Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Of 2017

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Best wireless mechanical keyboards as of December 2017

For the person continually on the move or has a phobia of cables, Bluetooth mechanical keyboards are here to save the day. The question though, is which one’s best for you?

Just like the continuous updates of mechanical keyboards, this list requires updating from time to time. This is the latest revision for the end of the year!

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Mechanical keyboard features tend to be released in waves, with Bluetooth or wireless models succeeding their older cabled siblings. It’s entirely possible to see an updated wireless version of an already well established mechanical keyboard.

Keeps the desk tidy. Credit to u/NYR99

First there’s things you need to ensure you’re well aware of.

Right switch for you?

Always make sure you purchase the keyboard with the correct switch for you. This is very important as you might have the best made keyboard in front of you but if you hate loud clicky switches it’ll mean nothing to you.

Most of the keyboards I suggest will have Cherry or Cherry clone switches. This means that they’ll most likely follow Cherry’s colouring scheme and have a Cherry stem. Why is having a Cherry stem beneficial? This means most keysets can be added to these switches.

Cherry switch colours come primarily in Red, Brown, and Blue.  Then there are the slightly harder to find variants: Black, Clear, and Green. These are stiffer switches, which require more pressure than the previous three colours. There are even stiffer switches which are rarer again. These switches don’t come stock in mechanical keyboards so they won’t be mentioned here.

Cherry Switches Table

Picking the right switches makes the experience

A quick breakdown of the switches go like this:

Red – Linear, lacking a tactile bump. This means it can’t be felt when pressed. They are generally quieter than the other switches.

Brown – Tactile, has a tactile bump but doesn’t click. When the switch is pressed you can feel the bump. These don’t make as much noise as blues.

Blue – Clicky and tactile, has a bump, makes a click sound. These are the loud switches that offer the most feedback in the form of a click and the sound. This is my personal preference when it comes to low actuation Cherry MX switches.

I’ve got an article on the importance of switch choices

There is such a thing as too big when it comes to keyboards

An assortment of different sized mechanical keyboards. Credit to u/evolize

Keyboards are no longer large monoliths that consume vast amounts of desk space. There are solutions for those of you who prefer smaller keyboards.

Sure, a numpad may be handy to some people (number crunchers), but to others it may sit there collecting dust. Likewise with the navigation clusters or the F-row.

Some people may prefer saving space and have those keys accessible under a key combination. For those then compact or 65% keyboards are the right choice for them.

Compact keyboards have all the keys available of a full sized keyboard, they just require a key combination to activate, think shift+”.” to make “>” but instead of shift the function key is used, eg Fn+”1″ = “F1” key. This type of intelligent design allows for underused keys to be removed physically but still be available when needed.

Besides all the saved desk-space, the ergonomic benefits may be advantageous to you.

A smaller keyboard allows the hands to be positioned closer together. And, improving hand positioning is beneficial by removing the strain placed on the shoulders. Similarly a smaller keyboard allows for better desk placement which can improve posture at your workspace.

Just remember to consider your needs when using a keyboard. My advice would be to take a day to track your usage and note how much you need the navigation cluster or numpad, if you think you don’t need them then don’t get a full sized keyboard.

Bluetooth doesn’t mean bulletproof

Wireless keyboards cater to those on the go or people who have a preference for a clean, cable-less workplace. With that said, wireless technology is at a point that a cable is no longer necessary to be functional, however, in most cases a cable connection offers better latency and lacks interference.

It’s important to bear in mind that wireless devices aren’t perfect and it’s entirely possible to experience hiccups while in use. Input delays and connectivity issues may occur from time to time. Problems like these can be attributed to a variety of reasons.

For example: distance and line of sight can affect your Bluetooth connection. Should you experience Bluetooth connectivity issues try shortening the distance between the device and keep the connection unobstructed. If this proves unsuccessful, try connecting to other devices or check the adapter you’re using.

Multiple Bluetooth devices can deteriorate the strength of the signal with your keyboard. Disabling other Bluetooth devices may boost signal strength.

Another point to consider is that while Bluetooth works for typing, it’s not necessarily the most responsive. Adding a wireless connection to devices causes delay, not only from the connection but also from the latency added to the computer and the keyboard as well. This means that you shouldn’t expect as responsive a connection as you would when connected via wire.

