The classic photograph of Ernest Hemingway sitting in front of his typewriter is a source of inspiration for modern writers. Unfortunately, typewriters are not a very practical tool for writing nowadays – as much as we’d love hearing the clicking and clacking as we write the next great American novel, there are more apporpriate options out there.
A good keyboard should help to support you in becoming a better, faster, and more focused writer. And as no two writers are the same, you should also be picking a keyboard that fits with your writing lifestyle. Here, our roundup of the best keyboards for writers.
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Features You Might Need
Lots of extra features are great, but there is no point in paying for features that you don’t really need. Gold plated keys might be cool, but they aren’t going to help you land your next book deal.
But what if you’re not sure what you need? Here are a couple key features that are useful to specific writing lifestyles.
If you are a travel writer, you will want to take your keyboard with you for on-the-go editing. Look for something lightweight and compact. You should be able to fit it in your bag easily. You will probably need something wireless – pay attention to whether your keyboard will connect directly to your computer’s bluetooth or whether it’ll need a USB dongle, which sits in the USB port of your computer.
You should perhaps look for a keyboard with more programmable options – for example, if you are using a lot of processes, you might want macro features.
Night Owl Writers
If you’re up late, definitely look for backlit keys.
Share a room with someone and prone to flashes of inspiration in the middle of the night? You might also want a quieter typing experience…
For authors who sit and write for hours at a time, you want to take care of your wrists. Look for keyboards that have ergonomic comfort and support features.
The Best Keyboards For Writers
Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, let’s check out our pick of the ten best keyboards for writers on the market in 2020.
Razer BlackWidow Lite
Sold from $76.48 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Razer BlackWidow Lite keyboard is known for its accuracy and responsive keys. It is a mechanical keyboard, with that sweet clicking sound. However, the sound is muffled, thanks to o-rings under the keys. It is compact, making it ideal for travel. The BlackWidow Lite has back-lit keys, and is compatible with Razer Synapse 3, a cloud program for shortcuts and macros.
Razer’s keyboard has one other really interesting feature. It has a lifespan of 80 million keystrokes. So unless you’re James Patterson, cranking out multiple best-selling books a year, this ought to last you through your first few novels.
- Zero-Compromise Mechanical Switch for Speed & Accuracy: Razer Orange switch technology provides tactile feedback with a quieter click, requiring 45 G of actuation force; ideal for most gaming and typing experiences
- Included O-Ring Sound Dampeners: Further reduces key noise, travel distance, and typing fatigue
- Individually Backlit Keys: White LED lighting with full brightness control beyond the customizability of zone-lit keyboards
- Fully Programmable Macro Support: Razer Hypershift allows for all keys and keypress combinations to be remapped to execute complex commands
- Tournament-Ready Design: A tenkeyless design with a detachable USB cable provides a portable form-factor for on-the-go gamers
Apple Magic Keyboard
Sold from $72.73 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Apple Magic Keyboard truly lives up to its name. This compact device is great for carrying with you to your next writer’s workshop, especially since it is compatible with PCs and your iPad. It actually automatically pairs with your Mac and is Bluetooth enabled. It also lays flat, with a lightning port on the rear for charging.
The Magic Keyboard has a long-lasting, rechargeable battery built in to its low-key frame. Because of this feature, you could use your keyboard wirelessly for over a month before needing to charge it again. Let’s be honest, this is perfect for when you’re so wrapped up in your characters that you forget to eat dinner – let alone charge your devices.
- Magic Keyboard combines a sleek design with a built-in rechargeable battery and enhanced key features.
- With a stable scissor mechanism beneath each key, as well as optimized key travel and a low profile, Magic Keyboard provides a remarkably comfortable and precise typing experience.
- It pairs automatically with your Mac, so you can get to work right away.
- And the battery is incredibly long-lasting—it will power your keyboard for about a month or more between charges
- System Requirements: Bluetooth-enabled Mac computer with OS X 10.11 or later, iPad models with iPadOS, iOS devices with iOS 9.1 or later
Logitech ERGO K860
Sold from $124.12 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Logitech ERGO K860 keyboard has some unique design features. It is built to allow you to type more naturally, using a split key frame that supposedly improves typing posture. So hopefully, this keyboard could help to prevent you from sitting in a hunched position as you type.
It has a gentle slope that helps to ease strain on your wrists and the muscles in your arm. One of the dangers of a writer’s life, aside from the critics, is wrist pain. Logitech promises 54% more wrist support and a 21% reduction in muscle activity for certain muscles that affect neck and shoulder movement.
