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Can an External Gaming Keyboard Work With a Laptop?

Laptops are in many ways more convenient than desktop computers. However, the built-in keyboard in laptops is usually relatively limited and not as easy to use. But what if you can connect an external gaming keyboard to your laptop?

An external gaming keyboard can work with a laptop. If your laptop has a USB port, you can connect a wired external gaming keyboard. Alternatively, you can also connect a wireless keyboard if your laptop supports Bluetooth or with a USB receiver.

This article will explain why having an external gaming keyboard is a good idea for your laptop. You’ll also learn how to install the external keyboard and disable the built-in one if you want to.

How To Connect External Gaming Keyboard to Your Laptop

Connecting an external gaming keyboard to your laptop is very easy. You might need to do two things depending on whether the external keyboard is wired or wireless.

Connecting a Wired Keyboard

To connect a wired keyboard, you first need to find the USB ports on your laptop. They’re usually located on one of the sides. Most laptops have two to three USB ports spread across both sides of the device. 

Once you identify the USB port, plug in your keyboard, and you’ll be able to use it immediately. 

Connecting a Wireless Keyboard

Connecting a wireless keyboard is just as easy. You can do so by following these simple steps:

  1. Make sure the batteries are plugged into the keyboard. Most of the time, they’ll be built-in and ready to go as soon as you buy the keyboard.
  2. You’ll still need to use a USB port to connect the wireless keyboard. Simply plug the unifying receiver into the USB port. These receivers are tiny, so be careful not to lose them.
  3. Turn on the wireless keyboard. Unlike wired keyboards, the wireless ones usually have an on/off switch located on the side or back.
  4. Wait for the wireless keyboard to connect to your PC. You may see a prompt appear on your screen. After that, you should be able to use the keyboard.

Why It’s a Good Idea To Use an External Gaming Keyboard

Laptops already come with a built-in keyboard, but adding an external one gives you a lot of benefits that are certainly worth the extra money you’d spend.

Here’s how an external keyboard can improve your experience when using your laptop:

External Keyboards Are Much Better for Gaming

Your laptop’s hardware might be great, but if you don’t have a complete setup, such as a proper keyboard and mouse, it’ll be hard to maximize the experience when gaming. Unfortunately, most laptops, including gaming ones, lack high-quality built-in keyboards. 

To save money, many laptop makers use subpar materials for their mid-range gaming laptops so they can focus more on the hardware. 

By buying an external gaming keyboard, you can enjoy the full power of your hardware and have much more control and ease when gaming.

If you’re looking for a good gaming keyboard, I recommend the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition TKL (available on Amazon.com). This keyboard is affordable yet registers presses at the speed of light, and it has a high-quality build that ensures a long life span.

You Can Have More Distance From the Screen

To use the regular built-in keyboard, you have to get very close to the screen. Depending on the size of the screen, this can cause a lot of eye strain and potentially long-term damage. Most would suggest keeping at least a 40 cm (15 in) distance between yourself and the screen. 

That’s hardly possible if you’re using your laptop keyboard and constantly leaning forward. By using an external keyboard, you can put some space between your eyes and the screen. Additionally, by operating a keyboard from a distance, you’ll save yourself from neck pain, as you won’t have to look down to see what’s on the display.

There Is More Distance Between Keys in External Keyboards

If you’ve got larger hands, typing on a laptop keyboard can be a nightmare, as it tends to have small and narrowly put together keys with not much distance between them. This can cause plenty of accidental errors that can be time-consuming to correct.

Using a larger external keyboard will bring you a much more enjoyable experience when typing and save some time by minimizing human mistakes.

Your Laptop Will Have Better Resale Value

If you ever plan on upgrading your laptop, selling your old one will be much easier if it’s well kept. With constant use, the keys of the laptop keyboard will lose their coloring and potentially their functionality, which can bring a big difference in price when trying to sell it.

If you get an external keyboard, you’ll essentially get back your investment by selling the laptop for a slightly higher price than you would with a used-up keyboard.

How To Disable the Built-In Keyboard When Using an External One

If you get an external gaming keyboard, you might want to disable the old one, so the two don’t interfere. To do that, there are a few things you can try.

The most common way to disable the built-in keyboard is through Device Manager:

  1. Open Device Manager and navigate to Keyboards.
  2. Right-click on Standard PS/2 Keyboard and choose Disable Device.

In some cases, that option won’t be available, or it may not work. 

If you’re having problems disabling the built-in keyboard on your laptop, you can watch the following video by IT Magics explaining all the different ways you can troubleshoot this issue:

Conclusion

You can plug in an external gaming keyboard to your laptop, whether it’s a wired or wireless one. Having an external keyboard can be beneficial for many reasons, including gaming, it’s easier to use and write on, better for your eyes and neck, etc.

If you decide to use an external gaming keyboard, you may want to disable the built-in one through Device Manager or another method.

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