Best Keyboards For Work From Home

I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with keyboards. 

You know the first thing I look at when I look at a new laptop? How does the keyboard feel to type on? Mechanical, membrane, chiclet, a brand new concept – I want to try. Hell, I even purchased a typewriter just because I wanted to experience how it feels to type on.

So, when this entire COVID situation started, I set out to find the best possible keyboard for my home office. Primarily because like most of you I don’t have a separate desktop and sitting all day slouched on a laptop just didn’t feel right. Now, I live in India, because of which a lot of keyboards are just not available here. Given these constraints, I got to work and here are my recommendations for the best keyboards you can buy (At least those available in the Indian market)

In this article, I’ll take you through the most important parameters for me, and my suggestions for picking a good keyboard for your home office. 

BTW while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out my article on setting up a productive Home Office. 

Things to Consider

Feel

When I refer to feel, I am talking about how it feels to type on. There are three major kinds of keyboards you can purchase – Mechanical, Membrane and chiclet-style. 

The first parameter you’ll have to consider is feel. Which do you prefer? 

Depends on the use case, my suggestion is this: 

Greater 5,000 words per day typed – Mechanical – Clickity clackity keyboards

Between 2500 to 5000 words per day – Chiclet – Found in most laptops

Less than 2500 words per day – Membrane – Soft, affordable keyboards

These aren’t scientific numbers, these are just numbers which I have found to be the right amount without causing strain on your fingers.  

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think mechanical keyboards are best for everyone. Most research shows that people end up typing faster on membrane keyboards but, mechanical keyboards put to least amount of strain on your fingers which allow you to type longer and prevent RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)

Ergonomics

One of the most important parameter to consider for long term keyboard usage. 

  • Angle Keyboard must have a good angle to minimise load on your wrists. 
  • Wrist position If you get a split keyboard – although in the beginning, it may seem a bit much, long term this is your best option for elbows and shoulder.
  • Height – The keyboard you pick should not be too high. 

Now, here’s the problem. For whatever reason, good ergonomic keyboards in India are hard to find. The ones on Amazon and Flipkart constantly go out of stock and take forever to deliver.

RSI

RSI stands for repetitive strain injury.

In the simplest of words, if you are someone who types a lot, you’ll at some point feel your fingers getting sore. This is basically RSI – the constant motion of hitting keys will at some point affect your fingers. 

Now, a simple solution to help with this is to avoid chicklet and membrane style keyboards. Mechanical keyboards are your best bet for long term RSI. 

I highly recommend using them if you type anything over 5000 words per day.

If you’re a coder or a writer, this is a no brainer. 

Size and Weight

For size, you get small cramped keyboards or a full-size keyboard. For your home office, it’s a no brainer – look to buy a full-size keyboard.

Trust me, your elbows, fingers and wrists will thank you. 

For weight, my personal preference is having a heavy keyboard so that it doesn’t move around. 

Sound

This is a simple parameter to consider. If you’re sharing your work from home workspace with your partner/ sibling then do not invest in Chiclet or mechanical keyboard. 

Membrane keyboards tend to be very quiet and will keep the sound to a minimum. 

Lighting

If you’re planning on using your keyboard at night, a little bit of backlighting will help a lot. 

The problem is most keyboards which have this feature (and are affordable) are gaming keyboards. 

Well, for this I have a recommendation, learn how to touch type. There are plenty of free websites which will show you how and the best part is that investing your time in learning how to touch type will pay you huge dividends (in terms of time savings) going forward. 

Here are some touching websites I recommend. 

Wired or Wireless

This parameter is very difficult to answer. Here’s the thing, nothing beats the responsiveness of a good wired keyboard. Although some incredible wireless keyboards have come close, in terms of sheer responsiveness – wired keyboards take the cake.

Here are some advantages or wired keyboards: 

  • No need to charge/ replace any batteries
  • Tend to be full-sized keyboards
  • Instantly connect and are ready to use from keystroke
  • Cheaper

But wired keyboards are not without any disadvantages, here are a few: 

  • Wire management is a nightmare
  • You lose a USB port. Please keep in mind that most laptops have one or two USB ports so you end up losing a USB port
  • Difficult to find a tenkeyless option 
  • Moving around or typing from a distance is a no-no

Let’s look at some advantages of wireless keyboards

  • Tend to be more portable
  • Use multiple devices
  • Take lesser space when compared to wired
  • You can buy combos which work with a single connector

Here are some disadvantages to keep in mind

  • Not as responsive as a wired option
  • Batteries! – replacing or recharging

Combo or not?

If you’re also in the market for a mouse, do consider some incredible keyboard and mouse combos. Logitech especially has combos at all prices ranges. 

