Computers can cause enough frustration on their own without a poor quality keyboard making everything worse.
Whether you’re an accomplished touch typer, an avid gamer or you hardly know a Caps Lock from a Ctrl, having a keyboard with a comfortable layout, keys that respond precisely and the odd whizzy feature can make all the difference.
Below, we’ve picked out 10 of the best examples on the market, but before we dive in, here are a few things to look out for.
Mechanical key-switches are in vogue and for good reason. Keyboards with mechanical switches provide that old-school big keyboard feel with a precise, predictable key action for each key, making them particularly good for experienced typers. The switches also last much longer than cheaper keyboards without mechanical switches.
If you’re hoping to take your keyboard around, even from room to room, a low-profile model is key, and you’ll probably want it to be Bluetooth, too. These tend not to offer as good a pure typing experience as larger keyboards but are considerably easier to transport.
Meanwhile, for gamers, a keyboard with extra gaming keys allows you to set off game macros without complicated key combinations.
CoolerMaster MasterKeys Pro L: £89.99, Overclockers.co.uk
The MasterKeys Pro L packs in everything we love about high-end keyboards – mechanical switches, RGB backlighting, gaming shortcuts and multimedia controls – but does away with all the pointless extras and garish styling.
The addition of a white base under the keys and a black surround really makes the backlighting pop while also providing protection to the edges of the keys.
The typing experience is excellent too. It’s great value for such a well-made keyboard.
Logitech K120: £9, Ebuyer.com
To an extent, when spending so little on a keyboard you can pretty much just grab any old model and it’ll do the job. However, go for the Logitech K120 and at least you’ll have a known brand and a guarantee that it’ll do the basics.
This is a full-size keyboard including a number pad, so you don’t miss out on anything in that regard.
It’s just that its plastic build makes it a little flimsy and it uses cheap rubber membrane key switches which aren’t as responsive or hard-wearing as mechanical ones. For £9, though, you can’t go wrong.
Microsoft All-in One Media Keyboard: £34, Microsoft.com
If you have a PC you like to control remotely or you want a keyboard for your games console, this little keyboard from Microsoft is a great option.
It’s wireless and incorporates a touchpad so you can move your mouse cursor around, allowing you to control your whole system from the comfort of your sofa.
It’s also small and lightweight for easy stowage yet large and stable enough to still make typing easy.
Logitech K480 Multi-Device Keyboard: £55, Logitech.com
If your phone or tablet doesn’t otherwise have a case that holds it up on a desk, the Logitech K480 is a great way to add this functionality as well as provide a better typing experience.
Just drop your device into the slot at the back to hold it at a convenient angle then connect the keyboard via Bluetooth.
This is a bit big and heavy to travel with but is great for at home, if a tablet is your main computing device.
Corsair Gaming K55: £50, Overclockers.co.uk
For gamers on a budget the Corsair K55 offers all the essentials but for a bargain basement price.
Extra gaming keys run down the left edge, multimedia keys along the top and below all the keys is that all essential addition of RGB backlighting.
The big compromise here, other than missing out on the aluminium top of the K95 (see below), is the use of cheaper rubber dome key switches rather than mechanical ones.
This makes for a slightly mushier, less-precise feel and will mean the keyboard won’t last as long.
Microsoft Modern Keyboard: £80, Ebuyer.com
The Microsoft Modern Keyboard has a similar stylish, low-profile design to the Microsoft Modern Keyboard.
This aluminium clad keyboard connects to your computer via Bluetooth and offers, well, not a lot really. It’s a fairly basic keyboard in terms of functionality.
However, you do get a fingerprint reader built into one of the keys, for quick and easy logging in, plus it can operate in a wireless or wired mode, so you never need worry about running out of battery.
Apple Magic Keyboard: £99.99, Apple.com
Apple likes to do things its own way, and sure enough that applies to its keyboards too.
A different layout and key functions mean it’s often a struggle to use other keyboards with its computers. As such, sticking with its own-brand keyboards is nearly always the way to go.
The Magic Keyboard connects via Bluetooth, is a thing of beauty and it offers an excellent typing experience. If you simply must have a number pad, you can pick up the Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad for £129.
Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard: £100, Microsoft.com
Make the most of your phone or tablet with this tiny, foldable keyboard. It connects via Bluetooth and provides a comfortable typing experience that’s vastly superior to trying to tap away at a touchscreen.
Once you’re done, fold it in half for easy storage. It’s just 5mm thick, yet this keyboard will last three months on a single charge of its built-in battery.
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard: £120, Microsoft.com
Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboards have long been the go-to option for those with RSI. Their raised middle, split keys and splayed layout makes for a more natural angle for your hands and arms.
This latest iteration looks smarter than ever and uses low-profile keys, making for a better typing experience and longer key life. Otherwise it’s a fairly basic keyboard with few extra functions.
If you prefer deeper keys and a few extra functions, the cheaper Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is the way to go, though its key action isn’t as good.
Logitech Craft Wireless Keyboard: £146, Currys
The Logitech Craft is aimed at boosting the productivity of creative professionals via its input dial lets you control all manner of extra functions. For instance, you can use it to scroll through a video timeline or adjust the contrast on an image.
You can tailor what it does using Logitech’s Options software, plus you get native support in a host of Adobe and Microsoft programs.
The whole keyboard also has key labels for both Mac and PC.
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum: £185, Corsair.com
The K95 Platinum is the ultimate gaming keyboard.
With its stylish aluminium base and RGB lighting it looks and feels the part, but more importantly, it’s packed with features too. You have dedicated multimedia keys and a volume wheel along the top edge and six keys down the left edge are for gaming macros.
Meanwhile, the keys’ mechanical switches and clear labelling make for a great typing and gaming experience. It’s pricey but this keyboard delivers.
Verdict: Best keyboards
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.