The 6 best mechanical keyboards of 2021 for faster typing and better gaming

Prices are accurate at the time of publication.

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Collage of the best mechanical keyboards, including Logitech, Razer, and HyperX 4x3

Mechanical keyboards use a physical switch under each key rather than a membrane or rubber dome. Besides offering a satisfying “clicky” feel, mechanical keyboards are more accurate for fast typists.

People who type fewer than 150 words per minute won’t see much of an improvement by ditching the membrane keyboard, says Tom Gilmore, the technology education coordinator at Free Geek, an electronic recycling and refurbishing nonprofit. But fast typists will gain more accuracy. “The robust construction of each switch also lends itself to being much more durable in terms of the number of times that a key can be pressed before it wears out,” he adds.

The feel of the switch is a matter of preference, so mechanical switches come in different variations. Besides the amount of pressure required to push each switch, the different types of keys also have a different feel and noise to them.

As a writer, I regularly type for several hours a day. The wrong keyboard can quickly introduce more typos and cause wrist and shoulder strain. To find the best mechanical keyboard, I consulted experts, fellow Insider writers, and dozens of professional reviews on the top-ranked options. I then tested nine of the top-ranked mechanical keyboards, spending several hours typing on each one. Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches tech products.

Here are the best mechanical keyboards you can buy:

Best mechanical keyboard overall: Logitech G915 TKL, $174.64 on Amazon
The Logitech G915 TKL features many tools and tricks that are rare in mechanical keyboards, and it’s easily usable for both office typing and PC gaming.

Best cheap mechanical keyboard: HyperX Alloy Origins 60, $79.99 on Amazon
The HyperX Alloy Origins may be a gaming keyboard, but it is a small, $100 keyboard with a design and build quality that suggests a much steeper price.

Best mechanical keyboard for gaming: Razer Huntsman Elite, $129.99 on Amazon
The Razer Huntsman Elite is designed for hardcore gamers who need the most speed as well as the most fine-tune control.

Best full-size mechanical keyboard: Logitech G513, $129.99 on Best Buy
The Logitech G513 is a premium, fast, and reliable mechanical keyboard that’s well priced for most people.

Best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard: SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL, $114.99 at Walmart
The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL features quality materials, is comfy to type on, and it’s generally approachable in price in terms of full-size.

Best quiet mechanical keyboard: Das Keyboard 4 Professional, $169.00 on Amazon
With designs for Mac and Windows, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a comfortable, all-around performer.

Best mechanical keyboard overall

Logitech G915 Mechanical Keyboard — best mechanical keyboard overall
Originally $229.99 | Save 24%
Originally $229.99 | Save 22%


The Logitech G915 TKL includes several features that are difficult to find on mechanical keyboards, plus it’s versatile enough to work for office use or gaming.

Pros: Wireless connectivity, long battery life, great low profile keys, excellent build quality, fast response

Cons: Pricey, some users may prefer taller keys, no included wrist rest

Mechanical keyboards are power-hungry, which makes the wireless connectivity so common in membrane keyboards difficult to find. The Logitech G915 TKL Lightspeed wireless mechanical keyboard, however, has enough battery to last through a full workweek of typing. While that makes it the best wireless mechanical keyboard that I tested, the other features, like low profile keys and a durable build, make it my favorite overall keyboard of those I tested. 

The low-profile keys on the G915 feel more like a cross between the smooth keys of my Macbook and the clicky feedback of a mechanical keyboard. The keys aren’t the traditional big and chunky kind, sitting at about half the typical height. Despite the size, there’s a definite click and tactile feedback to them. While some users may prefer the larger keys, I liked the smooth, yet tactile feeling of using this keyboard. I also prefer the Tenkeyless design, which keeps hands more centered, rather than hunched to one side of the keyboard. 

There are two ways to connect the keyboard. Logitech says that it’s Lightspeed Wireless technology allows for a response in 1 millisecond. I don’t notice any lag while typing, and while some gamers may still prefer the speed of a physical connection, that’s fast enough for the keyboard to cross over from the office to gaming. The Lightspeed wireless requires a USB dongle, but Bluetooth connectivity is also available (just not at 1 millisecond) so you can use the keyboard without taking up any USB ports or on compatible mobile devices.

The G915 TKL is well-built. The top plate is a beautiful brushed metal, while the bottom has two different kickstands of varied heights The keyboard also houses a nice metal scroll wheel for volume, media keys, buttons to switch between Bluetooth and wireless connection. The backlighting, which can be customized with software, can be turned off with a quick key at the top. Lights at the top indicate when the battery is getting low and when caps lock is activated. 

While the Logitech G915 TKL is a great keyboard, it’s one of the pricier options. Users that want a mechanical keyboard because they like taller keys will also want to choose another option on this list. 

Best cheap mechanical keyboard

HyperX Alloy Origins 60 Mechanical Keyboard — best cheap mechanical keyboard
Originally $99.99 | Save 20%
Originally $99.99 | Save 20%


The HyperX Alloy Origins is a compact, $100 keyboard with a build quality that feels like it costs much more.

Pros: Sturdy aluminum body, great clicky feel, arrow shortcuts are still easy to use, fast response for gaming

Cons: Some users will miss those arrow and number keys, lacks a wrist rest

Mechanical keyboards tend to be much pricier than their membrane siblings. But if you don’t mind giving up some number and arrow keys, you can get a great mechanical keyboard for $100. The HyperX Alloy Origins 60 doesn’t feel cheap, with an aluminum body that easily bests some of the pricier full-sized keyboards. If you are looking for an affordable mechanical keyboard, look closely at the HyperX Alloy Origins 60. 

Despite the lower price, it still builds in RGB lighting, which can be customized using software. Designed for gamers who want to maximize desk space, the HyperX Alloy Origins also feels very responsive with its USB connection. It’s also more portable, both because of the 60 percent size and the USB-C cord being removable to slip more easily into a computer bag. 

A 60% keyboard does away with the numberpad like a tenkeyless but goes one step further and removes the arrow, function, and command keys to the right of the Enter key on a typical keyboard. This keyboard makes up for those missing keys via shortcuts. For example, you need to press the Fn key and the ? key for the up arrow. These shortcuts are labeled and still easy to press with one hand.

I like the overall feel, durability, and compact size of the HyperX Alloy Origins. It’s impressive for a $100 keyboard. While the 60% design isn’t for everyone, the smaller profile may be worth considering for maximizing desk space, centering the keyboard for better ergonomics, or simply getting that lower price point.

Best mechanical keyboard for gaming

Razer Huntsman Elite mechanical keyboard — best mechanical keyboard for gaming
Originally $199.99 | Save 35%
Originally $129.99 | Save 23%


The Razer Huntsman Elite is made for serious gamers who need the most speed.

Pros: Fast response, comfortable wrist rest, great clicky feel, media controls

Cons: Pricey

Razer added an optical sensor to each switch on the Huntsman series, replacing the traditional mechanical switches. You get the feel of a mechanical keyboard but at a much faster speed with the Razer Huntsman Elite. But, besides the speed, it also has a super-comfortable wrist rest, media controls, and a great overall feel.

Available with linear or clicky switches, the keyboard uses switches designed by Razer rather than  third-party switches, like Cherry MX. Razer says the switch has a shorter actuation distance than other similar switches. That means you don’t need to press the keys far. Though it’s a gaming keyboard, it’s also great for general typing. The plush wrist rest makes this keyboard comfortable for a long day of writing.

The Huntsman Elite offers a full set of keys, including extra controls for media and a custom dial. It allows gamers to create custom macros quickly and easily switch between modes. The Elite has custom backlighting and can save five user profiles — plus more can be saved in cloud storage. The keyboard is constructed with an aluminum top plate, giving it a more durable feel. It’s pricey, but you can instead get those fast switches in models with a smaller design and fewer features, such as the Huntsman Mini.

Best full-size mechanical keyboard

best keyboard logitech g513

The Logitech G513 is a well-built, responsive mechanical keyboard that’s reasonably priced.

The Logitech G513 is a slightly older model, but it delivers some flagship-like features without the price. The keyboard has a good, chunky tactile feel for the price. I tested the version with Blue switches, which have a great click to them. The G513 is a full-sized keyboard with a number pad, though it lacks extras like media playback controls.

Using Logitech’s own tactile, clicky, or linear switches , the keys have a bit of a different feel than the common Cherry MX options. I like the feel and click of the GX Blue switches. But, if you are looking for a quieter mechanical keyboard, try this keyboard with the quieter GX Brown switch option. While it’s not a top-of-the-line model, the keys are also quick enough for gamers to consider this keyboard.

