Low End Keyboards
Casio and Yamaha lead the field in this category with units priced from under $100 to roughly $400.
These are great composing tools for someone who doesn’t need a full blown “workstation” and they are also a great first piano for a child ages 10 through 17.
These are not, however, stage quality units in the typical sense, although some keyboards may bring one along to a gig just to have something fast and simple or for a special sound.
A 76 key keyboard is your best bet (most of the really low priced keyboards have only 61 keys) for a “family” keyboard or something on which to train a more serious student or do composing.
All of these have synthesizer sounds emulating most instruments found in the world, along the lines of the standard home computer sound card synth.
All of these units have drum kits and patches, along with pre-programmed rhythms.
Some of these units will let you record and even layer songs on multiple tracks.
Some of these units have MIDI capabilities so you can plug them into other keyboards or devices that accept standard MIDI In and Out.
These are more than toys and less than professional keyboards (see our high end section for those).