To find the best keyboards for programming, you will need to determine what features are right for you and what is right for your job. If tactile feedback and quick actuation are important, consider looking for a mechanical keyboard with high-quality switches. The best keyboard for programming and gaming is also likely to be one that allows for custom shortcuts and offers N key rollover and programmable macros. We recommend that you look for a keyboard with a comfortable layout and an aesthetic design as well, to provide the best overall typing experience. If you spend long hours using your programming keyboard for work, consider one of the ergonomic keyboards with integrated wrist rests.
Corsair K100 RGB Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Corsair is a company that initially built its reputation on memory-related products, but over the past couple of decades they have long diversified and occupied a prominent place in several other market segments, turning them into a world-famous company of components and peripherals for PCs. Today Corsair produces dozens of PC-related products, from RAM modules to CPU coolers and from headphones to armchairs.
One of the most successful segments of their products was advanced gaming keyboards. The company was one of the first and most active developers of modern consumer-oriented mechanical keyboards.
Over the past few years, innovations in the PC keyboard market have been somewhat stagnant. There have been hundreds of mechanical keyboards on the market, but apart from aesthetic improvements, we have seen very few improvements over the past few years. Most manufacturers stayed true to established solutions, developing keyboards with the same electronics and mechanical switches as most of their competitors, and then based the competitiveness of their keyboards on aesthetics, software and value for money. So, the mechanical keyboard market is ripe for a shake-up-or at least for more significant progress than we've seen in the last few years.
In today's review, we will look at the latest Corsair K100 RGB gaming keyboard. As the name suggests, this is the successor to the famous K95 RGB, one of the best and most expensive gaming keyboards Corsair has ever produced. And for this successor, Corsair is not just a new coat of paint and a new keyboard release. Instead, the K100 RGB is equipped with new opto-mechanical switches and brand new electronics, making it the only keyboard of its kind in today's standard keyboard market.
The Corsair K100 RGB opto-mechanical keyboard is based on a standard 104-key keyboard, but supplemented with six additional keys on the left. Corsair's bold move made the K100 RGB compatible with the ANSI standard layout, something they haven't done for any of their mechanical keyboards in the past. In the lower row of the keyboard there is a 6.5 × space bar and seven 1.25 × keys (ALT, CTRL, WIN / Menu and Fn), the keys of the lower row. Large futuristic symbols are printed on the PBT key caps. Both the main and secondary characters are located at the top of the keyboard cover, because the designer wanted to make full use of the LED backlighting of the keyboard. The six G keys to the left of the main keyboard are gray and have a contour, but do not have texture, like the ten additional caps that Corsair supplies for games.
Logitech Craft Keyboard for Programming
I don't want a regular keyboard, I want a fancy one! At the request of the workers, Logitech released an interesting thing - a keyboard called Craft, where a wheel appeared to control the creative process. High-quality, functional and expensive Logitech Craft keyboard, today you are the hero of our story.
The keyboard comes in only one color, it perfectly matches the color of the iMac Pro, strict design, no patterns or acid shades. The base of the keyboard is black, there is a full-fledged aluminum frame, Logitech Craft stands confidently on the table, it's so easy and you can't move it from its place. It weighs almost a kilogram, which is quite a lot. There are no questions about the assembly and quality, everything is perfectly adjusted, the buttons work quietly, you can type quickly, for a long time and without stopping, your fingers do not get tired.
The keyboard is visually divided into two halves: the upper part is made of aluminum, and the lower, larger, is made of black matte plastic. The keyboard is surprisingly heavy, weighs almost a kilogram, so you can't accidentally move it from its place. To my taste, massiveness is even a plus, a kind of hello from the world of typewriters of the beginning of the last century.
In the upper left corner there is a huge wheel, you will immediately pay attention to it as soon as you get ready to work. The wheel is not simple, but very smart. It recognizes taps and touches, and it can also be rotated. This multifunctional washer works as an auxiliary element, something like a joystick. For example, when listening to music, it adjusts the volume, and when you use the browser, it moves between open tabs in turn. Spun — opened one page, again - opened the next.