Customization options include both the function keys and per-key RGB lighting. The keyboard includes a USB pass-through port, but you don’t gain an extra spot to plug in peripherals because the keyboard needs two USB ports to enable that “extra” port.

Best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL - best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard
Originally $129.99 | Save 2%


The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is well-built, comfortable, and affordable.

Pros: Affordable, compact, built-in OLED display, responsive

Cons: USB cord isn’t long enough for ports on opposite sides of a laptop

The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL sits at a happy medium between price and features. Retailing for about $130, it still includes a durable build, great clicky keys, and even a built-in OLED screen. It’s a good option for those looking for the smaller TKL size but at a more affordable price then the wireless Logitech G915 TKL. 

I tested this keyboard with the red switches. The keys have a great feel to them. There’s both tactile feedback and an auditory click that allows me to type quickly with relatively few mistakes. I didn’t care for the space key, which was significantly louder and firmer than the rest of the keys.  

Considered a gaming keyboard, it’s also quite responsive and customizable. There’s a mini display at the top that can be used to show settings and profiles. The screen settings, as well as the colored backlighting, can be customized with software. Besides the screen, this small keyboard doesn’t go overboard on extras. There’s a handy little volume wheel and a button to select options on that mini screen.

The Apex 7 TKL still leaves room for a USB pass through. However, you’ll need to plug in the keyboard to two USB outlets, so the pass through allows you to just gain one of them back. Unfortunately, the split portion of the USB cord isn’t long enough to use with my MacBook Pro, which places the second USB port on the opposite side. You’ll want a device that has two USB ports on the same side in order to be able to use all the features and plug in both USB ports.

Best quiet mechanical keyboard

Das Keyboard 4 Professional — best quiet mechanical keyboard

With designs for Mac and Windows, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a comfortable, all-around performer.

Pros: Quieter switches, classic layout, media buttons, two USB pass through ports

Cons: More plasticky build, no backlighting

Read our full Das Keyboard 4 Professional review

With a classic layout, a sturdy build, and a click that isn’t overly loud, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is an excellent yet versatile mechanical keyboard. The Das Keyboard 4 comes in a PC or a Mac version, so keys like command and Windows will be properly labeled for your system. It’s a full-size, 104-key layout with a numeric pad and the addition of a nice-sized volume dial and a few media keys.

The version with Cherry MX Brown keys offers that mechanical feedback without annoying anyone that happens to be nearby. This keyboard is one of the quietest mechanical keyboards that I tested. However, there is still a small click — if you want something super quiet, membrane keyboards are still going to lead the way.

The full-sized keyboard will take up more room on your desk. But my favorite feature is that it only takes up one USB port yet offers two USB pass-through ports on the body of the keyboard itself. If you want a keyboard that actually gives you one more USB than you already have (rather than simply replacing the one that it’s occupying), the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a good option.

While it feels great and is quiet, the build is a bit more plastic than some of the other options that I tried. It doesn’t have any sort of backlighting, and the small white letters are a little harder to see than the colorful backlit ones. But for the mix of comfortable typing, system-specific layouts, and build quality, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional stands out.

How to choose a mechanical keyboard

Key type plays a big role in the overall feel of the keyboard in your hands. Mechanical keys come in three main types, Free Geek’s Tom Gilmore explains:

  • Linear switches are a simple switch type. When you press a key, a circuit is completed, which is what gets that signal to the computer.
  • Tactile switches add a bump to a linear switch. This creates tactile feedback so you can physically feel that the key has been fully pressed.
  • Clicky switches are tactile switches but with auditory feedback as well. As the name suggests, you get a louder click with this switch type.

There’s more than just the basic switch type. Different types of switches will also vary depending on the amount of pressure that you need to use them. This creates variety even among, say, two tactile switches. Pressure sensitivity is measured in grams (g) or centinewtons (cN). “A lighter key (say 45 cN) will be easier to press than a heavier key (60 cN), which can be beneficial for writers or others who type a lot,” Gilmore said. “The lower pressure allows for a faster keypress and less finger fatigue — yes, that is a real thing — for a more efficient workday. A heavier key, however, gives a lot more feedback to the typist and can make people feel more connected to their computer and the work that they are doing.”

Many companies use Cherry switches. Cherry MX has several colors with different feels. The MX Red is quieter without feeling any physical feedback, MX Brown is quieter but tactile, and MX Blue has both physical and auditory feedback. Some companies design their own switches. Some people will prefer one type of switch over another. If you have no idea what type of switch you want, a switch sample costs around $20 and lets you test the sound and feel of different types. 

Outside of the keys, consider features like size and connectivity as well as extras like a built-in wrist pad. “A built-in wrist pad keeps your wrist in a neutral position, not flexed or extended,” said Kevin Weaver, a clinical assistant professor of physical therapy at New York University.

Mechanical keyboards glossary of terms

Tenkeyless, or TKL: A tenkeyless, often abbreviated TKL, is a keyboard that doesn’t have the extra numeric pad at the side. While these keyboards do not have the extra set of numbers, they keep the user’s hands more centered, which can be more comfortable for users that don’t regularly use the number keys.

60 Percent Keyboard: A 60 percent keyboard eliminates both the extra set of number keys and the arrow keys and the nine keys above them, which includes things like a page up, home, and delete button. Instead, shortcuts are used to replace those keys. For example, pressing a Fn button with another key works as arrow keys. 60 percent keyboards also use the row of numbers to double as the F keys.

Macros: Macros are saved key combinations. Macros are user-designed, but some keyboards have faster, easier ways to customize. Macros are great features for users who regularly use certain keyboard shortcuts or combinations.

USB Pass-through: A USB pass-through is an extra USB port on the keyboard. You can use this port to plug in things like USB drives and external hard drives, similar to the USB slot on the computer itself.

Wireless keyboard: A wireless keyboard is connected to a computer wirelessly using a USB dongle. While there are no wires on your desk this way (unless you are charging) it does still take up a USB port.

Bluetooth keyboard: A Bluetooth keyboard connects using the device’s Bluetooth. Unlike wireless, this means that you don’t need to occupy a USB slot and you can connect to devices without any USB ports at all, such as tablets.

Linear switch: When a linear switch is pressed, it completes a circuit to send a signal to the computer. This is a type of mechanical key.

Tactile switch: When a tactile switch is pressed, a circuit is completed just like with a linear switch, but there’s also a tactile bump. This gives the user physical feedback that the key was fully pressed.

Clicky Switch: A mechanical clicky switch is just like a tactile switch, except there’s added noise. This gives the user both physical and auditory feedback indicating that the key was fully pressed.

What else we considered

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT: With smooth typing and some gaming-focused extras, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT receives some good praise from the gaming community. It lacks the custom pressure keys and optical-mechanical design of the other $200 gaming keyboards on this list, however.

Razer Huntsman Mini: This keyboard is the Huntsman Elite but in a 60% size. Our first impressions of this option are good, though the build quality doesn’t quite seem as good as our top pick. The split USB cord also isn’t long enough — it needs a device with two USB ports next to each other. Read our full Razer Huntsman Mini review.

SteelSeries Apex Pro: The SteelSeries Apex Pro has customizable switches that allow gamers to set up profiles for whether they want a firmer, more accurate push, or a lighter, faster push. I preferred the more plush wrist rest of the Razer Huntsman, however, and the USB split wasn’t long enough to reach ports on opposite sides of my MacBook.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I set up a new home office for permanent remote work – here are the 8 purchases that helped me create my ideal workspace

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Home office desk setup
My home office desk setup for remote work.

After nearly a decade in New York, I recently moved to Florida. The move means I’ll be working remotely on a permanent basis, and that gave me the perfect opportunity to put together a new home office.

New York is infamous for its tiny apartments, and my old place definitely fit that bill. I made do with a cramped room that forced me to set up my desk in what should have been a closet. It got the job done, but was far from ideal.

My new apartment offers a lot more space, and that’s allowed me to create a more comfortable office. And, since I don’t have to worry about upsetting coworkers, I can even indulge in some killer speakers and one of those ridiculously loud mechanical keyboards I’ve always wanted.

Though my office is still a work in progress (cable management is my next project), I’ve been happy with my purchases so far. If you’re looking for home office ideas, these products all make worthwhile buys.

A wide desk with a rustic look

55-inch CubiCubi desk in my home office.
This 55-inch desk offers the minimalist design I want while providing plenty of room for all my gear.

Study Computer Desk (small)

For my new desk, I wanted something wide with a rustic style. I ended up going with this 55-inch CubiCubi desk. The surface isn’t real wood, but it looks nice and it offers plenty of space. The metal frame is sturdy and it even features a hook to hang my headphones. 

A comfy office chair

WorkPro 4000 chair in a home office.
The WorkPro 4000 chair offers comfort and adjustability for a reasonable price.

