Admit it—you hate typing on that chiclet-style laptop keyboard. We don’t blame you. A whopping 80% of computers nowadays area laptops. We’re always on the go, always moving around—shouldn’t our equipment do the same? Your wireless keyboard is an extension of your business, of how you conduct yourself online, and in your work. You need a versatile, easy-to-pack keyboard that’s not going to bother you with second-rate battery lifespans.
The Best Wireless Keyboard
Logitech is climbing the top of our list. With their exceptional wireless keyboard and mouse combination package, you can use this for so much more than simple typing. The programmable hotkeys are optimal if you’re in the market for a wireless gaming keyboard—set specific game functions in a snap with their included booklet right in the packaging.
This wireless keyboard gives you all the functions you need, including your numpad, all without being too heavyweight. The chassis is durable and thicker than most, but comes with that assurance of strength. You won’t need to hop online to buy a new keyboard if this one hits the floor a few times. To save on manufacturing materials and keep the keyboard as compact as can be, they eliminated much of the bezel on this model.
Long battery life
Contoured laser mouse
- Weight8.8 ounces
Extremely cost-effective wireless keyboard and mouse; an overall cheap wireless keyboard combo with great usability.
Programmable hotkeys will make your tasks half-automated if you know how to use them correctly. The booklet that comes with that package deal incudes information on how to utilize these keys.
Navigating their consumer software for cross-platform availability on their website can be a bit of a task.
When you’re always on the move, working and getting tasks done can be quite the challenge. A wireless keyboard would help you comfortably get those notes in without having to be physically seated right before the computer. The AmazonBasics Wireless Computer Keyboard and Mouse Combo offer even more by providing a seamless and efficient way to get work done comfortably. We are in a time where the work environment is getting less confined to an office space or desk and are more open. Whether it’s at an actual office, or a public space where people gather to eat, meet and get their work done, the compact keyboard allows easy portability to and fro without being to bogus to carry around. This also provides the advantage of being suitably discreet while typing; the keys are soft and promise to keep the tapping on an extreme low.
It’s quite sturdy for the price, and weighs something close to two pounds; however, it’s best to take this one around in a bag that has extra padding. It might be portable and compact, but the length manages to fit in all the letters, alphanumerical keys, function keys and a number pad. What’s more, the design equally includes hotkeys for music, the home, e-mail, play/pause, and volume buttons; quite generous right? In addition, there are LED indicators that show when Caps and number locks are on or when the battery is running low. And to power this keyboard, just two AAA batteries are needed and you’re ready to plug and play. Furthermore, to connect the keyboard to a working computer, internet TV or laptop, simply use the provided USB receiver – installing honestly takes seconds; once the receiver is in, keyboard functionality follows almost immediately. Overall, the keyboard is comfortable to use, soft on the touch with an ergonomic design that comes with flip-down legs in case you want to elevate it. It’s also a responsive, easy-to-use and incredibly silent keyboard with a mouse that delivers the same top-notch performance.
Extra-quiet keyboard and mouse
Compatible with Windows 7,8 and 10
128-bit AES encryption
12 hot multimedia keys
- Weight1.17 pounds
For sure, Logitech is known for its legacy of producing top-notch computer accessories and keyboards that effortlessly stand out when it comes to performance, innovative designs and function. Equally, the Logitech MX keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated Keyboard is designed with the multi-tasker in mind. The individual who wants to get through tasks and programs, quick, uniquely and successfully with the convenient the MX delivers. It’s designed to enhance comfort on the go, with an ergonomically shaped form that should appeal to creatives alike. When you’re trying to discover the next big thing, or just build on a current platform, diligence is key. As a reward for all that hard work, the MX keyboard provides a comfortable and customizable base that is both easy to work with and efficient. The low-profile keyboard will viably and reliably pair with up to three computers at the same time without compromising on productivity and superior performance.
No doubt, it’s the mastermind’s multi-purpose tool for achieving challenging tasks with just one work mode. Unlike most keyboards made with 100% plastic, the MX keys are placed on a smooth and refined metal plate for enhanced durability. What’s more, the make does tell on the general weight, which makes it more suitable for stationary use on a tabletop. Additionally, the MX comes with sensors that detect proximity; they acknowledge your presence by lighting up when your hands are close to the keyboard. The lights fade out when your hands move away from its surface, there’s also an indicator light for the battery level and onscreen notifications. When it comes down to a modern, multi-functional keyboard that delivers precision and innovative performance, the MX is not just another option, it’s the supreme choice.
