There are all sorts of pianos out there for everyone. Some are designed for beginners while others are advanced to cover for performances, professional training and production. In this review and guide, we are going to address the portable piano keyboard models out there. When we were kids, we had small pianos that had funny and cool sound effects. If your parents got you a bigger one, some would have features that would guide you in playing some of the familiar tunes we used to sing back then.
Now, we are finding portable keyboard pianos for our training sessions or the kids to have fun and practice. Since there is something for everyone, we are going to address the best portable piano keyboards that suit home or professional training, performances, and something to use during leisure. We will review some of the pianos that you can look for to satisfy such considerations and give you a guide on how to go about the buying process.
Portable Piano Keyboards Comparison Table
|Piano Name||Weight||Dimensions||Power input||Approx. price|
|Plixio 61-Key Electric Piano Keyboard||8.6 pounds||34 x 12 x 3.5 inches||Power adapter or batteries||$60|
|Casio CTK-3500 61-Key Portable Keyboard||7.5 pounds||12.1 x 37.2 x 3.6 inches||Power adapter or AA batteries||$130|
|Joy JK-63M-KIT 61-Key Keyboard Set||17.9 pounds||38.9 x 11 x 16.1 inches||9V DC/AC adaptor||$120|
|Yamaha P-115 Digital Piano||53 pounds||59 x 17 x 23 inches||Power chord||$660|
|Korg microARRANGER 61-Key Keyboard||9.26 pounds||34.4 x 3.6 x 10.9 inches||AC adaptor||$670|
|Nord Piano 3 88-Key Stage Piano||40 pounds||51 x 4.8 x 13.4 inches||Power cable||$2600|
Portable Piano Keyboard Reviews
If you are an absolute beginner or want something for the youngsters to practice with, the Plixio 61-key Electric Piano Keyboard will give you a chance to practice as you look forward to becoming a piano guru. It is a portable piano keyboard for travel or at-home-use, with 61 keys that will suit all the amateurs and intermediate players.
All the features can be utilized on the keyboard with a dual power supply which means you can use the included power adapter or 6AA batteries. That is a great way to feed power on a portable keyboard. Since it comes with a USB port, you can play MP3 outputs from compatible devices and manipulate them directly on the instrument, while the speakers at the top of both ends do the sound production. In the system, there are 100 rhythms, 40 tones, 60 demo songs and eight percussion effects to keep you busy during practice. If you add the MP3 end, you have more than enough to know how a piano works under different feeding mechanisms.
When it comes to production, this keyboard will help you record, and that is something special from a beginner piano keyboard. If you want to play the piano sounds, the music sheet in front of you will hold the directions for you to see what notes you are working on. With that, you have a chance to train yourself and also play as your favorite player does. It is a piano that can play simultaneously so, you can use all your fingers to create any form of sound.
If you are wondering about warranty protection, Plixio gives you a one year warranty against any defects. When it comes to carrying, it weighs less than 9 pounds so, you can move with it wherever the occasion demands you to be. You can also connect it to headphones or another external output via the 3.5mm jack that allows all headphones with such specification.
What customers say
“I wanted something with a fair price, and Plixio won me over that. Everything is great when you play but being a beginner keyboard, there are some issues here and there. First, the volume is high when you turn it on, and you have to reduce it to the desired level before using. That can create much disturbance, especially during the night. You also have to lower the volume on earphones since it’s also loud in there. Another thing, I find the power chord as too short, but that depends on where you are hooking it. Otherwise, with 61 keys, this piano will do during my practice and when I let my daughter work on her skills. We were able to play almost every tune we could think of, and the output was okay, so we have no problem with that. Get this one if you want to be familiar with pianos or if you need it for young ones.”
- Easily portable
- Dual power supply
- Compatible with devices
- Great beginner instrument
- The volume is set at loud when turning it on
- Keys are not weighted
Here is another portable piano keyboard which is recommendable to all students out there looking for something to play with during practice and leisure. The bright sounds have the support of the numerous features that the Casio CTK-3500 has. With 61 keys to lay with, you have enough keystrokes to express what is on your mind, and there are 50 dance music rhythms to accompany what you are playing. The keys are sensitive to touch so you won’t feel the pressure of hard pressing to generate sounds.
Creativity is extendable with the help of 150 rhythms and 400 tones in the inbuilt software that are ready for use every time you turn it on. The decision to either play the piano or have some supporting tunes is viable here. Also at your service are 48 polyphony notes so, you are spoilt when it comes to choice. You have an option to use the power supply cable or the batteries depending on the situation.
