Programming is an important skill to have these days. For many people, it’s their main source of bread and butter. For others, it just an interesting hobby on the side. Thanks to the rise of gaming and social media, the skill is quite a in demand these days. So, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a beginner, you most likely spend a lot of time on the desk. Subsequently, you get a lot of heavy use out of your keyboard. A good keyboard is a programmer’s best friend after all.
We don’t say this lightly. As many people start to get bored from writing coding after a while. A brand new keyboard can ignite that spark again in some ways. Having a great keyboard improves your workflow and makes the coding experience a bit more enjoyable. Comfort plays a very important role here. When you’re spending several hours typing away, you need comfort. This means that the keys should be responsive, and build quality should be excellent as well.
Fortunately, there are a lot of keyboards out there that fit this description perfectly. We’ve narrowed down the list and will be looking at some of the best. Coming from a hobbyist programmer themselves, this list took a lot of research. Hopefully, you can find something that works for you. So without any further ado, here are five of the best programming keyboards in 2021.
1. Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition Gaming Keyboard
- Fast opto-mechanical switches
- Great form factor
- Excellent construction
- Doubleshot PBT keycaps
- Delightful Chroma RGB
- Very Loud
Switches: Razer Linear Optical | Backlight: Chroma RGB | Connection: Wired | Media Control Buttons: No
Razer is one of the biggest peripheral manufacturers in the PC Gaming industry. Some would even say they are the biggest, and we’re not one to argue. Recently, they have been on a roll. The Razer Huntsman Elite was the first to introduce linear optical switches. The Huntsman tournament edition follows suit, but with a better form factor.
A lot of people do not prefer large keyboards. This is especially true for programmers, since you may want a minimal setup. A tenkeyless or TKL keyboard is perfect for that. The Huntsman Tournament Edition has a small footprint, detachable USB-C, a standard bottom row, and double shot PBT keycaps. Impressive stuff.
These switches are fast, linear, and optomechanical. The key is activated when a light beam is interrupted by the switch, and it ends up feeling quite fast. Apart from that, the floating switch design just adds more to the aesthetics. The aluminum top plate provides a sturdy feel. At the bottom, we have two adjustable feet with different heights.
This TKL keyboard is compact and means business. No macro keys, no media keys, just pure focus on quality. Programmers will love this. It has standard keycaps so you can easily replace them as they use the Cherry stems. The keycaps have thick walls and no flex along with a light texture. The font looks good, and the backlighting is decent.
The Chroma RGB is a bit reserved here, and feels a bit “grown-up”. The stabilizers are excellent, but the spacebar has a small hint of rattle to it. Regardless, this is excellent quality from a mass-produced board. Razer has done a commendable job here. Just know that this keyboard gets really loud, and the keycaps contribute to that.
2. Obinslab Anne Pro 2 60% Wired/Wireless Keyboard
Best Compact Keyboard
- Bluetooth works perfectly
- Incredible switches
- Premium keycaps
- Good backlighting
- Small footprint
- Form factor not for everyone
Switches: Gateron Brown | Backlight: Addressable RGB | Connection: Wired/Wireless | Media Control Buttons: No
If you’re ever watched an enthusiast talk about keyboards, you’ve heard of this one. The Anne Pro 2 is one of the most popular 60% keyboards out there. It is second only to the Ducky One Two MIni. After all these years, the Anne Pro 2 still retains its crown as the best compact keyboard. Trust us, we don’t say that lightly.
The Anne Pro has your standard 60% layout. This means that this keyboard doesn’t have any arrow keys. Normally you would use the “FN” button and WASD to replace the arrow keys. However, the four keys in the bottom right corner work as arrow keys if you lightly tap them. This is a surprisingly clever design from Obinslab.
You can get the Anne Pro 2 with a variety of switches. However, we feel like the Gateron Browns will feel the best to newcomers. The Anne Pro has a minimalistic design language, and that looks incredibly sleek in the white color. Once you get used to the form factor, you won’t want to go back. It saves a lot of desk space and is easy to carry around.
