The sole purpose of a 60 percent keyboard is to take the least amount of space on your desk. This allows for ease of positioning and portability and at the same time offers a distinct look, especially if you have a minimalistic setup. There are some obvious downsides when it comes to trimming down all of the important function keys. Getting used to the layout is a task in itself, let alone remembering secondary functions and macros. However, once you get past that, there is no looking back.
With a number of keyboard makers offering the compact form factor for gamers and typists, it shouldn't be tough to find the right one for you. Here are some of the best 60 percent keyboards that we recommend.
Razer Huntsman Mini
Best 60 percent gaming keyboard
- Software customization with onboard memory
- Individually lit RGB keys
- Optical key switches
- Detachable USB cable
- Not the most rugged
Why should you buy this: Premium gaming keyboard with fast optical switches.
Who’s it for: Gamers and occasional typists in need of a feature-rich compact keyboard.
Why we picked the Razer Huntsman Mini:
Razer is a reliable name in the peripherals space, and their 60 percent keyboard offering, the Huntsman Mini, is a feature-packed compact keyboard solution. It is available in black or white (Mercury) color schemes with a total of 61 keys and a detachable USB-C cable. Despite the premium price, the build is all plastic, which was probably done to keep the overall weight to a minimum. The company includes its own Doubleshot PBT keycaps with a super-thin font that allows for sharp-looking letters. As for the key switches, there is the option of choosing between Razer's clicky purple or linear red optical switches, both of which are good for gaming, with the former recommended for typists.
The onboard memory allows one to store up to five profiles, and with Razer’s robust software suite, you can customize the RGB lighting effects, record macros, rebind keys, and much more. For an additional $20, you can get the Huntsman Mini with Razer's newest Analog Optical switches, which allow for multiple commands in a single keystroke by being able to detect how far a key is pressed.
Best compact keyboard for multi-device setup
- Solid build quality
- Wired and wireless operation
- Multi-device pairing
- Optional hot-swap switches
- Not the best with latency
- Could use a wrist rest
Why should you buy this: Highly compatible and well-rounded wireless keyboard.
Who’s it for: Working professionals with a multi-device setup.
Why we picked the Keychron K12:
Keychron started off as a Kickstarter project in 2018 and today offers a range of keyboards available in various layouts. The K12 is the company's 60 percent offering that offers both wired and wireless connectivity. It is compatible with both MacOS and Windows, with additional keycaps so you can get the right layout. It can also be used with Linux, Android, and iOS devices. With Bluetooth 5.1, the keyboard can pair and quickly switch between three devices, making it perfect for someone who has to deal with more than one device. Available with factory-fitted Gateron G Pro mechanical switches (red, blue, or brown), one can also buy the K12 in a hot-swap version where you can choose between Gateron G Pro and Keychron's own optical switches. Additionally, you get the option of white or RGB backlighting for the keys, as well as an aluminum frame for that extra sturdiness.
The inbuilt 4,000mAh battery can last about two months (with backlighting turned off) before it needs a recharge. There is no dedicated software, which means there are no options to program macros, but there are dedicated keys to control the RGB lighting. Also, the keyboard is a little thick and definitely needs a wrist rest to reduce strain from your hands.
HyperX Alloy Origins 60
Rock solid gaming keyboard
- Robust build quality
- Competitive pricing
- Responsive and silent key switches
- Great RGB LED lighting
- Low onboard memory
- Custom software limited to Windows users
Why should you buy this: Great value for the asking price.
Who’s it for: Budget-focused gamers looking for a reliable compact keyboard.
Why we picked the HyperX Alloy Origins 60:
The HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is a highly praised 60 percent keyboard for gamers featuring one of the most compact designs, paired with a rock-solid build and an excellent price tag. It makes use of high-quality plastics, an aircraft-grade aluminum top frame, and a detachable USB-C cable that is braided for longevity. The company offers the keyboard with its own linear red mechanical switches and Doubleshot PBT keycaps with 45G actuation force and 1.8mm actuation distance. There is per-key RGB lighting as well and adjustable feet that offer three different angles of inclination. One can easily set macros and control the RGB lighting using the NGenuity software, while the keyboard's onboard memory can save up to three profiles. The software also lets you customize functions and assign them to almost any key on the Base Layer or the Fn Layer.
Overall, the Alloy Origins 60 performs quite well, with light and silent operation and extremely low click latency. It's also very affordable compared to its competitors, especially since HyperX bundles a keycap remover with some extra keycaps, including a trippy-looking spacebar keycap.
Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2
One of a kind 60 percent keyboard with capacitive switches
- Clean retro design
- Long-lasting build quality
- Wired and wireless connectivity
- Topre switches
- Unusual layout
- No backlighting
- High price
Why should you buy this: Minimalist design with premium Topre key switches.
Who’s it for: Programmers and typists looking for a unique experience.
