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The Laptops with the Best Keyboards

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. If you're part of the small group of people who prefer using an on-screen keyboard, read this guide on how to pin it in Windows 10. 

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.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470

Lenovo ThinkPad T470

Long battery life
Speedy PCIe SSD
Durable design
Thunderbolt 3 charging
Relatively-dim screen
Tinny sound

14.1-inch display; Up to 1920 x 1080 screen resolution; Up to Core i7 CPU; 3.48 pounds / 3.88 pounds (6-cell battery)

Lenovo's ThinkPads are known for their excellent keyboards, but even compared to its siblings, the ThinkPadT470 stands out for its typing experience. The keys have a deep 2 millimeters of vertical travel (1.5 to 2mm is typical) and 70 grams of actuation force, which gives them really snappy feedback. The gently curved key caps also make it easy to feel your way around the letters and symbols without looking. Using the TrackPoint nub also improves the typing experience, because you can navigate while leaving your fingers on the home row. In addition to its world-class keyboard, this 14-inch notebook provides incredible battery life, lasting over 17 hours on a charge with the extended battery. The T470 also has a durable chassis that's designed to survive bumps, dings, extreme temperatures and vibrations.

MSI GT75VR Titan Pro

MSI GT75VR Titan Pro

Great graphics performance
Cool temperatures
Good overall performance
Heavy
Below average battery life

17-inch up to 4K display. Core i7-7700HQ CPU; GTX 1080 graphics; 10.1 pounds

From the tantalizingly vivid RGB backlighting to the firm feedback, the MSI GT75VR Titan Pro has, without question, the best keyboard we've ever tested on a gaming laptop. Throw in the extreme clickiness of the mechanical switches — they feel and sound like Cherry Blue switches — and you've got a feast for three out of five of your senses. But what really cements the Titan Pro into the top spot is the raised palm rest, which makes the typing experience extremely comfortable. In addition to its industry-leading keyboard, the GT75VR Titan Pro sports a vibrant, 17-inch display; strong graphics performance; and a wide-array of ports. This GTX 1080-powered gaming rig also stays comfortably cool while you play.

Asus Chromebook Flip C213SA

Asus Chromebook Flip C213SA

Nearly indestructible
Runs Android apps
Long battery life
Poor cameras
Average performance

11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 screen; 4GB of RAM; 2.81 pounds

This 2-in-1 Chromebook is made for kids, so we wouldn't expect it to cater to touch typists. Nevertheless, the Asus Chromebook Flip C213SA offers a superior typing experience, with strong feedback and no flex. The keys have an extremely deep 1.95mm of travel, which is more than most large notebooks have. This 11.6-inch Chromebook is practically indestructible. Even when we dropped it from 3.9 feet onto concrete, it survived with just some mild scratches. The Chromebook Flip C213SA also lasts for over 11 hours on a charge.

HP Envy 13t

HP Envy 13t

Light design
Long battery life
Strong performance
Great value
Expensive
Tinny audio

14-inch screen; Up to 2560 x 1440 display; Up to Core i7 CPU; Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports; 2.49 pounds

A great choice for students, the lightweight Envy 13t offers really strong tactile feedback with keys that snap back as quickly as you can press them down. Though the keys have a modest 1.2mm of travel, their responsiveness kept us from bottoming out and allowed us to get one of our highest typing rates. After you're done enjoying its key feel, you'll appreciate the Envy 13t's gorgeous aluminum chassis, sharp display and powerful Intel 8th Gen Core processor. This 2.93-pound system also lasts nearly 10 hours on a charge.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Luxurious soft-touch design
Colorful display
Long battery life Very light
Expensive
Tinny audio

14-inch screen; Up to 2560 x 1440 display; Up to Core i7 CPU; Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports; 2.49 pounds

While its keys don't have quite as much travel as the T470's, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and its 1.5mm-deep keyboard offer an excellent typing experience, thanks to some really strong tactile feedback. A soft-touch deck gently cradles your wrists for a better ergonomic experience and less chance of getting an RSI. An awesome keyboard is just one part of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's appeal. This 14-inch laptop weighs just 2.49 pounds and measures only 0.6 inches thick. Still, it finds room for a colorful, full-HD display; a speedy SSD; and a battery that lasts over 12 hours on a charge. It also sports a wide selection of ports, including dual Thunderbolt 3 connections, standard USB Type-A and Ethernet connectors.