But why would you carry it around? Well, because it has Bluetooth, and it works quite well. You can pair this with your tablet or laptop when on the go. You can connect up to four devices and seamlessly switch back and forth. It comes with a detachable USB-C cable and a keycap puller. The stabilizers feel amazing, and there is little to no rattle.
The Obinslab Anne Pro 2 deserves all the praise it gets. It is one of the best keyboards ever made, and programmers will love it. Just know that the form factor isn’t for everyone, but that’s not the board’s fault.
3. Logitech G915 TKL Lightspeed RGB Gaming Keyboard
Best Wireless Option
- Excellent design
- Low-profile keys
- Gorgeous RGB lighting
- Wireless mode works well
- ABS keycaps
Switches: Logitech GL Linear | Backlight: Addressable RGB | Connection: Wired/Wireless | Media Control Buttons: Yes
For programmers, comfortability, and convenience are both equally important. However, what if we told you could get both? Well, Logitech is hoping they can deliver on those two requirements. Meet the Logitech G915 TKL, one of the best wireless keyboards on the market.
So what makes this keyboard so special? Well, it is the only low-profile, wireless, Bluetooth, and tenkeyless keyboard out there i.e from a reputable brand at least. That’s why it does happen to be a bit expensive. The keyboard is low to the surface, so it feels comfortable without a wrist rest. There are two rubber feet at the bottom if you want to adjust the angle.
Overall, the ergonomics feel good and the keyboard is comfortable to type on. The edges are smooth and don’t dig into your wrist. It has a pocket to store the wireless USB dongle. The round rubber media keys look unique, and the volume wheel looks good. However, it doesn’t feel the best as it has little resistance and tactility. This board still uses micro-USB which is a shame in 2021.
The entire keyboard has a thin profile and a clean look. If you need something sleek, portable, and wireless, this is the one. Logitech’s GL Linear switches provide a great typing experience. The RGB also looks incredibly gorgeous. Unfortunately, Logitech is using ABS keycaps here which is a major disappointment.
The price is also quite a tough pill to swallow for most people. However, if you want a sleek wireless linear keyboard, this is the one we recommend.
Redragon is known for making excellent budget gaming peripherals. They are especially popular for their entry-level mechanical keyboards. Often times, we don’t recommend budget keyboards for long-term use. However, the K552 Kumara is one rare exception.
The K552 Kumara is a compact 87 key or Tenkeyless mechanical keyboard. It’s a wired keyboard that uses mechanical Blue Switches. It is by far one of the cheapest TKL keyboards out there. The small form factor feels comfortable to type on, and the rubber feet provide some adjustability.
The Oeutmu blue switches are loud and clicky. Slightly more so than Cherry MX. Newcomers will appreciate the sound and tactility. However, if you are experienced with keyboards, you’ll notice the keys are a bit scratchy. The stabilizers also need a lot of work, especially the keyboard.
It has anti-ghosting across all the keys and N-key rollover. It’s perfect if you’re a fast typer or maybe even a gamer. The keyboard is even splash-proof. The keycaps are ABS, which is to be expected at this price point. Of course, this has RGB lighting and can be controlled via the function keys. While it’s not the best keyboard by any means, it’s a great entry-level option.
Mechanical keyboards are great. The feel of a nice mechanical switch simple can not be replaced by a membrane keyboard. However, not everyone prefers the sound of these boards. Plus, if you work in an office environment, you’re co-workers will be annoyed by a clicky switch. So if you need something stealthy, the Logitech MX Keys is a great keyboard.
The keys feel surprisingly good to type on. Don’t get us wrong, these are membrane keys but they don’t feel as bad as we thought. The spherically dished keys match the shape of the fingertips. This offers a satisfying response with every keypress. This makes it one of the more comfortable typing experiences. Especially for longer sessions at the office.
This wireless keyboard is backlit and it switches on automatically. This means whenever you press on a key, the white backlighting will spring to life. It works with multiple devices and operating systems. You can use it in Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Oh, and you can pair up to 3 devices.
It has a USB-C for charging and connection. A full charge can last up to 10 days with the backlighting on. When lighting is turned off, this thing can run for up to 5 months. This keyboard definitely plays into the trend of being minimal and chic. However, the build quality leaves a lot to be desired. It’s also too expensive for a membrane keyboard.