11

I know this is a bit of a boring question, but I need to ask it. What keyboard would you recommend?

Requirements:

  • Price should be < $25. Preferable < $20
  • Must connect through USB
  • Must last a long time (more than 2 years)
  • Must be full size. (Includes all normal keys, F1 - F12, and a number pad)
  • Must be QWERTY
  • Should have arrow keys that are the same size (for gaming), so that the and arrow keys are not smaller than the and .
  • Must be available in the US.

Preferences

  • A backlight (multi-colored?)
  • Wireless (If wireless, it should last more than 6 months on battery)
  • Bluetooth connection
  • If it has a backlight, it must be visible without the backlight being on.
  • 3 or greater key rollover

Thank you for your input.

Just to clarify, this keyboard will not be primarily for gaming. I would just like it to be capable of.

  • Bluetooth keyboards under $20 alone are going to be very low quality, add backlighting, full-size, etc. and you are not going to find anything that will last a long time. "Gaming" keyboards are mechanical, and those are no-where near $20. You can get a keyboard with some of these things, but it won't last long under heavy use. – Preston Badeer Oct 26 '15 at 0:30
  • @PrestonBadeer Lol, no I do not want a mechanical keyboard. Just one with normal arrow keys ^-^ – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 0:31
  • "Must last a long time (more than 2 years)" is why I brought that up. It totally depends on how much you use it, but you can easily wreck a non-mechanical keyboard in under two years. – Preston Badeer Oct 26 '15 at 0:32
  • @PrestonBadeer Well, the use of a normal user, some coding, and some gaming (with arrow keys, WASD, and mouse) I'm not sure if I am asking to much? – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 0:33
  • I would ask friends (incl. Steam/Origin buddies) and look on craiglist. I got a free gaming keyboard with my gaming PC that fits your description and never use it, I'm sure there are people close by you who have the same story. – Preston Badeer Oct 26 '15 at 0:36
13

From your comments on the other answer, and my own experiences, (and much to my own suprise)... dude, get a dell.

Or specifically the l1100/SK-8115.

I'm a keyboard snob. I have a backlit mechanical keyboard that over the years has mellowed down to a very comfortable piece of equipment, which some day I will hand over to my nephew. Its a elegant weapon for a more civilised time.

Sometimes though, you just need a damned, basic, mass produced blaster that shoots straight. You need a chinese made hammer, not a tool worthy of the gods themselves, meant to create works of wonder.

Its a dell. Its designed to be used by stormtroopers your average office worker. I've never seen a stormtrooper's rifle misfire, and I've never seen one of these dead. My last place had a box of them, and supposedly you can get these dirt cheap. and they survived sysadmins and artists alike. Wipe em down every so often and they're good. They have a decent feel for a prolitarian membrane keyboard.

Yes, typically they are used, refurbished, or old new stock, but this keyboard is one of the few mere mortal ones that might, just might pass the lethality test.

enter image description here

Full sized keys. extra large spacebar. Used it at my last job, and it ain't half bad.

  • This looks VERY good. May be the one I end up buying. I will add an accepted answer once I do buy one. – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 10:39
  • I'm using one of these right now, and I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. I have a backlit mechanical keyboard as well, but at my office I use this Dell which came with my brother's computer in 2006. It's a great piece of plastic. – Kaslai Oct 26 '15 at 16:12
  • Pretty bad typing feeling tough. And rather noisy. None of which matters much for gaming I guess. – Gilles Oct 26 '15 at 18:07
  • @Gilles lol, I type too, It's not mainly intended for gaming. I just want the capability. – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 20:46
9

You should look into the Logitech K120 Keyboard. This keyboard meets all of your requirements, but none of your preferences. It costs $15 USD + shipping. It has a large font printed on the keys for maximum visibility. Every Logitech product that I have owned has lasted over 5 years. My mouse that just died made it almost to 7.

Logitech K120 Keyboard

Requirements:

✔ Price should be < $25. Preferable < $20
✔ Must connect through USB
✔ Must last a long time (more than 2 years)
✔ Must be full size. (Includes all normal keys, F1 - F12, and a number pad)
✔ Must be QWERTY
✔ Should have arrow keys that are the same size (for gaming), so that the and arrow keys are not smaller than the and .
✔ Must be available in the US.

Preferences:

X A backlight (multi-colored?)
X Wireless (If wireless, it should last more than 6 months on battery)
X Bluetooth connection
X If it has a backlight, it must be visible without the backlight being on.

  • Also beautiful keyboard. When I buy one, I will update this question with an accepted answer. – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 10:40
  • Do you know if they have a version of the K750 without solar? – Rubyjunk Oct 27 '15 at 21:06
  • Cna vouch for this as typing on one right now, alongside everyone else in my office. – Ctrl-alt-dlt Jan 18 '16 at 16:22
6

It's not quite just a keyboard, but the Logitech MK220 is probably the smallest big keyboard I've ever used (comes with a mouse). Battery life is measured in years and standard batteries allround.

Its full sized, just dosen't waste any space at all, nice clear non-backlit keys. Works with Windows and Linux, and over wireless via a dongle.

I think I paid SGD 35 for the bundle, though, of course, local prices vary.

Logitech MK220

  • Hmm. I think that's above my budget, and also I forgot to mention that I would like to use this for gaming, (just a little :P), so those weird arrow keys might be a bit annoying. Thank you for the help, though. – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 0:22
  • Logitech makes good solid keyboards, and are worth taking a look at anyway. Dell's OEM keyboards are pretty usable, and I know a place that sells em surplus/cheap locally. That said, I'm out of touch with cheap keyboards, but at that price range, I'd just get a generic cheapie or three ;p – Journeyman Geek Oct 26 '15 at 0:24
  • Haha, I'm using a MS keyboard that was probably very fancy back in the day, but now it's failing on me, the W key doesn't work that great, and it's battery life is like 4 months, so you can understand why I want a new one :) Thank you for your help though, and I hope this answer helps someone else :) – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 0:25
6

If your are into flat keyboards, I recommend the Cherry Stream. They just released a new revision with the 3.0. I'm using this keyboard for years and already bought it twice. I can't recall how long the first one lasted but it was at last 5 years with intensive use.

I'm not sure how much it is in the US but in Germany you can get it for less than 20€, which would be like 22$.

It doesn't match any of your preferences but all your requirements. As others already said, your preferences don't really match the price your are willing to pay. If you are not willing to pay a lot more I suggest you settle for a good corded unlit keyboard.

Cherry Stream keyboard - black Cherry Stream keyboard - white

EDIT

After discussion in the comments it seems that it is a little hard to obtain the keyboard in the US. The 3.0 was just introduced a few days ago. The predecessor is the Stream XT which I'm actually using and which is available here for 35$. Didn't think about Cherry being a German manufacturer.

  • The problem is, it doesn't have a backslash key :( I will still consider it though. – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 10:51
  • @RubyJunk the pictures that were added show the German layout. Did you check the English one? – André Stannek Oct 26 '15 at 11:49
  • @AndréStannek The product page shows that a US layout exists, but it's not clear from the data sheet whether the US layout has a US-style physical layout. In any case, the physical layout shown will, if configured for a US layout, have backslash on the key labeled #'. – Random832 Oct 26 '15 at 18:31
  • @AndréStannek I cannot find it.... Could you provide a link? – Rubyjunk Oct 26 '15 at 20:00
  • @Random832 yeah, you can always change the layout software side, but you need to know your layout by heart for that. I once used an English keyboard because it's better for programming. When I switched to German layout (e.g. because of umlauts), I couldn't find any special chracter anymore ;-) – André Stannek Oct 26 '15 at 20:04

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