Mechanical keyboards are loved by many for the satisfying typing experience they offer, but you know what could make them even better? Not having to deal with those annoying cords anymore. And while in the past your options for wireless mechanical keyboards were limited, you have more options now than ever before.
You might not have as many choices when it comes to wireless mechanical keyboards compared to wired ones, but that doesn’t mean you should just buy any board. There’s a lot to know about mechanical keyboards, but these are the factors you should be the most concerned with.
- Build Quality: Mechanical keyboards are expensive, so you want something worth the price you paid. Most keyboards will either be made out of plastic or aluminum, with aluminum being the more durable but expensive option.
- Keycaps: Not far off from build quality, the keycaps on your keyboard are important. Most keycaps are either made out of ABS or PBT plastic, with PBT being more durable. But that doesn’t mean you should immediately disregard ABS keycaps, as high-quality ABS keycaps are still worth using. There’s also the technique of doubleshotting the legends on the keycaps, which prevents them from fading away over time. Some keyboards also have alternative functions for certain keys through specific key combinations, and having those alternative functions printed on the keycaps is useful.
- Switch Selection: Switches are located under each keycap and are what make mechanical keyboards special. There are tons of different switches out there. Still, they all mainly fall into one of three categories: clicky (switches that make a noticeable “click” noise), tactile (switches with a significant tactile bump but no click), and linear (smooth switches with no tactile bump or click). Switches can also have different stem designs, with the standard being the MX-style cross stem. Non-standard stems rarely have aftermarket keycaps made for them, so that’s something worth keeping in mind.
- Layout: There are plenty of keyboard layouts to choose from besides the standard full-size and tenkeyless (a full-sized layout with the Numpad chopped off) layouts you see on most boards. Most of these layouts have you trading off certain keys in exchange for a smaller board; whether that’s worth it or not is up to you.
- Connection Method: While all of the keyboards on this list are wireless, there are multiple forms of wireless connectivity. The most obvious is Bluetooth, which is also the easiest to use across all platforms. But some keyboards rely on a USB-A RF connector to work properly, and others may use their own unique connector. Most wireless boards also give you the option of plugging in the keyboard so it can be used as a standard wired keyboard for when the battery gets low. (This is usually through the charging cord, which means you can use and charge the keyboard simultaneously.)
- Battery Life: Using a wireless keyboard means you’re going to have to worry about battery life. It’s also important to note that backlit keyboards will burn through batteries significantly quicker with the backlighting on versus it being off.
- Battery Type: While most keyboards use rechargeable batteries, a few use AA for power. We’ll note what each keyboard relies on.
- Additional Features: RGB backlighting, reprogrammable keys, macros, and dedicated media controls are not things a keyboard needs to be great, but they can make using your new keyboard that much more of a delight.
If saving desk space is your main concern (or you want a keyboard ideal for travel), then the 60% layout is the way to go. It cuts out a lot of keys (most of the navigation keys, dedicated arrow keys, and the function row) and focuses on just giving what you need. And when it comes to wireless boards for that layout, the Anne Pro 2 is one of the best around.
Not only is the keyboard wireless, but it has a few quality of life features as well. You can still access missing keys through key combinations (such as FN+W for the up-arrow key), and there’s even side printing on the keycaps to tell you what each key’s alternative action is. The keycaps are made out of PBT plastic and are doubleshot. The keyboard features full RGB backlighting, which can be deeply customized in the companion app ObinsKit, where you can also reprogram the keyboard’s layout and layers to make each key (or key combination) do whatever you want—you can even create macros. The Anne Pro 2 relies on Bluetooth for connectivity and works in wired mode (with a USB-A cord) if you need it to.
Finally, when it comes to switch options, there’s a good selection for the Anne Pro 2. You can choose between 11 different switches: Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Silver, Gateron Blue, Gateron Brown, Gateron Red, Kailh Black, Kailh Brown, Kailh Red, and Kailh White Box. You can get the keyboard in either black or white (and that applies to the keycaps as well). You can also expect the Anne Pro 2 to last about eight hours on a full charge (although you can expect it to last longer with the lighting off), and it uses a rechargeable battery.
