Broadly speaking, the term electronic keyboard or just a keyboard can refer to any type of digital or electronic keyboard instrument. These include synthesizers, digital pianos, stage pianos, electronic organs and digital audio workstations. However, an electronic keyboard is more specifically a synthesizer with a built-in low-wattage power amplifier and small loudspeakers.

Electronic keyboards are capable of recreating a wide range of instrument sounds (piano, electric piano, hammond organ, pipe organ, violin, etc.) and synthesizer tones with less complex sound synthesis. Electronic keyboards are usually designed for home users, beginners and other non-professional users. They typically have unweighted keys. The least expensive models do not have velocity-sensitive keys, but mid- to high-priced models do. Home keyboards typically have little, if any, digital sound editing capacity. The user typically selects from a range of preset "voices" or sounds, which include imitations of many instruments and some electronic synthesizer sounds. Home keyboards have a much lower cost than professional synthesizers.