5 Best Keyboards For Vim – Expert Reviews

Vim just like emacs is a text editor that greatly boosts your efficiency and productivity in typing.

It does this by creating or changing any kind of text you are working on. You can think of it as a tool for getting the job done quickly.

But to fully utilize the functionalities of vim. A great keyboard is highly required. Not only will you further boost your productivity you will also become adept at using vim.

Here are the best keyboards for vim.

What The Best Keyboards For Vim?

  • PFU HHKB – Best Keyboard For Heavy Vim Use
  • Kinesis Freestyle 2
  • Logitech MX Keys
  • Durgod Tauros K310
  • Anne Pro 2


Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
HHKB PFU Professional Hybrid Type-S PD-KB800BS
KINESIS Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard w/ VIP3 Lifters for PC (9" Separation) (KB820PB-US)
ANNE PRO 2, 60% Wired/Wireless Mechanical Keyboard (Gateron Red Switch/White Case) - Full Keys Programmable - True RGB Backlit - Tap Arrow Keys - Double Shot PBT Keycaps - NKRO - 1900mAh Battery
What You Need To Know About The GPU

A minimalistic keyboard that provides excellent typing experience.

The ultimate ergonomic keyboard.

A very popular 60% keyboard that compatible with vim.

Prime
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Rating
Position
First Place
Name
Snapshot
HHKB PFU Professional Hybrid Type-S PD-KB800BS
What You Need To Know About The GPU

A minimalistic keyboard that provides excellent typing experience.

Prime
-
Rating
Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
KINESIS Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard w/ VIP3 Lifters for PC (9" Separation) (KB820PB-US)
What You Need To Know About The GPU

The ultimate ergonomic keyboard.

Prime
Rating
Position
Best Budget
Name
Snapshot
ANNE PRO 2, 60% Wired/Wireless Mechanical Keyboard (Gateron Red Switch/White Case) - Full Keys Programmable - True RGB Backlit - Tap Arrow Keys - Double Shot PBT Keycaps - NKRO - 1900mAh Battery
What You Need To Know About The GPU

A very popular 60% keyboard that compatible with vim.

Prime
Rating

Last update on 2021-09-22 at 16:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Preview
Name
 
HHKB PFU Professional Hybrid Type-S PD-KB800BS
PFU HHKB
KINESIS Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard w/ VIP3 Lifters for PC (9' Separation) (KB820PB-US)
Kinesis Freestyle 2
Logitech MX Keys Advanced Illuminated Wireless Keyboard for Mac - Bluetooth/USB
Logitech MX Keys
Durgod Taurus K310 Big Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 104 Keys - Double Shot PBT - NKRO - USB Type C (Cherry Brown,Black,ANSI/US)
Durgod Tauros K310
ANNE PRO 2, 60% Wired/Wireless Mechanical Keyboard (Gateron Red Switch/White Case) - Full Keys Programmable - True RGB Backlit - Tap Arrow Keys - Double Shot PBT Keycaps - NKRO - 1900mAh Battery
Anne Pro 2

Best Keyboards For Vim Reviewed


Pros

  • Excellent typing experience
  • Well-built
  • Minimalistic & compact design
  • Quiet compared to other mechanical keyboards

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No backlighting
  • USB Type-C cable not included

Interface and Type: USB Type-C and Wired, Bluetooth and Wireless Keyboard backlighting: None | Palm Rest: None | Type: Mechanical

One of the most popular keyboards in the vim community. The PFU HHKB blends a minimalistic design with an excellent typing experience thanks to its key switches.

A well-built keyboard which is evident by the price tag with wired and wireless connectivity.

In wireless mode, the PFU HHKB has long battery life – 3 months with power-saving mode and 1.5 months without it.

This is not a rechargeable keyboard but uses AA batteries. Wireless mode, on the other hand, requires a USB Type-C cable that’s not included in the package.

Now for remapping, this keyboard allows every key to be remapped to your choice. This gives you control over how the layout should be or key output.

Furthermore, the PFU HHKB uses Topre switches. Compared to the Cherry MX switches the Topre switches have a nice snappy tactile feedback.

A great quality to have for extended typing sessions and quiet. Overall, the PFU HHKB might not be for everyone.