More features include the chordate play app integration that will help you during training sessions after you connect your smartphone or tablet. The problem is that the only option that this piano will give you when it comes to connecting is via the audio cable. The manufacturer also includes a choice of a stand and headphones for quiet playing times. Now, if you have a stand and somewhere to plug in the earphones, you will have no problem working on your record whether you have a power supply or working on batteries. If you need it while on the move, the weight enables you to carry it without a problem.
Some of the customers are asking if you can use a pedal with this piano. Yes, you can since it has a place to attach it, and it can perfectly work with the SP3 sustain pedal if you land on one. If you are a student who wants something quality for training, Casio is an excellent choice to go for.
What customers say
“If you are looking for something to train with or advance your skills, Casio products do not disappoint, and the CTK-3500 model is a premium piano keyboard to take home or practice with. I love the way it comes with inclusions such as the stand, headphones and power supply option and that’s a good way to kick start a piano learning race. It was a recommendation from some of my music teachers, so I thought, why not? The cost is great since for about $130, you get a decent instrument with all the support you require, from the integrated lessons and app connection to having a stand and something for the ears. You can place a music sheet when you need to view the notes and compare them with what is coming on the LCD screen. It is also easy to carry after I found out that it can fit in the trunk. I have been using it for a year now, and it’s still great. I recommend to all learners out there.”
- Great learning piano keyboard
- Comes with accessories
- The keys are touch sensitive
- No MIDI connection
Another portable instrument that beginners and intermediate players can utilize together with other supportive features is the Joy JK-63M-KIT. This keyboard has 61 fully sized keys which are suitable for leisure and training. Apart from the keys, the piano has an MP3 playing function that you can integrate and manipulate using the installed percussions to create your rhythm.
In the system, you have an option to use up to 255 timbres, 50 demo songs and 255 rhythms that are produced under the desired quality through the speakers on both ends of the piano. Your experimentation and fun time when playing are not limited.
At the middle top, there is an LED display to tell you what is going on as you play. You have an option to view what notes you are playing as you practice or display the notes playing when you tune to demo songs. Here, the student has an opportunity to learn and be in control. Multiple functions that come with this keyboard include the percussions, accompanying and master volume control, tempo control, single and fingered chord, and lastly, the start, stop sync and fill in features. There is more on the list as you learn how to use it.
As for the accessories, you get a music sheet to hold the tablets, a stand for the keyboard, a pair of headphones, a stool to sit on, and a 9V DC/AC adaptor. USB connection capability allows this instrument to be a portable piano keyboard for laptop use. What else do you need to begin your training? Joy has everything covered. It is a perfect option for those future kid stars, and the piano teacher will like it if you arrive this way, packed with everything. On the other side, the manufacturer protects you against defects for the next three years. That’s how you know it’s guaranteed to stay.
What customers say
“If you are a student or performer who wants a complete piano set, this one has that and more. The sounds are okay even though far from the acoustic feeling. We liked it since it could fit in small spaces and that was great for my son who has a small room and likes to practice in there. If you want something complete for training or as a gift set, this one will have a good response from its users. The incorporation of headphones is a great way to cut out the noise, and we always advise him to wear them during the night.”
- Comes a complete set with stand and stool
- Versatile selection of sounds
- Portable or fixed depending on preference
- MP3 integration
- It can be a hassle to carry everything if you need more than the piano
This is an upgrade from the Yamaha P-105, and the results are amazing. First, it is a Yamaha portable keyboard piano that fits stage use. How? It comes with everything you need to set it up and play which is excellent, making it one of the suitable portable piano keyboards with stand option. The keys come with GHS weighting specification. This implies that the keys are heavier on the lower end and lighter on the higher. That gives you an acoustic feeling every time you want to play.
For the sound production, the P-115 model utilizes the CF sound engine that outputs the sound similar to the 9-foot Yamaha CFIIIs concert grand piano. That’s when you know that you have a powerful instrument. With 192-note polyphony specification, the music will always be sweeter through incredible dynamic playing sessions. More to the features includes the Damper Resonance that recreates the sound in the piano in case the dampers are off strings.
What amazed us with this piano is the duo split mode function. The keyboard can accommodate two players if you use this function to do so. That means you can split into two halves if you need to let someone else in. That presents an excellent way to practice if you have a personal coach or when the teacher is attending to your work.