If you want something compact that doesn’t get rid of as many keys as the Anne Pro 2, then the Hexgears X-1 may be what you’re looking for. It’s an ultra-slim keyboard at only 0.8 inches thick, and it uses a heavily compacted and unique layout. As you can see from the previous image, you still have the number and function rows, dedicated arrow keys, and even a full Numpad, with navigation keys such as Home and Delete being relegated to key combinations.
The X-1 relies on the Kailh low-profile switches to achieve its thin frame, which uses a unique stem design (so no aftermarket keycaps here). The body of the keyboard is made out of solid aluminum, which should help avoid flex despite the keyboard’s thin profile.
There isn’t a companion app for the X-1, which means there are no reprogramming options available. If you want to customize the backlighting, you’ll have to do it through various key combinations. With the backlighting on, the X-1’s rechargeable battery lasts for about eight hours, but it can last for upwards of 40 hours with the lighting off. You can choose between three switches: Kailh Choc Brown, Red, or White. It also comes in either a black or white body. The X-1 uses Bluetooth to connect wirelessly, but it also comes with a USB-A cable for wired connectivity.
Wireless keyboards are in a tricky spot when it comes to gaming—wireless connection naturally creates latency. While that won’t matter for most users, the small delay between inputs can be bad for competitive gaming. Fortunately, Razer has a solution that mostly gets rid of this problem: HyperSpeed wireless. This form of wireless connection cuts down on latency a ton and is built into the BlackWidow V3 Pro (it also supports standard Bluetooth). But that’s not the only thing that makes this keyboard great.
Since it’s a Razer keyboard, it works with Razer Synapse 3, which allows you to customize each key’s lighting and function individually. On top of that, the BlackWidow V3 Pro features a sleek aluminum top plate, double-shot ABS keycaps, and the rechargeable battery lasts 10 – 25 hours depending on what mode the RGB lighting is on (with it off, you can expect it to last up to 192 hours). There are also some useful media controls above the Numpad, a volume dial, and a detachable magnetic wrist rest. For both gaming and normal use, it’s a fantastic keyboard with some cool wireless tech supporting it.
You can get the BlackWidow V3 with either Razer’s clicky green or linear yellow switches, and there’s also the BlackWidow V3 Mini which packs the same great features in a more compact form factor (minus media controls and the wrist rest).
Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
A gaming keyboard that cuts down on wireless latency thanks to Razer's HyperSpeed wireless.
Hot-swappable keyboards are great! They allow you to quickly switch out the switches in your keyboard without as much as glancing at a soldering gun—which can save you a lot of time and complications. And if you want hot-swapping with wireless functionality, then Keychron’s K6 and K8 keyboards are your best options.
The K6 uses a 65% layout (which is just the 60% layout with dedicated arrow keys and a few navigation keys), and the K8 uses a tenkeyless layout. While these layouts are very different, these keyboards are nearly identical when it comes to features.
There’s no companion app for either of them yet, but Keychron says it will release one “soon,” but the company has also been saying that for the past year or so. But even out of the box, both keyboards are programmed to use various key combinations to give you full access to any missing keys and full media controls. The keycaps (which are made out of ABS plastic) help out with this, with all alternative functions for each key printed on the keycaps.
As far as options go, there are quite a few. You can get these keyboards with either plastic or aluminum bodies, white or RGB backlighting, and with either Gateron (Red, Blue, or Brown) or LK optical (which promise lower latency and come in either Red, Blue, or Brown variants) switches. You can also choose to get these keyboards without the hot-swapping functionality, cutting the price down by about $10.
Both keyboards come installed with macOS keycaps, along with an additional set of Windows keycaps in the box—which is pretty rare in the mechanical keyboard world. They both use Bluetooth for wireless but can be used wired with the included USB-A cable—they last for about 70 hours with static backlighting on.
