The 7 best keyboards of 2023, from ergonomic options for daily use to specialized gaming keyboards
Common keyboard FAQs
Buying a keyboard is a personal decision, as preferences vary significantly. Gamers, photo editors, and work-from-home managers have different needs. Here are some points to ponder if you're unsure which keyboard is for you.
Key switches explained: Membrane vs. scissor vs. Mechanical
A key switch is the physical and electronic mechanism that supports the keys and registers the keystroke. Keyboard fans argue endlessly about which switch design is best. Most people don't need to dig into the nitty-gritty, but a basic understanding is useful if you're serious about buying an excellent keyboard.
The membrane switch is the least expensive. Each key sits on a rubber membrane, typically shaped like a dome, which provides resistance and keeps keys elevated. The dome collapses when you press a key, forcing the bottom into contact with the circuit board beneath. Membrane switches have a mushy feel that some find annoying. They respond slowly to rapid, repetitive input, which is bad news for gamers. Membrane switches are reliable and hold up well to drops, spills, and general abuse.
Scissor switches are found in many premium keyboards and laptops. The switch is shaped like a pair of scissors with the blades open. The blades separate further when you press the key, creating tension and resistance in the switch. Scissor switches have a shallow, crisp action that many people find pleasant to use but lack the chunky feel mechanical switches provide. The shallow design of a scissor switch allows for a thinner keyboard, which some people find more comfortable. You'll prefer a scissor switch if you want an attractive keyboard that's enjoyable to use all day.
Mechanical switches are their own sub-genre. They all use a mechanical element (typically a spring) for resistance, and this makes them thicker than the alternatives. Mechanical switches have a reputation for a loud, chunky, tactile feel, but this is only true of keyboards that label themselves as "clicky." You'll also find keyboards advertised as "tactile." These have an actuation point you can feel while pressing the key but aren't designed to make noise.
We don't currently include any mechanical switch keyboards among our best keyboard recommendations, but our guide to the best mechanical keyboards offers options for mechanical keyboard fans.
What size keyboard should you buy?
Today's keyboards offer many options, but they tend to fall into two basic categories: full-size and compact.
A full-size keyboard is likely the size you know best. They have 104 keys, including a numpad on the right side. Anyone who spends a lot of time with numbers is likely to prefer the speed and ease of a numpad. Full-size keyboards can be uncomfortable for some, however, because they're wide. This pushes the mouse far to the side, increasing the movement needed to use the mouse.
Compact keyboards, also known as tenkeyless keyboards, ditch the numpad but retain the arrows keys and function keys above them. This cuts down keyboard size significantly without changing the day-to-day experience for those who don't often use a numpad. TKL keyboards free up desk space and keep your mouse close at hand, which some find more comfortable.
The ideal size is a personal preference. Smaller keyboards free up space and can be more ergonomic, but not everyone who uses a full-size keyboard finds them uncomfortable and some people prefer the functions found in additional keys.
Wired or wireless keyboards?
Wireless keyboards are the standard for most people. It's not hard to understand why. Wires are annoying, and the keyboard's wire is one of the few (along with the mouse) you can't hide.
Wireless is so popular that it's no longer a premium feature. Most affordable and mid-range keyboards are wireless, but most high-end keyboards are either wired or offer a choice between wired or wireless models.
Reliability is the key reason. Modern wireless connections work very well, but they're not perfect. Enthusiasts buying high-end keyboards expect the keyboard to register every keystroke every time.
Wired keyboards also provide lower latency than wireless connections. Competitive gamers, who see every millisecond of latency as the difference between winning or losing thousands of dollars at a tournament, universally lean towards the near-perfect latency of a wired keyboard.
Wireless keyboards use batteries. Budget models often use AA or AAA batteries, which tend to last for months but can be annoying to replace. Premium wireless keyboards have built-in batteries that can be recharged. This is convenient but will shorten the keyboard's lifespan. The battery will wear out long before the rest of the keyboard.
Do I need a Mac-specific keyboard?
Apple's macOS has a slightly different key layout than Windows. The Windows Start key is gone, replaced by an Option key, while Command keys replace the Alt keys.
These differences are minor enough that virtually all Windows keyboards will work with macOS. Apple's operating system has a Keyboard Setup Assistant that will identify your keyboard and let you remap the keys to a more familiar layout. It's a simple process that takes just a few seconds.
However, most modern keyboards use software to control their most complex features. This software isn't always available for macOS. Mac owners should check software compatibility before buying a keyboard.
Best gaming keyboard 2023: the top mechanical and wireless keyboards for gaming
Let us begin this roundup of the best gaming keyboards with a tribute. The Roccat Vulcan, a mechanical favourite of both mine and former hardware ed Katharine’s, is no more. As sad as it is to see it go, we may take comfort in knowing its replacement, the Vulcan II Max, is also a totes ace keyboard, and that the original Vulcan is probably still on Amazon or something. It’s discontinued, not dead. Sheesh.
