The standard office keyboard is a dated, uncomfortable device that can hurt your wrists as much as your productivity. Still, unless you're a hardcore gamer or have unusually deep pockets, it may not be worth spending hundreds of dollars for a superior mechanical model.
Enter the ergonomic keyboard: a technology that supports your wrists and aligns keys in a more natural way to facilitate comfortable typing. While the jury is still very much out on whether ergonomic keyboards actually do anything, plenty of people find them more comfortable than a run-of-the mill membrane peripheral.
If you're convinced that an ergonomic keyboard is the solution to your typing woes, you have a few different options at your disposal. Read on to find out which keyboards are the most comfortable, the most compact and the most colorful.
How We Evaluated
Tom's Guide does not generally review ergonomic keyboards, so we left this one up to the users themselves. I started by researching which brands and models of ergonomic keyboards users were buying, and equally as important, which they weren't buying. I took into account user reviews on a variety of sites, including Amazon, Best Buy and Newegg, as well as overall sales figures when available.
From there, I searched each company's website to discover which model was the most versatile, or which one offered the most unconventional features. Taking price into account, I discounted models that cost more than the average consumer is willing to spend. I also made sure to include a variety of brands and styles, so that if a reader doesn't find what he or she is looking for among these models, it can still act as a starting point in a search for an ergonomic keyboard.
Generally speaking, an ergonomic keyboard should have an unconventional shape or design, and a supportive wrist rest. Beyond that, features and functionality can vary considerably, as described below. If you're really willing to put in the money for a premium keyboard experience, gaming models with mechanical key switches are still the standard to beat.