Logitech Unifying Receiver
Compatible with both PC’s and Macs
Connects up to 3 devices
- Weight1.9 pounds
HP never ceases to create great products, though they don’t create them often. HP Wireless Elite Wireless Keyboard is one of their most responsive keyboards to date. You get all the excellent function of volume control and muting from your keyboard, though it doesn’t come with all too many more keys. For those of you who absolutely need a numpad and don’t want to compromise when it comes to a wireless keyboard, you needn’t look further. HP is known for producing full-sized keyboards and computer mice for ages; they don’t appear to be a fan of compact designs.
While Bluetooth is usually the connectivity choice by just about every consumer on the market, this keyboard runs off of a radio receiver. However, this keyboard from the year 2011 still remains a hot item on the market for its durable chassis and excellent responsiveness. The keyboard is lightweight and strictly comes in all black.
Low-profile stand-alone keys
Battery life indicator lights
Compatible with Windows XP and Vista/7
- Weight1.54 pounds
Responsiveness and connection reliability get an A+ rating.
The LED battery indicator light is the perfect way to never be caught with a dead keyboard battery.
Basic functionality for the price point. While it is reliable, we would have liked to see some more additional functions.
Value, usage, and everything in between—one of our top picks comes down to the K360 by Logitech, the best cheap keyboard on the market that doesn’t skimp on key features. You’ll be able to enjoy this model as a wireless gaming keyboard. Hailed as some of the best computer keyboard makers on the market, Logitech delivers a great user experience no matter what you need in a wireless keyboard.
You get a full three-year battery life with this glossy black-finish keyboard, and every key you’ll ever need to achieve a full effect. The keyboard remains compact while offering a fully-functional numpad, F keys and even volume control, volume muting, and media playback keys.
- Weight1.5 pounds
Comes with the necessary 2 AA batteries, and plugs right in with no extra software download necessary. You won’t need to change the batteries for three years.
The price point will have you wondering why they don’t charge more for such a fantastic wireless keyboard.
Users have reported issues with the on/off switch, though it is covered by Logitech’s warranty, it is still an inconvenience.
When it comes to keyboards compatible with Apple products, most of the big companies don’t know what they’re doing; in very rare exceptions does a third-party company create an excellent wireless keyboard for iPad or Mac systems. Apple has taken their line of keyboards and mice extremely seriously, and as such, they’ve been outputting fantastic products.
The classic white wireless keyboard for Apple products gets a little bit of a facelift with this model; the bezel and inlay between framed keys get a medium-gray tone, which is definitely a nice touch-up to how Apple usually makes their products. You don’t get a numpad with this model, but you do get excellent Bluetooth connectivity. For as long as Apple has been making wireless keyboards, they’ve been making them Bluetooth-enabled.
- Weight1.28 ounces
One of Apple’s most accurate white wireless keyboards to date. Virtually no lag between typing and seeing onscreen results.
Versatility depending on which version of Max’s OS you have installed.
Price point is a bit high considering competitors in the same size/lightweight
We get mixed reviews on the longevity of the battery source; two AA’s.
Logitech’s premier wireless keyboard with touchpad: the K400. This is the display model you’re most likely to see in-store, partially because it’s their most reliable model to date. Despite this model initially premiering in 2011, it’s still voted one of the top wireless keyboard with touchpad systems out there, and it’s exactly why Logitech hasn’t retired this model from manufacturing.
You get an impressive range of up to 33 feet away from your device, which is useful for hooking this keyboard up to your SmartTV or streaming device of choice. It’s compatible with almost every type of services (Roku, Google TV, etc.) and comes fully-equipped with plug and play. No downloading driver software from the Logitech website to get started.
- Weight12.6 ounces
Extremely reliable connectivity; Logitech’s famous selling point. Relatively no transmission interference.
The fact that this is a wireless keyboard with touchpad nullifies the ability to have a numpad. Depending on how important that feature is to you, it could be a gamechanger.
