Best keyboards for 2013
Discover the best keyboards to buy for your computer
Considering how much time we spend tapping away at our keyboards, it’s surprising how many of us stick with the cheap thing our PC manufacturer threw in the box to keep the overall price down. Perhaps it’s time your keyboard got a little bit of the attention you normally devote to your other peripherals?
Here we’ve looked at a range of keyboards designed to make your fingers feel better, to add new functions to your PC or to let you kick back and relax as you surf. If you’re still using a bog-standard model, you should find something here that’s worth the upgrade.
Matias Quiet Pro
The first thing you’ll notice about this keyboard is its weight – it’s heavy and won’t slip around on your desk. The weight comes from the components inside. It’s a mechanical keyboard, which means each of the keys has its own dedicated switch that can send information to the computer independently.
The keyboard is an absolute dream to type on: the keys move down with a very tactile but gentle click. As its name suggests, it’s also quiet to type on. The mechanical switches are still louder than typing on the non-mechanical keyboards we’ve reviewed here, but compared to the Filco keyboard, it’s very quiet.
There are no headline-grabbing gimmicks on this keyboard but it has three USB ports, which operate as a mini-hub, so you can plug devices and storage into it.
Filco Majestouch 2
It’s not until you use this keyboard from Filco that you realise how noisy a mechanical keyboard can be. Typing on it made such a racket that it disturbed the people sitting around us in the office. However, it’s extremely satisfying to type on: despite the heavy clicks, you hardly have to press the keys at all.
The device itself couldn’t look more standard. It’s a USB keyboard but it comes with a PS/2 adapter, if you have that option on your PC.
Although it isn’t as good as the Matias Quiet Pro, it’s significantly better than all the other keyboards we tested. It’s expensive for a keyboard with no added extras, but it is a pleasure to type on. It’s noisy though, so you might want to use it in a room on your own.
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
The Logitech K400 is a wireless keyboard pitched at laptop users who plug their laptop into their TV. With a laptop-style touch pad in the place where the number pad would normally be, you can use both the keyboard and mouse while reclining on the sofa.
The touchpad works well and is big enough to use comfortably. There’s an extra mouse button in the top left so you can move the cursor with your right hand while pressing the button on the left, keeping the keyboard well balanced.
The keyboard itself feels cramped. The keys lie very low, with very little travel, and we found it too easy to hit more than one key at a time. The cursor keys have been shuffled in under the Enter key, reducing the size of essential keys such as Enter and Shift.
Ghosting - the phenomenon of multiple simultaneous keystrokes not being recognised (when playing games, for example) - wasn’t too bad. We found certain key combinations that would only let us press three keys at a time, though others were happy with six key presses.