How we test computer keyboards

Fingers typing on a keyboard

In most cases we test desktop sets – incorporating a keyboard and a mouse in a single bundle. Where stated in the product review, we bought the keyboard and mouse separately, although they are of the same ‘family’.

Expert ratings

Our experts rate the keyboards and mice on a range of factors including: 


Including how easy the keyboard and mouse are to install and set up, whether there are any sticky keys and whether the keyboard is particularly noisy


Such as whether there are any keyboard or mouse issues that could cause problems with long-term use and the visibility of the labels 


Such as the presence of quick-start or ‘hot’ buttons and whether these work as expected

User trial

We also give the sets to three people of different typing abilities:

  • a touch typist
  • an intermediate typist
  • a basic ‘hunt and peck’ typist who uses two fingers

Each typist rates how comfortable and easy the sets are to use. For example, how well do the contours of the keyboards and mice follow the hands and wrists? Do they feel smooth to use?

We also want to know how easy it is for people to find their way around the desktop sets while carrying out everyday tasks. We ask each typist to use each mouse to create a letter, surf the internet and make adjustments to a photograph using an image editing program.