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The Best Backlit Keyboard

Last updated on November 7, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Backlit Keyboards and dug through the reviews from 139 of the most popular review sites including Products Browser, Official Top 5 Review, Top Home Stuff, Only Reviews, The Balance Small Business, Best Reviewy and more. The result is a ranking of the best Backlit Keyboards.

Best Backlit Keyboard

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Our Picks For The Top Backlit Keyboards

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

Logitech

G213 Gaming Keyboard

Overall Take

Bright and SturdyThe Logitech G213 is a visually impressive weapon in any gamer's arsenal, with durability to match its looks.

  Also Consider

EagleTec

KG010 Mechanical Keyboard

Overall Take

Durable Gaming BoardThe EagleTec KG010 sports a splash-proof and impact-resistant shell, plus responsive keys.

  Upgrade Pick

Havit

Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard

Overall Take

Built For SpeedResponse time and key positioning are tweaked for speedy performance on the Havit Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard.

  Best Value

Azio

Large Print Tri-Color Backlit Wired Keyboard

Overall Take

Easy to ReadThe enlarged type and solid backlighting makes the Azio Large Print easy to use in any situation.

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17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the backlit keyboards available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

139

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

100,267

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and 4 others.

The Best Overall

Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

Our Expert Score
6.8
24 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
773 user reviews
Our Take

The visual effects are first-rate on the Logitech G213, where the bright RGB lighting provides millions of color combinations. It is also comfortable to use, with a palm rest and sturdy bottom grips. Quiet key action and a high level of spill resistance make it a favorite for marathon game nights.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Azio Large Print Tri-Color Backlit Wired Keyboard

Expert Summarized Score
8.8
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.7
5,694 user reviews
Our Take

The Azio Large Print Tri-Color Backlit Wired Keyboard helps your eyesight in more ways than one. The backlighting comes in your choice of three easily changeable colors, and the print on the keys is large enough to read at any distance. Add in a palm rest and the ability to tweak the angle of elevation, and this is truly a keyboard built for comfort.

Our Backlit Keyboard Buying Guide

It takes a pounding from your fingers, possibly thousands of times a day. When you’re frustrated, it might take a few extra. In the worst-case scenarios, it might even put up with soda spills or smears of potato chip residue. And through it all, it dutifully relays your commands.

When buying a computer, the humble keyboard never gets enough credit. But with the advent of backlit keyboards, they’ve finally found a way to make you sit up and take notice.

As cool as they look, backlit keyboards aren’t just lit up for show. They incorporate tiny LEDs or some other type of light underneath the keys, illuminating them for use in dimly lit areas. They can be great for work sessions on red-eye plane flights or dorm rooms where you’re obligated to keep the lights at a minimum. For gamers, high-end backlit keyboards such as the Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard can be particularly useful with custom settings that illuminate particular frequently-pressed keys.

But there’s more to consider than lighting when buying a keyboard. These days, the layout of a keyboard can vary greatly, but there are three general configurations. Full-size keyboards will have the standard number of keys you might be used to on your office desktop computer. That includes the “F” or function keys along the top plus a bank of navigation keys and number pad off to the right. That’s 104 keys in all, though in some specialized keyboards it might even be more! Then there are TenKeyLess or “80%” keyboards. These eliminate the number pad or incorporate it with the navigation keys. Compact, or “60%” keyboards, do away with both the number pad and navigation keys, and might not even include the function keys (substituting in a single “F” key to do their work).

And that’s just the traditional keyboards. More daring, ergonomic models are available that split the keyboard into two halves that supposedly are easier on the long term health of your wrists and hands — though the research is still inconclusive on that point. As for the layout of the keys themselves, most keyboards use the tried and true QWERTY format that’s been standard since the days of ink-and-paper typewriters. (So named because of the first six letters you’ll see if you read your computer keyboard like a book: Q-W-E-R-T-Y.) If you’re just starting out as a typist, you might also research the much less common Dvorak layout, which puts the most commonly used letters in the middle row.

Gamers and writers alike will want to pay special attention to the kind of switches that their keys employ. Switches, quite simply, are the mechanism that makes your keystroke register when you press it, and the feel and response of it can vary greatly.

A common type of switch you’ll find on slimmer laptop keyboards is the membrane, made of a single circuit that stretches across the board. Press a key, and you activate a contact point in that matrix. While it’s certainly high-tech, it’s also relatively cheap and offers less of a tactile response.

Another common switch is the dome type, where a plunger presses against a rubber or silicone dome and activates a carbon switch underneath. This tends to have a softer feel, though the dome material will certainly be more resistant to spills. Some dome switches use a scissor-like mechanism to decrease the space between the key and contact point.

Gamers generally prefer the old-school mechanical switches, especially if they’re playing shooters or other games where response time is crucial. Mechanical switches, like those found on the EagleTec KG010 Mechanical Keyboard, employ metal springs that provide plenty of tactile feedback and leave little doubt as to when a button is pressed.

There are plenty of other bells and whistles that are specific to gamers, some of which you can find in our tips. But for the most part, a good keyboard — lit or unlit — will be all about the feel.

Simplemost Fun Fact

QWERTY vs. Dvorak keyboard configuration: It’s a debate among only the most hardcore typing nerds. Although the popularity of the QWERTY design would seem to have settled the feud, there is one big piece of evidence in favor of Dvorak: Barbara Blackburn reigned for over a decade as the Guinness World Record holder for fastest typist. Her fastest time? 212 words per minute. Her keyboard of choice? A Dvorak model, of course.

The Backlit Keyboard Tips and Advice

  • Here’s the bad news: There’s no one keyboard that’s perfect for everyone. The good news is that if you know what you’ll be using it for, there’s almost certainly one out there that is perfect for you. Are you a writer, student or someone who will spend a lot of time pounding out text? Consider a long lasting, full-size keyboard with soft backlighting that won’t damage your eyes over prolonged periods of late-night typing, like the Azio Large Print Tri-Color Backlit Wired Keyboard. Are you buying your keyboard to use with a tablet or other mobile workstation? A TenKeyLess keyboard with a slim profile might be worth it for the portability factor, though you may want to try it beforehand to see if you can get a feel for the membrane switches.
  • Are you buying your keyboard for games? There’s a reason that some backlit keyboards are marketed specifically to gamers and their particular needs, like the Havit Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard. For most gamers, mechanical switches are a must. They offer a speed and tactile response that there’s no substitute for. Those playing shooters or other games where response time is key will want to lean toward a wired keyboard as opposed to a wireless one. Wireless signals delivered by Bluetooth or RF technology can be fast enough that regular users won’t notice — but your online enemies might.
  • Finally, many keyboards boast their keys as “conflict-free” or “anti-ghosting.” Essentially, that means that you won’t run into problems with lost signals when you start hitting multiple keys at the same time. That can especially helpful not only for gamers and their key commands, but also for workers using complex macros.
  • There are many keyboards that come with different ergonomic features to help prevent carpal tunnel. And while a hand rest can be nice, don’t go too crazy with adjustments to the keyboard angle. For best results, both your keyboard and your forearms should be parallel to the ground while in use.

About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

As a homeowner of seven years and a journalist for the past 20, Tod Caviness had to learn to be a handyman quick — or at least stock a garage like one. He's happy if he can log as many weekly hours on his stationary bike as he does on PS4 strategy games, but how-to sites on the internet win out over both of them.