Best keyboards for programming in 2021
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As developers we don’t need many tools to work, many would say that we just need a laptop or computer, and even though that’s true, there’s a difference between having the minimum required to work to have the tools that you need to work comfortably, productive and healthy.
Today we are going to discuss keyboards that you would love as a developer. The list I present is in no particular order, and I’m giving you my personal opinion on the keyboards and some facts.
What’s the best keyboard? The one that works best for you!
With that said, let’s jump right into the list.
Keychron K6 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
Let’s start with my favorite keyboard, the one I’m using right now to write this article, the keychron k6. I own the RGB version with brown switches, and I love it. First of all, I love the format; 65% keyboards are the right size for me. I love to have the arrow keys, but I don’t need the numeric keyboard on the right side nor dedicated space for home and page keys.
The keyboard is high quality, feels very robust, and it’s very comfortable, it is a bit high, and I recommend using a palm rest (I use their official palm rest, which is all wood and pretty cool). It has support for multiple Bluetooth devices, which is a function I use every day, as I use the keyboard on my personal laptop and my work computer. It has a massive battery of 4000mAh, which translates in a lot of time without charging, though I usually have it plugged in, just for convenience.
The keys feel right for me; I like that I need to put some pressure on the keys to make a keystroke, and I love the travel of the keys. It makes me type much faster than with other keyboards. Though, to be fair, I’m a big fan of brown switches in general.
One last thing, it has support for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and it even provides a different set of keys for mac and windows so that you can customize it to your liking.
And you can also get it from their official website: https://www.keychron.com/products/keychron-k6-wireless-mechanical-keyboard
Though the last option has slower delivery times, I had to wait almost four weeks to get it delivered to Germany.
If you prefer the keyboard on other sizes, keychron has them all:
Keychron K2: 65% with independent function keys
Keychron K8: Ten keyless layout
Apple Magic Keyboard
The apple magic keyboard, in its different sizes, is a very popular keyboard among developers. You will see this keyboard being almost the default keyboard among google and fb employees. It is a great keyboard, with the quality you’d expect from Apple, and if you own a mac, it’s probably a no-brainer.
Even though I know many people who love this keyboard, I’m not a big fan, I have one, but I can’t use it. The keys’ travel is too short, and when I type on that keyboard, I feel it too sensitive.
Also, I use Linux, and thus I prefer a keyboard that can support that world.
Ducky One 2 SF
This keyboard is a masterpiece. It’s also a mechanical, RGB, 65% keyboard. It’s built with excellent quality, the way the keyboard feels is amazing and I was extremely happy with it, until I broke it :(, terrible accident on my side.
There are 2 downsides to this keyboard, it is not wireless, and it’s on the expensive side, but it compensates with programmable macro keys, amazing layout, super comfortable, and looks awesome!
And did I mention that it comes with Cherry MX switches? What not to love about that.
Or through resellers, you can’t actually purchase it on their official website.
Das Keyboard 4
I never bought this keyboard, but I’ve tried it. The reason why I never bought it is because of the size. It’s a full-size keyboard, and I’m just not a big fan of that. Other than that, the keyboard has a great build. It’s comfortable and feels right while typing. It offers cherry MX switches, which I love, and it has no backlight function.
Overall it is a good keyboard, but it’s not my style.
Kinesis Freestyle Edge
The kinesis freestyle edge is not a regular keyboard. Rarely will you see one of these on a desk, and if you do, you will probably ask the owner about it. Its split layout calls attention immediately, as it is something we are not used to. However, users of this type of keyboard claim that they can type super fast and super comfortable.
In particular, this keyboard features cherry MX switches, RGB lighting, and programmable keys.
On the downside, it takes some time to get used to it, but it promises great results once you do.
Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard
Microsoft is not very well known for hardware, but they do a job when it comes to keyboards, and the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard is proof of that. I used this keyboard a lot a few years back as my office keyboard. It’s not exactly a portable keyboard, but it’s super comfortable, and I could type super fast with it.
It’s unique ergonomic shape makes it very special, and though it seems very different, I adapted very fast to it.
It is a good choice for an office keyboard if you use Windows or Linux, and though it’s not a keyboard I’d personally choose, it’s a keyboard I recommended to many people, and they were very happy they got it.
Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This keyboard is all about performance. It is a ridiculously fast keyboard which makes it perfect for gaming. It also features many customization options, from macro keys to the multi-function iCUE control wheel, fully programmable.
This keyboard is a top edge keyboard, perhaps not the best option if you will just use it for programming as it is pretty expensive, but a fantastic keyboard.
I was really hesitant to add it to the list as its main benefits are around gaming. However, some of my gaming programmer friends love this keyboard and mentioned that it is worth it.
Me personally? I don’t play much, perhaps occasionally AoE II DE, so I don’t need a fancy gaming keyboard, and for the price, I definitely will stay out of this one.
If you think it’s a good option for you:
Logitech MX Keys
Last on the list a keyboard specially designed for developers. It’s not a mechanical keyboard. However, it’s pretty comfortable to type (and less noisy than its mechanical counterparts). Even though it’s a full-size keyboard, it’s pretty compact and has Windows, Linux, and Mac modes.
It’s a wireless keyboard and has excellent battery life lasting up to 10 days while using the backlight and up to 5 months without it.
As expected from Logitech, you can use their software to customize the keyboard, and you can connect up to 3 different devices on wireless mode using Bluetooth.
It is a great option and very affordable considering it a great keyboard.