13 Best Keyboards For Programming [In 2022]

Programmers spent countless hours on computers, designing, writing, implementing, and testing code. That’s why they need a keyboard that’s comfortable to type on, switches that feel responsive and light, and some additional features like programmable keys.

Developers and writers need to choose a keyboard that they can type on for hours without straining. A keyboard that makes long tasks easy, fast, and stress-free. A keyboard with reprogrammable keys, so users can easily access frequently used apps on their machines.

Overall, a good keyboard minimizes how often you use the mouse or trackpad and improves your productivity. It should also have a great build quality, so you don’t need to change the board every year.

Below, we have listed some of the best keyboards for programmers and developers that fulfill the core requirements and boost productivity. To make the list as good as possible, we have emphasized factors like precision with anti-ghosting, macros, form factor, durability, reliability, and extra keys.

9. SteelSeries Apex Pro

Type: Full-sized, mechanical keyboard

Price: $180
Rating: 9.5/10 from 3,000+ customers

SteelSeries Apex Pro is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which gives the keyboard extra durability and sturdiness, making it the perfect centerpiece of high-end setups.

You can configure every key to meet your desired sensitivity level, whether it’s for office work, gaming, or anything else. For instance, any key set at a deeper actuation will register when you have confidently pressed it (giving you fewer typos).

The keyboard has an integrated OLED display (on the top right side) that delivers on-the-fly updates and shows you useful information about applications running in the background. There is also a dedicated, clickable metal roller to adjust volume and change brightness and settings on the fly.

Overall, this keyboard can improve your productivity by reducing typing errors and delivering important details straight from applications, so you don’t have to tab out of what you’re doing.

Pros 

  • Very well-built design
  • Keys are absurdly responsive
  • Includes OLED smart display and RGB backlit
  • Detachable soft-touch magnetic wrist rest

Cons

  • No dedicated macro keys
  • Expensive

8. Dell Premier Multi-Device Keyboard Mouse

Type: Full-sized, wireless keyboard & mouse combo

Price: $70
Rating: 8.9/10 from 6,000+ customers

Dell offers a premium keyboard and mouse combo with superior multitasking features. The keyboard gives you quick access to recently used applications or functions with 12 programmable keys. It is equipped with function keys, programmed presets, and a dedicated numeric pad.

You can connect the combo with up to three devices and effortlessly switch between them using the connection-mode button on your keyboard and mouse. Download the Dell Peripheral Manager tool to easily pair devices, check connectivity status, battery, and create custom shortcuts.

Moreover, the keyboard protects your data transmission across devices with 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) specification. This is quite a useful feature, especially when you need to pair the keyboard with an untrusted device.

Pros 

  • Slim and stylish with a titan gray finish
  • Soft and quiet chicklet keys
  • Adjustable tilt legs
  • AES encryption for keystrokes

Cons

  • No rechargeable battery

7. Razer Blackwidow Elite

Type: Full-sized, mechanical keyboard

Price: $120
Rating: 9.4/10 from 5,000+ customers

Razer Blackwidow Elite has good ergonomics, thanks to the detachable wrist rest and two incline settings. It is built for prime performance, featuring Razer mechanical switches for faster actuation and a longer lifespan (up to 80 million keystrokes).

Razer switches are designed from the ground up — they have dual sidewalls for greater stability and enhanced protection against liquid and dust. The keyboard is available with three different switch options to suit your preferences: Green Switch (tactile and clicky), Orange Switch (tactile and silent), and Yellow Switch (linear and silent).

It gives you plenty of options to adjust key lighting and macros. You can turn each key into a macro key and activate your preferred settings using Razer’s Hybrid onboard memory and cloud storage.  The onboard memory can save up to 5 personalized settings anytime, anywhere.

Pros 

  • Very well-built and sturdy
  • Available in three different switch types
  • Excellent backlighting
  • Digital dial with dedicated media controls

Cons

  • Customization software is a bit clunky and buggy

6. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic

Type: Curved and split keyboard

Price: $47
Rating: 8.7/10 from 7,000+ customers

Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is built on modern ergonomic principles, which focus on keeping wrists and forearms in a relaxed position. The shape of the keyboard reduces and corrects wrist pronation that causes pain and limited mobility. It also comes with a cushioned palm rest to provide support and promote a neutral wrist position.

The keyboard features 128-bit AES encryption that protects your data by encrypting every keystroke. And since it’s a Microsoft product, it has a Windows button to give you quick (one-touch) access to the Start Menu.

Overall, the keyboard is designed for productivity and allows you to work with less strain, stress, and discomfort compared to other keyboards.

Pros 

  • Cushioned palm rest
  • Separate number pad
  • One-touch access to the Windows Start Menu
  • AES encryption for keystrokes

Cons

  • Setup takes up a lot of desktop space

5. Corsair K70 RGB Pro

Type: Full-sized, mechanical keyboard

Price: $160
Rating: 9/10 from 100+ customers

Although Corsair K70 is primarily a gaming keyboard, it can be used by coders and writers for long hours of comfortable typing. The board features Cherry MX mechanical keys, per-key RGB backlighting, and a durable aluminum frame.