Game on a budget and in style. Backlit keyboards are mostly associated with gamers, but they’re useful for multiple occasions. If you’re up late at night and don’t want to wake up the whole house by turning the parlor light on, or what have you—you need a backlit keyboard. While you’re at it, why settle on just having a backlit wireless keyboard? Add some color.
Arteck’s unique standpoint is their ability to bring us two brightness levels and seven different colors, all for an extremely affordable price. Cost points are all good and well, but what about function? Buying a cheap wireless keyboard doesn’t mean it has to lack in quality. Arteck has come up with the perfect solution.
- Weight7.7 ounces
A very versatile and cheap wireless keyboard for all of your needs; great for travel.
You get to choose between seven different colors, depending on your preference. Enjoy backlighting at an insanely low cost.
Keyboard chassis is extremely thin and fragile.
While the backlighting is great and the battery life is promising, read the fine print. The six month plan is based on not using the backlighting, and only utilizing the keyboard for two hours per day.
We’ve got plenty of Logitech devices on our list here, and it’s clear to see why: they’re the leaders when it comes to staying on top of the market for consumer tech. Whether it’s a backlit wireless keyboard, backlighting, or anything in between, they know their stuff. The Wave Combo is nothing shy of their expertise.
When it comes to the mouse, you get a fairly basic design, but optimized for the ambidextrous user. It’s comfortable to use, and most importantly, shares an excellent battery life with the keyboard. Each get up to a whopping three years without needing a charge. At that point, you may have forgotten altogether that you even needed to charge this phenomenal wireless keyboard and mouse combo.
- Weight3.8 pounds
You’ll be able to type away all night long without risking hand cramps and a distressed wrist. One of the most comfortable designs by far.
Cost-effective and extremely versatile for every possible need: gaming, work, and more.
Logitech did a great job going for the ergonomic design, however, there’s a lot of additional plastic on the keyboard with no use.
Logitech; the innovators of everything we know and love, have done it again with a cost-effective backlit keyboard. Not only does K800 backlit keyboard come with a fully-integrated set of keys, including numpad, but it’s also boasting a battery with no need for replacements. You charge this wireless keyboard with a USB cable right to your desktop tower or laptop, and it holds ten days worth of continuous charge.
Logitech is also great on providing long-lasting, extensive warranties for their devices. You get a three-year limited warranty on the hardware. Logitech’s lineup mostly consist of Microsoft-ready devices; their compatibility to Mac products has definitely been lacking. Logitech is also pushing the boundaries on backlighting, making some of them solar-powered and backlit, as well as configuring an ergonomic design for maximum comfortability. Logitech’s K800 packs a serious punch as one of the best backlit wireless keyboard products of the year. So sit back in your gaming chair and let the games begin!
- Weight2.2 pounds
Backlit keyboards are big with gamers, but it’s also useful when you’re in the hotel room late at night and don’t want to wake the wife while you’re getting those reports done. (Or gaming.)
The keyboard’s big and bulky, and while it’s more designed as a desktop-use keyboard, part of the versatility of having a backlit wireless keyboard is the ability to easily and compactly pick it up and put it in your suitcase for the weekend.
You have to have internet access readily available to download the software for the keyboard.
One of the most premier wireless keyboard and mouse combinations that Microsoft has ever put out has to be the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop. You won’t be carrying this keyboard in your suitcase, but you’ll have excellent power and durability while you’re at your desktop at home. While it is lightweight, the addition of a proper numpad excludes it from being travel-ready. It’s a lightweight build, with a mouse that’s designed for either right-handed users, or left-handed.
This can also hookup to Android devices, such as Google TV or your Android smartphone, making it way easier to send text messages or surf for your favorite shows and movies on Netflix. The keyboard keeps excellent accuracy due to the frames keys, and saves space by not leaving a wide bezel. Even the escape and F keys are right along the edge of this keyboard, giving you a full-range wireless keyboard and mouse without having to compromise on the amount of varying keys, or the size of your mouse.
- Weight2.35 pounds
The mouse is extremely accurate and comes with an ambidextrous format.
Lightweight design makes it easy to take from PC to PC in your home. While it’s not recommended for travel (per our buyers guide below,) it is compact enough that if you really wanted to, you could bring it along for your business trip.