The keyboard works with profiles in different programs, here is a list of software from the Logitech website:
- Microsoft Word ® , Microsoft PowerPoint ® , Microsoft Excel ® 2010, 2013 and 2016 - Windows only
- Adobe ® Photoshop ® CC, Adobe ® Illustrator ® CC, Adobe ® Premiere ® Pro CC 2017 and newer versions - Windows and Mac
As you can see, there is no Safari, Spotify or Firefox, and the keyboard is very friendly with them! So it all depends on the developers, I hope that there will only be more compatible applications over time.
The keys are large, not as big, of course, as the new MacBook Pro, but still you can't make a mistake and you won't miss when typing fast. A keyboard with an average stroke of buttons, pressing is accurate and with a pleasant return, which the butterfly mechanism, so beloved by Apple, lacks. The keyboard works quietly, against the background of the new MacBook Pro, you can even say that it is silent.
Kinesis Advantage2 programming keyboard
Studies say that ergonomic keyboard models reduce the load on the median nerve and prevent the development of tunnel syndrome. If you work at a computer for a long time and with enviable frequency, maybe you have already encountered (or are close to it) with this disease. We won't scare you, just be aware.
In the understanding of manufacturers and users, an ergonomic keyboard is one that unloads the hands, "puts" them in the right position. Kinesis KB600 Advantage2 does exactly that.
Kinesis KB600 Advantage2 has collected everything you need for convenience.
The ergonomic keys are positioned at an angle natural to the position of a human hand. You do not have to turn the brushes so that they fall on the keys located in an even row, and this relieves tension from the wrists.
Patented housing model. The keys are located in cup-shaped recesses, repeating the "arc" of the fingers, which they form in a relaxed state. This reduces the extension of the arms and fingers.
The distance between the two halves of the layout. The layout seems to be divided into two halves and separated on different sides of the body – this is necessary in order to keep your hands shoulder-width apart and bend and dilute / reduce your elbows less.
Vertical rows of keys. If you look at a regular keyboard, you will notice that the keys are staggered there. And the vertical rows repeat the movements of our fingers and make the keyboard more ergonomic.
Unusual arrangement of Enter, Space, Backspace and Delete. These are some of the most commonly used keys, and the Kinesis KB600 Advantage2 is designed to be pressed by the strongest finger - the thumb.
Keyboard programming capabilities. In Kinesis KB600 Advantage2, the SmartSet TM programming mechanism allows you to set individual settings to improve performance.
Mechanical type of keys. In one of the articles we wrote which keyboards are best suited for blind and comfortable printing (here). The Kinesis KB600 Advantage2 has powerful and durable Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches with low effort. Before reacting, the recoil increases at the key – a slightly increased effort allows you not to squeeze the key completely, which increases the printing speed. The function keys have a similar mechanism - Cherry ML.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Wireless Keyboard
Microsoft Natural Keyboard is a series of ergonomic keyboards that first appeared in the company's arsenal in 1994. Most likely, many of you got acquainted with it using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (NEK) model, the predecessor of the keyboard from today's review.
The first thing that catches your eye is not a complicated relief or an unusual shape of the keyboard, but the fact that glossy plastic is used on its upper part. I don't even know how to interpret this act: it's one thing when a TV hanging on the wall is made of glossy plastic; it's quite another thing when it comes to a keyboard that contacts hands daily and for several hours. Thousands of facepalm images and the image of the device designers involuntarily appear in my thoughts, who say "Oh, everything" in chorus. In general, a strange solution – fingerprints really remain.
The shape itself remained about the same – with differences, but recognizable. Only if earlier the keyboard was simply undulating and there was a medium–utility zoom switch (by default) between the blocks of buttons (for each hand), then in the new version there is not even this - this time there is only a cutout. Moreover, I have not found any functional use for it - except that it is convenient to cling to it with a finger to move the keyboard.
If on previous ergonomic Microsoft keyboards, fast printing turned into an automatic chirp, then this will not happen in this model – we have an island keyboard with a scissor design of keys, the stroke of which is very small. The keys have rounded corners, there is a very comfortable gap between them, and barely noticeable indentations are used on the buttons themselves. Russian and English symbols are applied in different colors.
There is no indication of Caps Lock and NumLock, although they were in the previous version. How much would LEDs affect the battery life of a wireless keyboard? I don't think it's significant.
The space bar is separate – it's easier to press it this way. When there is one big sleeper instead, especially of such a "curved" shape, it is difficult to push it if you press it from the edge, and not in the center, the only exception is mechanical keyboards, however, this is not our case, and they have straight spaces. The heroine of our review has a split space on the "scissor" suspension that is easily pressed even in the corner with a well-adjusted effort – and that's cool.
Huge Backspace, both Shift and Enter keys – everything I like :)
Even if you have mastered blind printing, and got used to the previous version of the keyboard, you will have a new test - to master the new location of Delete, Insert, PgUp, PgDn, Home, End, as well as a thin row of new Fn keys. Basically, at one time I had a diNovo Edge keyboard, there were the same thin keys and I got used to them, but combinations like CTRL + Esc will not be easy for the first time.
The Fn keys, apparently, already have a different principle of operation of the pressing mechanism (not scissor), since they are pressed with a different force, sound and amplitude.
- Very convenient shape, both keyboard and mouse. I work at the computer all day, my hands don't get tired at all.
- Convenient cutout in the center - it is convenient to take the keyboard with one hand.
- Convenient separate block with numbers. You can put it in any convenient place or remove it altogether.
- The presence of a calculator opening button on the block with numbers.
- Covers in the compartment with batteries on magnets, very convenient.
- A separate attachment that increases the height of the keyboard, also on magnets.
The keyboard has a soft wrist rest made of foamy material that gets dirty and there is no way to wash it.
Obinslab Anne Pro 2 Wireless Keyboard for Programming
As you can see from the photo, the keyboard is really small, even very small at first, but over time I got used to it.
I chose the version with brown switches for myself. I can't say how "tactile" they are, so there's nothing to compare them with. The sound of mechanical switches is not audible at all, but the impact of plastic caps on the housing is very clearly audible, so I additionally ordered another set of silicone rings, which, in theory, should self-shock these shocks.
Caps from different rows are different, which does not allow them to be swapped (let's say I wanted to swap Z and Y).
As mentioned in the specifications, the keyboard works both via Bluetooth and wired connection. Personally, I still use only the wired option, since there is no Bluetooth on the computer, and the whistle ordered on the same Ali has not yet arrived. (at least it works with a tablet.
Unlike the first version, which could be configured from a mobile phone application, there is only a PC application for Anne Pro 2 (Windows/Mac, Linux was not delivered). To tell the truth, it looks and works a little strange, probably because of the Russified version of Windows, but it works and performs its functions.
Through the application, it is possible to configure the main layout, the layout that will be active when you press the FN1 key, the layout that will be active when you press the FN2 key, plus the so-called "Tap layer", which, when pressed together, performs actions other than when pressed briefly (for example, in the standard configuration, the right block ctrl, shift,fn1,fn2 with short single taps perform the functions of arrows, and when held, the corresponding functions).
Also, using the program, you can configure and save to the keyboard not only the layout settings, but also the backlight settings (in the Anne Pro version, as far as I understood, all settings were stored in volatile memory, and could not survive a power off).
There are several backlight modes, which, however, I personally don't really need, but it's nice to realize that at any moment you can choose some other backlight. In addition, it is possible to choose ten brightness levels, which is quite convenient if you work at a computer in the dark and without lighting.
Mountain Everest Max mechanical keyboard for programmers
Everest is a fully customizable mechanical keyboard for programmers, which has a convenient modular design and Cherry MX hot-swappable switches. Mountain Company provides two versions of the keyboard - the basic Everest Core and the extended Everest Max. The basic version of Everest Core is represented by a mechanical keyboard with RGB backlight and Cherry MX switches (red, blue, brown, silent silver and red are available).
The Everest Max version is expanded with a numeric keypad, a multimedia docking station with a display and a magnetic handstand - all components can be removed/added, installed in a convenient position. For example, a numeric keypad can be installed to the right or left of a mechanical keyboard using a plug that can be pulled out on both sides. To position Everest at the right angle, you can use magnetic legs that are installed to the bottom of the keyboard case, and to comfortably type, you can add a magnetic hand rest.
The Everest keyboard is made of aluminum, and the caps (keycaps) are made of ABS plastic.
To avoid excess wires or extension cords, as well as to organize the order on the desktop, Everest has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 hub that provides an additional high-speed USB port, as well as a network of channels for laying cables on the lower surface of the keyboard case.
Above the numeric keypad there are four programmable display keys that can be configured to your favorite shortcut or icon, whether it's a popular game, Steam, GOG or any other game launcher, music streaming service, social networks or applications used for work, for example, Adobe Photoshop or Magix Music Maker.
The media dock has a standard layout of multimedia buttons and a scroll wheel with a display with which we can change the brightness of the RGB backlight of the keys, adjust the volume of the PC, launch the application and much more, it also displays the number of actions per minute in the game and computer parameters.
The functions of the display key and the multimedia dock can be reassigned, for example, to perform actions such as launching applications or executing macros.
The Everest Max version includes:
- the basic configuration of Everest Core;
- multimedia dock with display;
- magnetic handstand;
- four additional magnetic keyboard legs (8 in total);
- numeric keypad;
- USB Type-C cable (15 cm).
Two models are available in two color options - Gunmetal Grey and Midnight Black.
SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Keyboard for programming
The STEELSERIES Apex 5 RU functional keyboard will be the best option for the gamer. It is connected to the computer via a USB port, and the cable length is 1.9 m. This model is equipped with additional multimedia keys that can be customized at your discretion. There is a backlight that simultaneously makes the device more attractive and increases the comfort of work.
The manufacturer supplied the STEELSERIES Apex 5 RU keyboard with traditional square-shaped keys. The letters of the English and Russian alphabets, as well as service designations, are printed in white. There is a wrist rest that will save the user from fatigue even after a few hours of work. There is a built-in LCD display. The model is made of aluminum.
- Hybrid blue mechanical game switches that can withstand up to 20 million clicks
- OLED Smart Display, which displays game information, Discord messages, profiles and much more
- The durable aircraft aluminum body will provide work for many years
- Incomparable customization of the backlight of the keys in 16.8 million colors
- Premium magnetic stand for wrist support and full hand comfort
The 5000 series metal frame, designed for long-lasting use, is the main element of any high-end device.
An ideal accessory for the keyboard - the magnet provides easy and quick connection, the stand reliably protects the palms, the wear-resistant soft coating provides comfort while typing or playing.
A clickable metal wheel and media control buttons allow you to change the volume and other settings on the go: brightness change, rewind, skip, pause and much more - by simply pressing a button.
Razer Cynosa Chroma Keyboard for programming
This menacing name hides a new keyboard from Razer, but it is not a wild beast with bizarre shapes, but an easy-going and loyal companion for every gamer. The keyboard is positioned as a gaming keyboard, and even has a number of purely gaming functions, but it is made in classic forms, without ostentatious pretentiousness and esports in all fields.
Razer Cynosa Chroma is packed in standard factory cardboard, which is closed with special factory seals. At first glance, it may seem that this is an ordinary scotch tape, but in fact there is no need to tear and cut with scissors. Just pull on the special "tabs" marked in red, and voila - the box is open!
Inside it there are only the most necessary things: a user manual in all common languages, including Russian, 2 stickers with Razer symbols and, in fact, the keyboard itself, wrapped in a transparent protective film. The wire from the device is neatly laid in a special niche. The cord itself is the most common, there is no braid, alas.
For example, so that a long wire does not get confused with others during operation, the creators attached a special elastic band to them, which is very convenient to fix the folded "excess". Razer also took care of the cleanliness of the USB connector: it has a protective nozzle. However, what to do with it after connecting the keyboard to the computer is not entirely clear. Most likely, it will go to gather dust in the box.
Razer Cynosa Chroma is positioned as a gaming keyboard made for the "classics". This can be seen not only by the form factor, which is characterized by strict bends familiar to any gamer, but also by technical parameters. Its creators did not flirt with fans of "mechanics", Cynosa Chroma is entirely implemented on the principle of a membrane mechanism.
Full list of technical characteristics:
- Keyboard Type: Membrane;
- Total number of keys: 104;
- Additional keys: none;
- Type of additional keys: none;
- Key illumination: yes;
- Key backlight color: RGB;
- Low profile keys: None;
- Silent keys: yes;
- Digital block: yes;
- Programmable keys: yes;
- Function key (Fn): Yes;
- Construction: Full-size;
- Case Material: Plastic;
- Coating: matte;
- Protection against water ingress: yes;
- Type of protection from water: from splashing, from spilling;
- Handstand: No;
- Connection type: Wired;
- Connection interface: USB;
- Headphone and microphone connectors: None;
- Power type: by bus;
- Key reading when pressed simultaneously: 10;
- Polling frequency: 1000 Hz;
- Dimensions: 463 x 154 x 31 mm;
- Weight: 0.95 kg;
- Main color: Black.
Even one glance at the characteristics is enough to understand that this keyboard is made with exceptionally serious intentions. Razer engineers were tasked with making a functional device, and not just adding more and more. From the "fashionable-youth" one can only single out the function of highlighting the keys, but we will talk about it a little later.
There is an opinion that membrane keyboards are the last century, and that a gamer of the 21st century should play exclusively on "mechanics". Nevertheless, a full-size mechanical keyboard costs 7-10 thousand depending on the brand, and at the same time it is far from a fact that it has any other useful properties. Therefore, there is no special point in comparing Cynosa Chroma with a really cool "mechanics" of the average hand due to the large difference in price.
However, membrane keyboards are also different. Some are declared as silent, but at the same time they begin to rattle loudly after six months, even if there is a price tag of 2-3 thousand rubles. In the case of a Razer device, this is impossible, due to the much longer service life and, of course, the warranty, which is 2 years.
Best mechanical keyboard for programming
Mechanical keyboards with easily interchangeable keycaps allow the layout to be toggled from the standard QWERTY. There is the complex to learn yet easy to use "DVORAK" layout or the new "Colemak" layout which can be simply referred to as "QWERTY corrected for fast typing".
Which keyboard is best for programming?
Depending on your needs, the best keyboard for programming is likely to be a keyboard that provides fast, accurate typing, reduces workload, and provides enough reliability to handle the rigors of long day-to-day work sessions. Mechanical keyboard is generally considered to be the best keyboard for typing speed. Also look for programmable function keys and key remapping, especially if you're looking for the world's best programming keyboard. India, China, Russia, Israel, France and other countries use different standard and preferred keyboard layouts for programming, so the ability to remap the keys is a big plus.
A programmer needs a keyboard that is:
- Responsive: Every programmer has their own preference for tactile feedback and the type of keycap. Good tactile feedback helps avoid typing errors and improves productivity.
- Reliable: It should work consistently, withstand accidental spills of coffee or drinks, and be made of high quality materials.
- Customizable: Power developers will like programmable keyboards with custom keys that can be programmed to launch certain code editor functions and actions. Others like to extend the customization to keycaps as well.
Why are mechanical keyboards better for programming?
Programmers spend a lot of time at the keyboard and have to type complex commands quickly and accurately, while mechanical keyboards with high-quality switches make typing more comfortable, reduce hand fatigue, and help minimize errors. Mechanical spring-based switches provide a tactile “kickback” which helps to maximize typing speed. The mechanical keyboard is also more fun to type due to the linear travel of the keys and even the "clicking sound" which adds to the appeal.
Are ergonomic keyboards worth it?
Ergonomic keyboards are definitely worth it if your job requires a lot of typing for many hours a day. Typical flat keyboards can hurt your wrists, fingers, and shoulders. Ergonomic keyboards can protect your wrists from unnecessary stress while typing. That said, the performance of the keyboard is of great importance as well.
Are 60% of keyboards suitable for encoding?
The 60% keyboards are a popular choice for coders, programmers, and typists because of their great layout. However, if you edit a lot in your text, you should take into account the fact that these keyboards don't have arrow keys.