Along with the Vulcan II Max, this list is home to all our current top picks across the rainbow spectrum of (sometimes rainbow-lit) gaming keyboards. Those with mechanical or optical-mechanical key switches are often your best bet for tactility and durability, but if you want to stick to a tighter budget, there are some good membrane/rubber dome keyboards here as well. Have a think about which form factor you want, too. Full-size gaming keyboards will naturally have the widest range of remappable keys and media controls, but the space-saving qualities of tenkeyless, 65% and 60% designs aren’t to be overlooked, especially on small desks.
Do you really need to put all this brain-effort into a peripheral? It’s not like games become worse when played on any cheap plastic board ‘o keys, but the right switch type and/or feature set can indeed make the overall playing experience more pleasurable, so it is time and money well spent. The same goes for other peripherals too, so take a look at our best gaming mice and best gaming headset guides if you’re looking to upgrade those.
Best gaming keyboard 2023
Roccat Vulcan II Max
The best gaming keyboard overall
Roccat Vulcan II Max specs: Switch type: Roccat Titan II optical-mechanical switches
Roccat Titan II optical-mechanical switches Extra features: RGB, dedicated media keys and volume knob, macro recording, detachable wrist rest, Easy-Shift+
RGB, dedicated media keys and volume knob, macro recording, detachable wrist rest, Easy-Shift+ Price: £193 / $180
After many years, it’s finally time to retire the Roccat Vulcan from the top of this list. Mainly because there’s a new and improved model, the Roccat Vulcan II Max. This keeps a bunch of lovely design perks that the original Vulcan enjoyed, like the lightweight half-height keycaps, strong aluminium construction, and plenty of media controls. At the same time it’s got new dual-LED, optical-mechanical switches that feel even faster, as well as a cleaner overall look.
The Vulcan II Max also includes a keyboardified version of the Easy-Shift+ feature from some of Roccat’s gaming mice, like the Kone XP. This basically lets you add secondary functions to even more keys that wouldn’t normally support them, and create highly detailed custom layouts in Roccat’s Swarm software. Even if you ignore all this, however, it’s still a fabulous full-sizer that plays beautifully with simpler WASD fare. The lighter keycaps and springy response of the switches really makes it feel like your fingers can just dance over it.
I’m less enamoured with the translucent wrist rest, which is so floppy it becomes difficult to attach, and seems more concerned with emphasising the RGB light show than providing a comfortable texture. But the keyboard itself? That’s excellent.
Roccat Horde Aimo
The best hybrid gaming keyboard
Roccat Horde Aimo specs: Switch type: Mecha-membrane
Mecha-membrane Extra features: RGB, dedicated media keys, customisable Dial, "gaming zone" rollover, five macro keys
RGB, dedicated media keys, customisable Dial, "gaming zone" rollover, five macro keys Price: £70 / $TBC
This spot was previously filled by the Asus TUF Gaming K5, but that has vanished from reputable retailer sites, so it’s safe to say Asus has taken it ‘round the back with a bolt gun. At least there’s a worthy replacement in the Roccat Horde Aimo, which like the K5 marries the affordability and quietness of membrane keyboards with the swiftness and precision of mechanical switches.
The Horde Aimo has another rare quality too: its multifunctional Dial. Lots of keyboards have a little volume wheel, but Roccat’s Dial can scroll through web pages and documents, zoom in on the screen, or even act as an undo/redo input. On top of this keyboard’s very capable gaming performance, the Dial also grants it an unusual degree of flexibility for everyday browsing and working.
Read more in our Roccat Horde Aimo review
Razer Cynosa Chroma
The best budget gaming keyboard
Razer Cynosa Chroma specs: Switch type: Membrane
Membrane Extra features: RGB, spill-resistant, 10 key roll-over, macro recording
RGB, spill-resistant, 10 key roll-over, macro recording Price: £50 / $40
For those of you who'd rather have something cheap and cheerful that doesn't make an absolute racket during daily use, you'll probably want to stick with a membrane keyboard instead of a loud mechanical one, and our current best membrane gaming keyboard recommendation is the excellent Razer Cynosa Chroma. It's also our first and foremost recommendation for those after an excellent budget gaming keyboard, too.
It's a little more expensive than your typical membrane board, but you can really feel where the extra money's gone. Not only is it more responsive than your average membrane keyboard, but it's also got some decent gaming features such as RGB lighting and a special game mode that disables the Windows key. You can also use it to record your own macros - which you can't do on the similarly-priced and almost-as-good HyperX Alloy Core RGB.
