1. PFU Happy Hacking Professional 2 (HHKB2)
The PFU Happy Hacking Professional 2 has somewhat of a cult following in the keyboard scene, and it’s not hard to see why. This keyboard is aimed at coders, but it’s fantastic for all you writers out there, too. It forgoes traditional arrow keys, instead making use of function keys and key combinations to get that stuff done. It will take a minute to get used to, but once you get that out of the way the small size is a huge benefit, as you’ll be able to take it anywhere you go. Plus, that sweet ‘thock’ sound of the Topre switches is a wonder to behold.
2. Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID
You just need to look at Microsoft’s Surface devices to know that they’re kind of killing it when it comes to design, and the Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID takes things to a whole new level. If you’re running Windows 10, and you’re into the Surface aesthetic, this is easily one of the best keyboards out there. Not only does it feel great, but it also features biometric security, by including a discrete fingerprint scanner right next to the “Alt” key. It is an expensive device, but as with everything Microsoft, you can be sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
3. Leopold Fc660c
Leopold's Fc660c is more portable than the Realforce 87u, but less so than the lighter and more compact HHKB2. However, the Fc660c benefits from its extra heft and feels like the more solid board. Despite having the same 45 gram actuation force as the HHKB2, the Leopold's keys feel slightly weightier - somewhere nearer to 50 grams. It results one of the most satisfying "thock" sounds on a Topre board.
4. Unicomp Classic 104
Remember those old IBM Model M keyboards? Well, that’s what the Unicomp Classic 104 seeks to emulate. Available in both USB and PS/2 versions, it uses a buckling spring switch that takes more effort to press than just about every other modern switch. You’re rewarded for this hard pressing with a tactile response that feels like the classic mechanical keyboards of old, along with a noise that will drive everyone around you mad.
5. Das Keyboard Prime 13
Some keyboards just ooze class, and the Das Keyboard Prime 13 is one of them. Its features a solid aluminum top panel for added rigidity and a very minimalistic look. With Cherry's MX Red or Brown switches under the keycaps, you're given a choice between linear and non-linear offerings with a range of actuation points.
It's a great option for media enthusiasts thanks to side lit media control and the inclusion of white backlighting is another bonus. It's not the most affordable keyboard on our list, but if you're looking for something a little bit more premium, Das is the way to go.