Number Pad

This is an important thing to keep in mind. If you work On a lot of spreadsheets, look for keyboards with number pads – but also important to consider that if you don’t need a number pad, do look into some tenkeyless options, here are some of the advantages: 

  • More ergonomic 
  • Cheaper (for some very specific models)
  • Less space

Common places companies cut corners (to reduce cost)

This is something you should keep in mind as you’ll see a lot of difference in costs as you start researching. 

  • Keycap thickness
  • Plastic braces
  • Springs
  • Bluetooth version
  • Keycap lettering
  • Angle brackets (those things which keep breaking :/)
  • Subpar mechanical switches

Best Budget

So, here is a list of budget keyboards in each of the categories. 

Wired

Chicklet

I am confident you’ve seen these keyboard around in your offices. It’s a good reliable keyboard which gets the job done. 

Dell KB216 Wired Multimedia USB Keyboard – https://amzn.to/3oneB8p

Mechanical

If you’ve been to any bank in India, I’ll guarantee you’ll find this mechanical keyboard. It’s an excellent mechanical keyboard… I just have one major problem, they don’t use Cherry switches anymore 🙁 if you purchased this before 5-6 years, consider yourself lucky.  

TVS E-Gold Mechanical keyboard – https://amzn.to/37rqCTu 

Membrane

In terms of just sheer comfort of typing, this keyboard takes the cake. It’s so comfortable to type on that you won’t believe it costs less than Rs. 600

Logitech Wired Keyboard – https://amzn.to/36DjrIJ 

Wireless/ Bluetooth

Chicklet

Targus Bluetooth Keyboard – https://amzn.to/36z5Ku3

Mechanical

Unfortunately, there aren’t any good wireless mechanical keyboards in India.

Membrane

Logitech K375s – This is actually the keyboard I am using to type right now and I have been very very happy using it for almost 1.5 years now 🙂 

https://amzn.to/3mz5jWp

Best Overall

Wired

Chicklet

Lenovo Essential wired keyboard – this is a keyboard I enjoy because it’s closest to the ThinkPad series of laptops. It works really well and the delete key – the way it looks, absolutely love it. 

https://amzn.to/36zch8f

Mechanical

Logitech G413 Keyboard

This is a keyboard I absolutely adore. In my eyes it’s the best mechanical keyboard you can buy, has all the right features and just feels premium. Of course, there are a lot of other keyboards you can buy which may give you better results in specific categories like look or feel or typing speed but the G413 in my eyes is the best overall mechanical keyboard you can buy (in India)

https://amzn.to/3geZjjj

Membrane

Logitech G213 Keyboard

Now, this keyboard looks and feels like the Logitech G213 Keyboard, but it’s actually a membrane keyboard. I love the backlighting and the fact that it has a comfortable wrist rest. 

https://amzn.to/2JFtN1s

Wireless/ Bluetooth

Chicklet

Logitech K380

Although this keyboard is rarely in stock, I think it has everything you’ll look for in a good wireless keyboard. 

https://amzn.to/33CL6aF

Mechanical

Now, I am warning you that this keyboard will take time to delivery, but it’s well worth the wait. The Keychron K2

https://bit.ly/3qmoLI4

Membrane

Logitech MK850

One of the most comfortable keyboards to type on. 

https://amzn.to/3mC5Arl

Best Ergonomic

Wired

Chicklet

Microsoft has made some incredible keyboards, and their sculpt line of keyboards are some of the best in the market. This is the sculpt ergonomic keyboard – looks futuristic and incredibly comfortable for your wrists to type on.

https://amzn.to/36DJ10d

Mechanical

This keyboard, although not exclusively available in India, is a great option for anyone looking at a split mechanical keyboard. 

https://amzn.to/3fZNays

Membrane

This was one of the earliest ergonomic keyboards made by Microsoft and to this day is a really good option for those suffering from wrist pain and RSI

https://amzn.to/37yIdbU

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t buy a top gaming mechanical keyboard. It’s not for everyone
  • Check Bluetooth version – Bluetooth 5 and 6 are low energy
  • If you’re using a Mac – Make sure you have the cmd and option keys – and the keyboard supports the keyboard

Frequently Asked Question

What is the best keyboard for typing fast?

Membrane keyboards – Typically speaking you can achieve highest speeds on membrane keyboards

What is the best type of keyboard for typing?

Overall experience – there’s no doubt it’s mechanical keyboards

Which is the most comfortable keyboard for typing?

Mechanical keyboards are most comfortable keyboards to type on

What are the types of keyboards?

Commonly available keyboards in the market fall under these categories – Mechanical, Chicklet and Membrane

Which keyboard for RSI?

For Repetitive strain injury (RSI) mechanical keyboards are the best

Which is the best brand for keyboards?

In my opinion these are the best brands – Logitech, Corsair, DAS, Lenovo (specifically thinkpad)

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Nikhil

Nikhil

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