Best keyboard 2018: all the best peripherals for typing, surfing and beyond

Whether you’re working, studying, surfing or gaming lightly, these are the accessories you’re desk is crying out for

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Once upon a time, keyboards were big, clumsy and awkward to use, but those beige days are behind us with a new generation of models that are intuitive, responsive and packed full of extra features. Now it’s more of a case of trying to decide which one is best.

This is where our freshly updated buying guide comes in. We’ve sorted through the very best models on the market, with peripherals that cater to any need or requirement. It could be a new replacement for your home office, a means of surfing the web at a relaxing pace or a new add-on to help with the occasional bit of gaming (although we do have an in-depth guide on the best gaming keyboards if you want to properly upgrade your gaming setup).

We’ve included keyboards from the high-end corner of the market, right down to more affordable models that won’t turn your bank balance from black to red. You’ll also be able to click right through to the latest deals, so a brand new keyboard is now only a few clicks away. Enjoy!

10 best keyboards 2018

Best gaming keyboard

1. Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

A premium multimedia powerhouse

Reasons to buy
+Razer’s own mechanical switches+Headphone and mic sockets
Reasons to avoid
-An expensive outlay

Razer remains a big name in the world of PC peripherals for a reason. Its models are high quality, packed with features and built with the very best materials, so it shouldn’t be a shock to the see the updated BlackWidow Chroma keeping up that premium tradition. You get Razer’s own set of mechanical switches, with 80 million keystrokes promised right out of the box, making it ideal as a gaming accessory or typing tool. It also comes with a set of fully programmable keys plus five additional media keys for all your macro-writing needs. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s a sound investment nonetheless.

Best keyboard

2. Apple Magic Keyboard

The true choice for Apple addicts

Reasons to buy
+Ideal for use with Macs+Month of use on a single charge
Reasons to avoid
-Layout is very cramped

When it comes to using a Mac, it makes a lot of sense to stick with Apple accessories - so it’s a good thing the Apple Magic Keyboard is such a great choice. For a start, it automatically pairs with your Mac right out of the box, so there’s no faffing about with setup. That wireless design comes with a battery that can provide up to a months use on one charge, and when you add in that impeccable Apple build, you’re getting one of the best non-mechanical keyboards money can buy. Just make sure your Mac or iOS device supports Bluetooth.

Best keyboard

3. Corsair Strafe

A gaming keyboard with a choice of switches

Reasons to buy
+Choice of Cherry MX types+USB pass-through
Reasons to avoid
-No media keys or macros

Coming in red, brown and silent variants of the ever-popular Cherry MX switch, the Strafe from Corsair remains one of the firm's most impressive offerings. Once a rather expensive outlay, the original Strafe is now a far more affordable £80, offering a robust steel core that reduces flexing and retains a distinctly premium feel.

While it doesn't boast the top-level features of its K series big brother (you won't get any RGB lighting or media keys here), but for anyone looking for a cracking all-round keyboard with USB path-through and a price tag that won't make you spit your coffee all over the screen, the Corsair Strafe is a great choice.

Best keyboard

4. Logitech K480 Multi Device Bluetooth Keyboard

A versatile little device with real potential

Reasons to buy
+Can work with almost any device+Very comfortable to use
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t support Windows Phone

While the Logitech K480 doesn’t work with Windows Phone devices, it effectively works with almost everything else. You can use it with your PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices so it’s bound to suit some of the devices in your life. You can also switch between them really easily, so you flit from your PC to your Android tablet with minimal fuss. It’s nice and comfortable to use, although it isn’t quite small enough to be used as a portable device. It’s also really affordable, and with a strong Bluetooth signal you’re rarely going to get a dropout. It’s lacking a few keys you’d find on a full-size keyboard but it’s an easy tradeoff considering what you get in return.

Best keyboard

5. Cherry MX Board 6.0

A keyboard with super low clearance and reduced ghosting

Reasons to buy
+Ideal for typing and gaming+Incredibly sturdy design
Reasons to avoid
-Closeness of keys isn't for everyone

Cherry's very own flagship mechanical keyboard aims to combine the features of a gaming device with the lower clearance of a normal peripheral. The end result is a great hybrid keyboard that ticks both boxes without too much compromise on features.

