Quiet keyboard?
December 11, 2011 10:21 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a quiet keyboard

Pretty simple: my current keyboard - the one that came with my dell desktop - is annoyingly loud for my significant other trying to sleep in the next room.

I know there must be quieter options available, but all the advice I can find is from 5+ years ago. Got any up-to-date suggestions?

posted by SevenSpirits to Technology (13 answers total)
The Apple keyboard is rather quiet.
(it works on Windows too, even though it's made by Apple)
posted by ooklala at 10:27 PM on December 11, 2011

Seconding Apple's keyboard.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:30 PM on December 11, 2011

Thirding Apple's keyboard.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 10:31 PM on December 11, 2011

posted by bz at 10:31 PM on December 11, 2011

Alternatively, I have a Logitech K360 that is pretty quiet. I think the essential feature is low-profile laptop-style keys - you don't press the keys down as far, and therefore it makes less noise.
posted by Xany at 10:32 PM on December 11, 2011

I use an Apple keyboard on a PC on a daily basis. The issues with it are extremely minor. I never have any idea what the function keys are going to do, because I'm mostly a Mac user, and they certainly don't do what's pictured on the Apple keyboard. I've made things like Print Screen work, but I have to look up what key it's supposed to be. On the numeric keypad, the clear key is actually number lock on the PC, and the = key simply doesn't work (it's possible the intervening KVM switch has a role in that, but looking at an old PC keyboard, I don't see an = key on its keypad). Finally, my motherboard's BIOS does not recognize the Apple USB device, so I don't have a keyboard until Windows boots (I have to hook up an old PC keyboard to do anything before booting Windows).
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:48 PM on December 11, 2011

Agree on Apple's keyboard being quiet, but alternatively (or in addition), adding a silicon keyboard skin cover makes typing significantly quieter (along with its actual purpose of protecting the computer from spills and whatnot). I really liked mine for taking notes during lecture at college -- it made typing as unobtrusive as writing by hand, and doesn't make it any more difficult to type. Just make sure you get the right version for your particular keyboard.
posted by sparrow89 at 1:01 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would NOT recommend using an Apple keyboard on Windows - some of the keys are in different places. Not insurmountable, but it can can annoying/confusing at times (but to each his own).

The quietest keyboard I've found is the 'rubber-mat' keyboard like this one at Newegg. Perfect for phone meetings, but not the best to type on. But I doubt OP has loud clicky mechanical cherry mx switches in his Dell keyboard, so 'quieter keyboard' may not be the solution OP's SO is looking for...
posted by fragmede at 7:03 AM on December 12, 2011

I'm a lifelong Windows user but I have an iMac at work, with the keyboard mentioned above. It is very, very quiet and solidly built. I recommend it with some caveats. The first minor issue, also mentioned above, is that the keys are a little bit different. Takes some getting used to, but it's not terrible. Another minor issue is that the keys are white and require regular cleaning. Again, annoying, but not horrible. Third, it's a bit pricey.

I have an HP Elite wireless keyboard for my home desktop. It's quietness is on par with the Apple keyboard. It's made entirely of plastic, so it doesn't feel nearly as solid as the Apple one. However, I'm still happier with this one than I have been with any other Windows keyboard I've owned.
posted by puritycontrol at 8:06 AM on December 12, 2011

I have a fondness for loud, clacky keyboards, but the wife shares an office with me and laid down the law. So I'm using an Apple keyboard. It's much better than any of the non-clacky alternatives I've checked out.

Having used a Windows keyboard on my Mac, I will agree that having a few keys out of place can be irritating.
posted by adamrice at 8:33 AM on December 12, 2011

I find Apple's keyboards totally unusable (and lament the fact that so many laptop companies are aping them in this area). I type fast, and little rubber pads don't cut it for me.

I have a Lenovo keyboard at work that's not quite silent, but is very quiet and -- most importantly -- has real keys.
posted by coolguymichael at 9:56 AM on December 12, 2011

Das Keyboard Professional Silent.

I love Lenovo keyboards for the feel and the low noise.
posted by porpoise at 10:25 AM on December 12, 2011

Are these keyboards really that silent? I have a couple of keyboards with laptop style low impact keys, and it's true that you can press the keys silently. But if I'm typing away, it's definitely not silent. Just my fingers hitting the plastic is a symphony of sound, and I'm not sure you can do anything about that. But maybe it depends on how you type and how hard you hit the keys?
posted by smackfu at 11:55 AM on December 12, 2011

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