Why we picked the Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2:
Focusing on aesthetics and a great typing experience, the Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 or the HHKB Pro 2 is one of the most unique products on this list. Catering to a niche audience, it features an understated retro design, solid PBT keycaps, and Japanese Topre key switches, all of which manage to deliver an interesting typing experience. There is a steep learning curve though, as the keyboard doesn't have a traditional layout, especially when it comes to the Control key that is positioned where the Caps Lock key should be. The capacitive non-contact Topre switches are definitely the highlight of the keyboard, offering linear and smooth key travel, almost like a superior version of the Cherry MX Brown switches.
As for connectivity, there are two pass-through USB ports to attach additional peripherals or thumb drives, and for some odd reason, a mini-USB port for connecting your PC. You also get Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to wirelessly connect multiple devices. Apart from the confusing layout, the biggest issue with this keyboard is the price. Currently available for over $300, the HHKB Pro 2 is one of the most expensive 60 percent keyboards on the market.
Corsair K65 RGB Mini
Appealing design with strong software ecosystem.
- Customization options
- Bright RGB lighting
- Up to 50 custom profiles
- Great design
- Misses out on adjustable feet
- 8,000Hz polling rate doesn't make a difference
Why should you buy this: Great design aesthetics with multiple customization options.
Who’s it for: Gamers who seek a good-looking design and robust software ecosystem.
Why we picked the Corsair K65 RGB Mini:
Corsair made its entry into the 60 percent keyboard category last year with the K65 RGB Mini. The advertised "hero feature" of the keyboard is its class-leading 8,000Hz polling rate, though that shouldn't be the only reason for you to buy one. It comes with a pleasing design and bright RGB lighting, making it one of the most premium-looking 60 percent keyboards. You also get a removable USB-C cable, Doubleshot PBT keycaps, and the option of Cherry MX Red, brown, blue, Silent, and Speed key switches. Available in black or white color schemes, Corsair additionally sells custom-colored keycap sets for the K65 RGB Mini to please enthusiasts. Then there is the iCUE software integration, which has become one of the best in the business, giving you full control of the RGB lighting as well as a variety of other options to play with.
This is definitely one of the most practical 60 percent keyboards with minor gripes. It misses out on adjustable feet, meaning you cannot change the angle of inclination, and for a $100 keyboard, one expects a metal top frame for that extra rigidity.
Anne Pro 2
A community favorite 60 percent keyboard
- Excellent build quality
- Clean aesthetics
- Multiple switch options to choose from
- Wireless connectivity
- Small battery size
- Not the best with ergonomics
Why should you buy this: Packed with features with a wide variety of switches.
Who’s it for: Suitable for all types of users.
Why we picked the Anne Pro 2:
A popular keyboard in its category, the Anne Pro 2 is the choice of many keyboard enthusiasts thanks to its simple yet functional design and feature set. The keyboard is very well built, with a premium plastic finish and PBT keycaps alongside a compact and clean design. It can be purchased with a variety of pre-installed switch options, including Cherry, Kailh, and Gateron, making it one of the most versatile 60 percent keyboards. The PBT keycaps are well-built and the typing experience is fairly good depending on the switches you go for. Apart from wired USB-C connectivity, the Anne Pro 2 also offers wireless connectivity via Bluetooth, allowing it to connect with up to four devices. The keyboard also comes with dedicated software that offers quite a bit of functionality, including a layout editor with up to three layers of customizations, a macro editor, auto-sleep functionality, and RGB lighting controls.
The omission of adjustable feet is questionable when it comes to ergonomics, while certain quality control issues regarding wireless and wired connectivity may hamper your experience. Overall, though, the Anne Pro 2 is one of the best compact keyboards for its price.
Frequently Asked Questions
While a traditional keyboard comes with 104 keys, a 60 percent keyboard has a total of 60 to 62 keys. It sacrifices most of the function keys, including the number pad, arrow keys, and other miscellaneous keys, in favor of a compact and sleek design. Such keyboards offer great portability and take up very little desk space, which is great for compact or minimalistic setups.
Certain gamers today prefer using a 60 percent keyboard as they are easy to maneuver and position at different angles, while the compact size makes more room for mouse movements. Additionally, most 60 percent keyboards offer the ability to set macros and choose between various key switches, which is again quite useful while gaming.
Due to their smaller size, 60 percent keyboards are relatively cheaper compared to full-size keyboards. Having said that, you can find a compact keyboard for as low as $50 going all the way up to $100. There are also some exceptions, like the Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2, which costs upwards of $300!
There are a number of keys that are not immediately available on 60 percent of keyboards, which may hamper your overall productivity. You can access the missing keys by rebinding the keys you do have, but there is a learning curve with that, and it definitely takes time to get used to the layout. If you are someone who heavily uses the numpad or the function keys, you will be better off with one of the best full-size keyboards.
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