Now, what you get from this bundle includes a Gearlux furniture-styled bench that you can use to place the keyboard. You also get a double-braced stand that appears wobbly if not properly tightened or lacking a good base, a dust cover to keep the piano looking elegant, a sustain pedal, and a pair of headphones. If you need to read the instructions and train, there an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD, and a Hal Leonard instructional book to take you through.
What customers say
“We had this one arriving without any notice from Amazon, and that is something they have to address. We knew it was there from a neighborly alert. Otherwise, for the price, you get an excellent piano that fits college room use. The keys are properly weighted to give you an acoustic output, and we also adore the inclusion of accessories. I did not have to search for a place to keep it since it has a bench and stand for that. Practising quietly was enabled by the headphones, and they have also provided a nice way to keep it clean – the dust cloth. You have to take care of the supporting stand if it appears wobbly like mine, but customer care sorted that out with a few directions. Otherwise, it is a great stage performer, and it’s easy to move since it comes with a bag and I have a mechanism to transport it (my trunk is huge). I’m happy with my purchase and will definitely recommend.”
- Super sound engine
- Versatile polyphony
- Comes with supportive accessories
- Properly weighted keys
- Quite pricey
Now, here is something that does more than you expect. First, it is a high-end portable keyboard that you can use to compose original music or use the existing ones to create your music. Being a 61-key piano, you don’t have the feeling of a full one, but this one works as expected. The keys contain touch sensor technology so you can work on soft and hard plays when need be.
As you play, the internal speakers on both ends eliminate the need to connect to an external output, but performances might require you to do so. The quality you produce is supported by an upgradeable operating system that supports 89 effect programs, four stereo effect processors and other functionalities such as recording. After you have recorded your first composition, it is stored in the internal memory, or you can insert an SD card and load it there. More to the features are the 304 styles that you can choose from. They include popular genres such as jazz, pop and rock among others so, you have a versatile way to dive in.
Considering what this instrument can do, many music composers have liked it due to the variety it has and the nature of composing music, either from original creation or the supported sounds and effects. It is a piano that learners might find hard to use at first, but those who are used to it can have fun playing.
What customers say
“I have been operating on Korg for the last 11 years, and I thought it was time to switch to a newer model. My previous one was made in Italy so you can guess how good it was. I decided to land on the microARRANGER, and it was the same as the predecessor, PA-60. The system is identical in both, but the current model is smaller since it has 61 keys. Otherwise, the rest is the same. The sound is just like professional models, so I’m okay with that. Overall, despite the smallness, it is a quality instrument to play with.”
- Variety of styles
- Option to record music
- Upgradable operating system
- Quite expensive
- Smaller than previous models for those who like the large portable ones
Lastly, we have the Nord 3 88-Key Stage Piano that represents a high-end portable piano keyboard with 88 keys. For those familiar with pianos, we know about Nord’s reputation in music production where their keyboards are nothing short of quality. All 88 keys are weighted using the grand hammer action which means the touch sense is well catered. From appearance, the red covering makes it bright with everything on the board clear to the eye.
In the piano, there is a 1GB memory storage that allows for storage of recorded playing sessions with the first 256MB dedicated to the sample library. This bank offers a broad range of synth sounds that you can play using the samples or from original creations. The manufacturer says the firmware can be updated, but you’ll have to verify that since it may imply to new releases only.
Playing with this piano brings out the qualities of the traditional keyboard in that it will reproduce the piano strings that an upright or grand piano has. The softening feature in this piano is responsible for grounding the tones released to get a gentle tone which is excellent in plays that need such an application. You can make use of the pedal that comes with it which incorporates a triple specification. That means you can apply full or half pedals at will. To make it a portable mechanical keyboard, the noise produced on the lever is from lifting and releasing the damper mechanism which creates the thomps and sizzles.
Like other Nord models, this one has award-winning synth sounds that have a dedicated control panel with knobs for adjusting the attack, dynamic and decay/release controls in addition to controlling the volume of the sound at play. Controlling the volume can also be done via the optional volume pedal and the Sostenuto pedal on the triple pedal.
If you are looking for something versatile and portable at the same time, you can get this one but what might put you off is the high price.
