As a writer, it’s easy to forget about the two things that are doing most of the work—your hands! Day in and day out we let our fingertips run across the keys, taking our fingers and wrists for granted.
But, what’s one way you can give back? With a quality keyboard for writers.
Now, beyond a thank you for your tired fingers a quality keyboard can actually help to improve your writing productivity too.
Not every keyboard is equal. Some will make typing a nearly effortless task, while others will do nothing more than slow your ability to write quickly, and maybe make you give up in frustration.
Below you’ll learn what to keep an eye out for in a quality writing keyboard, as well as some of the best writing keyboards out there on the market.
Even if you prefer writing from a laptop, you can always utilise a wireless keyboard to help improve your posture.
Let’s jump in!
Why Do I Need a Writing Keyboard?
Trust me, I used to have the same objection.
Although I don’t always use my external keyboard, it does come in handy a lot.
As a writer, you’re going to be hunched over your keyboard for most of your waking hours. But, over time you might notice your back starts to hurt, your wrists get sore, and a myriad of other things that’ll make writing that much more difficult.
One of the benefits of having an external keyboard is you can place it perfectly, so you can maintain solid posture while you write. Even if you don’t feel the pain of poor posture yet, you will in time.
An external writing keyboard gives you freedom when you’re writing.
Want to sit further away from the screen? Push your laptop back and fire up your keyboard.
Want to create a makeshift standing desk? Place your laptop higher up on your desk, and prop up your keyboard for perfect arm placement.
An external writing keyboard is a solid investment. Whether you’re looking for more flexibility in your work, or maybe your existing keyboard just isn’t doing the job.
Whatever the reason, a writing keyboard is an option worth exploring.
Here’s what to look for throughout your search:
What to Look for in a Keyboard for Writers?
There are a lot of keyboards out there, but if you’re a writer you’ll have different needs than the general market.
Keep reading to learn what you’ll want to think about when researching and buying the perfect writing keyboard:
Ergonomics and Comfort
When you’re pulling a marathon writing session you probably won’t think twice about your keyboard, until you do. Your keyboard should exist effortlessly beneath your fingertips, making it easy for you to type without it getting in the way.
When researching a keyboard you’ll want to think about how large it is, how wide the keys are spaced apart, the angle of the keys, if any wrist cushioning is needed, and the overall size of the keyboard.
You also have the keyboard layout. Do you prefer the traditional QWERTY layout, or have you been thinking about something more non-traditional like the DVORAK keyboard? Looks confusing, but supposedly can send you word counts into the stratosphere.
Power or Battery Life
How do you want to power your keyboard? With most modern keyboards you’ll have a variety of options, from battery power, to USB, and even solar power. Sometimes your keyboard will be equipped with all three.
Typically, you’ll want your keyboard to have a variety of options. For example, I used to own a keyboard that was entirely battery powered. It was sleek and light, but I had to change out the batteries a few times per month.
Eventually, I had to upgrade to another keyboard that had multiple charging options.
If you are going with battery power alone, make sure they’re rechargeable, or will be able to go at least a month without needing to be replaced.
Today’s keyboards will connect to your computer or laptop via a few different methods. The connection type usually won’t influence your typing feedback, but sometimes it’s nice to have more than one option.
Here are the most common keyboard connection approaches you’ll find:
-Bluetooth. Bluetooth is everywhere these days. This can be an appealing option, especially since you’ll have no cords or accessories to deal with. However, you may run into connection issues, which can be frustrating.
-Wireless USB. With this method, you’ll have a little dongle you plug into your computer’s USB drive. This syncs up with your keyboard and you can start typing away. There’s no cable to deal with, but you will have to use a different power source for your keyboard.
-Standard USB. This is the most classic approach. All you have to do is plug your keyboard into your computer and you’re all set. You do have to deal with additional cords, which can be a dealbreaker. But, your keyboard will draw power from your computer, so no additional batteries are required.
Keep in mind that some keyboards will offer multiple connection options, so if you can’t decide, or don’t know what you like best, then choose a keyboard with more than one option.
Another very important decision when choosing a keyboard is how the keys feel. You not only have to think about the texture of the keys, but also how the keys press.
This might not seem like a big deal, but the difference between keyboards can be night and day.
For example, you have mechanical keyboards, which are the more old-school keyboard. These keys are thicker, require more weight to press down, and tend to be louder. However, they’re also much more durable and tend to be the preferred keyboard for gamers.
The other style of keyboard uses membrane-based keys. This is what most laptops use. These keys are thinner, tend to be softer, and are quieter.
Backlit or Not?
For some writers having a backlit keyboard is an absolute necessity. Let’s face it, a lot of us writers are night owls, and having to ensure you always sit under a lamp can get old after a while.
It’s not an absolute requirement, but keep the backlit option in mind. You might be a writer who doesn’t even need to look at the keys, but for the rest of us, the simple illumination can go a long way.
Now that you know what to look for in a solid writing keyboard it’s time to highlight some of the best writing keyboards out there on the market.
Best Keyboard for Writers
Below you’ll find a breakdown of some of the best writing keyboard out there today.
Keep in mind that you’re looking for the best writing keyboard for YOU. Note your preferences from the list above, and keep those in mind as you browse the models below.
If you own a Mac laptop, then this keyboard will be one of your best choices. Especially, if you’ve grown used to typing on your Mac keyboard and don’t want to change up.
