9 Best Wireless Keyboards | March 2017
- automatically powers off when idle
- flat design comfortable for wrists
- no tactile feedback
- extremely thin and stylish
- secure 128-bit aes encryption
- battery cannot be replaced
- microphone input for voice controls
- works with android tv boxes
- no driver installation required
- single unified receiver
- battery lasts three years
- long 30-foot range
- excellent tactile feedback
- short depress distance
- low battery indicator
- eco-friendly power switch
- works well with macs and pcs
- auto-dims when not in use
How Does a Wireless Keyboard Work?
Most wireless keyboards work by either radio frequency, infrared, or short-wave UHF signals. That sounds complex, right? So let's simplify it. Think of a wireless keyboard as operating in the same manner as a remote control. You punch in a code, and the device responds to your command.
Wireless keyboards that use infrared technology (you can generally tell these by the red light) are dependent upon light waves to carry their signals, which is why a florescent lamp may have the potential to disrupt any signal.
In a similar fashion, any keyboard that works by using radio frequency can be thrown off if there's an AM/FM transistor operating within the receiver's range. Follow the same logic for any wireless keyboard using short-wave UHF (i.e., the keyboard's signal can be disrupted by any television set).
In all three cases, the wireless keyboard operates by sending a signal to the accompanying receiver every time a key is struck. That receiver transmits a signal into the computer via a USB port, prompting the appropriate text to appear on your screen.
What Do I Need to Know About a Wireless Keyboard Before I Buy?
The most important thing to know is what exactly you plan on using the wireless keyboard for. Some people prefer the freedom of a console that isn't tethered to a cord. Others have an office set-up that's completely overrun with wires. And then there are those who consistently use their keyboards to facilitate PowerPoint presentations, or weekly business meetings.
The good news is, whatever your needs are, there is a wireless keyboard that has been designed for you. If you want something ergonomic, for example, your best bet might be the Logitech Wave Combo, featuring a cushioned console that sits comfortably in your lap. If your interest lies in using the keyboard as a remote, you may want to look into something handheld, like a wireless mini, which comes equipped with a keypad, but is generally used to point-and-click, or type in minor strings of text.
Once you've narrowed the list, here are some other basic areas you may still need to consider: What type of features does each keyboard offer? What type of estimated battery life does each keyboard have? Is there a wireless mouse included? Is the keyboard compatible with your operating system? Is it resistant to damage or spills? And, finally, does it come with any manufacturer guarantees?
A Brief History of the Wireless Keyboard
A keyboard, by definition, refers to a panel of keys arranged for a similar purpose. Early keyboards in both music and typography have been in existence since the 1700s. Typeset keyboards evolved over the centuries, with the first popular incarnation of the "modern keyboard" being patented in conjunction with the Sholes and Glidden Type-Writer in 1868.
Keyboard arrangements became standard during the early 1900s, thereby establishing the QWERTY layout (originally designed in 1874) as an agreed-upon norm. Shift keys and Function keys and different character options were soon to follow.
During the sixties a majority of companies began to replace their manual typewriters with electric models from IBM and Remington (among others). A lot of electric models used what was known as a "typeball," which eliminated the constant jams a typewriter would experience when two or more letter bars became entwined.
After the seventies the modern keyboard went from electric to electronic to completely automated with the introduction of the personal computer - a revolution in technology. Computer keyboards became 100x more versatile, allowing users to move or change or highlight blocks of text with the touch of a button. The introduction of the "mouse" made navigating throughout a document even easier.
The technology for wireless keyboards has been around for decades, yet the demand for such a device didn't really catch on until the nineties. The rising popularity of PowerPoint, the internet and home computing created an atmosphere via which the wireless keyboard (and mouse) eventually came into their own.