Slightly higher price point than most Microsoft combinations, (but an excellent buy for the money spent).
Microsoft has been known to bring us exquisite technological products for ages, and they don’t disappoint when it comes to, what many big manufacturers call “small potatoes” such as focusing on keyboard design and manufacturing. One of our absolute favorite parts about Microsoft’s lineup are their versatility; this all-in-one device is the perfect wireless gaming keyboard, despite it’s presence of flashy RGB light-up buttons.
It’s comfortable to type on, and that’s one of the most features that is absolutely paramount when hunting down a new wireless keyboard with touchpad. Microsoft Wireless is optimal for numerous tasks, and can even connect to your Windows phone for easier text messaging. It does comes with a few handy features along the side, such as volume control, and volume muting. For the most part, you’re looking at some basic features, with some extraordinary effects. The battery on this wireless keyboard will last you up to nine months—for it’s versatility, that’s exceptional compared to some other models. Make sure you also check our guide to the best mechanical keyboards for gaming for more great items like this.
- Weight1.39 pounds
Extremely reliable wireless keyboard with touchpad.
Comfortable typing; no sore wrists after extended periods of typing.
Though it’s advertised as being perfectly easy to use with your Microsoft Xbox device, it’s actually a bit awkward to use on-the-go or in a comfortable position.
Logitech invented the first-ever wireless computer keyboard, and they haven’t stopped innovating since. With their ever-growing lineup of wireless keyboards, they’ve also been one of the first to adapt to solar-powered technology implemented into all of your computer technology. We all remember those ineffective solar-powered calculators from back in the day, right? Since then, solar energy and the methods in which we use to capture it have come a very long way.
Despite the standard keyboard design, it’s extremely comfortable to type on. Logitech Wireless Solar also comes with an on/off switch, so you’re not wasting your charge while away from the keyboard. (The only difficult part of this is remembering to turn it off.) One of the stigmas on wireless keyboards: connectivity reliability. You need to be able to trust that your connection won’t dip when you’re in the middle of a lightning-speed typing session for that paper that’s due, or when you’re in the middle of dungeoneering in an RPG. Logitech has one of the best ratings for keeping a reliable connection during anything you may be doing. If you are into solar-powered technology, then make sure to check out our best solar phone chargers review.
- Weight2 pounds
Extremely versatile and comfortable to type on.
Excellent portability despite it’s size.
If you’re a Mac user, you’ll be paying roughly 15% more for the white wireless keyboard designed for Apple products.
Solar charge take a while to actually take effect.
Sick and tired of using your Roku remote or Google Android TV remote to manually scroll across the onscreen keyboard? So are we. This Aerb 2.4GHz Mini wireless keyboard is designed like a Microsoft Xbox or Sony PlayStation keyboard attachment. Small and compact enough to handle, easy to use and readily available to cut down your streaming device search.
For connecting this handy, cheap wireless keyboard, all you need to do is attach the receiver via USB to your streaming device or SmartTV, and fire away. You don’t have to have this device eating up any Wi-Fi data to work. This device comes with a trackpad for scrolling across the screen for actually selecting the results from your search criteria.
- Weight4.2 ounces
Extremely versatile and comfortable to type on.
Excellent portability despite it’s size.
If you’re a Mac user, you’ll be paying roughly 15% more for the white wireless keyboard designed for Apple products.
Solar charge take a while to actually take effect.
Wireless Keyboard Buyers Guide and FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Wireless Keyboards
Whether you’re a high-roller, looking at a low budget, or you’re just in need of a cheap wireless keyboard, you need to know what you’re looking for, and how to spot the good models from the bad. With a trained eye, you’ll be able to pick the perfect wireless keyboard for you every single time.
Switches - Many consider them to be just as important as the keys themselves. Essentially, they are the keys foundation. If you go with a mechanical keyboard, you’ll get a longer life on your switches (and yours keys,) and you’ll be able utilize a stronger warranty if something should happen. Your mechanical keyboard switches can have as much as 20X the warranty (sixty-million keystrokes instead of three-million keystroke for membrane switches).
Design - We’re all familiar with the QWERTY layout, but it’s more than just how the keys are arranged. If you use your keyboard full-time, whether you’re a gamer, writer, or you have to use it for business, you want a comfortable, ergonomic design that’s not going to cramp up your hands. Look for the layout of the keys, as well as the physical build.
