In addition to being a private violin teacher and having a degree in music from USC, Alecia started writing music-related articles and product reviews six years ago and has enjoyed this experience greatly. She likes to learn new instruments and write new compositions in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners can enjoy really good music.
Last updated: October 10, 2023
Prime Sound is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
If you think that a single option takes the cake for the best portable keyboard piano selection, you are quite wrong. The best model changes from person to person owing to the needs of the individuals. Purchasing this music device gets more challenging once you realize this. Nevertheless, choosing is still navigable so long as you can determine the quality of each option.
The built-in voices and tones in the keyboard, as well as number and type of keys, are critical in determining said quality. Sounds produced by the keyboard are dependent on these two features. Connectivity should also affect how you use the keyboard where inputs and outputs are concerned. If every section mentioned here is satisfactory, you finish off the checklist with the weight and dimensions categories. Portability requirements also differ for most keyboard users. Nonetheless, with this, you’re a step closer to purchasing the best portable keyboard piano for your needs. Also, with excellent portable keyboard piano options curated in a list below, you needn’t work as hard when making the purchase.
"A premium-quality keyboard piano featuring 88 natural weighted keys with hammer action, 120 voices and memory playback.Authentic vintage electric piano sounds.MIDI connectivity.High-output amp section."
Portability for a keyboard starts with the weight and dimensions. In this area, this Casio CTK-3500 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard doesn’t disappoint. However, even as there are the size and weight considerations, the keys configuration also matters to the experience.
If too many concessions are made in the critical design, the user won’t enjoy its use. Luckily this causes no worry for the Casio CTK-3500’s users. On the machine are 61 full-size keys that are a cinch to play for most people. These keys also happen to be touch-sensitive, meaning even the slightest inputs will find themselves in the sound the device produces.
If the keyboard serves you best on a stage, you should use the AC adapter included for a more reliable power source. If you are on the road and music ideas keep popping into your head, there’s no need to wait to get home. The machine’s batteries can step in to cover power needs.
A beginner keyboard piano user will appreciate the lesson function incorporated. With it, you can upgrade your voice fingering technique to pro levels. There’s also lesson lite and a scoring system as part of the lesson function to help you get better.
With a smartphone close by, you can take this a step further. Downloading the free Chordana app and connecting it to the keyboard lets the device show you how to play some songs on the Casio CTK-3500’s screen.
Additionally, if you doubt the Casio CTK-3500’s polyphony features, think again. The 48-note polyphony will have you stringing along notes as much as you can. There are also 150 rhythms and 400 tones built-in that are ideal for audio experimentation and music creation. The dance music mode with 50 EDM styles to choose from is the icing on the cake.
What stands out?
Features full size and touch-sensitive keys
Compatible with the smartphone Chordana app for training new musicians
Also, a lesson function for beginners is added
400 tones and 150 rhythms allow users musical freedom
Comes with MIDI connectivity
Relatively lightweight and compact
The keyboard is usable both with batteries and an AC adapter
What cons did we manage to find?
Some have mentioned that sound is disappointing or not as rich as users would have hoped
Other buyers have mentioned volume as a con as well
One of the best portable piano keyboards with 88 keys in the market is the KORG SP-280 BK Digital Piano. Since typical full-size acoustic pianos come with the same number of keys, it might be easier to transition to this model if you’ve used a regular acoustic piano before.
Size-wise this portable keyboard piano is still relatively small despite being a few inches larger than its predecessor. It might be more cumbersome to transport it, but you can still move it around with relative ease. That being said, the included stand may make matters more challenging.
The stand adds to the dimensions and weight of the whole device. However, there are no rules against leaving it at home if you can find a base for the keyboard at your destination.
MIDI connectivity expands the keyboards use capabilities. Further, most other pianos listed have nothing on the 120 voice polyphony you would get by owning this keyboard piano.
Back to the matter of the keys, they are naturally weighted. Again if you’re transitioning from an acoustic piano to this portable option, you will hardly notice a difference.
Some of you prefer sounds from old-school electric pianos over modern products. The sounds have been defined as richer by some keyboard players, and it is the same thing available in the KORG SP-280.
Volume is adequate in this keyboard piano thanks to the high output amp. Finally, after playing an excellent set, the keyboard allows playback allowing you to review your work.
What makes it stand out?
