Wired vs. wireless keyboards: Which should you buy?

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Fnatic miniSTREAK (Image credit: Windows Central)

Wired vs. wireless keyboards: Which should you buy?

Best answer: Wired keyboards are better if you don't want to deal with input lag, the risk of interference, or battery life. Meanwhile, wireless keyboards are the ideal choice if you want to get rid of wires or want to use your keyboard from long range.

What are the differences between wired and wireless?

There are many notable differences between wired keyboards and wireless ones — even amongst the best keyboards on the market. The most obvious one is, of course, that wireless keyboards don't have to be physically plugged into your PC, whereas wired ones do. As a result of this, wireless keyboards are easier to store and require less effort to set up on your desktop. They can usually be used up to 30 feet away from your device as well, which is a much longer distance than the 6-foot cable that most wired keyboards are equipped with.

Wired keyboards aren't without their advantages, however. Since they're directly connected to your PC, it's impossible for their performance to be compromised by signal interference. Additionally, you don't have to worry about the input lag wireless keyboards have (although it's important to note that with the best wireless keyboards, input lag is almost unnoticeable). Lastly, you don't have to worry about battery life with wired keyboards.

Which keyboards should you buy?

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Ultimately, whether you should get a wired keyboard or a wireless one comes down to what best fits your needs.

If you're planning on doing a lot of work each day or you're going to be doing a lot of high-stakes gaming and need something very responsive, your best bet will be wired keyboards. Performance will be perfectly consistent with one, and since you don't have to worry about battery, you can use it indefinitely. We highly recommend the SteelSeries Apex Pro, as it delivers incredible performance. It also has stellar durability, a great design, and a nice wrist rest. It may be pricey, but it's worth every cent.

If you hate dealing with cables, want to use your keyboard farther away from your PC, or need to be able to pack up your keyboard and go quickly, you'll be better off with a wireless keyboard. You'll have much more freedom to move around with it, and the absence of a wire will make setup a much cleaner and hassle-free process overall. Our favorite is the Logitech Ergo K860, which is arguably the most comfortable keyboard ever made. The design is made with ergonomics in mind so there will be less strain on your hands and wrists, and the superb two-year battery life far surpasses many other wireless keyboards that die out after a day or two of use (though it should be noted that the Logitech Ergo K860 isn't rechargeable and uses AA batteries).

If neither of these options suit you well, don't forget to check out our roundup of the best keyboards available. If you're a gamer, don't miss our guide to all of the best gaming keyboards, as there are multiple excellent wired and wireless options on the market.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.