There are so many keyboards on the market at all sorts of prices, it can be a bit confusing as to what actually does what - which makes it difficult to decide what you need!
Help is on hand - we've compared 4 of the most popular entry level keyboards with a spec by spec analysis and also the thoughts and feelings of the pianists here at Normans, which will hopefully help you to make up your mind!
For a basic, no nonsense keyboard, the CTK-2200 is probably one of the most straight to the point. With 400 in built voices and 150 backing rhythms, there's lots to play around with. The audio input is a unique addition at it's price point and does allow for some fun playing along to your favourite tunes.
Unfortunately the lack of reverb can make it sound a little dull and flat in places and the lack of touch sensitivity can make the piano sound a little mechanical and unresponsive, although this does work well on the organ sounds.
What the Axus lacks in quantity of voices it more than makes up for in versatility. Within the 157 voices is a great sampled piano sound but crucially the keyboard is touch sensitive, which really adds to the realism and expressive capabilities of the unit. The USB connectivity also means it's the ideal companion for the computers in a music room or for your own home studio. More than that, the Axus is also the least expensive keyboard of the 4.
Similarly to the Casio, the PSR-243 is a great all rounder. Plenty of voices and backing tracks and some powerful speakers with the Ultra Wide DSP function do make an impressive sound. The only thing that lets this down is the touch sensitivity, which isn't included until the PSR-E343 model. Because of that, like the Casio, it can sound a little dull and unmelodic due to the constant volume. There's the option for a little more fun with the downloadable apps to use on Apple iOS devices. Worth considering!
This is the keyboard with piano aspirations. Ideal for people who want to learn to play but aren't interested in the bells and whistles. With only the most basic voices and connectivity options, it sacrifices the sounds for a much better AWM stereo sampled piano sound. Touch sensitivity also adds to the realism and there is a better feel to the keys than the other keyboards. The only thing truly stopping this keyboard from being the best entry level model is that the keys aren't weighted like a piano - this would really make it the most realistic piano keyboard on the market!