Keyboard Comparison Table

 Anne ProVB87MCalibur 71Minila AirMajestouch Convertible 2Convertible TKL
Switch Type
GateronCherryOutemuCherryCherryCherry
Size60%TKL65%60%Full SizeTKL
LEDsRGBAftermarketRGBNoNoNo
KeycapsABSABSPBTABSABSABS
Media KeysYesYesYesNoNoNo
Works with CableYesNoYesNoYesYes
Key RolloverNKRONKRONKRO6KRO6KRO6KRO
Removable BatteryNoNoNoYesYesYes
CompatibilityWin, Mac, Android, iOSWin, Mac, Android, iOSWin, Mac, Android, iOSWin, Mac, Android, iOSWin, Mac, Android, iOSWin, Mac, Android, iOS

The List

Anne Pro

ProsCons
More than a month of battery lifeNon-height adjustable
Selection of Gateron switchesLoose stabilizers
Plastic caseLacking English manual
Double-shot PBT keycapsNo dedicated power switch
Media keys
Dedicated power switch
Decent rubber feet for stability
RGB LEDs with lots of presets
Phone application for macros and lighting
Fully programmable (bar fn keys)
NKRO
Standard bottom row
Keycap puller
Mac, Android and iOS compatible

Get the Anne Pro in Black 

Get the Anne Pro in White 

Description

A 60% compact mechanical keyboard, the Anne Pro has a lot to offer at a sub $100 USD dollar price. It even drops to as low as $80 when on sale. To get a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard with Gateron switches, double-shot PBT keycaps, LED and macro programmable at this price is great value!

Battery life is a very important consideration when it comes to Bluetooth devices. With the LEDs you’ll get more than a week’s worth of use. With the LEDs off you should get longer than a month’s use provided you turn it off between uses.

The standout features of the Anne Pro, besides the price, is the companion phone app. An app available on Android and iOS pairs your phone via Bluetooth. This app allows for customisation of the backlight and key programming. From colouring to effects, there’s lots of ability to create something you find appealing.

Key programming allows for keys to repositioned to better suit your needs. Want the Backspace swapped with \|? Easy, just change it on the app! Macros can also be programmed via the phone app for those of you who like key shortcuts. However, this process seems a little buggy.

The Anne Pro subreddit has lots of information for those of you after more details. They’ve got information on how to update the firmware, connecting the Bluetooth, and general troubleshooting tips.

Varmilo VB87M

ProsCons
More than a month of battery lifeDoesn't work via USB
Selection of Cherry MX switchesNo dedicated power switch
ABS caseBluetooth connection difficulties (Fewer and fewer reports over time)
PBT keycaps with side or top laser-etched legends
Media keys
Height adjustable thanks to flip-out feet
Rubber pads to prevent movement
NKRO
Standard bottom row
Keycap puller
Customisation available on request during order process
Mac, Android and iOS compatible

Get the Varmilo VB87M with Cherry MX Browns 

Get the Varmilo VB87M with Cherry MX Reds 

VB87M in the wild! Credit to u/NYR99

About the Varmilo VB87M

The cabled version – The VA87M – is highly sought after thanks to the selection of good quality components and exceptional build quality. And, the VB87M is no different. With the floating keycap design, this is not only a fully functional mechanical keyboard also looks great as well.

This is a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard that’s only missing the numpad section so it will fit on most desks. All of the functionality of a full sized keyboard is available without the need for fn combinations. A small trade off for number crunching efficiency is lost without a numpad but all of the keys are readily available.

Another benefit of the TKL sized keyboard means the mouse and keyboard can be moved closer together. This adds better posture and ergonomic support which is quite often overlooked when it comes to workspaces.

Those of you missing the backlit option can have LEDs added by the supplier. The amazon listing states you can get in contact with the supplier to customise the look of your VB87M to get a unique mechanical keyboard to suit your tastes. Dye-sublimation can also be added to the keycaps. These services increase the cost and delay, just make sure to note this.

Note

Initial setup and connection issues have been reported with the VB87M. Users on Windows 10 have noted very little connection difficulty, just some issues regarding Windows 7 and OSX connectivity. Here’s a link on how to connect on Windows 7. Here’s a link for OSX connection help.

It should be noted that the VB87m can’t be used via USB, this keyboard only operates with Bluetooth connection.

