Dell KB216 – a review

I was looking for a nice keyboard to complement the Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse.

However, the Computer stores seemed to have only Wireless Keyboard + Mouse combo, which would make my M325 redundant.

The next option, however was a wired keyboard and I saw a couple of standard Logitech ones. Next I was shown a humble box which turned out to be a Dell Multimedia Keyboard (KB216), the one I am using to write this post.

Pros

The first thing I noticed when I saw this keyboard was ‘boy this is a beauty’. It comes in chiclet key style and has a full layout. So those of you who are spoilt by the new style of keyboards in laptops will welcome this warmly. Also this design means very less key travel compared to other keyboards in this range.

Lesser key travel
Lesser key travel

Moreover, it has a nice feel to the hand which I found to be very comfortable to type on. It also has a palm rest that is available for purchase separately.

Next you might probably notice that this keyboard is rather wide. It isn’t exactly true though since it has the same width as other wired keyboards. However, it has a very small depth, which would take relatively less desk space! To be precise, it measures 44.2 cm x 12.7 cm x 2.44 cm.

The next benefit this keyboard packages is two ‘Fn’ keys, again for those of us used to laptops. This allows easy access to functions like play, pause, rewind, and fast-forward and others. There is also volume control without needing to press ‘Fn’. Nice.

The Fn key
The left Fn key

The indicator LEDs for the three locks are also present, in a subtle white colour of which I am a big fan.

White Indicator LED
White Indicator LED

Finally the price. I was able to buy this at Techzone, Sri Lanka at just Rs. 1200 (8 USD), which is very reasonable for what you are getting! If you live elsewhere, I am sure you can find it priced competitively.

Cons

Any great product should have some disadvantages, so I came up with this list:

  • Not Spill-resistant (like the Logitech counterparts)
  • Some desktop users may not prefer the lesser key travel
  • Wired (really?)

Conclusion

I have been using it for 3 days now and have had a very positive experience so far. It can be used for virtually any purpose. I have been using this primarily for programming and can safely say this is by far the best budget keyboard I have used!

Hope you find this review useful!

42 responses to “Dell KB216 – a review”

  1. Kasib Kismath Avatar

    The review was simple and short, if I wanted to buy a keyboard I would look for this kind of review which gives me the necessary details.

    Nice to see you blogging again and specially keeping the blog active.

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Thanks a lot for your comment and encouragement Kasib!
      Glad you found this review helpful. Stay tuned for more updates!

  2. Anas Avatar
    Anas

    it is silent or not ?
    and I believe the kb213 is better than kb216

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Yes, Anas it is silent. The 213 has dedicated play/pause, forward and rewind keys and no Fn, also looks more compact. However I haven’t had any experience with it so cannot judge yet 🙂

      1. Anas Avatar
        Anas

        button keyboard are too out compared to 213 or same?
        http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71TD0W3JtNL.jpg
        and also your opinion on the quality of the plastic

        1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

          Yes the keys are more elevated on the 216 compared to the image you have shared. The plastic is definitely high quality in comparison to other keyboards in this range!

  3. bt Avatar
    bt

    Nice review. KB213 don’t have lock led indicators. and for me Dell Wired Keyboard KB216 looks like best one

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Thanks for your comment. Yes it is an excellent keyboard!

  4. Iftekhar Avatar

    I was looking for video review of this keyboard (KB216) but unfortunately I couldn’t find any on YouTube. Somehow I came across your review and finally decided to get it. Thanks a bunch. Keep up the good work 🙂

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      You’re welcome! Glad you found this review helpful 🙂

  5. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

    Thanks for your comment. Yes it is an excellent keyboard!

  6. Lambda Hoang Avatar
    Lambda Hoang

    Good review. I’m a programmer and it’s good too know you use the keyboard for programming comfortably. However I want to know one more thing: Is this keyboard OK for gaming?

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Thanks for your comment! Sorry, I haven’t used it for heavy gaming. Should be okay for playing casual games though.

      1. Lambda Hoang Avatar
        Lambda Hoang

        I have bought this keyboard for 3 weeks. And it works great for both programming and gaming! Once again, thank you so much for your review.

        1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

          You’re welcome Lambda!

          Glad you love the keyboard. Have fun!

  7. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

    Thanks for your comment! Sorry, I haven’t used it for heavy gaming. Should be okay for playing casual games though.

