As a programmer, you are aware that the keyboard is a vital part on which you rely on every day. If you are easy with it, you can do your job efficiently.
What if you are having that annoying strain or pain in your wrists, hands and arms that cause hindrances in your coding work. The reason is your regular keyboard on which you been typing in an unnatural posture. This can lead to serious injuries.
Nothing comes first before health. Keeping this in mind, we urge you to look for the best ergonomic keyboard for programmers. Such a keyboard makes you type in a natural position without causing strain and fatigue.
In this article, we will review some of the best quality ergonomic keyboards you can purchase if you do programming. We will also look at various aspects you should check out in such options.
List of Best Ergonomic Keyboards for Programmers in 2020
The following keyboards particularly stand out in terms of performance, value or features.
- Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic – Domed Keyboard Design – Recommended Ergonomic Keyboards for Programmers
- Logitech Ergo K860 – Split Layout –Wireless – Highly Popular
- Perixx Periboard-512 – Highly Affordable Split Keyboard
- Kinesis Advantage2 – Contoured Design – Premium Features – Expensive
- Kinesis Freestyle2 – Separate Split Design – Wired
1. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic – Domed Keyboard Design – Recommended Ergonomic Keyboards for Programmers
There’s a combo product from Microsoft in the form of Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop. It’s a three in-one-package of keyboard, mouse and separate number pad.
We highly nominate this product as the best ergonomic keyboard for programmers over its design basis, wireless connectivity and encryption technology.
The three parts are wireless and operate on batteries. They only connect through a USB dongle.
The keyboard has a domed-shaped design that promotes a more natural, relaxed posture. The keys are chiclet-style and quiet. The machine is also equipped with a large removable and cushioned palm rest.
At first, you will find the keyboard as rather unusual. As you use it more you will gradually adjust to it.
The separate Numpad is also convenient as it lets you use it from an appropriate position to enter numbers.
With a round shape, the mouse is also built on ergonomic principles as it helps to place your hands and wrists in a better way. It also has a Windows button that provides instant access to the Start Menu.
This keyboard further supports the encryption of keystrokes so that your information is protected. This could be useful as a programmer.
2. Logitech Ergo K860 – Split Layout –Wireless – Highly Popular
If you want a well-built keyboard that’s also popular, then the Logitech Ergo K860 could be your best choice.
This accessory is full-sized in terms of form factor with an integrated Numpad. It flaunts an ergonomist approved design that would suit programmers who type heavily.
The reason is that this machine has a sloping design and split keyframe that would make you type with less strain.
To provide increased support the keyboard has a wrist rest that is pillowed. According to Logitech, it decreases wrist bending to a great extent. Note that the wrist rest is not removable though.
A palm lift feature is also included that you can adjust. This lets you type comfortably when you are standing or seated.
You will cherish that this machine is wireless and connects through the included USB receiver or Bluetooth. Plus, the 2 AAA batteries it uses are known to last up to 24 months.
3. Perixx Periboard-512 – Highly Affordable Split Keyboard
Are you searching for a quality keyboard without breaking the bank? Then we have an affordable option for you.
This Perixx Periboard-512 stands as the best ergonomic keyboard for programmers who are on a tight budget yet need an acceptable performance.
Sporting a split key layout and a 3-D build, this would keep your hand and arms in a relaxed position. As a result, you can do programming more healthily. An integrated palm rest is also part of the keyboard.
Despite being a membrane keyboard, it has keys that have a tactile feel when pressed. They also don’t make a loud noise. Keep in mind that the keycaps are thicker, and it also requires greater travel distance to press the keys.
You may take some time to fully adjust to a comfortable typing experience.
This is a full-sized large keyboard with a number pad and is bulky. You get 7 hotkeys that are built-in on the accessory’s top for various functions including volume control.
Further, you can connect this peripheral through a long USB cable instantly and start using it. Also, it’s made to work on Windows-based computers only.
4. Kinesis Advantage2 – Contoured Design – Premium Features – Expensive
We have a machine that’s known for its unique contoured design, original low-profile mechanical switches and customizable layouts. It’s the Kinesis Advantage2 keyboard that’s expensive but worthy if you can afford it.
