Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best mini wireless keyboard 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated September 1, 2021
Best mini wireless keyboard of 2018
Welcome to my website! If you plan to buy mini wireless keyboard and looking for some recommendations, you have come to the right place. The “Total” indicates the overall value of the product. Before you spend your money on mini wireless keyboard, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. The table below summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each good.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this mini wireless keyboard win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse.
Why did this mini wireless keyboard come in second place?
I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.
Why did this mini wireless keyboard take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great!
mini wireless keyboard Buyer’s Guide
What to Look For
Unless money is extremely tight, the most important feature in a gaming keyboard is a set of mechanical switches. Most membrane models simply don’t measure up, due to shallow key travel and a lack of tactile feedback. RGB lighting is a common feature, but also one that can add dozens of dollars to a keyboard’s price tag. Look for it if you want your keyboard to match the rest of your gaming setup. Extra macro keys are useful for gamers who play a lot of MMOs or competitive shooters. Tom’s Guide also has a comprehensive primer on how to find the right keyboard for your setup.
On the other end of the spectrum, if budgeting is your primary concern, we’ve also rounded up the Best and Worst Cheap Keyboards you can buy. None of them can match a dedicated gaming keyboard, but some are better than others if you just need to play a few casual titles now and then.
USB port on Razer’s BlackWidow Ultimate 201Edition
TENKEYLESS MODELS. A recent trend has been toward “tenkeyless” or TKL models in a vendor’s line. These are shorter versions of a keyboard without a numeric keypad, meant mainly for gamers. TKL keyboards save space on the desktop and allow for your hands to be held closer together during gameplay. They also save the keyboard maker money (fewer of the pricey mechanical switches are needed!), and they therefore tend to be a bit cheaper, all else being equal. A TKL board is a matter of personal preference, but make sure you don’t buy one in error if that’s not exactly what you want.
Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid-i, a “tenkeyless” board.
DEDICATED SHORTCUT KEYS. These, again, are found in keyboards meant primarily for gamers. They tend to be fewer in number than on non-mechanical gaming keyboards. Also note that not all mechanical gaming keyboards use mechanical switches under every key. Shortcut or media keys tend to be the ones that don’t, if there’s a mixture.
GAMING SOFTWARE (OR NOT). As you’d expect, you’ll tend to find a dedicated macro/profile utility in gaming-focused boards, but not all gaming keyboards come with one. Logitech, Corsair, and Razer, among others, tend to include their own “overlay” utilities that can govern shortcuts, macros, game-profile settings, and lighting schemes across your whole game collection. The functionality can get quite sophisticated.
You’ll want to look at our individual reviews for details on what’s programmable and what’s not in a given keyboard’s software. Gaming-keyboard models that are more basic may lack any such software and leave you to rely only on the key-shortcut settings within each game, but that is sufficient for many players. Other models may lack a software utility but implement basic macro-recording and -playback functionality purely in hardware.
Macro creation in the Logitech Gaming Software
Which kind is best for you is your call, depending on how serious your gaming is. The models with the dedicated software utilities tend to be the most sophisticated and pricey, all else being equal. The main utilities from the major makers are Logitech’s Gaming Software, Razer’s Synapse and Chroma (the latter governs key backlighting and LED bling), and Corsair’s Utility Engine, or CUE (which was recently given a rework with the rollout of the aforementioned K9RGB Platinum.
Awkward cable position
Made by the Japanese Topre Corporation, the Realforce is, as its name suggests, a force of nature in the keyboard world. It’s all down to the Topre switches inside, which in contrast to Cherry’s MX switches, are super smooth to type on and are often compared to playing weighted piano keys. The RealForce comes in both 45- and 55-gram configurations, though which one you buy depends on the importance of key weight. Oh, and we should probably mention that neither come cheap.
So long as you don’t mind losing some of the “thock” sound associated with a regular Realforce keyboard, opting for a silenced model like the 10UBS lets you reap real benefits. Hitting the 10UBS’s keys produces sound on a par with membrane keyboards, so it’s perfect for busy offices or shared bedrooms. The “dampened” feel of Topre’s silenced switches can feel a little bit like typing on sandpaper compared to non-silenced Topre, but we found that it’s worth the trade-off if you want a much quieter keyboard.
No media functions
Filco’s keyboards tend to be built like tanks, and the Majestouch TKL is no different. This space-saving mechanical keyboard features a compact tenkeyless design that has less than 1cm of space between the edge of the keys and the keyboard. Its durability doesn’t simply allow it to stand up well to knocks and scrapes – it has a positive impact on its typing feel too. You can hammer away on it at speed, even bottoming out to your heart’s content, and the Majestouch will take every bit of punishment.
No arrow keys
Somewhat legendary in keyboard circles, the PFU Happy Hacking Professional (or HHKBas it’s usually referred to) is that rare beast – a 60% Topre keyboard. Aimed at coders but fantastic for document warriors too, it foregoes traditional arrow keys, instead making use of function keys and key combinations to provide such functionality. It only takes a short while to get used to, once you’ve got there the huge benefit is that the HHKBis small and light enough to take anywhere, giving you access to that sweet Topre “thock” sound and feel anywhere, anytime.
Big and bulky
Remember IBM’s legendary Model M keyboard? That’s what the Unicomp Classic 10sets out to imitate. Available in USB and PS/versions, it uses a buckling spring switch that takes more effort to depress than just about every other switch type. You’re rewarded with a tactile response that recalls the classic mechanical keyboards of old, along with a noise that would drive your co-workers insane.
No volume rocker
Some keyboards just ooze class, and the Das Keyboard Prime 1is one of them. Its features a solid aluminum top panel for added rigidity and a very minimalistic look. With Cherry’s MX Red or Brown switches under the keycaps, you’re given a choice between linear and non-linear offerings with a range of actuation points.
It’s a great option for media enthusiasts thanks to side lit media control and the inclusion of white backlighting is another bonus. It’s not the most affordable keyboard on our list, but if you’re looking for something a little bit more premium, Das is the way to go.
Rubber palm rest gets grungy quickly
Complete with a military-grade aluminum frame, RGB backlighting and Cherry’s new, linear MX Speed switches, the Corsair K9RGB Platinum certainly isn’t for everyone, but it does have its audience. If you want all the bells and whistles of a gaming keyboard without compromising on the comfort of linear keys, for instance, this board has all that and then some. Despite having but six macro keys in total, you can save their accompanying profiles to the keyboard itself thanks to Corsair’s thoughtfully included 8MB of onboard memory. As long as you can swallow the pill that is the towering price tag, you won’t regret buying the Corsair K9RGB Platinum.
It goes without saying that if you demand the look and feel only mechanical switches can provide, rather than those that are slim and stealthy, we suggest perusing our best gaming keyboards round-up instead.
Gamers prioritize the actuation that clicky feeling mechanical keyboards bring, whereas traditional home and office users are more about practicality. That said, the sheer magnitude of sound produced by a lot of mechanical keyboards is offputting to some. For those folks, we have some membrane keyboards to recommend as well.
No key indicator lights
Arteck HB030B is indeed one of the best wireless keyboards around in the miniature size category, with its list of features that never fail to impress. For starters, the HB030B packs whisper-quiet, low-profile keys that take your fingertips to a whole new level of comfort. Given the compact size of the keyboard this is very impressive since Arteck has successfully maintained the most used hotkeys, allowing users to take full-advantage of the keyboard’s customizability.
The keyboard features an elegant backlighting scheme with adjustable brightness levels, from different colors to choose from; whatever suits you best! This truly boosts up the level of appeal generated by the keyboard, and simply working on it can make the entire experience more enjoyable & productive.
Speaking of tools & utility, the keyboard is powered by a rechargeable Li-polymer battery that works months straight before requiring another recharge. The keyboard offers cross-platform support whether you have a PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, or whatever, as long as the device has Bluetooth.
No official support for Mac devices
Good things come in combo packages! Alright, I made that up, but it’s true for the HP Wireless Elite Keyboard + Mouse, which is one of the best wireless keyboard combos in the market.
As the name suggests the “Elite” Keyboard sports a premium build quality, and offers streamlined experience, boosted by the presence of HP’s ultra-responsive mouse. The keyboard boasts an extremely slim profile, and is only half an inch thick making it not only good to look at, but portable as well. The idea is well-suited for a traveling professional or a student who needs a full-sized keyboard for reach max-performance.
The mouse is equipped with a 1000 dpi optical sensor, and works fluidly, fitting perfectly either in right or the left hand. The scroll bar works smoothly, while when put together, the keyboard & mouse suit perfectly! The high-quality sensor makes sure the mouse works on the roughest of surfaces from denim to carpets, maintaining the level of portability set by the keyboard.
The range from the wireless dongle extends to roughly 30 feet and handles both mouse & keyboard without a hitch. It is worth mentioning that the package comes with a nano-receiver that can fit right into your pocket without annoying you.
