Introducing Our Best Working From Home Keyboards [Premium]
Working from home is hard! The last thing you need is a keyboard that negatively affects productivity. If you are like most of us, you try to spend hours at your keyboard every day, but there are so many distractions at home. If your work set up is uncomfortable then you will find any reason to get up from your desk and do something else.
The new normal means that we are expected to spend a lot more time in front of our computers and laptops than we are accustomed to, which can lead to some pretty annoying side effect like painful wrists and stiff finger joints. We have decided to look at some of the most premium work from home keyboards for our selection. These are not cheap keyboards like the OEM ones that ship with some brands of desktop. Instead we have focused on high quality, premium models that should help boost your productivity.
We want to focus on:
- Style: How does the keyboard look? What kind of form factor is it? We take into consideration any subjective aesthetic that is worth mentioning.
- Features: What can each keyboard do? Is it wireless or wired? Does it have any macro programming features or any other productivity advantages?
- Comfort: This is the big one for a lot of people: ergonomics. Its tough to just properly because everyone is different in what they consider to be comfortable, but we try our best to distill this element for you!
- Value: Everyone has a different budget that they are working with. In this review we are focusing on some premium products that offer high quality components and styling.
A lot of gaming keyboards have fancy switches and back lit RGB lighting, (which we will review at some point) but we wanted to come in from a productivity perspective. Working from home is a new concept for many of us, and while it has its advantages there are certainly some negatives. The last thing that you want to affect your productivity is an antiquated or cheap keyboard.
Now we wont dwell specifically on any one aspect of a keyboard for our selection today, but instead we want to look at each item according to the 4 criteria items that we listed above. We want to highlight things like macro programming for automated tasks and key presses, special features like removable and adjustable components – anything that could make your work from home experience that much better. By the end of this article you will be armed with the knowledge that you need buy the ultimate productivity keyboard to help you work from home.
If you are looking for an ergonomic keyboard with some unique and striking, then this is a great choice. Microsoft has long been creating ergonomic products, such as their original Natural Series that has been around for ages. This keyboard originally launched way back in 2013 but has remained a popular choice for people that need to have the most comfort when typing.
This particular item is a package deal which includes a mouse and number pad accessory. A number pad is an essential component for many of us that work from home. Punching in numbers is a difficult task without a number pad so the inclusion here is very welcome indeed.
The mouse is very basic and features a rounded design for enhanced comfort. All of these individual peripherals (keyboard, mouse and number pad) add up to create a solution that makes working from home all the more bearable. This Sculpt Ergo Desktop En keyboard and mouse set that will help you to stay comfortable and productive at the same time.
The most prominent feature of this keyboard is the striking use of space. Microsoft have removed an entire section of the keyboard and divided the areas in two. This allows them to create a slant that allows your wrists and fingers to operate at a more natural angle. Like most things that push back against the norms and standards that we have become accustomed to, it may take you a little while to get used to using this keyboard.
Adding to the overall comfort is a magnetically attached, padded wrist rest at the front of the keyboard. This further improves the natural posture of your typing. Ergonomically, this keyboard has probably had the most R&D out of the bunch. If you work from home then this is going to be a solid choice for prolonged periods of typing and productivity.
Unfortunately there are not too many programmable features on this particular keyboard. It features a set of secondary functions for the F keys on the top row, but instead of an fn key, Microsoft has decided to install a toggle switch.
If you move your office around the house from time to time, then you will be pleased to know that this keyboard is wireless. No more untangling cable or being limited in the distance that you can sit away from your computer screen. If you have a laptop then this kit is a great option for you to use instead of the non-ergonomic layout of most laptops on the market presently.
Overall this is a solid choice if you find yourself working from home, and it can travel with you when you eventually head back to the office. It has all the comfort and adjustment options that you would expect from an ergonomic keyboard, but the styling might not be to everyone’s taste.
Not many people think about mechanical keyboards when looking for a productivity solution, but this is a pretty compelling option. It is a strong and well built unit that has a premium anodized aluminum finish on the top facing surface.
