Best mechanical keyboards: Top retro picks for your desk – BBC Science Focus Magazine
As technology progresses, it often tends to go in a slimmer, more compact direction, and computer keyboards are no exception. Keyboards changed from chunky and chatty to slim and silent, but the deep keys and clackety clicks of a mechanical keyboard remain popular. There’s something incredibly satisfying about mechanical keyboards, with their individual springs and switches that provide a distinctive clicking sound and feel. Enthusiastic gamers and typists often prefer the mechanical route due to the precision it offers.
While some mechanical keyboards maintain their clunky, 1980s office block retro appearance, others have been given a contemporary twist with funky designs and additional lighting effects. So whether you miss the familiar tapping sound, or simply fancy a workspace or gaming revamp, embrace the nostalgia and take a mechanical keyboard for a spin.
For more vintage tech, check out our list of retro gadgets.
The best mechanical keyboards for 2021
Perixx full-size keyboard
This pick from Perixx certainly has a classic look thanks to its off-white and grey appearance. So if you fancy a trip down memory lane, this could be a solid option. It features a curved frame and adjustable feet in order to create a tilt, so it’s been designed with comfort in mind. You can store any excess cable on the back of the keyboard using the cable management system. This is a welcomed feature for those who can’t stand a messy, cluttered desk.
The spherical keys are plump, and have a concave design so your fingers sit nicely on top. It works alongside Windows 7, 8 and 10 and weighs just over one kilogram, so it’s a sturdy design that should last a while!
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Havit mechanical keyboard
This quirky mechanical keyboard features brightly coloured keys that are sure to brighten up a dull office scene, but it’s the layout that makes this mechanical keyboard an interesting choice.
Rather than featuring over 100 keys, like a traditional, full-size keyboard, this mechanical keyboard only features 89. It preserves the commonly used number keys, and you’ll notice the number pad sits above the arrow keys, allowing more space for your mouse. This makes this choice a handy space-saving solution if you’re tight for room and fancy a compact keyboard.
It’s recommended for both gamers and workers, so it’s bound to become a well-used item in your household. It works with a number of systems including Windows 7, 8, 10, XP, Vista and Mac OS.
Rymek typewriter style mechanical keyboard
Writing your first novel and fancy looking the part? This typewriter mechanical keyboard is a nice mix of old-fashioned and modern. It pairs with devices through Bluetooth so you can work on your laptop, tablet and smartphone while feeling the benefits of a responsive mechanical keyboard.
There’s a convenient stand so you can prop up your device. Another appealing feature is the backlight, which is helpful when you’re working late at night. It’s also available with rose pink keys if you’re after a jazzier design.
Check out the best office gadgets for more desk tech.