Best Keyboards for Data Entry in 2024

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Data Entry experts a significant amount of their time on keyboards. As such, a Keyboard is essentially a tool of their trade.

A good keyboard can go a long way in ensuring that you have a comfortable overall typing experience which can improve your efficiency as well as save you from fatigue.

There are no specialized best keyboards for data entry. But, there are a few certain features that are characteristics of a good data entry keyboard.

A keyboard should feel light, the keys should be easy to press, and they should have a balance of precision and speed.

In order to find the right keyboard for yourself, you will need to familiarize yourself with two important concepts: the actuation force of the keys and the actuation distance of the keys.

I will explain this further in the text below as we go and talk about my favorite pics for data entry specialists. 

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Actuation Force and Actuation Distance

These two terms essentially define HOW the keys and the keyboard, in general, will feel to the user. They highlight the overall typing experience.

actuation force

The actuation force, as the name suggests, is the amount of force you will need to put in each keypress for it to get registered.

Heavier keys can cause fatigue, BUT they are accurate.

Lighter keys are fast and can be comfortable BUT at the cost of accuracy.

Rtings.com categorizes the actuation force of the keys into three:

  • < 45 gf – Very Light key presses
  • 45 to 65 gf – Light key presses
  • > 65 gf – Heavy key presses

Actuation distance

Actuation Distance, on the other hand, is how deep the keys have to travel in order for them to get registered. The longer the key press, the more accurate it is, but at the cost of speed.

This can range from less than 1.5 mm all the way to more than 4.00 mm.

For a keyboard for Data Entry, the foremost important is low actuation force. You need to get a keyboard with as light keys as possible because you need comfort for longer sessions.

As far as the actuation distance goes, that depends upon the user’s preference. 

  • For those who prefer speed: go for a short actuation distance
  • For those who prefer accuracy: go for a long actuation distance.

Of course, you can also choose to have a balance between the two

Options for Best Keyboards for Data Entry

As mentioned earlier, for Data Entry, comfort is of paramount importance. And for that, you need to have a keyboard with low actuation force.

Sale
Corsair K100 RGB

Mechanical Keyboard | Cherry MX Speed Switches |  6 Dedicated Macro Keys
Wired
Operating force = 42 gf (Very Light)
Pre/Total travel = 1.1 – 3.4 mm (Medium)
Cushioned Wrist Rest

The best thing going on for this keyboard is the very low actuation force. While expensive, it is a mechanical keyboard with tactile feedback.

As far as the actuation distance goes, it is toward the short/medium range.

As such, this keyboard is rather built for comfort and speed as opposed to comfort and precision.

Both light keys and short travel distances promote speed at the sacrifice of precision.

But precision is something that can develop over time. The comfort factor that shallow travel distance and lighter keys offer cannot be developed once the purchase is made.

Low Profile: Precision and Speed

Low-profile keyboards have a very short travel distance. However, they do have heavier keys because having a short travel distance and at the same time light keys is a recipe for inaccuracy.

Logitech MX Keys

Low Profile | Chiclet/Scissor | Dished Keys | Tactile | Illuminated
Wireless
61gf operating force (light)
1.3mm / 1.9mm Pre-Travel / Total Distance (short)
No Wrist Rest

This keyboard needs no introduction as it is among the most popular out there.

This keyboard is made with precision in mind. While the keys are not as light as I would want them to be, the fact they are scooped keys and heavy at the same time highlights the importance this keyboard gives to precision.

Since this is a low-profile keyboard, it also has keys with perhaps some of the shortest travel distances, making it excellent for speed.

Compared to the Corsair K100 RGB above, it may cause a bit of fatigue.

Balancing Comfort, Speed and Accuracy
Glorious GMMK 2

Mechanical Keyboard | Linear Glorious Fox Switches
Wired
Operating force = 50 gf (Light)
Pre/Total travel = 2.7 – 4.3 mm (Long)
No Wrist Rest

A keyboard with moderate levels of operating force required and a long travel distance means you get

  • Comfort – thanks to lighter keys
  • Speed – thanks to lighter keys
  • Accuracy – thanks to longer travel distance

Hence, this can potentially be the jack of all trades for data entry specialists.

Mechanical vs Membrane vs Scissor Switches vs Rubber Dome

You may have heard of these terms often coming up. They do not essentially whether one is better than the other, they just define the technology being used for the keys.

Mechanical keyboards are premium keyboards. They are expensive, but their typing experience is one that cannot be compared.

Plus, the beauty of mechanical keyboards is that they come in different switches. Some are heavy, others are light, some have a longer actuation distance, others don’t, some have tactile feedback, and others are linear and quiet.

You can essentially find tailor-made mechanical keyboards thanks to the choice of switches you have.

Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, are the average keyboards that you normally find in offices, homes, or even on your laptop.

Membrane keyboards are cheaper than mechanical keyboards.

There are two popular technologies for membrane keyboards:

  • Rubber Dome: They are cheapest, heaviest, and with long travel distance – not recommended for data entry
  • Scissor Switches: These are your low-profile switches like the ones you find on Apple Magic Keyboard, Logitech MX keys, or on your laptop.

Generally, membrane keyboards require a higher actuation force as compared to membrane keyboards are thus not as comfortable.

Conclusion

Different users prefer different types and characteristics of keyboards for data entry purposes. So it has become necessary to invest in the right one.

We hope that this article on the best keyboard for data entry will help in getting the right accessory for your work needs.

Do note that the right keyboard would significantly help you to improve your professional life.

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