4000 Chair (small)

After testing a few desk chairs at a couple stores, I found this WorkPro 4000 chair that delivered the comfort, adjustability, and price tag I was looking for. So far, it’s served me well during regular eight-hour work days. The only complaint I have is that it’s easy to accidentally move the armrests around, but that’s really just a nitpick. 

A mechanical keyboard for tactile typing

Logitech K845ch keyboard on desk.
Logitech’s K845ch mechanical keyboard is a joy to type with.

K845ch Keyboard (small)

I finally made the leap to a mechanical keyboard, and I love the way it’s improved my typing experience. Mechanical keyboards feature physical switches to give you tactile feedback. You can get quiet models, but I opted for Logitech’s K845ch with Cherry Blue switches to get that satisfying “clicky” feel. It also features illuminating keys with five backlight modes.

Desktop speakers for crisp sound

Jamo speaker with compact stereo amp on desk.
One of my Jamo S 801 bookshelf speakers (right) with an AD18 stereo amp (left) to power it.

S 801 Bookshelf Speaker (Pair) (small)

These Jamo S 801 bookshelf speakers sound fantastic, with crisp highs and deep lows that are a step above typical computer speakers. The only downside? They require a separate amplifier for power. This super-compact AD18 amp from SMSL ($144.99) does the trick just fine.

A big monitor with plenty of workspace

LG QN600 monitor with multiple windows open.
The QN600 monitor’s QHD resolution gives me a lot of space to work with on the screen.

QN600-B 32-inch Monitor (small)

As someone who tends to have an endless row of tabs open, I always find myself needing as much screen space as possible. This LG 32-inch QN600-B monitor gives me the area I need to organize multiple windows on screen.

However, as much as I’ve loved using this monitor, one pesky defect popped up recently: a thin line of vertical pixels. This doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem, but a couple customers on Amazon have complained about similar issues.

Thankfully, the monitor has a one-year warranty, and I initiated a work order with LG to get it repaired. They’ll reimburse me to ship it out, and it should be fixed within 10 business days. I still think the monitor remains a good value for the price I paid, but needing a repair is never ideal.

A USB hub for multiple devices

USB hub plugged into a MacBook Pro.
The Lionewei USB hub lets me connect more devices to my MacBook Pro.

USB-C Hub (small)

I use a 2017 MacBook Pro for work and it only has two USB-C ports. Since I want to have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power adapter all hooked up at the same time, this presents a problem. The solution is this Lionwei USB-C hub. It has multiple ports so I can plug in everything I need.

I also added an Ablewe USB Switcher ($21.99) so I can simultaneously connect the same keyboard and mouse I use with my MacBook to my PC. This lets me easily switch control to my Windows system with the press of a button.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Bluetooth keyboards for everything from tablets to PC gaming

Collage of the best bluetooth keyboards, including Logitech Combo Touch and Logitech G915 TKL 4x3

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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Wireless keyboards eliminate desk clutter. But Bluetooth keyboards take that one step further, freeing up a USB port and even leaving the desk behind to control your tablet, phone, or even your smart TV. The ideal Bluetooth keyboard balances that wire-free portability with comfortable keys and a smooth typing experience all without breaking the bank.

While Bluetooth keyboards leave cords off the desk and support mobile devices, the lack of a cord can introduce a delay. Users that need the most speed – such as gamers – will end up spending significantly more to find a Bluetooth keyboard that doesn’t have noticeable input lag.

“Wireless keyboards do tend to be more popular for business professionals due to their ease of use and clean aesthetic, while more intensive users might favor other features and a lower price tag,” said Tom Gilmore, Technology Education Coordinator at Free Geek. “…if latency is of concern (like with gaming) then we suggest avoiding Bluetooth keyboards and to stick with wired, unless you go for the high-end wireless options.”

Because Bluetooth keyboards can be used for anything from writing a novel on a laptop to searching Netflix on a smart TV, we’ve researched options in several different categories. These best Bluetooth keyboard picks are based on a mix of expert guidance, reputable reviews, and hands-on experience from Business Insider team members. We’re currently testing out each option to narrow down our list.

Our testing suggests that these are the best Bluetooth keyboards:

Best Bluetooth keyboard overall

Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Keyboard on a white background

Who’s it for: The Logitech MX Keys is a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard that’s versatile enough for many different uses and platforms, including both Windows and Mac.

The Logitech MX Keys is a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard that’s large enough for desk use, but thin enough to do some off-desk typing, too. When Insider writer Matt Smith tested the Logitech MX Keys earlier this year, he said that the keyboard is comfortable to use even if you don’t spend the extra $20 for the wrist pad.

The MX Keys uses scissor switches and low-profile keycaps  with finger-sized imprints for comfortable typing. The scissor switch is also quiet and responsive. With the body built from one piece of metal, the $100 keyboard also has a much nicer feel than cheaper options. You can use the keyboard with Bluetooth or a dedicated Wireless USB dongle. Backlighting that senses your fingers helps stretch the battery life, which Logitech says can hit 10 days.

Logitech offers options designed for either Windows or Mac, but the keyboard also works with iOS and Android. The keyboard can remember three devices, so you can easily switch back and forth between your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. While the full-sized keyboard isn’t going to tuck into a backpack easily, the thin design means it will easily jump from room to room in your home

MX Keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated Keyboard (button)
Best Bluetooth keyboard for gaming

The Logitech G915 Wireless keyboard on a white background

Who’s it for? With a fast wireless connection, the Logitech G915 TKL is ideal for gamers who can’t always depend on Bluetooth that want wire-free speed.

Gamers tend to choose the reliability and speed of a keyboard with a wired physical cord connection — but some wireless keyboards are gaining the speed needed for gaming. If you don’t mind trading a cable cord for a higher price tag, I prefer the G915 over other mechanical keyboards for the office because of the quieter typing, low profile keys, and longer battery life. (I tested the tactile white version, other options will have a louder click.) Along with a Bluetooth connection, the keyboard packs in Logitech’s proprietary Lightspeed wireless, which the company says delivers a 1 millisecond response speed.

The G915 TKL is a mechanical keyboard, but it doesn’t look like one at first glance. That’s because the keyboard uses low-profile keys. The keyboard has a great feel to it that’s a cross between the thin keys of my Macbook and the thicker ones profile of a typical mechanical. It also houses a scroll wheel, dedicated media keys, and a few other macro keys.

With a 40 hour battery life rating, I used the Logitech G915 TKL for several workdays without recharging. I even went on vacation with the keyboard in sleep mode, and it still had power two weeks later. While 40 hours isn’t a long battery life compared to membrane keyboards, mechanical keyboards are power hungry and others have even shorter use times before recharging. A battery life indicator is visible right from the top of the keyboard.

The low profile keys along with the Bluetooth and wireless technology make the G915 TKL a gaming keyboard that’s easier to transport and more responsive than most. The trade-off is that it’s pricier than many wired keyboards that are geared for gaming. Wired keyboards may still be more reliable.

G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless RGB (button)
Best mechanical Bluetooth keyboard

The Razer Pro Type keyboard on a white background

Who’s it for? The Razer Pro Type is a mechanical keyboard that’s designed to eliminate desktop cord clutter.

A mechanical keyboard designed for professionals rather than gaming, the Razer Pro Type is one of the few mechanical keyboards that offers built-in Bluetooth as well as 2.4GHz wireless. The wireless design eliminates desk clutter while the white and silver design feels more in tune with office aesthetics than the colorful backlighting of a gaming keyboard.  With white backlighting, the Razer Pro Type offers the cleaner look of a laptop keyboard but with all the feel of mechanical keys. While I preferred our top pick for Bluetooth gaming, the G915, for it’s low profile keys and longer battery life, the thicker keys of the Razer Pro Type feels more like a true mechanical keyboard.

The Razer Pro Type has a great, clicky feel — I’m using it as I write this article. The large keys are more tactile than most thin Bluetooth keyboard keys and produce a satisfying click with each press. The full-size keyboard still has the extra number pad, though the function row doubles as Windows media keys instead of dedicated macros.

While the Razer Pro Type looks and feels great, mechanical keyboards are power hungry. The keyboard’s battery life is only rated for 12 hours. The Logitech G915 TKL is a wireless and Bluetooth mechanical keyboard with up to 40 hours of use per charge, but it’s almost twice as much.  The G915 also has lower profile keys where the Pro Type  has the more traditional chunky keys of a mechanical keyboard. If you prefer the thicker keyboard or are on a more limited budget, the Pro Type is a safe choice. The Pro Type doesn’t come with a wrist pad, however, so that may add to the cost.

