As developers, we don’t need many tools to work, many would say that we just need a laptop or computer, and even though that’s true, there’s a difference between having the minimum required to work to having the tools that you need to work comfortably, productive and healthy.
This article is super fun to work on but also super hard to keep updated as every keyboard I present here are devices that I tried, even if so for just a short amount of time, and any comment or observation I made about a specific keyboard is just my personal opinion and some facts gathered from official sites.
The list has no particular order, but I will talk about what my favorite keyboard is, why, and why it hasn’t changed since the last version of this article.
What’s the best keyboard? The one that works best for you!
With that said, let’s jump right into the list.
Keychron K6 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
Once again, Keychron continues to be my favorite keyboard, and in particular, I love the K6 (65% keyboard) model. I got mine with RGB, brown switches, and the palm rest. I have had it for more than a few years now, still works perfectly, though you can start telling some of the wear and tear (mostly my bad the coffee spilled all over it more than once, it fell a few times, still working, and still in one piece, which is pretty impressive).
So why a 65% keyboard ? It is the perfect size for me, I don’t need huge keyboards with functions I don’t regularly use such as the numeric pad, but there are functions I must have, for example, the arrow keys, and smaller sizes won’t have those directly, but rather by using function keys.
What Keychron? The keyboard is super high quality, it is very robust and super comfortable, I do however have to say that you will probably need their palm rest as the keyboard is quite hard and it is not as comfortable without it. I bought the official wood one, but there are other cheaper options out there.
Another feature that I love is that supports multiple devices, I don’t work with multiple computers at the same time, but I love that I just need to press one key to switch connect the keyboard from my work laptop to my personal laptop to work on the blog.
Another great feature is the extended battery life, thanks to its 4000mAh battery, though I don’t take full advantage of it as the keyboard is almost always plugged in.
The keys feel right for me; I like that I need to put some pressure on the keys to make a keystroke, and I love the travel of the keys. It makes me type much faster than with other keyboards. Though, to be fair, I’m a big fan of brown switches in general.
On the downside, because of the battery and solid frame the keyboard is quite heavy, so not great for traveling.
One last thing, it has support for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and it even provides a different set of keys for mac and windows so that you can customize it to your liking.
Apple Magic Keyboard
It is not surprising that the most popular keyboard among developers made it to this list, though my personal experience with it hasn’t been super amazing, it is sooooooooooooo common among Google and Facebook (or Meta) and other giants developers that I included it in here.
It is great looking, very solid, very robust keyboard, great for traveling, but other than that for me, it is nothing too special. The travel of the keys is quite short (perhaps many people like that compared to a mechanical keyboard) though they feel right.
It’s a keyboard that it’s not bad, but I can do much better for the price, and I know many people who told me they bought it because it works perfectly with their Mac, but even now that I’m a Mac user, I still prefer my keychron.
I have to admit though, that I sometimes take it with me when traveling, the keychron is quite heavy and bulky.
Ultimate Hacking Keyboard
Best for personalization
This is the ultimate ergonomic and configurable keyboard. It is a split, fully customizable 60% keyboard, and besides the price is awesome.
I don’t own one myself, but I did try it, was hard at first but I can easily see myself getting used to it.
People I know praise it a lot for how comfortable and productive this keyboard is, even to some extremes where those I know, buy the keyboard without any print on the keys, yes, they all look the same, and they built the layout however they want.
I understand this is not the type of keyboard for everyone, but if you are into this keyboard style, the UHK is an amazing option.
Almost forgot to mention, the keyboard can also be extended with modules, which are also configurable.
Logitech MX Keys
Best for productivity
Last on the list is a keyboard specially designed for developers. It’s not a mechanical keyboard. However, it’s pretty comfortable to type (and less noisy than its mechanical counterparts). Even though it’s a full-size keyboard, it’s pretty compact and has Windows, Linux, and Mac modes.
It’s a wireless keyboard and has excellent battery life lasting up to 10 days while using the backlight and up to 5 months without it.
As expected from Logitech, you can use their software to customize the keyboard, and you can connect up to 3 different devices on wireless mode using Bluetooth.
It is a great option and very affordable considering it is a great keyboard.
Das Keyboard 6
This is a major update from the Das Keyboard 4, even though it still feels familiar, the build quality on this one is fantastic. Built with premium aluminium enclosure, 2 USB-C high speed hub, Cheery MX switches <3, white backlight and more.
I find the dedicated media controls super convenient, though being a full-size keyboard is quite big.
I consider it a solid, premium (it is not cheap) option for Windows or Linux users that want a full-size keyboard, though if you are on Mac, I’d rather suggest the Apple Keyboard if you are willing to spend just a bit more.
They also have a new key that puts your computer to sleep, as a measure to save energy, I find it meh! but again, I use this keyboard only when I’m on my linux machine that pretty much never sleeps as it acts as a local server, what do you think, is it useful?
Ducky One 3 SF
It earned a special place in my heart
Nothing but love for the Ducky One 3 SF, it is a masterpiece of a mechanical keyboard, with excellent quality and build, amazing performance, and super comfortable.
There are 2 downsides to this keyboard, it is not wireless, and it’s on the expensive side, but it compensates with programmable macro keys, amazing layout, super comfortable, and looks awesome!
And did I mention that it comes with Cherry MX switches? What not to love about that.
Or through resellers, you can’t actually purchase it on their official website.
Kinesis Freestyle Edge
Great option for split keyboard
The kinesis freestyle edge is not a regular keyboard. Rarely will you see one of these on a desk, and if you do, you will probably ask the owner about it. Its split layout calls attention immediately, as it is something we are not used to. However, users of this type of keyboard claim that they can type super fast and super comfortably.
In particular, this keyboard features Cherry MX switches, RGB lighting, and programmable keys.
On the downside, it takes some time to get used to it, but it promises great results once you do.
Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard
Microsoft's take on ergonomic is a great option
Microsoft is not very well known for hardware, but they do a job when it comes to keyboards, and the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard is proof of that. I used this keyboard a lot a few years back as my office keyboard. It’s not exactly a portable keyboard, but it’s super comfortable, and I could type super fast with it.
Its unique ergonomic shape makes it very special, and though it seems very different, I adapted very fast to it.
It is a good choice for an office keyboard if you use Windows or Linux, and though it’s not a keyboard I’d personally choose, it’s a keyboard I recommended to many people, and they were very happy they got it.
Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Great option for coding and gaming
This keyboard is all about performance. It is a ridiculously fast keyboard which makes it perfect for gaming. It also features many customization options, from macro keys to the multi-function iCUE control wheel, fully programmable.
This keyboard is a top edge keyboard, perhaps not the best option if you will just use it for programming as it is pretty expensive, but a fantastic keyboard.
I was really hesitant to add it to the list as its main benefits are around gaming. However, some of my gaming programmer friends love this keyboard and mentioned that it is worth it.
Me personally? I don’t play much, perhaps occasionally AoE II DE, so I don’t need a fancy gaming keyboard, and for the price, I definitely will stay out of this one.