The 6 Best Keyboard for Programming [2021 Updated]

Our Top 5 Pick’s (Comparison Table)

pros
Cons
Spec
#1 Best Choice
The 6 Best Keyboard for Programming [2021 Updated]
Keychron K6
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pros
+ Dual connectivity options
+ Compatible with Windows and Mac OS
Cons
– Expensive
– Only 65 percent of key layout
Spec
Connectivity:
Wired/wireless

Weight:
912 grams

Backlit:
Yes
#2 Best Budget
The 6 Best Keyboard for Programming [2021 Updated]
Apple Magic Keyboard
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pros
+ Sleek and portable design
+ Scissor switches
Cons
– Only wireless connectivity
– Expensive
Spec
Connectivity: Wireless

Weight:
400 grams

Backlit:
No
#3 Best Price
The 6 Best Keyboard for Programming [2021 Updated]
Ducky One 2 Mini
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pros
+ Supports three major operating systems
+ Double shot keycaps
Cons
– Only wired connectivity
– Plastic frame
Spec
Connectivity:
Wired

Weight:
1300 grams

Backlit:
Yes
#4 Best Design
The 6 Best Keyboard for Programming [2021 Updated]
Das Keyboard 4
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pros
+ Simple and sturdy design
+ Dedicated volume rocker
Cons
– Heavy in construction
– Not supported on Mac and Linux
Spec
Connectivity:
Wired

Weight:
1100 grams

Backlit:
No
#5 Best Value
The 6 Best Keyboard for Programming [2021 Updated]
Kinesis Freestyle Edge
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pros
+ Split keyboard design
+ Completely programmable keys
Cons
– No wireless connectivity
– Very expensive
Spec
Connectivity:
Wired

Weight:
1270 grams

Backlit:
Yes

A programmer has to put in arduous hours, writing codes and testing and improving them. Programing is one of the few tasks that require intensive keyboard usage. A programmer may work without a gaming mouse but cannot fully function without a decent keyboard. Finding the best keyboard for programming is not easy as there aren’t many dedicated keyboards for it. But if you want a smooth typing experience, mechanical keyboards are one of the best keyboards for programming.

Take care that the best keyboard for programming mentioned in this post is way beyond the average design you are familiar with. Keyboards have evolved a lot and now come in a variety of shapes, sizes and key layout that is aimed at increasing your speed. I will stress the following subtopics in this post.

  1. Which is the best keyboard for programming?
  2. Detailed Comparison and Review of the best keyboard for programming.
  3. What are their pros & cons?
  4. Which are the best keyboard for programming that you should buy?

Excited? So Let’s Get Started.


Best Keyboard for Programming


Keychron K6

Keychron K6 is the sweetest deal for any programmer, gamer, or general user looking to upgrade to one of the best mechanical keyboards available on the market. It enters our list of the best keyboard for programming due to its compact yet sturdy frame and ubiquitous connectivity.

Related: Best Laptop Under 25000

Specifications:

Wired/ WirelessWired/Wireless
SwitchesCustom Switches
LED BacklitYes
Num PadNo

Build and Design:

This best keyboard for programming has a black with striking red keycaps design that looks a class apart from the competition. The keyboard has a rigid aluminum frame underneath that helps it to maintain its form, no matter how heavy and fast the typing hands are going.

The sides of the Keychron K6 bears an elaborate control panel for connectivity including a USB Type-C port, a toggle switch for windows and Mac OS, and a button to turn off the keyboard as well as the cycle between Bluetooth and wired connection. It uses a 65 percent layout and comes with keys for both Mac and Windows.

Features:

Keychron K6 is as exciting as it can get for your typing experience. It comes with a custom gatreon brown switch that is easy to press and does not make much clicking sound. Thus silent operation makes it perfect for your long programming hours. It has a unique Mac layout with windows compatibility and extra keys for both the operating system.

The keyboard can be paired with up to three devices as it comes with the Bluetooth 5.1 chipset. A wired connection is also easy as you just have to enable the toggle. It has RGB lighting or White lighting, as per your preference, and comes with a 4000 mAh battery that can last up to 200 hours if you minimize the backlight usage.

Verdict:

The best keyboard for programming by Keychron is an undisputed champion, as far as full-fledged mechanical keyboards go, and is also very portable due to its compact layout. If you can shell the extra bucks to buy this keyboard, rest assured you won’t be disappointed by your purchase.

“Keychron K6 is the best keyboard for programming with a compact layout.”

9.3Expert Score
Best Overall
Build and Design
9.5
Performance
9
Pros
  • Dual connectivity options
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac OS
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Only 65 percent of key layout

Apple Magic Keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard is one of the few options that a Mac OS programmer has and it is packed with features that make it one of the best keyboards for programming on Mac OS.