Pro Type Wireless Keyboard (button)
Best Bluetooth keyboard on a budget

Logitech K380

Who’s it for? Affordable and compact, the Logitech K380 is ideal for those who want a keyboard small enough to slip into a laptop bag without spending a fortune.

Getting a portable Bluetooth keyboard that works with multiple devices doesn’t have to be expensive. Retailing for about $40, the Logitech K380 is a compact keyboard that’s easy to bring along. Previously our pick for best Bluetooth keyboard overall, the keyboard also has a battery that will last for two years, though that’s in part because the keyboard doesn’t even offer backlighting.

The K380 can save up to three devices for easy pairing. The keyboard works with any operating system that supports external keyboards, allowing it to move from a laptop to a tablet and from a PC to an iPhone. Logitech says that the keyboard automatically remaps the keys when switching between operating systems.

The K380‘s thin profile and 60 percent design makes it easy to toss into a bag. The size may make the keyboard a little less comfortable for long stretches of typing, however. If portability isn’t important and you want something affordable to type on for eight hours a day, there may be better options.

K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard (button)
Best folding Bluetooth keyboard

The Arteck HB066 folding keyboard, folded in two different variations, on a white background

Who’s it for? The easy portability makes the Arteck folding keyboard ideal for on-the-go users that prioritize size.

Folding keyboards tend to have oddly shaped or sized keys in order to place the fold. That usually creates a lot of typos at first, however, which is why the folding keyboard that stands out most in my research is the Arteck HB066 Bluetooth Keyboard. The fold moves around the keys instead of moving the keys around the fold for an experience that’s closer to a traditional keyboard.

The Arteck HB066, also previously our pick for best Bluetooth keyboard overall, folds around two hinges. That makes it roughly the size of a smartphone when folded, yet it unfolds into a 60 percent size QWERTY keyboard. It’s also affordable, selling for under $30 on Amazon

Compatible with iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OS, the keyboard is ready for almost every device you own. While made from aluminum alloy, the HB066 lacks some of the extra buttons and features other folding keyboards have. But, the keyboard gets high marks for the unique fold that prevents oddly-sized keys. 

HB066 Bluetooth Keyboard (button)
Best Bluetooth keyboard for iPad

Logitech Combo Touch iPad case

Who’s it for? With a removable keyboard that never needs to recharge, the Logitech Combo Touch is a versatile iPad and iPad Pro keyboard.

The Logitech Combo Touch is, technically, not a Bluetooth keyboard. The iPad and iPad Pro keyboards instead use the smart connector on the iPad itself to both connect and draw power. That gives the Combo Touch almost all the benefits of a Bluetooth keyboard – but with none of the recharging. The low-profile keys are responsive and, while not as nice as my MacBook, still feel great. The Combo Touch is available in versions for the iPad, which I tested, as well as options for the iPad Pro and iPad Air.

The Combo Touch includes a case that can be used with or without the keyboard. The case protects the back and three sides of the iPad, which is one of the reasons I chose the Combo Touch over Apple’s own Magic Keyboard. The keyboard detaches magnetically. When the keyboard is detached, the iPad still has the kickstand and protective case. I love that you can quickly go from typing to reading by simply pulling the keyboard off.

The Logitech Combo Touch is my favorite iPad keyboard that I tested. However, if you want the most protection, the Combo touch still leaves a side exposed. The Zagg Pro Keys is a true Bluetooth keyboard that covers the back and all the sides, with a 6.6-foot drop rating. That extra protection covers the smart connector, however, so the Zagg Pro Keys requires recharging. I also prefered the Logitech’s kickstand design. That said, my iPad has been dropped accidentally with the Combo Touch on and it came away unscathed. If you want the best blend of protection and no-recharge convenience, the Logitech Combo Touch is a great choice.

Combo Touch (11-inch iPad Pro) (button)
What else we’re considering

We’re continuing to test a range of Bluetooth keyboards. Along with the keyboards above, we’re also testing the highly-reviewed keyboards below. We’ll update this post once we’ve finished full testing.

  • Logitech K830 Living Room Keyboard: This media keyboard has a touchpad built in so you can both navigate a smart TV and type without the tedious “typing” on a remote control. It has illuminated keys, which are helpful while you’re watching movies in the dark.
  • Logitech Ergo K860: This keyboard is both Bluetooth and ergonomic. The curved keyboard design is made to reduce stress on the wrists. This one could be a good option for cord-haters who have,or want to avoid wrist strain.
  • iClever BK08: This folding keyboard also builds in a touchpad, making it a keyboard and mouse in one. The keys are a little smaller as a result, though, which means the question mark and apostrophe need a Fn key pressed simultaneously, rather than just hitting one key. 
  • Zagg Pro Keys with trackpad: Similar to the Logitech Combo Touch, the Zagg Pro Keys with trackpad gives the iPad a Macbook-like treatment. If you want the most possible protection, the Zagg is the better option than the Logitech because all sides of the iPad are covered. It has a great feel and feels very durable. However, I prefered the Combo Touch because it doesn’t need to recharge. And, if you pull the keyboard off the Zagg, you also remove the kickstand. I prefer to have the kickstand still attached so I can read or watch movies without the keyboard. 
  • Zagg Pro Keys: The Zag Pro Keys is also available in a version without the touchpad. Selling for $100, this is a more affordable option that still offers protection. The keyboard feels great, but will need to be recharged. Removing the keyboard will also remove the kickstand, but not the protective case.
  • Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad: I used an earlier generation of the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad. The keys feel great and the connection couldn’t be simpler. But, I cracked my last iPad screen when I dropped it in the Magic Keyboard. I prefer the way the Logitech Combo Touch and Zagg Pro Keys double as a protective case and a keyboard in one — and both are more affordable than the Magic Keyboard.

What to consider when choosing a Bluetooth keyboard

Bluetooth keyboards tend to have a wider variety of features than their corded counterparts. The connectivity means these keyboards aren’t just for desktops but can also control your smartphone, tablet, or even smart TV. What you plan to use the keyboard for will impact which one is the best for you.

Size: Do you want to take your Bluetooth keyboard anywhere or will the keyboard mainly stay on your desk or in your living room? Foldable keyboards and compact, 60 percent keyboards are made to easily tuck into a bag and go anywhere. But, they lack some keys and can be uncomfortable to type on long-term. If you don’t need the number pad, a tenkeyless or TKL keyboard is a happy medium, offering more comfort while still fitting into a backpack. TKLs also take up less space on a desk, letting you keep your mouse more easily within reach.

Type: Scissor switch keyboards are quieter, more affordable, and have a lower profile. Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, can offer more tactile and auditory feedback that many regular typists love, plus they tend to have greater durability.

Ergonomics: The wrong type of keyboard can cause wrist strain with extended use. Dr. Kevin Weaver, a certified ergonomics expert by the Board of Certified Professional Ergonomists and the Oxford Institute and a Clinical Assistant Professor of physical therapy at New York University, suggests typists with larger hands choose a larger keyboard. A wrist pad, contoured keys, and softer scissor switches may also be more comfortable, he says.

Extra features: Many keyboards go beyond the typical QWERTY layout. Some offer media keys — particularly those for smart TVs — or other macros. Others have different shortcuts built in for gaming or more general tasks.

Working from home? Check out our other home office guides

working from home office
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How to copy and paste on a Mac computer, or from a Mac to other Apple devices

woman hands typing on keyboard laptop
There’s a few different ways to copy and paste on your Mac, including with keyboard shortcuts.

  • You can copy and paste on Mac by right-clicking, opening the toolbar, or using keyboard shortcuts.
  • Text, images, GIFs, and other file formats can all be copied and pasted on a Mac.
  • Apple devices on the same iCloud account can copy and paste across devices.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Copy and paste is one of the most basic and helpful computer shortcuts. It saves time and ensures that text and images are preserved in their original form; no need to type out text you see on a webpage into an email or document when you can simply copy and paste.

There are several different ways to copy and paste on a Mac, and knowing them all helps you use this function no matter what you’re copying and pasting. You can even copy and paste content across Apple devices.

Here’s how to do it all.

How to copy and paste on Mac with keyboard shortcuts

1. Highlight the text you want to copy using your mouse or trackpad.

2. Hold the Command key, then press the “C” key to copy the highlighted text.

Image of Mac keyboard with Command + C keys highlighted
This two-button keyboard shortcut is a quick way to copy and paste.

3. Click to place the cursor where you want to paste the copied text.

4. Hold the Command key, then press the “V” key to paste.

Image of Mac keyboard with Command + V highlighted
Press Command + V to paste.

How to copy and paste on Mac with a mouse or trackpad

1. Highlight the text you want to copy using your mouse or trackpad, then right-click. If you’re copying an image, GIF, or another file type, simply hover the cursor over it before clicking.