Features a full-size piano layout
Keys are naturally weighted with a hammer action to give the most realistic simulation of an acoustic piano
The polyphony in this keyboard gives you the most freedom in the musical note sequences you create
Memory playback is excellent for review purposes
The keyboard piano provides rich sound and volume
Comes with a stand
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Relatively weighty keyboard in comparison to other portable options
Another portable piano keyboard with 88 keys that you may want to buy is the Alesis Recital 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano. For a keyboard that has so many keys weighing only 16 pounds is a major positive.
A closer look at the keys reveals more reasons to be impressed. They are semi-weighted, and if you know what you’re doing, you can even adjust the touch response. Playing the keyboard with all these advantages is more enjoyable.
Beginners as well are part of the target market for this keyboard piano. This is evidenced by the skoove software subscription that comes with the purchase. It can help you get better at playing the device. The lesson mode is there for the same purpose.
If you’re playing the Alesis Recital 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano, the five voices will sound rather good in your composition. These voices can be combined as an extra benefit. Adjustments to these voices can as well be made, allowing you to get different outcomes from the same tool.
As for the 20W speakers, you get to experience the sound you create. Another tool that can take your musical skills and prowess to the next level is the 128-note polyphony.
Additionally, with 6 D cell batteries for use with the keyboard, you don’t have to look for an AC power source everywhere you go. Note that these batteries aren’t part of the purchase.
What stands out?
A large full-size keyboard is provided
Touch response in the keys can be adjusted to fit individual needs
Beginners have tools to help them learn to use the keyboard
Polyphony capabilities in this machine can allow complex symphonies to be created
What cons did we manage to find?
The sound in this keyboard piano isn’t as impressive as it is in some other keyboards
The width of the keys, according to some, is relatively small
Yamaha’s reputation as a keyboard manufacturer is impressive. Following that, you would be right to expect great things from the Yamaha EZ-220 61-Lighted Key Portable Keyboard Package.
Remember that this package includes the keyboard, a stand, headphones, and a power supply. The headphones provide an avenue for you to listen to your creations without making noise for others.
Out of the 61 keys, you’ll find sounds will be produced at the slightest touch. Additionally, these keys are lighted. This signifies that when you are playing a song on the keyboard, you might get some guidance on which keys to press next.
Remember that 100 songs have been pre-built into the keyboard. Also, there is a demo song that beginners can use to sharpen their keyboarding skills. A Yamaha education suite, a fingering guide, and the EZ-220 Page Turner app for iPad use are the icing on the cake for beginners. Note that you connect to the turner app on your iPad via a wireless connection.
When creating music, there’s a lot you can achieve with the 392 instrument voices coupled with the 100 styles present in the machine. A 32-note polyphony is as well sufficient for a portable device.
What are its best features?
The lighted keyboard is a huge help for beginners, as are the other tools for helping users learn to play
The keys are touch-sensitive
Versatility is there in the 392 voices and different styles available
MIDI compatibility is provided
What could be improved?
While this portable piano keyboard for beginners is excellent, the accessories seem subpar, from the headphones to the stand
As for the Plixio 61-Key Digital Electric Piano Keyboard, there are a few convincing reasons for its feature on the list. The full-size keys are one. Its price and compatibility with a beginner market are another reason.
Anyone can use this tool as a stepping stone for learning how to handle keyboards and other pianos in general. The 60 demo songs added to the package help a great deal.
Additionally, The keyboard’s AA battery compatibility is another key selling feature. Notably, it makes the keyboard usable in a variety of situations and locations.
Further, 40 tones, eight percussions, volume or tempo control, or even the 100 voices could be the reason you choose the keyboard piano. As for the polyphony and lack of MIDI support, you might find these disappointing. Nonetheless, for less than 100 dollars, you can’t ask for much from the product.
Why are we impressed?
The weight makes the keyboard a breeze to transport
Comes with demo songs to help beginners to keyboard playing get up to speed
The goal of getting a portable piano keyboard for singing pitch or for some other purpose is easily achievable if you gather the right information beforehand. Even easier is to collect the information needed to succeed at buying the keyboard since it is freely given in the section below.
Features to consider when choosing the best portable keyboard piano
If you’ve gotten this far, you probably fancy one, two, or a few of the five portable keyboard pianos listed above. The question remains on how to ascertain you’re making the right choice. For this, the answer is simple. If the keyboard piano’s features are ideal for how you want to use the device, then you are probably right in choosing it. A little more clarity on all keyboard piano features provided below may help.
