October 2019’s Top 10 Best 61-Key Portable Beginner Keyboard Pianos Under $200

best keyboard to learn piano

October 2019’s Top 10 Best 61-Key Portable Beginner Keyboard Pianos Under $200

Did you know that learning how to play the piano need not be expensive? You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for a real piano just to use it for practice!

Instead of buying an expensive piano, you can buy a beginner keyboard which costs considerably less than a piano!

There are far too many keyboards to choose from nowadays, and choosing the best one for your needs can seem like such a difficult task. This is why we have created a list of the best beginner keyboards.

In this article, you’re going to learn what the best beginner keyboards are that cost well below $200!

After countless hours of research and testing these keyboards, we have shortlisted the top 10 keyboard pianos which you can buy right now.

Alternate reading:

  • If you need more than 61 keys, then you should head on over to our 76-key keyboard reviews (under $300), or our 88-key digital piano reviews (above $500).
  • If you’re a parent and you want your child to start learning about piano music, but isn’t too enthusiastic about spending a few hundred dollars on a keyboard, then you should check our our review for best child-friendly keyboards (all under $100).

Don’t have time to read?

Check out this short video of the best piano keyboards for beginners (all priced below $200):

The 10 Best 61-Key Beginner Keyboards Under $200

These models were carefully chosen based on the number of essential features it has as detailed in our Comprehensive Guide To Buying A Keyboard For Beginners (please scroll down this page).

Also, since prices can vary from one music store to another , we have opted to list a ‘price guide’ to give you an idea of how much each keyboard costs in relation to the other models on this list.

Lastly, our base price of ‘under $200’ applies only to the basic keyboard model (some stores sell these keyboards in packages or bundles which obviously adds to the overall price).

*Soft Touch page

*USB and SD support

*Record and Playback

*Built-in songs: 100

*Yamaha Education Suite

*USB and SD support

*Step Up Lesson System

*Preset Styles: 130

*Built-in Songs: 112

*Yamaha Education Suite

*Weight: 8 lb, 13 oz

*Preset Styles: 130

*Built-in Songs: 112

*Yamaha Education Suite

*Weight: 8 lb, 13 oz

*Preset Songs: 100

*USB and MIDI support​

*Auto Power off Function

*Step Up Lesson System

*Preset Songs: 10

*Piano style keys

*Simple and minimalist design​

*Advanced stereo sampling

*Auto-power off mode

*Weight: 9 lb, 15 oz

*Preset Styles: 100

*Built-in songs: 102

*Yamaha Education Suite

*Preset rhythms: 100

*Built-in songs: 100

*Digital effects: 10

*USB MIDI capability

*Step Up Learning System

*Preset rhythms: 100

*Built-in songs: 100

*USB MIDI and AUX input​

*Auto-power off mode

*Step Up Learning System

Now, here’s a short review for each keyboard highlighting the main reasons they made it to our list!

Top 1: Rockjam RJ761

“The best beginner keyboard as it offers the best value for your money!”

Any novice learner who wants to future-proof their keyboard piano will surely love the Rockjam RJ761. There are a wealth of options which will give you the freedom to customize your music however you want it.

There are multiple digital effects, a 30-track song sequencer if you want to compose songs, a rhythm editor, an arpeggiator, and it’s got even more than the usual number of keyboard voices.

With 200 tones and 200 preset rhythms and 30 demo songs , you will never run out of playing options!

For connectivity, there’s a USB port so you can connect your RJ761 to your computer and process MIDI data. The SD card slot allows you to store your music and easily transfer your music files as well.

It’s a highly portable keyboard at 12 pounds and with the number of features onboard, we think this is the best beginner keyboard for your money especially if you want to get creative with your music!

*Touch sensitive keys

*200 preset rhythms

*Built in USB port

*SD card support​

*Keyboard sickers included

*Perfect for both beginner and intermediate learners​

Top 2: Yamaha EZ-220

“Yamaha’s best keyboard for beginners!”

The Yamaha EZ-220 is the number two entry-level electronic keyboard piano on our list because it’s a great first keyboard for the ultimate beginner.

It is portable at 10 lbs, affordable at less than $200 on Amazon, and is extremely easy to use with its light up keyboards and the Yamaha Education Suite.

This keyboard is bound to be a hit with beginners thanks to its touch sensitive light up keys which help develop your fingering techniques for both your hands!

In addition, this model includes 100 free sets of songs and 392 instrument sounds such as strings, guitars, brass, drums, and piano which will entertain and get you familiarized with a wide variety of sounds (and yeah, pretend you are playing in a band!).

This keyboard may not have a built-in recorder like some of the other keyboards on our top 10 list.

However, there are two modern features that are sure to captivate young and savvy learners: first is the USB to HOST port which connects the EZ220 to your computer or iPad; and, the built-in wireless connectivity to the free Page Turner iPad app.

This app features an audio recorder that will allow you to capture your performance and make it super easy to share your music with your friends.

