It seems that this Nerdy Book Girl is obsessed with keyboards. But this time, I want to talk about a very specific type of.
These are pretty sweet in their own right. They’re often a popular choice for the gaming community (Shout out to my fellow WoW Nerds! Lok’tar Ogar!), but that doesn’t mean we writers can’t take advantage of their awesomeness!
So, I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of my top ten backlit keyboards for writers. And if you don’t see your favorite on here, reach out to me and let me know! As authoritatively concrete this list is… It can be open for change. 😉
Now enough babbling, it’s time for the best backlit keyboards for writers.
In my opinion, this is the keyboard all the other backlit keyboards want to be when they grow up. It is the true definition of a luxury experience. Encased in a rugged, yet lightweight aluminum frame, this mechanical keyboard can handle all the love that you are going to want to throw at it. The K70 comes available with all Cherry switches, however I prefer the MX Blues for their tactility and audible clickity-clack. Not only that, but it comes with multiple backlit options including the ability to color sync with other Corsair components you may be using. It’s also a dream to read with large print font type on the keys making this ideal for late-night typists or for the visually-impaired such as myself. It also comes well-equipped with luxury options such as:
This keyboard is the real deal Holyfield.
This keyboard isn’t about all the frills. The Logitech K810’s smooth minimalist design focuses more on functionality. But as Ric Flair would say… Whoo! That’s a clean keyboard! It’s very neatfully arranged and it’s compact, low profile arrangement makes for a great placement on any desk. Not to mention the way it handles its illumination. The keys are laser etched to ensure that only the keys’ characters are illuminated providing much needed focus on what really matters. On top of all that, it has an auto-adjustment illumination protocol. This means that the keys adjust their brightness due to ambient illumination. It also has a hand proximity detector, so the keys only illuminate when your hands are ready to type saving you power when not typing.
The Matias is the keyboard Apple never made but should have. Keeping with true Mac style, it provides the user with a sleek and modern design. But don’t lets simplicity fool you. Because this is far from your ordinary keyboard. It has a full 2mm of key travel allowing for the tactile leanings and responsiveness you have come to expect form a Mac. The back light can be 100% adjusted via a color wheel enabling either pure white at night (avoiding that blue light) or different hues in order to match your personality. Simply scroll the color wheel and the rainbow is at your fingertips. Another handy feature is that the keyboard has a USB 2.0 port built in. This is great for a mouse, smartphone connection, or jump drive containing the nuclear codes.
I don’t know about you, but my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. Which–for the record–wasn’t really that good to begin with. But this keyboard really alleviates extra strain on your eyes allowing you to type at your very best. The back light comes equipped with three different colors: red, blue, and purple. And while it is simplicity at its finest, it does have multimedia control keys to give you a better user experience.
It’s also winner of our NBG Ballin’ on a Budget Award for Keyboards. So, those looking not to break the bank should definitely consider the Azio as a viable option.
This UtechSmart keyboard is definitely geared more towards the gaming community. With the Saturn, you can choose between 7 different color settings to maximize your gaming experience. Another awesome feature it has is the ability to lock Windows/Context keys when gaming which prevents interruptions. There’s nothing as frustrating as when you’re wrecking kids in Arena with that Disc Priest and you accidentally press that little windows key. Next thing you know, you reenter your game to the sneers of a ten year old and your team asking WTF? But, I digress. Another frustrating thing that can happen is multiple key rollovers accompanied by too many keys pressed at once. Many times your keyboard can totally crash, and that’s no bueno. The Saturn allows for up to 19 keys to be pressed simultaneously and not break your gear. While I’m at it, I should mention those neat little drainage holes on the side just in case you spill any sweet gamer fuel or Emergency Author Initializer (Coffee.)
This Logitech is very similar to the K810 above. The main difference between the two is that the K740 is wired. This means no more waiting for it to charge. I personally am a fan of wired keyboards because my needs don’t warrant wireless. But I do love the ultra-thin design of the K740. I believe that a thinner keyboard provides a more comfortable writing experience. My number one wish for both Logitechs is that they came available as a mechanical option with Cherry MX Blues.
If you like to travel and write while doing so, this could be the perfect backlit keyboard for you. With its ultra-thin frame and extremely lightweight build, the Artech is perfect for carrying around in a backpack, messenger bag, or purse. (Yes. Purse. Don’t lie ladies… you know we got those Mary Poppins purses.) Plus it comes with an industry high battery life of 6 MONTHS! That’s just nuts. It also works for the big 4 platform and OS’s (iOS, Mac OS, Windows, Android), so typing onto anything becomes a breeze. It’s backlit capabilities also make it awfully convenient when typing from inside a tent in the middle of nowhere.
There are definitely some advantages to using an illuminated keyboard. However, it boils down to two major pros.
Let’s talk a bit about the former. Honestly, I am super lucky to have my dream job as my full time job. That is… I write for a living and mostly during the day. However, I know that’s not the case for everyone. Some of you are sneakily trying to write your first novel while the kids are asleep. Or are pursuing writing as a hobby. And mostly…at night.
I still remember the struggle of trying to write on my old laptop when I was first starting out. The keyboard was not backlit and I was trying to angle the glow from my screen to illuminate my keys. It hurt. It hurt my neck, my eyes, my head, AND my feelings. There needed to be a better way. As my needs grew, I could no longer take the inconvenience of a non-backlit keyboard. I made the switch years ago, and never looked back.
As far as looking cool goes, it true. It totally rocks. As I mentioned above, I like to game. And doing so with my fingers glowing red as I rain down destruction kicks ass.
Just as any major purchase goes, you should put some thought in to choosing the right keyboard for you. So, here are five different things you should consider before making your purchase.
How bright does the keyboard illuminate? Are you looking for a soft glow or a full-on cornea assault? Make sure you understand just how bright you are looking for. The best option would be to go with a keyboard that can adjust. Or even better one that auto adjusts due to your ambient light.
This may be more for gamers, but… Can you program what parts of your keyboard are illuminated? This can help you zero in and focus on the proper keys.
This refers to how much light bleed is coming from your keys. Is the back light illuminating just the keys? Or everything else? Are there borders between colors or does it look like a dysfunctional rainbow. Look for minimal bleed. Crisp, sharp keys not only feel professional, but reduce the stress on your eyes.
Do you have teeny hands? Or are they soooo YUGE! Like the Yugest hands ever? Either way… How the keys are laid out on a keyboard can really affect how you type and your comfort level. Be sure to choose the appropriate size to prevent hand cramps in the middle of long form typing.
Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboards. That is the question. Well, it all depends on your preference. Many writers–myself included– just love a good mechanical keyboard. Sometimes when writing, I get lost in my senses and I miss keys. Lots of them. But with an audible switch and a higher key resistance, I can actually hear and feel what I am typing.
Membrane keyboards are nice if you have a light touch or are casually writing. They allow for a much faster overall experience out of the box. This is because instead of mechanical switches on each key there are a series of membranes and pressure pads. This means less effort is required when depressing keys. But it leads to many more mistypes (at least for me anyway). I can definitely tell the difference when typing on my laptop (membrane) vs when using an external keyboard (mechanical).
In all reality, unless you have some personal vendetta against them or you are overly proud that you can touch type on your keyboard in the dark… A backlit keyboard is a good choice. Like I said before, they literally changed my whole writing experience and for the better. But to each their own I guess.
If you have any questions concerning backlit keyboards or if I left your favorite out of my list, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your opinions on the matter.