What customers say
“This is a high-end piano that you have to prepare yourself before buying. On the other hand, the results are fantastic. My friend goes to the gigs with it but I like it when it’s at home, and I’m using it for leisure. The sounding is incredible after connection. I like it when playing the Grand Imperial. The weighting on the keys is superb, and you get a traditional feel which is not exaggerated. With an internal memory and using the L & R ¼-inch inputs, recording is easy and perfect. Apart from the scary price, it is a top-notch piano keyboard that a professional can desire.”
- Versatile playing experience
- Triple pedal gives it a mechanical feeling
- Considerable internal memory and recording capability
- Fully weighted keys
- It is expensive
Portable Piano Keyboards Buying Guide
Now that you know the portable piano keyboard models to search for on the market, let us see some of the considerations you have to make as you select the suitable piano for your playing needs.
Who needs a portable piano?
There is a piano for everyone so, having certain specifics for a particular type of players is not easy if we look at the features involves. On the other hand, portable pianos will suit anyone who is always on the move with their keyboard. That means you are either playing at home, conducting or joining playing sessions or going to various performances.
Since portable types have a wide range of uses which also applies to the models’ designs, anyone who wants to learn the art of piano playing can do so. Many players and musicians alike will get portable pianos as a backup to the main instrument back in the studio.
It is essential that you know what defines your selected keyboard. If you buy without looking at the specifics, then you end up playing some bad tones that are not meant for you not to mention that it will be a waste of money and resources. In the end, you realize that it is not intended for you but at what cost?
What the manufacturers have done to exclude somehow the above scenario is including many features in digital pianos regardless of the quality and price. So, even though you landed on the wrong one, you will get almost everything a keyboard delivers.
The portable design and idea
Portable piano keyboards have a smaller size, and the shape and weight are also different when compared to other types. The interface is also not the same as the others to accommodate movement.
The design is slimmer for these types, and the designers go-ahead to sacrifice many details to arrive at the intended final product. The technology and the machine itself may be considered not to be at per with other models. To make them portable, few will come with 88 keys in total. You’ll get about 61 to 76 keys on such pianos which is not that bad if you are still training.
Chopping down the number of keys may affect the player, but in the end, you won’t notice whether you have missed much or not if there are other features to take advantage of as you use. Some of them will have the qualities needed for stage performance but still slim for travel purposes.
Touch sensitivity included
Portable keyboard pianos come with the hammer action weighting system that makes you get the feeling of an acoustic piano. There is a reason why they cannot place the high-end weighting mechanism that the traditional keyboards possess. If the designers did that, the piano would result to be bulky, and the portability feature would be no more.
The tone generation is midrange, and just like the hammer weighting, it is not the best when compared to grand types. On the other hand, the manufacturer makes sure that the hardware delivers the right output in many scenarios.
What do you need to know?
Picking the right piano means considering some factors. There are many variables at play here, and all keyboards have different qualities despite being involved in the same work. First, it is essential to know who will be using this keyboard and how. Is it someone looking for something to spend some time on during leisure or are you promoting an upcoming pianist? There are nor correct or wrong answers when it comes to selecting the right one for you. Here are some of the things that you can look at:
Most of the keyboards will come loaded with short or long plays that go for almost a minute or several minutes respectively. The more the number of songs, the higher the range you’ll have for your practice session.
The included tones
Electric keyboards have incorporated some real-world synthetic instruments so that you can play them at convenience. Back in the day, they were not that good, but technology has provided a way to make them feel lively.
They are programmed to have some teaching tools for the kids and young youth. Almost every other keyboard in the market today will have this feature so always consider that. With more songs in there, it is an advantage if you take them as one of the learning points.
Modern keyboards will have a standard 3.5m headphones jack that will allow you to connect the earphones during private practice. Furthermore, it is an excellent way to reduce the noise emitted by the inbuilt speakers. The same connection may allow for external speakers which are suitable during performances or training sessions.
Connection to devices
Portable pianos may make use of the MIDI technology (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to allow sound reproduction in various instruments. Others will have the USB that will go to the computer. If you are manipulating the sounds using a guided software, then this will come in handy.
Our Favorite Portable Keyboard
Everyone is looking for the best portable keyboard to suit their needs, and that’s the norm. However, it would help if you considered the uses on this keyboard so that you don’t get a cheap one to limit you or going for an expensive one that has features that you will almost not use.
When checking our favorites, Yamaha P-115 and Joy JK won more votes. For Yamaha, the reputation on pianos is high, and the named model does not disappoint. Joy JK is an excellent option for beginners and intermediate players plus it comes with everything needed to make your practice enjoyable.