The keyboard is divided into concave key wells and thumb keys. Together they help you achieve a natural and relaxed posture that greatly shortens key reach. You can use your thumbs to reach for common keys such as enter and backspace.
Note that the keys are arranged in an orthogonal layout that corresponds to the natural motion of fingers. Palm support is also there for easy feel.
You may need some time and practice to fully adjust to the peripheral.
As you see this wired keyboard makes use of Cherry MX switches that are well-known for their tactile feedback and requires comparatively low force to press the keys. They are also durable.
You will like the fact that you can customize the layout according to your requirements. Not only the keyboard supports both Qwerty and Dvorak layouts, but you can also set macros and remapping of the keys. This feature will be a boon to many programmers.
The keyboard is also available in different variants of Cherry MX switches and layouts.
5. Kinesis Freestyle2 – Separate Split Design – Wired
In the last, we have a keyboard that’s known for its unusual and versatile split design. It’s the Kinesis Freestyle2 that is made to increase your comfort levels and make you more productive as a programmer.
This machine works on the principle that you can customize the position of the two keyboard modules or halves by adjusting split, tenting and splay. The purpose is to work with a natural position of hands, wrists and arms.
You can adjust the separate modules up to 20 inches of distance.
This keyboard is based on membrane key switches which are quiet and tactile and require a low force to press the keys. This will help to reduce strain on your fingers.
To provide added comfort, you can attach the pivot tether to adjust the modules to make them slant. It helps to keep your wrists straight.
Note that a cable inter-connects the two modules.
A thing to cherish is that the left half has various hotkeys for common tasks such as copy and paste.
Do note that this machine doesn’t come with a number pad. You must rely on the top of the two halves for typing numbers.
We rightly recommend this peripheral as the best ergonomic keyboard for programmers over its design and capability to make various adjustments to type naturally.
How to Choose the Right Ergonomic Keyboard for Programming?
There are a few key aspects you should look for when purchasing an ergonomic keyboard that’s specifically suited for programming.
These are as follows:
Choice of Keyboard Type
As you see, an ergonomic keyboard is designed for ease of use, reduced strain and pain and increased comfort on the user. The goal is to make the typing process efficient and more intuitive.
As a programmer, your keyboard must meet these goals so that you can work productively. When looking for an ergonomic keyboard, two types are frequently used:
This keyboard has a wave-like or concave shape that is slightly peaked in the middle. It has the appearance of a wavy pathway when observed from the above.
This type of keyboard has a noticeable split in the middle. As a result, the two sides angle away from each other. This helps in hand spacing and wrist support.
In our recommendation, a quality split keyboard would be adequate for programmers. You can also opt for a contoured one if it suits you better in your comfort level.
Form Factor and Layout
We recommend you to get a full-sized keyboard that has 104 keys including the number pad. It makes you available all the keys you need.
Chances are as a programmer you seldom use the number pad. In that case, you can purchase a tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard which excludes the number pad.
Though most work is done with standard Qwerty layout of the keyboard, other layouts tend to make you type faster. One of these is the Dvorak layout.
We endorse the layout which you are most used to for typing. Note that most keyboards today in the market have Qwerty layout.
When buying a keyboard suitable for programming, do make sure that it comes with a wrist/palm rest.
The purpose of palm rest allows for keeping the wrists in a healthy posture i.e. they are in line with the forearm. This is important as your hands “float” over the palm rest. (Source)
The palm rest in some keyboards are pillowed or cushioned. The soft material used in them provides additional support for floating your wrists and hands comfortably.
You will find two choices in connecting your keyboard to your PC: wireless or wired.
For programming, we prefer to have a wired keyboard as it establishes a reliable and consistent connection with your computer.
In contrast, you can opt for a wireless keyboard that uses USB dongle or Bluetooth connection and need batteries. These can either be recharged or replaced.
Wireless keyboards sometimes have input lag. However, today they have become almost as good as wired ones. They also lessen the wire clutter. You can opt for one if you are more comfortable with them.
Being a programmer, you can have a healthy and enjoyable computing experience by using an ergonomic keyboard.
It has somewhat become a necessity today due to the demanding nature of your work. So, investing in such a keyboard would be a clever step.
We hope that this article on the best ergonomic keyboard for programmers would be helpful to you to work with full attention and enjoyment.