It's also one of the more tasteful-looking gaming keyboards on this list, with its plain black chassis largely free of obnoxious logos and corporate stylings. Plus, since this is a membrane keyboard rather than a mechanical one, it's also much quieter than practically every keyboard you'll read here. If you're looking to upgrade your existing membrane model without the full clickety-clack of a hybrid or mechanical keyboard, the Razer Cynosa is a great choice.
Read more in our Razer Cynosa Chroma review
Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless
The best wireless gaming keyboard
Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless specs: Switch type: Logitech GL mechanical switches
Logitech GL mechanical switches Battery Life: 30 hours (100% brightness)
30 hours (100% brightness) Extra features: RGB, macro recording
RGB, macro recording Price: Price: £130 / $180
The Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless might be expensive, but by golly is it worth it. With its super slim aluminium frame, oleophobic key cap coating, gorgeous volume roller and dual-height adjustable feet, this is an outstanding piece of wireless gaming keyboard design.
Available in three different types of Logitech GL switches (clicky, tactile and linear), the G915 Lightspeed Wireless feels wonderful under your fingers, offering loads of tactile feedback and quick, sharp key presses. Logitech's Lightspeed tech means it feels super responsive as well; Katharine reported it feeling just like using a traditional wired keyboard. The clicky version we were sent for review wasn't too loud, either, making it nice and easy on the ears.
It's also got great battery life. Even after a couple of weeks use, the G915 only lost about 35% of its charge with its full RGB lighting going, so you could easily use this for an entire month without having to connect it back up to your PC. Even better, it only takes three hours to fully charge up again, and you get a warning when it gets down to 15% so you're not suddenly cut off mid-game.
Logitech has since launched a more compact tenkeyless version of the G915, too - the G915 TKL, giving you even more options when it comes to size. Plus, if the wireless version is out of your price range, there's a cheaper wired version that has exactly the same design called the Logitech G815 Lightsync, which is just as lovely and costs £116 / $170.
Read more in our Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless review
Corsair K70 Pro
The best optical-mechanical gaming keyboard
Corsair K70 Pro specs: Switch type: Corsair OPX optical-mechanical
Corsair OPX optical-mechanical Extra features: RGB, N-key rollover, volume wheel, macro recording, media keys, detachable wrist rest
RGB, N-key rollover, volume wheel, macro recording, media keys, detachable wrist rest Price: £161 / $180
Optical-mechanical switches combine the keen feel of pure mech switches with the unbeatable speed of light-based actuation. As such, they’re ideal for games, and the Corsair K70 Pro is the best optical keyboard I’ve used to date.
It’s on the larger side, even for a full-sizer, but fills the space with extra lighting and media controls, and covers the rest with relatively rugged (and nicely textured) PBT keycaps. Naturally, it can easily keep pace in in speedy games like shooters, and although each key press has a noisier bottoming-out sound that you’d expect from a linear switch, it’s not pingy or piercing.
I don’t entirely like that having the K70 Pro here means booting the Razer Huntsman V2 off the list entirely, as that’s also a very fine keyboard with optical switches that manage to be sound-dampened without feeling mushy. But Corsair’s board is cheaper, comes with a few extra dedicated controls, and in my hands at least, feels slightly more robust.
Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro
The best tenkeyless gaming keyboard
Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro specs: Switch type: Titan Optical switches
Titan Optical switches Extra features: RGB, macro recording
RGB, macro recording Price: £104 / $100
A condensed version of the original Roccat Vulcan, the Vulcan TKL Pro is another brilliant addition to Roccat's mechanical keyboard family. It chops off the number pad for a more compact form factor, but still retains the same great build quality and Roccat's fantastic Titan switches.
Roccat have opted for new optical versions of their proprietary Titan switch for the Vulcan TKL Pro, producing a much quieter gaming keyboard that doesn't grate on the ears. It will likely still drive friends and family up the wall if they're nearby, but not the same extent as conventional mech switches.
The Vulcan TKL Pro's smaller size doesn't mean it skimps on features, either, as you still get a lovely, tactile volume wheel and a dedicated microphone mute button. Roccat's Swarm software also lets you add a secondary function to practically every key on the keyboard, too, giving you plenty of customisation options. It's expensive, but if you're after the finest tenkeyless keyboard around, it doesn't get better than this. For a cheaper alternative, check out the SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL below.
Read more in our Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro review
SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL
The best cheap TKL gaming keyboard
SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL specs: Switch type: Membrane
Membrane Extra features: RGB, spill resistance, macro recording
RGB, spill resistance, macro recording Price: £43 / $45
Other than its click-deprived membrane switches, the SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL is pretty decked out for a keyboard that’s both a) cheap and b) intentionally missing a chunk. For one thing it’s got a set of dedicated media keys, in the form of a pause/play button and a volume wheel (that also mutes when pressed down). On the gaming side specifically, there’s full N-key rollover and easy macro recording, with the navigation keys doubling up for macro button duty.