Alienware 17

Alienware 17

Sharp display
Long battery life on cheaper model
Strong gaming performance
Dim display on starting mode
Slower SSD than competitors

17-inch up to 4K display; Up to GTX 1080 GPU; Up to Core i7-7820HK CPU; 9.6 pounds

Alienware is old hat when it comes to over-the-top customizable light shows, especially when it comes to keyboards. But once you get past the flashy light effects on the Alienware 17, you can still enjoy the springy joy of the keys. Unlike other laptops, which mostly use chiclet-style keyboards, Alienware keeps things traditional, with no space between the keys. The scissor switches produce nice, snappy feedback that, when coupled with the soft-touch palm rest, makes for a great typing experience.

Acer Spin 1

Acer Spin 1

Gorgeous screen
Aluminum design
Active stylus included
Below-average battery life
Limited storage

11.6-inch, 1080p screen; Intel Celeron N3350 Processor, 4GB of RAM; 32GB of eMMC Storage; 2.65 pounds

We don't expect a great typing experience from budget laptops, so we were pleasantly surprised by the key quality on the $329 Acer Spin 1. Though this 11.6-inch system has a relatively small space for its keys, it has strong feedback and none of the flex we see so often on sub-$400 systems. Considering the keyboard's slim (0.56 inches thick) dimensions, the 1.4mm of vertical travel seems generous. Overall, the Spin 1 is a fantastic value. For $329, you get a bend-back 2-in-1 with an aluminum chassis, an active stylus and one of the most colorful screens you can get.

HP Elitebook x360 G2

HP Elitebook x360 G2

Great design
Long battery life
Strong security
Dimmer-than-average display

13-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen ; Up to Core i7-7600U CPU; 2.8 pounds

The Elitebook x360 G2 has just 1.2mm of travel and 65 grams of required actuation force, but this is another case in which the numbers don't tell the story. The keys are extremely clicky and responsive, so they don't feel shallow. Because of the keys' responsiveness, the reviewer achieved one of his highest rates ever, speeding along at 122 words per minute with a 2 percent error rate. One of the best 2-in-1s for business, the EliteBook x360 G2 has a gorgeous aluminum unibody design, a vivid 13.3-inch display and strong performance. This 2.8-pound system also lasts over 9 hours on a charge.

Gigabyte Aero 15

Gigabyte Aero 15

Vivid display
Colorful chassis
Strong performance
Runs hot
Webcam looks up your nose
Poor battery life

15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; Core i7-7700HQ CPU; 512GB SSD; 4.66 pounds

With a pleasant clicking sound and strong tactile feedback, the Gigabyte Aero 15's keyboard feels and sounds a lot like a mechanical keyboard. The keys require an impressive 80 grams of actuation force and spring up as fast as you can press them down. They also have a strong 1.6mm of vertical travel. Equally at home in the boardroom or the living room, the Aero 15 is powerful enough for playing games and professional enough to use for photo or video editing. The 15-inch laptop comes with a colorful, full-HD screen; a quad-core Core i7 CPU; and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics.

Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe

Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe

Beautiful design
Vivid display
Low-res webcam
Below-average battery life

14-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; Up to Core i7-7500U CPU; 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.

Despite its svelte, 0.5-inch-thick chassis, the ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA offers a great typing experience. Its keys have a decent (for the keyboard's size) 1.3mm of travel and a very strong 74 grams of actuation. With that find of resistance, we never bottomed out and got great tactile feedback. The ZenBook 3 Deluxe's keyboard is also one of the best-looking, with royal-blue keys and gold letters that match the color scheme of the entire laptop. This beautiful 14-inch Ultrabook weighs just 2.7 pounds and features a speedy Core i7 CPU, generous SSD and vibrant screen.