Types of Keyboards: How to Choose the Right One
Your laptop's built-in keyboard may not always be the best choice to suit your comfort or productivity needs. Find out which of the many types of keyboards — wired, wireless, ergonomic and more — fits your work style.
- November 14, 2018
For many consumers, the first feel of how your fingers fly across the keyboard is akin to the level of comfort experienced when test driving a new car. Unfortunately, in many cases, it is not always possible to test drive a laptop keyboard. Hand health and convenient letter layout for optimal efficiency are two key areas that may factor into your decision about which type of keyboard suits you best. Consider these different types of keyboards to match up your typing skills with your comfort and convenience needs.
Different Options in Keyboards and Keypads
Computer keyboards typically can be grouped as basic or extended keyboards. Within these two classes are many different types of keyboards offering a variety of functions and features. Different types of keyboard technology also exist, such as scissor switch keyboards (common on notebooks and netbooks) and full press membrane keyboards (common for desktop computers). The different keyboard technologies allow for varying user experiences, such as how hard a key must be pressed to convey the message to type a character.
Designed in the likeness of old typewriters with most common letters spaced apart, Qwerty is the most common keyboard layout. Grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren have all come to know and use the Qwerty keyboard.
Relying on a radio frequency antenna or infrared to keep you connected, wireless RF keyboards offer a bit of freedom in your computing activities.
An ambient glow from your keyboard makes it easy to type in the dark, but above all, delivers a stunning wow factor.
Deciding on the Best Keyboard for Your Needs
When computer shopping, few things can be as frustrating as ending up with a brand-new laptop with a noticeably awkward keyboard. Whether you don't like the key layout or you want to try to improve your productivity, a new keyboard can offer plenty of benefits. Thankfully, today's technology makes it easy to connect a different keyboard to your computer wirelessly or via USB connection. Finding the right keyboard may take a little time and research, but the results are sure to be worth it.
Sometimes the easiest way to choose a keyboard is to go with what you know and purchase one that carries the same features and layout as a recent model that you had and liked. Other times it's best to dig deep into the possibilities and consider all the available options. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you work to determine the best keyboard for you:
1. First things first — which do you prefer when it comes to a wireless keyboard vs. wired?
2. What are your main tasks to complete using this keyboard?
3. Is the keyboard compatible with your existing computer system?
4. Will you be most comfortable using a standard, gaming or ergonomic keyboard?
5. Are there any essential features needed, such as a touchpad or special function keys to create shortcuts?
6. What is the budget for this new keyboard?
Consider the different types of keyboards and how each improves your user experience. Remember that many keyboards are designed with specific functions in mind, such as gaming keyboards, or ergonomic keyboards that work well for those who do a lot of typing like writers and programmers. Keep all of these aspects in mind and be sure to read through some reviews to understand your options and the performance you can expect from any given model on the market.