It will also shrug off spillages of water/tea/revolting energy drink of your choice, as it’s water-resistant to the IP32 standard. That’s not enough for it to survive sustained dunkage, but I ran it under a tap for a while and it soon dried off without ill effects, so half a glass of your beverage won’t faze it. The plastic liquid barrier happens to emphasise the RGB backlighting too: this lighting is even and adjustable, albeit only in zones rather than on a per-key basis.
Unexpectedly, I ended up liking the feel of the Apex 3 TKL as well. It obviously lacks the crispness and speed of a good mechanical board, but there’s a certain firm quality to the membrane switches that keeps each full press feeling more decisive than on most mushy rubber dome models.
Ducky One 3 TKL
The best mechanical keyboard with hot-swappable switches
Ducky One 3 TKL specs: Switch type: Cherry MX Red mechanical switches (Black, Blue, Brown, Clear, and Speed Silver also available)
Cherry MX Red mechanical switches (Black, Blue, Brown, Clear, and Speed Silver also available) Extra features: Hot-swappable key switches, RGB, macro recording
Hot-swappable key switches, RGB, macro recording Price: £163 / $149
The Ducky One 3 TKL has a whiff of the old-school about it, especially in its chunky chassis, but it’s really every bit the modern mechanical keyboard. That goes right down to the use of hot-swappable switches: with a puller tool you can painlessly yank out individual switches, not just the keycap on top, and just as easily slot in a different compatible switch. It’s a nicely beginner-friendly way of customising the feel and sound report of your keyboard without having to build one from scratch.
Not that the One 3 TKL doesn’t play well out of the box. If anything, comfort and tactility are two of its biggest successes: the two-step folding feet help find a pleasant typing angle, and the “frosted” matte finish of the thick, durable keycaps feels great. I went for Cherry MX Red switches on my test unit, which also provide a fluid, not overly noisy typing sensation, but loads of other Cherry switches can be equipped before you buy.
There are also multiple colour options, as well as full-size, 65% and 60% versions of the Ducky One 3, all with the same hot-swappable switch feature.
Roccat Vulcan II Mini
The best compact gaming keyboard
Roccat Vulcan II Mini specs: Switch type: Roccat Titan II optical-mechanical switches
Roccat Titan II optical-mechanical switches Extra features: RGB, macro recording
RGB, macro recording Price: £130 / $100
I love 65% form factor keyboards – they’re less space-hungry than even tenkeyless models, but still make room for dedicated arrow keys and a handful of navigation keys. My absolute favourite right how is the Roccat Vulcan II Mini, which shares the same agile-feeling half-height keycap design as its bulkier Vulcan cousins, while swapping in Roccat’s upgraded Titan II optical-mechanical switches.
These still trade travel depth for speed, so you’ll notice the shallower 1.4mm actuation distance if you’re more used to Cherry MX Reds or similar switches. But they really do feel lightning quick, and the Titan II iteration is a little smoother and fuller than the original Titan design. This new switch also makes room for secondary LEDs, which are put to good use on the Vulcan II Mini: hold down the Function key, and any key with a secondary input will glow a different colour. Doubling-up duties is a necessity on compact keyboards, so this is a nice touch that could help you acclimatise if you’re more used to full-size boards.
Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless
The best 60% gaming keyboard
Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless specs: Switch type: Cherry MX mechanical switches (Red, Speed Silver)
Cherry MX mechanical switches (Red, Speed Silver) Battery life: 32 hours (with RGB lighting), 200 hours (without)
32 hours (with RGB lighting), 200 hours (without) Extra features: Hot-swappable key switches, RGB, macro recording
Hot-swappable key switches, RGB, macro recording Price: £170 / $132
There are cheaper 60% form factor keyboards than the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless. I won’t lie: much cheaper ones. Fortunately, you’re not exactly paying more for less. Between its reliable wireless connectivity, hot-swappable mechanical switches, nicely textured keycaps, full RGB lighting, extensive macro support, media controls, and N-key rollover, it’s an impressively robust gaming keyboard that matches plenty of larger alternatives on features.
Personally, I’m too reliant on arrow keys to permanently convert to a 60% model, but there’s just something comfortable about using the K70 Pro Mini Wireless. It doesn’t feel too cramped for typing (especially with that full-height Enter key, which not all 60% keyboards have) and despite having both mechanical keys and a battery adding weight, it’s as light as a wireless keyboard should be. The unit I tested came with Cherry MX Red switches, which feel fast and stable, though you can swap these any time – and on a per-key basis – if you want to try customising the feel and sound report.
