Trying to type thousands of words a day on a bad keyboard is like trying to cut a tomato with a knife from the dollar store.
If you’ve ever tried to cut a tomato with a cheap knife, you know what I’m talking about.
As a professional writer, I know firsthand how important it is to own a good keyboard. A quality keyboard helps you to type faster and work more efficiently. Most modern keyboards also have shortcuts to a number of basic apps, such as photos, music players, calculators and web browsers.
If you’re tied to a desktop computer, a standard USB keyboard may be sufficient. But if you have to work on the go, you need something as mobile as you are. The built-in keyboard on your laptop is adequate, but nothing more.
That’s why you should invest in a quality Bluetooth keyboard. No matter where you work, whether at home, in the office, or on the road, bringing your own keyboard can make things a lot easier for you.
The trick is picking a Bluetooth keyboard that’s worth your time. There are a lot of Bluetooth keyboards out there, but not all of them make the cut. If you’re in the market for a great Bluetooth keyboard, read on.
What You Need To Know
If you’re well versed in all things computer like I am, picking out a great keyboard is easy – it all comes down to you preferences and your computer usage. For the uninitiated, however, it’s not so simple.
For example, a good friend of mine is a hardcore gamer, but he’s not as knowledgeable about computers as he is gaming consoles. As a result, his Bluetooth keyboard is a nightmare to type on.
Ultimately, finding the right keyboard does depend on how comfortable and user-friendly it is. But there are a lot of different things to consider before you buy a Bluetooth keyboard. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Raised Keys
Except for some laptops, all keyboards, Bluetooth or not, are going to have raised keys. The degree to which the keys are raised, however, plays a major role in how quickly and comfortably you can type. If you’re using a good keyboard, you should be able to type by muscle memory, without having to look at the keys. Just like I’m doing right now.
One of the main advantages of Bluetooth keyboards is their portability. Naturally, smaller keyboards are easier to transport. Unfortunately, most keyboards are larger than laptop cases, so that’s not always a convenient way to carry them.
The numpad (short for numerical pad) is often absent from laptop keyboards. This is annoying for anyone who has to type a lot of numerical data. Most standard keyboards have them, but a lot of Bluetooth keyboards don’t. They’re not usually found in compact models.
4. Additional Keys
A lot of keyboards today have function buttons that act as shortcuts to various computer systems, such as media players and volumes. Some keyboards, such as the one I use, even have dedicated keys to control your media player, camera and calculator apps, etc. My keyboard can even put the computer to sleep on command. Very convenient.
While there are Bluetooth keyboards available for $20 or $30, if you want a great keyboard, be prepared to spend $50 or more. Chances are you’ll be using your keyboard for years to come. The difference in quality is easily worth paying a few extra dollars.
The Best Bluetooth Keyboards
Best Bluetooth Keyboards Under $20
Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard
There are two kinds of Bluetooth keyboards – those made for comfort and those made for convenience. The Anker Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard is the latter. This miniature keyboard is small enough to fit inside your laptop case, making transportation easy.
Measuring less than a foot long and weighing just 6.7 ounces before batteries, this keyboard is slim, light and comfortably compact. It runs on two AA batteries and provides up to three months of battery life, based on an estimated two hours of usage per day. It is compatible with all recent Apple, Android and Windows systems.
The compact size does mean this keyboard has a few shortcomings. It doesn’t have a numerical pad or backlights, and the buttons are fairly small, which makes it harder to feel your way around the keyboard. This would probably not be a good choice for typing eight hours a day, but if you need a Bluetooth travel keyboard, this is a good, affordable option.
Jelly Comb Backlit 7-Colors Slim Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard
Like the Anker Ultra-Slim, the Jelly Comb 7-color Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard is a compact keyboard built with space and efficiency in mind. However, this keyboard has seven different backlight colors to choose from, making it easier to see the keys.
The Jelly Comb is even smaller than the Anker, measuring less than 10 inches in length, and it weighs just over 11 ounces. The keyboard is less than an inch thick, so the keys are very shallow, and as you might expect from its size, it does not have a numerical pad. It is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows operating systems.
