This is one category where it really pays to head to a store and try out a model you're interested in. When we had our stack of keyboards in for review, people couldn't help but touch and play with them. They all came with different needs and biases. There's truly no one size to fit all, but our reviews aim to give you enough specifics to make a sound decision. See the next page for more on how we tested. Iogear's Quietus RF Desktop was quieter than some of the models we tested, though not all of them, so don't focus on that BEST WIRELESS KEYBOARD selling point as much as the overall package: a nicely Quietus RF Desktop designed, well-equipped keyboard with the bonus of a This keyboard is, indeed, fairly wireless mouse, all for a very reasonable price. quiet, but we appreciated the Typing on this chiclet-style model, we enjoyed terrific travel and satisfying terrific travel and a satisfying (and fairly quiet) feedback of the keys even clicking sound. The 12 hotkeys, including instant more. The bundled wireless access to track management, volume handling, and mouse is a nice bonus. Read sleep mode, are especially handy. PCWorld's full review (go. It uses just one AAA battery, which is supposed to last for up to a year. $40 Despite its higher list price compared to the Iogear Quietus RF Desktop, Microsoft's Wireless 900 Desktop costs basically the same if you shop around. Like the Iogear model, this RUNNER-UP one also bundles a wireless mouse. Wireless 900 Desktop It's the runner-up primarily because it doesn't have The Wireless 900 offers an as many hotkeys as the Iogear model, although it does impressive amount of have eight programmable keys. The other downer for customization via software, and us is the spacebar, which emits a loud thwack when it's also nice to type on save for pressed. Considering this button's constant use, that one key. Read PCWorld's full thwack could get annoying fast. We'd criticize the Microsoft keyboard's use of two wireless900rev). AAA batteries versus the Iogear's one, but those batteries are supposed to last twice as long--for up $50 to two years.

Wireless keyboards connect to a PC in one of two ways: via Bluetooth or a USB receiver. Some older Windows 7 machines may not support Bluetooth. On the other hand, if you need a keyboard to work across different platforms on newer devices, a Bluetoothenabled model is what you need. The latest Bluetooth 4.0 specification features low-energy technology to save battery, too. All the USB receiver-driven models in this roundup were flawless examples of plug-and-play keyboards. Pairing Bluetooth keyboards (compared to Bluetooth headsets, let's say) requires a few more steps, and only one of the models was slightly flaky in maintaining its connection. Bluetooth keyboards tend to cost a little more but also offer longer battery life. As you're shopping (particularly if you have big fingers), keep in mind that some hardware makers sacrifice the keys' size and spacing to give you portability. It was hands-on all the way with our keyboard testing. We spent at least one full workday typing exclusively on each model we tested, with follow-up time to allow for a learning curve. We assessed the primary typing experience: key design, typing feel, and even noisiness. We also tried the secondary features: hotkeys, switches and dials on multi-platform models, and even the ability to adjust the angle or other comfort characteristics.

.We considered the size, weight, and durability of each model against its purpose--whether it was designed to be portable or desk-bound, and compact or fully featured. For instance, we balanced the rollable, water-resistant Adesso Antimicrobial Waterproof Keyboard's resilient design against its unusual look and feel. You're going to use this keyboard every day, so make sure it fits your typing habits and your needs. Here's what to keep in mind as you shop. Size: A model that will always sit on your desktop can be bigger and heavier, and usually some other advantages come with that. As more of us carry laptops or tablets, however, we'll look for models that are compact or portable. These will sacrifice some features but be easier to take with you. Keys: Look for keys that are sculpted and spaced for typing comfort. This is why we encourage trying before buying: We've had very different experiences with traditional keys versus chiclet-style versus flatter key designs, and it's surprising how little things like the texture or the amount of dimple will make or break a choice. Most mainstream keyboards use membrane technology, which is adequate for most users, but heavy-duty users and gamers will likely prefer keyboards with mechanical switches (which are not reviewed here).