Best Portable Piano Keyboards of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Do you maybe remember those basic keyboards you had in elementary school for music classes or those that were selling at the local supermarket? They all belong to the portable piano keyboards category. But, thanks to modern technology, you might be really surprised how good they can sound today.

Comparison Chart of the Best Portable Piano Keyboards

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best Overall
  • 700 sounds, 210 rhythms at 48 notes polyphony
  • Portable 61 keys keyboard with semi-pro level sounds
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Runner-up
  • LCD displays played notes in real time
  • Affordable 76 keys model with 574 voices with built-in speakers
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best for the Money
  • Compatible with modern Bluetooth mobile devices
  • Comes with built-in rechargeable battery and the carrying bag
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Portable Piano Keyboard 88 Keys
  • Lightweight and works on batteries
  • The cheapest full sized 88 keys with built-in speakers
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Portable Keyboard for Beginners
  • 400 sounds on board
  • 61 full size illuminated keys
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

What Are The Benefits of Having a Portable Piano Keyboard? 

Let’s cover some of the most usual benefits of purchasing a portable piano keyboard:

Fun and Educative Tool

By playing a portable piano keyboard, kids can actually learn a lot about musical instruments without even knowing. This way you can create new habits for those children who refuse to learn in a fun and interactive way. And while they are having fun, you may also develop a new hobby or passion as well.

Space Saving

Compared to a regular upright acoustic piano, a portable piano keyboard is a real space saver for your home. It can fit on your desk and after you’re done you can store it almost anywhere - in or on top of your closet or under your bed, for example.

Sound Palette

Compared to other instruments, the variety of the sounds is unmatched. You can play flute, sax, guitar, bass, drums on it and be very surprised how realistic some of these sounds are.

Portability

They are mostly as portable as any electric guitar. On top of that, it doesn’t require any additional amp because it usually comes with built-in speakers and a headphone output so you can play it once you turn the power button on.

What Should I Look For When Buying?

Here are some quick tips for you:

Key Size

If you plan to buy a keyboard for your children and they are very young, mini size keys would be a better choice. Otherwise, if you have a teenager, please go towards full-size keys.

The Sound Factor

If you’re an audiophile, you should avoid models under lower-priced models. They won’t provide you with the quality that will sound appealing to you. Save up your money a little bit more and aim at top tier models instead.

Casio CTK-6250

Speakers

If you don’t have any standalone speakers at your home, you may appreciate the built-in speakers on your portable piano keyboard. And luckily for you, most models provide some speakers. Of course, the higher the price, the better speaker quality it should be.

Additional Inputs

If you would like to sing along or maybe jam along with your favorite songs, Aux Input will help you to plug in instantly and use built-in speakers of your piano keyboard.

USB-MIDI Connectivity

This can prolong the life of your device a lot. It allows you to connect it directly to the computer. This way you can use many virtual instruments software and significantly enhance your sounds.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Portable Piano Keyboards

Coming up, the reviews of the best available portable piano keyboards:

Best Overall:
Casio CTK-6250

Casio CTK-6250 61-Key Keyboard with Power Supply

PROS

  • 61 full-size keys with 48-note polyphony
  • Sound quality very close to professional level
  • 700 sounds and 210 rhythms with pitch bend wheel
  • Built-in 6W + 6W speakers and USB-MIDI compatible
  • Comes with built-in sequencer, arpeggiator and effects processor

CONS

  • Phones should be positioned in front
  • Might be slightly expensive for a beginner

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers see this keyboard as an excellent value that is worth much more than the price and that beginners might be overwhelmed with the features. They comment that you can even readjust the rhythm and tone volumes separately and are in love with the sounds especially.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model can’t decide which category it belongs to. While build quality and design (though red looks really nice!) force it to portable keyboards, its sound quality, especially piano and organs rank it up towards the low tier of professional keyboards. The same goes for keybed, which is quite decent. And it can work on batteries!

Who Will Use This Most

While being designed at entry-level price, it’s one of those models that you can hold with you even when you become a semi-pro player. It has enough features to grow with you. And at some point, you may use it as a MIDI keyboard controller thanks to the USB-MIDI port placed at the back.

Bottom Line

This portable keyboard is a very positive exception for this category. While being a newbie’s model, we can easily imagine that some professional gigs could be completely done without any serious blushes. Highly recommended.

