So are you looking for something compact at the same time keeping the typing experience of a mechanical keyboard? Then a 60% mechanical keyboard will be ideal. These are unbeatable when it comes to comfort, versatility, longevity and of course portability. 60% keyboards are simply 60% size of a regular keyboard. These are a preferred popular choice amongst the fans of mechanical keyboards. 60% size is achieved through the removal of the navigational keys and the number pad. Otherwise the keys are the same size as a regular keyboard. 60% mechanical keyboards are aesthetically pleasing and some people choose them because they look cool. These keyboards are hard to find so here we list a buying guide and the 5 best 60% keyboards on the market today..
Why use a mechanical keyboard?
If you have a demanding typing job such as web development, IT and journalism, then investing in a quality keyboard can be make your work more productive. Mechanical keyboards provides a unique typing experience. Each keystroke is authoritative . In mechanical keyboard you don’t need to press a key all the way for your keystroke to register. Thus speed and precision is unbeatable increasing your typing speed and fewer typos. Mechanical keyboards last for years to come without any degradation. Once you switch to a mechanical keyboard you will never look back!
What are 60% Keyboards?
Mechnical keyboards do not lose any scale in key size, but instead have fewer keys than regular keyboards. Regular keyboards have 87 to 104 keys. However, a 60% keyboard usually has around 60 keys. They lack the number pad and keys such as arrow keys, Home, Page Up, and Scroll Lock. All the missing keys are included in the rest of the keys and can be obtained by pressing a combination using Fn key.
Drawbacks of a mechanical keyboard?
Here are some reasons you might be dubious of investing in mechanical keyboard:
Cost – Can be expensive and will set you back anything between $80 to $300. In our reviews we have covered all budgets.
Noise – If you are concerned of noise then you must be careful on your choice as mechanical keyboards are known to make a racket. Noise level can be your key influencer for an open office space.
Bulk – Generally bigger and heavy compared to regular keyboards.
Wires – Most of the keyboards are wired hence not many options for wireless mechanical keyboard.
Portability – Due to size, weight and wires, they are not easily portable. For on the go mechanical keyboard may not be ideal.
Akko X Ducky One 2
Vortexgear Pok3r 60% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Magicforce by Qisan
SKYLOONG Mechanical Keyboard
Ajazz AK33 Geek RGB Mechanical Keyboard
Best 60% Keyboard Reviews
#1 Akko X Ducky One 2
Ducky is known to make quality mechanical keyboards. The Ducky One 2 is a 60% mechanical keyboard with the option of three cherry mix switches to choose from. Aimed at PC gamers, the key switches can be chosen from Cherry Mx Blues, Cherry Mx Browns and Cherry Mx Reds. Cherry Mx are popular amongst gaming with Mx Red being the popular choice.
The keyboard is slim at just 40mm, black with a sleek white base and RGB backlit keys. You can choose various lightening modes switching by switching between each mode using the keyboard shortcuts. Further the RGB can be customised as there are a vast built-in presets all customisable with its software.
The logos Ducky and Akko are at the back, the high-quality keycaps are printed with double shot method which means that after prolonged use you won’t get a shiny or faded look on the keys. It comes with a keycap puller so you can customise by removing and placing your own onto the keyboard. Further it comes with nine extra keycaps of random colours. The keyboard feet are adjustable giving you that extra feature.
The macro keys on the keyboard are versatile offering customisability. However, the stock macro is challenging for beginners. There is always the option however to use third party macro software.
The cherry on the top is that you get a DIP switch at the back with which you can play minesweeper on the keyboard!
- Ability to set macros through hardware
- Ability to play games on the keyboard hardware
- 9 extra colored switches included
#2 Vortexgear Pok3r 60% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
With a simple and clean design is the Poker 3. An extremely sturdy aluminium case resistant to breaking and flexing. Laser etched PBT keycaps therefore they wont become shiny or smooth after extensive use. A black on black design with vivid RGB colours that really stand out. Added to rigidity is the plate between the PCB and switches warranting premium and durable.
The keyboard is slightly angled and therefore cannot be lied completely flat. A deal breaker for some will be that it does not have keyboard legs. The keys have no borders on the edges and therefore gives it a floating effect.
The keyboard is available with 5 different Cherry Mx options therefore making it most diverse mechanical keyboard. You can choose from Mx Reds, Mx Silent Reds, Mx Silvers Mx Browns and Mx Clears. However there is no keycap puller and the detachable USB cable is micro USB.