HP Elite Keyboard has been designed as a chiclet style keyboard, so the user has maximum comfort, quiet and response, for uninterrupted productivity. However, it does lack a wrist rest which it makes up for through adjustable height and a several media keys on the top.
No wrist rest
Mechanical keyboards used to be the norm during the early computer years, especially during the 80s, but were overtaken by rubber-dome keyboards in 90s because of the low cost. Still, they have been alive through the decades, and have had a loyal fanbase, due to their high build quality and superior performance.
These keyboards raise the bar in every possible manner, whether it’s in terms of design, type print methods, construction, LED lighting or quite simply their feel.
Like all other mechanical keyboards, the MINILA Air 6offers tactile feedback, detecting each keystroke before the key bottoms out. This, in turn, means that with just a few hours’ worth of practice you can increase your typing speed by a great deal.
The keyboard brings good tidings for gamers as well, who are stuck with the problem of holding down multiple keys. The MINILA Air 6handles this problem quite nicely with “key-rollover”, allowing up to simultaneous keystrokes at a time.
Unlike today’s membrane keyboards, a mechanical keyboard offers a combination of durable keycaps along with switches that will last for up to 50-million key presses — and the keys for a mechanical keyboard are usually easier to activate and provide a satisfying crunch when activated.
You Can’t Trust Manufacturers
Logitech and HTC both claim to sell “mechanical” Bluetooth keyboards, but if you look closely, you’ll find that neither model actually possesses any mechanical switches. It’s a shame because both are, by most standards, high-quality devices.
It does not mean what you’d expect it to mean, namely that the keyboard actually employs spring resistance with metal actuation points. A tear-down of the HTC Nexus keyboard and the Logitech Keys-to-Go proves that neither offers the mechanical switches that one would expect.
The render doesn’t look anything like the production version. Even so, I can say that the Logitech Keys-to-Go keyboard is a fantastic keyboard (link to refurb model), although it still suffers from many of the issues with Bluetooth keyboards, such as an unreplaceable Li-ion battery.
I should also note that the Logitech’s Keys-to-Go uses Bluetooth 3.0 rather than the more modern Bluetooth 4.0, which is an example of our next issue.
What’s a Basic Input Output
Your computer’s BIOS (basic input/output system) is the low-level software that starts when you boot your computer. It performs a POST (power-on self test), initializes your computer’s hardware, and passes control over to the boot…
Read More (BIOS) environment? On a PC, and some Mac computers, users can enter a pre-OS boot environment and change basic variables, such as CPU frequency and other settings. Unfortunately, Bluetooth drivers are loaded by the operating system.
Without wired capabilities, it’s impossible for a keyboard to function in a BIOS environment. A handful of Bluetooth keyboards do possess the ability to work over a wired connection in a BIOS environment, but these are almost always expensive mechanical models.
Nowadays, only a few Bluetooth keyboards include both wireless Bluetooth and wired compatibility. Two worth mentioning are the aforementioned Plum Nano 7and the even better regarded Anne Pro 61-key Bluetooth keyboard. Not only does it work in wired mode for BIOS compatibility, it also avoids the pitfalls of other wireless keyboards. In particular, it has user-upgradeable firmware, a compact 61-key layout, and — of course — works in the BIOS. Unfortunately, it’s still around 1.inches thick. Even so, it’s the best combination of features available for a wireless, portable, mechanical keyboard.
It offers a lot more than just USB functionality. The lofree also includes LED backlighting, a portable and compact layout, compatibility with all major operating systems, and a slim profile (for a mechanical keyboard). Overall, it’s a winner if you need Bluetooth compatibility and occasionally need to use it in BIOS. On the downside, users report that the novel typewriter layout makes it difficult to type on. Considering that the typing experience comes first when buying a mechanical keyboard, you might want to skip this one.
How a Battery Works and Ways You Can Ruin It
The modern battery is featured in so many of our favourite technologies that you could almost be forgiven for not spending time learning about their workings.
Read More ), and the more discharge-charge cycles it goes through, the faster its battery chemistry loses coherency.
One exception is the Logitech K480
DIY Budget HTPC Media Center Build and Giveaway
While Microsoft has focused on bringing touchscreen technology to the desktop, Apple has continued to optimize for the more traditional pointer-based approach.
Read More. The Bluefin is just bringing those two essential Mac accessories together.
Now, the Bluefin isn’t the only gizmo of its type. There’s also the MagicWand by Twelve South, for the same price. However, the MagicWand only connects at the top, while the Bluefin is a full plastic resting case for both devices.
Some users noted that Bluefin’s full plastic case makes your finger have to push more to register clicks on the Magic Trackpad, but you’ll get used to it quickly enough. Overall, it’s still the better option.
Gear & Gadgets
Finding the Right Fit
Maybe your old keyboard has typed its last letter. Perhaps your gaming ambitions have left you dissatisfied with the mediocre model that came with your desktop PC. Or maybe the one you have still works fine for what it is, but isn’t as comfortable and sturdy as you’d prefer. Whatever the reason, anyone can benefit from a better keyboard. After all, is there any part of your computer more hands-on than your keyboard? For these reasons, and more, it pays to know what makes a one a good fit.
Keyboards come in a variety of types, from those optimized for efficiency to sculpted ergonomic designs that cradle your hands and relieve stress on the joints. When shopping for a keyboard, here are a few specific features to look for.
Layout and Ergonomics
In order to help users stave off carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injury, many keyboards are available with designs that put your hands into a neutral position as you type. The result is not only greater comfort, but reduced stress to the joints and tendons, ultimately helping you to avoid painful inflammation and expensive surgery. Ergonomic features can range from the simple—like padded wrist rests—to the elaborate, with keyboards that curve and slope.
Keys and Switches
One aspect of keyboard design that you’ll see mentioned in reviews—but that most people don’t give a second thought—is the type of switches used for individual keys. You may not care about the specific mechanisms that reside beneath the keys, but you will certainly feel the difference. The three primary types of switches are silicone dome switches, scissor switches, and mechanical switches.
Budget keyboards, such as those that come bundled with new desktop PCs, generally use silicone-dome switches, which use two dimpled layers of silicone membrane that form a grid of rubber bubbles or domes as the switch for each key. The springiness of the silicone rubber makes for a soft, mushy feel as you press each key. The switch type also requires you to “bottom out” with each keystroke, pressing the key to the bottom of the key well to type a letter. And because repeated flexing of the rubber membrane causes it to break down, silicone dome switches lose their springiness and responsiveness over time.
Some newer keyboards mimic the low-profile, chiclet-style keyboards found on full-size laptops and ultraportables. While a few of these use plain silicone dome switches, many use a scissor switch, which adds a mechanical stabilizer to each key for a uniform feel, and an attached plunger under each keycap allows for shorter key travel. As a result, scissor-switch keyboards have a shallow typing feel, but are generally more durable than rubber dome switches alone.
Key switches are the technology used under each key of the keyboard. They can determine how easy or difficult it is to repair, feedback (physical and audible), and durability. There are three major types of key switches used in computer keyboards.
Silicone dome switches are the most common and can traditionally be found in keyboards that accompany the purchase of a new computer (i.e. “budget keyboards”). The soft rubber of the domes makes for a squishy, silent feedback. The downfall of these keyboards are that they require the user to push the key all the way down. Touch typists will find this frustrating since it will slow down typing speed. Games that can suffer from slower typing speeds are MMORPGS (massive multiplayer online role-playing games), dungeon crawlers, and reaction-based games.
Mechanical switches offer the longest life, are easy to repair, and customizability due to the ease of replacing keys. These are also the most sensitive to the touch, allowing typists and gamers to maintain fast action. Mechanical switches are great for any genre, but users will notice a significant improvement when playing MMORPGs, dungeon crawlers, real-time strategy games, and other games reliant on lots of keyboard action in a small amount of time. Types can overlap, for example there could be a gaming keyboard that’s also ergonomically designed making it an ergonomic, gaming keyboard.
One thing that makes this keyboard very easy to use is that it is equipped with a non-slip design. This is perfect for gaming because you certainly would not want to stop mid-way because the unit slipped off from your grip. As a result, you can enjoy the best gaming comfort and performance with this model.
Ultra-thin Sensitive Reaction
Because of its ultra-thin design, combined with sensitive reaction, you no longer have to keep pressing a key just to give the command that you want. Along with your press, the keys react instantly, allowing you to enjoy your game without any distraction caused by momentary stopping and re-pressing of the keys.
Laser Carving Characters
The use of laser carving characters in this keyboard serves different purposes. For one, it makes performance swifter, and more comfortable to the touch. At the same time, it adds to the aesthetic beauty of the keyboard.
Exposed Metal Frame
Cable Routing Option
Even though having a detachable cable is more preferred on most semi-custom and premium mechanical keyboards, the use of cable routing option with the BlackWidowX is an enhancement because it has turned this keyboard into a huge mobile and portable model.