For a more affordable 60% alternative, the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is another good’un. It lacks hot-swappable switches but they’re still fully mechanical, and the build quality is as good as that of the K70 Pro Mini Wireless. It usually goes for around £90 / $70.
Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate
The best RGB gaming keyboard
Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate specs: Switch type: Asus ROG NX Red mechanical switches
Asus ROG NX Red mechanical switches Extra features: RGB, dedicated media keys, N-key rollover, macro recording, detachable wrist rest, USB 2.O pass-through, customisable dot matrix display
RGB, dedicated media keys, N-key rollover, macro recording, detachable wrist rest, USB 2.O pass-through, customisable dot matrix display Price: £190 / $220
You can’t miss the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate: it’s got more lights on it than Piccadilly Circus, most of which are the fully customisable RGB backlighting variety. Meanwhile, the “Animate” part comes from a brand new addition, the angled dot matrix display in the corner, which you can personalise with text, images and animations of your choosing. It’s not what you’d call tastefully reserved, but it’s easier to make your own than the acrylic insert on the original ROG Strix Flare.
Other improvements include a thinner, more modern-looking chassis, a padded wrist rest, and the same style of easily hot-swappable mechanical switches as the Ducky One 3 TKL above. Not that there’s anything wrong with the linear Asus NX Red switches that come by default – they’re smooth and fast but with just a hint of firmness, and provide good audio feedback without the shrillness of a tactile click. The ROG Strix Flare II Animate is also lined with foam, which successfully prevents the dinging sound that some mech boards produce when a key is fully depressed.
Media controls, USB 2.0 pass-through, and on-the-fly macro recording further fill out the features list on an already multitalented keyboard. Far more customisations (and RGB syncing settings) are available within the ROG Armoury Crate software, though this is one area that still needs some work; it's not terribly easy to navigate.
Logitech G413 SE
The best cheap mechanical gaming keyboard
Logitech G413 SE specs: Switch type: Logitech tactile mechanical switches
Logitech tactile mechanical switches Extra features: 6-key rollover
6-key rollover Price: £70 / $60
Truly cheap mechanical keyboards are rare, so it’s always nice to see efforts like the Logitech G413 SE. This does jettison quite a few of the original G413’s premium features, including macro recording, but the result is an affordable, clean-looking mech board that’s more than capable in most games. In fact, I used it as my main keyboard for several weeks.
The switches are tactile, with a subtle bump at the actuation point, but they don’t click so loudly as to distract or penetrate through headphones – a good combination for games and everyday typing alike. 6-key rollover is also enough to handle speedy WASD-slamming without delays, and the chunky keycaps avoid the overly delicate feel of some lower-priced keyboards. There’s no audible metallic pinging/resonance to keypresses either, a common design flaw that can annoy even on much more expensive mech models.
If you want RGB lighting (the G413 SE’s backlight is solid white) or more dedicated media controls, the Roccat Pyro is a good alternative, but I generally prefer Logitech’s more mature, closely-trimmed design. Especially with the nice slab of brushed aluminium on top.
How to choose the right gaming keyboard
Membrane or mechanical?
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a mechanical gaming keyboard or a membrane one. Generally, mechanical keyboards are better for gaming due to their fast, clean movements and their short actuation points (that's when the keyboard actually registers you've pressed down a key). They are, however, more expensive, often commanding prices of at least £100 / $120 if not significantly more. They're more durable than membrane keyboards, though, and are (in theory) easier to repair as you only need to replace the individual switch instead of chucking out the entire keyboard.
Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, are usually a lot quieter and cheaper than their mechanical counterparts because they're made from less expensive materials. However, his in turn makes them more prone to breaking and are generally a bit of a pain to fix. Given their low price, it's often easier to just to buy a brand-new one.
Mechanical keyboard switches explained
If you do decide to opt for a mechanical keyboard, the next thing to decide is what type of switch you want. Most gaming keyboards tend to use the German-made Cherry MX switches, but you'll occasionally see other types from Kailh and Outemu, or in the case of Logitech and Razer, their own in-house switches. Broadly speaking, though, they tend to fall into one of two categories: linear or tactile.
Taking Cherry's MX switches as our primary example, linear Red switches are often considered the fastest and best for gaming. Their simple, unaltered up and down movements don't provide a lot of tactile feedback, making them less suitable for long typing stints, but their short actuation points make them a good choice for FPS games and competitive online games. There are also MX Speed Silver switches, which have an even shorter actuation point than MX Reds.
Tactile Blue switches, on the other hand, are generally better suited for typing thanks to their loud and clicky sound, while Brown switches are a sort of halfway house between Red and Blues. They're a bit quieter than other switch types, but when you press them you'll often feel a small bump halfway down, giving you a bit more physical confirmation that you've pressed a key correctly.
