How to choose a keyboard for programming? (Simple guide)

Choosing a keyboard is not really simple. There are a lot of things to look into that I am going to discuss in this blog post.

A keyboard is not only a typewriter that we use to write on our computers. It’s more than that. With types of computer keyboards out there, you will find a different keyboards for different tasks.

Such that, for gaming, there are RGB keyboards with mechanical keys. And soft keyboards for typing and writing.

Also, there are backlit keyboards in laptops to work in low-light environments, and the debate about which one is better; wired keyboards or wireless keyboards do not seem to get any old. See our list of best wireless keyboards for programming.

In this blog, you will learn what factors to look into if you are buying a keyboard for programming.

Let’s get started.

1. Deciding the work type

It’s important to decide the work type that you will be doing using the keyboard. Are you going to type so much?

Then buy anything that has soft keys. But in case you think there are more things like you will be playing games then a combo of RGB plus smooth keys would be the best bet.

In fact, before buying ask yourself the work you are about to do using the keyboard. Later it will be easier to pick the right keyboard.

2. Choose between Wireless vs Wired keyboards

Wired keyboards have a long wired USB cable that is used to plug into a computer. And the wireless keyboards connect to a computer through Bluetooth connectivity.

Both of these types of keyboards have advantages and disadvantages. So it’s your choice what you feel is good for you.

Wired keyboards are usually preferred by users who are more into gaming. Because wired keyboards register the keys sooner than wireless keyboards. Due to their faster response time.

On the other hand, wireless keyboards give you the freedom to sit wherever you want and use the keyboard.

Not to mention, in wired

3. The shape of the keyboard

The design and architecture of the keyboard make a big difference in your computing experience.

Based on the design, the keyboards can be grouped into three shapes.

  1. Standard: Standard keyboards are the regular keyboards, with 104 keys. They don’t have anything out of the box, though they come in RGB or No RGB models, wired or wireless, and other options.
  2. Gaming: Gaming keyboards as the name suggest are designed for gamers. They have Incorporated multimedia keys, shortcut keys as well as other special keys that make playing games like a pro.
  3. Ergonomic: Ergonomic keyboards are designed to position your hands comfortably. They are designed to relieve finger strain by presenting proper wrist leftovers to soothe hands. They are a bit costly but worth the money.

4. Size

I think the first and foremost thing that you should be considerate about in a coding keyboard is its overall size.

Now keyboards themselves are available in many proportions; you could get the 65% to full layout sizes depending on your needs and goals.

File:ANSI Keyboard Layout Diagram with Form Factor.svg - Wikimedia Commons

So, unless you are one of those people who really likes using a Numpad, a 60% budget keyboard is more than enough.

You don’t really need a Numpad and other added inputs for programming.

You’ll keep focused on the work at hand with these half-sized keys, and that’s how most software developers think.

5. Mechanical vs. non-Mechanical

Membrane vs. Mechanical Keyboards: What's the Difference? – Review Geek

This is a bit of debate in both the coding and gaming community that I am sure you have heard about.

So basically, it’s a matter of comparing loud and tactile vs. quiet and linear. Mechanical keyboards tend to have that nice response or feedback, along with superb actuation and travel.

While non-mechanical or membrane keyboards like the Apple Magic Keyboard are soft to the touch and have that mushy feeling.

For the most part, they are quiet and can be brought at an affordable price. So, again it’s a matter of how loud you can stand and what feels easy to type on.

6. Key switches

If somehow, you’re a fan of mechanical keyboards, then you have quite a number of options in the key switch department. Each of the keys will have its own feel and sound, so the one that works for you might not be the same for others.

In general, I personally suggest Cherry MX Brown switches for coding as they are light tactile but still do not produce the same kind of loud, obnoxious sounds.

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