VB87M with SA Modern Selectric keyset. Credit to u/frebib

 

Drevo Calibur 71

ProsCons
20 hours of battery life with LEDsNo media keys
Selection of Outemu switchesLow polling rate
Brushed aluminium and plastic caseBuild quality is a little lacking
PBT double-shot keycapsLEDs may malfunction
Height adjustable thanks to flip-out feetSwitches with stabilisers may find it harder to remove keycaps
Rubber pads to prevent movement
Physical power switch
NKRO
Standard bottom row
Keycap puller
Micro USB port
Mac, Android, and iOS compatible
Dedicated power switch

Get the Drevo Calibur 71 in White 

Get the Drevo Calibur 71 in Black 

Demonstrating the RGB LEDs of the Drevo Calibur 71

Details

Drevo’s Calibur 71 is a 65% keyboard that is very similar in size to the MagicForce 68, albeit just a bit wider. However, the Calibur 71 has all of the keys in the navigation cluster. This is a small form factor keyboard that has necessary keys available via an fn combination.

At under $60 USD it’s interesting to find a mechanical keyboard that offers Bluetooth, PBT double-shot keycaps and RGB LEDs. Drevo’s way of keeping costs down was to simply insert the cheaper Chinese Outemu switches. Although not as well refined as Cherry or Gateron switches, they’re good enough for entry into the world of mechanical keyboards and are a far cry better than membrane keyboards.

A high level of customisation is available for the RGB LEDs. There’s quite a few preset options but these can also be tinkered with to create your preference of custom look.

I’m a big fan of floating keycap design and the Calibur 71 offers this as well as an aluminium and plastic case. At the back of the case the Calibur 71’s USB connection differs from conventional keyboards by using a micro-USB connection. I prefer this type of connection as lots of devices are supplied with micro-USB cables.

Something the previously mentioned keyboards lack is a dedicated power switch. Having a dedicated power switch means that you know the keyboard can easily be turned on or off and will stay off when in transit.

Notes

Build quality isn’t as refined as more expensive keyboards. LED quality can differ between switches and may stop functioning relatively early into your ownership of this keyboard. Switch quality is passable but not great. Pinging may occur when in use but it’s hard to hear unless you’re listening for it.

Also be a little careful with replacing keycaps on switches that have stabilisers attached. These may be a bit tighter than they should be and with too much force you may break them, something to just be cautious about.

Low polling rate when on Bluetooth means that if you type relatively quickly, more than 50 words per minute, then you will experience dropped keys. Consider this if you type at over 50 words a minute otherwise you may experience issues when using this keyboard. It should be noted that these issues don’t occur when connected via cable. Don’t know your typing WPM? Do a test!

Drevo Calibur 71 in white with blue switches

Filco Minila Air

ProsCons
More than a month of battery lifeDoes not work with USB
Selection of Cherry MX switchesNo media keys
ABS keycapsPrinted legends on keycaps
Side printed secondariesNon-standard layout
Height adjustable thanks to flip-out feetNon-backlit
Rubber pads to prevent movement
6 DIP switches
6KRO
Replacement keycaps
Keycap puller
Mac, Android and iOS compatible
Dedicated power switch

Get the Filco Minila Air with Cherry MX Blues 

Get the Filco Minila Air with Cherry MX Brown 

Get the Filco Minila Air with Cherry MX Red 

Filco Minila Air with SA Honeywell keycaps. Credit to u/BoxxZero

Details

Sturdy, solid, well built. Words used to describe the Filco Majestouch 2 also transfer over to the Minila Air as well. Other keyboards may have media keys and LEDs but the Minila Air doesn’t rely on these features to be great.

Keeping a 60% profile the Filco Minila Air has shrunk a few conventional keys. The Shift, Backspace, and Space keys are all smaller than a standard keyboard layout. Shrinking the spacebar allows for 2 thumb operated fn keys.

Smaller keys may be noticeably bad upon initial use, however, continue to use it and you may adjust to it over time. Non-conventional layouts also pose problems when it comes to finding keysets for replacement.

I personally like having fn accessible by thumb as it allows both thumbs to activate either the spacebar or fn keys. Example the navigation cluster is now easily accessible via fn combination thanks to thumb operated fn keys.

6 DIP switches offer greater customisation by disabling Win and App keys, switching CapsLock and Crtl, making the left or right fn key spacebar. The other 2 DIP switches swap the Esc and `~, and Backspace with \|.

