an 88 key digital piano

10 Best Cheap 88-Key Keyboards & Digital Pianos in 2023

January 8, 2023 Selin Gökova 12 min read No Comments

This post is all about cheap 88-key keyboards.

Finding a cheap 88-key keyboard for your needs and experience might be a daunting task, and I know it well from the experience.

Even if you are in the early stages of your piano learning journey, having a decent 88-key keyboard from the start can greatly accelerate your progress. It will also eliminate the need to transition to a full-sized keyboard as you progress, saving you money in the long run.

I had to buy a portable digital piano back in 2019 that I could practice in my dorm room, and travel with. I was also taking ABRSM piano exams and recording piano music, so the keyboard I’d get had to replicate an acoustic piano in terms of key action and overall playing experience. After doing extensive research with my incredibly tight student budget, I decided on the Yamaha P-45, which is still going strong and perfectly accompanying me in all my musical endeavors. I highly recommend it to any beginner or intermediate pianist.

I had to buy a portable digital piano back in 2019 that I could practice in my dorm room, and travel with. I was also taking ABRSM piano exams and recording piano music, so the keyboard I’d get had to replicate an acoustic piano in terms of key action and overall playing experience. After doing extensive research with my incredibly tight student budget, I decided on the Yamaha P-45, which is still going strong and perfectly accompanying me in all my musical endeavors. I highly recommend it to any beginner or intermediate pianist.

However, looking at the market now in 2023, I see the number of cheap keyboard options has increased drastically. I know how deciding on the right digital piano for you can be confusing when you are on a budget but still want a quality instrument that could serve you for years.

To help you make the best decision within your budget, we have ensured this list only contains the keyboards & digital pianos that meet the following criteria:

  • cheap
  • decent key-action
  • semi or fully weighted-keys
  • realistic piano sounds
  • a wide variety of features
  • portable

We have made our selections from reputable brands (Yamaha, Roland, Kawai) as well as some unknown brands whose products we think are great as the reputable ones despite lacking brand value.

Bear in mind that the keyboards in the sub-300$ price range will feature semi-weighted keys. If you are looking for keyboards with fully weighted keys, you have to start looking from the sub-500$ price range.

Without further ado, let’s now look at the cheapest 88-key keyboards and digital pianos that are perfect for beginner and intermediate players.

Best 88-Key Keyboards Under $300

Alesis Recital 88

an 88-key Alesis keyboard

Producing a wide range of products from audio interfaces to electronic drums, Alesis is a well-known name in the field of digital audio. While the brand is relatively new in the area of digital pianos, it has successfully incorporated its digital audio expertise into the digital pianos and keyboards it released.

This is especially evident in the crystal-clear sound of Alesis Recital 88.

With decent semi-weighted touch-sensitive keys and a price under $250, Recital 88 is one of Alesis’ budget offerings for beginners. Other than piano, it features electric piano, synth, bass, and organ sounds. While 5 sounds may look like few, their sound quality is outstanding compared to similar budget keyboards.

Such powerful speakers are another feature you would not expect to see in a cheap keyboard. Recital 88’s built-in speakers can produce sound up to 40 watts, enough to fill out any room with the needed volume and more.

In addition, it’s a perfect option for traveling players as this keyboard weighs only 15.6 lbs.

From layer, split, and lesson modes to polyphony features to a 3-month premium Skoove subscription, Alesis Recital also supports beginner pianists and their instructors with great educational features.

Pros

✅ Exceptionally powerful and quality inbuilt speakers

✅Decent sound quality

✅Great educational features (128-note max polyphony, different modes, 3-month premium Skoove subscription, etc.)

Cons

❌Few sounds

❌Not the best build quality

RockJam 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard 

an 88-key Alesis piano

With a weight of just 15.4 lbs, this RockJam digital piano is the lightest 88-key keyboard on our list. If you put portability before all features, this keyboard is a perfect option. Other than the great portability, this keyboard boasts 88 full-sized touch-sensitive keys. The touch sensitivity has 4 levels, and you can alternate between different levels based on your playing style and skill level.

The keys are semi-weighted as expected for the price. We usually don’t recommend these keyboards under 300$ to advanced players due to their poor or at most average key action. The key action of this keyboard is on the average side and frankly, it is more than enough for a beginner player on a budget.

Despite being an entry-level budget keyboard, RockJam 88 Key is packed with features, which make it stand out from its competitors. It features 10 unique sounds and different connectivity options for beginners to help them learn songs in the most entertaining and effective ways.

Pros

✅ Great portability

✅ Wide variety of connectivity options

✅Great educational features (keynote stickers,  exclusive free access to the Simply Piano app, etc.)

Cons

❌Slightly weak inbuilt speakers

❌Sounds are not the best quality

Moukey MEP-110

an 88-key Moukey keyboard

If you are on a tight budget, Moukey MEP-110 is one of your best options for under 300$. With surprisingly good quality and features, this entry-level piano keyboard is perfect for beginners and kids who are buying their first piano.

Weighing only 18 lbs, this keyboard is also very lightweight and perfect for traveling musicians.