This keyboard will connect to your laptop via Bluetooth. Plus, it’s equipped with rechargeable batteries, which also improves the angle of the keyboard and makes it more comfortable to write. With regular use, you’ll only need to recharge the battery once a month.
You’ll also have the option to purchase the keyboard with an add-on trackpad. For those obsessed with the responsive and comfortable trackpad, then this upgrade will be a no-brainer.
Impressive battery life.
This keyboard provides you with the ultimate in mobility. It’s not only inexpensive, but it’s incredibly thin and lightweight, clocking in at just 0.24 of an inch.
Not only that, but it’s equipped with seven different backlight color options, and two levels of brightness. Perfect for those late night writing sessions.
Plus, it’s compatible with nearly all major operating systems and will connect to a variety of smartphones and tablets too.
It runs on a rechargeable battery, which can get 6 months of power from a single charge.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business
Some writers hate ergonomic keyboards, while others swear by them. The goal of an ergonomic keyword is to place your wrists in the most ergonomic position possible. This helps to place less strain on the wrists and is better for you overall long-term wrist health.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is equipped with a wrist pad to reduce wrist fatigue while adding an extra layer of comfort. Plus, the sloped keyboard will help to place your hands in a more natural writing position.
You’ll also find an included number pad, along with a built-in Windows button to power up the start menu.
This keyboard connects via a wireless USB, uses batteries for a power source, and has membrane keys for quiet typing. However, the keys aren’t backlit, for writers who demand that functionality.
Its shape is specifically designed for 'healthy' writing.
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Keyboard
This mechanical gaming keyboard is very lightweight and durable. Plus, unlike a lot of keyboards out there, it also has a brushed aluminum frame, which adds to the durability.
You’ll also notice that every key on this keyboard is backlit, along with a colored glow at the bottom. You can even adjust the color and brightness levels, to find the perfect fit for your eyes.
Since this keyboard is optimised for gaming, you’ll also find that every single keystroke is registered, meaning it can keep up with the fastest typists.
It’s a USB wired keyboard, so it’ll need to be plugged in. But, at least you’ll never run out of juice when you need it the most.
Made for gaming, but perfect for 'hardcore typers'.
Das Keyboard 4
Das Keyboard is one of the top keyboard companies. They’re known for making sturdy, high-quality keyboards, and the Das Keyboard 4 is no different.
This keyboard has mechanical keys, but it takes a unique approach. With each keystroke, you’ll get audio and tactile feedback. It has a sleek design, and has high performance and feedback, making it one of the most advanced mechanical keyboards on the market. It’s also elevated 1.2 inches, for added comfort and ergonomics.
It’s a wired USB keyboard and doesn’t come equipped with a backlight. But, there are additional features like built-in volume controls and an extra long USB cable, so it’s still relatively portable.
Built-in volume control and extra-long USB cable.
Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard
This Logitech keyboard is incredibly versatile. It’s designed to work with your computer, tablet, or smartphone, and can be connected either via USB or through a Bluetooth connection.
There is no backlit capability, so you probably won’t be able to use this in the dark. But, it’s very easy to use, comfortable, and can supposedly run for two years on just two AAA batteries.
Plus, it has a cool feature of being able to switch between up to three devices with the push of a button. A great way to take your writing on the go.
If you do decide to use this keyboard with your tablet, there’s an integrated tablet stand that’ll mimic that of a full-fledged laptop.
Connects to all devices. Perfect for 'on-the-go' writing.
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 900
This keyboard is lightweight, responsive, and provides you with a comfortable typing experience.
It connects to your computer wirelessly, plus the connection is encrypted with an AES 218-bit connection. The wireless range on this keyboard is impressive and extends out to 30 feet. I’m not sure why you’d want to type that far away from the screen, but it’s nice to have!
It’s also equipped with programmable hot keys, so you can quickly access and open any programs on your computer.
Also included with this keyboard is a wireless mouse. The bundling of the mouse makes this keyboard bundle an absolute steal.
Beyond all that it also has a stellar battery life. With just two AAA batteries this keyboard and mouse can run for two years.
Comes with wireless mouse.
What’s the Best Writing Keyboard for Me?
Hopefully, by now you’ve taken stock of what you need in a writing keyboard and taken a look at some of the models above. But, if you’re still unsure about which keyboard you should invest in, then ask yourself the questions below:
- Do I need a wireless keyboard, or is a USB connection fine?
- What kind of keyboard keys do I prefer?
- Does size and portability matter to me?
- What am I going to be using this keyboard for?
- Do I want an ergonomic keyboard or one that supports my wrists?
- How much am I willing to spend?
Take the above questions to heart, spend some time looking through the models above, and you’ll find the best keyboard for your writing needs.
What’s the Best Writing Keyboard for Me?
And you thought that buying a new writing keyboard was simple... Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what to look for in a new writing keyboard.
Like a writing laptop, a writing keyboard also takes a solid amount of research to get right.
Once again, it all comes back to personal preference. The perfect keyboard for one writer might cause another to give up writing forever.
Hopefully, the keyboard choices above will give you a great starting place, so you can find the perfect writing keyboard that’ll amplify your productivity.
Have any questions about finding the best keyboard for writers? Share your questions and concerns in the comments below.
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How about voice recording, supplemented by keyboard?