The Government of Quebec is shutting down non-essential businesses till April 13. Therefore, our lab is temporarily closed and we can't test new products. In the meantime, we will continue to update articles from home.
Updated

The 6 Best Keyboards For Writers - Spring 2020
Reviews

Best Keyboards For Writers
56 Keyboards Tested
  • Store-bought keyboards; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
  • Supported directly by you via insider access and when you purchase through our affiliate links
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

For writers, spending countless hours typing on a bad keyboard can be tiring and can potentially lead to other issues. Writers also have very different tastes and needs when it comes to keyboards; some prefer mechanical switches, while others prefer the silent typing noise of a membrane keyboard. As such, we've compiled a list of our recommendations for the best keyboards for writers, from feature-packed models to budget options, and hopefully, you can find one that will inspire you to keep writing.

We've reviewed more than 40 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best keyboards for writers that are available for purchase in 2020. For other options, see our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best mechanical keyboards.


  1. Best Mechanical Keyboard For Writers: Razer BlackWidow Elite

    Test Methodology v0.8
    8.1
    Mixed usage
    9.3
    Gaming
    1.0
    Mobile/Tablet
    8.0
    Office
    8.2
    Programming
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    The best keyboard for writers that we've reviewed so far is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. The unit that we reviewed features Razer's proprietary Orange switches, which are similar to Cherry MX Brown switches, but you also can get it with Green (tactile and clicky) or Yellow (linear and silent) switches. The Orange switches provide great tactile feedback when typing and they're nearly silent, making this keyboard suitable for quiet offices. Typing on this keyboard feels light and responsive, and a well-padded wrist rest is included for optimal comfort. Overall build quality is excellent and the doubleshot keycaps ensure that key legends won't fade over time.

    This keyboard comes with a ton of extra features that are quite convenient. It has dedicated media controls, a USB passthrough to charge mobile devices or to connect another peripheral, and full RGB backlighting for those who like to work in the dark. Each key's backlight can be customized individually, and you can reprogram or set macros to any key. Profiles can be saved on the keyboard's onboard memory, making it easy to switch to another computer, or they can be saved using Razer's Synapse 3 software. Sadly, the latter is only available for Windows, but macOS and Linux users can still program macros using hotkeys.

    If you're a writer or you spend all day typing, this keyboard is worth a try.

    See our review

  2. Compact Alternative: Vortex Race 3

    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    TenKeyLess (75%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    If you don't like full-size keyboards like the Razer BlackWidow Elite and would prefer a keyboard with a smaller form factor, then check out the Vortex Race 3 instead. It might not have RGB lighting like the Razer and some people might prefer having a NumPad, but its compact layout takes less space on your desk. Also, even if it's compact, this keyboard still has dedicated arrow keys, which makes navigating in your text much easier than typical compact 60% keyboards. It offers a great overall typing quality and it feels very durable thanks to its metal frame and doubleshot keycaps. However, if you write a lot at night and need backlighting, the variant we tested doesn't have any backlighting, although there's a model that has full RGB, which is a bit more expensive.

    If you like having a typical full-sized keyboard with a NumPad for when you're writing, grab the great Razer, but if your space is limited or simply prefer compact keyboards, go for the Vortex.

    See our review

  3. Best Ergonomic Keyboard For Writers: Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard

    Test Methodology v0.8
    7.4
    Mixed usage
    6.6
    Gaming
    5.9
    Mobile/Tablet
    8.7
    Office
    6.6
    Programming
    Connectivity Wireless
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    No

    The best ergonomic keyboard for writers that we've tested so far is the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. It has a split keyboard design and reverse incline settings to help promote a natural typing position. The built-in wrist rest is well-padded and covered with a fabric that feels very premium. Although the scissor switches require a bit of force to actuate, the overall typing experience is very pleasant, as the switches have a very pronounced tactile bump and their low pre-travel distance make the keyboard feel extremely responsive. That said, the keyboard's unconventional layout does have a bit of a learning curve and you may notice a greater number of typos at first.

