A wi-fi keyboard frees you from greater than a cable. It frees you from the crummy slab you bought at no cost along with your PC—does anybody like that one?—and it provides you choices. The fashions we’ve reviewed differ in measurement, weight, key design, and compatibility with different working programs and units.
Keyboard have a protracted shelf life—many of the fashions we reviewed in 2016 stay on sale, together with our high choose, the Iogear Quietus RF Desktop. Better of all, their costs are likely to go down over time.
Newer fashions we have examined have intriguing options value contemplating, although it is sadly too early for reductions. The Logitech MX850 Performance keyboard we reviewed can juggle a number of units and platforms with ease, although the keyboard itself will not be for everybody. Microsoft’s Modern Keyboard has a fingerprint reader and a premium feel and appear, however this type of fashion would not come low-cost.
That is one class the place it actually pays to move to a retailer and check out a mannequin you’re curious about. After we had our stack of keyboards in for overview, individuals couldn’t assist however contact and play with them. All of them got here with totally different wants and biases. There’s really nobody measurement to suit all, however our opinions intention to present you adequate specifics to make a sound choice. See under for extra on how we examined.
This wi-fi keyboard roundup was up to date November 29, 2017 so as to add our overview of Logitech’s pleasingly transportable Keys-To-Go for cellular warriors.
Finest wi-fi keyboard
Iogear’s Quietus RF Desktop was quieter than a number of the fashions we examined, although not all of them, so don’t deal with that promoting level as a lot as the general package deal: a properly designed, well-equipped keyboard with the bonus of a wi-fi mouse, all for a really cheap worth.
Typing on this chiclet-style mannequin, we loved terrific journey and a satisfying (and pretty quiet) clicking sound. The 12 hotkeys, together with instantaneous entry to trace administration, quantity dealing with, and sleep mode, are particularly helpful.
It makes use of only one AAA battery, which is meant to final for as much as a yr.
[$39.95 MSRP; accessible from Amazon]
Regardless of its larger record worth in comparison with the Iogear Quietus RF Desktop, Microsoft’s Wi-fi 900 Desktop prices mainly the identical when you store round. Just like the Iogear mannequin, this one additionally bundles a wi-fi mouse.
It’s the runner-up primarily as a result of it doesn’t have as many hotkeys because the Iogear mannequin, though it does have eight programmable keys. The opposite downer for us is the spacebar, which emits a loud thwack when pressed. Contemplating this button’s fixed use, that thwack may get annoying quick.
We’d criticize its use of two AAA batteries versus the Iogear’s one, however the Microsoft keyboard additionally is meant to final twice as lengthy—for as much as two years.
[$49.95 MSRP; accessible by means of Amazon.]
Wi-fi keyboards: Bluetooth vs. USB
Wi-fi keyboards hook up with a PC in one in all two methods: through Bluetooth or a USB receiver. Some older Home windows 7 machines might not assist Bluetooth. Then again, when you want a keyboard to work throughout totally different platforms on newer units, a Bluetooth-enabled mannequin is what you want. The most recent Bluetooth four.zero specification options low-energy know-how to avoid wasting battery, too.
All of the USB receiver-driven fashions on this roundup had been flawless examples of plug-and-play keyboards. Pairing Bluetooth keyboards (in comparison with Bluetooth headsets, let’s say) requires a number of extra steps, and solely one of many fashions was barely flaky in sustaining its connection.
Bluetooth keyboards are likely to price just a little extra but in addition supply longer battery life. As you’re buying (notably in case you have huge fingers), remember that some makers sacrifice the keys’ measurement and spacing to present you portability.
How we examined wi-fi keyboards
It was hands-on all the best way with our keyboard testing. We spent a minimum of one full workday typing completely on every mannequin we examined, with follow-up time to permit for a studying curve. We assessed the first typing expertise: key design, typing really feel, and even noisiness. We additionally tried the secondary options: hotkeys, switches and dials on multi-platform fashions, and even the flexibility to regulate the angle or different consolation traits.
We thought-about the scale, weight, and sturdiness of every mannequin towards its function—whether or not it was designed to be transportable or desk-bound, and compact or absolutely featured. For example, we stability the flexibility of multi-platform fashions like Logitech’s K780 towards its efficiency as an precise keyboard it’s good to use day by day (and on this case, it wins on all counts).
How to buy a wi-fi keyboard
You’re going to make use of this keyboard day by day, so be sure it matches your typing habits and your wants. Right here’s what to bear in mind as you store.
Dimension: A mannequin that may all the time sit in your desktop may be greater and heavier, and normally another benefits some with that. As extra of us carry laptops or tablets, nonetheless, we’ll search for fashions which might be compact or transportable. These will sacrifice some options however be simpler to take with you.
Keys: Search for keys which might be sculpted and spaced for typing consolation. Because of this we encourage attempting earlier than shopping for: We’ve had very totally different experiences with conventional keys vs. chiclet-style vs. flatter key designs, and it’s stunning how little issues like the feel or the quantity of dimple will make or break a alternative. Most mainstream keyboards use membrane know-how, which is ample for many customers, however heavy-duty customers and players will possible want keyboards with mechanical switches (which aren’t reviewed right here). Home windows hotkeys, and even programmable keys, are nice bonuses, particularly for energy customers.
Adjustability: Some keyboards supply no adjustment for angle or peak. Search for fashions with adjustable legs or toes. We haven’t included ergonomic fashions on this spherical of opinions.
Battery wants: All wi-fi keyboards use batteries. Test carefully for the kind and variety of batteries you want, and whether or not a starter set is included. We observe the distributors’ specified battery life on the high of every overview.
Worth: When it is really easy to get a keyboard at no cost, it may be onerous to justify truly shopping for one. The excellent news is, you will get a stable mannequin for as little as $40, together with a number of the ones we have reviewed. We present the MSRP for every mannequin, however after all you possibly can usually discover it for much less at on-line or brick-and-mortar shops.
All our wi-fi keyboard opinions
Keyboards are a really private alternative. Whether or not you need huge or small, desktop or transportable, with extra or fewer buttons and changes, yow will discover it in one in all our different keyboard opinions, listed under.
This text authentic revealed June 10, 2016.