Portability - Wireless keyboard for the travelling businessman? Weight, size, and portability are all important factors. Be sure to pay attention to product weight (not just shipping weight,) and how versatile it is. If you need to get in a few emails at the breakfast bar at the hotel, you don’t want to haul out an oversized keyboard. If you’re like many laptop users, the built-in keyboard simply isn’t for you. Pay attention to the dimensions as well.
Note: Wireless keyboards without a numpad are significantly smaller and more portable.
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse - For any keyboard wireless functionality is essential. Even if you’ve always been more of a USB keyboard kind of consumer, the benefits of a wireless keyboard and mouse outweigh the need for a clunky USB keyboard. When you get a wireless keyboard and mouse combo, you don’t have to bother searching for a pairing mouse and holding up all those USB slots. Why should you? Use one receiver for your wireless keyboard and mouse and you won’t have a tangle of wires all over the places.
Unique Features - Many different manufacturers set their products apart with customizable keys, or specific media playback keys. Whether it’s solar-powered, backlit, or a wireless keyboard with touchpad, you’ll be shown the one unique feature that sets their product apart from others. This is referred to as their USP, or Unique Sales Point. Depending on the usefulness of these USPs, you may change your decision on which keyboard you’re going to purchase.
Features To Look For When Buying A Wireless Keyboard
Whether you need a wireless keyboard for work or play, there are a variety of cool and useful features you must consider before making your final decision. These features can impact everything for ease of use to compatibility along with everything in between.
Portability - Much of the beauty of wireless keyboards is their portability. The lack of cables means you can slot them easily into your backpack or laptop case with little issue and the style of wireless keyboards doesn’t take up as much space as your traditional keyboard might do.
Just because they are more portable than wired keyboards, though, doesn’t mean it’s all gravy straight away, and it also doesn’t mean that any wireless keyboard will be sufficient for your needs. We’ll go into more detail about weight and size a little further down, so instead focus on the purpose of the keyboard.
If you’re a professional who needs to have easy access to a keyboard as often as possible on a plane, train, or automobile, look for the most portable options around. This makes it easy to retrieve while also not taking up too much space in the carriage, cabin, or car that you interfere with other passengers.
Conversely, you may not be purchasing a wireless keyboard for travel but rather to streamline your projects at home or at the office. With this, slimline and unintrusive designs are not essential, so consider something with a little more heft to it. This will make it easier to use as you walk around with the keyboard balanced on your fingers while you flick through programs or make notes.
Connectivity - As you’ve seen, there are two kinds of connectivity options to explore with wireless keyboards: Bluetooth and USB, and the type you select will depend on the rest of your setup.
If you want to go as wireless as possible including a wireless mouse, headphones or speakers, and even a monitor, a USB keyboard is likely to be the best option. However, there may be issues with a stable connection, which could prove a problem for some purposes.
When considering the setup, there are minor differences between how simple the initial connection will be. A USB connection may demand drivers to install, whereas Bluetooth will pair and connect seamlessly. If you connect other Bluetooth devices to your computer when not using the keyboard, though, you may encounter some issues the next time you want to connect.
Also consider port availability, connectivity range, and the reliability of the connection. As with anything wireless (we’ve all struggled with our WiFi connection at some point) there will be instances of connection drops and an inability to read keystrokes.
Size - Regardless of what your girlfriend has told you (just kidding) size matters with devices. Those looking for the most convenient and portable options around will no doubt consider the most compact keyboards, whereas at-home users may want something a little larger to keep their setup looking consistent.
It’s more than being able to take the keyboard wherever you need to, though. The size can also affect how comfortable the keyboard is to use, and if you’re used to larger keyboards, there is always a learning curve that will make you feel you’ve never typed before in your life.
The size of the keyboard will also affect the number of features. A smaller keyboard won’t have number pads and similar useful but not always necessary aspects, whereas larger keyboards will have enough space to provide these features for a more controlled experience.
Keys - An essential part of any keyboard, the keys are still often overlooked as something you just expect to be there without putting too much thought into how effective they can be for what you need to do. Whether it’s large keys, small keys, elevated keys or tile keys, each of them are essential for providing you with the best experience.