Moukey MEP-110’s sound quality is surprisingly good for such a cheap keyboard and even comparable to some of Alesis’s starter keyboards such as Alesis Recital and Alesis Recital Pro. The keys are semi-weighted, but that’s to be expected at this price.

Its speakers are also remarkably powerful, providing more than enough loudness for practicing.

Another feature I like in this keyboard is the double keyboard mode. By splitting the keyboard in half, it allows 2 players to play in the same octave at different parts of the keyboard. This feature comes in very handy for piano lessons.

Pros

✅Realistic piano sounds

✅Slim and lightweight design

✅Powerful inbuilt speakers

Cons

❌Slightly stiff keys

Best 88-Key Digital Pianos Under $500

Yamaha P71

an 88-key Yamaha keyboard

With 88 fully weighted hammer action keys, Yamaha P71 is the most affordable Yamaha piano keyboard that is incredibly popular among beginner and intermediate players. The quality and durability of Yamaha keyboards are unquestionable, and the Yamaha P71 has absolutely no compromises on quality despite being a budget keyboard.

This is also the piano I have been using for 6 years and I can’t tell you how much I love it. I prepared for ABRSM music exams with it, traveled dozens of times, took it to many concerts, and even recorded my single. I bought it first when I was staying in a dorm in my prep year at university and needed a portable piano that could fit in my room and be easily carried to places. While my budget was tight, I also needed a quality instrument that would provide the closest feeling to a real piano as I was spending most of my time practicing and performing. Yamaha P71 perfectly fit the bill.

The piano I own is actually Yamaha P45, but Yamaha P71 is its Amazon-exclusive model and is essentially the same piano with a lower price and very minor differences.

Including 2 grand piano sounds, Yamaha P71 features 10 sounds that are very realistic. Its key bed is graded hammer action, which means the keys have a stronger touch at the bottom end and a softer touch at the high end. This makes the keyboard very close to an acoustic piano.

A graded hammer action is vital in learning the piano with the correct technique and establishing finger dexterity.

Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced player, Yamaha P71 is a solid option with incredible features and perfect quality at a reasonable price.

Pros

✅Natural and realistic instrument sounds

✅Lightweight & compact

✅Great key-action

Cons

❌Slightly weak inbuilt speakers

❌No built-in recording feature

Alesis Recital Pro

an 88-key Alesis Recital keyboard

We have recommended the Alesis Recital above as one of the best keyboards for under 300$. If you are a serious learner considering getting the Alesis Recital, we highly recommend Alesis Recital Pro instead if you have an additional budget of 100-150$. This extra amount gives you fully-weighted keys, a major upgrade from the semi-weighted keys of the Alesis Recital.

While Alesis Recital is a great beginner keyboard, Alesis Recital Pro has everything to accompany you through your beginner to advanced levels.

Alesis Recital had already very powerful speakers, but Alesis Recital Pro takes it even further with its 2 X 10W tweeters and 2 X 20W speakers. It’s safe to say that speakers are Alesis Recital Pro’s biggest strengths.

There are also more sound presents and effects as well as additional lesson modes in the Recital Pro. To provide beginners with all the educational tools they need, this model also comes with a 3-month Skoove premium subscription.

Pros

✅Excellent speakers

✅Great variety of sounds and effects

✅Great educational features (128-note polyphony, a greater variety of modes than the Recital, 3-month premium Skoove subscription, etc.)

Cons

❌Not the best sound quality compared to its competitors

Best 88-Key Digital Pianos Under $700

Roland FP-10

an 88-key Roland keyboard

If you’re serious about playing the piano but have a tight budget, Roland FP-10 is by far the best digital piano you can get at this price range. Boasting a better key bed, sound, and Bluetooth connectivity technology, I think Roland FP-10 beats Yamaha P-71(and P-45), which justifies its slightly higher price.

But, what makes Roland FP-10’s key bed unprecedented in this price range?

First, this piano features PHA-4 standard key-action, which is the key-action found in Roland’s more expensive models such as the FP-30X and FP-60X. With 88 fully weighted and triple sensor hammer action keys, it replicates the actual feeling when you press the keys of an acoustic piano. Besides perfect key-action, Roland FP-10 also stands out with the textured material its keys are covered with. This material absorbs the moisture from your fingers and imitates real ivory keys.

Another highlight of the FP-10 is the SuperNATURAL sound engine it features, which is essentially a top-notch sampling technology that helps provide a realistic playing experience.

Thanks to these technologies, you really feel like you’re playing a real acoustic piano with Roland FP-10.

This digital piano comes with 15 built-in sounds. In addition, you get free online piano lessons with Pianote, which is a fantastic piano learning platform for beginner and intermediate players.

Pros

✅ Excellent key-action

✅Authentic key feel

✅Bluethooth technology

Cons

❌Not the loudest speakers

 Casio PX-S1100

Casio digital piano

We are continuing our list with the world’s slimmest digital piano, Casio Privia PX-S1100 (as of the time of writing). With its slim design and only 24 pounds weight, the PX-S1100 is the best digital piano in this price range for those who value portability. Did we mention it can also run on battery power so you aren’t tied to cords and wall sockets when you want to play outside?