2. In the pop-up menu, click Copy.

Screenshot of Insider author page with text highlighted and a pop-up menu showing the copy function
Right-clicking is one of several methods to copy and paste content.

3. Click to place the cursor where you want to paste the copied text or file.

4. Right-click, then select Paste in the pop-up. If you’re simply copying and pasting, the pasted text will maintain the same formatting from its original context.

Screenshot of a Google Doc with a pop-up menu highlighting the paste function
You can paste copied text into emails, Word documents, and Google Docs.

How to copy and paste on Mac using the toolbar

1. Highlight the text you want to copy using your mouse or trackpad.

2. In the toolbar at the very top of your screen, click Edit, then select Copy in the drop-down.

Screenshot of an Insider author page with the copy option highlighted in the toolbar
The toolbar at the top of the screen is another way to use the copy and paste function.

3. Click to place the cursor where you want to paste the copied text.

4. In the toolbar at the very top of your screen, click Edit, then select Paste in the drop-down.

Screenshot of "paste" option in toolbar
To paste, use the toolbar at the top of your screen, or in the program you’re using.

How to copy and paste on Mac to match formatting

The methods detailed above will transfer highlighted text as it appears in its original context, i.e. in its original font, size, color, etc. This isn’t always ideal, but there’s an easy workaround to help keep things consistent in the email or document you’re pasting text into.

To change copied text to match the style of its new location, follow the steps below:

1. Highlight the text you want to copy using your mouse or trackpad.

2. Copy the text using either of the methods discussed above: right-click, toolbar, or Command + C.

3. Click to place the cursor where you want to paste the copied text.

4. In the toolbar located at the top of the screen, click Edit, then click Paste without formatting. It can also be phrased as Paste and Match Style or something similar. When pasting without formatting, the copied text is set to match the style of the document or email you’re pasting into.

Screenshot of a Google Doc with the "Paste without formatting" option highlighted in the toolbar
Use the toolbar or a keyboard shortcut to paste and match formatting.

How to copy and paste between Apple devices

If you have an iPhone or iPad registered under the same iCloud account as your Mac, you can easily copy and paste text and photos between devices. Here’s how it’s done:

1. On your Mac, open System Preferences, and click General.

2. Toward the bottom of the General page, check the box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

Screenshot of Mac System Preferences showcasing the Handoff capability
If copied text or photos aren’t transferring between devices, check your Mac settings.

3. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app, and tap General.

Screenshot of iPhone Settings app homepage
In Settings, go to “General.”

4. On the General page, select AirPlay & Handoff.

Screenshot of General page in iPhone Settings app
Select “AirPlay & Handoff.”

5. Ensure the Handoff feature is on by tapping the switch, turning it from grey to green.

Screenshot of iPhone settings window showcasing the Handoff capability
Ensure the Handoff capability is turned on by tapping the toggle.

6. On your mobile device, tap to highlight the text or image you want to copy, then tap Copy.

Screenshot of an iPhone browser tab with text highlighted]
After highlighting your text, tap “Copy” in the small pop-up.

7. On your computer, paste the content using any of the methods described above. This method also works for copying content on your computer and pasting it on your mobile device.

How to check which version of macOS your Mac computer is running and check for new updatesHow to take a screenshot on a Mac computer in four different waysHow to connect your AirPods to a Mac computer, whether or not you have a paired iPhoneHow to change the language and ‘region’ on your Mac, for multilingual users and those living abroad

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How to type the degree symbol on your computer, phone, or tablet keyboard

woman using ipad typing notes app
It’s easy to type a degree symbol on any common keyboard.

  • You can type a degree symbol with your keyboard using key combinations on a computer or numerical keyboard menus on a phone or tablet.
  • For instance, on a PC you can use the numpad code Alt + 0176; on a Mac, use Shift + Option + 8.
  • You can also use third-party apps to remap your keyboard, which can make the degree symbol easier to type.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

For as many keys as your keyboard holds, there are always hundreds more symbols that get left out. One of these is the degree symbol.

Luckily, the degree symbol is on your keyboard – just hidden behind a special code or action. Here’s how to type the degree symbol on your keyboard, whether you’re using a computer or phone.

How to type the degree symbol on a Windows PC

On a PC, you have a few options.

Alt Codes

If you’re using a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad (or “numpad”) on the right side, you can type the degree symbol with an Alt Code. These codes require you to hold down the Alt key and type a series of numbers on the numpad.

The degree symbol code is Alt + 0176. As soon as you let go of the Alt key, the symbol should appear.

A Notepad file in Windows 10 showing the equation: Alt + 0176 = °
Using the Alt Code is the fastest way to insert a degree sign.

The emoji menu

Windows 10 has a hidden emoji menu that lets you easily insert any emoji or special character into your text.

1. While you’re able to type, press the Windows key + . (period) to open the emoji menu.

2. At the top of the menu, click the omega symbol (Ω) to see the list of every special character.

3. Scroll down in the list until you find the degree symbol and click it to add it to your text.

A Windows 10 emoji menu, with the degree symbol selected.
The emoji menu lets you enter emoji or special characters.

Third-party keyboard remappers

Remapping is the process of changing what a specific button or key does. You can download apps and configure your keyboard so when you press a specific key, or enter a keyboard shortcut, it types out a degree symbol.

There are a few apps that let you create custom keyboard shortcuts, but the best for making special character shortcuts (like for the degree symbol) is probably CatchChar. It takes a little tinkering, but will let you insert any special character with a quick keyboard shortcut.

How to type the degree symbol on a Mac

To type the degree symbol on a Mac, press Shift + Option + 8.

A Mac TextEdit document, showing an equation: Shift + Option + 8 = °
You’ll press three keys at once to make a degree symbol.

Alternatively, press Control + Command + Space to open the Emoji & Symbols menu and then click Punctuation in the left sidebar. You’ll find the degree symbol in this list – double-click it to add it to your text.

The Mac Emoji & Symbols menu with the degree sign highlighted.
You’ll need to open the full Emoji & Symbols menu to find the degree sign.

How to type the degree symbol on a Chromebook

The method on a Chromebook will sound a bit confusing at first, but once you do it once, it’ll be clear.

1. While you’re able to type, press Ctrl + Shift + U. The letter u with a line below it will appear where you typed.

2. Without clicking away, type OOBA and then press Enter.

The underlined u will turn into the degree symbol.

Showing how to make a degree symbol on a Chromebook.
You’ll need to use the degree sign’s Unicode code, OOBA.

How to type the degree symbol on an iPhone or iPad

1. Tap a place that you’re able to type so the keyboard appears.

2. Press the 123 icon in the bottom-left corner of your keyboard, and then press and hold your finger on the zero key (0).

3. After a moment, a small pop-up will appear with the degree symbol in it. Drag your finger over to it and release.

An iPhone screen showing how to find the degree symbol on a keyboard.
The degree symbol is hidden behind the zero key.

How to type the degree symbol on an Android

1. Tap a place that you’re able to type so the keyboard appears.

2. Tap the ?123 icon in the bottom-left corner, and then the =< icon above it.

3. The degree symbol will be on this page. Tap it to type it.

Android keyboard with the degree symbol highlighted.
The degree symbol isn’t hard to find on an Android.

Alt + F4: The Windows keyboard shortcut for closing applications, explainedThe best keyboard shortcuts for managing your browser tabs, including how to jump to specific tabsThe best keyboard shortcuts for text formatting on your Mac or PC43 essential Windows keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly use and navigate the PC operating system

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 8 best mechanical keyboards of 2021 for gaming and fast typing

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Mechanical keyboards offer tactile and auditory feedback that can reduce typos for fast typists.
  • Many gamers also appreciate the speed of mechanical keyboards.
  • The best mechanical keyboards come from brands like Das, Razer, Logitech, SteelSeries, and more.

Mechanical keyboards create both tactile and auditory feedback, delivering more accuracy for typing and more speed for gaming. The best mechanical keyboards deliver a mix of speed and accuracy in a comfortable set-up that doesn’t feel too loud.

Mechanical keyboards use a physical switch under each key rather than a membrane or rubber dome. Besides offering a satisfying “clicky” feel, mechanical keyboards are more accurate for fast typists. Tom Gilmore is the technology education coordinator at Free Geek, an electronic recycling and refurbishing nonprofit. People who type fewer than 150 words per minute won’t see much of an improvement by ditching the membrane keyboard, he said, but fast typists will gain more accuracy. “The robust construction of each switch also lends itself to being much more durable in terms of the number of times that a key can be pressed before it wears out,” he said.

The feel of the switch is a matter of personal preference. That’s why mechanical switches come in different variations. Besides the amount of pressure required to push each switch, the different types of keys will also have a different feel and noise to them.

