The Best Keyboards for Programming (2021)

A smart programmer working a demanding remote job knows better than to use a mediocre keyboard…

A smart programmer working a demanding remote job knows better than to use a mediocre keyboard. Standard keyboards can’t handle hours of heavy usage. At least not without breaking down or injuring your hands.

Coders need a specialized, customizable tool that’ll stand the daily abuse, improve typing speed, and safeguard their health and wellbeing. The ideal programming keyboard lets you handle countless hours of programming tasks in your remote job without sustaining a repetitive strain injury.

We have narrowed down the best keyboards for programming in 2021 to let you work faster, smarter, and efficiently in your remote software engineering job.

Best Full-sized keyboard: Razer BlackWindow Elite

The Razer BlackWindow Elite is ideal for programmers who frequently use the number pad or crave lots of customizable keys. The wired keyboard has a solid build, good spacing, and stable keys for greater typing accuracy.

It’s ergonomically designed with a detachable magnetic wrist rest made of plush leatherette and two incline settings for greater typing comfort. All keys are macro-programmable so that you can customize them to your liking with the companion software.

This mechanical keyboard has silent proprietary switches with great tactile feedback for a smooth, effortless typing. Each key is individually lit to let you work in a dark environment, but the full RGB backlighting lets you customize the keyboard for a personalized touch.

Pros

  • Sturdy and well built
  • Full RGB lighting
  • Macro-programmable keys
  • Light tactile keys

Cons

  • Customization software is limited to Windows

Best Budget Programming keyboard — Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard

The Microsoft Sculpt keyboard is for the remote programmer who values comfort, accuracy, and flawless typing. This programming keyboard is split into two on the lower end for superior typing comfort. The split design allows for natural finger and arms placement to eliminate repetitive strain injury.

This coder’s ergonomic keyboard is designed for your typing comfort and safety. A padded detachable wrist pad, domed design, and a natural arc key layout are specifically designed to eliminate wrist injuries.

The combination reduces wrist pronation while mimicking your fingers’ natural curve. An adjustable reverse tilt angle lets you select the best typing height for added comfort.

The wireless keyboard comes with a separate number pad for better workspace organization while letting you remain productive all day long.

The ergonomic programming keyboard from Microsoft is less than $70.

Pros

  • Innovative split keyset design
  • Optimized to reduce wrist injuries
  • Wireless
  • Arced for improved finger placement

Cons

  • Has a considerable learning curve

Best Smart Programming Keyboard — Das Keyboard 4

The Das Keyboard 4 is ideal for the coder who values precision, accuracy, and speed while typing. This mechanical keyboard is the perfect blend of art and technology and delivers a flawless typing experience.

The world’s thinnest keyboard uses innovative mechanical switches to deliver a seamless typing experience. Excellent N-key rollover allows precision, while the tactile feedback improves accuracy and reduced finger strain for better typing speed.

The ergonomic keyboard is designed for comfort and efficiency. It comes with a super comfortable wrist rest, dedicated media buttons and a volume knob, and 112 programmable function keys.

Das 4 keyboard quality build and exceptional craftsmanship make it one of the sturdiest on the market. The gold-plated mechanical key switches make the keyboard a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.

However, the Das 4 mechanical keyboard’s most outstanding feature is its compatibility with the IFTT protocol. You can program any of the 12 dedicated keys to perform a specific task. For instance, you can program a key to alert you when there’s a new comment on your Stack Overflow thread.

The world’s thinnest programming keyboard will set you back slightly over $150

Pros

  • It serves you for a lifetime
  • Supports IFTT Protocol
  • Improves typing speed
  • Media and programmable keys

Cons

  • The volume button is clunky

Best Split Keyboard for programming: Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

The Kinesis mechanical split keyboard is ideal for the coder who craves premium comfort and accuracy so they can work uninterrupted for hours. The split design reduced fatigue and strain as you type.

Placing the two modules shoulder-width apart lets you maintain an excellent posture while taking the stress off your shoulders, hands, and back. Proper posture improves your workflow while safeguarding your health.

Kinesis keyboard uses Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches renowned for their responsiveness, durability, and excellent tactile feedback. They allow greater typing accuracy, precision, and speed for increased output.

Immersive RGB backlighting allows you to work in a dark environment. But it’s the ten customizable backlight effects that let the keyboard standout. They allow you to give your workstation a signature look.

Each key on this keyboard is programmable so that you can customize it to your liking. The dedicated SmartSet key lets you remap keys, set macros, and customize the backlight on the fly. A 4MB onboard memory lets you save the setting for quick access.

This split mechanical keyboard carries a $200 price tag.

Pros

  • Split module design
  • RGB backlight
  • All keys are programmable
  • 4 MB onboard memory

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

Best Programming Keyboard with Macros: Corsair K100 RGB

The Corsair K100 keyboard is the best choice for a programmer looking for additional comfort and convenience as they work long hours (or part time). This full-size keyboard comes with a dedicated row of macro keys to improve your workflow.

The Corsair iCUE software lets you set macros quickly and customize the keys to your liking. A profile switching button, volume wheel, and hotkeys add to the keyboard’s convenience.

The wired ergonomic keyboard feels sturdy and well-built, while the adjustable incline setting and padded wrist rest increase typing comfort.

The mechanical switches on the keyboard give the keys light and responsive touch to deliver a smooth typing experience. The full RGB lighting lets you work in the dark and let you give the keyboard a personal touch.

This macro-friendly keyboard is a tad pricey and carries a $229 price tag.

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Dedicated macro keys
  • Full RGB lighting
  • Mechanical keys
  • Full-size keyboard

Cons

  • Lacks tactile keys

So, there you have it, the best programming keyboard for 2021. Any of these keyboards will improve your workflow to let you get more work in less time. Most importantly, they’re all ergonomic and will protect your hands from repetitive stain injury.

Now that you’ve upgraded your keyboard, isn’t it time to upgrade your job to a 4-day work week?

This article was original posted on 4 day week — Software engineering jobs with a better work life balance 🎉

Founder @ 4dayweek.io - Software jobs with a better work / life balance.