If you are into mechanical switch details then you will find that this unit is equipped with Cherry MX Brown Switches, and not the Gamma Zulu switches, which are made in Japan by the Omron company. Some models come with Gamma Zulu switches so it is a good idea to check them out before you buy.
There is a wrist rest on this keyboard so that you can sit for a very long time while typing without causing unnecessary strain on your wrists. The keys themselves are crisp and responsive, and a lot of work went into developing a solution that delivered great feedback without being too loud. Noisy keyboards definitely do not help with productivity when working from home, and the Cherry MX Brown Switches are a great compromise between accuracy and key press noise.
This keyboard has a conventional style with a pronounced and over sized volume knob for adjusting your music, video and movie volume. On the far side of the keyboard is 2 USB 3 connectors which means that this keyboard can also double as a USB hub. This is great for people that have a desktop PC that is out of the way and difficult to get to, especially if it is on the floor or under a desk.
This is not a wireless keyboard, but the cable length is a generous 6.5ft of braided USB cable so it looks good and has added durability. Although NKRO is seen as more of a gaming feature it is worth mentioning that this keyboard comes equipped with that standard. Key Rollover is the amount of keys that a keyboard can handle being pressed simultaneously. An NKRO designation means that you can press all of the keys on this model simultaneously without losing any keystrokes.
One of the quirkier bonus features of this keyboard that has a detachable foot bar that doubles as a ruler for drawing straight lines. Not many keyboards come with stationary, so this really is aimed at work and productivity, as well as gaming it seems. This is a great keyboard if you work all day and game into the night as it has a blend of crisp key presses for typing and multimedia and gaming features as well.
This is a fairly standard keyboard if you look things like the design and form factor. It has a number pad installed just like most standard keyboards, and the Cherry MX Brown switches are a good fit for a productivity and gaming keyboard such as this. On the surface this looks like a standard keyboard and for many people that is exactly what they need.
Most people that work from home would prefer a wireless keyboard that they can move around with them, but this is not an issue for everyone. The ultra responsiveness of the keys and solid construction more than make up for the lack of wireless, making this a great choice of working from home keyboards.
This keyboard features mechanical switches and it can be programmed to further enhance the functionality of the device. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS. This model has been designed to combat Repetitive Strain Injuries such as Ulnar Deviation. The QWERTY keys have been arranged in vertical columns so that the fingers move in a more natural direction when typing. If you prefer a Dvorak layout then you can also select that as it has native support for it. There is a dedicated key that you can press to select this layout.
The integrated wrist rest also helps to align your hands and wrists in a natural position, while the thumb clusters contain many of the additional keys that you need to type effectively. The keyboard also ships with some additional padding for the wrist area if you want to elevate them even more.
At first glance it looks like this keyboard has no number pad, but if you look closer it actually integrates the number pad on the left side of the keyboard. It has a ‘numpad’ button that you can press to activate the number pad on the keyboard. This design change was made intentionally so that the keyboard is smaller, requiring you to lean over far less to get to your mouse.
On the mechanical switch front you have 2 options. Cherry MX Brown and Cherry Red Quiet. You can decide which is best for your own personal taste, which is a nice touch. There are custom modes for the keyboard which allows you to switch between Mac and PC layouts.
The Advantage2 has something called the SmartSet Programming Engine. This allows you to remap the keyboard to your own personal layout preferences, create macros, and customize the way your keys behave. It is all built in directly to the keyboard and requires no drivers or specialized apps to configure.
The Durgod Taurus K320 TKL is a well built and solid mechanical keyboard with fun styling accents. It has a 2 position adjustment for setting your typing position and supports macros via the Durgod Zeus Engine Software. This keyboard has a USB type C connector on the under side which meas that it can be unplugged when you are putting it away or travelling with it somewhere. You can use either a USB type C to type C cable, or you can use a USB type C to USB type A cable.
The double shot key caps are removable and this product comes with a key puller. On the compatibility front, the Durgod is compatible with Windows and MacOS. The great thing about this keyboard is that it is suitable for gaming and office work, although it is missing a number pad. That makes it quite a compact unit though, so if you are short on space in your home office then you will not be unhappy with this form factor.