As a writer, I regularly type for several hours a day. To find the best mechanical keyboard, I consulted experts, fellow Insider writers, and dozens of professional reviews on the top-ranked options. We’re currently testing many mechanical keyboards to narrow down our list.

Here are the best mechanical keyboards you can buy:

The best mechanical keyboard overall

dask keyboard mac

With designs for Mac and Windows, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a comfortable, all-around performer.

With a classic layout, a sturdy build, and a click that isn’t overly loud, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is an excellent yet versatile mechanical keyboard. The Das Keyboard 4 comes in a PC or a Mac version, so keys like command and Windows will be properly labeled for your system. It’s a full-size, 104-key layout with a numeric pad, with the addition of a nice-sized volume dial and a few media keys.

The version with Cherry MX Brown keys offers that mechanical feedback without annoying anyone that happens to be nearby. 

The full-size keyboard is constructed from plastic, but it’s a thicker, sturdier build than some aluminum models we’ve tested. It doesn’t have colorful backlighting, but the sleek black design will easily fit into any office. The keyboard also connects with a chunky USB cord. But for the mix of comfortable typing, system-specific layouts, and build quality, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional stands out.

Insider reviewer Antonio Villas-Boas calls the keyboard the perfect alternative for those who don’t like Apple’s thin keyboards. It’s a comfortable typing experience, and the Das earns the slot for the best mechanical keyboard in Insider’s guide to the best keyboards.

The best wireless mechanical keyboard

Best mechanical keyboard Razer Pro Type Wireless

The Razer Pro Type Wireless is designed for office users — not gamers — who want cordless freedom.

Razer’s gaming keyboards are highly ranked, but the company’s new mechanical keyboard geared toward the office is getting high praise, too. The Razer Pro Type Wireless loses the colorful backlighting and black keys for a clean, white keyboard with white backlighting.

Using Razer Orange keys, the keyboard uses a quieter key that doesn’t require much force. That makes the keyboard much more office friendly than one designed for gaming, though it’s not as quiet as a membrane, non-mechanical keyboard. The keys are also fully reprogrammable, so you can customize them with shortcuts that best fit your workflow.

Most mechanical keyboards are still corded, but the Razer Pro Type Wireless uses a dongle-free Bluetooth or a wireless connection that requires a USB dongle. That keeps your desk space less cluttered. The Bluetooth connection works with up to four devices, including smartphones and tablets. 

But this mechanical keyboard is power hungry, according to Forbes. If you use the lights and the Bluetooth, the battery is rated to 12 hours, so this is a keyboard you’ll want to plug in at the end of every day. Alternately, you can get up to 84 hours with the lighting off or 78 hours with no lights connecting via Wi-Fi. You can use the keyboard while charging, if necessary. Some users also didn’t like the automatic sleep mode made for saving battery, which can create a delay after pausing.

The best budget mechanical keyboard

best keyboard Drop ENTR

The Drop ENTR is ideal for users new to mechanical keyboards and those on a budget.

Mechanical keyboards usually cost over $100. The Drop ENTR, from a company known for its customizable keyboards, sells for $90 without sacrificing the must-haves. Drop says that the keyboard is designed for newbies, so you don’t have to be a mechanical keyboard expert to get started with a tactile typing experience.

The keyboard is available with a tactile switch called Halo Trues or a linear switch without that bumpy feedback. N-key rollover helps the keyboard keep up with any typing speed. The ENTR is a tenkeyless keyboard, which means it has everything except for that secondary number pad that usually sits on the right. If you don’t need the extra numbers, the smaller keyboard can be more comfortable for centering in the right position on your desk. It also allows you to comfortably reach your mouse. It uses a USB-C wired connection, so there’s no need to charge or worry about batteries.

While it’s a budget-friendly keyboard, PC Magazine notes that the build is good for the price. The keyboard is made from both metal and plastic.

The Drop ENTR lacks the customization of some of the pricier models. It doesn’t have any extra buttons, like media controls, and it’s labeled for use with a PC. It can be used with a Mac, but the layout of some of the extra keys are different.

The best quiet mechanical keyboard

best keyboard logitech g513

The Logitech G513 is ideal for those looking for a mechanical keyboard to use in a shared office space and for gamers who don’t want to annoy their roommates.

The Logitech G513 is a slightly older model, but it delivers some flagship-like features without the price. Insider writer Matthew Smith says that the keyboard has a good, chunky tactile feel for the price point. It’s a full-sized keyboard with a number pad, though it lacks extras like play and volume buttons.

Using Logitech’s own Romer-G Tactile or Romer-G Linear switches, the keys have a bit of a different feel than the Cherry MX options. Membrane-based keyboards will still be the quietest option, but PCMag notes that these keys are quieter than a lot of other mechanical keyboards while still retaining the feel. The keys are also quick enough for gamers to consider this keyboard.

Customization options include both the function keys and adjusting the colorful RGB lighting down to individual keys. The keyboard includes a USB pass-through port, but you don’t gain an extra spot to plug in peripherals because the keyboard needs two USB ports to power that “extra” port.

The best mechanical keyboard for typing

Varmilo VA87M 2

The Varmilo VA87M is great for frequent typists who want both comfort and style.

You don’t need to choose between standard black or white to get a comfortable keyboard. The Varmilo VA87M is a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard. That means there’s no extra number pad on the right. It’s easily customizable by switch type, color, and even layout, making it easy to find one that suits your needs, including options that are tailored to Mac.

With its custom switches, the Varmilo VA87M allows you to choose whether you want a lightweight, quiet push; a firm, clicky feel; or something in between. The keyboard’s caps use dye-sub printing to get a variety of colors and styles. That makes it easy to color-code frequently used keys or to get a keyboard that doesn’t look like every other one out there.

The VA87M has a few customizable controls, though it lacks the every-key customizing of some of the pricier models. For roughly $130, it has a mid-range price, but it does lack macros and lighting. Business Insider writer Simon Hill said the keyboard is “easy and effortless to type on.” He also noted that the construction will last for years, though some gaming features are missing.

The best mechanical keyboard for gaming

Best Keyboard Razer Huntsman Elite

The Razer Huntsman Elite is made for serious gamers who need the most speed.

Razer added an optical sensor to each switch on the Huntsman series. Similar to the light sensor on a mouse, it registers when you press that mechanical switch. You get the feel of a mechanical keyboard but at a much faster speed with the Razer Huntsman Elite

Available in linear or clicky switches, the keyboard uses switches designed by Razer rather than a third-party key, like Cherry MX. Razer says the switch has a shorter actuation distance than other similar switches. That means you don’t need to press the keys hard or far. Though it’s a gaming keyboard, it’s also great for general typing, according to TechRadar.

Besides the speed and comfortable typing, the Huntsman Elite offers a full set of keys, including extra controls for media and a custom dial. It has custom macros and custom lighting and can save five user profiles, more if you plug in more memory. The keyboard is constructed with an aluminum top plate. It’s pricey, but you can get those fast switches in models with a smaller design and fewer features, such as the Huntsman Mini.

The best adjustable mechanical keyboard for gaming

best keyboard steelseries apex 7 TKL

The SteelSeries Apex Pro allows you to customize the sensitivity of individual keys, so you can make it fit your preferences.

Mechanical keyboards make it possible to find a key that works best with the way that you type, but the SteelSeries Apex Pro takes that one step further. The keyboard uses linear switches that have adjustable actuation points. That means you can change how hard you need to push each key before it registers, between 0.4mm and 3.6mm. If you tend to always accidentally bump a key, for example, you can turn the actuation way up. The keys you need to press the fastest, on the other hand, can be reduced to just a slight press.

After trying out the Apex Pro late last year, Insider’s Simon Hill said it “might just be the best gaming keyboard there is.” Besides the ability to customize the sensitivity of each key, the keyboard also integrates a small LCD screen and a clickable roller, along with the usual keys that you find on a full-size keyboard.

The Apex Pro is made from aluminum alloy. The USB connection has two ports. You’ll need both if you want to use the USB pass-through port that’s on the keyboard itself. It also includes a magnetic wrist rest, but we’ve tried models with more cushioning. Hill notes that the keycaps can develop grease build-up, while the keyboard surface tends to attract dust. But for gamers who want both a light, easy press and a firmer, harder key, the SteelSeries Apex Pro is hard to beat. 

The best 60% compact mechanical keyboard

best keyboards hyperx alloy origins

Gamers on the go will appreciate the small size but great experience with the HyperX Alloy Origins 60.

A full-sized keyboard doesn’t easily tuck into a laptop bag. The HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is a compact, 60% keyboard that still delivers the feel and durability of a high-end mechanical keyboard. Despite the smaller size, it still builds in RGB lighting, which the white swirls on the space key tend to pick up, too.