Related: Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming

Specifications:

Wired/ WirelessWireless
SwitchesScissor Switches
LED BacklitNo
Num PadNo

Build and Design:

The keyboard by Apple for Mac devices has a very tiny footprint and is very thin if you compare it with the Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard. It weighs just 240 grams and has a metal frame for housing the keys with a plastic back.

There is a button for turning on the keyboard and a lightning port for charging the keyboard because it only works in Bluetooth mode. It doesn’t have a backlight like most expensive keyboards which is done to save battery.

Features:

Apple Magic Keyboard uses Bluetooth to connect to the Mac and has a USB Type-C to lightning port for charging the keyboard. It uses scissors switches that provide the best typing experience with a bare minimum key travel.

The keyboard is not LED-backlit and can be charged only using the proprietary cable. The keyboard doesn’t support wired connectivity which is both a boon and a curse. Pairing it is simple, just turn on the switch and find it in the Mac OS Bluetooth settings. If you connect the charging cable to the Mac directly, it automatically pairs with the system.

Verdict:

Apple Magic Keyboard is undoubtedly the best keyboard for programming for a Mac user that likes sleek and portable keyboards. It does not support a wired connection and has to be replaced once the battery deteriorates over time which is a very bad move by Apple.

“Apple Magic Keyboard is the best keyboard for programming for mac OS users.”

9Expert Score
Best Mac OS Keyboard
Build and Design
9
Performance
9
Pros
  • Sleek and portable design
  • Scissor switches
Cons
  • Only wireless connectivity
  • Expensive

Ducky One 2 Mini

Ducky One 2 Mini takes the compactness up a notch from the already tiny Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard. It is the perfect portable keyboard that deserves to be on our list of the best keyboard for programming.

Related: Best Condenser Microphone

Specifications:

Wired/ WirelessWired
SwitchesCherry MX Red
LED BacklitYes
Num PadNo

Build and Design:

Ducky One 2 Mini is plastic but has an admissible build quality. Surely, the keyboard has a deck flex but considering the tiny frame. It aims to be as minimalistic as possible and even sheds the function key row for compactness.

The keyboard supports only wired connectivity via a micro USB Type-C cable. It has multiple macro keys and has three stands that offer a variety of height adjustments to the user.

Features:

Ducky One 2 Mini is one of the few best keyboards for programming that is compatible with all the three popular operating including Linux. This makes it suitable for any programmer. The keyboard uses Cherry MX Red keys which are perfectly silent and fit for usage in the workplace.

It doesn’t have dedicated software to customize everything. All you have is the button mapping using the macro keys. The keyboard also has a mouse control function if your mouse suddenly stops working and saves the hassle of taking off your hand from the keyboard.

Verdict:

The mechanical keyboard by Ducky has the best portable chassis. It can be carried anywhere and isn’t that much inferior to the Keychron K6 keyboard in terms of usability. The reason for it ranking slightly low in our list of the best keyboard for programming is because of the plastic chassis and the hiccups faced with Mac systems.

“Ducky One 2 Mini is one of the best keyboard for programming that is supported on Linux system.”

9Expert Score
Best Compact
Build and Design
9
Performance
9
Pros
  • Supports three major operating systems
  • Double shot keycaps
Cons
  • Only wired connectivity
  • Plastic frame

Das Keyboard 4

Das Keyboard 4 is one of the simplest keyboards made by the brand that is preferred for its tactile feedback and no-nonsense design. These features make this mechanical keyboard one of the best keyboards for programming on our list.

Related: Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards in India

Specifications:

Wired/ WirelessWired
SwitchesCherry MX Blue
LED BacklitNo
Num PadYes

Build and Design:

The difference between these other compact keyboards is that it is a full-fledged mechanical keyboard. It isn’t compact at all and is meant to use on a desk minus any frequent shifting. You get a non-detachable USB cable that plugs into your PC and it also has two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and acts as a hub for your flash drives and mouse.

Das Keyboard 4 has a dedicated media control key corner that includes a volume rocker with a clicky feel. The top part of this mechanical keyboard is metal and makes it more sturdy than the Ducky keyboard mentioned above.

Features:

This best keyboard for programming comes with Clicky Cherry MX Blue switches that offer the perfect tactile feedback that you need for long programming hours. They do make a sound that may be best suited for home usage rather than the office. It doesn’t have any RGB lighting effects whatsoever and is completely plain in design.

There is an instant sleep button that turns off your computer when not use and the media control keys provide an elaborate key set for controlling the music without opening the application.

