Top 6 Retro Keyboards

retro keyboard

Our Top Picks for The Top Retro Keyboards

Greetings, keyboard enthusiasts and retro tech lovers! As someone deeply passionate about the intersection of vintage charm and modern technology, I’m here to guide you through the enchanting world of retro keyboards. Having spent years collecting and using various retro-style keyboards, I’ve developed a keen eye for what makes these devices special. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my curated list of the top 10 retro keyboards of 2023, a collection that stands out for its design, functionality, and nostalgic appeal.

What Makes a Keyboard ‘Retro’?

Retro keyboards are about more than just a vintage look; they encapsulate a bygone era’s design and technological spirit. These keyboards distinguish themselves with designs reminiscent of typewriters, early computer models, or mid-century aesthetics, yet they don’t compromise on modern technological needs. The allure of these keyboards lies in their ability to evoke nostalgia while providing the comfort and efficiency of contemporary tech.

Criteria for Selecting Top Retro Keyboards

Selecting the best retro keyboards is a nuanced process. My criteria hinge on four key aspects:

1. Build Quality: Enduring Durability and Timeless Style

A top-quality retro keyboard should be robust and reliable, capable of withstanding regular use over an extended period. The materials used, whether it be high-grade plastics, metals, or even artisanal woods, should be selected for their durability and resistance to wear and tear.
The design should not only be sturdy but also timeless. A well-crafted retro keyboard is one that maintains its aesthetic appeal over the years, resisting the ebb and flow of fleeting design trends. It should embody a certain classic appeal that remains stylish and relevant regardless of the era.

2. Authentic Retro Design: A Nostalgic Journey Through Time

Authenticity in design is paramount. A retro keyboard should accurately represent the era it’s inspired by. This means careful attention to detail in the design elements – from the color palette and texture to the shape and sound of the keys.
The keyboard should evoke a sense of nostalgia, transporting users back to the specific period it represents, be it the mechanical precision of the 20s, the sleek functionality of the 50s, or the bold colors and fun shapes of the 80s.

3. Modern Functionality: Bridging Past and Present

While aesthetics are important, modern functionality is essential. These keyboards must be equipped to handle the demands of current technology, including seamless compatibility with various operating systems and devices.
Modern features such as wireless connectivity, USB-C ports, backlit keys, and programmable buttons should be integrated into the design. This ensures that the keyboard not only looks retro but also meets the performance standards expected by contemporary users.

4. Ergonomic Comfort: A Key Factor in Usability

The addition of ergonomic comfort as a criterion recognizes the importance of user comfort, especially for those who spend long hours typing. A good retro keyboard should not only look and feel authentic but also be comfortable to use. Ergonomic features might include a comfortable key travel distance, a palm rest, adjustable stands for angling the keyboard, and a layout that reduces strain during extended typing sessions. For some retro designs, this might mean creatively incorporating these features without compromising the vintage aesthetic.

Top 6 Retro Keyboards of 2023

6. Logitech Keyboard K270

logitech k270 retro style keyboardStarting at number 6 is the Logitech K270, with its straightforward layout and unassuming appearance, mirrors the design ethos of the early 2000s. This era in computer hardware was marked by a shift towards more user-friendly designs that began to incorporate the convenience of wireless technology without yet achieving the ultra-slim profiles common in today’s keyboards. The K270 embodies this practical evolution with its robust build and full-size layout, including a dedicated number pad, which was a staple of keyboards from that time.

5. RK ROYAL KLUDGE Typewriter Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

rk royal kludge retro keyboardAt number 5, the RK ROYAL KLUDGE Typewriter Style Mechanical Gaming Keyboard marries the charm of typewriter-inspired keycaps with modern gaming keyboard functionality. Its round keycaps and mechanical switches cater to both gamers and enthusiasts of vintage design. However, it falls slightly short in the versatility department, being more suited to gaming than to fitting seamlessly into all types of workspace aesthetics, which is why it’s not higher on the list.

4. Cimetech Wireless Keyboard Mouse Combo

letton wireless mouse & keyboardThe Cimetech Compact Full Size Wireless Keyboard Mouse Combo at number 4 strikes a balance between form and function. It’s a practical choice for those who appreciate the typewriter aesthetic but need the convenience of a modern wireless setup. The inclusion of a matching mouse is a bonus, making it a great package deal. However, it doesn’t quite match the build quality and tactile satisfaction of higher-ranked competitors, which keeps it in the middle of the pack.

3. YUNZII Macaron B303

yunzii b303 retro style mechanical keyboardThe YUNZII Macaron B303 earns its spot at number 3 with its delightful blend of color, style, and functionality. Its compact design, combined with multi-device connectivity and integrated tablet stand, makes it a standout choice for those looking to add a pop of color and versatility to their workspace. While its typewriter aesthetic is subtler than others, its practical features and vibrant design make it a top contender.

2. Azio Retro Classic Bluetooth (Elwood)

azio retro style mechanical keyboardComing in at number 2, the Azio Retro Classic Bluetooth keyboard in the Elwood variant is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, featuring a vintage-inspired design with luxurious materials like leather and wood. It’s not just a keyboard; it’s a piece of art that demands attention. The combination of Bluetooth connectivity and a rechargeable battery adds to its appeal, making it a fantastic choice for those who value aesthetics and wireless convenience. However, its premium price and distinctive style may not be for everyone, which is why it doesn’t take the top spot.