If you’re a rapid, heavy tapper, finding keys which are as quiet as possible will stop you distracting those around you, especially if you’re working or gaming long into the night where most normal people get some rest. If this isn’t something you need to think about, there are the lower-profile keys, the same you find on laptops, which you may be more comfortable using now.
You can also find keys which fit more ergonomically to your fingers, which are ideal for gamers and those who work on their computer all day long. These keys will also last much longer, increasing the lifespan of your keyboard and ensuring quality performance.
Lower quality keyboards may lead to the markings wearing off, especially with the keys you use most often. While this isn’t a major thing, and many people know their keyboard so well they hardly even look at which keys they press, it still ruins the aesthetic.
Design - Keyboard designs are much more advanced than the standard flat style we used in the school computer lab growing up. Now, you can find them to suit all needs from gaming to work, to spending all day angrily Tweeting about a missed UPS delivery.
An ergonomic design is essential for those who use their keyboard all day. It prevents wrist fatigue and therefore carpal tunnel syndrome to ensure consistent performance and keeping you energized throughout the day.
However, an ergonomic design reduces the portability of the keyboard, so if you’re on the move and planning to get some work done on the train, this may not be suitable for you. A slimline and compact keyboard with the most basic keys is ideal for this situation.
Another great design that is becoming more popular, particularly amongst gamers and anyone burning the midnight oil is the backlight feature, which allows you to work into the night without keeping the lights on or deciding to shut the lights off and try to identify which key is which.
Additional design features such as the number pad is also something to look out for if you’ve got use for it.
Weight - Along the same lines of size and portability is the weight of the keyboard. No one wants to lug a heavy device around with them, especially if your backpack is already full of papers, notebooks, a laptop, and additional must-haves for work or school.
If you don’t plan on carrying it everywhere you go like a high-tech safety blanket, the weight shouldn’t bother you too much, and you might even want something a little weightier to give you more confidence it won’t get knocked off your desk following a rage quit of volcanic proportions.
As always, we recommend you to decide based on what you feel would be most beneficial for you. Brands always try to make things as lightweight as possible, but lighter doesn’t always mean better for some demands, so the decision is entirely up to you.
Battery Life - The problem with a wireless anything is the battery life, and this is no different with a wireless keyboard. Again, it depends on your needs, but ideally, you need to look for a product that offers a long battery life.
The best wireless keyboard can offer a battery life up to 3 years of consistent, quality performance, so if you want to push the problem of no battery out of your mind for good, it may be worth spending the extra money for more advanced options.
The battery life will also be affected by how frequently you use it. Mammoth gaming sessions through the night and into morning will drain the battery quicker than if you were to use it to put the finishing touches to a project.
Also consider how convenient it will be to charge the batteries (or replace them) should they run down at the worst moment. It’s not recommended to overcharge, but, you shouldn’t neglect to charge when you can, either.
Adjustability - An adjustable keyboard is another great way of increasing your comfort during longer sessions and are also useful if you find yourself somewhere without a traditional desk to place it on. Typically, they have hinges around the back of the keyboard that splits it in two for better access to the keys when placed on your lap or something similar.
You can also go further than simple style adjustability and make the most of hot keys to streamline your work and speed projects up with easy access settings that save you hitting too many keys at once. These adjustable commands are excellent for power users who need to move through processes as quickly as possible and give you greater control over your keyboard and computer.
Even if you’re not a power user, you can still get a lot of benefit from these commands, especially if you do a lot of the same work every day. They may take a while to get used to and remember, but once you get comfortable, you can move through your work or progress through your game like a total pro.
Price - We understand everybody has different budgets for researching and purchasing their tech. However, just because you can’t afford the most expensive product around doesn’t mean you’re missing out.
With many products, there are specific quality standards they must meet to be considered suitable for sale, so you need not worry about lower-priced options catching fire or giving you an electric shock. Really, the only reason prices will vary between wireless keyboards is because of which features they include.
Most of you won’t need a wireless keyboard full of more features than you’d know what to do with, and these options are typically the most expensive around. We know it’s tempting, and you might look at that automatic burger order button (or something) and think Hmmm, maybe I’ll need it one day, but let’s just be honest with you right now: you won’t.
