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We have already sailed into a wireless era with several wireless technologies around us, such as Wi-Fi, RF, and Bluetooth. Wireless and Bluetooth keyboards are used as a wireless replacement for cables, but is a Bluetooth keyboard the same as a wireless keyboard?
Because a Bluetooth keyboard is not wired, it is technically also a wireless device. In terms of product labeling and marketing, however, a wireless keyboard using a USB dongle is commonly referred to as a “wireless keyboard”.
In this article, I have set the two up against each other to see the best.
How is a Bluetooth Keyboard different from a Wireless Keyboard?
A wireless keyboard is available in two types: RF (USB dongle) and Bluetooth.
RF or Radio Frequency keyboards require connecting a USB dongle to your device. It will work with any device with a USB port (USB-A) and are the go-to wireless keyboard if you don’t have Bluetooth on your device.
Next, you have the Bluetooth keyboard. This wireless keyboard has a transmitter that automatically connects to your device, as with all Bluetooth devices. It’s a simple matter of adjusting a few settings and enabling the connectivity for it to work.
Overall, they are both two different options with their own pros and cons. However, I will compare them over several factors to see what they have to offer. It is crucial to prioritize and select a keyboard that meets your needs.
Compairing Bluetooth vs Wireless Keyboard
1. Which Keyboard has the fastest latency- and response time?
Latency is one of the most essential elements to consider when purchasing a keyboard. You might be wondering what that means now. The term “latency” refers to the time between performing an action and seeing the results on the screen. Latency should be kept to a minimum.
The USB-RF is the clear victor in terms of latency, as it has a near-zero delay. There is a 1 to 10-millisecond delay between your command and the activity on the screen. You can’t afford to have any latency when even the slightest delay costs you money. As a result, these keyboards are popular in both the tech and professional gaming industries.
In comparison, the Bluetooth keyboard has an average latency of 10 to 15 milliseconds. You can reduce that value to 1.5ms if you spend more money on a high-quality Bluetooth 5.2 Low Energy device. Compared to the USB-RF keyboard, that appears to be quite a bit. The truth is that the ordinary user will not detect any difference at all.
Which keyboard is best for gaming?
If you want near-zero latency, the USB-RF keyboard is the way to go. This is a must if you’re a professional gamer. Even in occupations like data entry, where minimizing delays can significantly influence your productivity.
However, the difference isn’t big enough for the ordinary user to influence their selection. If you don’t operate in a high-tech workplace, any device will suffice; the Bluetooth keyboard will work just as well.
READ MORE!Are Bluetooth Keyboards Good For Gaming?
2. Which keyboard is more compatible with your devices?
Compatibility is one factor that all buyers should consider. A USB-A port is required for a USB-RF keyboard, as previously stated. These are the full-size USB ports commonly found on laptops and PC devices.
However, as technology advances, fewer and fewer people are using USBs. Your device may lack the necessary port. Then you’re stuck with an inoperable keyboard. So, what are your options?
If your laptop is equipped with a USB-C port, you may always purchase a USB-C keyboard. However, you’re now restricted to a small number of devices.
On the other hand, Bluetooth connectivity is available on most devices, including laptops and PCs. So, if you get a Bluetooth keyboard, you’ll be ready to use it wherever and whenever you choose. This is highly beneficial if you have many devices or wish to share your keyboard with someone else.
Bluetooth keyboards are the clear winner in terms of compatibility. You may use them with anything without the need for ports or extra steps. Your keyboard will continue to function even if you switch devices. You won’t have any issues using your keyboard with your home device or taking it to the business.
This decision, however, is mainly dependent on your circumstances. You can easily get a USB-C keyboard if you only use one device with a USB-C connector. You can also acquire a wireless keyboard that will function with all of your gadgets using a USB-A port. If you anticipate needing devices without USB ports, Bluetooth is the only option.
That might include devices like the iPad Pro, which lack standard connectors. In addition, several tablets do not have type-A ports. In such a situation, a Bluetooth keyboard would be a better choice.
3. Which keyboard has the longest battery life?
Wireless keyboards typically outlast Bluetooth keyboards when it comes to battery life. A Bluetooth keyboard’s battery usually lasts longer. That isn’t the only disadvantage. Bluetooth devices use more power since the stack is managed by software. In other words, it strains the CPU and prevents it from going into power-saving mode.
