Most business owners perform many of the same functions on their computers over and over, day after day. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a quicker and easier way to complete these repetitive tasks? Instead of browsing through your device to find specific programs or open commonly used documents, you may benefit from using a programmable keyboard.
These products include buttons that can be customized to perform specific functions like opening programs or cutting and pasting text. There are also options made for specific functions like content creation, photo editing, and gaming.
Some of them are fully customizable. So all of the buttons can be set for the various functions you perform frequently. And others include just a small section of buttons that you can customize. So you can use the rest like a standard keyboard.
If you’re looking for a way to save time and cut repetition out of your busy day, then a programmable keyboard is just the thing. Here are the best in 2020.
|Best Keyboard with Programmable Keys||Best Fully Programmable Keyboard|
|Redragon K511 PRO RGB Gaming Keyboard Wired LED Backlit Programmable Macro Keyboard||X-keys Programmable Keypads and Keyboards|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
Programmable Keyboards to Consider
Choosing the best programmable keypad for your business starts with understanding the options. There are some products that are completely customizable. And there are others that just include small sections of keys that you can turn into macros and shortcuts. If you are going to a pay premium price, consider the customer service the company offers. Especially if the keyboard has a hard learning curve.
Below, we’ve broken down these products so you can find the best fit for your needs. Each one includes a rundown of the essential features, details, and price. If you’re interested in purchasing a programmable keyboard for your business, here are some top options to consider.
Best Keyboards with Programmable Keys
The keyboards on this list have a certain number of function keys that can be configured to run multiple functions and macros. Then the rest of the keyboard simply works as normal. Many are marketed for gaming use. But there are plenty of functions you can set that may work for business use as well. These products tend to work best for those who want to stick with just one main keyboard but want to reap the benefits of programmable buttons.
Redragon K511 PRO RGB Gaming Keyboard Wired LED Backlit Programmable Macro Keyboard
This gaming keyboard from Redragon includes 104 keys. And 5 of them are programmable macro keys. It has quiet keystrokes that make for a quiet working environment. It also includes backlighting in various colors and levels for extra style and visibility. It’s compatible with many top PC brands and operating systems. And it is currently priced at $29.99, so it’s a fairly affordable option.
Dell Alienware Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard AW768
From Dell, this silver keyboard includes 15 programmable keys that can be attached to different macros. So it includes more options than many other semi-programmable keyboards on the market. It can be customized with different leg angles and optional palm rest for maximum comfort. It also includes ambient lights in various colors behind the keys. The price of this one falls at $95.97.
Das Keyboard 4Q Smart RGB Mechanical Keyboard
This mechanical keyboard from Das Keyboard works using a smart RGB Cherry MX version of Das Keyboard. So it does require some knowledge about programming and the platform for users to enjoy maximum functionality. All of its buttons can actually be customized. So there are really endless options for those who want to create a lot of shortcuts. But it includes a standard keyboard layout so it can still work for those who want a mainly traditional setup. Prices start at $149.25.
The Cherry MX series line of switches was introduced in 1985. They are known by the colors, which denote the handling characteristics. This includes how much force is required, whether it is clicky or tactile. Cherry MX Red, which was introduced in 2008, for example, has a low actuation force. So the color you choose will dictate how they function.
Trust GXT 285 Adjustable LED RGP Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard
This keyboard with customizable keys comes from Trust Gaming. It includes 5 custom macro buttons and 3 different profiles so you can actually save up to three different macros for each key. Then you simply switch modes or profiles when you’re performing different tasks. This is mainly useful for gaming. But it could be useful for those who have different categories of macros used in different instances. For example, you might use one profile when working on spreadsheets and another one for video editing with media keys. The black keyboard is backlit and connects to a device using a USB cord. It also includes software for easily programming macros. This programmable keyboard runs for $39.97.
Best Fully Programmable Keyboards
On the other hand, some keyboards come with buttons that are completely customizable with macros and shortcuts. Many of these are smaller than traditional keyboards since most people don’t need to create too many customizations. These can be used on top of a traditional keyboard or for specific functions like design and photo editing. However, there are options at pretty much every level of complexity and price point. So here are some of the top options available for business users today.
Koolertron Single-Handed Programmable Mechanical Keyboard with OEM Gateron Red Switch
This keyboard from Koolertron includes 48 keys, all of which are programmable. It also pairs with configuration software to help users create up to eight complex macros with its mechanical keyboard. They remain programmed even if you disconnect the keyboard and attach it to a different computer. So it may be especially useful for those who switch between different devices frequently. This one costs $81.99.
Elgato Stream Deck
This Elgato product comes with 15 customizable LCD keys and and adjustable stand. It’s made for use by content creators. So many of the functions are specifically tailored to these types of tasks. It’s also designed to be easy to use even for those with no programming knowledge. In fact, you can use an app to easily set functions for each key by dragging and dropping functions to each button in the software interface. It’s compatible with Windows 10 and MacOS 10.13 or later and currently costs $149.95.
Penclic N3 Office Numeric Keypad
Those who want a simple extra keyboard may opt for this Penclic option. All of its 22 numbered keys are customizable with different functions. It also has an ergonomic design to maintain comfort while you work on those repetitive tasks. Speaking of ergonomic, make sure to get a wrist rest to avoid any injuries.
Penclic also has a plug and play setup for easy use. Just connect it to your device with a USB and start setting different functions for each key you want to use. And at just $29.99, it is affordable.
ELSRA USB Wired Programming Numeric Keypad ControlPad Black PK-2068
This ELSRA keypad includes 23 keys that can be programmed on multiple levels. There are two separate modes. So you can set different macros that work when the keyboard is in each mode. So you can keep the number of buttons down but still enjoy tons of functionality with different macros. It easily connects via USB so you can get it up and running pretty quickly. However, it only works with Windows devices. So those who have Mac or Linux computers may be better off with another option. The current cost is $38.90.
X-keys Programmable Keypads and Keyboards
This X-keys keyboard includes 60 macro keys for those who want to include tons of customization options. The company says it is perfect for use with programs like CAD and PhotoShop. It includes software for easy programming on Windows devices. However, those who use Mac or Linux devices will need to program it using Windows device; those settings will then save and be usable on those devices afterward. This product runs for $199.95.
What is a programmable keyboard?
A programmable keyboard is a product that allows you to assign custom actions to various keys. This allows you to create shortcuts to the functions you use most often so you can save time. Some keyboards have just certain sections that can be programmed, while others are fully programmable.
What are keyboard macros?
A keyboard macro is a series of actions that are designed to perform a specific task. For example, you might assign a key and/or mouse action to open your email program. Or you could press a short series of keys to insert a certain graphic into your company’s spreadsheets. This allows you to save time on the repetitive tasks you perform most often.
Can I use a second keyboard for macros?
Yes, some people prefer to keep one classic keyboard and one programmable one. Having a full keyboard available to program can really open up the options for you to create tons of macros and be super-efficient. Each keyboard needs to be a different model if you go this route. You may also need to install programs like Lua Macros or AutoHotkey. The videos below explain a bit about the process for those who want to learn how.