Notes

It’s very important to note the Minila Air does not support connection via cable. This keyboard operates solely via Bluetooth.

Those of you having problems looking for keycaps needn’t look too much further. Here’s a link to some PBT keysets for the Filco Minila Air.

 

Filco Majestouch Convertible 2

ProsCons
More than 3 months of battery lifeNo media keys
Choice of Cherry MX switchesNon-backlit
Plastic casePrinted legends
ABS keycaps
Media keys on F1 - F8
Height adjustable thanks to flip-out feet
Rubber pads to prevent movement
DIP switches
Dedicated power switch
6KRO
Standard bottom row
Replacement keycaps
Keycap puller
Mac, Android and iOS compatible

Get the Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 with Cherry MX Blue 

Get the Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 with Cherry MX Brown 

Get the Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 with Cherry MX Red 

Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 with custom WASD keycaps. Credit to @Tart.Rad

Details

The Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 is the only full sized wireless mechanical keyboard on this list. This is because there aren’t really any other options when it comes to full sized wireless mechanical keyboards. This is a bit of a shame as the lack of competition keeps this keyboard as the most expensive one on this list.

Such a large price can be justified though due to the build and quality. Well built and durable, Filco’s keyboards ensure the keyboard has no chance of moving around on your desk. The weight of this keyboard is 1.1kgs (2.6lbs) which is heavy.

Like the Minila Air, the Majestouch Convertible 2 comes with DIP switches for toggle-able settings. Things like Win and App key disabling, CapsLock and left Ctrl key swap, Esc and ` ~ key swap, and repositioning the fn and app keys.

Notes

Unlike the Minila Air ,the Majestouch Convertible 2 can connect by both USB and Bluetooth. It should be noted that use on Macs may be a little problematic with reports of dropped keys. It’s funny that the Bluetooth functions as intended with the cable connection malfunctioning.

I personally think full sized Bluetooth mechanical keyboards are a bit overkill. To me Bluetooth implies some sort of portability and while a full size keyboard can be portable, a smaller keyboard is just as capable.

Custom red WASD keycaps on Filco Majestouch Convertible 2

 

Filco Convertible TKL

ProsCons
More than 3 months of battery lifeNo media keys
Choice of Cherry MX switchesNon-backlit
Plastic casePrinted legends
ABS keycaps
Media keys on F1 - F8
Height adjustable thanks to flip-out feet
Rubber pads to prevent movement
DIP switches
Dedicated power switch
6KRO
Standard bottom row
Replacement keycaps
Keycap puller
Mac, Android and iOS compatible

Get the Filco Convertible 2 Cherry MX Blues 

Front profile of the Filco Convertible 2 TKL

Details

Very similar in specs and features to the bigger Majestouch Convertible 2, the Convertible TKL is a smaller and lighter keyboard. Build quality like previously mentioned Filcos are exceptional. The main difference between the Majestouch Convertible 2 and the Convertible TKL is the size and weight. Coming in at 980g the Convertible TKL is nearly 300gs lighter than its bigger brother.

Next is the question of which of the two TKLs I’d chose on this list. For me, I’d go with the Varmilo. There’s a noticeable difference in price between the two keyboards. The Varmilo VB87M can also come with Gateron switches, which I much prefer over Cherry switches

I don’t need interchangeability between Bluetooth and USB as I have cabled keyboards available. That solution may not work for you. If you are just looking at getting one keyboard and sticking with it then I’d choose the Filco Convertible 2.

 

Omissions

Keyboards that have been excluded from this list because they were sub par, hard to get, or better options did make it to the list, have been included below:

Royal Kludge RK61

Nano Plum75

Rapoo KX Wireless

XArmor U9W

 

Conclusion

After all of this, I’d be happy to suggest the Anne Pro as my pick of all these keyboards. While I would prefer a wireless keyboard the size of the Drevo Calibur 71, the portability and size is feature packed enough for me to live with the Anne Pro.

Build quality I’d look at picking the Filcos but when it comes to the TKL size, I’d choose the VB87M due to my personal preference.

 

Found a keyboard wireless keyboard that you like already? Why not have a look at my customisation guide guide for some suggestions on how to improve the look of your keyboard.

13 ways to customise your keyboard

Should you have any more questions or have some suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below.

Have a look at my other guides

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Last update on 2018-12-15 at 22:44 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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