We're also starting to see more Kailh or Kaihua switches appear on mechanical keyboards, too. These are made in China and the most common linear models are Kailh Reds, which are very similar to Cherry MX Reds, and Speed Silvers, which as you might have guessed is Kailh's answer to Cherry's MX Silver. You'll also find tactile Kailh Browns and Blues, but they've got a few more tactile 'Speed' variants, too, including Speed Bronze and Speed Copper. These are less common, but are a lot more 'clicky' noisy) than their linear Speed Silver counterparts.
Outemu switches are also made in China, and again, largely correspond to what you'll find in the Cherry MX camp. They're generally found in budget gaming keyboards and come in very similar colours: Red, Blue, Brown, and Black. Outemu Black switches are linear, like Reds, but have a much heavier actuation force, so you'll need to press it down harder in order for a keystroke to register.
Razer, on the other hand, have a completely different colour scheme to Cherry, Kailh, and Outemu. They only have one linear type (Yellow) and two tactile types (Green and Orange). Yellows are closest to Cherry's MX Speed Silver switches, while Greens are effectively the same as Cherry MX Blues. Orange, meanwhile, are Razer's answer to MX Brown switches.
As for Logitech, their naming convention is much easier to understand. While they all include the name 'Romer-G', they're usually described as either Romer-G Linear or Romer-G Tactile. Simple.
An increasing variety of gaming keyboards now include hot-swappable mechanical switches, so if you decide you don't like the feel or sound of the default switches, you can remove and replace them yourself with a simple puller tool and no need to open up the chassis of the keyboard itself. Switches don't universally fit every hot-swap-compatible keyboard, but a lot of Cherry and Kailh switches will fit into the same socket, you'll have plenty of choice. You'll have to find and pay for replacement switches yourself, mind.
Best keyboard 2023: the best keyboards for typing, gaming and more
Our guide to the best keyboards of 2023 is guaranteed to help you get the job done whatever that job happens to be – and the make and model that you go for will largely depend on what you need it for.
Are you after a keyboard for working during the day and gaming during the night? Do you need something compact and portable to take between home and the office? Would you like a satisfying clack or a silent click? These are all questions to weigh up.
We've combined newly released, high-end models through to very modestly priced but still responsive and attractive options. When you’ve found the best new keyboard for you, you’ll be able to click right through to the latest deals and save time and money.
If you're changing your keyboard for comfort reasons, or because you're kitting out or upgrading a home office, check out our guides to the best ergonomic keyboards and best vertical mouse – ideal for eliminating and avoiding hand pain and disorders like repetitive strain injury.
The best keyboards 2023: our top 3
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The best keyboard for most people is the Razer Huntsman Elite, which throws in every feature you could want and then some. It's a delight to use, and you can customise it in a wide variety of ways too.
The best keyboard for Apple Mac users is the Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. It builds on the foundation laid by the earlier Magic Keyboard – style, polish, durability – and adds a Touch ID sensor for easier logging in.
The best affordable keyboard in our opinion is the Logitech G413 TKL SE, which will give you a lot of keyboard in return for not much money. Despite its low price, you can't argue with its build quality or what a pleasure it is to use.
The best keyboard for most people? That's the Razer Huntsman Elite. (Image credit: Razer)
1. Razer Huntsman Elite The best keyboard for most people Specifications Weight: 860g Dimensions: 44.4 x 14 x 3.5 cm Switch type: Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch Wireless: No Wired: Yes Features: Chrome RGB lighting Wrist rest: Yes Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Laptops Direct (opens in new tab) View at Razer (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Lightning fast typing speed + Premium build quality + Stylish design with wrist rest Reasons to avoid - Needs two USB ports for full functionality
You won’t find a faster, more responsive keyboard than the Huntsman Elite. Razer have plugged years of research and innovation into this premium keyboards that redefines precision and speed, thanks to Razer’s new Opto-Mechanical Switch technology.
These switches have an optical light sensor inside, so when you press a key a receiver is activated by the light signal actuating your command instantly. Designed primarily as a gaming keyboard and excelling as such, it also delivers an equally incredible typing experience – the keys are super light and balanced but you still get that reassuring clicky feedback.
The icing on the cake is the Huntsman Elite’s durability – as the optical actuation provides less physical contact, so you can expect durability of up to 100 million keystrokes – about double that of other premium offerings. One of the very best keyboards on the market today.
(Image credit: Apple)
2. Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID The best keyboard choice for Apple Mac users Specifications Weight: 0.231 kg (0.51 pounds) Height: 0.41–1.09 cm (0.16–0.43 inches) Width: 27.9 cm (10.98 inches) Depth: 11.49 cm (4.52 inches) Wireless: Yes Key mechanism: Scissor Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Scan (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Ideal for use with Macs + Wireless design + Month of use on a single charge Reasons to avoid - No wrist rest - Cannot be inclined
When it comes to using a Mac, it makes a lot of sense to stick with Apple accessories - so it’s a good thing the Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID is such a great choice. For a start, it automatically pairs with your Mac right out of the box, so there’s no faffing about with setup.