  8. Lutfi Avatar
    Lutfi

    I bought it and realise that i can’t press UpArrow+RightArrow+”S” simultaneously..is it the same as you?

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Thank you for commenting. You are right. I tried it online and it failed to register your combination correctly. This is the site I used: https://www.microsoft.com/appliedsciences/content/projects/KeyboardGhostingDemo.aspx

  9. Arch Avatar
    Arch

    Are there membrane keys or scissor keys ?

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      These are membrane keys

  10. Arch Avatar
    Arch

    Are there membrane keys or scissor keys ?

  11. Nikhil Avatar
    Nikhil

    Are you still using this keyboard? How are the keys? Are the tightened up, or as a laptop keyboard?

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Yes I still use this. They keys are as good as new!

  12. Nikhil Avatar
    Nikhil

    Are you still using this keyboard? How are the keys? Are the tightened up, or as a laptop keyboard?

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Yes I still use this. They keys are as good as new!

  13. Amber Lunar Avatar
    Amber Lunar

    I have a great problem with the wonderful Dell products: they seem to have only (ou almost) black color. I love white or grey. That is why I am always reluctant about Dell.

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Yes you are right! Let’s hope they discover a Jony Ive 🙂

  14. Jonas Nordlund Avatar
    Jonas Nordlund

    So as a fellow programmer, I just ordered this one after searching for a quieter alternative to my mechanical keyboard. After all research it was surprisingly hard to find 1) a chiclet style keyboard with 2) no fuss about it and 3) good quality without Bluetooth related issues, etc. When I did, I was shocked by the price of this one and all the good reviews.

    I was first surprised by what they did to the Print Screen / Scroll Lock / Pause/Break keys but it only makes sense to give them a “back seat” role behind the Fn key. Easy access to volume controls would actually come more useful to me.

    Too bad the white version was only available for US / UK layouts, not Nordic (ISO)!

  15. Robert Avatar
    Robert

    Hi guys, I have this keyboard for 2 years and I love it, but now I need a similar wireless keyboard. Could you recommend me something similar?
    – chiclet style
    – comfortable typing (I’m also programmer ?
    – 4+4+4 fn keys (not 12 without any spaces)
    – multimedia keys: volume keys preferred over play-pause-stop-next-prev

    Thanks!

  16. Robert Avatar
    Robert

    Hi guys, I have this keyboard for 2 years and I love it, but now I need a similar wireless keyboard. Could you recommend me something similar?
    – chiclet style
    – comfortable typing (I’m also programmer ?
    – 4+4+4 fn keys (not 12 without any spaces)
    – multimedia keys: volume keys preferred over play-pause-stop-next-prev

    Thanks!

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Thanks for your comment. I have briefly used a Logitech wireless keyboard and liked it. I don’t remember the model but it was a lower end one from this list https://www.logitech.com/en-us/keyboards

      All the best selecting one!

  17. phoebe Avatar
    phoebe

    hey Guy s

    Print screen not working, help?

  18. phoebe Avatar
    phoebe

    hey Guy s

    Print screen not working, help?

  19. JohnIL Avatar
    JohnIL

    I must have got one of these keyboards with a Dell refurb I bought. I put it aside because generally these included keyboards are pretty bad. I was in a pinch when one of my wireless keyboards died and so I decided this Dell one would work as a temp solution. I do like the layout and the keys are rather quiet. But the key strokes are stiff and at the same time spongy. Not really very good for a lot of typing. It get’s the job done, but I have ordered something with a bit more tactile feel.

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Haha I agree. Looking back, that keyboard cannot be compared to the Apple Magic Keyboard for example. And it costs far less to be fair.

  20. JohnIL Avatar
    JohnIL

    I must have got one of these keyboards with a Dell refurb I bought. I put it aside because generally these included keyboards are pretty bad. I was in a pinch when one of my wireless keyboards died and so I decided this Dell one would work as a temp solution. I do like the layout and the keys are rather quiet. But the key strokes are stiff and at the same time spongy. Not really very good for a lot of typing. It get’s the job done, but I have ordered something with a bit more tactile feel.

    1. Muhammad Muhsin Avatar

      Haha I agree. Looking back, that keyboard cannot be compared to the Apple Magic Keyboard for example. And it costs far less to be fair.