As much as the backlight is a great feature, the keyboard has some functionality problems with Android and Windows PCs. For example, the function buttons are not guaranteed to work on Windows computers. That makes this keyboard a great companion to iPhones and iPads, but not necessarily as good for Windows laptops.
Arteck HB030B Universal Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard
Like the Jelly Comb, the Arteck HB030B Universal Bluetooth Keyboard enjoys a super-compact design and comes with a 7-color LED backlight. However, the Arteck improves on the Jelly Comb by offering better battery life and improved OS compatibility.
Maybe the most incredible thing about the Arteck HB030B is its weight. Sans batteries, this keyboard weighs a mere 5.92 ounces. It runs off of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and provides up to six months of battery life. Furthermore, it is backed by a 24-month warranty and is compatible with iOS, Mac OS, Android and Windows.
Even better, the backlights have two different brightness settings, so you can dim them down if they’re too distracting for you. The keyboard is less than 10 inches long and only .24 inches thick, making it the smallest keyboard I’ve ever seen.
Best Bluetooth Keyboards Under $50
Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480
All of the keyboards reviewed so far have been compact keyboards perfectly suited for travel. The Logitech K480, however, is made especially with tablets in mind. The keyboard has a slot at the top designed to balance your tablet, making it easier for you to do the work you need to do.
The keyboard is also designed to switch easily from one device to another. With the simple turn of a knob, you can transfer control from your tablet to your laptop, a dream choice for multi-tasking. The tablet cradle is 0.4 inches thick and 10 inches wide, big enough to hold most tablets and smart phones. Unlike the earlier keyboards, the keys are thicker for easier typing.
Compatible with Mac OS X and all of the most recent iOS, Android and Windows operating systems, this Bluetooth keyboard is the perfect networking tool. Whether you’re sharing the keyboard with family members or are multi-tasking between multiple devices, this is a capable keyboard.
ThinkPad Tablet 2 Bluetooth Keyboard with Stand
As the name suggests, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 Bluetooth Keyboard is especially designed to work with the Lenovo ThinkPad Ultrabook. While the keyboard may have been designed with a specific device in mind, the keyboard is not limited to the ThinkPad and is compatible with a wide variety of tablets.
One of the things I like about this keyboard is that it comes with a stand for you to set your tablet, allowing you to type and view your screen with ease. Unlike a lot of tablet-oriented keyboards, this one is thick, durable and a lot less flimsy. It also has a miniature track-pad built in, so you don’t have to rely on touchscreen navigation while you’re type.
That said, this keyboard still lacks a numerical pad, and the arrow keys are not spaced separately from the rest of the keys. This makes it a lot easier to accidentally type something when you’re trying to navigate the screen, which is really frustrating for anyone used to typing without staring at the keyboard. Overall, however, these are minor complaints of a solid, well-designed keyboard.
Best Bluetooth Keyboards Under $75
DREVO Calibur 71-Key Wireless Keyboard
I’m no stranger to video games. I’m not a professional gamer or anything, but I’ve played my fair share of computer games. I can say from experience that having a good, high quality keyboard can make a world of difference. With the DREVO Calibur 71-Key Backlit Keyboard, that’s exactly what you’re getting.
First off, this keyboard is meant for home use. It’s entirely too large to carry with you in a laptop back, and it’s thick, heavier keys wouldn’t fit well either. However, those jumbo-sized keys are what makes this a great keyboard for playing video games. Larger keys are easier to tap intuitively, and when you’re playing a hectic first-person shooter, you can’t afford to constantly look at your keys when you’re locked in battle. The keyboard has red, green and blue LED lights and seven different lighting effects you can customize to your heart’s content.
Although this keyboard is designed with gamers in mind, it works well for writing and office use as well, although the multi-colored backlights can be distracting. But since this is optimized for gaming, it does lack the numpad, which is a little frustrating considering how expensive the keyboard is. Here’s the bottom line: if you’re looking for an awesome gaming keyboard, this keyboard is great. But if you need a work keyboard, there are better options.