Razer Synapse Software
This keyboard is also operated using the Razer Synapse software. With the use of this tool, you can store and program up to macro profiles using the macro editor, storing it on the PC. This only means that if you are planning to use this keyboard to tournaments, the software can easily create a customizable installation of the driver using all the saved settings. Some lighting patters are also available.
Chroma Backlighting Brightness
The backlighting of this keyboard has been dialed a notch back so that it does not project a rainbow on the ceiling anymore. However, it may still be configured accordingly to show a gorgeous display of millions of different colors, 16.million to be exact. Since the upper mounted LEDs only lights the top portion up, the company has designed the bottom half as opaque.
Another noticeable thing about this model is the use of exposed keys. This means that they are quite easy to remove, thus making it easier to clean, or to add customized key caps. One thing to note, though, is that the lowest key row are not a standard size, so you may have to find the right match for the sizes.
In order to make it easier for users to read the keys, the characters of the keyboard are laser-etched, and with bright backlighting features. As such, you can still continue with gaming even when playing in dimly lit or dark rooms. You can also automatically adjust the level of brightness for various lighting conditions.
PerfectStroke Key System
This key system even distributes force evenly through the surface of the keys, making each keystroke performed comfortable, quiet and fluid. The soft rounded concave keys properly position your fingers, helping them to glide from one key to another.
With this keyboard, there is no need for you to deal with disposable batteries. You can charge anytime, allowing you to do quick charging, through the use of a micro-USB cable. The best part is that you can do so even when you are still typing. A single charge can give you about days battery life.
Logitech Unifying Receiver
A small unifying receiver can be attached to the computer. All you need to do is to plug it in, forget all about it, and add a mouse or number pad that is compatible to it, without having to deal with several USB receivers. The wireless connection is strong and advanced at 2.GHZ.
The trackpad for this keyboard serves as the mouse of the unit. This is one thing that makes this design a standout, because you no longer need to use a mouse with this keyboard. In fact, there are dedicated left and right mouse buttons for assisting the clicks, as well as in doing a double tap to complete a right mouse movement.
Programmable Function Keys
This gaming keyboard can also be customized, as the function keys can be programmed. Every gamer or user has his or her own preferences regarding the use of keys. With this feature, you can experience convenience in any activity you need to use this keyboard for.
Corsair is one of the pioneering and biggest manufacturers of mechanical keyboards. They have entered the market slowly with a single keyboard, but expanded when a sister company decided to focus on the distribution of gaming-related accessories. The success of the company is attributed primarily to their exclusive deals with the company Cherry, considered as the most reputable mechanical key switches manufacturer.
Let’s take a look at one particular product under this brand, the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Keyboard. This mechanical gaming keyboard makes great use of space, allowing the keys to have some room for breathing, while offering the user a huge, textured, and detachable wrist rest. It is also equipped with several features that make it a good option as a gaming keyboard.
As such, they are neither noisy nor extremely silent, but they offer a good level of silence that will be appreciated if you love gaming. The speed keys of this keyboard only need the lightest tap in order to activate, making the most for twitch-based gamers. This may come as a drawback for daily typing, as there can be imprecision compared to a regular membrane keyboard. However, as a gaming keyboard, this is a great option to consider.
Cherry MX Speed Keys
These keys are designed in order to have the fastest switches. If you are familiar with the well reputed Cherry performance, you certainly recognize its capability when used for playing the best games available. This keyboard is effective for both casual and competitive gaming.
This feature will allow you to compete even at the highest level, as it offers lightning quick responsiveness. Combined with 100% anti-ghosting technology, you are allowed to strike the keys with an interesting combination of precision and speed.
Even though the keyboard in itself is not backlit, the unit still comes with a lighting effect which offers enough light while gaming. What makes it interesting is that if you play in a dark room, it seems that there is an angry monster staring at you from your table.
This mouse is especially designed for gaming. It comes with weights, and a braided cord. This mouse is light up using LEDs, with variety in brightness depending on your actual DPI settings. Since it comes with two side buttons, you can change it to which ever function you want it to be.
The use of anti-ghosting keys in this keyboard means that you can expect flawless, simultaneous operation of its 1non-conflicting keys. The WASD keys are also interchangeable, with WIN keys which can be disabled easily for gaming.
The buttons of the keyboard come with two anti-skid mats. These additional features prevent the keyboard from sliding while you are playing. You certainly would not want to be disturbed while playing just because the keyboard will not stay in place like you would want it to.
Splash Resistant Design
If you are a gamer who likes having drinks by your side, one problem that you would want to avoid is damaging your keyboard due to liquid exposure and spills. This keyboard, however, is equipped with a splash resistant design, thus protecting the keyboard against liquid accidents. It even has drainage holes at the back to allow water to easily pass through, just in case.
If you take a closer look at this model, you would likely notice that it comes with an oversized spacebar. This makes the use of this keyboard more comfortable and convenient at the same time.
Custom Membrane Keys
This keyboard uses custom membrane keys which offer satisfactory key presses, effective for longer gaming sessions. As such, you no longer have to worry about the keyboard getting damaged earlier due to continuous gaming use.
Full LED Backlit
Both pieces in the combo feature a blue backlight. This means that you can experience and improved visibility when gaming, even in low-light areas. This is particularly valuable for gamers who would like to turn their lights off in order to experience an intense gaming experience.
Razer is considered as the leader in creating high performance gaming software, hardware and systems. In fact, the company motto says “For Gamers. By Gamers.” Through the years, the company has evolved into the brand of gaming lifestyle, connecting with all types of gamers.
Razer has introduced a line which uses Chroma for its backlighting features. One specific product under this category is the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It is also designed for gaming, featuring the Razer’s Green Switches, which is by far, faster compared to the actuation force of the Cherry MX Blues.
Purchasing a product under the Razer brand is already a good catch. Added to it is the fact that this gaming keyboard comes at a very affordable price, making it the best gaming keyboard under 100. While it may be quite challenging to use as a keyboard for daily typing, it is ideal for gaming.
When we tested this keyboard, the first thing that got us attracted to it is the backlighting that uses Chroma features. It is something that helps users to customize the way their keyboard looks. The backlighting is simply gorgeous, regardless of the color that you select. The keys are lit evenly, without a lot of light leakage on the key edges.
The first, and one of the most important things that can be noted about the keys of this model is that it stayed away from the standard in the industry – the use of Cherry MX switches. It uses exclusive switches under the Razer brand, equipped with high actuations, as well as very satisfying clicky noises.
Razer Synapse 2.0 Software
This program enables you to reassign keys, program macros as well as activate a gaming mode easily. When this happens, you can also disable some keys which may minimize the game. On top of that, you can also have control over the extensive backlights of the keyboard.
Another main selling point of this model is the macro recording. Starting a recording needs you to tap a combination of buttons. While the process has stayed the same since its earlier models, it is still a huge magnet to most gamers.
Another thing that is fascinating about this model is its design. It uses a single lens that is embedded within an opaque black plastic material. With the incorporation of more than 16.million color options, this is ideal for gamers who want to take their gaming level a notch higher.
Customizable Backlighting Options
The backlit keys can help you to locate the keys even in lights out, or low-light condition in playing. There are also hundreds of color options available, enabling you to customize it just the way you like it.
This keyboard comes equipped with 2programmable keys, which means that you can have full control over your game. You can also easily setup customizable button profiles for every one of the titles, even creating macros without pausing your game.
A lot of people think that the backlit color of a keyboard is installed there for mere design purposes alone. While this may be true at a point, there are valid reasons why they are there. For one, if you are in a dark room where you cannot see the keys clearly, having a backlit keyboard will help you see well as you type. The choice of backlit color on your LED gaming keyboard, on the other hand, completely depends on your personal choice and preference. Different models come with one or more backlit color options. It is up to you which one to choose. As a reminder, though, you can choose the color that suits your vision well, otherwise, you may not be comfortable while using your Backlit gaming keyboard.
Number of Backlit
Some models do not just have a single backlit color. In fact, some come in three or more, allowing you to switch among them. While playing in a dark area using your gaming keyboard, your eyes may start to get irritated with the single backlit color guiding your fingers while giving commands to your game. By switching to another color midway, your eyes can get readjusted, allowing you to feel more comfort while playing, or while doing other typing activities. At the same time, you can give your keyboard a different look everytime you change the backlight.
The decision on the dimensions of your gaming keyboard is entirely up to you. We have met some gamers who prefer longer keyboards, as they give them better control of the game. There are also some who prefer smaller ones, such as those who want a portable option for their mobile devices. You may also want to take into consideration the type of game that you will be playing. Some games do not need a big keyboard for playing, while others can be played conveniently with bigger ones.
Color is all about preference. Therefore, you can select a color that will not just meet your needs, but also one that suits your taste. Some gamers prefer colorful keyboards, while some prefer the basic ones, such as having a white gaming keyboard. To some, this helps them to concentrate better on the game. Regardless of your choice, you will be delighted to know that there is a wide array of options out there.
