Keyboards for Chromebooks and Chromeboxes
by Jim Mendenhall
Tags: Chromebooks, Chrome OS, Chromebook FAQ
Chromebooks have a unique keyboard layout unline Windows laptops and MacBooks. When Google designed the keyboard for Chrome OS devices like Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, they changed a few keys. For example, the Caps Lock key a Search key on a Chromebook. The traditional function keys (F1 - F12) have unique icons and functions on Chrome devices as well. Recently, Google has also added a Google Assistant button where a Windows key would be on most keyboards.
While it’s possible to use a Chromebook or Chromebox with a standard USB or wireless keyboard, it’s not very convenient since the special Chrome OS keys are not available. In the past, it’s been nearly impossible to find external wired or wireless keyboard for your Chrome device, but these days there are some available.
Brydge C-Type Keyboard
Until Brydge recently decided to make their Brydge C-Type keyboard, there were no wireless keyboards with the Chrome OS keyboard layout available on the market. You may have heard of Brydge because they make very popular iPad keyboards and make a model for Google’s Pixel Slate as well. So, when I saw this keyboard, I decided to buy one and give it a try.
After using the Brydge C-Type for several days, I’m pleased with the purchase. I was able to connect it up to my Pixelbook and my Chromebox with no problem. The keyboard is very light, thin, and stylish. The keys have a great feel, similar to Apple’s desktop keyboards. It’s small and light enough to throw in a bag and can be connected with other BlueTooth devices like phones as well.
The Brydge C-Type has a built-in battery that is chargeable over a USB-C connection. The keyboard can also function in standard USB mode if you prefer a wired connection. However, if you’re planning to use it with USB, you’ll want to buy a longer USB cable as the one supplied in the box is way too short for most desktop situations and probably meant for charging purposes only.
Overall, I highly recommend the Brydge C-Type keyboard for working with Chromebooks and Chromeboxes.
Dell Chrome Keyboard
If you’re on a budget, you can also pick up Dell’s Chrome keyboard for significantly less money. While Dell’s offering has the Chrome OS specific keys (at least an older version of them), it is not nearly as high quality as the Brydge keyboard. It’s more like your standard low-end keyboard that comes in the box with many consumer desktops. However, this might be what you’re looking for if you need to buy keyboards for schools or businesses or if you’re working on a tight budget.