Another duo of keyboards from Keychron. Yet, while the K2 and K4 may not feature hot swapping like the K6 and K8, they’re still great keyboards. The K2 uses a 75% layout, and the K4 has a 96% layout. You can think of these layouts as compacted versions of the tenkeyless and full-sized layouts, respectively, as they clump all of the keys together to save space.
Like the K6 and K8, there are no available reprogramming tools for these keyboards, but you can still access media controls (and the few missing keys) through key combinations printed on the keycaps. You also still get macOS-friendly keycaps out of the box, with an additional set of Windows keycaps also included. And, just like the K6 and K8, the K2 and K4 both use Bluetooth for wireless, with an included USB-A cable for wired mode.
You can choose between aluminum or plastic bodies for both boards, along with either white backlighting or full RGB. The K2 allows you to get PBT keycaps if you want (although you’ll be limited to white backlighting and a plastic body), and you can choose between Gateron Blue, Red, or Brown switches. The K4 may not have PBT keycaps available, but it offers more switch options, including LK Optical Blue, Red, and Brown switches, along with Gateron Blue, Red, Brown, and Yellow switches.
Both the Keychron K2 and K4 use rechargeable batteries and can last for about 72 hours on a full charge.
When it comes to wireless keyboards, latency can be a concern, as it will always be higher than a wired keyboard. Most people can’t tell the difference, but if it’s something you’re particularly concerned about, then Logitech’s Lightspeed Wireless tech may just give you what you’re looking for. This is a form of wireless that cuts down on latency, and while it’s still not as good as a wired keyboard, it can outperform other forms of wireless connectivity (most notably Bluetooth).
Logitech has two mechanical keyboards currently that feature Lightspeed: the G613 and the G915.
The G613 is a full-sized keyboard with six dedicated “G-Keys” that can be reprogrammed in Logitech G Hub. You can only use Romer-G switches with it, which is a light tactile switch. There’s no backlighting to be found on the G613, but it does have a suite of dedicated media controls located above the Numpad, which is always great to see. It also has a wrist rest built-in to improve ergonomics. The final feature of note on the G613 is the battery life, which Logitech states lasts for up to 18 months of regular use on two AA batteries—definitely impressive.
Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Multihost 2.4 GHz + Blutooth Connectivity - Black
A great all-around keyboard with lightspeed tech backing it up.
The G915 is a full-sized or tenkeyless board that uses low-profile switches to make the keyboard thinner. It features a full aluminum body, dedicated media controls, along with a volume scroll wheel, and the full-sized version comes with five reprogrammable “G-Keys.” You can choose between three different switches: GL Clicky, GL Tactile, and GL Linear. The full-sized version lasts for about 30 hours with lighting on, and the TKL version lasts for about 40 hours with lighting on. (Both last significantly longer with lighting off.) Both versions use a rechargeable battery.
Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky), Black
An ultra-thin keyboard with great dedicated media controls.
Because both boards use Logitech’s own switches, aftermarket keycaps won’t be an option for either. And while Logitech’s Lightspeed Wireless does require its own USB-A dongle, both keyboards can be used in Bluetooth as well (along with a wired mode).
All of the keyboards discussed so far have been pretty pricey, but VELOCIFIRE’s keyboard manages to strike a more budget-friendly price.
There’s not much to say about this board, as it solely features white backlighting, and it comes installed with a nameless tactile switch. But regardless, for the price, it’s a solid board whether you’re typing or gaming. You can choose to get it either in a black or white body, and there’s a full-sized version of the board as well. Both the TKL and full-sized versions rely on a USB-A dongle for wireless, but they work in wired mode as well.
VELOCIFIRE doesn’t provide an estimated battery life, only stating that it comes installed with an 1850 mAh rechargeable battery, which should be good for several months of use with backlighting off.
Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, VELOCIFIRE TKL02WS 87 Key Tenkeyless Ergonomic with Brown Switches, and White LED Backlit for Copywriters, Typists, and Programmers
If you're tight on funds, this is the best budget wireless mechanical keyboard around.