If you’re wondering which Mac to buy, you’ve come to the right place. Here in our Mac buying guide for 2018, you’ll find everything you need to know about Apple’s range of Macs, including the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro, with expert buying advice to help you choose the Mac that’s right for you.
Apple makes seven different types of Mac, and within each of those categories there are sub categories and variations in the specs and features, so things can get pretty complicated. That’s where this complete guide comes in, helping you make the right decision. If you’re simply looking for a great offer, visit our Mac deals page.
Mac mini specifications
There are three Mac minis available. The cheapest Mac mini has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and Intel HD Graphics 5000.
The Mac mini offers only Intel idual-core processor options as standard, there are iprocessors available at point of sale, but these are still only dual-core.
The Mac mini weighs 1.22kg and the dimensions are 19.7cm by 19.7cm. It’s just 3.6cm tall, so it really is mini as the name suggests.
The top of the range Mac mini has various build to order options, topping out at a 2TB Fusion Drive for an extra £90 when you buy the £94model, you can also add 16GB RAM for an extra £180. Only the top of the range model has this option.
We would recommend the Fusion Drive option as the SSD part of the storage will speed things up considerably, while the extra capacity of the hard drive is likely to come in handy.
Mac Pro specifications
There are two models of Mac Pro available. The first as a 3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon Eprocessor, the second has a 3.0GHz 8-core Xeon Eprocessor.
Both Mac Pro models features 16GB RAM (the discontinued quad-core model offered just 12GB RAM).
The £3,89model offers a faster graphics card, the Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDRVRAM each, rather than the Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB. Note that those are dual graphics cards, one of the selling points of the Mac Pro.
Both standard units also feature 256GB flash storage, with build-to-order options for 512GB (£180 extra) or 1TB of flash storage (£540 extra).
Other build-to-order options include 32GB RAM for £360, or 64GB RAM for £1,080. There is a 12-core model available for an extra £1,800.
Most people buying the Mac Pro will be choosing from the various build-to-order options, of which there are many. If you were to build the ultimate Mac Pro it would cost you £6,05- which is a lot, but before Apple dropped prices in 201all the build-to-order options added up to £7,299, so Apple’s price drop saves you £1,240, enough to buy a MacBook too.
You’ll need to invest in a separate screen, unlike the iMac which comes with its built-in 5K display. We have some 4K monitors that you could use with the Mac Pro here.
An all-in-one is basically a large monitor with the actual computer built into the back or base. They typically use the same components you’d find in a laptop and, as such, don’t have the performance capabilities and/or the expansion opportunities of a tower.
Because they’re all one piece, setup usually requires little more than plugging it in and connecting a keyboard and mouse. The minimal setup keeps your desk clutter-free and makes them much easier to move from room to room compared to a tower. However, should something go wrong with the display, you lose your entire computer.
Mini and stick PCs
Like all-in-ones, mini PCs use mobile components to keep them small. So small actually that you can hide one behind a monitor or tuck one into an entertainment center to use as a media server connected to a TV. Stick PCs take this a step further, shrinking an entire computer into something that’s just larger than old-school thumb drive. There’s an HDMI video output at one end letting you plug it directly into a monitor or TV.
While you can find some small powerful desktops, mini PCs are typically mainstream systems made for day-to-day tasks, web surfing and media consumption. You’ll find plenty of ports to connect peripherals to, but internal expansion is minimal if available at all. Stick PCs are even less powerful, but still fine for email, social media and movies.
One advantage they both share is portability. You could, for example, pack a stick PC to take with you on vacation without a second thought. Or you could have an office setup built around a mini PC that you could simply disconnect and move to your living room for a home theater experience.
The Asus Chromebit is a stick PC running on Google’s Chrome OS.
WASD 6-Key Cherry MX Switch Tester
Solid construction. The keys are properly affixed and don’t wobble. The metal bracket is good too- many mechanical keyboards have metal bases, so it’s good to know how the sound can reverberate.
Everything is included. Six keys, with clear keycaps so you can see which key is which, and they even included two sets of rubber o-rings that prevent keys from “bottoming out”, a popular way to make keys quieter and more gentle on your fingers.
Good key choice. The keys present- including the relatively rare MX Clear- highlight all the major styles of Cherry MX key.
Full keys. Nothing was lost, so each key has its contact points intact, meaning they can easily be placed into any keyboard or wired to another project. When you get your mechanical keyboard, you’ll have six replacement keys and spacers.
Make a neat toy, you can easily use this as a finger exerciser.
Hundred of thousands of typing everyday not only make a person exhausted, also the keyboard. One of the biggest benefits of mechanical keyboards is that they’re durable and meant to stand up against heavy use. The keys are rated for dozens of millions of keypresses, which is way above and beyond the standard duty expectation of a membrane keyboard. If you’re the type of person who wants a good keyboard to stick with you for the long haul, or you notice you’re hard on your membrane keyboards, a mechanical could change the way you work.
How we picked
In 2015, we surveyed readers to find out what makes a great wireless mouse. Most of our readers prioritized comfort (which includes grip, how the mouse glides across a surface, and overall feel), sensor performance and type, connection type and dongle size, button placement and variety, useful software, battery life, and warranty coverage.
Size: Comfort can vary based on hand size, so we sought out average hand measurements for adults. Using hand anthropometric data collected by the Georgia Tech Research Institute (taken from studies conducted in 200and 2008), we combined men’s and women’s hand measurements to find that the average palm size is inches, while the average middle finger length is 2.9inches. We also broke down a 198study of hand anthropometry commissioned by the US Army and found similar results: a 4-inch average from the base of the participants’ palm to the base of the middle finger, and a 3.23-inch average from the base of the middle finger to the tip.
Grip: Among our survey participants, the most common mouse grip was fingertip at 4percent, followed by palm at 3percent and claw at 1percent. (All three grips are demonstrated in the image above.) We used all three grips with every mouse we tested in order to evaluate comfort.
Handedness: We found that 9percent of our respondents use their right hand to operate a mouse, even though only 8percent of the readers surveyed said they were right-handed. (In fact, one of the panel members during our 201testing was a lefty who uses a mouse with his right hand.) We previously tested a dozen ambidextrous mice, but we didn’t find a great full-size mouse for the percent of left-handed mousers.
Connection: The wireless signal shouldn’t cut out during ordinary use across short distances.
Connection options: Some mice can connect only via a 2.GHz radio-frequency (RF) USB wireless receiver—aka a dongle—others connect via Bluetooth only, and some mice support both. Wireless mice that support Bluetooth and USB dongles are the most convenient for most people because they will fit every situation, but they also tend to be more expensive. Most people don’t need to spend the extra money for that capability, but it’s a nice bonus.
Dongle size: If your mouse uses a wireless receiver to connect to your device, that dongle should be as unobtrusive as possible. The receiver should extend beyond the USB port far enough to let you get a good grip to remove it, but no farther, and it shouldn’t block adjacent USB ports.
Buttons: Every wireless mouse should have the standard right- and left-click buttons. Half of our respondents said that they use the back and forward buttons on the side of the mouse, so we looked for mice that have at least two side buttons for added functionality (although many offer more than that). We also noted the placement of the buttons and whether they’re awkward to use.
Useful software: Many wireless mice come with bundled software that allows you to track battery life and customize buttons, sensitivity, acceleration, scroll speed, and more.
Battery life: A great wireless mouse should last a few months on a charge, at the very least. Constantly replacing batteries is an inconvenience, and when some mice offer years of battery life, there’s no reason to settle for less.
Warranty: Although most defects covered by the warranty should present themselves within the first year of use, longer warranties are nice to have.
In 2017, we researched 60 mice from major manufacturers such as Apple, HP, Logitech, and Microsoft and found 1new models we wanted to test: The Anker 2.4G Wireless, Logitech M220, Logitech M330, Logitech M535, Logitech M585, Logitech M590, Logitech MX Anywhere 2S, Logitech MX Master 2S, Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Mouse, Microsoft Surface Mouse, TeckNet Pro, and VicTsing MM05We also retested our previous top picks—Logitech’s Marathon Mouse M705, MX Master, Performance Mouse MX, and M720 Triathlon, and Microsoft’s Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600.
How we tested
We put each wireless mouse through a battery of sensor tests based on those that manufacturers use to test gaming mice to rule out any subpar sensors. We also tested each mouse on a variety of common mousing surfaces, including a desk, a hard mouse pad, a soft mouse pad, a wood floor, fabric, glass, and a mirror. We then used each mouse for part of our workday, every day, for a week to evaluate comfort, button placement, and software.
In 2015, we put together a panel of people with varying hand sizes to test wireless mice and discuss which they liked and disliked to supplement our survey results. We did this again in 2017, bringing in seven new panelists to test previous picks and new contenders. We measured each panel member’s mousing hand from the base of the palm to the base of the middle finger, from the base of the middle finger to the tip, and from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the pinkie with the panelist’s hand spread wide.