A 60% keyboard does away with the numpad like a tenkeyless but goes one step further and removes the arrow, function, and command keys to the right of the Enter key on a typical keyboard. These keyboards make up for those missing keys via shortcuts, so you’ll need to press two keys to hit an arrow key, for example.

We liked the feel of the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 while conducting tests for the best keyboards overall. While the 60% design isn’t for everyone, the smaller profile may be worth considering for gaming away from home or finding that perfect perched keyboard position

How to choose a mechanical keyboard

Key type plays a big role in the overall feel of the keyboard in your hands. Mechanical keys come in three main types, Free Geek’s Tom Gilmore explains:

  • Linear switches are a simple switch type. When you press a key, a circuit is completed, which is what gets that signal to the computer.
  • Tactile switches add a bump to a linear switch. This creates tactile feedback so you can physically feel that the key has been fully pressed.
  • Clicky switches are tactile switches but with auditory feedback as well. As the name suggests, you get a louder click with this switch type.

There’s more than just the basic switch type. Different types of switches will also vary depending on the amount of pressure that you need to use them. This creates variety even among, say, two tactile switches. Pressure sensitivity is measured in grams (g) or centinewtons (cN). “A lighter key (say 45 cN) will be easier to press than a heavier key (60 cN), which can be beneficial for writers or others who type a lot,” Gilmore said. “The lower pressure allows for a faster keypress and less finger fatigue —yes, that is a real thing — for a more efficient workday. A heavier key, however, gives a lot more feedback to the typist and can make people feel more connected to their computer and the work that they are doing.”

Many companies use Cherry switches. Cherry MX has several colors with different feels. The MX Red is quiet without feeling any physical feedback, MX Brown is quiet but tactile, and MX Blue has both physical and auditory feedback. Some companies design their own switches. Some people will prefer one type of switch over another. If you have no idea what type of switch you want, a switch sample costs around $20 and lets you test the sound and feel of different types. 

Outside of the keys, consider features like size and connectivity, and extras like a built-in wrist pad. “A built-in wrist pad keeps your wrist in a neutral position, not flexed or extended,” said Kevin Weaver, a clinical assistant professor of physical therapy at New York University.

What we are currently testing

  • Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT: With smooth typing and some gaming-focused macros, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT receives some good praise from the gaming community. It lacks the custom pressure keys and optical-mechanical design of the other $200 gaming keyboards on this list, however.
  • Razer Huntsman Mini: This keyboard is the Huntsman Elite but in a 60% size. Our first impressions of this option are good, though the build quality doesn’t quite seem to match up with the list price. Read our full Razer Huntsman Mini review.
  • SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL: The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is similar to the Apex Pro, but it uses standard mechanical switches and not customizable switches. It comes in the smaller tenkeyless design. If you don’t want the customization or numpad, you can save $70 and still get a great gaming keyboard.
  • Leopold FC900R: Recommended by Wirecutter, the Leopold FC900R has a lot of customization options for a full-sized keyboard. Reviewers also note the keyboard’s sturdy build.
Read the original article on Business Insider

How to connect a Magic Keyboard to an iPad so you can type on a physical keyboard instead of a touchscreen

person using tablet with keyboard typing ipad
Connecting a keyboard to your iPad makes typing easier and more convenient.

  • To connect the Magic Keyboard to your iPad, you need to first pair it via Bluetooth and have iOS 9.1 or later.
  • The process is different if you’re using the Magic Keyboard for iPad, which is designed to easily sync with your device through a magnetic connection.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Touchscreens can be great, but sometimes you just want the ease and comfort of a physical keyboard. For Apple users, that usually means using a Magic Keyboard with your iPad.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to connect it to your tablet.

How to use your iPad as a second monitor for your Windows computerHow to use keyboard shortcuts on your iPad or create your own, to type faster and more accuratelyYes, you can use a mouse with your iPad – here’s how to connect and use a Bluetooth mouseHow to connect an iPad to your TV in two different ways

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What is AFK’s meaning? The history behind the internet acronym and and how to use it in a chat

desktop computer work from home taking a break
AFK is a common acronym used to tell others when you’re offline.

  • AFK means “away from keyboard” in typing shorthand.
  • Its meaning can be literal or it can simply indicate that you aren’t online.
  • AFK is a helpful phrase for communal online spaces, when you want a quick way to communicate that you’re stepping away.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Feeling out of the loop is never fun, and seeing acronyms frequently thrown around online can easily invite that feeling. But taking a few seconds to learn them can help you quickly communicate information.

One such acronym is AFK. Here’s what you need to know to understand and use this acronym in your own online life.

AFK’s meaning

AFK is an acronym that means “away from keyboard.” But it’s primarily meant to convey that you won’t be available at your computer or device for a period of time. You can pair it with a time frame to communicate how long you will be away from your keyboard.

AFK’s origin

The AFK acronym has been around since the early days of internet culture, specifically in chat rooms in the 1990s.

It even dates back to an online news bulletin from FidoNews in 1989, alongside other emoticons and abbreviations. The newsletter defined AFK as “away from keys.”

It was later commonly used in the gaming community for online multiplayer games. You can still find it in various spaces on the internet, though it isn’t as widespread as it once was.

The acronym has had a bit of a resurgence, thanks to the game “Among Us,” in which idle players are often labeled as AFK.

Examples of how to use AFK

Like any other abbreviated term, AFK is easy to introduce into your online lexicon.

For example, if you’re taking a quick break, you might type “going afk brb” (read as: “going away from keyboard, be right back”).

Or if a friend is wondering where another person in the group is, you might type “she’s afk” to quickly let them know that person isn’t online.

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How to connect a Magic Keyboard to your Mac so you can type wirelessly

business professional using desktop mac computer typing keyboard
It’s easy to connect a Magic Keyboard to any Mac computer.

  • You can connect a Magic Keyboard to your Mac through Bluetooth or using the Lightning port and charging cable.
  • The first time you pair your devices, you’ll need to use the latter method, along with a Lightning-to-USB (or USB-C) cable, to create a connection, then turn on Bluetooth.
  • You may also need to get an adapter for the Lightning port method, depending on the computer you have.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Whether you’re using a Mac or MacBook, the Magic Keyboard can be a valuable tool for getting things done.

Here’s what you need to do to connect the keyboard to your computer so that you can start using it.

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The best keyboards of 2021

  • Ergonomics, wired or wireless, and other factors come into play when choosing a keyboard.
  • Our tips for choosing a keyboard will help you pick the right one for your setup.
  • The Das Keyboard 4Q is our pick for the best keyboard because of its unique notification system. 

When it comes to your home or office setup, a keyboard shouldn’t be an afterthought. You want something that’s comfortable and won’t strain your wrists, but there are also a lot of decisions to make. While there are a lot of inexpensive options, you don’t want to sacrifice comfort and support for something you use for hours every day.

If your computer doesn’t have a ton of USB ports, you might want to consider a wireless keyboard. Gamers will have a different set of priorities than someone who’s using a keyboard mainly for typing. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s compatible with all the devices you’ll use it with. 

Ergonomics are an important component of any good work or gaming setup. Be sure to factor in keyboard layouts and height, so they work with your typing style. Sound and key feel matter a lot to some people, with some preferring a clickier, responsive experience. Whatever your criteria are for a keyboard, you should find something on our list.

Here are our picks for the best keyboards:

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

 

The best keyboard overall

The Best keyboard Das Keyboard 4Q

The RGB backlighting on the Das Keyboard 4Q doubles as a notifications platform, you can get alerts on your keyboard.

Pros: Unique alert system, two USB ports 

Cons: Q software takes some getting used to

Many keyboards come with RGB backlighting, but the Das Keyboard 4Q puts it to use, letting the colors serve as notifications as reminders. The logo is dark and unobtrusive, so it looks more like a work keyboard than a gaming one, until all the lights start flashing. 

The Q utility allows you to set up individual keys to light up for reminders like Google Alerts and weather forecasts. You can even customize it so that the keyboard lights up if you’re tagged on social media or blinks when it’s time to take a break and move around. 

In its full review, PCMag says the Das Keyboard 4Q’s N-key rollover feature is what makes it perfect for people who need a keyboard that keeps up with them. The device packs a lot into its 18-by-6.8-inch layout. There are media controls in the top right, including a large volume knob. The switches are Cherry MX Brown, not quite as clicky as the MX Blue.

The Das Keyboard 4Q includes two USB ports and an instant sleep button, rounding out an already excellent feature set. 

The best gaming keyboard

best gaming keyboard Razer huntsman elite

The Razer Huntsman Elite gaming keyboard has optical switches designed for faster speed and performance. 