That wireless design comes with a battery that can provide up to a months use on one charge, and when you add in that impeccable Apple build, you’re getting one of the best non-mechanical keyboards money can buy. Just make sure your Mac or iOS device supports Bluetooth.
The most recent version of this keyboard lets you log in with your fingerprint, and comes with black or white keys, so you can pick the version that suits you best. As elegant and as comfortable to use as you would expect from Apple.
(Image credit: Future)
3. Logitech G413 TKL SE The best affordable keyboard Specifications Weight: 650 grames Height: 127 mm Width: 355 mm Depth: 36.3 mm Wireless: No Key mechanism: Tactile Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at John Lewis (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Well-made and fuss-free design + Compact and lightweight + Does the basics well Reasons to avoid - No RGB lighting - No numerical keypad
If you're looking for a more affordable keyboard that's going to serve you well whether you're typing out an essay or trying to navigate through the latest games, then the Logitech G413 TKL SE could well have everything that you need.
You miss out on some features to get to this low price, including customisable RGB lighting, wireless connectivity and a number pad, but we think most people are going to be happy with the trade-off considering the asking price that this comes in at. It's no-frills on the whole, but that's fine.
What's most important is that it's robust, nicely designed, and comfortable to type on – this is going to get you through years of typing, no problems at all. Of course, you've also got a ton of other Logitech kit to pair it with as well.
The best keyboards 2023: the best of the rest
(Image credit: Das Keyboard)
4. Das Keyboard 5QS The best smart keyboard for gamers Specifications Weight: 144 grams Height: 152 mm Width: 457 mm Depth: 36 mm Wireless: No Key mechanism: Gamma Zulu Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + High-quality construction + Multi-platform support + Smart notification features Reasons to avoid - It'll cost you - It's on the large side
There's so much to like about the Das Keyboard 5QS that it's difficult to know where to start: the keyboard is beautifully put together, comes with a detachable wrist rest, has premium mechanical keys, and can even illuminate those keys to alert you about changes in the weather or incoming emails.
It's the smart notification aspect of the keyboard that's perhaps the most interesting aspect of it. You can customise the colours on the keys to alert you to a whole host of notifications from various apps – and you can even get a warning if too much CPU time or RAM space is being used up. It's an impressive setup and it's not difficult to configure through the supplied software.
We also like the chunky volume dial up in the top right corner: like everything else on the Das Keyboard 5QS, the intention is to make your computer easier to use. While the keyboard is aimed primarily at gamers, we think that everyone is going to want to take a look at what it offers.
The Logitech MX Keys Mini is a compact keyboard perfect for smaller desks. (Image credit: Logitech)
5. Logitech MX Keys Mini The best compact keyboard for home working Specifications Weight: 506.4 g Height: 131.95 mm Width: 295.99 mm Depth: 20.97 mm Wireless: Yes Key mechanism: Scissor Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) View at John Lewis (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Wireless design + Small form factor + Connect up to three devices Reasons to avoid - No wrist rest - Cannot be inclined
Not everyone has loads of desk space for a big keyboard in their home office, if that sounds like you then the Logitech MX Keys Mini is the perfect solution. It’s a small form factor tenkeyless keyboard with plenty of smarts to help you get your work done without taking up too much room on your desk.
Not only is it small but it’s completely wireless as well, connecting to your computer through Bluetooth. It stays powered for up to 10 days, or 5 months if you switch the backlighting off. There are also proximity sensors built-in which illuminate the backlighting when you go near it which helps the battery last longer.
Typing on the Logitech MX Keys Mini is an absolute pleasure: the keys have a spherical dish shape to match your fingers as you press down on them. It feels natural and satisfying with little room for mistyping. There are even dedicated keys to switch on dictation, bring up the emoji keyboard or mute your microphone.
This keyboard comes in three different colours (graphite, pale grey and rose) so you can match it perfectly to your setup. This is a fantastic compact keyboard well suited to home working!
Make sure you check our Logitech discount codes to save on your order.
The Corsair Strafe MX comes with Cherry MX Red mechanical switches. (Image credit: Corsair)
6. Corsair Strafe RGB MX The best keyboard for a bit of gaming on the side Specifications Dimensions: 44.8 x 17 x 4 cm Weight: 1.53kg Wireless: No Wired: Yes Features: Per key RGB lighting Switch type: Cherry MX Silent Today's Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Cherry MX Red mechanical switches + Multi-colored dynamic backlighting + USB pass-through port Reasons to avoid - Keycaps feel plasticky
Coming in with Cherry MX Red mechanical switches, the Strafe MX from Corsair remains one of the firm's most impressive offerings, delivering a robust steel core that reduces flexing and retains a distinctly premium feel.
