If you use a computer or tablet for work, you need a keyboard. Many people just buy whatever’s available. However, as a critical tool for work, you need to consider several factors to choose the ideal keyboard that keeps you comfortable and productive.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you! Keep reading to learn about what to consider when buying a new keyboard.
Is It Adjustable and Ergonomic?
A one-size-fits-all keyboard offers no customization and tries to fit as many body types as possible. As a result, most people could develop typing-related pain, repetitive strain injuries, and discomfort from its flat, generic profile.
To reduce pain and risk of injury, you need an ergonomic keyboard. For true comfort, the ideal keyboard needs to be adjustable. As we say here at Goldtouch, “If it isn’t adjustable, it isn’t ergonomic”.
That means it should have features to fit your specific body. For example, you can split some keyboards and adjust the typing angle of each half so they follow your hands’ natural relaxed position.
The takeaway: Choose an ergonomic keyboard that you can tent and splay to fit your natural hand and wrist placement.
Does It Connect Wired or Wirelessly?
How you plan to use your keyboard day-to-day can help you figure out whether you need a wired or wireless keyboard.
For example, if you find that you’re moving your workspace around a lot — whether it’s to use your desk to read books or write on documents — then you may find a wireless keyboard works best. It’s easy to move it out of the way when you need a bit of extra room, if you don’t mind recharging or replacing its batteries. Plus, if you switch between devices, a wireless option can connect to different devices as needed.
If you’d rather not worry about a Bluetooth connection (if your computer doesn’t have one) or you won’t move your keyboard from its usual typing position, a wired option is ideal.
The takeaway: Wireless keyboards are easy to move around and connect to multiple devices. Wired keyboards are convenient for stationary workspaces and don’t require charging.
Is It Comfortable For Typing?
Purchasing an ergonomic keyboard is the best place to start but there are other elements to a keyboard that enhance the comfort level.
Is your keyboard the correct width for your body? One way to tell is to observe any tension in your upper body. Your arms should feel relaxed when typing. If your keyboard’s too narrow or too wide, you may feel discomfort in your back, neck, and shoulders by the squeezing of your arms inward or by stretching outward too far.
Does your keyboard have your preferred keys? Some people swear by flat keys while others find it easier to use tall, blocky keys. Keycaps should feel easy to press down and not strain your fingers.
The takeaway: Your keyboard should feel comfortable and effortless to use, reducing pain and helping keep your body relaxed. Choose a keyboard width that suits your body and keys that you find easy to press.
Does It Suit the Work You Do?
Not everyone who uses a keyboard works from an office and not every office worker uses a keyboard all the time. That’s why it’s vital you choose a keyboard that fits around your daily tasks.
If you travel a lot for work, opt for a keyboard that stashes away in your laptop bag or rucksack, that works with all the devices you use.
If you do work from a desk, it might not be solely for office-based work. Perhaps there’s a practical element to your job where you use tools and equipment in your workspace too. Choosing a wireless split keyboard you can move around a lot may help.
If you’re crunching numbers, an external keypad could be a huge benefit and offer more comfort than one that’s integrated.
The takeaway: Choose a keyboard that works around your daily tasks so you’re more likely to stay comfortable and productive.
Keyboards aren’t one-size-fits-all.
First consider an adjustable ergonomic keyboard to reduce pain and discomfort associated with typing — you can buy keyboards that split and tent to fit your natural typing position.
Consider a wireless keyboard if you’re traveling or moving your desk around a lot, and a wired keyboard if you’re working at a stationary desk.
Choose a keyboard width to suit your upper body shape and keys that are easy to press.
And finally, opt for a keyboard that fits around your work, whether that’s pure number crunching, practical work, or travel.