17 Sep 2021 11:19 AM +00:00

Best Keyboard 2021: Top Picks From Budget To Premium

Having the best keyboard around can be of major help if you're typing, gaming, or just getting on with day to day work.

We're here to get your search off to the best possible start, and we've selected a number of keyboards for all budgets based on specs, reviews and features they offer.

Whether you're looking for a rather portable pick like the Filco Majestouch MINILA-R Convertible or more of an analog pick for gaming like the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog, we've got you covered right here, plus our guide to picking the best one for you.

Let's get to it!

Best Keyboard

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Best Keyboard - Asus ROG Claymore II

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Image Credit: Asus

Manufacturer: Asus | Switches: RX Blues/RX Reds | RGB: Yes | Optical: Yes | Wristrest: Yes | Wireless: Yes | Battery Life: 43 Hours (Full RGB)/ 144 Hours (No Lighting)

If you're looking for one of the best keyboards around, look no further than the Asus ROG Claymore II.

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It comes with an intriguing modular design that allows you to use it as either a full-size board or, thanks to the detachable number pad, a tenkeyless space-saver.

Moreover, the Claymore II makes use of Asus' own RX Blue or Red switches that we think can provide a great typing experience, whether you want something clicky or linear.

It's also a rather well-built keyboard, which means it's durable thanks to a metal outer shell.

In addition, you'll find USB-C charging and what looks like good battery life with 144 hours with no Aura-sync enabled lighting, or 43 hours with it on.

Best Portable Keyboard - Filco Majestouch MINILA-R Convertible

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Image Credit: Filco

Manufacturer: Filco | Switches: CHERRY MX Reds/Browns/Blues/Silent Reds | RGB: No | Optical: No | Wristrest: No | Wireless: Yes | Battery Life: 10 Days (Full Backlighting)/ Up to 5 Months (No Backlighting)

The space savers in the audience will be happy to know that the Filco Majestouch MINILA-R Convertible has made it onto this list.

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What makes this board special compared to a normal mechanical board is the layout. As a 60% keyboard, it offers a convenient solution for those looking to save even more desk space than with a TKL keyboard.

The switches on offer are a choice of CHERRY MXs in either Black, Blue, Red or Silent Red flavours. We think this provides everyone with a switch they'll like with a multitude of different forces and feelings

Otherwise, the Majestouch MINILA-R Convertible seems to be a well-built keyboard, comprised of some thick black plastic, and comes with convertible keycaps. In other words, the top piece can come off to be replaced by a different legend

For US-based customers, the standard MINILA Air will do the job just fine - it just misses out on convertible keycaps.

Best RGB Keyboard (Mechanical) - Roccat Pyro

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Image Credit: Roccat

Manufacturer: Roccat | Switches: TTC Reds | RGB: Yes | Optical: No | Wristrest: Yes | Wireless: No | Battery Life: Wired

In terms of the best lighting, it's actually a more wallet-friendly board that takes the crown with the Roccat Pyro.

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The lighting on offer here looks to be crisp and sharp, and there's plenty of customisation options within Roccat's Swarm software besides lighting, including changing macros or key bindings, even down to off the wall presets.

Switches come in the shape of TTC Reds that we think will be ideal for gaming with their snappy and light 45cN actuation force. To some, it may be a shame that the Roccat Pyro doesn't use actual CHERRY MXs, but these clones should definitely do the job.

For build quality, the Pyro also looks to be well-made thanks to the combo of a brushed metal top plate and hard plastic outer shell.

You'll also find an additional wrist-rest and flip out feet that can combine to make it an even more comfortable board that wouldn't be out of place on the best ergonomic keyboard list.

Best Keyboard For Typing (Membrane) - Logitech MX Keys

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Image Credit: Logitech

Manufacturer: Logitech | Switches: Scissor actuated membranes | RGB: White backlighting | Optical: No | Wristrest: Optional | Wireless: Yes | Battery Life: 10 Days (Full Backlighting)/ Up to 5 Months (No Backlighting)

For a scissor actuated offering, the Logitech MX Keys provides a fabulous option for the modern home office and for typists alike.

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It looks like quite a slim and modern board with a grey and black outer housing, helped along by recessed keycaps that can provide a comfortable typing experience.

Furthermore, as it's a scissor actuated keyboard, the MX Keys' feel will be familiar to those who use laptops a lot, too. You'll also find that the keys are backlit, meaning that they can be used for any work after dark.

There's the ability to connect the keyboard to three different devices, either via Bluetooth or the included Unifying Receiver.

