I was looking for a new keyboard for my desktop when I got the thought, why not share my research? I have mainly looked online for what others recommend and the cons and pros they share. What most are looking for are keyboards that:
- Are pleasant to type on
- Are sturdy built
- Have good ergonomics
Other traits that people are looking for may be:
- Compact (for developers that travel a lot)
- Have media buttons
- Progammable macros
- Mechanical keyboard (instead of membrane)
- Tenkey (numpad)
I believe that we as developers do not spend most of our time typing but rather thinking about what to type - and less is often more when it comes to code. You would not hear me say that you need a new keyboard to perform better, unless your old one is broken. However having a nice keyboard makes the days better and you do need a keyboard to do your job after all :) Almost all of the keyboards on this list are mechanical, this is not my preference but it is what came up when I was doing my research.
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
Filco Ninja Majestouch-2
This keyboard is mentioned on almost every site that I visited. The looks of this keyboard may not not show that it is a high end keyboard. You may realise this from the price tag of 160$, but besides the price tag this keyboard is great. The keyboard is simple, there are no flashy rainbow colours, but a rather clean and classic look. Many of the reviews I have read state that it feels like heaven to type on.
It however has no media buttons and bluetooth connection. It is a mechanical keyboard so it is far from quiet.
There is also a shorter version of this keyboard without a numpad if you like that more:
DAS keyboard 4 professional
Another mechanical keyboard and one that is well-known (or feared by colleagues?) for its sound. It is also known as the DAS-4. This keyboard is sturdy and feels like it could have been used to send the Apollo rockets to the moon, it feels the way keyboards used to. Besides that it is still premium and a high-end keyboard, as with many other mechanical keyboards your typing will feel effortless. This is a classic.
Razer BlackWidow Elite
The last two keyboards were very aesthetically clean and simple, this one has a different, more colourful look. I believe this will appeal to programmers who also do some (a lot of?) gaming on the side.
This keyboard has very good ratings. It has USB and audio passthrough, media buttons and you can of course change the colors of the LED backlight. As well as the other previous two keyboards on this list this is a joy to type on.
I see some low reviews on this keyboard, one thing is that the 4 profiles you can save are only for macros and not light schemes. Another thing is that you have to register with and accept Razer's conditions, This includes their "right" to share your data with their partners.
CORSAIR K70 RAPIDFIRE
Much like the previous keyboard, I believe this will appeal to most gamers. This Keyboard has room for 3 profiles for the lights and macros that you can create. It comes with a beautiful aluminium surface which reflects the RGB LED nicely. For a mechanical keyboard it is very quiet.
I find very few bad reviews for this keyboard, the bad reviews are all about the keyboard arriving in bad shape. Some also mention that it takes up two USB ports, but many of the keyboards on this list do that.
If you want more programmable keys you can go for the wider and more expensive K95:
OBINSLAB ANNE PRO 2
If you are on the move but still would like a rather nice keyboard this is the one for you. This keyboard is compact and can connect via bluetooth, meaning you can easily use it for your tablet or phone. Even though this keyboard is small, it is still sturdy. It has nothing more than the bare necessities when it comes to keys, there are no media buttons, numpad or left/right/down/up keys. The keys are mechanical using Gateron Brown Switch. At 89$ this even comes with RGB backlight, making it one of the cheapest on the list.
A major downside is that you cannot adjust the angle of the keyboard.
Microsoft Sculpt ergonomic Keyboard
This is the only keyboard on this list that is not a mechanical keyboard and it is also the cheapest. It has great ergonomics (as the name tells) and great wrist rests. If you type a lot and have pains in your arms/hands/wrists I would suggest that you try this keyboard, even though it may look dull compared to the other keyboards. This keyboard takes some time to adjust to as the layout is different due to the split in the middle. This may make it harder to pair-program and "share" the keyboard with colleagues.
The downsides I have found are that the detached numpad gets in the way and that it is not as sturdy as the other keyboards. Some reviews report keys that stop functioning. It also does not support bluetooth.
That is it!
Did I miss a keyboard that needs to be added to the list? Please let me know in the comments down below! I hope you enjoyed the list.