It’s always essential to consider your budget when making any purchase, and if you’ve never used a wireless keyboard before, we suggest going for one of the cheaper options.
There are other factors that come into it such as compatibility and suitability for you, but remember this likely won’t be the only wireless keyboard you ever buy, so why not start cheap and work your way up to one you’ve always had your eye on so you can treat yourself once you know you can.
Wireless Keyboards: Bluetooth vs. USB
Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to both Bluetooth and USB keyboards and knowing these will help you make a better decision over which one is the best for what you need in a keyboard.
Portable - Anyone who has experienced the wonders of Bluetooth technology when working with devices and gadgets knows how much of a relief it is to move around freely without being restricted by cables.
A wireless connection gives you the freedom to work on your projects from different parts of the room instead of being confined to your desk all day, which is a great way to switch it up and regain some motivation and productivity you lost since your last coffee.
Tidiness - The main attraction of a wireless Bluetooth keyboard is that it helps to reduce the amount of wire clutter around your desktop. This is useful if you already have a lot of cables in your workspace and find it frustrating to identify which cable belongs to which device.
The wireless nature of Bluetooth keyboards eliminates such problems, and another bonus is that it frees up a USB port for you to connect additional devices to your computer or laptop. If you work with many devices throughout the day, this saves time switching cables in and out and allows for a more streamlined experience.
Battery Life - Because there is no power source, the battery life is perhaps the biggest issue many people have with Bluetooth devices. It’s no longer as easy as it was to sit down and get on with your work because you may have forgotten to charge the battery overnight.
USB keyboards don’t have such issues, and so if you’re prone to forgetfulness or you know you’ll need a whole day’s worth of juice, you can’t always trust a wireless keyboard to have your back. If you’re a gamer, you don’t want the keyboard to fail right as you’re about to get that precious XP to boost yourself to the next level.
Minimized Connectivity - Using a Bluetooth keyboard means you can’t connect your PC to other Bluetooth devices and will need to rely on traditional connection methods to listen to your playlists, podcasts, or nature sounds. If you’re looking for a wholly wireless experience, it may be more convenient for you to go choose an option that still allows you to connect your speakers of headphones via Bluetooth while you connect your keyboard using a USB dongle.
Greater Range - A radio frequency range is often much better than its Bluetooth counterpart. While you can expect something around 33 feet for Bluetooth, USB keyboards can deliver a consistent and reliable connection up to 300 feet for the top of the range models. If you do a lot of moving around during the day, this is essential for maximizing productivity and satisfaction.
Better Battery Life - A USB keyboard won’t demand as much power for mammoth sessions compared to Bluetooth keyboards, which is excellent news for heavy gamers and especially any students leaving their final projects to the last minute. This extended battery life means less downtime and more consistent play. While it may not be on the level of wired USB keyboards, it’s still sufficient to help you get everything completed in time.
Another Used Up Port - While the USB-style wireless keyboard is useful and you can guarantee consistent connection, it still takes up USB port space. For some of you, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and most machines have multiple USB ports, but if you need to make use of these ports for other devices such as external hard drives, speakers, or a mouse, you might find the USB way a little inconvenient.
Interference - If you’re in an area with multiple devices operating on the same frequency, you might encounter instances of interference such as with microwaves or even cordless phones. This can hinder the effectiveness of the keyboard, and you might find random keystrokes that either don’t register or appear out of nowhere.
It’s not the end of the world, though, and you can mitigate these issues by disconnecting the other devices if possible or moving somewhere these devices won’t interfere with your work or gaming.
Battery Life General
Wireless keyboards use different battery types ranging from regular batteries you would also use for remote controls or wireless alarm clocks to rechargeable batteries, which may cost a little extra at first, but will save you money in the long run, as you need not rush out to buy extra batteries whenever you run out of the normal ones.
There are also solar-powered options, which are more environmentally and economically friendly. These batteries should also last longer than regular batteries as long as you have a light source (natural or artificial, it doesn’t matter) to keep them sufficiently charged. With these, you don’t need to change the batteries at all.
Before making your purchase, be sure to identify which battery your keyboard runs on so you can prepare for when the batteries run down. Wireless keyboard battery life is excellent so you won’t need to worry about this for a long time.
Wireless Keyboard FAQ
Q: How does a wireless keyboard work?