It is equipped with AXON hyper-processing technology, which delivers an impressive performance by transmitting your inputs up to 8 times faster than conventional keyboards. This is achieved by 4000Hz key scanning and 8000Hz hyper-polling. It also processes up to 20 layers of hardware RGB lightning while maintaining speed performance. 

The keyboard uses a precision-molded keycap with 1.5 mm thickness for rigid stability. These keycaps are not like traditional double-shot PBT gaming keycaps that sacrifice thickness to allow in more RGB.

What’s more? The Corsair K70 supports onboard macros recording. It has 8 MB of in-built storage that lets you store up to 50 programmable key profiles.

Pros 

  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Per-key RGB
  • Can store 50 onboard profiles and 20 lighting profiles
  • Adjustable feet

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Logitech MX Keys

Type: Full-sized, wireless keyboard

Price: $100
Rating: 9.4/10 from 11,000+ customers

Logitech has used its decades of experience to design a keyboard with perfect stroke keys. Every keystroke is fast, fluid, and accurate with a distinct tactile response.

Unlike other keyboards, Logitech MX consists of spherically dished keys that match the shape of your fingertips to provide satisfying feedback. Each key has a matte coating, so your fingers glide effortlessly over the surface.

The overall body is made of a single metal plate, which makes the keyboard stable and more durable. The improved stability also decreases noise and optimizes the responsiveness of keystrokes.

Logitech also provides a software tool to remap function or media keys. You can download the tool from their official website and create custom shortcuts for screen capture, lock keys, calculator, battery saving mode, on-screen notifications, and more.

Plus, you can pair the keyboard with up to three devices and quickly switch between them by pressing an Easy-Switch button. It works with macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linus operating systems.

Logitech claims that the keyboard stays powered up for five months (with backlighting turned off) on a full charge. Users can top up the power with a USB-C charging cable.

Pros 

  • Each keystroke is fluid and accurate with a distinct tactile response
  • Sleek look
  • Long battery life
  • Can connect to up to three computers

Cons

  • No RGB, just white backlit

3. ANNE PRO 2

Type: 60%, wired/wireless, mechanical keyboard

Price: $85
Rating: 9.2/10 from 6,000+ customers

ANNE PRO has a minimalistic and compact design that feels very well-built and looks sleek in most computer setups. Since it’s a 60% keyboard, it requires less hand movement while still being able to access all the necessary functions. It saves desk space and is easy to carry around.

This keyboard has several customization options including the choice between various Gateron, Cherry, and Kailh switches. Although the keycaps are PBT plastic, they do not have much of a textured feel and are quite smooth.

What makes this keyboard special is that it can be connected to four Bluetooth devices. You can quickly swap between devices and start typing away. It also includes a detachable micro USB cable, which is used for charging and wired connectivity.

Pros 

  • Compact and Portable
  • PBT keycap material is tougher than ABS
  • Connect with up to 4 devices via Bluetooth
  • High-quality detachable cable for wired connectivity

Cons

  • Customizing each key may take time

2. Keychron K8

Type: Wireless mechanical keyboard

Price: $69
Rating: 8.8/10 from 600+ customers

Keychron K8 is engineered to maximize your productivity with the Tenkeyless layout. It offers convenient access to all function and multimedia keys (for Windows and Mac) in a compact size.

The keyboard has three switch options: Gateron brown, red, or blue. Each provides different experiences. Gateron red switch, for example, is silent, while Gateron blue feels more clicky. Gateron keys are quite similar to Cherry MX switches but inexpensive. Their inclusion in K8 helps the company to keep keyboard prices reasonable.

You can also opt for Gateron Optical V2 switches (compatible only with the hot-swappable version of the K8), which offer a smooth and tactile typing experience and have a longer lifespan of up to 100 million keystrokes.

The keyboard comes with a 4000mAh battery that lasts up to 240 hours (with no backlight). It also has 18 RGB light patterns (including static white, breathing, and flashing) to match up to your mood.

Pros 

  • Hot-swappable option
  • Comfortable to type
  • 15+ types of RGB backlight
  • Connect with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth

Cons

  • No macro-programmable keys
  • Doesn’t include a wrist rest

1. Das Keyboard 4 Professional

Type: Mechanical key switches

Price: $169
Rating: 8.8/10 from 4,000+ customers

Das Keyboard 4 Professional has a sleek anodized aluminum top panel, a magnetically attached foot-bar, and a resonance-free bottom enclosure. Its gold-plated mechanical key switches are designed to last up to 50 million keystrokes.