Pros: Optical switches, discrete media controls, wrist rest is very soft 

Cons: Keyboard takes up second USB port on your PC

Speed is essential for gaming keyboards, and that’s what the Razer Huntsman Elite offers with its optical switches. Instead of using metal contact leaves, it has a laser under every switch. It’s among the first gaming keyboards to feature the technology, which uses infrared light beams to detect keystroke actuation. 

While the Razer Huntsman Elite is a clicky switch, the click mechanism is separate from the switch’s actuation mechanism, making this ideal for rapid tapping. The switches have their own stabilizer bars to ensure consistent switch behavior no matter which corner you press. Each switch is rated to last 100 million keystrokes, according to Razer, compared to Cherry MX’s 50 million keystrokes.

You can easily program the Razer Huntsman Elite with Razer’s Synapse software, which allows for all keys and keypress combinations to be remapped for complicated commands. This should help with players of first-person shooters as well as various esports. 

Tom’s Guide raves that this keyboard is comfortable while maintaining a futuristic look, although they thought the light-up padded leather wrist rest was a little gaudy. The wrist rest magnetically attaches to the keyboard, so you don’t have to use it. 

For its hefty price tag, this keyboard boasts layers of personalization options and in-came effects like underglow lighting unlike any other.

The best ergonomic keyboard

Best ergonomic keyboard Logitech Ergo K860

The ergonomic design of the Logitech Ergo K860 can help support your wrists and improve posture. 

Pros: Terrific ergonomic design, comfortable palm rest, Bluetooth support for up to three devices

Cons: Ergonomic design takes getting used to, pricier than standard Bluetooth keyboards

Logitech’s wireless Ergo K860 is the best ergonomic keyboard we’ve used. Not only does it provide a more comfortable typing experience, it can help improve posture and alleviate wrist strain. 

The keyboard rises to a slope in the middle, and the layout of the alphanumeric keys is split apart. If this is your first ergonomic keyboard, you will have to get used to the different typing position, and you’ll probably make some mistakes for a bit. This design puts you in a proper typing position, as it reduces pronation, and places your arms, neck, and shoulders in a more relaxed posture as well. Logitech says the palm rest along the bottom can reduce wrist bending by 25%. Flip-out legs can tilt the keyboard even higher if needed. 

The Ergo K860 operates on two AAA batteries, which provides the keyboard with two years of power, according to Logitech. The device only connects to a computer wirelessly, either via Bluetooth or with a USB dongle that’s neatly stored beneath the keyboard. 

We tested the Ergo K860 with a MacBook Pro using Bluetooth. Set-up was quick and easy, and the keyboard quickly re-pairs every time we start up the laptop, without fail. It can pair with up to three Bluetooth devices. In addition to the MacBook Pro, we paired it with an iPhone and iPad, and we seamlessly switched between three without issues.

The keyboard is very lightweight, but the unique design does require annexing a bit of table surface. The plastic makes the Ergo K860 feel deceptively cheap, but from our experience, it’s well-made.

Insider Reviews Senior Editor Les Shu tested the keyboard for several months, and he hasn’t noticed significant improvements to his sitting posture (good workplace ergonomics requires more than just changing a keyboard), but the Ergo K860 has alleviated any pain or discomfort in his wrists. This was especially noticeable when he returned to using a non-ergonomic keyboard. While it is pricey for a keyboard, he thinks the ergonomic features are well-worth the cost.

The best multi-device keyboard

Best multi-device keyboard Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard

The Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard allows you to use tablets and other devices like a PC.

Pros: Easily share files among connected devices, soft keys for quiet typing

Cons: Circular keys may not be for everyone

If you want to turn your tablet into a computer, the Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard could be the right keyboard for the job. At 6.2 by 14.9 inches and less than an inch in height, it has a low profile and fairly compact footprint. A built-in cradle holds smartphones and tablets right above the keypad. You can connect to your devices via Bluetooth or use a USB receiver to connect to a laptop or desktop.

A Tom’s Guide review noted that its circular keycaps will be a turn-off for some users, but also says Logitech’s software offers a lot to make up for that. Logitech’s Flow technology allows for file-sharing from one device to another, as long as both are connected to the keyboard via Bluetooth. 

The keyboard’s customization options allow you to remap keys. The keyboard already has designated keys that allow you to switch back and forth between three connected devices. It does weight just under two pounds, so you might not want to lug it everywhere.

The best large-print keyboard

best large print keyboard Nuklz N

The Nuklz N Large Print Computer Keyboard makes typing easier for novice computer users or for those with visual impairments. 

Pros: Good for new typists and those with visual impairments, easy to use

Cons: Large footprint, no backlighting

The Nuklz N Large Print keyboard has high-contrast keys in large, bold type that are easier to see in low or dim lighting. It’s lightweight, and the keys are soft and quiet. There aren’t a ton of features, so there’s no backlighting, for example.  

The Nuklz N connects via a USB cable, so you’ll need an available port to use it. In order to make it highly visible, some keys, like delete, are abbreviated, so it may take some time to familiarize yourself with them. 

The keyboard is on the large side, measuring 18 by 7 inches, and it’s 1.5 inches tall. It weighs just over a pound. 

The best portable keyboard

best portable keyboard Ikos Bluetooth Folding keyboard

When folded, the Ikos Bluetooth Folding Keyboard is smaller than an iPhone 6 Plus. 

Pros: Lightweight, folds up fairly small, good battery life 

Cons: Keyboard layout may be a deal breaker for some

The Ikos Bluetooth Folding keyboard is a bifold-style portable keyboard that has a tactile feel when typing. Slim and lightweight, it’s half a pound and measures 11.54 by 3.32 inches. It’s 0.47 inches thick when you fold it up.

A two-hour charge produces 80 hours of battery life, about two months on standby mode. Its case doubles as a stand for your phone or tablet, but it works remotely with devices that are about 30 feet away. 

If you’re using multiple devices, this keyboard’s built-in memory feature will track and remember those connections. You can switch back and forth between three devices by toggling between slots. Because it folds up, the Ikos keyboard has a gap in the middle of the keys. That may take some getting used to when you’re typing. 

Some reviewers pointed out that you’ll need a hard, flat surface to use the keyboard and noted that unfolding and folding the unit doesn’t turn it on or off; you will have to do that manually. 

The best quiet keyboard

best quiet keyboard HP Wireless Elite Keyboard V2

The HP Wireless Elite Keyboard V2 opts for quiet over clicks. 

Pros: Nearly silent typing, battery indicator light 

Cons: Uses 2 AAA batteries instead of rechargeable ones

Some people love the click and clack of a keyboard, but others will prefer the quiet of the HP Wireless Elite V2. One of the reasons this keyboard is so quiet is its scissor-style keys, which have a silent, spring-like rebound. 

The full-size keyboard is 17.28 by 6.02 inches and 0.61 inches high. It can connect to up to five devices at once and has a 16-month battery life, though it runs on 2 AAA batteries you’ll have to replace. An indicator light illuminates when they’re running low. 

This keyboard’s wireless connection allows you to move it around to find the right typing distance, within a 30-foot radius. There are hotkeys dedicated to volume control and other desktop features, as well as additional media playback controls. 

In its review, PC World noted that the V2 responds quickly and quietly to each keystroke and is very comfortable to type on.

How to choose a keyboard

Our top pick is a great keyboard, but it won’t be right for everyone. Some people might need an ergonomic keyboard or prefer wireless options. Here are some basic features you’ll want to think about when selecting a keyboard. 

What are you using it for: The first question to ask yourself is how you’ll be using your keyboard. Gamers will want responsive keyboards, while someone doing a lot of data entry won’t want a layout without a numeric keypad. Some keyboards make it easy to switch between devices, so that’s important to take into consideration if you’re looking to use yours with a laptop, phone, and tablet, for example. 

Ergonomics and layout: If you find yourself with a lot of wrist pain during the day, you might get some relief with an ergonomic keyboard. These are shaped very differently from a flat keyboard. They curve upward in the middle and separate the keys into two groups. That means you’ll have to get used to a new way of typing. Folding keyboards will also split up keys. If you’re used to typing on a Macbook, you might want to look for keyboards with a similar layout or one that you can remap; the order of some keys is different for Mac and PC keyboards. 

Wired or wireless: You’ll never have to worry about your keyboard suddenly running out of battery if you use a wired keyboard, but they also take up valuable port space. If your laptop doesn’t have room for something to be always plugged into it, then wireless might be right for you. You’ll want to make sure your devices are compatible with the keyboard as well. 

Mechanical keyboards: Mechanical keyboards are big with gamers, because of their responsiveness. Their design does make them louder, however. The type of switch will make the sound level and feel of the key different. A mechanical key tester can give you an idea of what it’s like to type with different switches. 

 

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