Logitech Illuminated Living-Room Wireless Keyboard K830
If you’re looking for a portable keyboard and don’t want to have to carry a mouse as well, the Logitech K830 may be the answer you’re looking for. Like the K810, this keyboard is USB powered, and it has a built-in track pad for added comfort and convenience.
Like the K810, the K830 features an aluminum finish for a sturdier, more durable keyboard. It also employs the same silent-typing keys. It has a Bluetooth range of up to 10 meters (33 feet), making it easy for you to connect your computer right up to your TV screen and work from the comfort of your couch. And with the track pad built in, you don’t have to fuss with bringing a mouse along for the ride.
Obviously, the presence of the track pad means there’s no room for a numerical pad here, but for once this doesn’t feel like a liability. This keyboard isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for an innovative keyboard design, this one is worth checking out.
Best Bluetooth Keyboards Under $100
Microsoft Surface Keyboard
Security is a big deal in the modern age, and new threats to our digital safety appear almost daily, it seems. If you work with sensitive materials, this modern Microsoft Surface Keyboard can provide just a little bit more protection for your day-to-day, using the one thing that is unique to everybody – your fingerprint.
Like the Logitech K810 and K830 models, this keyboard ditches the battery module for straight USB power. The keyboard charges through a standard micro USB charger cable, and offers up to four months of performance on a single charge. The keyboard is especially designed for the latest Windows 10 operating system, and is compatible with all Windows 10 products.
The main appeal of the keyboard is its fingerprint cryptography, however. The keyboard doesn’t just require fingerprint access to type. It ties in directly to your computer or tablet, requiring fingerprint verification in lieu of a password to unlock and activate your device. This makes it harder for would-be criminals and identity thieves to gain access to your personal information. The fingerprint key is located inconspicuously on the keyboard.
As far as typing goes, this isn’t the best-designed or most comfortable keyboard. But in terms of security, this is a page above the rest.
Best Bluetooth Keyboards Under $200
Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760
It’s only fitting to end this article with one more technologically innovative keyboard design. In this case, the Logitech K760, the innovation is in the solar panels. But these aren’t any ordinary solar panels, either. The keyboard can actually be charged purely by the light from your lamp, essentially providing an unlimited source of power.
In addition to its clever and innovative design, the keyboard is attractively laid out, with smart key spacing and indented keys that are easy and comfortable to use. The keyboard can switch between Bluetooth-enabled devices instantly, and the keyboard can run for up to three months even in total darkness.
There is a caveat, however. Where the previous keyboard was only compatible with the Windows 10 operating system, the K760 only works with Apple devices. If you’re a Windows or Android user, you’re out of luck, but if you’re rolling with an iPhone, this keyboard is worth the price.
Best Bluetooth Keyboards Under $300
Logitech K810 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard
With the Logitech K810, we’re back in the realm of smaller keyboards. Performance-wise, there’s a lot to like from this keyboard. It’s compact, its really quiet to use and its durable, thanks to an aluminum finish. But once again, this keyboard lacks a numerical pad.
One of the main flaws of a traditional keyboard is that they’re fairly noisy. The sound of typing never bothered me personally, but not everyone shares my nonchalance. What’s more, the heavy sound of a traditional keyboard can be a lot more distracting in an office setting, where you might have dozens of people all typing at once.
The biggest appeal of this keyboard is that its virtually noiseless. The keys are softer and more sensitive, but they’re also raised enough for good feeling, making this a comfortable keyboard to type on. It can switch from one Bluetooth-connected device to another with just the touch of a button, which is also a convenient feature. Instead of depending on batteries, it can be charged with a standard USB cable, and you can even use it while its typing.
At a glance, the K810 may not seem all that different from the less expensive compact keyboards above. But when you actually start typing, the additional price tag of this keyboard is more than justified.
These reviews focused on smaller, portable Bluetooth keyboards because tablets and smartphones don’t typically have the USB ports that a laptop or desktop does, making standard USB wireless keyboards like the ones I use impossible.
If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Happy shopping!