With this, you can also utilise a Logitech MX Master 3 to make quite the premium desk set.

Best Keyboard For Typing (Mechanical) - Unicomp Model M

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Image Credit: Unicomp

Manufacturer: Unicomp | Switches: Buckling Springs | RGB: No | Optical: No | Wristrest: No | Wireless: No | Battery Life: Wired

The Unicomp Model M, in its various varieties, is a keyboard that is truly mechanical.

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Whilst this may seem an odd statement, where other keyboards use a switch, this offering actually makes use of a spring that buckles - hence the name of it being a buckling spring keyboard.

The typing experience offered is said to be unlike anything available today, largely thanks to the springs inside but expect a loud clacking sound with every weighty keypress.

Otherwise, we think the Unicomp Model Ms are well-built keyboards and actually use rather similar tooling as the original Model Ms from the eighties and nineties. As a result, they feature a thick steel plate inside the plastic chassis that means it has no deck flex at all.

You'll find there's a standard Model M, the space-saving Ultra Classic and the even more compact Mini M for different models in their range, and all feature the same signature typing feel.

There isn't any RGB lighting aside from the lock lights, but for a proper typist's board, the Model M looks like an incredible choice.

Best RGB Keyboard (Membrane) - Razer Cynosa Chroma

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Image Credit: Razer

Manufacturer: Razer | Switches: Membrane | RGB: Yes | Optical: No | Wristrest: No | Wireless: No | Battery Life: Wired

It should come as little surprise to anyone that one of the best keyboards for lighting is from Razer, who have applied it brilliantly to this membrane board. Razer is known for a plethora of great products, with the top Razer headsets being among the best around.

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The Cynosa Chroma makes use of Razer's handy Chroma lighting engine that offers a sea of RGB right across the keyboard and down to the individual key. As a result, it should come across as being vibrant enough even on bright days.

Bundled software in the form of Razer Synapse also allows for even more customisation on the lighting front with individual key options, as well as presets that you don't have to touch otherwise.

There are no mechanical switches to speak of, but instead, some soft-touch membrane keys that do provide an element of tactility, and are fine for the more casual gamers out there.

As more of a budget-friendly keyboard, the Cynosa Chroma looks like a good option for those wanting crisp lighting and a decent gaming experience.

Best Gaming Keyboard - Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

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Image Credit: Razer

Manufacturer: Razer | Switches: Razer Optical Linears | RGB: Yes | Optical: Yes | Wristrest: Yes | Wireless: No | Battery Life: Wired

As much as mechanical boards are the best for gaming, none look to hold a candle to the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog.

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The reason for this is a simple case of switches: they're analog. What this means is that each key can be configured to have progressive and more controller-like accuracy as opposed to the usual on/off and more digital affairs with standard mechanical switches.

However, the functionality of the board doesn't end with its switches. Razer's Synapse 3 software is also some of the most versatile and intuitive around, allowing for everything from macros to lighting to even control of other smart systems such as Philips Hue lighting right from your PC.

When it comes to looks too, we think the Huntsman V2 Analog delivers. It looks to have plenty of heft to it, being remarkably sturdy but comfortable to use - in part thanks to the included magnetic wrist-rest.

This Razer keyboard is among the best for any gaming setup and can be complemented with a great gaming desk or top gaming chair, too.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Keyboards

What is a mechanical keyboard?

Simply put, a mechanical keyboard is one that features a physical mechanism, be it a switch or just a spring underneath the keycap that is responsible for any inputs.

These switches can come with different colours that denote different feelings - for instance, a Red switch is light and has no feedback, or a Blue switch is heavy with a defined click.

Some can be optical and work via light gates as opposed to traditional mechanisms, like the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog which can lead to faster response times and is ideal for more competitive players.

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Do I need a mechanical keyboard?

If you're a heavy typist or a gamer, then having a mechanical keyboard can provide more solid inputs in comparison to their membrane counterparts and can also lead to quicker typing once you get used to the force of the switches.

However, if you're just looking for the gamer aesthetic that a lot of keyboards have with their RGB lighting, then an option such as the Razer Cynosa Chroma may serve you better.

Is a 60% keyboard better?

A 60% keyboard like the Filco Majestouch MINILA-R Convertible is great if you want to save an awful lot of desk space as there are fewer keys available to hand. You'll likely miss out on arrow keys and a number pad plus some functions, for instance.

For saving space, they're ideal and can in the right hands also lead to better productivity. If you do need a full number pad or the extra keys that a full-size board has though, they may not be the best option.

Read More: Best Gaming Keyboard 2021: What are the best keyboards for gaming?