The best keyboards of 2018: top 10 keyboards compared

Best keyboard
Choose your Mac or PC keyboard carefully

If your keyboard is getting old, dirty and gross, it might be best to go out and buy one of the best keyboards on the market in 2018. Even if you don’t have a keyboard that looks like some kind of horror movie prop – the benefits to comfort, speed and efficiency you gain with the best keyboards makes the price of entry entirely worth it. 

Once you lay your fingers on the best keyboard, you’ll never go back – the advantages you gain in reliability and speed are just out of this world. And, after seeing all the new keyboards at Computex 2018, it’s looking like they’ll get even better soon. 

No matter what kind of work you’re trying to do – whether you’re programming, writing or even just playing the best PC games – the best keyboards will make your life easier. Plus, if you’re looking for the best gaming keyboards, we’ve got you covered with some of the best MLG typewriters, like the Razer Huntsman Elite and Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo.

So whether you’re just trying to connect with friends and family on Facebook, or you’re trying to get some work done, you should look for any keyboard that satisfies all your needs. Luckily, we’re here to help you do just that – we have created this list of the best keyboards that we’ve tested, reviewed or used extensively. Every single keyboard here has earned our seal of approval, so you can be confident that you won’t find any lemons here.

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

1. Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

The keyboard from the future

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Switches: Roccat Titan Switches

 Beautiful design 
 Great for gaming and typing 
 Expensive 

In 2018, it’s becoming the norm for keyboard manufacturers to implement their own custom keyboard switches, and Roccat – with the Vulcan 120 Aimo – is no different. While this keyboard is primarily marketed as a gaming keyboard, its Titan Switches are tactile enough to be satisfying, while still bouncing back quickly enough to be comfortable to type on for extended periods. And, we’d be remiss to not mention the looks – the Vulcan 120 Aimo looks like a science fiction keyboard, we love it.

Read the full review: Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo 

Topre Realforce

2. Topre Realforce 87U Tenkeyless

A low-profile speed machine

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: No | Switches: Topre electrostatic capacitive (30/45/55 grams variable, 45 grams, 55 grams)

Incredible typing feel
High-quality PBT keycaps
Bulky chassis
Awkward cable position

Made by the Japanese Topre Corporation, the Realforce is, as its name suggests, a force of nature in the keyboard world. It's all down to the Topre switches inside, which in contrast to Cherry's MX switches, are super smooth to type on and are often compared to playing weighted piano keys. The RealForce comes in both 45- and 55-gram configurations, though which one you buy depends on the importance of key weight. Oh, and we should probably mention that neither come cheap.

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HyperX Alloy Elite  

Realforce

3. Topre Realforce 104UBS Silent variable

For a quieter Topre experience

Interface: Wired | Switches: Topre electrostatic capacitive silenced (30, 45 and 50 grams)

Smooth typing action
Very quiet
Typing can feel 'sandy'
Expensive

As long as you don’t mind missing out on some of that signature ‘thock’ sound that’s associated with regular Realforce keyboards, opting for a silenced model like the 104 UBS offers some solid benefits. Hitting the 104 UBS’s keys produces sound on par with a membrane keyboard, so it’s perfect for busy offices or shared bedrooms. The ‘dampened’ feel of Topre’s silenced switches can feel a bit like typing on sandpaper compared to a non-silenced board, but we found that it’s worth the trade off if you need a quieter keyboard. 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2.

Filco

4. Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless

Built like a tank and compact

Interface: Wired | Switches: Cherry MX (Brown, Blue, Black, Red)

Solid build quality
Compact
No media functions

Filco's keyboards tend to be built like tanks, and the Majestouch TKL is no different. This space-saving mechanical keyboard features a compact tenkeyless design that has less than 1cm of space between the edge of the keys and the keyboard. Its durability doesn't simply allow it to stand up well to knocks and scrapes – it has a positive impact on its typing feel too. You can hammer away on it at speed, even bottoming out to your heart's content, and the Majestouch 2 will take every bit of punishment.

5. Logitech Craft

Finally, a keyboard for creatives

Interface: Wireless | Switches: Scissor switch mechanism

Weighty, solid construction 
Useful and unique dial 
Expensive 

We’ve seen all kinds of keyboards over the years here at TechRadar, from stylish tenkeyless keyboards to RGB-laden gaming behemoths, but something has always been missing – a focus on creatives. Thankfully, with the Logitech Craft, this is no longer the case. Not only is this a sturdy, tactile and attractive keyboard but it also features a unique dial on its top left corner, which will help creatives expedite their workflow. This dial’s utility will vary depending on the application, from simply controlling the volume on the desktop, to changing levels in various tools in Photoshop. If you spend a lot of time creating content on your PC, the Logitech Craft is one of the best keyboards you can buy today.