*61 touch-sensitive and light-up keys

*392 instrument sounds of strings, guitars, brass, drums, piano and more

*100 built-in styles and songs

*Wireless connectivity to Yamaha’s free Page Turner iPad app

*Yamaha Education Suite​

*Built in USB port

*Weighs only 10 pounds

*Loud background accompaniment

*No built-in recorder​

OR click here for our full and in-depth review of the EZ 220.

Top 3: Casio LK-280

“Casio’s best lighted keyboard for beginners”

Casio’s LK280 is one of the best 61 keys lighted keyboards for under $200. If you are a true beginner, you will appreciate light-up keys because it makes it easier for you to learn as it practically guides you which keys to press while playing.

If, for some reason, you don’t want people to know you’re a beginner then you can turn off the lighting option.

This keyboard features a host of functions that justifies the relatively expensive price tag (as compared to some of our other recommended keyboards).

For instance, it’s got 152 songs onboard including 50 practice songs, 600 tones, a recorder which can store up to 5 songs, SD card support up to 32GB which allows you to store thousands of your own music!

It’s also got a USB port that support MIDI operations. If you’ve got a microphone you can plug it in to your keyboard, play your MIDI files and you’ve got yourself instant karaoke.

Casio’s Step Up lesson system ties in quite nicely with all the features mentioned above as it expands your learning options and more importantly, it would make learning very fun for you which is definitely a great motivator for any beginner.

*The light up, touch responsive keys

*600 built-in tones

*152 built in songs, including 50 practice songs

*Casio’s Step Up Learning System

*Built in USB port and Aux input

​*LCD with notation and fingering display

*SD card support

*No backlit display

OR click here for our full and in-depth review of the LK 280.

Top 4: Yamaha YPT-260

“Best piano keyboard for beginners from Yamaha!”

The Yamaha YPT-260 is an entry-level model from this well-known manufacturer which offers quite a lot for the price it’s being sold at (yes, it means it’s a great value for money at less than $200 for the keyboard and even with the standard package included).

For a beginner, the touch sensitivity is a huge bonus at this price point (and even more so for more advanced players since they can appreciate the effort of emulating a piano’s weighted keys).

The 112 songs in the song bank plus the 400 instrument voices are really quite impressive as well.

Add the Yamaha Education Suite to the mix, and you no longer wonder why this particular keyboard is very popular among keyboard newbies!

*The responsive and touch-sensitive keys

*Hundreds of sounds, preset songs

*AUX IN jack for connecting to external audio sources

*Yamaha Education Suite​

*Weighs only 8 lb, 13 oz

OR click here for our full and in-depth review of the Yamaha YPT 260.

Top 5: Yamaha PSR-E263

“Best Yamaha PSR keyboard for beginners”

The Yamaha PSRE-263 is suitable for amateurs and beginners in the keyboard piano scene. That is not to say, however, that more advanced players can simply dismiss this particular model.

It has a duo mode not found in similar models which basically ‘splits’ its 61 keys into two making it useful when teaching young kids since they can easily copy which keys you are pressing on the keyboard.

This feature will also allow you to develop your left and right hand fingering techniques much faster!

At slightly a bit over 10 pounds, this keyboard offers 400 instrument voices, 130 accompaniment styles and 112 preset songs which you can either listen to or play along using the Yamaha Education Suite.

In addition, there is even a Chord Study mode which will teach you how to play a variety of chords on its own or with the built-in song bank.

The ports at the back include an aux line input so you can connect the keyboard to your MP3 player (or a computer or mixer or even another keyboard), use the built-in speaker to play your music, and play along to it on the keyboard!

*400 high-quality voices

*Nine-step lesson function

*The duo mode for converting one keyboard into two

*Auto power off function​

*No power cord included with the pack

OR click here for our full and in-depth review of the PSR-E263.

Top 6: Casio CTK-3500

“Best electronic keyboard for piano lessons”

The Casio CTK-3500 is an excellent-value-for-money keyboard and is perfect for any beginner who wants to learn how to play the piano quickly. If you’re taking up piano lessons, and you’re looking for the best electronic keyboard, then this is the right keyboard for you.

It’s a truly compact and ultra-portable 61-key keyboard (weighs just a bit over 8 pounds!) that’s packed with 400 AHL tones, 100 rhythms and 110 built-in songs which really plays well with the pre-programmed Step Up lesson system.

This keyboard has touch sensitive keys so anyone who’s played the piano for a while can certainly appreciate this feature. The auto shut off feature is awesome for when the keyboard is powered by battery alone such as when you are outdoors.

The pitch bend wheel is a fantastic addition as well since it is not commonly found in keyboards at a similar price point.

You can also connect your music player and listen to it through the built-in speakers (or play along with it if you wish).

The USB port supports MIDI data transfer so you can connect your keyboard to your computer and create unlimited possibilities with your music!

Whilst there are some complaints about the loudness of the speakers, this can be resolved by connecting your keyboard to a pair of external, high-quality speakers. Or a headphone. Whichever you prefer.

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