    This keyboard can be paired to multiple devices simultaneously to make multitasking easy. Using its unifying USB receiver and through Bluetooth, and you can switch between the paired devices with a press of a button. Logitech's Options software lets you reprogram the function keys; however, it's only available for Windows and macOS, so Linux users won't be able to customize. There are also a few other downsides with this keyboard: it doesn't have backlighting, it uses disposable batteries, and the keycaps are pad-printed, which means that key legends can fade or chip with regular use.

    If ergonomics are a priority or you're concerned about repetitive strain injuries, this keyboard could be a good option.

    See our review

  4. Alternative With Mechanical Switches: Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    TenKeyLess (80%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    If you prefer keyboards with mechanical switches, take a look at the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. This ergonomic keyboard has a fully split design that lets you place the keyboard's two halves however you want. It has amazing ergonomics and, unlike the Kinesis Freestyle Pro, this keyboard comes with two wrist rests for each half of the keyboard. It also features full RGB lighting and dedicated macro keys, which can be useful if you find yourself always repeating the same words and don't want to type them out every single time. The board is also available with a few different switches, so you should find yourself ones that better suit your preferences. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any incline settings as you need to separately purchase a lift kit from Kinesis.

    If you want your wrists to be in a more natural typing position, go for the curved Logitech, but if you prefer the feeling of mechanical switches, the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is a great option.

    See our review

  5. Best Non-Mechanical Keyboard For Writers: Logitech MX Keys

    Test Methodology v0.8
    7.7
    Mixed usage
    7.7
    Gaming
    7.4
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.9
    Office
    7.5
    Programming
    Connectivity Wireless
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    No

    The best non-mechanical keyboard for writers that we've tested so far is the Logitech MX Keys. This wireless keyboard has scissor switches that feel great to type on, and it has indented keycaps that can help with typing accuracy. The wrist rest is sold separately, but most people find the keyboard's low-profile design fairly comfortable. The keys are backlit and the function keys are programmable using Logitech's Options software. This software is compatible with Windows and macOS, so Linux users won't be able to reprogram keys, even though all keys function properly.

    This keyboard has a multi-device pairing feature to let you switch easily between paired devices, and its rechargeable battery can last up to 5 months with the backlight turned off; however, this isn't something that we test for. Typing noise is very quiet so you won't have to worry about bothering your colleagues if you work in a noise-sensitive environment. If mechanical keyboards don't suit you, this is a great option.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Keyboard For Writers: SteelSeries Apex 3

    Test Methodology v0.8
    7.2
    Mixed usage
    7.2
    Gaming
    2.2
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.7
    Office
    7.4
    Programming
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    No

    The SteelSeries Apex 3 is the best keyboard for writers in the budget category that we've reviewed so far. This full-size keyboard has a great build quality despite its fully plastic frame, and the keys are very stable, with no signs of wobbling at all. The rubber dome switches provide good tactile feedback, but some may find them a bit mushy. These switches also require a bit more force to get over the tactile bump, which can be a bit tiring, but they're also good for typing accuracy, as the switches require a more deliberate key press which helps to reduce unintended keystrokes.

    Unfortunately, while the keyboard has RGB backlighting, it's zone-lit rather than individually-lit. You still have a decent amount of customization options, though. Using SteelSeries' Engine software, you can customize the keyboard's backlight, reprogram keys, and save profiles. There's a cloud sync option to export your profiles if you need to switch to another computer, as the keyboard doesn't have any onboard memory. If you're shopping on a budget and you don't mind typing on a membrane keyboard, this one is a good choice.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Apple Magic Keyboard: The Apple Magic Keyboard is a good alternative to the Logitech MX Keys if you prefer a smaller size, but its compatibility is limited when using the keyboard with non-Apple operating systems. See our review
  • Redragon K552-RGB: The Redragon K552-RGB is a good budget mechanical keyboard, but the keys aren't programmable and the clicky switches may not be to everyone's taste. See our review
  • Razer BlackWidow Lite: The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a good TKL alternative to the Razer BlackWidow Elite and the Ducky One 2 Mini, as it has navigation keys, but no NumPad. See our review
  • Ducky One 2 Mini: The One 2 Mini has one of the best typing experiences we've tested, but its lack of dedicated arrow keys makes it harder to navigate text. See our review

Recent Updates

03/17/2020: Updated picks as we reviewed more products. The text has been updated.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best keyboards for writers for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our keyboard reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no keyboard is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion