7 Best Keyboard for Programmers in 2019

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If you’re going to be sitting in front of a screen typing all day, then you need to think about making this process as comfortable as possible, and as conducive to productivity and creative output as possible.

That’s where a great keyboard comes in. Using the right keyboard will not only speed up your typing speed allowing you to write more lines of code with fewer errors, but it will also prevent injury and strain.

Here are some of the best keyboards for programmers.

Keyboards for Programmers Reviews

Product

Features

Price

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

  • Tactile F and J keys help touch typing
  • Mechanical switches
  • Lots of controls
  • Beautifully made
  • A true programmer’s keyboard

Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard

  • Small and portable
  • Highly convenient
  • Multiple Bluetooth profiles
  • Water resistant
  • Excellent battery

CORSAIR Strafe RGB MK.2 Mechanical Keyboard

  • Pass through USB
  • On-board storage
  • Great color effects
  • Mechanical keys

Microsoft Wedge Keyboard

  • Small and minimal
  • Very comfortable typing

Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard

  • Very unique look
  • Increases typing speed
  • Improves strain

Ajazz AK510 Retro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

  • Nostalgic look
  • Comfortable keys
  • Mechanical

Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC

  • Ergonomic and healthy
  • Unique looking

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate Cherry MX Brown Soft Tactile Mechanical Keyboard - Blank Keycaps

There is a heck of a lot to like about this keyboard, that also happens to be a source of bragging rights for many programmers.

That’s because Das Keyboard 4 is no toy or gaming keyboard, but still brings many of the best features found on those keyboards. That means you’ll get backlit keys, and the famous Cherry MX mechanical switches (brown in this case, which provides a soft and tactile feel).

The bottom line is that these highly responsive keys, really provide the perfect amount of feedback and travel, with a satisfying click and perfect action!

But on top of all that, Das Keyboard 4 provides a full suit of all the keys, bells, and whistles you could want. In particular, that means you get a knob for controlling the volume of your music, a numpad, and plenty of programmable elements.

It’s all around one of the very best keyboards. And it’s also made beautifully, with a very high durability feel.

Pros

  • Tactile F and J keys help touch typing
  • Mechanical switches
  • Lots of controls
  • Beautifully made
  • A true programmer’s keyboard

Cons

  • Large and a little cumbersome
  • Very loud

Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard

Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard for iPad, iPhone, Android devices, and Windows tablets

When you think of a programming keyboard, you might be tempted to think purely in terms of massive keyboards with mechanical switches. However, this is not the whole story!

Many programmers will find themselves working on the move to solve issues, and even working from devices like tablets when the need calls.

That’s why having something that can fold up and slip in a pocket is extremely useful – and is likely to be even more useful in future as we see an increase in streaming services.

What makes the Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard so unique is its ability to provide a decent amount of travel and feedback in a device that is almost entirely flat. This then folds to be almost as slim as a small notebook, and to fit easily in your pocket!

There’s more too. The device is water resistant, meaning that if you’re using it in a pub and someone spills their beer on it, you won’t be heart broken. It also comes with a great battery life and will even pair to two separate devices! In short, this is a brilliant keyboard.

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Highly convenient
  • Multiple Bluetooth profiles
  • Water resistant
  • Excellent battery

Cons

  • A little cramped – though could be a lot worse!

CORSAIR Strafe RGB MK.2 Mechanical Keyboard

CORSAIR Strafe RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - USB Passthrough - Linear and Quiet - Cherry MX Red Switch - RGB LED Backlit

This keyboard is of course a gaming keyboard, but as mentioned – many of the best programming keyboards are in fact gaming keyboards. That’s because they have many of the same features that programmers are looking for: tactile mechanical keys, programmable macros, and numpads!

Corsair make some of the best gaming keyboards in the business and are the best place to get the same with Cherry MX Switches. The Strafe just so happens to be one of their very best models too!

That is thanks to the RGB lighting, which allows you to choose from multiple complex color profiles (including downloadable presets) and which means you enjoy some really cool effects while you’re typing.

It’s also thanks to the pass-through USB which is ideal if you want to keep a mouse to hand, and it’s thanks to the 8MB of on-board storage which means you’ll never lose your programmed keys. Perhaps more importantly, it also provides an extremely comfortable typing experience.

Pros

  • Pass through USB
  • On-board storage
  • Great color effects
  • Mechanical keys

Cons

  • Loud

Microsoft Wedge Keyboard

Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard

There are a lot of articles that tell you you need to have a programming keyboard with mechanical keys, macros, and a numpad. But you know what? For a large number of applications you really don’t!

