many bright colors.
The FC900 is so rigid that you can fight a burglar with it. Also, for example, the keycaps on the keys themselves are better finished and the keyboard simply types wonderfully.
That makes it the ultimate for typists and gamers, but there are also drawbacks. In addition to the higher price, you hand in the extensive options and software experience of, for example, the Logitech, which is just as nice for many home workers. You are also on a thread with Leopold. There are wireless alternatives, but gamers lose their speed advantage. This is a top solution for anyone who can live with that.
9 Score 90
- Ultimate typing
- Great gaming
- Top build quality
- Lots of eye-catching color options
- Limited feature set
Flex work tip: smaller brothers
Are you looking for something more compact? There are also smaller versions of both the MX Keys and the Leopold FC900, the Logitech MX Keys Mini (about 109 euros) and the Leopold FC750 (about 129 euros) and FC660 (about 109 euros), respectively. In practical terms, these are the same products with the same pros and cons as their bigger brothers, but with fewer keys.
The MX Keys Mini and FC660 are 60% keyboards, where you basically lose all buttons to the right of Enter and get the arrows in a more compact form. The FC 750 is a TKL or ten-key-less keyboard, where you only miss the numpad part. What is (in)convenient depends on your own use.
Please note that both of Leopold’s keyboards, despite their small size, are still relatively heavy due to their solid construction. That makes the MX Keys Mini a more logical choice to take with you on a daily basis.