Though our panelists in both 201and 201had a wide range of hand sizes, their average measurements align with the average hand measurements we found in other studies: inches (palm), 3.inches (finger), and 7.inches (spread).
After two years, the Logitech Marathon Mouse M70is still the best mouse for most people because of its low price and excellent balance of features: medium size, ergonomic shape, eight customizable buttons, long battery life, and Logitech’s Unifying Receiver, which lets you connect up to six Logitech keyboards and pointing devices via a single USB port. Although it can’t connect via Bluetooth, and its software is less intuitive than the newer Logitech software used by most of our other picks, the inexpensive Marathon is the best mouse for most people who want to plug in their mouse and go to town.
The Marathon’s sensor tracked smoothly on nearly all of our test surfaces, but without Logitech’s high-end Darkfield sensor, present in more-expensive mice, it doesn’t work well on glass and mirrors. And while a few readers have noted that the Marathon’s off-center sensor makes the pointer difficult to control, none of our testing panel (across all grips) experienced these issues, so we don’t think this is common. If you’re concerned, take a look at our other picks, which all have centered sensors.
The Marathon has an unobtrusive Unifying Receiver for easy plug and play; it can’t connect over Bluetooth.
The Marathon comes with a Logitech Unifying Receiver, a 2.GHz USB dongle that extends beyond the USB port just far enough so you can get a good grip to remove it. If you have another Logitech device that supports the Unifying Receiver, you can use Logitech’s SetPoint software for Windows or Logitech’s Control Center software for Mac to connect multiple devices to the same dongle, freeing up valuable USB ports. The Marathon can’t connect over Bluetooth like most of our other picks, but most people who just want plug and play shouldn’t pay extra for Bluetooth yet. The Marathon also may not be the best option if you own a new computer that has only USB-C ports, since you’d have to connect its USB-A Unifying Receiver to an adapter or hub.
All of the Marathon’s nine buttons are well-placed and easy to reach: left-click, right-click, a button to toggle between ratcheted and infinite scrolling (smooth scrolling that lets you glide to the top or bottom of a page quickly), forward and back buttons on the left side of the mouse, an application-switcher button on the bottom left of the grip, and a scroll wheel that you can tilt left or right and press down. The left- and right-clicks are satisfyingly springy, and the side buttons are solid without feeling mushy. Our only complaint is with the application-switcher button on the thumb rest: It works just fine, but we found it difficult to locate by touch.
You can customize all the buttons (except the scrolling toggle) with Logitech SetPoint or Control Center software. This older software—replaced by Logitech Options on newer mice—tracks battery life and allows you to customize sensitivity, acceleration, scroll speed, and other settings, but the Marathon also works as a plug-and-play device if you don’t want to mess around with granular adjustments. Without the software, the thumb-rest button and the scroll-wheel tilt buttons don’t work, but all other buttons are operational. Although Logitech’s SetPoint and Control Center software don’t have the intuitive design of its newer Options software (which works with most of our other picks), it gets the job done.
After we used the Marathon for a few full days of work, SetPoint indicated that the Marathon’s battery was still full, giving an estimate of 1,08days (nearly three years) of use remaining. We used the same mouse on and off for a year and a half, and the battery was still nearly full, with an estimate of 89days (about two and a half years) remaining. We haven’t used it every day, but even so: This mouse feels like it might never die.
The Logitech Triathlon (right) has a higher back arch than our top pick, the Logitech Marathon (left).
Seven new panelists tested the Triathlon in 2017, and they ranked it the second-most comfortable wireless mouse behind the Logitech Marathon M70Everyone liked the grip and the button placement of the Triathlon, but one panelist pointed out that it didn’t fit their hand as well as the Marathon because of the Triathlon’s higher back arch. (The highest point of the Triathlon measures inches, about a half-inch taller than the Marathon, which stands at 1.inches.) The Triathlon is coated in a grippy matte plastic that was enjoyable to use for a full workday and didn’t make our palms sweat.
As with the Marathon, the Triathlon’s sensor aced all of our surface tests except glass and mirror. If you need a mouse with a better sensor, check out our upgrade pick. The Triathlon’s sensor is centered, unlike the Marathon’s, so we don’t expect any issues controlling its pointer.
The Triathlon’s third side button allows you to switch between three paired Bluetooth devices.
It has the same nine buttons as the Marathon Mouse M705, plus the Bluetooth device toggle. The Triathlon’s buttons share the Marathon’s buttons’ strengths and weaknesses, with crisp left- and right-click panels and responsive, easy-to-reach side buttons, but a mushy application-switcher button on the bottom of its grip.
You can customize all of the Triathlon’s buttons except the scrolling toggle, pairing toggle, and left- and right-click buttons. Although its left- and right-click buttons are swappable, you can’t program them to do anything else like you can with the Marathon. The Triathlon works with Logitech’s latest Options software, which tracks battery life and allows you to customize sensitivity, as well as pointer speed, scrolling speed, scroll direction, and smooth scrolling. Options is much more intuitive and enjoyable to use than the older SetPoint and Control Center apps.
Logitech claims that the Triathlon’s battery will last for two years, although we haven’t been able to test that. We used the Triathlon for a handful of days over the course of a month, though, and the Options software said that the battery was still completely full. It also comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty, compared with the Marathon’s three years.
Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse
If you spend all day using a mouse, we recommend spending more for the Logitech MX Master 2S. Our panel found it comfortable for all grips and hand sizes, even though it’s a bit larger and heavier than the Marathon. The MX Master 2S is an upgrade over our main pick in just about every way: It has a better sensor, it can pair and switch between multiple Bluetooth devices, it has six programmable buttons and a second scroll wheel for your thumb, it supports Logitech’s Flow software, and it has a rechargeable battery.
The MX Master 2S’s contoured shape and thumb rest make it comfortable to use for long periods. All our panel members liked its size and shape and praised the comfy soft-touch coating. Our largest-handed tester still preferred the size and palm support of the Logitech Performance Mouse MX, our pick for very large hands, and one of our smaller-handed testers liked the Marathon Mouse M705’s size better. But even those two agreed that the MX Master 2S was a comfortable fit. The MX Master 2S measures 3.inches wide, inches long, and inches tall, and it weighs 5.ounces—larger and heavier than the Marathon all around, but smaller than the Performance.
Our upgrade pick uses Logitech’s Darkfield sensor, and in our tests it worked on all surfaces, including glass and mirrors. Like our runner-up, the MX Master 2S can pair with up to three devices via Bluetooth and lets you quickly switch between them (in this case, by pressing a button on the bottom of the mouse). If your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth, or if you prefer a dongle, the MX Master 2S can also connect via an included 2.GHz wireless Logitech Unifying Receiver. But the Master 2S offers no place to store the dongle inside, unlike most wireless mice that have dongles.
The Logitech MX Master 2S has a second programmable scroll wheel on its side.
The MX Master 2S’s primary scroll wheel feels crisp but lacks left and right tilt. You can switch it between ratcheted and infinite scrolling, and you can toggle between them using a remappable button just below the scroll wheel. The MX Master 2S also has SmartShift, which automatically switches between scrolling modes based on how fast you flick the wheel. (SmartShift worked surprisingly well in our tests, but it can be frustrating if it triggers too easily. You can adjust the sensitivity of the feature using the Logitech Options software, or disable it completely if you dislike it.) The Master 2S’s back and forward buttons are stacked at a diagonal angle, though, which makes them somewhat awkward to use. And like the Triathlon and Marathon, the MX Master 2S’s thumb-rest button is mushy and difficult to press.
The Master 2S supports Logitech Options, as well as Logitech Flow, which lets you move your cursor between multiple computers—even between Mac and Windows—on the same network. You can also copy content and drag files from one computer to the other.
The MX Master 2S has shorter battery life than the Marathon or Triathlon. Logitech claims the MX Master 2S will last up to 70 days on a single charge, while the Marathon and Triathlon last for years. We used the Master 2S on and off for around three weeks, which consumed about a third of its battery life according to the battery meter in the software. At this rate, we expect it to last for nearly 70 days. Three LEDs embedded in the palm rest display the battery level when you turn the mouse on, and the Options software also notifies you on your computer when the MX Master 2S’s battery is running low. The battery recharges via the included Micro-USB–to–USB cable (or any similar cable), and you can continue to use the mouse while it’s charging. But because the battery is built in and can’t be replaced, you’ll have to buy a new mouse someday when that battery degrades and no longer holds a charge.
A mouse for larger hands
The Performance Mouse MX is our pick for giant hands. It’s larger and cheaper than the MX Master 2S, but it’s too large for most people.
If you have big hands or prefer large mice, we recommend the Logitech Performance Mouse MX. The Performance is even larger than our upgrade pick, making it the most comfortable to use for larger-handed people. Plus, it has nine programmable buttons, more than any of our other picks. But it has a mediocre scroll wheel and it lacks the MX Master 2S’s thumb scroll wheel, Bluetooth, and support for Logitech’s latest software. This mouse costs nearly twice as much as our main pick, but it’s much cheaper than the MX Master 2S, so if you have huge hands and want to spend less, the Performance MX is a great option.
