By Kimber Streams
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.
After testing 25 keyboards over the past two years, we found that the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard is the best for most people. It’s the first to meet all the requirements of a great multiuse Bluetooth keyboard — comfortable, compact, and versatile — for less than $50.
Who this is for
A Bluetooth keyboard is a great option if you need a keyboard that can connect to any type of device — desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, television — or if you want wireless but hate the USB dongle that comes with traditional wireless keyboards.
How we picked and tested
A great Bluetooth keyboard should be easy to use. It should pair easily with all your devices, and switching between devices ought to be simple, too. For more on determining what you should look for in a Bluetooth keyboard, see our full guide.
We tested 25 keyboards over the past two years by using each for at least a day of heavy work involving lots and lots (and lots!) of typing. After that, we spent much more time — up to several months — using each of our picks. This process gave us a feel for comfort, key placement, ergonomics, and build quality. We also asked a panel of four typists (of varying hand size, technique, and skill) to use each of the finalists for ordinary computing, as well as for the 10FastFingers typing test.
The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard is the best choice for most people. Photo: Kimber Streams
The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard is the first to meet all our requirements for a great Bluetooth keyboard for less than $50. The comfortable, compact, and inexpensive K380 can switch between up to three paired devices and has battery life that (Logitech claims) you can measure in years.
The Logitech K380 isn’t too large or heavy to slip in a bag and take with you. It’s comfortable to use for long typing sessions, and though its slight slope isn’t ergonomically great for your wrists — flat would be ideal — the angle is not as steep as that of most keyboards.
The round keys are springy and satisfying to type on. Each key is slightly concave — except for the keys in the top and bottom rows, which are convex — so they’re more comfortable than flat slabs. We think the Logitech K380 is comfortable and responsive enough for most people’s typing needs; if you type a lot you should consider the K810 or K811 instead.
The biggest advantage the K380 has over most Bluetooth keyboards is its lengthy battery life. The K380 runs on two included AAA batteries, and Logitech told us it will last for about two years of heavy use, defined as eight hours of use a day, five days a week. We haven’t been able to test the limits of that claim, but the keyboard is still going strong after more than a year of daily work and entertainment.
The Logitech K380 doesn’t have different layouts for Windows and Mac — the keyboard recognizes which operating system it’s connected to and remaps its keys accordingly.
For people who type all day
The Windows (bottom) and Mac (top) versions of the Easy-Switch. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you spend all day typing, you should upgrade to one of Logitech’s Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboards: the K811 for Mac or the K810 for Windows. Both are more comfortable than the K380, with smooth, well-spaced square keys; an adjustable backlight; and correct layouts for Mac and Windows, respectively. Our upgrade picks also have rechargeable batteries and, like the K380, let you switch between three paired devices with the press of a button. We recommend the K380 for most people because it’s so much less expensive — the street prices of the K810 and K811 usually run between $60 and $100.
Our budget pick looks and feels cheap but works well enough. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you’re on a budget, we recommend the Anker Ultra Compact Bluetooth Keyboard. This Anker model costs half as much as the Logitech K380 and feels like it — if at all possible, save up the extra $20 or so and get the K380 instead. The Anker can’t switch between devices and isn’t as pleasant to type on as our pick. But all the keys are in their rightful place, and the Anker doesn’t miss key presses, so it does the job.
A keyboard with a number pad: Logitech K780
The Logitech K780 is similar to our top pick, the K380, but with a number pad. Photo: Kimber Streams
We’ve spent years looking for a great Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in number pad, and we’ve finally found one worth recommending: Logitech’s K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard. The K780 is very similar to the K380 — it has round keys, it can pair with and switch between up to three devices, it promises an estimated two years of battery life — but it offers the addition of a number pad and a built-in stand for smartphones and tablets. For better or worse, the K780 also shares some of the K380’s flaws, namely a lack of backlighting and the availability of only a single layout.
The Logitech Keys-To-Go comes in Mac (top) and Windows (bottom) versions. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you need something even more portable than our above picks, we recommend the Logitech Keys-To-Go (for Mac or Windows). It’s especially thin and light — about as thick as a binder cover — and it has nearly full-size keys. Because the Keys-To-Go is covered in a membrane, its keys are spill-resistant and don’t have keycaps that can pop off when you shove it in a bag, but it has a weird texture and mushy feedback.
A fully split ergonomic pick
The fully split, ergonomic Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue comes in macOS and PC layouts. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you want a fully split, ergonomic keyboard that connects via Bluetooth, we recommend the Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue (macOS or PC) combined with the Freestyle2 VIP3 Accessory. (The VIP3 add-on is required to tent the keyboard ergonomically). It’s available in layouts for both macOS and Windows, and either version can pair with up to three devices.
Note from The Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.
Originally published on Blogger