If you’re creating Android apps in Android Studio, writing Python code, working as a web developer, or creating Unity games… you can do just fine with any keyboard,

In which case, it’s worth considering the Wedge Keyboard from Microsoft. This one is great to look at with a compact form factor, and offers a surprisingly comfortable typing experience despite having very slim keys and not much space around them. It’s at a brilliant angle for typing and works very well with the Wedge Mouse.

Pros

  • Small and minimal
  • Very comfortable typing

Cons

  • No numpad
  • Battery compartment looks great and is clever, but can be fiddly

Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard

Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard (KB600)

Another consideration that programmers need to bear in mind is that they risk RSI. If you are typing all day long, then you can easily create finger strain, not to mention other issues like carpal tunnel, wrist pain, or even shoulder and neck issues. These problems can be serious and could even cost you your job in the long run!

So an ergonomic keyboard is a seriously smart consideration, and there are few options out there quite like the Kinesis Advantage 2.

This is a split keyboard that also provides access for keys typed with the thumbs. The idea is that the hands can stay entirely in place, while being comfortably relaxed… and you type!

It’s a brilliant concept and set-up but one that takes a LOT of getting used to. If you can, then it will not only protect your health and productivity in the long-game, but will also help you to be more productive and up your keystrokes per minute.

It also uses cherry mechanical switches AND full onboard programmability. It’s costly though.

Pros

  • Very unique look
  • Increases typing speed
  • Improves strain

Cons

  • Takes a lot of getting used to
  • Not useful as a gaming keyboard
  • Expensive

Ajazz AK510 Retro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Ajazz AK510 Retro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - PBT SP Spherical Keycaps - Classic Grey-White Matching - RGB Backlight - Brown Switches - Black

Another mechanical keyboard, with more programmable buttons and a full numpad. What sets this one apart though is the color scheme which has the feel of a retro Apple Mac, Dos PC, or Amstrad.

If you learned to code on a greenscreen, you’ll probably find this brings you some nostalgia! This look won’t appeal to everyone though.

What’s more is that the keyboard is great to type on and very quiet. A particularly nice addition is the rounded keypads which are more comfortable for typing.

This also works great as a gaming keyboard, thanks to the 104 key N-key rollover and backlighting.

Pros

  • Nostalgic look
  • Comfortable keys
  • Mechanical

Cons

  • Not to everyone’s tastes

Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC

Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC (9" or 20" Separation) (9" Separation)

One of the biggest issues with most keyboards is the fact that they require you to bring your hands together. This in turn causes your shoulders to become rounded and your pecs to shorten, ruining your entire posture and causing impingement and kyphosis. That’s all bad news!

The solution? A split keyboard. This is a highly ergonomic option that can give your arms room to breathe, while also giving you much more comfort and flexibility.

This option comes from Kinesis again – the market leader when it comes to ergonomic and healthy keyboards. That means you can expect low force, tactile key switches, a well designed palm rest, and thoughtful spacing.

In short, this is a brilliant keyboard for programmers and writers alike. But again, it won’t work as a gaming keyboard due to the offset WASD keys, and it will also take a bit of getting used to.

That last point is pertinent as that can also create a somewhat jarring feeling when transitioning back to a regularly keyboard after getting used to this one! This can potentially harm productivity, so it is certainly something to keep in mind as you work.

That said, we overall loved the Kinesis Freestyle2 and it’s a very good option for a number of coders.

Pros

  • Ergonomic and healthy
  • Unique looking

Cons

  • Not useful for gaming
  • Takes getting used to

Buyer’s Guide

A programmer’s keyboard really need be no different from a regular keyboard. The main consideration is simply that you’re going to be using it a lot and so it is worth investing a little more cash in order to get something that will look after your fingers and wrists in the long term.

What’s more, is that you might want to consider advanced features such as mechanical keys, backlighting, programmable macros, and ergonomic design choices. Some hardcore coders may even look for easily swappable keys so they can enjoy a DVORAK setup.

For the most part though, your mission is simple: pick a high quality key with convenient shortcuts and a great typing experience.

Conclusion

Fortunately, every option on this list will provide you with those benefits. These are stunning, well-made, and highly comfortable keyboards. Just think long and hard about the kind of coding you’ll be doing and whether you need programmable keys. Likewise, ask whether you would get a kick out of backlighting, gaming options, and a retro aesthetic!

Whatever you choose, remember it can take a little time to get used to. So give it a chance and you’ll find your groove!