The Logitech Performance Mouse MX (right) is longer and wider than the Marathon Mouse M70(left) and the Logitech MX Master 2S (middle), making it better suited for larger hands.
Five out of seven panel members said the Performance was too large to use comfortably every day, but our two largest-handed testers said this mouse—which measures 5.inches long, 3.inches wide, and 1.inch tall—fit their hands just right. For comparison, the Marathon Mouse M70is considerably more compact at 4.inches by 2.inches by 1.inch, with the MX Master 2S falling in between the two at inches by 3.inches by inches. Four panel members mentioned that the contour of this mouse dug into their palm on the pinkie side, near the wrist. The MX Master 2S, our upgrade pick, did not have this problem.
Like our top pick, the Performance Mouse MX uses Logitech’s Unifying Receiver instead of Bluetooth to connect to your laptop.
The Performance has a Darkfield sensor, like the MX Master 2S, which allows it to track smoothly on all surfaces, including glass and mirrors. The Performance connects only via Logitech’s Unifying Receiver, though; it doesn’t have Bluetooth like the MX Master 2S.
The Performance Mouse MX has nine customizable buttons, more than any of our other picks: the same button selection as the Marathon, plus an additional Zoom button on the left side. We preferred the MX Master 2S’s fantastic thumb scroll wheel in place of the Performance’s Zoom button, though. We also didn’t like the Performance MX’s scroll wheel, even though it tilts unlike the MX Master 2S’s. Ratcheted scrolling feels imprecise, and the scroll wheel’s built-in down button feels mushy. The Performance MX’s application-switcher button in the thumb rest is surrounded by a plastic frame with a sharp edge that can dig into your thumb, another problem unique to this mouse.
The Performance works with Logitech’s older SetPoint and Control Center software, and doesn’t support Logitech Options and Flow like the MX Master 2S does.
The Performance Mouse MX comes with a three-year limited warranty.
The wireless mice we tested in 2017, as well as our top picks from 2016.
We tested the TeckNet Classic Wireless Mouse M00and TeckNet Pro 2.4G Ergonomic Wireless Mobile Optical Mouse—popular, inexpensive mice that look similar to the Marathon Mouse M70Both models have fewer buttons than the Marathon and lack infinite scrolling, plus their scroll wheels feel mushier than the Marathon’s and they lack software for customizing the mice. Although they’re reasonably comfortable for the price, we don’t recommend them over our top pick.
The VicTsing MM052.4G Wireless Portable Mobile Mouse is another popular cheap mouse that looks similar to the Marathon, but it wasn’t as comfortable in our testing. It also has fewer buttons, lacks infinite scrolling, feels less sturdily built, and lacks customization software.
Our former upgrade pick, the Logitech MX Master, has been replaced by the Logitech MX Master 2S. Compared with the older version, the 2S supports Logitech Flow and has longer battery life—70 days, up from 40, according to Logitech. If you don’t care about longer battery life, or Logitech Flow support, the MX Master is still a great mouse for nearly half the price.
Our panel described the unusually shaped Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse (aka Sculpt Ergo) as “surprisingly comfortable” and praised its great scroll wheel. Its unusual shape forces a very specific grip, however, and our testers didn’t like the glossy surface, the mushy side button, or the intrusive Windows button. Our smallest-handed tester said the Sculpt Ergo was too big, and our largest-handed tester said it was too small.
Microsoft’s Sculpt Comfort Mouse sports a large blue strip with a Windows logo that opens the start menu when pressed, and supports swipe-up and swipe-down gestures that work in Windows. It has a great scroll wheel, but our panel didn’t like the glossy-plastic surface and thought the mouse was too flat and too long.
We tested the older Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition, which has a touchpad in place of a scroll wheel that provides audible and haptic feedback. But the touchpad is unreliable, and the underside of the Arc Touch is hollow when in use, which means the mouse has a terribly uncomfortable grip. Our complaints with the Arc Touch Mouse’s grip apply to its successor, the Surface Arc Mouse, too.
The Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 has one fewer side button than our top pick, and all our testers agreed that it was a little too small. The scroll wheel lacks ratcheted scrolling, and most panel members said the scroll wheel was too smooth to use effectively.
The HP X4000b Bluetooth Mouse has only three buttons, and our panel registered a variety of complaints about its design.
When our panelists tried out the Kensington SureTrack Any Surface Wireless Bluetooth Mouse, they noted its lack of palm support and low-set, mushy scroll wheel. Its sensor also jumped a little on textured surfaces in some of our tests.
The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 was one of two Bluetooth touch mice we tested (along with the Apple Magic Mouse, below), and our panel universally disliked it. This model comes with a very short, 4.5-inch micro-USB cable that plugs into the underside of the mouse, rendering the T630 unusable when charging. Most gestures worked reliably, but the T630 had trouble differentiating between one-finger and two-finger swipes.
Apple’s Magic Mouse is too flat and uncomfortable for extended use. You also have no way to take advantage of the Magic Mouse’s best feature—its integrated touch surface—on Windows. (Without additional software, it will pair with a Windows machine and work like a basic mouse, giving you cursor control, left-click, and right-click.) By installing the bootcamped drivers available here, you can add a battery-life indicator as well as natural and one-finger scrolling to Windows, but no other functions are available.
USB 3.0 ports and devices have been shown to radiate radio-frequency noise (PDF) that can interfere with the performance of devices using the 2.GHz wireless band. Affected devices include both mice that rely on 2.GHz radio-frequency USB dongles and mice that connect via Bluetooth. The noise can radiate from a port on your computer, a port on the connected device, or the cable connecting the two. For example, if you have a USB 3.0 hard drive plugged into a USB 3.0 port, the interference can come from the port on your computer, the USB cord, or even the drive’s USB connection. If your wireless mouse constantly drops its connection, you should try plugging it into a USB 2.0 port, if available, and keep the dongle and mouse away from active USB 3.0 ports and devices. If you’re still having trouble, you can plug your wireless device into a USB 2.0 extender to move it farther from the source of the interference.
Bluetooth may be an awesome platform for sharing files on a short range, but the most widespread implementation of it is done in the audio industry. Whether you’re looking for a tangle-free audio experience with no compromise in quality or looking to turn your traditional speakers into digital ones, here are all the Bluetooth accessories you’ll ever need.
GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller
Gaming just isn’t restricted to the big screen anymore, and the best way to game on your Android tablet or smartphone is with a great wireless gamepad. Created for the mainstream users that demands quality at an affordable price range, the GameSir G3s Bluetooth wireless controller hits all the checkmarks.
GameSir G3s Bluetooth controller comes with a built-in rechargeable battery pack to power the beautifully backlit keys, along with Bluetooth 4.0 power-saving features.
TaoTronics Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver
TaoTronics Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver are perfect for audiophiles all around. The Dual-Mode action allows you to turn your TV, DVD player, and even cable boxes compatible with your personal wireless Bluetooth headphones with the Transmitter feature.
Similarly, the Receiver mode lets you turn your traditional home audio system Bluetooth compatible and connect your Android device (or other devices). With RCA connectivity for other devices, the regular 3.5MM AUX port, and the proprietary TOSLINK Optical connection for high-quality audio without delay, Taotronics Bluetooth 4.Transmitter and Receiver is sure to tickle your fancy.
PWOW Bluetooth Selfie Stick
PWOW Bluetooth Selfie Stick that comes with its unique adjustable phone holder built with silicone to keep your phone gripped and safe. Designed to be compact and lightweight, the selfie stick comes with a built-in rechargeable battery and a smartly-placed dedicated shutter button.
Moreover, you also get a separate wireless Bluetooth remote control button that can be easily paired with your mobile device. The standalone Bluetooth button enables you to take pictures even when you’re several feet away from the mobile device.
Car Bluetooth accessories
The wireless technology has not only made our mobile devices and audio systems smarter but also added a whole new dimension to the automobile world as well. While most stereo systems for cars now come with Bluetooth built right into them, you don’t have to feel left out of you’re still driving a decades-old Mustang. Here’s a list of the best Bluetooth accessories for your car that will definitely make your daily commute a lot more fun.
All you need to do is plug in the
BlueDriver adapter into the OBDII port into your car, as long as it is compatible, and install the BlueDriver App to get started. With a database of over 6.million fixes verified and officially certified by auto mechanics, BlueDriver helps you generate Repair Reports specifically for your vehicle.
Wireless and Slim for On the Go
Ever since the release of the two iPad Pro models and the multitasking, split screen functionality introduced in iOS 9, people are suddenly realizing that their fun little web-browsing, Netflix-watching, game-playing tablet may actually be a serious productivity tool.