It’s a pricey keyboard with no backlighting and doesn’t come with a USB Type-C cable in the package. You can get keyboards that provide these at a far less price.

However, the compact design, quiet topre switches (great for long typing sessions), and the benefit of you being able to remap every key make it worth the price.

Especially if you need the best keyboard for vim to greatly increase your productivity.


Pros

  • Awesome ergonomics 
  • Decent wrist rest
  • Great and compact design
  • Hotkeys

Cons

  • Learning curve
  • Pricey
  • Hotkeys can’t be programmed

Interface and Type: USB and Wired Keyboard backlighting: No | Palm Rest: Yes | Type: Membrane

Now for what the Kinesis Freestyle2 gets right – ergonomics, design, hotkeys, and remapping.

Ergonomics is the biggest thing. The split keyboard can be tilted from 0 to 15 degrees.

Pronation of your wrists during typing is one of the major causing of the wrist and to some extent shoulder pain.

The Kinesis Freestyle2 reduces that by making your hands assume a natural position because of the tilt. Reduced pressure and strain result in healthier wrists over the long term.

The wrist rest is not bad and quite comfy. On the left side of the keyboard, you have hotkeys of the most used functions in typing.

A press executes the function rather than pressing two or three keys at once. You can remap almost all the keys except the hotkeys.

Now for the downsides.

First, this is an odd-looking keyboard, and the ergonomics are far different from the traditional keyboard.

Although the keyboard layout is the same. You will spend some time getting used to it. Secondly, the hotkeys can’t be remapped including the single Win key. Finally, it’s a pricey keyboard.

To sum it all up, the Kinesis Freestyle2 is a split keyboard that excels in ergonomics.

Once you get used to this the Kinesis Freestyle2 will boost your productivity in vim. We highly recommend this as the best keyboard for vim.


Pros

  • Great feel and typing experience
  • Solid build quality
  • Stylish and beautiful design
  • Can connect to multiple devices
  • Keys can be remapped

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Height cannot be adjusted
  • No palm rest
  • Keys wear off after long use
  • Can’t remap the special keys

Interface and Type: USB/Wired and Bluetooth/Wireless Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Palm Rest: No | Type: Chiclet

The Logitech MX is one of the most attractive keyboards out there. And it’s packed with a lot of functionality.

You could say, beauty and a beast or the ultimate productivity keyboard.

The keyboard gives you the ability to connect to multiple devices at once and is compatible with all OS including Linux.  

To simply switch between devices, use any one of the three dedicated buttons provided on the keyboard.

Furthermore, Logitech has a great feel to it and the typing experience is above-average. It’s consistent, quiet, and responsive. When typing the chiclet keys provide a positive feedback response.

For such a slim keyboard, you might think the build quality isn’t that impressive.

But, this has a substantial weight to it and the construction feels premium. In short, a chiclet keyboard, it’s well-built and durable.

Key remapping on the Logitech is a mixed feeling. Why? The Logitech special keys can’t be remapped but all others can be.

This may or may not affect your productivity when using vim. Because it all depends on how you do it.

However, the Logitech MX is missing a few things that would have made it the best keyboard. First is the height cannot be adjusted so you have to put something underneath it to prop it up.

Secondly, a palm rest isn’t included. Finally, the price – although it isn’t much of a problem. Because of the value, the Logitech MX provides.

Still, we consider this as one of the best keyboards for vim.


Pros

  • Affordable Solution
  • Doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • Quality Built and Design
  • Different Switch Variants

Cons

  • Limited or No Backlight
  • No Palm Rest
  • Poor Companion Software

Interface and Type: USB and Wired Keyboard backlighting: None | Palm Rest: None | Type: Mechanical

The Durgod K320 is a wired keyboard that provides an excellent typing experience.

And perfect for those who do not need a keyboard with RGB lighting. Compared to other keyboards in this article, the Durgod Taurus is on the cheaper side.

The design is much similar to old keyboards and the build quality is durable.

It’s made of solid plastic, and the keycaps are made of PBT plastic, but both feel very nice to touch. There is no keyboard flex or wobble when place on the table.

