Mobile devices and laptops let us work from anywhere in the world, be it an office space, coffee shop, or an airport lounge. Working for long hours hunched over a device can be uncomfortable, however, and cause pain and injury longer-term.
For anyone looking to stay productive on the road, a quality portable keyboard helps improve the ergonomics of your work environment and ensures faster, less error-prone typing.
You likely have a full-size keyboard and mouse at home, but these are clunky to travel with. A keyboard that’s lightweight and specifically designed for travel is a better option, especially if you’re on the road or work from coffeeshops regularly.
Most of these models are Bluetooth enabled, and can be used with both laptops and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. While traditional wireless keyboards typically rely on USB dongles, these mobile Bluetooth keyboards are more versatile and don’t rely on a small, easily-lost component to work.
Looking for a complete ergonomic workstation while on the go? Pair a portable keyboard with a compact mouse and quality laptop stand, and you’ll have a comfortable mobile office. You could also opt to simply place your laptop on a raised surface, using a separate mouse and keyboard to create a basic standing desk.
Most portable keyboards can also be used during your downtime. Many people use a small keyboard to control apps on their smart TV, or to run a computer from the couch. If this is your intended use, be sure to look for a model with an adequate wireless range, typically at least fifteen feet.
When shopping for a portable keyboard, the most important factors are size, comfort, compatibility, and battery life. We’ve checked out dozens of options, and feel confident stating that whether you’re looking for an ergonomic keyboard for work, the perfect travel keyboard, or an ultra-compact model for smartphone use, these are the best portable keyboards available today.
- Size: 10.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
- Weight: 14.9 ounces
- Battery Life: Up to two years from 2x AAA batteries
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Size: 14.9 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
- Weight: 30.9 ounces
- Battery Life: Up to two years from 1x C battery
- Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth
- Size: 9.7 x 5.9 x 0.2 inches
- Weight: 7.6 ounces
- Battery Life: Up to six months from internal rechargeable battery
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Size: 11.2 x 4.7 x 0.2 inches
- Weight: 9.9 ounces
- Battery Life: Up to 30 days from 2x AA batteries
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Size: 14 x 5.5 x 1 inches
- Weight: 13.8 ounces
- Battery Life: Up to 18 months from 2x AA batteries
- Connectivity: USB
- Size: 10 x 3.5 x 0.3 inches (when extended)
- Weight: 6.3 ounces
- Battery Life: 30+ days from internal rechargeable battery
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
Best Portable Keyboard: Logitech K380
Logitech is a major manufacturer of computer accessories, and the company offers dozens of different keyboard models. One of its most popular compact keyboards is the Logitech K380, and for good reason.
Inexpensive and lightweight, the K380 looks somewhat flimsy, but performs surprisingly well. The rounded keys take a little getting used to, but the travel and key gap is no different to other portable keyboards, and you should be back to typing at full speed within a day or two. The keys can be a bit “clacky” if you’re typing with some force, but are pretty quiet in normal use.
Measuring 10.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches and weighing just 14.9oz, this is one portable keyboard that really does take up minimal space in your bag. Narrower than most 13″ laptops, it slides easily into a daypack, and you’ll probably barely notice it’s there.
This Bluetooth keyboard can pair with up to three devices at once, and you can switch between them via the function keys at the top. It’s quick to connect, typically taking less than a second, and doesn’t drop out or miss keystrokes even when typing quickly.
The K380 comes in a small range of colors, and two variants: one with a Windows-focused keyboard layout, and one for Mac. All versions will work with on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Chrome OS, but if you’re using it with your laptop, it’s worth getting the keyboard layout you’re most familiar with.
The keyboard runs from a pair of AAA batteries (included) that are rated for up to two years of use before needing replacing. Somewhat surprisingly, that number seems pretty accurate: many long-term customers report even longer periods before needing to swap them out.
We’ve used one of these keyboards for several months, and it’s proved to be a comfortable, reliable option that’s easy to travel with and comes at a very reasonable price. As a result, it’s our top portable keyboard pick right now. You can find our full Logitech K380 review here.Buy on Amazon
Best Full-Size Portable Keyboard: Logitech K780
Small keyboards are ideal for travel, but if you have large hands or an especially-high typing speed, the smaller keys and reduced gap between them can be a problem. Likewise, if you do a lot of data entry work, the lack of a number pad can also be frustrating.
If that sounds like you, check out Logitech's K780. This model has full-sized keys, a proper number pad, and a familiar layout. At 0.9 x 6.2 x 14.9 inches, it’s moderately sized, offering a compact yet comfortable option that’s somewhere in between ultra-portable models and standard desktop keyboards.
It weighs 30.9 ounces, which is substantially more than the average weight of models on this list, but still less than a typical desktop keyboard. The result is a highly functional, comfortable typing experience in a relatively portable package.
Like many Logitech keyboards, the K780 lets you quickly and seamlessly switch between devices. It can pair with up to three devices at once, and you can easily switch between them via the first three function buttons in the upper left corner.
It’s compatible with PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS, so you can use it with all your favorite devices. Many competing brands offer this broad device compatibility, but few can actually remember multiple devices and easily switch between them.
