Keyboards are one of the most important tools for any computer-related task. This is why PC peripheral companies have been trying hard to make innovations in keyboards. One of the most notable innovations that have flourished in the past decade is wireless connectivity.
Today’s wireless keyboards are generally very reliable. However, their reliability varies depending on the user’s use case. There are wireless keyboards that are only good for basic tasks such as typing and browsing, while there are others that offer low latency connectivity for more depending tasks such as competitive gaming.
Many keyboards, both for Windows and MAC, now support wireless connectivity. In addition, many gaming companies and professional gamers have adopted wireless keyboards. Some of the most notable brands that have produced high-end wireless gaming keyboards include Razer, Corsair, Steelseries, and Logitech G.
However, one concern that many users still have is the reliability of the wireless connection of these keyboards. The reason for this is because, in other fields, such as audiophile equipment, wired connectivity is still the way to go due to their superior sound quality and the absence of latency. Due to this, many are still doubting the performance of wireless keyboards.
In this article, we will be shedding some light on this topic by covering the different factors that affect the reliability of wireless keyboards. Most notable, we will be going over the different types of wireless connections present in today’s wireless keyboards. And by the end of this article, consumers should be able to decide if wireless keyboards are appropriate for their use case.
Context – Wireless Keyboards vs. Wired Keyboards
Wireless keyboards and wired keyboards have been compared and contrasted a lot. But for those who are not aware of the differences, here’s a quick summary. Wireless keyboards were initially less reliable than wired keyboards by a huge margin. They were practically unusable for more demanding tasks such as competitive gaming.
But with the advancements in technology, wireless keyboards have become more useable. Brands were able to reduce the latency on wireless keyboards, making them viable for both casual tasks and more demanding tasks. In addition, different types of wireless connectivity have emerged, allowing users to use wireless keyboards in a number of different devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Also, the diversity of wireless keyboards has widely increased. There are many mechanical keyboards that are now available in a wireless edition. These include offerings from gaming brands that we have already mentioned earlier, as well as enthusiast-grade brands such as HHKB, Keychron, Filco, and many more.
Given all the perks of wireless keyboards (portability, convenience, etc.), deciding between a wired keyboard and a wireless keyboard these days is simply a matter of personal preference. With that said, not all wireless keyboards are created equally. Some are more reliable than others, which we will be discussing shortly. And for those who are looking for a more in-depth discussion regarding this topic, we highly recommend checking out our dedicated Wireless vs. Wired Keyboards article.
What Determines the Reliability of Wireless Keyboards?
Ultimately, the type of wireless connectivity that a keyboard is equipped with determines how reliable it is. Some connection types have larger bandwidth than others. And, of course, having a larger bandwidth allows larger data to be transmitted faster. And having faster transmission will result in lower latency.
Also, the reliability of wireless keyboards depends on how well they are integrated into the operating system of the device they are paired with. For instance, Apple’s first-party wireless keyboards work reliably with their devices since they are made to communicate with each other efficiently.
Another factor to consider is how well the manufacturer optimizes these keyboards. Most gaming companies equip their wireless gaming keyboards with specialized chipsets and other hardware inclusions that allow their wireless keyboards to perform similarly to a wired keyboard.
But in summary, the biggest factor that determines the reliability of a wireless keyboard is the type of wireless connection they are utilizing. The two most common types are Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz.
Types of Wireless Keyboard Connectivity
Bluetooth connectivity paved the way for a generation that may no longer need wired connectivity, letting our devices improve or progress in certain aspects. Mouse, printers, keyboards, headphones, and other devices replaced wire connectivity to convert for Bluetooth connectivity to be a part of progress. The pairing would be easy. All you have to do is to turn on both devices’ Bluetooth, search the device on your computer, and pair in order for it to work. It may have some flaws, but we could still say that this is still convenient to have.
This Bluetooth 4.0 version is backward compatible and efficient in energy consumption, unlike the previous versions of Bluetooth. This version of Bluetooth can gain information 5 times fast or even once in certain moments and would be able to optimize your battery life. Although this version could still lose its connection, especially if there are applications that would interfere with the connection or the pairing of the Bluetooth devices.
Bluetooth 5.0 and Newer Versions
Bluetooth 5.0 is much faster and is a long-ranged version of Bluetooth, with improved performance for wireless devices. This 5.0 version sounds way better than the previous versions, but in the late year of 2020, the newer version 5.2 was made. The Bluetooth 5.2 version accepts larger information, goes farther than its predecessors, and can offer isochronous channels (ISOC).
2.4 GHz Connectivity
2.4 GHz connectivity on devices works perfectly in its range and the pairing for wireless keyboards. This kind of connectivity is convenient for the wireless keyboard because the connection to it is stable as well in some moments having unnoticeable typing lag. As long your device contains a USB dongle, you’re all set.
2.4 GHz vs. Bluetooth Keyboards
2.4 GHz and Bluetooth keyboards is a complex topic. This is because there are many factors that can affect the performance of these keyboards. For the purpose of this article, we will be giving a brief summary of what consumers can expect with each connectivity.
Bluetooth keyboards have better compatibility since almost any modern device is equipped with Bluetooth. Pairing is also simpler and more seamless since no dongles are required. However, most Bluetooth keyboards will have higher latency since Bluetooth doesn’t have as much bandwidth as 2.4 GHz.
2.4 GHz keyboards, on the other hand, are mostly made for desktop PCs since they require a dongle to work. The tradeoff is that their connectivity is more reliable, and they usually have lower latency. This is why most gaming keyboards use 2.4 GHz over Bluetooth.
In summary, both types of wireless keyboards are reliable. However, for those looking for a more reliable wireless connection, we highly recommend going with a keyboard that utilizes a 2.4 GHz wireless connection.
Wireless External Keyboards for Your Computer and Different Devices
There are a lot of wireless keyboards that, with their unique functions and designs, at a reasonable price. The Keychron K3 Ultra-slim Compact Wireless Keyboard can swap into a low-profile optical switch for the keyboard to make the device slimmer. Another wireless for your computer and other devices would be the Razer Blackwidow V3 Pro, a wireless gaming keyboard with double abs keypads and low latency.
The last wireless that would be good for the users is the Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless keyboard. This is because the aircraft-grade aluminum alloy gives this keyboard a durable design, and its low-profile switches give an accurate and great performance.
Stephen is the head content creator of Keyboardsexpert. His mechanical keyboard journey began in 2014 when he got his Razer Blackwidow. Since then, he has been fascinated with all things mechanical keyboard-related. He later discovered the custom keyboard hobby and fell in love with the vast customization options. He is currently searching for his endgame and is very excited to share his journey and educate other keyboard enthusiasts.