It also comes with a 3-layer wrist rest that is thick and stain resistant. The keyboard is Bluetooth enabled with a USB connection which is wireless up to (a claimed) 33 ft, which is a fairly decent distance.
- Improved Typing Posture: Type more naturally with a curved, split keyframe and reduce muscle strain on your wrists and forearms thanks to the sloping keyboard design
- Pillowed Wrist Rest: Curved wrist rest with memory foam layer offers typing comfort with 54 per cent more wrist support; 25 per cent less wrist bending compared to standard keyboard without palm rest
- Perfect Stroke Keys: Scooped keys match the shape of your fingertips so you can type with confidence on a wireless keyboard crafted for comfort, precision and fluidity
- Adjustable Palm Lift: Whether seated or standing, keep your wrists in total comfort and a natural typing posture with ergonomically-designed tilt legs of 0, -4 and -7 degrees
- Ergonomist Approved: The ERGO K860 wireless ergonomic keyboard is certified by United States Ergonomics to improve posture and lower muscle strain
Kinesis Freestyle Pro
Sold from $169.00 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
If you’re a tech-focused writer, the Kinesis Freestyle Pro might be an interesting keyboard for you as it has lots of programming options in addition to its basic typing functions.
The Freestyle Pro is split into two halves of the keyboard, connected with an adjustable cable. Depending on your set-up, you can customize it to fit your typing needs. It also has mechanical switches and has complete on-board programmability. It is compatible with Windows, Max, Dvorak, Linux, Android, and Chrome, making it easy to switch between the layouts.
Kinesis thinks about your wrist health too, offering a “Zero Degree Slope” for their board. Their keyboard actually angles slightly forward to help ease the tension on your wrists while you type.
- Award-winning split design: advanced ergonomics for all body types and preferences via adjustable split, splay, and tent (tenting accessories sold separately). new cable storage compartment supports up to 20" Of separation when you need it.
- Genuine Cherry mechanical switches for premium typing feel and performance: Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches feature a low activation force, tactile feedback, and are rated for 50 million key presses for unmatched durability.
- Full onboard programmability with the Driverless SmartSet engine: 9 custom layouts, 8 Office hotkeys, on-the-fly macro recording, one-touch key remapping, pre-configured Mac and Dvorak layouts, settings saved to keyboards 4MB flash memory, and the SmartSet app GUI for Windows & Mac.
- Plug-and-play with all major operating systems: Windows 7-10, Mac OS X, Linux, Chrome.
- 2 year manufacturer's warranty: buy with confidence knowing that KINESIS engineers all our products in the USA to the highest standards and stands behind them 100 percent since 1992.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Sold from $55.96 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is built to help you relax and feel comfortable. This is an excellent choice for writer’s who spend a lot of time on their keyboard and are worried about their wrists and arms. It has a natural tilt and a unique design to keep your hands in the best position for your body.
The Sculpt includes Windows’ one-touch feature for the start-up menu, and it has an entirely separate number pad. This means you can reshape your work space to suit your preferences. It is wireless with USB options, but it does only work with a PC.
- Split keyset design helps to position wrists and forearms in a natural, relaxed position
- Cushioned palm rest provides support and promotes a neutral wrist position
- Domed keyboard design positions wrists at a natural, relaxed angle
- Separate number pad provides greater flexibility for workspace setup
- Natural arc key layout mimics the curved shape of the finger tips
Ducky One 2 Mini
Sold from $119.00 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Ducky One 2 Mini is a fairly simple keyboard option. But sometimes for writers, simple is better. It means less distractions and more writing.
The mini keyboard has a petite design with durable key caps. It includes a detachable USB and three level angle adjustment with key rollover to handle multiple key presses. Ducky promises it will be longer lasting with a brighter screen.
This keyboard has back-lit keys, but not in the way you would expect. Instead of the plain white or blue lighting, it has a multicolored option with 10 brightness mode options. This could be really fun, but would certainly be up to the writer’s preferences.
- It is designed and engineered in a way to provide the durability and typing experience.
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical
Sold from $699.99 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical has some really exciting features and options. It is lightweight with an aluminum frame., making it easy to carry with you to a meeting with your editor. It has full-key rollover capability and removable wrist wrests (double-sided) to make writing more comfortable for you.
While it is only Windows compatible, It has 8MB of in-board storage. And it allows you to store and playback both macros and lighting options. What does this mean for you? Mega customization.
If you have certain functions you do a lot, you might be really into macros for your writing process. They can save you a lot of time and hassle. Corsair’s keyboard has 6 macro keys that are textured with contouring to set them apart from your other keys.