There are four independent programming layers available with the Pok3r. The custom keys are therefore saved on the keyboard and does not require additional software to access them. Further it comes with 4 DIP switches at the back to switch between different keyboard settings.
Despite being challenging for beginners, the macro support is astonishing once you get used to it. With ability to program up to 3 layers each key is capable of 32 keystrokes!
- The ability to program your macros using layers
- Laser etched keycaps
- A lot of RGB effects without needing to use software
#3 Magicforce by Qisan
The Qisan Magicforce Mechanical Keyboard is the most budget option on the with some appealing features especially considering how much it costs.
More like a 65% keyboard with its arrow keys, insert, delete, home and end key. Therefore for those particularly gamers who like arrow keys this one provides a good balance of 60% and TKL keyboard.
A silver base with white keycaps, this is great for those looking for white gaming setup. Backlit keys with white LED lights, you can adjust the backlit settings. With retractable keyboard legs that prop up the keyboard is useful. A floaty keyboard effect with no borders on the edges. A detachable micro USB cable is also included in the box alongside the keyboard itself.
Sold with OUTEMU Brown mechanical switches – these Cherry Mx brown equivlient and mimic to a near perfect degree. The brown switches habe no audible click and rather a tactical bump and therefore perfect for those who don’t like to cause a racket.
The keyboard lacks ability to reprogram keys on the hardware however there are third part software options should you need to. Importantly the key switches use a standard Cherry MX stem and therefore you can replace all the keycaps with any third party Cherry MX keycaps.
Overall, with he Qisan Magicforce 68 you get a lot for the price a highly recommend option for the budget seeker.
- Budget-friendly price
- 68 key layout
- Inclusion of the arrow keys
- No backlight
- Outemu Brown Switches
#4 SKYLOONG Mechanical Keyboard
An additional budget mechanical keyboard on our list is the Skyloong K61 60% mechanical keyboard. This one has full RGB support and included is a USB C cable and keycap pullers. The keycaps are Gateron optical switches and try and mimic the Cherry MX blues. Subsequently this may be a deal breaker for some as this will result in a louder keyboard.
A very useful feature is the IP68 water and dust resistance. Therefore providing versatility and you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged being spill proof!
The RGB is not customisable however there are enough preset options you can choose from. These are 7 color breathing mode, single-color breathing mode, multi-color on click lightening and a mode that changes the lighting based on the music that’s playing.
“On-The-Fly Macro Recording” is possible with this keyboard. This is basically software less macro recording useful for quick macros but not for extensive macros.
Given the price point, you get a lot for your money with this versatile mechanical keyboard.
- ABS keycaps.
- IP68 water and dust resistance.
- Gateron Optical switches.
#5 Ajazz AK33 Geek RGB Mechanical Keyboard
The Ajazz K33 is a compact mechanical keyboard that features per-key RGB backlighting for an impressive range of lighting effects. Included with the arrow keys and four utility keys and therefore a 65% keyboard. Black with an aluminium backplate that does a great job in enhancing the RGB backlighting whilst providing rigidity.
It’s a black keyboard with a silver aluminum backplate. The aluminum backplate does a great job of reflecting and enhancing the RGB backlighting.
A slightly modified key layout with 82 keys, some keys have shrunk to fit (right shift key) and some keys (home and end) are not in their usual place so maybe difficult to use as a standard keyboard. Due to some keycaps not being a standard size, it may be difficult to find compatible keycaps.
Some of these keys are also non-standard sizes, so it may be difficult to find compatible aftermarket keycaps if you’re wanting to swap out the included set.
The RGB lightening is impressive with spiral, waves and even more effects that look fantastic. Most can be configured using key shortcuts – changing speeds and colours.
There is no need for additional software as all the customisation is done on the keyboard using keyboards built in shortcuts. Ajazz do however offer their own software to tweak the lightning, set up macros, polling rate etc.
- Compact 82-key layout
- Available with a variety of mechanical switches
- Per-key RGB lighting with a wide variety of lighting effects
There are lots of great 60 keyboards to choose from. I have only reviewed high-quality keyboards so any from the list would be a great choice. Hopefully, this list helps you to decide the one most suited to you. The main factors will of course be price and the key switches.