Hardware Reviews

Best wireless keyboard and mouse combos: which should I buy?

Best wireless keyboards and mice
What's key about the perfect keyboard, and which should you buy?

It’s easy to spend too much on a wireless keyboard and mouse, but also easy to spend too little and end up with something you end up shoving in a drawer six months later. Here at The Big Tech Question, we’ve laid our fingers on the new releases from big names such as Cherry, Logitech and Microsoft, and bought no-name “bargains” from Amazon to see how they compare. Here’s our list of the best wireless keyboard and mouse combos, and what to look for.

Best wireless keyboard and mouse brands

Logitech and Microsoft are the dominant brands here, but Logitech has the edge for two clear reasons: first, it has created a slick piece of software called Logitech Options (which works on both macOS and Windows) that allows you to create shortcuts and customise behaviours (for example, if you want the mouse wheel to scroll “inverted” rather than the traditional direction).

Logitech MK540 review
Use Logitech’s Options software to create your own keyboard shortcuts

New Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse sets also have excellent battery life. Typically, you can expect 18 months of life from the AA battery in a Logitech mouse, and a staggering three years from the keyboards. Logitech also has an incredibly wide range of boards to choose from, as you’ll soon see.

Microsoft produces similarly high-quality products, but the company seems more obsessed with style than Logitech – often to the detriment of usability.

We’re fans of Cherry keyboards and mice here at The Big Tech Question, with this German brand applying almost military-grade standards across its range. While its products tend to lack slick extras, you can treat the Cherry logo as a stamp of quality.

As for the no-name brands – well, you’ll always be taking a risk. No branding means a lower price, but also questionable origins. We review two keyboards below that – unbeknownst to us at the time of our “blind buy” from Amazon – actually come from the same manufacturer. You won’t find a handy site full of updates and support advice. They’re perfectly good products, but both customer support and battery life is poor compared to Logitech.

1. Logitech MK540 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse combo

£50 from Amazon

Logitech MK540 review
This is what the MK540 set looks like without coffee dripping all over it

Logitech’s newest wireless keyboard and mouse set offers the best value for money. It feels more heavyweight than the £18 MK270 set in every sense, with a hard-wearing design that should last for years – and, crucially for clumsy buffoons like myself, will survive coffee spills. I prefer the feel of Cherry’s keyboard (see below) but Logitech’s lower price and superior software give it the edge.

Full review: Logitech MK540 review

2. Logitech MK850 Performance

£80 from Amazon

large_be5d5-Logitech-MK850-Keyboards-Logitech-MK850-Performance-Wireless-Keyboard-Mouse-ComboWhen I first reviewed this set it was £100, which makes its current £80 price seem almost like a bargain. Well, perhaps that goes too far. But once you start using this tremendous set, you’ll realise where your money has gone: the M720 Triathlon mouse is as good as they come, with the brilliant ability to switch between screens automatically. So if you’re using a PC and Mac side by side, say, then moving the mouse from left to right will make it seem like you’re moving along an extended desktop. You can even copy and paste from one machine to another. The keyboard has a similar talent and also feels top quality. A great set.

Full review: Logitech MK850 Performance review

3. Cherry B.Unlimited 3.0 Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

£76 from Amazon

JD-0410-2_Aufs_Desktop.jpgAnother wireless and keyboard that’s built to last, everything about the Cherry M. screams quality. Just like the Logitech keyboards, the battery lasts forever, but unlike those rivals they’re rechargeable. Judging by my own experience, you’ll only need to do so every three months or so; hardly a huge burden. But the reason it takes number three spot despite that hefty price is that both the keyboard and mouse feel top quality: they’re a joy to use.

Full review: Cherry B.Unlimited 3.0 review

4. Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

£18 from Amazon

81s+ZKmZl2LLooking for a budget set but still want to buy from a respectable brand? Then the Logitech MK270 really is the obvious choice. They do feel lightweight compared to the other Logitech keyboards here, and the mouse feels particularly basic, but for this price it’s impossible to complain. Especially as you still reap the benefits of Logitech’s excellent Options software and programmable shortcuts on the keyboard.

5. Jelly Comb MK09

£22 from Amazon

717EXdjgCL._SL1500_.jpgAs discussed in the intro, you’re taking more of a risk with a no-name brand like Jelly Comb. The reason this combo set makes our pick at all is due to the quality of the keyboard and mouse – shockingly good for a shade over £20. Plus, they’re very nearly silent. Where they fall down is battery life – you’ll need to replace the batteries within weeks – and support if things go wrong. But at least you can return them to Amazon if that happens.

6. Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard and Mouse

£89 from Amazon

081313SculptErgonomicDesktop_WebIt turns out I don’t have enough patience to adjust my typing style, but if you have problems with RSI then this ergonomic keyboard offers a far better option than completely adjusting to a full split keyboard approach. Microsoft’s keyboard and mouse designers do love a bit of futurism, though, and this is no exception. Also note the number pad needs its own CR2430 battery, adding to the annual running costs.

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.