Keyboards come in a great variety. If you are a developer or a coder with any specialization, some keyboards help you perform your tasks more efficiently and easily. So that your productivity isn’t compromised.
When it comes to typing, you should be 100% comfortable and the keyboard’s keys must be responsive and not requiring greater force.
Therefore you must look for the best keyboard for developers. A worthy keyboard helps you to design websites, create software, or do other tasks without troubles.
In this article, we will review some of the best quality keyboards you can purchase if you are a developer. We will also look at different aspects you should consider in such options.
List of Best Keyboards for Developers in 2020
The following keyboards in our opinion stand out the most for developers if you want to get the best out of them.
- Das Keyboard 4 – Mechanical – Premium and Wired Keyboard for Developers
- VELOCIFIRE TKL02 – Affordable – Wired and Compact
- Ajazz AK510 Retro Mechanical – Wired – Retro Style
- Microsoft Surface Keyboard – Slim and Wireless – Chiclet Style
- Apple Magic Keyboard – Lightweight and Wireless – For Apple Developers
1. Das Keyboard 4 – Mechanical – Premium and Wired Keyboard for Developers
This accessory could be a great option as the best keyboard for developers if you want top-notch performance.
The Das Keyboard 4 is a wired mechanical one and based on Cherry MX brown switches having gold contacts. It’s known for this switch that it has soft tactile feedback and doesn’t produce a loud clicky sound when pressing a key.
As a result, you get fast and accurate typing while not producing loud noise. This is beneficial if you work in a quiet office setting.
There are other handy features that you will like. For instance, it has dedicated buttons for media control and sleep function along with a large volume-controlling knob.
Secondly, it features a full n-key rollover feature over USB with anti-ghosting. This allows typing multiple keys at once while programming.
Moreover, the top panel made is made from aluminum and this makes the machine look attractive.
There’s also a dual-port USB 3.0 hub that is part of the keyboard. A long included USB cable that connects to your computer can power both the keyboard and the USB hub.
2. VELOCIFIRE TKL02 – Affordable – Wired and Compact
An affordable option is here in the form of VELOCIFIRE TKL02. We highly recommend this peripheral as the best keyboard for developers if you are low on budget.
It’s a wired keyboard and based on brown switches that produce low noise. These switches do have a tactile bump as you register a keystroke. As you type more, you will adjust to it in terms of accuracy and speed.
Chances are as a programmer, you occasionally use the number pad on the far right of the keyboard. For this reason, this model lacks one. As a result, you get more working space to use your mouse on your desk.
Do note this compact-sized keyboard works fully with Windows and Linux based systems. There is limited compatibility with Mac OS.
As a heavy typer, you will cherish that that one has slightly curved keys which leads to the better positioning of hands in terms of ergonomics. So, you won’t probably feel fatigued and pain as you type for long. There’s also a white LED backlight that helps to type accurately.
3. Ajazz AK510 Retro Mechanical – Wired – Retro Style
The Ajazz AK510 mechanical keyboard would remind you of the classic grey-white color scheme of the keyboards of the 90s. You can get this if you want a good keyboard with good features for your programming needs.
This model has black switches which are known to need less force comparatively for a fast response rate. These are also very durable with a lifespan of 60 million keystrokes per key according to the manufacturer.
However, these switches can produce more noise when typing.
There are several other features coders would like in this peripheral. First, the presence of RGB backlights makes it very suitable especially if you are working in a dim environment.
The keycaps are molded. This is advantageous as the backlight and lettering won’t scrape off with time. Moreover, the keycaps are spherical making them complete in shape and a better fit with your fingers.
This also has an N-key rollover feature along with macro editing
4. Microsoft Surface Keyboard – Slim and Wireless – Chiclet Style
Next, we have a very sleek and lightweight option from Microsoft with a simple yet modern design. It’s called the Surface Keyboard.
This wireless accessory is based on chiclet keys which are different from the mechanical ones we covered previously. These keys have short key travel distance. Thus, the main advantage that you get is a very good and soft typing feel and requiring much less force.
Do note this is a full-sized keyboard that also includes the number pad and multimedia keys. Despite this, it’s very lightweight. Plus, the color scheme of silver and grey makes the machine look very attractive on your working desk.
. It utilizes two 2 AAA sized batteries which can last up to one year.
5. Apple Magic Keyboard – Lightweight and Wireless – For Apple Developers
Do you need a typing companion as a coder that’s made solely for the Apple platform? Then this wireless machine from Apple could be your best choice.
The Apple Magic Keyboard is based on the scissor mechanism which provides increased stability and enhanced key travel. As a result, you require less force while typing which makes it comfortable and easy.
We highly recommend this as the best keyboard for developers due to its minimalist design and improved performance.
As you use it more, you will gradually adjust to it to reach for your hands. The keys are also flat and make minimal noise when typing.
This compact accessory has a smaller form factor without the Numpad. This makes sense as a developer as you don’t need the Numpad more often. Also, it helps to save space on your working space and better organize your desk.
Note that the simple-looking accessory is also a wireless one and connects to Apple devices through Bluetooth. It’s also a rechargeable one that comes with a built-in battery.
This is a tailor-made option for you if you work exclusively on the Apple platform as a coder.
What to Look For in Keyboards for Developers
There are a few chief aspects you should look for when purchasing a keyboard that’s specifically suited for developers.
These characteristics are as follows:
As you see, you will find variations in keyboards in terms of form factor. The first one we will look at is the full-size one and it’s the most recognized.
This form factor has 104 keys in total and also includes Numpad, arrows keys and function row.
The second type of form factor is known as tenkeyless (TKL). It includes 88 or so keys excluding the Numpad.
Chances are as a developer or programmer, you rarely use the Numpad. If you prefer to have one, you can go for a full-sized keyboard. If you have a low working space, then TKL keyboards should be your choice. (Source)
Make sure that the keys are not cramped. Otherwise, it may affect your typing efficiency and lead to discomfort in your finger, wrists, or hands.
Wireless or Wired?
Another big factor that can affect programmers is the choice between wired and wireless keyboards. The thing is wireless ones have become mostly or equal to the wired ones in performance.
However, there may be issues with a wireless one such that they lag sometimes. In case if the receiver malfunctions or if the batteries die out, then you can face inconvenience. Wireless keyboards also cost more than wired counterparts.
If you travel a lot, wireless may be the one to go for. If you work at a stationary place and could manage the clutter of wires, then its best to work with a wired keyboard.
We will look at two types of keyboards based on their construction that are of interest to developers. These are:
These keyboards rely on switches such as the popular Cherry MX switches. The main reason for their popularity among developers is that they have a lifespan of around 50 million keystrokes which makes them last for years.
With a mechanical keyboard, you feel when you have triggered a key. There’s no need to press fully down.
This type of keyboard uses keys in the form of small rectangles or squares. With this keyboard, you get a large surface area for typing and therefore fewer chances of errors. They have a more space-saving design and are quiet when typing. (Source)
You must invest in a high-end Chiclet keyboard so that they last for long. These keyboards usually have a shorter lifespan than mechanical ones.
Extra Features to Look for
The following are the extra features you can look for as a developer. These can be beneficial to you in the long run.
- N-Key-Rollover (usually found in mechanical keyboards)
- RGB LED Backlight
- Controls For Media Playback and volume
- Programmable Keys and Macro Editing
The above list of keyboards would significantly help you to do programming with complete attention and fun that you deserve.
We hope that this article on the best keyboard for developers would help you in getting the right accessory for your needs.
Remember, if you are having trouble with your existing keyboard, it’s the time to make the move.