1. S Typewriter Inspired Retro Mechanical Wireless Keyboard

retro typewriter keyboard At the pinnacle of our list, the S Typewriter Inspired Retro Mechanical Wireless Keyboard stands out as the ultimate retro keyboard. It perfectly captures the essence of a vintage typewriter, from its mechanical keys and carriage return lever to its metal construction and Bluetooth connectivity. This keyboard goes beyond mere aesthetics, offering a tactile and auditory typing experience that’s unmatched. Its blend of nostalgia, build quality, and modern features make it the top choice for those who want to combine the look and feel of yesteryear with the technology of today.

Why These Keyboards Stand Out

Each keyboard on this list has been chosen for its unique ability to blend the old and the new. They aren’t just tools for typing; they are experiences, each offering a different journey into the past while keeping one foot firmly in the present. From the tactile joy of mechanical switches to the visual pleasure of vintage-inspired designs, these keyboards are as much a celebration of history as they are a nod to modern tech advancements.

Using Retro Keyboards in Modern Setups

Integrating these retro keyboards into your modern setup is easier than you might think. Despite their old-school appearance, they come equipped with the latest technology to ensure compatibility with current devices. Whether you’re using a PC, Mac, or even a tablet, there’s a retro keyboard that can seamlessly blend into your tech ecosystem.

Here are some tips for integration:

  • Check Compatibility: Ensure the keyboard is compatible with your operating system and has the right connectors or wireless technology.
  • Consider Layout: Retro keyboards may have different key layouts. Familiarize yourself with any layout differences to ensure a smooth typing experience.
  • Customize Settings: Take advantage of any programmable keys or customization software to tailor the keyboard to your needs.

Maintenance and Care for Retro Keyboards

Preserving the beauty and functionality of your retro keyboard requires regular maintenance. Here are some tips to keep your keyboard in top shape:

  • Regular Cleaning: Use a soft, damp cloth to gently clean the keys and surface of the keyboard. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the materials.
  • Keycap Maintenance: For mechanical keyboards, you can use a keycap puller to remove and clean individual keycaps. This is especially useful for clearing out dust and debris that accumulate over time.
  • Safe Storage: When not in use, store your keyboard in a safe, dry place to protect it from dust and accidental damage.


In wrapping up, the top 8 retro keyboards of 2023 offer a delightful blend of nostalgia, style, and modern functionality. Whether you’re a hardcore keyboard enthusiast, a gamer, a professional typist, or simply someone who appreciates the finer details of design, there’s a retro keyboard out there that will resonate with your personal taste and needs. These keyboards are more than just input devices; they are a bridge between the past and the present, a reminder of how far technology has come, and a token of our enduring affection for the aesthetics of yesteryears.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can these keyboards be used with any computer?

Absolutely, retro keyboards are remarkably versatile when it comes to compatibility. They are designed with a nod to the past but with the needs of the present firmly in mind. This means they often come equipped with various modern connectivity options. For instance, many models feature USB connections, which are universally compatible with both PCs and Macs. Others offer wireless connectivity options like Bluetooth, which allows them to pair effortlessly with a wide range of devices, including tablets and smartphones. This dual approach in design ensures that these keyboards can seamlessly integrate into virtually any computer setup, blending retro charm with modern practicality.

Are they difficult to clean and maintain?

Far from it! One of the great things about these retro keyboards is their user-friendly maintenance. They are typically built with materials that are easy to clean and resist dust accumulation. A routine wipe-down with a slightly damp cloth can keep the keyboard looking fresh and new. For more thorough cleaning, especially for mechanical keyboards which are prone to accumulating debris under the keys, keycap pullers are a handy tool. They allow you to gently remove each keycap for individual cleaning, making it possible to keep even the nooks and crannies of your keyboard dust-free. Remember, regular maintenance not only keeps your keyboard clean but also extends its lifespan.

Can I customize these keyboards?

Indeed, the customization potential of retro keyboards is a highlight for many users. While they boast a vintage look, these keyboards are often designed with personalization in mind. Keycap swapping is a popular customization option, allowing users to personalize the look and feel of their keyboard. Additionally, many retro keyboards with backlighting offer the ability to adjust brightness and lighting patterns, adding a modern twist to the retro aesthetic. For those who are more tech-savvy, some models come with programmable keys, which can be configured for specific tasks or shortcuts, enhancing both productivity and the user experience.

Are retro keyboards good for gaming?

Many retro keyboards are indeed suitable for gaming, thanks to their mechanical switches that provide tactile feedback and fast response times – two critical factors for gaming. These keyboards often replicate the feel of classic mechanical keyboards, known for their reliability and precision, which is a big plus for gamers. For those who are into more competitive gaming, it’s advisable to look for retro keyboards with additional gaming-oriented features. This includes anti-ghosting, which ensures that every keystroke is registered even when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously, and n-key rollover, which allows for many keys to be pressed at once without losing any inputs – both essential features for fast-paced gaming.

Where can I find more information about each keyboard?

To dive deeper into the specifics of each keyboard, the best resources are often the manufacturer’s websites. They provide detailed product specifications, user manuals, and sometimes even videos showcasing the keyboard’s features and design. Another rich source of information is tech review platforms and blogs. These sites often offer in-depth reviews, comparisons with other keyboards, and hands-on experiences that can be invaluable in making an informed decision. Additionally, online retail sites like Amazon are treasure troves of real-world user feedback. Customer reviews and Q&A sections on these sites can offer insights into the user experience, durability, and any potential issues or standout features that might not be immediately apparent from the manufacturer’s description.