If you’re using a desktop computer to navigate the online jungle, chances are you spend a good bit of time at a boring old keyboard.
The good news is that you don’t have to settle for uninspiring hunks of plastic. It’s worth investing a little bit of money into something that you use so often. There are some really stylin’ keyboards out there, and we’ve picked out five of the best.
Whether you’re a Mac or a PC (or both for that matter), read on for five fabulous input devices that will make staring at the keys a pleasure, rather than a chore.
Let us know which keyboards you loved or your suggestions for other cool options in the comments below.
1. Microsoft Arc
Microsoft has always enjoyed a good rep for their keyboards, but it’s not until its Arc range came along that stylish product design really came into play.
More of a lifestyle accessory than a PC peripheral, the thinking behind the Arc keyboard is that as the home office expands into the living room (and beyond) this is the keyboard to go along with it.
Wireless, with the magnetic nano-receiver folding underneath for easy storage, the Arc has a curved “dome” shape for comfortable use on laps.
While it was launched in stylish black, it’s the special edition white and lime green version — available exclusively at Amazon.com — that gets our vote.
Cost: Currently $57.19 (down from $59.95)
2. Logitech diNovo Edge
Available for both Macs (complete with Command and Option keys) and PCs, Logitech’s diNovo Edge is a high-end keyboard with good looks and a great feature set.
You charge up the Edge in its cradle (which also works brilliantly for upright storage if you’re short on desk space) with a two-hour juicing session giving enough charge for around two month’s use.
Cool features include a touch-sensitive volume slider, a “TouchDisc” to scroll or move the cursor, and whisper-quiet scissor-switch keys.
We’re not forgetting the looks of course, and the diNovo Edge delivers with glossy, semi-translucent, black Plexiglas, brushed aluminum and slimline 11mm dimensions.
3. Impecca Custom Carved Bamboo Keyboard
Unlike rival products that only boast a bamboo base, this peripheral’s keys are also made from the natural material.
Perfect for anyone that loves the touch of wood instead of cold chrome or plastic, the keyboard is a simple way to add a bit of eco-chic to your PC set-up.
While the keyboard’s innards are still made of the same old stuff, at least you’ll know by going down the bamboo route, it’s one less plastic case to end up in a landfill.
4. Art Lebedev Optimus Maximus
Let’s get one thing straight: The Optimus Maximus is not just a keyboard, it’s a work of art. From Russian design studio Art Lebedev, it certainly has a work-of-art price tag — a cool $2,400.
You’re not just paying for instant geek credibility (although that comes standard), but near-limitless customization. Each of the keyboard’s 113 keys is a tiny, programmable OLED display.
The potential is astounding. Keys could be programmed to display different alphabets, special symbols, macros, or shortcuts to various programs. It is, as the studio says, “a million keyboards in one.” We’d add — one keyboard in a million.
Cost: Approximately $2,400
5. Apple Wireless Keyboard by ColorWare
Apple’s Wireless Keyboard is beautifully slimline — a real study in minimalist design, with its low-profile anodized aluminum case and compact footprint (it’s around a quarter smaller than standard keyboards).
However, as much as we like the actual design, that “aluminum-and-white” look is getting a little old. The perfect solution then, is to take an Apple wireless keyboard and give it the ColorWare treatment.
The custom specialists will coat your keyboard in one of many cool hues and even color in the text in a contrasting color. As the perfect way to stand out from the Mac crowd, we’d struggle to imagine a classier peripheral for your Apple machine.
Cost: : $119 to send in your own keyboard, $199 for the keyboard and the customization.
BONUS: Keyboard Stickers!
If you’re using a laptop and feeling a little sore about your lack of designer keyboard options, fear not! You can transform your laptop with some funky keyboard stickers. There are tons of designs to be found on the likes of Etsy and ArtFire. Our current fave is the LEGO-esque design shown above — bumpy brick looks without the texture!