YAMAHA PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key Portable Keyboard Bundle With Stand And Power Supply

PROS

  • USB-MIDI can play sound output, too
  • LCD displays played notes in real time
  • 574 voices, 165 styles, and 154 songs included
  • 76 keys portable keyboard with 48 notes of polyphony
  • Yamaha Education Suite and Touch Tutor lessons installed on board

CONS

  • No stereo line output
  • Sounds are mediocre at most

What Recent Buyers Report

Reports say that the keybed feel is very close to one found in professional models and that it might be more appealing for kids because of lighter action compared to a real piano. Users appreciate that it works on batteries and that headphones output mutes the speakers so they can practice in privacy. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s not so often that we see a 76-keys portable keyboard, so Yamaha filled this gap nicely. USB-MIDI can be a MIDI controller interface but also you can listen to your keyboard on your computer speakers, too. On-board lessons can teach you some songs and proper hands dynamics, too.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an ideal keyboard for all kinds of beginners, both kids and adults. Even if you are into keyboards playing you will have enough keys to play piano pieces and along that road find out that you are interested in piano as well. 

Bottom Line

This is a very affordable all-around model for newbies. The number of keys is very unique and it will be enough for anything you may want to play while the number of sounds will provide you with enough varieties to develop a keyboard player mindset.

Costzon 61-Key Portable Electronic Piano, with a Black Handbag, MIDI Bluetooth, Real Piano Feel, Control Panel, Portable Electronic Keyboard, with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply

PROS

  • Comes with carrying bag and sustain pedal
  • 61-key keyboard with 128 sounds and rhythms
  • USB connection provides both power and MIDI connectivity
  • Keys are constructed so they resemble the depth of piano keys
  • Ultra-portable aluminum-based model with built-in rechargeable battery

CONS

  • Not quite good keybed quality
  • Sounds are nothing exceptional

What Recent Buyers Report

They find it ideal for beginners and put a high value on the portability factor. People also comment it works perfectly with their iOS and Mac software. Customer support seems to be quite responsive as well. But, they are far from impressed concerning on-board sound quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Bluetooth option and solid keys are a plus we didn’t expect at this price range. The same goes for a decent aluminum design and a long-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery. And in case you need it, the power supply is USB-based so you can both charge and play it directly from your laptop. 

Who Will Use This Most

This model has an ideal keybed for both kids and adults. While being full size, keys are swift enough so they won’t feel hard for youngsters while maintaining good resistance for adults, too. It’s also compatible with USB-MIDI protocol so you can use it with computer software.

Bottom Line

This is one of the most portable keyboards on the market. It’s affordable, equipped with a decent keybed and all audio connections you will need and it also provides a rare bluetooth connectivity so you can keep the pace with modern devices and apps.

Best Portable Piano Keyboard 88 Keys:
Alesis Recital

Alesis Recital | 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano / Keyboard with Full Size Semi Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Built In Speakers and 5 Premium Voices (Amazon Exclusive)

PROS

  • Full sized 88 keys at very affordable price
  • Lightweight and can work on D cell batteries as well
  • Built-in 10W + 10W speakers and headphones output 
  • Available in bundle option with pedal, stand and bench as well
  • Offers a premium membership for online piano teaching platforms

CONS

  • Very few sounds on board (only 5)
  • Could come with dual headphones output

What Recent Buyers Report

People see it as an excellent starter portable piano with full size keys. Comments say that the piano sound is very decent, especially thanks to the nice and well-balanced velocity curve setup. But, they do complain that it could come with more sound presets, though.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s one of the most affordable 88 keys portable keyboards on the market. It’s very lightweight and works on batteries, too. Speakers are currently the loudest one in this category and premium subscriptions provided can help you to make your first step in learning piano basics.

Who Will Use This Most

It can be used both for piano beginners and keyboard players. It’s an ideal model for those who are still undecided because they will have the range to play all the piano pieces but the hard key response of piano keys won’t turn them off. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a real piano replacement and you’re short on budget, Alesis might have a model for you. It won’t provide you with the piano keybed response but it’s going to be really a space saver in your room.

Best Portable Keyboard for Beginners:
Casio Casiotone

Casio Casiotone, 61-Key Portable Keyboard with USB, WHITE (CT-S200WE)

PROS

  • 61 full size illuminated keys
  • 400 sounds and 77 rhythms
  • Extremely lightweight and works on six AA batteries
  • USB-MIDI connectivity and built-in speakers provided
  • Modern white, red and black finishes with nice carrying handle and music rest

CONS

  • Keys aren’t velocity responsive
  • Not so easy to navigate between the sounds

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report that kids of all ages were able to use it intuitively and had real fun for hours. They were also surprised by the sound quality and that it works like a charm with iOS. It seems like an excellent starter keyboard for everyone.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We enjoyed that the keys were illuminated. If you use it with an iOS app, your children can learn piano in a more intuitive way than before because keys that need to be pressed light up. On top of that, it comes in three different colors so they can identify with it further.

