There are hundreds of keyboards out there, each offering a unique combination of features and styles. There’s no perfect keyboard for everyone, though, and finding the right one requires you to take stock of your setup and specific needs. Once you’re ready to ditch the cheap keyboard that came with your computer, you’ll discover a new way to type—not just faster and more accurately, but with a newfound sense of comfort and satisfaction. Hey, anything that can make work more enjoyable is worth a shot.

Battery Life: Thankfully, battery life is a strong suit in the wireless keyboards we tested. Many models boast impressive longevity, lasting several weeks on a single charge. However, keep in mind that features like backlighting can be a battery drain. If you prefer the glow of illuminated keys—what, are you working in the dark?—expect battery life to range from 10 to 20 hours with the brightness cranked up. Most backlit keyboards offer adjustable brightness or even auto-off to conserve battery.

Higher-end Bluetooth keyboards often come with built-in rechargeable batteries that can last for weeks if you’re willing to forego a backlight. You can keep them powered while you type or charge them overnight for continued use the next day. More budget-friendly options typically use AA or AAA batteries. While replacing these batteries can be a hassle, some models can squeeze months of battery life on a single set. To avoid any downtime, we recommend keeping a spare pack of batteries on hand.

Keyboard Size: Keyboards come in a surprising number of sizes, catering to both minimalists and those who crave a comprehensive layout. The classic full-size keyboard offers everything, including a number pad for data, making it ideal for heavy data entry. Tenkeyless (TKL) keyboards keep the core layout but ditch the number pad, freeing up desk space for a streamlined setup without sacrificing the essentials. Compact keyboards are similar to what you’d get in a laptop keyboard, sacrificing the number pad and scrunching the arrow keys to the bottom right.

For ultimate minimalism, some keyboards forego function keys, arrow keys, and the number pad entirely, focusing solely on core alphanumeric keys and punctuation. Finding your ideal size boils down to your needs, preferences, and current setup. Consider the work you do, how you’ll use the keyboard, and how much space you have. If you’re unsure, a tenkeyless keyboard offers a great middle ground, balancing functionality with a space-saving design.

Switch type: While it might seem like an overly technical detail, the type of switch under each key actually plays a big role in how your keyboard feels to type on. Mechanical switches are considered the gold standard by typing enthusiasts (we exist!), offering exceptional durability and deep customization. There are a variety of styles, including liner, tactile, and clicky, the latter of which results in a tactile bump and an audible click sound. There are different variations of these three styles, but we won’t get too into the weeds here. Just know that mechanical keyboards are great for enthusiasts. But, they can be noisy and potentially disturbing those around you in a shared workspace.

Meanwhile, scissor switches prioritize thinness, making them ideal for laptops and slim keyboards. They’re also very quiet for office or library work. While compact and reliable, scissor switches offer less travel for your fingers, which can make them less comfortable for extended typing sessions.

OS support: Finally, while most keyboards can connect to Windows and Mac computers, keep in mind some options feature layouts made specifically for a particular operating system. Manufacturers will generally tell you whether the keyboard is specifically for Windows or Mac. If you’re unsure, Windows keyboards typically have Ctrl, Alt, and a Windows Key. Meanwhile, a Mac keyboard will have Command, Option, and Control keys.

Getting a keyboard that’s made specifically for your computer’s OS can ensure seamless integration, optimized functionality, and a more intuitive user experience. By selecting a keyboard designed for your computer’s OS, you’ll be able to fully leverage its unique features, shortcuts, and commands, ultimately enhancing your productivity.

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