Another feature that makes the PX-S1100 so unique is that despite being incredibly lightweight and compact, it features fully weighted key action and quality speakers.

Coming with 18 built-in sounds and 60 preset songs that you can practice, Casio PX-S1100 is an incredibly feature-rich digital piano that beginners can greatly benefit from. However, it would be quite unfair to say that this piano is only perfect for beginners. The PX-S1100 features a lot of connectivity options and very powerful speakers, making it an ideal digital piano for experienced and gigging musicians as well.

Pros

✅ Lightweight and very portable

✅ Realistic piano tones with a lot of customization options

✅192-note polyphony

✅Wide variety of connectivity options

Cons

❌Sound selection is not the most impressive

Kawai ES110

Kawai keyboard

Weighing only 26 lbs while still managing to feature incredible key action, Kawai ES110 takes portability to another level among its competitors. If you’re a serious player who needs portability without sacrificing key action and sound quality, I think the ES110 is your best bet.

Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging Technology is used in this model as well, providing excellent expressiveness in digital piano playing. With 8 fantastic piano tones and settings to customize the sounds to your liking, it’s also an incredibly feature-rich digital piano.

The excellent key action is provided with Kawai’s own Responsive Hammer Compact action mechanism, which mimics the unique feel of an acoustic grand piano. Responsive Hammer Action (RHC) was developed using the same principles as the RHIII action, providing excellent touch in a smaller and lighter package.

Overall, Kawai ES100 is a superb lightweight digital piano with exceptional portability and realistic piano feel at an affordable price.

Pros

✅ Fully weighted keys with premium RHC action

✅19 built-in sounds with 8 authentic piano sounds

✅Bluethooth MIDI connectivity

Cons

❌Lack of USB ports

Best 88-Key Digital Pianos Under $1000

Roland FP-30X

an 88-key Roland keyboard

A bestselling digital piano and one of the best portable pianos under $1000, Roland FP-30X provides excellent value for the price. The biggest improvement in the $700 pianos tends to be the sounds. Compared to their entry-level competitors, companies use samples of greater quality in this price range.

As we covered in the FP-10 model above, the FP-30X also uses the PHA-4 standard key action, which means each key on the key bed has a distinct weight. This gives your fingers a very lifelike feel while playing the digital piano. The superNATURAL sound engine is also used in this model as in Roland’s other models.

The most important feature separating the FP-30X from the FP-10 is the wider and more authentic sound selection. The other important differences are better speakers and the 3-pedal unit in the FP-30X which is very useful to have for classical music.

The FP-30X speakers are also superior to Yamaha, Casio, and Korg digital pianos in this price range.

In addition, the majority of digital pianos in this price range only include 3 distinct levels for touch sensitivity. The FP30X has 5 distinct touch sensitivity options to satisfy pianists of various skill levels.

Overall, Roland FP-30X boasts excellent features and impressive design & build quality, winning this model the bestseller status among intermediate players.

Pros

✅ Wide sound selection

✅Customizable piano tones with a realistic acoustic piano feeling

✅PHA-4 standard key action

Cons

❌Not the most advanced recording options

Yamaha DGX670B

Yamaha digital piano

With Yamaha DGX670B, we are wrapping up our list of the cheapest 88-key keyboard pianos. Featuring 601 sounds and 29 drum kits, this is truly an arranger keyboard that is packed with features and a variety of sounds. If you enjoy playing with accompaniments and experimenting with different sounds, there is currently no other arranger keyboard in this price range that offers you as much as the DGX760B offers.

This 88-key keyboard features Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action, meaning the keys are fully weighted with lower keys feeling heavier than those in higher ranges just like the keys of a real acoustic piano. This key action is used in Yamaha’s other entry and intermediate-level pianos as well. As we mentioned, graded hammer action is a game-changer in piano learning.

We also really like the user interface that Yamaha upgraded from its previous models. The well-designed interface makes controlling the instrument much smoother and more effective.

One thing to be aware of is that despite its claim as being a portable piano, it weighs a whopping 47.2 lbs. While it is certainly movable, this piano may not be ideal for gigging or traveling musicians.

Still, Yamaha DGX760B deserves its spot on our list with its incredible sound and accompaniment features that are hard to find in this price range. Add to that the decent key action and Yamaha’s quality and you have a fantastic digital piano for any level of pianist.

Pros

✅ Wide variety of features and sounds

✅A lot of functions (Adaptive Style, Simple Style, Smart Chord, Unison & Accent, etc.)

✅Realistic keys with Graded Hammer Action

Cons

❌Slightly weak speakers

❌Heavy

Wrapping Up

These are the cheapest 88-key keyboards that we have tried to select from the best ones on the market right now. If you still have questions or doubts about which digital piano to get, just let us know in the comments below. We are more than happy to help!

Selin Gökova

Selin Gökova is a neo-classical composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey. Holding an ABRSM certificate on piano performance, she's been playing the piano and composing for ten years. Wandering Tunes is her side project where she combines her two passions: writing and music.

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Hi, my name is Selin. Playing the piano and composing are my biggest passions. I've founded this blog to share everything I've learned throughout the years about piano playing and learning. I hope you stick around! Read More

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