The keyboard features a standard QWERTY layout and it is programmable via the included Durgod Zeus Engine Software. If you are going to be using a keyboard for a very long time then a high quality unit like this is a great choice. It is quite rigid and does not flex when typing normally. It has high quality key caps and durable Cherry MX switches so the chances of any keys going faulty are slim.
This is an excellent choice for typing because of the responsiveness of the keys, although you might not appreciate the lack of a number pad. A great feature is a Windows key lock. This means that you can disable and re-enable the Windows key when you don’t need it to be pressed.
The keyboard kick stands are very stable and they offer 2 different positions. That means that you can have the keyboard in 3 positions in total because you can also lie the keyboard flat with the kickstands tucked away. So while the keyboard hasn’t been designed with ergonomics as a primary concern it does still offer quite a bit of customization.
This particular model does not have any back lights, so if that is something that you are looking for then you might need to look at another product. Again we see that the Cherry MX Brown switches are more than good enough for productivity and office work. The fact that you can also game on it when you are not working is a plus.
All in all this is a great keyboard and it is not overly expensive either, considering all the features that you get with it. This is a decent gaming keyboard too, although it has no LED back lights for gaming in low light conditions. Most of us are hopefully not working into the night in low light conditions, but if you are then you can find plenty of similar products that do offer that as a feature.
This is an interesting keyboard in our round up because it is marketed as a keyboard for programmers. It features a minimalist design with a very compact foot print. This isn’t a mechanical keyboard like the Durgod that we just looked at, but instead it uses Topre electrostatic capacitive switches.
What is a Topre switch we hear you ask? It is a combination between a mechanical spring action key seitch and a rubber domw one with a capacitive sensor. The theory is that this method eliminates key bounce because the electrical circuit is completed capacitively. This is essentially how a standard membrane keyboard works, so you will get the feel of a mechanical key press but the response of a standard keyboard.
If you are used to typing on a standard keyboard then this could be a great option for you. The benefit is that you don’t have to exert too much force while typing, which leads to a more gentle typing experience. If you use your keyboard non-stop during business hours then you will really appreciate the more gentle key presses. For people that write for a living, or program and code a lot there is definitely something to be said about having a softer keystroke on a keyboard.
And that leads us neatly into the next point: who is this keyboard aimed at? The name implies that anyone that is into coding, programming or hacking away at a software project will be right at home with this keyboard. It is available in both white and charcoal colors which makes it especially stealthy in a home office or office environment.
If you think that this keyboard is not especially ergonomic then think again. There is a subtle counter slope on the bottom rows of keys that allows your fingers and thumbs to naturally catch them on the down stroke. The result is that the rows are easier to press, which helps to increase accuracy. It also helps to minimize the finger movements of each key stroke, which will have a cumulative effect after a long day of typing.
The key count is seriously reductive too. They have take a standard 101 key keyboard and shrunk it down to just 60 keys. This means that you are missing the physical arrow keys and the number pad, which might be a deal breaker for some people at first glance. However, you can access all of the missing keys through keystroke combinations, so don’t let that frighten you off.
The materials used are high grade PBT which gives the keyboard a sleek and matte finish. No more wiping fingerprints away every few minutes with this unit. The characters on the keyboard are applied to the keyboard using a dye-sublimation process which means the lettering does not fade very easily.
The keyboard features a detachable USB Type B cable. This is a little unfortunate as it is quite an old standard. It also has 2 regular USB ports on the back so that you can connect other USB peripherals to it such as flash drives.The end result of all these subtle features all come together to provide you with a compact work from home solution that is sure to improve your typing performance and overall productivity.
So there we have it, 5 of the best work from home keyboards on the market today. There are many great options out there but these examples were some of the ones that caught our attention. They also go into several different side niches as well such as ergonomics, gaming and portability.
We hope that you have found this information interesting and that it will help you to make an informed decision when deciding on which work from home keyboard you are looking to buy. If you use one of our affiliate links to make a purchase then you will help to support the site so thank you very much!
Check back in with us again where we will be reviewing more work from home peripherals, tools and gadgets!