Read the full review: Logitech Craft 

HHKB2

5. PFU Happy Hacking Professional 2 (HHKB2)

A coder's dream and typist's treasure

Interface: Wired | Switches: Topre electrostatic capacitive (45 grams)

Incredibly portable
Lightweight
Key layout not for everybody
No arrow keys

Somewhat legendary in keyboard circles, the PFU Happy Hacking Professional 2 (or HHKB2 as it's usually referred to) is that rare beast - a 60% Topre keyboard. Aimed at coders but fantastic for document warriors too, it foregoes traditional arrow keys, instead making use of function keys and key combinations to provide such functionality. It only takes a short while to get used to, once you've got there the huge benefit is that the HHKB2 is small and light enough to take anywhere, giving you access to that sweet Topre "thock" sound and feel anywhere, anytime.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Das Keyboard Prime 13

6. Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID

Beauty meets security

Interface: Bluetooth | Keyboard backlighting: No

Flawless style
Fingerprint scanner
 Expensive 

 

You need only look at Microsoft’s Surface devices to know that they’re kind of killing it when it comes to style, and the Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID takes it to another level. This is one of the best keyboards you can buy today if you’re running Windows 10, and especially if you’re into the Surface aesthetic. Not only does this keyboard feel amazing to type on, but it also features biometric security, by including a discrete fingerprint scanner right next to the right “Alt” key. Sure, it’s expensive, but as with everything Microsoft, you can be sure you’re getting what you pay for.

Read the full review: Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID 

FC660C

7. Leopold Fc660c

Has just enough keys to be useful

Interface: Wired | Switches: Topre electrostatic capacitive (45 grams)

Compact, but with arrow keys
Satisfying typing feel
Heavier than HHKB2

Leopold's Fc660c is more portable than the Realforce 87u, but less so than the lighter and more compact HHKB2. However, the Fc660c benefits from its extra heft and feels like the more solid board. Despite having the same 45 gram actuation force as the HHKB2, the Leopold's keys feel slightly weightier - somewhere nearer to 50 grams. It results one of the most satisfying "thock" sounds on a Topre board.

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HyperX Alloy Elite 

Unicomp

8. Unicomp Classic 104

The ultimate keyboard for typing nostalgia

Interface: Wired | Switches: Buckling spring

Snappy buckling spring switch
Retro design
Can lead to tired fingers
Big and bulky

Remember those old IBM Model M keyboards? Well, that’s what the Unicomp Classic 104 seeks to emulate. Available in both USB and PS/2 versions, it uses a buckling spring switch that takes more effort to press than just about every other modern switch. You’re rewarded for this hard pressing with a tactile response that feels like the classic mechanical keyboards of old, along with a noise that will drive everyone around you mad. 

Best keyboard

9. Das Keyboard Prime 13

Mixing minimalistic style with premium quality

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: White | Switch type: Cherry MX Red or Brown switches

Cherry MX switches
Solid, minimalistic design
Pricey
No volume rocker

Some keyboards just ooze class, and the Das Keyboard Prime 13 is one of them. Its features a solid aluminum top panel for added rigidity and a very minimalistic look. With Cherry's MX Red or Brown switches under the keycaps, you're given a choice between linear and non-linear offerings with a range of actuation points.

It's a great option for media enthusiasts thanks to side lit media control and the inclusion of white backlighting is another bonus. It's not the most affordable keyboard on our list, but if you're looking for something a little bit more premium, Das is the way to go.

Logitech K780

10. Logitech K780

A great option for mobile device owners

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: No

Pairs to three devices
Cradle holds smartphones and tablets
AA, rather than rechargeable battery

According to a government survey, the average British household owned 7.4 internet-connected devices in 2015. Logitech is targeting smartphone and tablet owners who prefer to see their device's display while sat at a computer with its latest keyboard, the K780. If you liked its predecessor, the K380, there's more to love here. (Literally thanks to its added numberpad.)

The K780 can still pair with up to three devices using Bluetooth or wireless, allowing you to chop and change between them, and it features the same comfortable rounded keycaps that remain a pleasure to type on. The star of the show, however, is the keyboard's base, which can hold mobile devices up to 11.3mm thick in an upright position. This places them within arms' reach to make anything from replying to WhatsApp messages or reading a digital magazine easy as pie.

 How to determine the best keyboard for you 

 

It goes without saying that if you demand the look and feel only mechanical switches can provide, rather than those that are slim and stealthy, we suggest perusing our best gaming keyboards round-up instead.

Gamers prioritize the actuation that clicky feeling mechanical keyboards bring, whereas traditional home and office users are more about practicality. That said, the sheer magnitude of sound produced by a lot of mechanical keyboards is offputting to some. For those folks, we have some membrane keyboards to recommend as well.

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article