Who Will Use This Most

This model was made for newbies and those who would like to have something inexpensive they can carry around and that’s where the handle comes ergonomically convenient. However, thanks to USB-MIDI, it can be used with a computer or tablet as a MIDI keyboard controller as well.

Bottom Line

If you want something simple and affordable for your kids, Casiotone may be your choice. It looks very nice and is extremely lightweight. And thanks to battery operation mode, you can carry it anywhere with your family.

Best Portable Keyboard With Weighted Keys:
Donner DEP-20

Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano 88 Key Full Size Weighted Keyboard, Portable Electric Piano with Sustain Pedal, Power Supply

PROS

  • Sustain pedal comes bundled
  • Double headphone stereo outputs in front
  • Detailed and responsive keybed with good piano sample
  • 88 piano-like full size weighted keys with 128 notes polyphony
  • Lots of audio connections including USB-MIDI and USB thumb drive, too

CONS

  • Tiny LCD display
  • Only eight sound presets

What Recent Buyers Report

They love how the piano sounds, especially on headphones or speaker output. Keybed feel is spot on and it works with computer software perfectly. They also comment that on-board recording works well and that it’s quite intuitive. Other than damage during transport, there is literally no negative report about this product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For a 88-key model, it’s surprisingly affordable. The piano sound is realistic and the keybed is close to the feel of the real piano with going into tiny details such as textured black keys. The recording feature is a nice addition and it’s not that often that we see a USB flash drive at this price.

Who Will Use This Most

Two pairs of headphone outputs will be convenient for piano lessons at home. Also, you could play advanced or different sounds from the computer thanks to the USB MIDI port. People who would like to jam over the backing track would be glad to know that the USB flash drive plays mp3 files instantly.

Bottom Line

This is one of the most affordable digital pianos on the market, so affordable that it stands in portable keyboard category price-wise. It has everything necessary for your start and sound is good enough that you won’t need to change it soon.

Pros and Cons of Portable Piano Keyboards

Let’s make a quick run through some of the most important traits and flaws of portable piano keyboards:

Pros

However, it comes with some drawbacks, including:

Beginner’s Best Choice

Usually they provide buyers with some special features designed especially for kids and the newbies such as on-board tutorials and interactive modes or provide you with bundles with free premium membership for online courses. 

Affordable

These keyboard models are usually the most affordable on the market. They put low-price as their number one priority.

Versatility

There is no more portable keyboard category currently on the market. They are both lightweight and usually have a battery operational mode and it’s not so rare to see a complete bundle that provides you with everything you ever may ask from additional equipment from headphones and music stands up to keyboard stand and bench.

Yamaha PSR-EW300

Cons

The following are some pros of this kind of portable piano keyboards:

Low Build Quality

In order to preserve the low price, build quality is far from professional grade. Those units weren’t built to withstand excessive playing. But on the other hand, the price is very low, so they can be easily replaceable.

Sound Quality

Sounds on these models are mediocre at the best. They are designed for complete beginners and rather care about sound presets quantity than quality.

Types of Portable Piano Keyboard

Sound-wise all portable piano keyboards are very similar, so, the only thing that makes them different is the size of keys they come with:

Mini Keys

These models are designed especially for small children to match their hand size. The sound and the features are nothing special, but that’s fine because the main purpose of this type is educational and aims more at the fun factor. They can also come in different sizes, aiming at different age categories.

Full-Size Keys

Full-size keys also can come in different types - synth action and weighted. In this category, it’s very rare to find a real weighted keyboard. They are meant for both youngsters and adults and are excellent models for those who are thinking about getting into music more serious as the size of these keys is usually the same as those found in professional models.

Custom Type Keybed

With modern technology developing, a portable piano keyboard may come in many not so usual shapes, so there is even a portable piano keyboard that rolls up. While the sound quality is not so good it can be an option for those who need extra space in their home.

Conclusion

Purchasing a portable piano keyboard can be a nice way to get your or your children’s music adventure rolling. While it is basic it can help you to find out if you’re really into it. And, after all, it won’t hit your budget too much.

People Also Ask

We introduced you with the basics about portable piano keyboards and now that you are aware of the best models available out there, let us cover you with a usual price range of these models so you can tell a difference from the semi-pro models and why full-size keys can be important to you.

How Much Does a Keyboard Piano Cost?

You can find a portable piano keyboard even for $40. However, we wouldn’t recommend such models for anyone except for very young children. The real thing starts somewhere around $100 and if you plan to invest more than $200 you can get models which sound can be considered even as a professional.

Do You Need a Full-Size Keyboard to Learn Piano?

While it’s not necessary, the benefits are huge. Full-size keys are about the same size as a regular acoustic piano. That means you can play on any other keyboard or acoustic piano in case you want to play somewhere. Also, mini-keys aren’t designed for any advanced keyboard playing.