What Is a 60 Keyboard?

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Updated July 29, 2022

Give your keyboard a once-over and ask yourself which keys you use and which ones you think could be scrapped. That’s the same question many modern keyboard manufacturers have asked because, in case you haven’t noticed, many of the best keyboards are getting smaller. For the curious among you, keep reading as we explore what is a 60 keyboard.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The 60 percent keyboard’s compact layout is 60% the total size of a standard full-size keyboard.
  • The 60 keyboard eliminates the Numpad, function row, and most of the space between each key.
  • The majority of 60 percent of keyboards feature layered keys, allowing users to toggle between multiple uses for each mechanical switch.

What Is a 60 Percent Keyboard?

The “60” in 60 keyboards represents its ratio to a full-sized keyboard, which means that a 60 keyboard is right around 60% the size of a full-size keyboard. So what has been done to make them so much smaller?

Insider Tip

For those who buy a 60 percent keyboard with RGB modes, you can set it up to alert you when your computer is at risk of overheating or experiencing poor wireless connection.

To start, the Numpad is gone. But they didn’t stop here because a keyboard solely missing the Numpad is known as a TKL (or tenkeyless) keyboard. To learn more about these, you can read our article on what is a TKL keyboard.

To qualify as a 60% keyboard, the function row will also be missing. And depending on the model, the arrow key navigation cluster is sometimes done away with too. 60% models also eliminate much of the space between each key, further condensing the device.

And although the 60 is one of the smaller compact keyboards on the market, others exist that aren’t quite so small. To learn more about these models, you can read our article that answers what a 65 keyboard is.

Benefits of a 60 Percent Keyboard

The 60 percent keyboard is widely appreciated for a handful of reasons. On a practical level, it saves users desk space and is an incredibly portable keyboard for travel. In addition, these keyboards are known for advanced tech features and often come with things like a detachable cable.

Gamers in particular often covet these mechanical keyboards because they have additional features, such as RGB lighting and key layering. These features allow users to customize their specific gaming needs and strategies.

Warning

Because 60 keyboards have a different key size, buying additional parts and finding replacement caps is often more expensive than more standard-sized keyboards.

For those wondering if the 60 percent keyboard is any better for typing, we advise you to try it out. The reduced size can be tricky to get used to, given that it eliminates so many commonly used keys. In addition, the compact spacing compared to standard layouts can also be a hard adjustment. However, many users say that the typing experience on a 60 is excellent or even better than on larger keyboards.

STAT: A 60 keyboard has, on average, 61 total keys. But some models have up to 64. (source)

What Is a 60 Keyboard FAQs

Do mechanical keyboards work better for gaming?

Finding which keyboard functions best for you is always a matter of preference. Still, gamers tend to prefer mechanical keyboards over membranes.

Are 60 keyboards better for typing?

Many claim it's easier to position a 60 keyboard in a more comfortable position because of its compact size, making it more ergonomic and better for typing.

How wide is a 60 keyboard?

There's no official size, but they tend to be around 11.5" wide.
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