Best keyboardsUpdated February 14, 2014 12:04 PM PST
Trade in your stock keyboard for one of these alternatives and watch your productivity shoot through the roof. The following picks run the gamut of functionality and appeal to a variety of typists; some reduce finger motion or angle your hands for a more comfortable typing position, others cater programmable keys and profile switching to hardcore gamers, and others are sleek and minimalistic for those desiring a low-profile peripheral that won't add bulk to a desktop environment. The good news is that more features don't necessarily imply a higher price tag- you'll find a range of prices to satisfy Scrooge McDucks and Warren Buffetts alike.
Apple Wireless Keyboard (2007)
Apple bundles its Wireless Keyboard with every new iMac because it matches the computer's strengths in terms of minimal design and simple functionality. While some may bemoan its lack of extra features, the Apple Wireless Keyboard does the job and looks good doing it.
Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Blue Switch
Mechanical keyboards are gaining popularity in circles that miss the tactility of the original IBM Model M, and Rosewill introduces an inexpensive version in the RK-9000. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of competitors like Das Keyboard, but the Cherry Blue switches, molded keycaps, and simple-yet-durable design make the Rosewill RK-9000 an excellent, affordable product to start your click-clack keyboard addiction.
The Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent is aesthetically minimal and designed for keyboard purists who miss the noisy days of the first IBM Model M. Its $135 price tag will deter casual users who can find a cheaper input device with extra features elsewhere, but power typists will find comfort, utility, and nostalgia in the Model S Professional's sleek design and springboard performance.
Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard
The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350 stands out for its comfortable ergonomic touches, an easy learning curve, affordable price, and unique Unifying connection. We have minor issues with the placement of the media controls, but heavy typists will appreciate what Logitech has to offer.
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
At $125, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is a competitively priced mechanical gaming keyboard in its range. We just wish Razer had done more to set this "Ultimate" edition apart from Razer's more affordable standard BlackWidow.
Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
The keys on the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard are comfortable to use and emit a satisfying click, but it lacks convenient features we've come to expect from a PC keyboard. Nevertheless, we think this Logitech is a practical, affordable, and convenient keyboard that manages to look sexy at the same time.
Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard with Color Display
Logitech's $200 G19 Gaming Keyboard boasts a built-in color LCD with exciting capabilities, as well as lots of little improvements over previous models. But with few apps--thus far--that take advantage of the screen in a meaningful way, the G19's potential remains largely untapped. Until the community software effort gets rolling, we can't recommend spending this much on a keyboard that, while flashy, has yet to realize its full potential.
Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 Keyboard
The Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 is a solid keyboard and mouse combination with a bevy of customizable buttons that make it a no-brainer to use with a home theater PC, but the asymmetrical button layout on the keyboard requires time to learn. If you're looking for a more ergonomic desktop set and willing to put in a little work, the Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 will serve you well.