The K780 offers dual connectivity, with both Bluetooth and USB dongle connection options. This is a substantial benefit, as USB connections tend to be a bit more reliable for computers, while Bluetooth is essential for mobile devices. It’s powered by one C battery, which Logitech claims offers up to two years of normal use.
The newest version of the Logitech K780 has a phone and tablet stand built into the top of keyboard. It allows you to place your mobile device in a slanted position for easy viewing while typing. Because of the simple device switching, you could be working on your laptop, and quickly switch the keyboard to your phone to reply to a text message.
The integrated phone stand is a nice feature for some, especially anyone who wants to use a full-sized keyboard with their tablet or phone, but will be the primary downside of this device for others. It adds substantial bulk (and weight) to an otherwise slim keyboard, making it a bit less portable, and unfortunately can’t be removed.
If you know you’ll never use the stand, it’s worth considering this Satechi model instead, although you’ll usually pay a bit more for it. If not, the K780 is a versatile, comfortable keyboard that’s excellent for typing on nearly any device.Buy on Amazon
Best Travel Keyboard: Arteck HB030B
For those looking for a truly travel-friendly keyboard, the Arteck HB030B is a great option. This is a slim, compact model, weighing about 7.6 ounces and measuring 9.7 x 5.9 x 0.2 inches. It doesn’t have a number pad, which shaves off a few inches of width.
It includes a built-in rechargeable battery, with an impressive life of up to six months (which the manufacturer defines as two hours of use per day) before needing to be charged up again.
The Arteck HB030B connects to devices via Bluetooth. As such, it’s compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device running one of the standard operating systems (iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows). It also works with Linux, although it’s not fully compatible: some function keys don’t work correctly on Linux devices.
Unlike the K380 or 780, though, it can only remember one device at a time, so isn’t designed for rapid switching back and forth.
The HB030B has seven backlighting color options (deep blue, soft blue, bright green, soft green, red, purple, and cyan) and two brightness levels. This adds some style, but the light turns off after 15 seconds of inactivity. This preserves battery life, but can be a bit distracting.
Apart from the backlighting issue, the only real downside to this model is that it is less durable than some higher-end keyboards. The ultra-slim design makes it slightly more prone to damage, particularly when it’s constantly going in and out of a backpack. It does have a 24-month warranty, but this only covers manufacturing defects, not accidental damage.Buy on Amazon
Best Budget Portable Keyboard: OMOTON Ultra-Slim Keyboard
For anyone looking for a budget-friendly mobile keyboard, the OMOTON Ultra-Slim is an excellent choice. This is a simple, efficient little keyboard that connects via Bluetooth and offers basic functionality across a range of mobile devices.
It’s nice and compact, at 11.2 x 4.7 x 0.2 inches and weighing just under ten ounces. The size makes it quite portable, while still remaining comfortable to type on. You probably won’t be typing quite as quickly as you would on a full-size keyboard, but it’s certainly not bad.
Running on AA batteries, you can expect a decent battery life of up to 30 days of regular use. An operating range of 10 meters (32 feet) means that you can also use this model from the couch.
The OMOTON is designed for use with iPads, iPhones, and other iOS devices, and all the function keys are iOS-specific. It also works with other Bluetooth-enabled devices, including Windows PCs, but oddly doesn’t support certain models of MacBook. We recommend checking the full device compatibility list on the Amazon listing before purchase.Buy on Amazon
Best Portable Keyboard with Trackpad: Logitech K400 Plus
The Logitech K400 Plus is the ultimate couch keyboard. It includes a trackpad, allowing for complete control of a device without the need for an external mouse or touchscreen. Combined with a 33-foot wireless range, this feature makes the K400 perfect for controlling devices from a distance.
The K400 Plus could also be a decent travel keyboard for those who don’t want to purchase a mouse separately. It’s moderately portable, at 5.5 x 14 x 1 inches (the trackpad adds substantial width), and weighs just under 14 ounces.
This model connects to devices via a USB dongle, but doesn’t have Bluetooth, which means it won’t be compatible with mobile devices. As such, the versatility of this device is more limited. If you really want that inbuilt trackpad, though, this keyboard is as good as it gets.Buy on Amazon
Best Portable Keyboard for Phones: iClever BK03
The most portable keyboard on this list is the iClever BK03. This unique model utilizes a tri-fold design to fold down to pocket size.
Measuring 10 x 3.5 x 0.3 inches when extended, it folds down to 5.75 x 3.5 inches, roughly the size of a smartphone. Weighing just 6.3 ounces, this is a keyboard that you can always have with you, and could use for quickly jotting down notes or responding to texts on your phone.
The iClever BK03 turns off automatically when folded up to conserve battery. It connects to most Bluetooth-enabled devices, including phones and tablets (Android or iOS) and computers (Mac or PC). Like the Logitech K380 and K780 mentioned above, the BK03 can remember up to three devices at once, and easily switche between them.
At only 10 inches across, however, the design can feel cramped for those used to full-sized keyboards. This is another reason that it’s is best used with phones: for productive computer use, larger keys make for a more comfortable experience and fewer errors. For on-the-go use with mobile devices, however, it’s tough to beat.
Other models of this keyboard are also available, including one with a backlight and another with a touchpad. They’re both a little larger than the BK03, but still very compact, and may suit some people better.Buy on Amazon
Main image via Goumbik, product images via Amazon