A: Through the radio receiver that’s built into the keyboard itself, or the Bluetooth transmitter, and the USB plugin stub, these two devices connect and transfer information. Your computer recognizes your device as if it were plugged in by a physical cord.
Q: How to connect a wireless keyboard (PC & Mac)
A: PC - Most models will have plug and plan, which will give you a pop-up in the bottom right corner of your start bar, right near the clock. When you click on this, it will show you how the process is going. In most cases the keyboard will connect automatically after 10-15 seconds (for the first go).
If that doesn’t work, you have a second option: open Microsoft’s Mouse and Keyboard Center by searching or it in your start bar. If your wireless keyboard is Bluetooth-enabled, and not a standard radio receiver, there will be different steps in the setup wizard, which will connect your device for you.
Mac - Apple has been utilizing Bluetooth technology since their very first wireless device, so it’s a lot more straightforward. Whether it’s a wireless keyboard for iPad or your desktop Mac, you’ll be able to use Apple’s built-in Bluetooth connectivity feature via the Bluetooth Preferences menu. Your Mac will scan for devices, and while your wireless keyboard is in Discoverable Mode, your Mac will locate and pair your device. For earlier Apple wireless devices, check out this guide from Apple on how to connect.
Q: Can I connect my wireless keyboard to a Smart TV and smartphone?
A: Along with computer connectivity, the best wireless keyboards can also connect to both Smart TVs and smartphones. Most are compatible with the more prominent TV brands around, and you can trust them to work with Android, Windows, and iOS devices.
Smart TV - Smart TVs boast the capability to recognize a wireless keyboard through both USB receiver and, with more modern TVs, Bluetooth. This will also allow you to browse seamlessly through streaming services and gaming platforms, eliminating the laborious process of pressing the directional buttons on your remote control to type in whatever show or channel you want to access.
Smartphones - For smartphone connectivity, a Bluetooth wireless keyboard is ideal, as there is no USB port to connect the dongle to (unless you have an adapter that works). You can then project the screen onto your Smart TV and scroll through games, access documents and fall down endless YouTube rabbit holes with the same ease you can on your computer.
Q: How to know if batteries are weak and how to replace them?
A: While the battery life is superb with all wireless keyboards, these batteries will not last forever. Knowing how to gauge when the battery is running low will save you losing connectivity in the middle of something important and will save a lot of stress.
If you experience intermittent connectivity or issues with key presses, this could be a sign your batteries are coming to the end of their life. From here, you can either recharge them or change them, depending on the setup of your keyboard.
Some devices will tell you if the battery is low, such as on a Mac, with a note next to the device’s name saying Low Battery. Others though, boast a battery life indicator, allowing you to check the condition of the battery with ease and make prior arrangements to charge or replace the batteries when needed.
As we mentioned, there are different batteries, but most keyboards run on AA or AAA. knowing which battery type your keyboard accepts ensures minimized downtime when you need to change them. If you have rechargeable batteries, you must ensure they sufficiently charged before using them.
Changing the battery should be simple enough, and there will either be a clip-in section securing the batteries, or you may need to find a mini screwdriver top open the back of the keyboard and swap them out.
For batteries built into the keyboard with no way of removing them, you will need to wait for them to charge before using them next time. In cases such as this, it’s useful to have a spare keyboard around the house if you want to continue working when your wireless keyboard runs down.
History Of The Wireless Keyboard
Since Logitech’s invention of the first wireless keyboard, there have been many companies utilizing radio receiver technology and the ever-popular Bluetooth technology. The general public, across multiple countries, started the transition from typewriter to keyboard in the late 80’s, early 90’s, and with this came a greater need to innovate.
To understand the history of the wireless keyboard, one also needs to understand the history of keyboards and typewriters as a whole. Everything from the popular QWERTY layout we still utilize today, right on down to the type of switches beneath your keys, are all influenced by prior technology and advancements in computer keyboard systems since their inception.
Down To The Last Key
Fully-armed and equipped to precisely hunt down your next wireless keyboard, we send you off into the world Arming yourself with the knowledge in this guide and through the products on this list, you’ll be an authority on wireless keyboards. Time to get typing.
How to Check the Battery Levels of Bluetooth Devices on Mac - iDownloadBlog