New versions of the iPad Air and Mini have more than enough grunt to handle the sorts of jobs that you’d usually have used a home or office notebook for in the past.
The problem is that typing on a touchscreen, even one as good as an iPad’s, is an exercise in frustration. It’s OK for tapping out a password or the occasional social media post, but you probably don’t want to do a thesis or your next novel this way.
Thankfully there are a huge number of wireless keyboards available that will work with your iPad or any other iOS device. Here I’ve collected some of the most popular ones you can buy online today. I’ve listed my top picks first with the rest to follow in no particular order.
Anker Ultra-Slim BT Wireless
It’s a little weird to refer to any mobile BT keyboard as “full size”, but the fact is that most of the keyboards you see are designed for use with 10” tablets (or 9.7” in the iPad’s case), which means that if you have something smaller it may look a little weird and also mess with the extra portability that you get from a mini tablet.
On that front, the Anker keyboard we have here is pretty good. It matches the size of the iPad minis and attached in place of the smart magnetic cover, basically turning your iPad Mini into a little clamshell computer. It’s like having a little Surface Pro in your bag. Just pull it free if you want to use the tablet by itself. Obviously, this means that you can’t use the smart cover at the same time, but swapping them out should be pretty easy.
Because of its small size, typing may be an issue for those with larger hands. However, if you get along fine with the iPad Mini’s on-screen keyboard, this should be an improvement.
Battery life claims are excellent. According to Anker, two hours of charging provides 200 hours of use.
It’s an elegant solution and quite clever. People who have one say that the build quality is good and that the typing experience is similarly satisfying, given how small it all is.
This keyboard from Rii, on the other hand, is aimed more at the HTPC crowd who need a pointing device to drive their home theater systems. So it has a laptop-style trackpad bolted on its side.
Indeed, it looks fantastic with its blue accents and black, stainless steel construction. It’s a very modern-looking piece of equipment. It’s also priced very well, and usually you can pick one up for less than fifty bucks.
It is compatible with a LOT of different devices, many of which will really benefit from that trackpad. So if you need one keyboard to work for lots of different devices, this may be a winner for you.
Logitech is another giant of computer peripherals. My desk is always endowed with products from this company. So without even reading a thing about this keyboard I’m already pretty confident that the quality is going to be great.
If we look at the features, this is a stylish board available in three colors – black, red and teal.
This keyboard is compatible with all iOS devices, including the Apple TV, although I suspect that the Apple watch is not included in that list. It’s OK, Logitech, no one else remembers it either.
This keyboard has full-sized keys! This makes it good for typing, which is also the reason I like the Apple wireless keyboard. It’s also spill-resistant, an often overlooked issue when it comes to travel keyboards. Actually, even stay-at-home keyboards could use more of this type of thing.
Battery life is claimed at months off a full charge. Not the best I’ve seen, but still far more than most of us need off a single charge.
Arteck Ultra-thin Cover
This is actually a set of different folio keyboard cases for the different iPad variants. There are options for the three iPad Minis, the fourth iPad Mini, and then the Air and Air 2.
This is a solid, hinged folio keyboard case that essentially turns your iPad into a clamshell-style laptop. It even has four little rubber feet to keep it from slipping on a desk or coffee shop table.
IK Multimedia iRig Keys
IK’s iRig Keys range is a little confusing these days, but it can be explained quite succinctly.
The GX4(there’s also a 61-note model) is a straightforward controller that has the added benefit of some simple DAW control. Everything feels solid, and the pitchbend wheel has a nice/precise tension that makes it very accurate in use.
The keyboard has a nice amount of travel, and the well-balanced springy feel facilitates fast and accurate playing, both of synth lines and sounds that normally demand a weighted action (such as pianos).
As a simple, no-nonsense controller, the Impact GX does the job effortlessly and reliably, and has just enough features for speeding up everyday tasks.
The Keystation range has four models in it, three of which fall into our ‘affordable’ price band.
The smallest of these is the 32-note Keystation Mini 3(pictured above), a reasonably playable mini-key’d board that gives you a few more notes to jam on than some of its more compact rivals.
Then there are the Keystation 4II and Keystation 6II models, workhorse controllers that benefit from full-size keys, proper pitch and mod wheels and transport controls. The 61-note version’s keys are semi-weighted, too.
Acorn Instruments MasterKey
The MasterKeys – there are 25-, 49- and 61-note versions – look about as conventional as they possibly could do. They feature lightweight but playable keys, pitch/mod wheels, four securely-fitted knobs, a volume slider and a 3-digit LED display. Assignments and other adjustments are made via the Edit button and presses of the keys.
James Bond’s Q is known for his super-hi-tech gadgetry, but Alesis’s range of the same name (it contains 25-, 49- and 61-note models) dispenses with flashiness to provide a solid, back-to-basics experience.
The focus here is very much on playing as opposed to tweaking, though the pitch and mod wheels are assignable. The key action is reassuringly smooth, and users of external MIDI gear will be cheered by the inclusion of a 5-pin MIDI Output.
Page of 17
Arturia MiniLab mkII Arturia recently refreshed its MiniLab portable MIDI controller, releasing a mkII version that’s designed for those who are short on space or who want something portable that they can use to make music on the move.
The MiniLab mkII ships with a copy of Ableton Live Lite, while the Analog Lab Lite software gives you hundreds of sounds from Arturia’s V Collection 5, which is definitely a draw. You also get UVI’s Grand Piano Model D, a sampled version of a classic Steinway.
Looking sleek and slim, the Xkey’s 2-octave keyboard is of the low-profile variety (a mere 16mm deep), yet still retains a decent amount of key travel, making it surprisingly playable. Perhaps the most notable feature, though, is polyphonic aftertouch, which means you can add an extra level of expression on a per-note basis (providing the instrument you’re playing supports it).
On the downside, it’s hard to use the pitchbend/modulation buttons with any degree of accuracy, but if you want a stylish, portable keyboard with full-size keys, this is a very attractive option.
This simple-looking, 32-note mini keyboard might look a little underwhelming at first glance. However, the KeyStep packs in a surprising amount of functionality and an impressive number of well-designed features.
There’s a USB connection, for hooking the controller up to a computer, MIDI In and Out ports and CV Pitch, Gate and Mod outputs. There are also mini-jack Sync In/Out ports, which will work with pulse clock devices, such as Korg’s Volca range, or can send and receive DIN Sync messages via a (separately purchased) adaptor.
Looking for the holy grail of typing? A mechanical switch is what you’re looking for. Not only are they more accurate with each key press, but they can also provide a unique typewriter-feel. This is what the Cherry MX Blue switch brings to the plate: a loud, clicky-by-nature switch that’s super light (50g to actuation) to type on.
The Cherry MX Blue switches can be found on a whole host of different keyboard and we just happen to have chosen the Cherry G80-3000. This is because of its very affordable £60 price for a fully mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX switches.
The Cherry G80-3000 comes in different variants, and can be found in both UK and US layouts, among others.
If you’re going to be typing in an office environment, just make sure your work colleagues don’t mind the loud nature of the MX Blue switches.
Swedish company Penclic has made it its mission to take on RSI in the workplace, and the KBis its latest attempt.
That means that ergonomics have come first in the design here, which features a subtle gradient, comfortable keys, and a compact enough size that you won’t have to strain and stretch to hit different key combinations.
Despite the size, the KBstill boasts full-size keys, housed in a reassuringly sturdy aluminium body. As for the look, there’s a nice balance between the simple black body and the flashes of colourful orange and blue used to pick out different functions.
The KBcan be used either wired or wirelessly over Bluetooth, and comes with a USB-to-Micro-USB cable included. It’s small and lightweight enough to be a great portable keyboard, but the full-size keys mean it’s perfectly comfortable as a day-to-day desktop keyboard too.
It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and you can use the Fn key to quickly switch between the different modes, with specific layouts and functions for each OS.
The labels on key caps may look a little ugly (in my opinion), but hey, if you want, you can change the key caps. Key caps are very durable, all thanks to the laser-marking process. CM Storm QuickFire Rapid also features NKRO via PS/cable, unfortunately, USB still supports only KRO (like any other keyboard). The keyboard also features a removable braided USB cable with cable routing: you can route the cable to back, left, or right if you want.
Programmers who do gaming will like this: Windows keys can be disabled through a switch. They also provide a few extra key caps and and key cap puller.
CM Storm QuickFire Rapid comes with a TKL version and Full Size version.
Ducky Shine 5
The first thing that came into my mind when I took a look at the Ducky Shine RGB is: it does shine. Ducky Shine RGB features individually back-lit keys that make it shines like the sun in the dark. Unlike many back-lit keyboards that require software to change the colors and effects of lighting, Ducky Shine RGB does not need that. Ducky Shine RGB provides a way of changing lighting profile by using a combination of keys: Breathing mode, Reactive mode, Aurora mode, Ripple mode, Wave mode. You can also change the level of lighting for each color: Red, Green, Blue.