The board uses MX mechanical keys to provide great tactile and audio feedback, so you can execute each keystroke with impressively-fast precision. It comes with both Cherry MX Blue (clicky, tactile bump) and Cherry MX Brown (soft, tactile bump) switches.

Plus, the keyboard has dedicated media controls, an instant sleep button, and a uniquely large volume knob that allows you to instantly adjust volume while on a Zoom meeting or Skype call.

Pros 

  • Cherry MX keys with gold contacts
  • Media control switches with an oversized volume knob
  • Instant sleep to save energy
  • Anodized aluminum top panel

Cons

  • Mediocre ergonomics

Read: 12 Best Keyboard Apps For Android With Advanced Features

More Equally Good Keyboards

10 Magic Keyboard

Type: 75%, compact keyboard with scissor switches

Price: $99
Rating: 9.7/10 from 10,000+ customers

Designed by Apple, Magic keyboard is a low-profile, wireless, and rechargeable keyboard intended for office and productivity use. It easily pairs with your Mac and can be charged via a UBC-C to Lightning cable.

The combination of minimalist design and improved scissor mechanism delivers increased stability and optimal key travel, so you can type precisely and comfortably. And since the keyboard makes very little noise, it could be an excellent choice for people who work in a noise-sensitive environment.

However, it lacks some common features like backlighting and macros. Also, it doesn’t come with a wrist rest or have any incline settings.

11. HAVIT HV-KB390L

Type: Ultra-Thin 87-key Mechanical Keyboard

Price: $45
Rating: 8.9/10 from 2,000+ customers

HAVIT HV-KB390L is lighter and thinner than conventional mechanical keyboards. It is only 2.26 centimeters thick, about 25% thinner than a standard 104 key keyboard. The 3 millimeter of key travel and 45 gram of operating force gives you a swift typing experience without any bumping sounds (that long-travel switches make).

The lighter weight and optimal key travel does not only mean it is more portable and comfortable, but it also takes less time and effort to press a key. This allows you to react faster in everyday tasks.

You can install the local driver to configure backlit modes, macros, media keys, and key response time.

12. HyperX Alloy Origins

Type: 60%, Mechanical keyboard

Price: $80
Rating: 9.5/10 from 10,000+ customers

HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is a sturdy keyboard featuring custom HyperX mechanical switches. These switches are designed to be a balance of preciseness and responsiveness. They have a short travel time and low actuation force. They are also durable, rated for 80 million keypresses with no loss of quality.

The high-quality aluminum body keeps the keyboards stable when you type faster. You can adjust it to three different tilt angles (11°, 7°, or 3°), whichever gives you the perfect typing experience. Because of its compact body, you get enough space for rapid mouse movements.

Furthermore, you can use the HyperX NGENUITY tool to set up your own macros and create unique backlit patterns and save them directly to the keyboard.

13. Tezarre TK61 Pro

Type: 60%, Mechanical keyboard

Price: $59
Rating: 9.6/10 from 300+ customers

Tezarre TK61 Pro comes with double-shot keycaps, which are more durable than ABS. The keycaps do not fade and wear over time.

Gateron Optical Switches (Red, Blue, Brown, or Black) offer faster, lighter, and smoother actuation than mechanical switches. You can easily swap these optical switches with a puller (no soldering is required). It’s a great feature for DIY users.

The keyboard supports anti-ghosting technology, full n-key rollover, and 16.8 million color combinations with multiple pre-built RGB backlight modes, such as Radar, Ripple, Aurora, Twinkle, and Wave. It is also IPX4 waterproof, which means it can shrug off the effects of water spills.

Read: 13 Different Types Of Computer Keyboards

Frequently Asked Questions

Does keyboard really matter in coding?

While having a good keyboard won’t improve your coding skills, it does offer a much more comfortable typing experience, which may indirectly help you make programming more enjoyable. High-quality keyboards with responsive switches, macros, dedicated multimedia keys, and anti-ghosting technology can significantly improve productivity.

Are gaming keyboards good for programming?

Yes, most of them are. Programmers and gamers have quite similar needs — precision, good feedback, and most importantly, comfort.

Mechanical gaming keyboards, in particular, are great for coding. This is because mechanical switches offer great tactile feedback and help you type fast and make fewer errors. With additional features like programmable keys and RGB backlit, you can customize the keyboard to fit your needs.

However, not all mechanical keyboards are the same. Different companies offer different kinds of layouts and switches. Some keyboards are perfectly optimized for long-hour typing and they might not be suitable for high-end gaming.

Read: 13 Best 65% Keyboards

Do I need a keyboard with a numeric keypad?

Numeric keypads are primarily used for entering long sequences of numbers quickly, for example in financial/accounting tools, calculators, and spreadsheets. Unless your job involves a lot of data entry, you don’t need a keyboard with a numeric keypad. Most developers prefer not to have the number pad. It just takes extra space on the desk and doesn’t add any value.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a professional science and technology journalist and a big fan of AI, machines, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. To find out about his latest projects, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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