Verdict:

Das Keyboard 4 isn’t cheap at all. It is one of the very expensive keyboards that bears a stark difference from the modern RGB lighting mechanical keyboards. You don’t have dedicated macro keys and it also is only compatible with windows which is slight trouble for Linux programmers.

“Das Keyboard 4 is a professional mechanical keyboard.”

8.8Expert Score
Best Full-Size Keyboard
Build and Design
9
Performance
8.5
Pros
  • Simple and sturdy design
  • Dedicated volume rocker
Cons
  • Heavy in construction
  • Not supported on Mac and Linux

Kinesis Freestyle Edge

Kinesis Freestyle Edge is the quirkiest keyboard on our list of the best keyboard for programming. It features a split design that is intended to make you more functional and more productive while being super ergonomic.

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Specifications:

Wired/ WirelessWired
SwitchesCherry MX Brown
LED BacklitYes
Num PadNo

Build and Design:

This best keyboard for programming is bifurcated. Yes! You read that right. It is split into two halves that are joined by a thick braided wire that can go up to 54 cm apart. The keyboard has a deck of separate macro keys.

The keyboard is embedded with a comfortable palm rest to keep your fingers from hurting even during long typing sessions. It also has five different height adjustments that can help you find your perfect typing angle.

Features:

Kinesis Freestyle Edge is a quirky design that comes with 95 completely programmable keys and onboard storage for multiple profiles. It has an n-key rollover function along with dedicated software support for windows.

The keyboard uses Cherry MX Brown switches that are perfect for gaming and typing. It can be lifted at an angle that suits your wrists while retaining comfort. It does lack a dedicated number pad which isn’t much of a deal-breaker and comes with 9 RGB lighting effects and a complete ghosting mode.

Verdict:

Kinesis Freestyle Edge is certainly a lot different in appearance and usability but IT is a desirable contender for the best keyboard for programming. It aims at superior comfort and complete customization that can help a programmer relish his/her coding sessions. The mechanical keyboard is super costly and doesn’t support Mac OS.

“Kinesis Freestyle Edge is a great option for split mechanical keyboards.”

8.8Expert Score
Best Comfort
Build and Design
9
Performance
8.5
Pros
  • Split keyboard design
  • Completely programmable keys
Cons
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Very expensive

Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard

If your thoughts that Kinesis was the only brand to try weird keyboard designs, Microsoft was way ahead of any of them. The sculpt keyboard enters our list of the best keyboard for programming due to its wireless connectivity and typing-friendly design.

Related: Best Bluetooth Speakers Under 2000

Specifications:

Wired/ WirelessWireless
SwitchesCustom Switches
LED BacklitNo
Num PadYes

Build and Design:

Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard is a very thin and sleek design with a bump in the middle. The design is done to mimic the natural design of your fingertips so that typing becomes a lot easier. It also comes with an elevation frame that can increase the height of the keyboard.

The number pad is separate from the keyboard and is also connected via Bluetooth. The keyboard uses AA batteries to power up and doesn’t support any kind of charging.

Features:

This keyboard doesn’t have mechanical keys. So, you have to bear with the minimal key travel that is in the keyboard. It also doesn’t have an LED backlight so no cool RGB lighting effects. This is a keyboard purely aimed to provide comfort and comfort alone. It also supports Linux operating system so you can choose that too.

Verdict:

There isn’t to say a lot about the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard except that it is indeed a calming experience to type on. Its ergonomic design makes it one of the best keyboards for programming for long hours.

“Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard is designed to curb your wrist pain.”

8.5Expert Score
Best Design
Build and Design
8.5
Performance
8.5
Pros
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Reduces wrist pain
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Very flimsy design

Final Words

Keychron K6 is the best keyboard for programming that you can buy now. If you love compactness, the Ducky keyboard is also a great option. Apple Magic Keyboard is meant for programming on the Mac and is among the fewest options available for the system. Lastly, if ergonomics and wrist comfort is a priority, you can go for the Kinesis Freestyle Edge or the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard.

Thank you for reading! Try these out too:

General FAQ

Which keyboard is best for programming?

Keychron K6 is the best keyboard for programming that is compact and portable and contains mechanical switches.

Do you need a full-size keyboard for coding?

No. It depends upon your preference and doesn’t impact your coding ability.

Should I use a laptop keyboard for coding?

Yes. Unless your keyboard becomes unresponsive and doesn’t register keystrokes you can use it for programming.

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The 6 Best Keyboard for Programming [2021 Updated]
Abhishek Mishra
I love exploring technology and devote my time to curating detailed reviews and supplying credible information to inquisitive users. I wish I had some spare time to play a few RPGs or clean my desk.

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