As a result, your processor consumes more energy. Overall, the power consumption of your gadget will increase. If you use any power consumption meter, you’ll notice that the difference is roughly 30% higher utilization. That could sway your decision in one direction or the other.
In the end, it comes down to what battery size the manufacture has put in the device. A cheap wireless keyboard can use less energy over time but have a shorter battery life due to the battery quality. So consider the battery life stated on the package before buying one.
4. Which keyboard is more affordable?
Price is a highly changeable quality that is heavily influenced by the manufacturer and model of your keyboard. It also relies on the number of options available on your keyboard, such as programmable buttons.
On the other hand, Bluetooth keyboards are often more expensive than wireless keyboards.
5. Which keyboard is easier to use?
Your first concern should be usability. If your laptop has all of the essential connectors, there are other aspects to consider in the Bluetooth vs. wireless keyboard discussion. One of them is the convenience of usage.
Setting up Bluetooth devices can be time-consuming. If you switch devices frequently, you’ll have to go into your laptop’s settings and reconnect your Bluetooth keyboard every time. Even though it only takes a few seconds, many individuals find it inconvenient. That is especially true if you are a Luddite who struggles to understand basic computer commands.
If that describes you, the wireless keyboard is the right choice for you. All you have to do now is plug the dongle in, and you’re ready to go. The PC will detect the keyboard immediately, and you will not need to do anything to get it started. It’s a quick and painless process.
A Bluetooth device, on the other hand, necessitates additional steps. You must first turn it on. Then, on your laptop or PC, turn on the Bluetooth options. Following that, you must wait for both devices to pair and sync.
It’s even more work if you’re using a Bluetooth laptop on top of a Bluetooth keyboard. Once that’s done, you’ll need to repeat the process each time you swap out a device.
So, what are your options? If none of the other qualities apply to you, it comes down to what you’re most comfortable with. Bluetooth devices are a fantastic option for folks who just use one device for all of their work and don’t mind fiddling with the internal settings.
The wireless mouse with its plug-and-use concept is the handiest for people who detest getting into their device settings or who need to change devices frequently.
To be fair, unplugging isn’t a huge problem. When you move your keyboard too far away from your device, it will immediately disconnect. You may, of course, unpair it. It’s entirely up to you.
6. Which keyboard is more duarble?
There are several things to consider when determining whether or not an item will survive an extended period. The most crucial factor is how you employ them. Many people just leave the dongle connected to their PC using a wireless keyboard. This has a lot of advantages.
It’s easy to misplace the dongle if you remove it to move your keyboard to another device or if you’re traveling with your device. If your keyboard and mouse set only includes one dongle, this is especially challenging. You’re now stranded with no way to earn a living. One trick is to look for wireless keyboards that include a place for storing the dongle.
Furthermore, repeatedly disconnecting and reattaching the dongle runs the danger of destroying the USB port. The more frequently your contacts rub against each other, the more likely they will wear out. So, unless you need to move your wireless keyboard to a different device, leaving the dongle in place is preferable.
On the other hand, a Bluetooth keyboard does not have any of these issues. It’ll last a long time because you’re connecting it digitally. So, how long your keyboard will last depends on how you want to use it.
This feature just adds to the argument that if you need to switch devices frequently, a Bluetooth keyboard is probably the preferable option. It connects to any device with ease, and you won’t have to worry about losing the dongle or damaging your USB port.
Of course, if you’re extra cautious and confident that you won’t misplace your dongle, you may always invest in a wireless keyboard. Additionally, if most of your work is done on a single device, buy a wireless keyboard instead of removing the adapter. It all relies on your unique taste and application.
There is no definitive answer to the Bluetooth vs. Wireless keyboard issue. The ideal keyboard for you is the one that best meets your requirements. It must be compatible with your device and meet your job specifications. Most importantly, you must feel at ease with it.
So, if you think a Bluetooth keyboard meets your needs but you don’t feel comfortable using it, it’s not the one for you. It’s entirely up to you. So choose your favorite and have fun buying! You can always acquire one of each and utilize it for various things.
Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.