Contrary to conventional thinking, which holds that gamers like full-size boards with a tonne of macro keys, media controls, and other fascinating gadgets, compact keyboards are the mechanical keyboard market segment that is expanding the fastest. These 60% keyboards, in contrast, emphasize a simple style that is incredibly portable and requires little desk space. Based on our rigorous testing, we’ll reveal our picks for the best 60% keyboard available in this round-up.
For years, independent keyboard manufacturers have produced 60% of their keyboards for enthusiasts, but now larger brands, such as the Logitechs, Razers, and Corsairs of the world, are starting to participate.
This is a fantastic moment to hop on the micro keyboard bandwagon if you wanted to see what all the excitement was about with these smaller boards without giving up creature comforts like synchronized RGB illumination and well-developed software packages.
Naturally, smaller vendors have advantages as well, and we’ll attempt to cover both sides of the spectrum while still concentrating on widely available boards.
The Ducky One 2 Mini/Mecha Mini combines a tiny form factor with outstanding switch options and an amazingly smooth typing experience to create the greatest 60% gaming keyboard and our top overall gaming keyboard.
The 60% size is a little more specialized; only a few keyboards, in my opinion, are acceptable for recommendations. Our list of the 60% keyboards addresses the majority of use cases and personal preferences.
By hiding some essential keys, such as the arrow keys and function keys, beneath a function layer, 60% of layouts become usable. Check out our suggestions if you are already familiar and know you want a 60%.
Here is our opinion on whether 60% is the appropriate choice for you if you’re unsure.
How Many Keys Does a 60 Percent Keyboard Have?
104 keys make up a typical, full-size keyboard. Technically, a keyboard that is 60 percent full should have 62 keys, while a keyboard that is 65 percent full should have 67 or 68 keys. Realistically speaking, manufacturers fudge the figures and key-count totals a little. The majority of the ‘60% models we evaluated had between 60 and 65 keys, whilst ‘65% of models had between 66 and 70 keys.
The 60 percent or 65 percent keyboard layouts do away with what some users might consider necessary inputs, unlike the tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard layout that merely eliminates the number keypad. The Function (F1 to F12) keys, arrow keys, and other navigation and utility keys are removed from the standard 60 percent keyboard. (Think Page Up, Page Down, Home, Delete, and Print Screen.) There are no sections or gaps because the layout has been condensed into a single block.
For instance, the Escape key no longer floats by itself because that would take up additional space in the design.
While still being portable, 65 percent of keyboards allow you a little more wriggle room. The Function key and the majority of other unnecessary keys are removed from these boards, but the arrow keys are typically retained. Many people also hang onto one or two additional keys. You have the opportunity to remap the keyboard thanks to the additional, programmable macro keys that Fnatic and a few other keyboard manufacturers include.
Key Types: Understanding 60 Percent Mechanical Keyboards
Typing sensation is the most crucial factor, much like with the greatest keyboards and, more particularly, the best mechanical keyboards. Finding a keyboard that feels good depends on your preferred key-switch “flavor,” as I haven’t seen a non-mechanical 60% or 70% keyboard. (Key switches are the actuation elements located beneath the keycap.) The fundamentals of mechanical key switches are covered in our introduction.
It’s critical to remember why you prefer a keyboard with a 65 percent or lower slope. Many gaming keyboards use linear switches, also known as “Red” switches, which are easy to operate. Hair-trigger switches allow for incredibly fast gameplay, but they also increase the likelihood of mistaken and out-of-order key pushes.
You might want to search elsewhere if you’re looking for balance or simply the comfiest switches overall.
Your search results may introduce you to a variety of new keyboard producers, many of which are Asian, like Anne Pro, Ducky, Happy Hacking, and Leopold.
Should I Get a Wireless 60 Percent Keyboard?
A detachable cable, preferably USB-C, is included on between 60 and 65 percent of keyboards, making transportation and storage simpler. Companies occasionally still include proprietary locking mechanisms in the cables to prevent the cable from coming undone while being used.
I prefer it when businesses avoid using such tactics. Except in extreme cases, the cables stay in place just well on their own, and since there is no locking mechanism, any other USB Type-C to A cable can be used to replace a broken one.
What about portable wireless keyboards?
After all, you might as well cut the wire as well if your goal is to clear up desk space. Wireless 60 and 65 percent keyboards are available, but they are uncommon.
Competitive gamers, programmers, and fans of custom keyboards—the groups who have usually shown the greatest interest in 60 and 65 percent keyboards—haven’t traditionally pursued wireless keyboards.
But if the 60 percent keyboard trend keeps expanding, this feature will probably become more popular in the market by 2022 and beyond.
Check for full-size and tenkeyless (“TKL”) keyboards if going wireless right now is your primary priority.
There is a considerably wider variety available.
So, What Is the Best 60 or 65 Percent Keyboard to Buy?
It’s up to you to make your decision now that you know what to look for in a 60 or 65-percent keyboard.
Here is our ranking of the top little keyboards based on recent reviews. Additionally, if you’re crazy about competition, think about combining your new little keyboard with one of our favorite esports mice.