Now for the typing experience, the Cherry MX Brown switches and the PBT plastic keycaps don’t cause any pain or fatigue while typing.

However, it’s still not as comfortable to type on compared to ergonomic keyboards.

Remapping is a needed feature if you are going to use a keyboard for vim. And the Durgod Taurus doesn’t lack one.

Although it’s limited in functionality you can remap any keys of your choice. You just need the software to stay open when doing key remapping.

Overall, Durgod Taurus K320 is a great keyboard with Doubleshot PBT caps and Cherry MX mechanical switches that provide an excellent typing experience.

You can easily remap keys and the affordable price makes it a solid option. We highly recommended the Durgod Taurus if you are on a tight budget but require a good keyboard for vim.


Pros

  • Small, compact, and portable
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Superb typing experience.
  • A wide variety of switch types is available.

Cons

  • No arrow keys
  • Backlighting isn’t that bright

Interface and Type: USB/Wired and Bluetooth/Wireless Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Palm Rest: No | Type: Mechanical

The Anne Pro 2 is one of the most popular 60% mechanical keyboards amongst programmers, heavy typers, Linux users, etc.

Because this keyboard checks all in the boxes when it comes to providing maximum value.

The build quality is one of the best out there. Made from plastic, the frame feels solid and sturdy. Furthermore, the keyboard is also small and compact.

Aside from lasting a long time provided you don’t crash or smash. You can easily carry this with you anywhere.

Now the typing experience is superb. The Anne Pro 2 doesn’t make a lot of noise when you’re typing because of the Gateron Brown switches that are smooth to the touch, quiet, and stay stable under fast typing.

Plus, you have the option of choosing a wide variety of switches available to the keyboard.

You can customize the keys to your liking and improve the already great typing experience. The keyboard’s RGB backlighting and offers a lot of effects, but the brightness is not high.

Also, as typical of a 60% keyboard, there are no arrow keys. For key remapping, you have to download the software from their website to do so.

Overall, if you are looking for one of the best 60% mechanical keyboards for vim.

Then this is it – affordable, excellent construction, quiet switches, and key remapping functionality make the Anne Pro 2 is a solid choice.

Keep in mind that, there are no arrow keys, backlighting isn’t bright and limited in effects.


Frequently Asked Questions

Best Keyboard Layout For VIM

Keyboard layouts are paramount in increasing your typing speed, efficiency, and productivity overall in VIM. Here are the two best keyboard layouts for VIM.

  • QWERTY
  • DVORAK

Buyer’s Guide For The Best Keyboard For VIM

Ergonomics

Typing for long hours can introduce wrist, thumb, shoulder pain, etc. over the long run. Traditional keyboards mostly cause joint pains because of the way the hands are tilted when typing.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of when you experience pain and numbers in your hand after typing.

Ergonomic keyboards reduce or eliminate joint pains caused by typing by making your hands assume a more natural position.

Ergonomics of a keyboard, sitting position, and table height are important if you type for long hours and want to save yourself from pain.

Budget

Most keyboards are cheap. However, the top-tier keyboards are expensive ranging from USD50-500.

Knowing your budget is crucial in choosing the best keyboard for vim that satisfies your needs.

For example, a mechanical keyboard with excellent switches, minimalistic design, excellent key remapping software, and solid construction can cost USD200 or more.

You need to know features that you can comprise on. Examples of features that you shouldn’t compromise on are key remapping, ergonomics, and build quality.

Backlighting is one of the features you can compromise.

Key Remapping

Remapping keys is a useful feature in vim. Because it increases your productivity by assigning the most pressed keyword sequences to a single or few keys.

Being able to effortlessly remap keys increases productivity and at the same time makes you use keys that were omitted on the keyboard.

Some keyboards come with their own keyboard software that has remapping features. There is also remapping software that will do the job for you if a keyboard lacks that feature.

This is one feature you shouldn’t overlook when getting a keyboard for vim.

Final Thoughts

Vim is a powerful tool provided if you know what you are doing. And keyboards are the devices that can make or break your productivity when using vim.

Fortunately, the keyboards we have listed here are the best keyboards for vim.

Keyboards that provide great typing experience, durability, and key remapping. Important benefits that will further improve your productivity.

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