The Laptops with the Best Keyboards

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When shopping for a laptop, everyone looks at specs such as the CPU, storage capacity and screen resolution. But people should probably put more thought into the keyboard, because they'll spend more time touching the keys than any other part of the laptop. With a good keyboard, you can work faster, make fewer mistakes and get killed less often in your favorite games, while a bad keyboard leaves you with sore fingers and wrists.

It's impossible to determine keyboard quality from a spec sheet, but that's one reason we test hundreds of models a year. Based on our extensive testing, we've listed the most-comfortable laptop keyboards below.

When evaluating a laptop keyboard, consider the following:

  • No bottoming out: The most important thing is to have a keyboard that makes it difficult to "bottom out" or hit the base with a lot of force while typing. Bottoming out makes your fingers sore and slows you down.
  • Good feedback: You want the keys to feel springy but not stiff, so they pop back up quickly and offer enough resistance to prevent you from bottoming out.
  • Deep travel: The more space between the key and its base, the less likely you are to bottom out. A typical laptop has between 1.5 and 2mm, while thinner ones have less than that. However, great feedback can make up for shallower travel.
  • High actuation force: The harder you have to press the keys to make them actuate, or register the press, the less likely you are to hit the base hard; 60 to 70 grams of force is typical.

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4 comments
  • TedNN Says:

    The author describes keyboard but does not include a good clear photo of the keyboard for this laptop. And we know that manufacturers often change layout /positions of some keys making keyboard absolutely not usable if you have more than one computer to work with. And Lenovo is well-known for their keyboard "innovations" that make their laptops not usable.
    So, when you write about keyboard and recommend it make sure that you show it to your readers.

  • Griffo Yger Says:

    There is no such thing as "the best". It all depends on the size of your hands and your typing style. What is the best for you might the quite awful for me.

  • Jennifer Williams Says:

    My new $1700 Lenovo Thinkpad has the worst keyboard I've ever used. Not only do the keys rise 1/8" from the keyboard, they bottom out another 1/8" down. The keys are also incredibly loud. It feels and sounds like an old-school mechanical typewriter. Unless you rarely use the keys or type very slowly, it's useless. Everyone told me not to buy a Lenovo and I should have listened. It's a total waste of $1700.

  • FRANK ANDERSON Says:

    not one has full size arrow keys. this is essential for my work.we dont need skinny laptops we need decent keyboards

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