Das Keyboard 4 Professional
Sold from $169.00 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Das Keyboard 4 is another simple choice to help you stay focused on getting your words written. But it does have a couple head-turning options. It has a two port USB and a footbar that doubles as a ruler. As a writer, you do so much research; honestly, you never know when you’re going to need a ruler.
Additionally, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional promises a better audio experience, with a volume knob to get more precise settings. It’s PC compatible with Windows, Linux, or Mac. We can’t forget about its instant sleep button to save your power – great for saving battery life while you’re waiting for that writer’s block to go away.
- 4 PROFESSIONAL MECHANICAL KEYBOARD - The thinnest mechanical keyboard in the world! The combination of tactile feel, the psycho-acoustic experience and incredible craftsmanship all deliver an unmatched typing experience that only Das Keyboard 4 offers. With a Das Keyboard 4, you'll type faster and longer. It feels so good, you won't want to stop.
- PREMIUM SOFT TACTILE EXPERIENCE - Best-in-class Cherry MX Brown mechanical key switches provide tactile and audio feedback so accurate it allows you to execute every keystroke with lightning-fast precision. Factory lubricated stabilizers on large keys for smooth typing with bumps on the F and J keys. The Soft Pressure Point switch technology makes the mechanical keyboard less clicky while providing an awesome tactile experience.
- UP TO 50 MILLION KEYSTROKES - Laser-etched keycaps for maximum durability are paired with Cherry MX Brown switches, giving your new mechanical keyboard life up to 50 million keystrokes. High-performance, gold-plated switches provide the best contact and typing experience because, unlike other metals, gold does not rust, increasing the lifespan of the switch.
- FULL N-KEY ROLLOVER - Fast typists, productive professionals and gamers will appreciate that Das Keyboard 4 supports full NKRO over USB. No need to use a PS2 adapter anymore. Just press shift + mute to toggle to NKRO (works with both Windows and Linux).
- 2 PORT USB 3.0 HUB & MORE - The convenience to charge USB devices & simultaneously upload content through USB is right at your fingertips. A blazing fast 2- port USB 3.0 hub to transfer music, high resolution pics & large videos at up to 5Gb/second. That’s 10x faster than USB 2.0. Extra long 6.5ft(201cm) USB cable w/ single USB A connector. Dedicated media controls w/ LARGE VOLUME KNOB & instant sleep button. Magnetically detachable footbar ruler to raise the keyboard to an optimal 4-degrees.
Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless
Sold from $46.39 on Amazon (link opens in new window)
The Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless is actually a pretty fantastic keyboard. Yes, it’s basic, but basic things can sometimes be best – especially if they are well designed. This Logitech comes with a numbers pad on the side for shortcuts, and is Bluetooth enabled.
It’s wireless up to 33 ft, but works with a USB as well. It promises silent typing, which usually means a really smooth typing experience.
This is another keyboard that works with PCs, phones, and tablets too. It’s compatible with Mac, Chrome, Android. But our favorite feature? The K780 has a built-in Rubber cradle that can hold your wireless devices. So you can work right from your phone, without having to find a good place to prop it up.
- Multi-device wireless keyboard: Beautiful type-on-everything keyboard with easy switching between three devices, including any computer, tablet and smartphone
- Logitech FLOW cross-computer typing: Use as a regular keyboard or combine with a compatible Logitech FLOW mouse (sold separately) to type, copy, paste and move files seamlessly between computers
- Comfortable typing: Full size, fully equipped keyboard with large, quiet keys and convenient number pad
- Integrated phone and tablet stand: Holds your devices at the perfect angle to type and read
- Wide compatibility: Windows 8 or later , Mac OS X 10.10 or later , iOS 5 or later , Android 5.0 or later Chrome OS
SteelSeries Apex 3
Yes, the SteelSeries Apex 3 is technically a gaming keyboard, but hear me out. First of all, it’s water-resistant. This means that when you accidentally spill whatever drink that’s keeping you fueled, it’ll be ok. It has a removable magnetic wrist support, along with customizable backlighting options.
It has super quiet keys, making it easy for you to stay up late writing without waking anyone up. You can also get 20 million keystrokes out of this baby. This keyboard could last you all the way through your next teen wizarding series, no problem.
Our Top Pick
This list has a ton of incredible options, it’s true. But for a topic pick, we would have to go with the Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless. It has a sleek design with wireless features that make it easy to bring anywhere.
The rubber device cradle is really what sold us though. As writers, inspiration doesn’t always strike when it’s convenient. We love how easy it is to use whatever device you have to get words on the page.
This keyboard allows you to write when and where it works for you.
This list has some of the best keyboard options out right now. But you should be making sure that anything you pick will support you in your writing goals. Once your fingers hit those keys, the most important thing is to keep on writing.