The humble computer keyboard is an often-overlooked element of your editing rig, but investing in one of the best keyboards for video editing could help speed up your workflow and give you a more ergonomic typing experience.
At the heart of any keyboard are of course the keys. Many keyboards use short-travel keys for compactness and quietness, but if you value a longer key stroke and a more defined 'clicky' feel, spending a bit extra on what's called a mechanical keyboard is well worth it. These use individual mechanical switches beneath each key to create a tactile, defined response as you type. The most well known manufacturer of these mechanical switches is Cherry, with their MX line of switches available in multiple variants, each with a slightly different 'clickiness' to satisfy all requirements, from typing to gaming.
If you'll be editing for long periods, don't ignore a keyboard's ergonomics. A board with a large, preferably padded, wrist rest could really help reduce or eliminate the chances of RSI or other pains.
What makes a keyboard designed primarily for video editing stand out is that it will often include dedicated media playback shortcut keys, and it's also possible to find boards like the Logitech Craft that include a multi-function dial designed to offer a faster and more ergonomic means of controlling editing functions. Then there are boards designed specifically for one editing package, like Adobe Premiere Pro or Davinci Resolve. These boards have the keyboard shortcut functions for the editing software in question permanently labelled on each key, and groups of keys are often color-coded according to the type of function they perform. It's a great way to help speed up your editing, as let's face it, even the best of us forget a lesser-used keyboard shortcut from time to time!
Extras like RGB key backlighting can be useful if you regularly edit in a dark environment and can't always see key labels at a glance. A wireless keyboard may also be a smart choice if you don't like to be tethered to your desk.
Most keyboards on this list will be compatible with at least Windows and Mac computers, while some like the Logitech K780 will also work with Chromebooks, iOS and Android devices. We clarify device compatibility in the specs section of each product below.
The best keyboards for video editing
Designed squarely with creatives in mind, the signature feature of Logitech's Craft keyboard is its touch-sensitive multi-function dial in the upper left corner. Called the 'Crown', this allows you to make adjustments to settings in Adobe Creative Suite apps like Photoshop, Lightroom classic and Premiere Pro, as well as the Microsoft Office suite. With a simple spin or tap of the dial, you can control functions like zooming, brightness, contrast, tool options, and much more. When used in conjunction with your mouse, the pairing aims to give an ergonomic and fluid control interface that should soon become second nature. What's more, the Craft is designed to work seamlessly with PC or Mac, or even both together. Logitech's Flow feature allows the Craft and a compatible mouse to work across up to three devices, fluidly transferring from one screen to another, and the system is even capable of seamless file transfer between machines. The Craft keyboard is wireless with either a 2.4GHz or Bluetooth low energy connection, and the built-in rechargeable battery should last around a week on a charge. The back-lit keyboard keys have been designed to be responsive while also reducing key noise, and each key has a dished surface to improve typing accuracy.
LogicKeyboard makes custom keyboards tailored to a variety of popular video editing software packages, including Davinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, After Effects and many more. This Premiere Pro version of its Astra keyboard is typical of the breed, with color-coded keys for easy function identification. Each key has a dedicated Premiere Pro shortcut assigned to it, while 5-level key backlighting makes this keyboard usable in any lighting environment. LogicKeyboard has even included a USB 2.0 hub on the back of the keyboard to connect other peripherals. The Astra Premiere Pro keyboard is available in separate versions to suit Windows or Mac, so be sure to pick the right model for your rig when buying.
This keyboard is more aimed at gamers than creatives, but that's not to say it's out of place in this list. You can assign macro functions to six dedicated keys - useful for pre-programming your most frequently used editing functions - and the 8MB of onboard memory stores these on the keyboard itself. But what makes this keyboard special are its RGB backlit keys which use Cherry MX mechanical switches - the gold standard in keyboard switches. Mechanical switches are designed to give keyboard keys an especially tactile, precise feel that makes typing much more satisfying than when using a more basic membrane keyboard. The K95 RGB Platinum can be specced with either Cherry MX Blue keys - particularly 'clicky' and great for typing - or MX Speed switches, if you're a gamer. A detachable soft-touch palm rest further ups this board's ergonomic credentials.
The K780 is designed to work well as a typical computer keyboard, connecting to a PC, Mac or Chromebook, but that's just the start. Thanks to a discreet slot running across the top, a phone or tablet up to a 12-inch iPad pro can sit in the keyboard itself, held upright at just the right angle to create a laptop-style set-up. Connecting devices is achieved via Bluetooth, and up to three devices can be simultaneously connected. The keyboard can then be used as a much more ergonomic input device for your phone or tablet than trying to type using its touch screen. One-touch switching between each connected device further enhances the easy of use, while the rounded keys add some design flair. What's more, the K780 is completely wireless, with a stated 10m range and a 2-year battery life from just a pair of AAA cells.
Aesthetics aren't usually a big concern when choosing a new keyboard, but the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo may just persuade you otherwise. Its RGB key lighting is displayed to full effect thanks to the minimal key caps that allows the the transparent key switch housings to be visible. Those switches are Roccat's own Titan switches, which have been designed to precise and tactile, with a 3.6mm travel distance and reduced key wobble. An anodized aluminium fascia plate has been made to improve the rigidity of the board and it adds a quality look, plus there's a large detachable palm rest for improved ergonomics. Extra dedicated media keys and a volume dial add some convenience for video playback.
If you edit in DaVinci Resolve, this custom keyboard is your editing dream come true. Its most obvious video-centric feature is the integrated Search Dial Control. This Jog/Shuttle dial has an in-built clutch for more accurate timeline positioning, but can also be freely spun for faster scrubbing. Metal construction and roller bearings are designed for top-notch smoothness, and the main keyboard body is also metal. The keys themselves are color-coded to help identify functions at a glance, with individual keys pre-set to perform frequently used functions in DaVinci Resolve. And when you've finished editing, the standard qwerty key layout means this can double as a standard keyboard for word processing.
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