The 5 best portable keyboards for typing on the go

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by Vanessa Spilios
Originally Published: 
best portable keyboards
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If you spend your days on the go rather than at a desk, a portable keyboard that works with a tablet or phone can make it easier to type, so you can stay productive, no matter where you are. The best portable keyboards are universally compatible, small enough to stash in a bag, and either USB-rechargeable or powered by batteries. For upgraded convenience, some have built-in touch pads for mousing, and others come with holders for a tablet or phone, so you can easily view the screen as you work.

Portable keyboards do away with the number pad, making them small enough to stow in a bag or backpack for easy transport, but some fold up to an even more compact size, and others are ultra-slim (as thin as a quarter-inch) to take up minimal space. That being said, you’ll want to make sure the keyboard you choose is roomy enough for you to comfortably type. (For reference, a standard laptop keyboard may measure in the neighborhood of 11 by 5 inches.)

As far as power goes, a rechargeable keyboard is more cost-effective in the long run since you won’t have to replace batteries, while keyboards powered by primary single-use batteries may offer more peace of mind, as they don’t require recharging and can last for up to two years.

When it comes to extra features, some portable Bluetooth keyboards can connect to multiple devices at once, with convenient controls for toggling between them, and some have built-in touch pads for easy mousing. You can also opt for an ergonomically designed option that’s easy on your hands and wrists, or one that comes with a phone and tablet holder for easy viewing of your screen — some even have the holder built into the keyboard itself.

All of these portable keyboards are Bluetooth-enabled, and they support the most common operating systems, including iOS, Android, and Windows. With all that in mind, here are the best portable keyboards for computing from anywhere in the world.

1. The overall best

  • Dimensions: 11 x 4.9 inches
  • Multi-device compatibility: Yes
  • Power source: 2 AAA batteries (included)

Boasting an impressive 4.7-star overall rating on Amazon after more than 9,000 reviews, this portable keyboard from Logitech is powered by two AAA batteries that provide up to two years of functionality with regular use. An on-off button and auto-sleep function conserve power, and a battery life indicator lets you know when the batteries are running low (although many reviewers noted that the batteries outlasted their expectations). The keyboard is compatible with Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Android operating systems, and it can connect to three separate devices for easy multitasking via a panel of switches. The keyboard comes in three colors, and has a slightly tilted design with curved keys for comfortable, ergonomic typing.

Helpful review: “Super lite-weight keyboard. Thin. Small. Great for travel and even though I'm not very tech-savvy, I had ZERO issues getting it to connect to my laptop.”

2. The best portable keyboard with a trackpad

  • Dimensions: 11.9 x 3.8 inches when open, 6 x 4 inches when closed
  • Multi-device compatibility: No
  • Power source: USB-chargeable

If you don’t want to bring a mouse with you — but still want to click and scroll easily as you type — this keyboard from Samsers has a touch pad built right in. The rechargeable design offers up to 48 hours of working time, and 560 hours on standby, giving you the flexibility of going long stretches of time between charges. The three-piece folding design is extremely portable, measuring approximately 6 by 4 inches (about the size of a large smartphone) when closed, with some users having noted that it can fit in a jacket or backpack pocket. It comes with an adjustable stand for holding a tablet or smartphone while you type.

Helpful review: “I really love this folding keyboard. I’m using it with my iPad mini Gen 5 and it works Great! It pairs quickly and easily every time. The track pad works quite well and I did not have to go into my settings to activate it. It just works. I carry it with me where ever I go and use it to do all my typing on my iPad.”

3. The best portable keyboard with an ultra-thin profile

  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 5.9 inches
  • Multi-device compatibility: No
  • Power source: USB-chargeable

About the size of an iPad Mini, this portable keyboard from Arteck is just 0.24 inch thick — about half of any other option on this list — making it an ultra-thin and non-bulky choice. The low-profile keys have a soft touch to minimize noise when typing, and the backlighting can be adjusted to two brightness levels and seven colors to suit your preferences and make it easy to type in the dark. Though it’s not multi-device-compatible and there’s no touch pad, the keyboard supports Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Android operating systems. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery powers the keyboard for up to six months at a time (when used for approximately two hours a day with no backlight), and an on-off switch helps to conserve energy between uses. Keep in mind that this option is about an inch shorter than a standard keyboard, so it may take a bit of time to adjust to the tighter dimensions when typing.

Helpful review: “I love this keyboard. I use it for my Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and it connected right to it and functions as advertised. The keys feel nice, it's super thin, and it's extremely light.”

4. The most ergonomically designed portable keyboard

  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 4 inches when open, 6.5 x 4 inches when closed
  • Multi-device compatibility: Yes
  • Power source: USB-chargeable

For long typing sessions when hand and wrist fatigue seem inevitable, iClever’s multi-device keyboard is a great help. It has a slightly hinged design that positions fingers and wrists at an ergonomic angle that — according to the brand — can help reduce wrist, arm, and shoulder fatigue. The keyboard folds in half for easy storage or transport, and it features a leather casing that gives it a premium look while providing a nonslip base for the keyboard when it's open and in use. There’s no touch pad, but it’s compatible with Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Android operating systems, and it has a rechargeable battery that supplies up to 40 hours of power on a single charge, or 30 days on standby. For even more convenience, it comes with a stand for your tablet or phone.

Helpful review: “This is the best thing I've bought as a writer. It's ergonomic (angled), has all the keys you need, long battery life (saves when it's folded shut, turns on when it's opened), links to Bluetooth easily, and is quiet and easy to type. Incredibly light for portability to coffeeshops or parks or even at home; I use it with my laptop so the screen doesn't have to be so close and my wrists can be comfortably angled, but I can see it being great for tablets too.”

5. The best portable keyboard with a built-in device stand

  • Dimensions: 14.9 x 6.2 inches
  • Multi-device compatibility: Yes
  • Power source: 2 AAA batteries (included)

While several options on the list come with a separate holder for a tablet or phone, this keyboard from Logitech features a holder built right in, so you don’t have to carry an extra accessory with you in your bag. It can connect with up to three devices at once using a hot button panel, and it supports Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Android operating systems. Despite being compact enough to fit in a laptop bag or backpack, the keyboard features a full number pad on the right side, making it a good choice for anyone that does quantitative work and prefers the ease of a calculator layout versus a number strip along the top. It’s tilted up at a slight angle for more comfortable typing, but there’s no touch pad for mousing. Keep in mind that at 14.9 inches, it’s the biggest option on the list, and also the heaviest, at just under 2 pounds.

Helpful review: “This is a great keyboard. The keys have a good tactile feel and you can put an ipad or [surface] pro on the stand next to your phone and effortlessly switch between them. Incredibly convenient.”

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