Dimensions and weight
If a keyboard is too bulky to carry with you everywhere you go, then it’s not really portable. Consequently, when comparing different keyboard options, the weight and dimensions should be among the first things you look at.
While we do recommend this, we may encourage you not to rule out some heavier and larger keyboard pianos just yet. If the piano examples above are anything to go by, the smaller, lighter keyboards also have fewer features. The reason is that they don’t have the real estate to support extra features.
The keyboard piano keys are another critical feature that requires your undivided attention. The total number is an area of concern. 61-key keyboard types, for instance, are known for their five-octave range. For their 88-key counterparts, you’ll likely get more range. This will also certainly add to the size of the keyboard.
If the keyboard piano is a gift for your kids, then 88-key picks, e.g., the KORG SP-280 BK Digital Piano, may be too much for them. Keys also fall under weighted, semi-weighted, full size, non-full-size, touch-sensitive, and lighted alongside other varying classifications.
The classifications bear heavily on the experience of using the keys. Weighted keys, e.g., can give the impression of acoustic pianos while touch-sensitive ones will be more receptive to stimulus. Full-size keys are just as implied while, on the other hand, lighted keys can light up under certain conditions.
Whichever type of keys you fancy, you can find a keyboard piano option that fits the description.
Controls over the voices also ensure you can get the musical result you want when you want it. It thus becomes a cinch to create symphonies you can be proud of. These controls and functions may include polyphonies, sound effects, range control, and more. In this area, more is deemed to be better. Notably, this can lead to less portability due to a larger and heavier body.
While keyboards are entirely capable of creating amazing music independently, combining them with other instruments may lead to even better results. Notably, even computers and smartphones can be added since they can be useful in creating music. However, this only works if the connectivity setup of the keyboard piano allows it. The Plixio 61-Key Digital Electric Piano Keyboard, for instance, may be more limited thanks to a lack of MIDI compatibility.
For musicians, hearing the sound is an essential component when creating that masterpiece. Otherwise, how would you determine if you hit the note right if you can’t listen to it? The built-in speakers are there to ensure nothing goes wrong. If the quality of speakers is dependable, the better.
The icing on the cake for your portable keyboard piano purchase should be the extra features. Anything that gives certain keyboards an edge over competition that is not featured above might qualify.
One example is accessories. Those that come with stands, batteries, headphones e.t.c. are much better positioned than their competition in the market.
Lesson and training modes have also been prominently featured in the list above. For a beginner, there should be no better feature. Notably, advanced players may not benefit as much from the same feature, and thus, it may be redundant to them.
Consequently, of the extra features, learn to tell apart those that are redundant and those that would be worth a few extra cents.
Both 61-key and 88-key keyboards are excellent for different types of musicians. Eighty-eight keys lead to more range freedom for the user, but they might be more challenging to get used to. However, once you learn using them, then you should adjust easily to playing acoustic pianos when you come across them. After all, they feature 88-key designs as well.
Sixty-one key keyboards are smaller and fulfill the mandate of being portable quite well. There’s no way to tell which of the two benefits you hold in higher regard. However, if you can decide if you like portability or functionality better, you will have decided whether the 61-key or the 88-key keyboard is the one for you.
The Casio and Yamaha keyboard manufacturers seem like giants in the industry. They also create some excellent keyboard piano options that you can buy if they strike your fancy. It doesn’t matter which one is better as long as the keyboard pick you end up with is advantageous to your use needs.
The Casio CTK fulfills all mandates required to feature on this list. It is compact, weighs less than most other options, and the built-in features are amazing. Among them are the smartphone connectivity alongside the voices and tones. Further, it can be played anywhere, thanks to battery compatibility.
Next is the KORG SP-280 BK, which is bigger and trickier to carry. Among the benefits are the 88-key setup, the impressive polyphony, and authentic vintage sound. With memory playback also available, correcting mistakes in each subsequent set you play will be easy.
The Alesis Recital also features an 88-key setup. We like the lesson mode, semi-weighted keys, speakers, polyphony, and a few other remarkable features in the option. The comments section also allows you to share your thoughts on the selection of pianos above. If you have an opinion on the same, please share it with us below.