The Best External Keyboards for Laptops

Keyboard Shortcuts are the key to working efficiently in Excel. Unfortunately, many modern laptops are too small to have a full-sized keyboard, making it harder to use keyboard shortcuts.

There are several common keyboard layout shortcomings that are especially limiting:

  1. A fn key directly to the left of the CTRL key on the bottom-left of the keyboard.                              The fn and ctrl keys on a laptop keyboard.
  2. Small or unusually shaped arrow keys.
  3. Out of place Page Up, Page Down, End, or Home keys.

If your keyboard has any of these layout flaws (especially #1!), you should consider buying a new external keyboard.

Keyboard Recommendations

There are plenty of good keyboards available, but we’ve picked out 4 representing the different price points. They range from $10 for the cheapest to $89 for an unusually ergonomically designed keyboard.

The Cheapest

This is the HP K1500 Wired Keyboard. It’s cheap and functional. The keyboard layout is great, but it’s not ergonomically designed, and it’s a wired keyboard. If you won’t use this keyboard often, this might be the best choice, simply because it’s the cheapest. Price: $10

Wireless Keyboard

This is the Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 with Keyboard. This is a definite upgrade over the entry-level keyboards. The keyboard is wireless, has media keys to quickly adjust the volume (among other things), and the typing is quieter. The only downside is that this keyboard isn’t very ergonomic. Price: $27

Small Wireless Keyboard

This is the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K360. The key selling point of this keyboard is that it’s very compact. It travels very well. If you travel frequently this might be the best keyboard for you. Price: $18

Ergonomic Keyboard

Logitech Wireless Wave Mk550 Keyboard. This keyboard is a good choice for those desiring an ergonomic keyboard. Its only downside is it’s a very large keyboard, so it is not ideal for traveling or for small spaces. Price: $41

The Ergonomic Superstar Keyboard

Kinesis Freestyle2. This ergonomic keyboard is a little unusual. It splits in half, allowing you to position the keyboard pieces in the ideal position for both your hands. You can also buy this accessory to angle the keyboard for a more natural wrist angle. Kinesis goes into more detail on the benefits here. You will also want to buy a numeric keypad accessory for easier entering of numbers. With all the accessories this keyboard becomes very expensive, but many people claim it’s worth it for the ergonomic benefits. Besides price, the other downside to this keyboard is the key layout. It’s unusual, and slightly worse than a typical keyboard for using Excel keyboard shortcuts. Price: $89



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