The keys are positioned closer than most mechanical keyboards, making it ideal for typing, and its own Gold Crosspoint precision module makes it perfect for gaming at a variety of levels. The 6.0 is also great for reducing ghosting and ensuring every keystroke is recognised instantaneously.

The added boon of a strong aluminium top case makes this keyboard feel like it could withstand a nuclear holocaust, while offering a look that's both modern and satisfyingly retro all in one package.

Best keyboard

6. Roccat Ryos MK Pro

Each key is individually backlit on this top clicker-clacker

Reasons to buy
+Two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors+Four switch styles
Reasons to avoid
-Wrist-rest can't be removed

Roccat's first attempt at a mechanical keyboard for the gaming crowd is an impressive feat, combining the customisation options of a gaming peripheral with the comfort of a typing device. Each key is individually backlit (for added ambiance), with the inclusion of N-key for anti-ghosting.

With two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors built in, the MK Pro has more than enough individual processing power to support a lot of customisation options. Those eight macro keys are spread out across the whole keyboard too, so there's plenty of choice with this keyboard.

The MK Pro even comes with a soft wrist-rest - however, this can't be removed making it slightly awkward to use for prolonged gaming sessions (at least until you're used to it). Still, this remains a great premium mechanical keyboard.

Best keyboard

7. Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard

A multi-purpose multimedia peripheral

Reasons to buy
+Great integrated touchpad+Very affordable price
Reasons to avoid
-Cheap build quality

Microsoft’s All-in-One Media Keyboard has been around for a while now, and it’s endured because it offers a robust set of features at a price point that won’t leave you penniless. First, there’s the integrated multi-touch touchpad, which adds in gesture control for that added cool factor. It’s wireless, so you can use it a distance of up to 30 feet, and the Big M has even included a spill-resistant design just in case you knock your coffee over your new peripheral. It’s also semi shockproof, so you drop it give a good knock and it’ll still keep working. Perfect if you’re working from home with small children.

Best keyboard

8. Microsoft Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard

A compact and universal accessory

Reasons to buy
+Ultra-thin and compact+Reliable Bluetooth 4.0
Reasons to avoid
-Only works with mobile devices

With so many of its own smart devices on the market, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft designed its own multi-purpose travel keyboard. With its folding design, you can easily fit it in your bag for use on a commute or when you’re working away from the office. Using Bluetooth 4.0 it offers an extremely reliable wireless signal, while Microsoft claims its battery can go for three months on a single charge (although this will drop if you’re using it consistently). It’s so easy to use you just open it to start it up, and close it to shut it down.

Best keyboard

9. Razer BlackWidow X Chroma

RGB lighting, mechanical switches, and big anti-ghosting capabilities

Reasons to buy
+Impressive durable build+Improved cable routing
Reasons to avoid
-Razer switches aren't as robust as Cherry MX

Razer has been in the gaming peripheral business for a long time, so we've come to expect an esteemed level of quality from the green-tinged American manufacturer. Thankfully, the BlackWidow X Chroma keeps that tradition alive with a mechanical metal construction that's so sturdy it's practically military.

Alongside some sumptuous RGB lighting (with 16.8 million customisable colour options, naturally), the BlackWidow X Chroma offers serious durability with a whopping 80 million keystrokes of use promised by the good folks at Razer.

Built with Razer's own mechanical switches, the Blackwidow X Chroma delivers an accurate response with an additional 10 key rollover for high anti-ghosting. You also get your standard programmable macro and multimedia buttons - it's just a shame it's so light on the features elsewhere.

Best keyboard

10. Logitech K120 Keyboard

Cheap, cheerful and surprisingly robust

Reasons to buy
+Ridiculously affordable+Good for 10 million keystrokes
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly cheap-feeling build

If you’re looking to purchase a keyboard that’s simple, easy to use and affordable to the hilt, then the Logitech K120 is for you. It’s as basic as they come, with no mechanical switches or dedicated media keys in sight, but what you get is a surprisingly robust set of keys that will keep you going for years with an impressive 10 million keystrokes. It’s certainly not going to win any awards for build quality, but it’s sturdy enough to take a few knocks and is spillage resistant (making it ideal for use in the workplace or at home).

Lead image credit: Getty