60% vs 65% vs 75% Keyboard

In the world of mechanical keyboards, size does matter. But it’s not always about going bigger. In fact, the trend is shifting towards compactness and minimalism, with 60%, 65%, and 75% keyboards gaining popularity among typists, gamers, and professionals alike. But what do these percentages mean? And more importantly, which one is the best fit for you? Let’s dive in and explore.

Before we delve into the specifics of each keyboard size, let’s understand why compact keyboards are gaining traction. Traditional full-sized keyboards, while comprehensive, often take up a lot of desk space. For those with limited space or those who value a clutter-free workspace, smaller keyboards are a godsend. They’re also more portable, making them perfect for on-the-go use.

The 60% Keyboard: The Minimalist’s Dream

Steelseries Apex Pro Mini 60% keyboard
Steelseries Apex Pro Mini 60% keyboard

A 60% keyboard is the epitome of minimalism in the keyboard world. It typically has around 61 keys, doing away with the number pad, function row, and navigation cluster. What you’re left with is the essential alphanumeric zone, perfect for those who value compactness and portability above all else.

Pros of 60% Keyboards:

  • Ultra-compact and portable: These keyboards are small enough to fit in most laptop bags, making them perfect for on-the-go use.
  • Clean and clutter-free: With fewer keys, 60% keyboards offer a clean, minimalist aesthetic that many users love.

Cons of 60% Keyboards:

  • Lack of dedicated function and arrow keys: While most functions are still accessible via key combinations, the lack of dedicated keys can be a deal-breaker for some.
  • Hard to adjust to: It will take you some time to get used to 60% keyboard if you come from using a much bigger keyboard.

The 65% Keyboard: A Balance of Function and Form

HyperX Alloy Origins 65% keyboard
HyperX Alloy Origins 65% keyboard

A 65% keyboard is a slight step up from the 60% variant. It includes everything a 60% keyboard offers, plus a few extra keys for navigation, such as arrow keys and a few function keys. This makes it a great middle ground for those who want a compact keyboard but still need some dedicated navigation keys.

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Pros of 65% Keyboards:

  • Compact yet functional: The inclusion of navigation keys makes 65% keyboards more functional than their 60% counterparts, without significantly increasing their size.
  • Still highly portable: Despite the extra keys, 65% keyboards are still very portable and desk-friendly.

Cons of 65% Keyboards:

  • Still lacks a function row and number pad: While more functional than 60% keyboards, 65% keyboards still lack a dedicated function row and number pad, which some users may miss.

The 75% Keyboard: Compactness Meets Functionality

MX Mechanical Mini 75% keyboard
MX Mechanical Mini 75% keyboard

A 75% keyboard is the most feature-packed among the compact keyboard sizes. It includes a full function row and a compact navigation cluster, making it almost as functional as a full-sized keyboard, but in a much smaller package.

Pros of 75% Keyboards:

  • Highly functional: With a full function row and navigation keys, 75% keyboards offer the functionality of a full-sized keyboard in a compact form.
  • Still relatively compact: Despite the extra keys, 75% keyboards are still much smaller than full-sized keyboards and offer a good balance between functionality and compactness.

Cons of 75% Keyboards:

  • Lacks anumber pad: The only major feature missing from a 75% keyboard is the number pad, which can be a deal-breaker for those who frequently input numbers.

Which keyboard is for you: 60% vs 65% vs 75%

Choosing between a 60%, 65%, and 75% keyboard ultimately boils down to your personal needs and preferences. If you value ultra-compactness and portability above all else, a 60% keyboard might be your best bet. If you want a balance between compactness and functionality, a 65% keyboard could be the perfect fit. And if you need a highly functional keyboard that’s still smaller than a full-sized one, a 75% keyboard would be a great choice.

Keyboard SizeNumber of KeysFunction RowNavigation KeysNumber PadCompactnessPortability
60%~61NoNoNoHighHigh
65%More than 60% (usually 68 keys)NoYesNoHighHigh
75%More than 65% (usually 84 keys)YesYesNoMediumMedium

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to keyboards. It’s all about finding the one that fits your typing style, workflow, and desk space. So whether you’re a minimalist who loves the simplicity of a 60% keyboard, a balance-seeker who prefers the functionality of a 65% keyboard, or a functionality-lover who needs the comprehensive features of a 75% keyboard, there’s a compact keyboard out there for you.

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Summing it all up.

Choosing keyboard can be hard in my experience, there is a huge range of options to suit different needs and preferences. Whether you choose a 60%, 65%, or 75% keyboard, you’re choosing a tool that’s designed to enhance your typing or gaming experience while saving desk space and offering portability.

Also, make sure to check out our piece on the best keycap profiles for gaming and our selection of hall effect keyboards that are a new trend right now.

Note: This article is based on my own knowledge and research as of the time of writing. Always check the latest product specifications and reviews before making a purchase.

Marcus Richardson
Editor-in-chief

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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