Ducky Shine RGB is powered by a removable mini-USB cable. The cable is 4.feet long (or 1.meters), enough for basic needs.
By using DIP switches, you can change Ducky Shine to be compatible with Mac. Please refer to manual that come with the keyboard.
Ducky Shine features 2media keys, but these keys (combinations) are disabled by default, so you will have to follow the manuals to bring them up.
Cherry MX Brown
The key rollover is defined by two factors: the keyboard itself and the connection. Most mechanical keyboards support N-key rollover (unlimited key at the same time). Normally, USB connection has KRO, and PS/has NKRO. Some keyboards support NKRO by using USB ports at the same time.
Synthesizers are keyboards that for the most part just produce sounds. Most synthesizers today use sample-based synthesis—that is, they use pre-recorded sounds as opposed to analog synths that manipulate electrical signals to create their sounds. In the past few years, analog synths have experienced a bit of a renaissance, owing to their unique sound, and (typically) knob-per-function control. AThe technology of analog synthesizers has improved greatly over the years, and they have distinct sounds that many players demand, although many digital synths emulate them with great accuracy. Sample-based synths generally provide a larger sound set, including piano, organ, horns, strings, and even digital re-creations of classic analog synths. Some synths offer basic sequencing and step-sequence functions as well.
Novation’s MiniNova performance synth gives you 25amazing sounds to tweak and twist while adding in your voice in real time.
The Novation Mini Nova synth can generate old-school sounds but also offers digital dexterity no analog synth can match.
The first thing you should do before shopping for a synthesizer is define your needs. What style of music do you play? How many keys will be sufficient for you? What sounds are most important to your style? A keyboard player in a metal band will obviously have different answers than someone in a country-western band. Sound clips for many of the synthesizers are available for online preview to help you get an idea of their soundsets. It’s also important to decide what your budget will be for your synth. Thanks to technological advances, even less-expensive synths come with quality soundsets and keyboard action. So there are plenty of synths to choose from if you don’t have tons of money to spend.
With its robust mixing section, monophonic or duo-paraphonic performance options and a fully analog sound source, the Moog Subsequent 3synthesizer will please old-school electronic musicians while delivering modern programming capability.
Synthesizers include a number of sounds built into the ROM. If you are the kind of player who just wants to plug in and start playing, then you’ll want a synth with a lot of presets. If you’d rather create your own unique sounds, be sure to select a synth with plenty of user patch locations (memory slots that allow you to save your sonic creations). Being able to expand the ROM is valuable as well, as it will allow you to update your synth with new or different sound sets.
The Sub Phatty 25-Key Analog Synth delivers genuine, vintage Moog sound while its 3knobs and 1switch controls offer a vast palette for audio creativity.
Check the ROM capacity; more is better in terms of saving and expanding sounds. As noted above, things like weighted keys, and high-polyphony counts make the synth more playable, powerful and versatile.
Envelope controls let you tailor the attack, sustain, decay, and release time of a sound. A low-frequency oscillator, or LFO, allows you to alter various parameters of a tone. For example, applying the LFO to a tone’s pitch creates a vibrato effect. A synthesizer’s filter section can be used to remove certain frequencies from a sound and change its timbre. Many synthesizers also have built-in effects like reverb, delay, chorus, and more. If you enjoy pushing the sonic boundaries with what you play, then these are features you’ll want to look for in your purchase.
The new Montage Series synths from Yamaha represent the state of the art when it comes to creating powerful and enveloping textures that are beyond the reach of ordinary synths. The cornerstone of its operation is the Motion Control Synthesis Engine—an environment in which you control two fully independent sound engines that can be zoned or layered to create huge tapestries. Using Motion Sequences technology opens up new worlds of synth control and performance possibilities.
Composers and musicians will love the enormous range of control and workflow options presented by Yamaha’s Montage 76-Key Flagship Synthesizer.
Anyone who has dragged a classic Hammond Borgan and its hefty Leslie speakers to a gig knows what a hernia-inducing experience that can be. The good news for today’s organ players is that modern electronic organs can capture the retro sound of old Hammonds and Wurlitzers without breaking your back (or wallet). The best modern organs replicate subtle nuances of old-school organs right down to the sound of their key-thunk! Most organs today use digital modeling, but incorporate drawbars like a traditional organ to change the sound. Digital organs also have features like effects, pitch bend and modulation wheels, and MIDI compatibility.
The Hammond SkOrgan conjures up the sounds and feel of the classic Bwhile also offering capabilities and voices undreamed of by old-school organists. At 1lb., it has great potential as a stage organ that won’t break your back.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of the important things to look for when considering a keyboard or digital piano. Armed with that information, you’re now better equipped to find the right gear to match your needs and budget.
We want you to be pleased with your keyboard purchase, and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and generous return policy so you can order with confidence.
A/D and D/A conversion » The process of converting an analog signal to a digital one (A/D) or a digital signal to an analog one (D/A).
Aftertouch » A control activated by pushing a key past the point where the note sounds.
Arpeggiator » A keyboard function that generates an arpeggio when a single note is played.
Assignable » The ability to have a keyboard control affect specified parameters selected by the user.
Auto-accompaniment » A keyboard feature that plays backing performances, often made up of a number of instruments.
Bit depth » The number of bits captured in one sample, or slice, of an audio signal as it is converted from analog to digital by an A/D converter. Measured in bits and represented as 16-bit, 24-bit, 32-bit, 48-bit, etc. Higher bit depths usually produce higher quality sound.
CompactFlash » A memory storage system developed by SanDisk that uses small cards to transfer data to and from compatible devices.
Damper pedal » A pedal that, when pressed, maintains a note’s sustain until released.
DSP » Digital signal processing. The means by which most keyboards produce effects, equalization, filters, etc. that can be applied to an audio signal.
Effects » Processes that modify a tone or tones, such as reverb, delay, vibrato, etc.
Envelope » An electronic circuit that changes a selected setting by a desired amount at certain intervals. Commonly used to alter basic waveform pitch settings.
Filter » An electronic circuit that alters a tone by removing specific frequencies.
FireWire » A high-speed connection protocol developed by Apple that is similar to USB but much faster.
Hammer action » A keybed that uses small hammers to trigger notes in an effort to re-create the feel of an acoustic piano.
Keybed » The keys of a keyboard and their underlying mechanisms.
Low-frequency oscillator (LFO) » An inaudible oscillator that alters basic settings of a waveform to create unique effects like vibrato or tremolo.
Layer » A keyboard function that lets you create a sound by layering several different tones.
MIDI » Acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A protocol that allows musical instruments and digital devices to communicate. GM is short for General MIDI, a music industry standard since 199that ensures consistent performance on all GM-compatible instruments and standardized sounds and locations. GMis an extension of GM that requires 32-voice polyphony (instead of 2for GM) and includes more programs. mLAN » A network protocol designed by Yamaha for transmitting digital audio and MIDI data among a number of devices using a FireWire cable.
Modulation wheel (mod wheel) » A keyboard controller that can alter various elements of a tone.
Multitimbrality » The ability of a keyboard to play different sounds at once, i.e. flute, drums, strings, piano, etc. Multitimbrality should not be confused with polyphony.
Oscillator » The sound-producing device in an analog synth.
Pitch bend wheel » A keyboard controller that alters the pitch of the note being played up or down.
Polyphony » The number of tones a keyboard can produce at once.
Rhythms » Beats that are built into a keyboard in various musical styles.
Sample rate » The number of times an audio signal is measured (sampled) per second as it is converted from analog to digital by an A/D converter. Measured in kHz and represented as 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88kHz, 96kHz, etc. The higher the sample the greater the musical fidelity.
Sampler » A device that records digital audio and allows it to be altered and played back in various ways.
Sequencer » A hardware or software device that records MIDI performance data and plays it back in a user-programmed sequence.
SmartMedia » A memory storage system developed by Toshiba that uses small cards to transfer data to and from compatible devices. Similar to CompactFlash, but SmartMedia cards are smaller.
Sostenuto pedal » A keyboard pedal that mimics the pedal of the same name found on grand pianos. It sustains only the notes that are being held down when the pedal is pressed.
Split » A keyboard function that allows the user to divide the keybed into different sections and assign various tones to each one.
Style » A musical passage, complete with many instruments, built into a keyboard.
Tones (waveforms) » The sounds that a synthesizer or other keyboard produces. Waveforms have different shapes that give them unique tonal properties. The most common shapes are sawtooth, square, and sine.
Touch sensitivity » The ability of a keybed to respond to various player actions, such as the velocity with which keys are pressed and the amount of pressure placed on the key. These elements are designed to replicate the feel of acoustic piano keys.
USB » Universal serial bus. A common connection protocol for computers. Many keyboards provide a USB connection to transfer data to and from a computer.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your mini wireless keyboard wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of mini wireless keyboard
- №1 —
- №2 — ABOX Backlit Mini Wireless Keyboard
- №3 —