Those MX Red switches are the star of the show, offering superb accuracy and speed when typing and gaming, and there are dedicated gaming keys just ready for macros, too. Naturally, the Strafe MX's keys are fully programable.
There's plenty of extra goodness here as well, such as dedicated media keys, USB 2.0 Type-A pass-through and Full Key, 100 per cent anti-ghosting key rollover, too. A great all-round keyboard that will perform in games as well as in documents.
The best keyboard for versatility? That's the Logitech K480 Multi Device Bluetooth Keyboard.
7. Logitech K480 Multi Device Bluetooth Keyboard The best keyboard for versatility Specifications Wireless: Yes Wired: No Bluetooth: Yes Weight: 820g Dimensions: 29.9 x 19.5 x 2 cm Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Logitech EMEA (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Can work with almost any device + Very comfortable to use Reasons to avoid - Plastic chassis
The Logitech K480 works with almost everything device out there. You can use it with your PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices so it’s bound to suit some of the devices in your life. You can also switch between them really easily, so you flit from your PC to your Android tablet with minimal fuss.
It’s nice and comfortable to use, although it isn’t quite small enough to be used as a portable device. It’s also really affordable, and with a strong Bluetooth signal you’re rarely going to get a dropout. It’s lacking a few keys you’d find on a full-size keyboard but it’s an easy trade-off considering what you get in return.
This being something from Logitech, you know everything is going to be well put together and solid, and last a long time. The bright yellow stripe won't be to everyone's tastes, but it's something we like a lot.
(Image credit: Logitech)
6. Logitech Pop Keys The best keyboard to brighten up your desk Specifications Weight: 799 g Height: 35.4mm Width: 321.2mm Depth: 138.47mm Wireless: Yes Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Logitech EMEA (opens in new tab) View at CCL (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Connect up to 3 devices + Swappable emoji keys + 3-year battery life Reasons to avoid - Typing isn't completely accurate - No legs to prop it up
To add a splash of colour to your desk, there's no better keyboard than the Logitech Pop Keys. It comes in three cool colours including daydream (mint, yellow and lavender), heartbreaker (rose) and blast (black and yellow). You can even buy it alongside a matching Logitech Pop Mouse.
The keyboard itself is tenkeyless with mechanical keys that make you feel like you're using a typewriter because they have a loud click and they're raised from the board. Because they're tightly packed together and rounded they can be a little prone to mistyping but that will only matter if you write all day every day.
You can use it with your PC, tablet or even your phone - you can even have all three connected at once, and switch between them in an instant using the device keys along the top.
If you're always on social media, there's one more feature that you need to know about - the swappable emoji keys. You can four on the board at once, but the Logitech Pop Keys come with eight keys you can use with the most popular emojis. Take a look at the Logitech Pop Keys review to find out more.
9. Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID The best keyboard with biometric security Specifications Wireless: Yes Wired: Yes Bluetooth: Yes Frame: Aluminum Features: Fingerprint sensor Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Ebuyer (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Finger print scanner technology + Beautiful, minamilist design Reasons to avoid - Not cheap
Tech giant Microsoft has gone all out with the Modern Keyboard. While not a cheap outlay, we say the price is justified as this keyboard is a quality bit of kit – well made in aluminium with flat square keys, it doesn’t look dissimilar to Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Touch ID.
Microsoft’s Modern Keyboard also has a finger print scanner, which has been subtly included into the design (it looks like any other key and sits next to the right Alt key) and unlocks with a single press of the fingerprint key – faster and more secure than typing in a password.
Really well put together, this offers you everything you could want from a deluxe keyboard: a full set of keys, a very comfortable typing experience, and all the quality that's guaranteed from a Microsoft device.
The best keyboard for portability is the Microsoft Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard.
10. Microsoft Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard The best keyboard for portability Specifications Weight: 340 grams Wireless: Yes Wired: No Dimensions: 14 x 16 x 3 cm Battery life: 15 Watt Hours Today's Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Ultra-thin and compact + Reliable Bluetooth 4.0 Reasons to avoid - Limited key travel
With so many of its own smart devices on the market, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft designed its own multi-purpose travel keyboard. With its folding design, you can easily fit it in your bag for use on a commute or when you’re working away from the office.
Using Bluetooth it offers an extremely reliable wireless signal, while Microsoft claims its battery can go for three months on a single charge (although this will drop if you’re using it consistently). It’s so easy to use you just open it to start it up, and close it to shut it down.
If you're in the market for something that's very portable and yet which won't fall to pieces after a few weeks of using it, this could be what you're looking for. It could make a huge difference to your productivity on the go.
Leave a Reply