A 60 percent keyboard is an excellent alternative for gamers who frequently travel or need more desk space.
The small form factor of a 60 percent keyboard offers some great advantages. Being much smaller than a full-size board means it’s more maneuverable, and it can be placed at more angles to suit your seating position. Because 60 percent keyboards take up less space, there’s also more room for other equipment like speakers or mice. Another benefit of a smaller keyboard is that it’s easier to carry and transport.
Smaller keyboards can also have health benefits and reduce fatigue. Our arms are generally more comfortable when they are closer to the body. If you spend hours at a time playing games like Apex Legends or Call of Duty, your arms may get tired faster on a full-size keyboard because they are more outstretched.
Here is a list of some of the best 60 percent keyboards available now.
The Razer Huntsman Mini is a shortened version of its full-size sibling without the wrist rest. It comes in either black or white, and you can choose between Razer’s Optical Clicky or Optical Linear switches. The Optical Clicky switches have a 1.5-millimeter actuation point and require 45 grams of force, while the Optical Linear keys only have a 1.2-millimeter actuation point but need 48 grams of actuation force.
The optical switches used on the Huntsman mini are different from the mechanical switches used on most 60 percent keyboards. Optical switches use a beam of light instead of a metal contact, and the keypress registers when the light passes through the stem. These switches are said to have a faster response time than mechanical switches and a longer lifespan.
There are a few factors that contribute to the Huntsman Mini’s solid build quality. Razer includes its double-shot PBT keycaps that do an excellent job of repelling oils. Double-shot keys tend to last longer and don’t fade like keycaps made from lesser materials. The Huntsman also has a rugged design with an aluminum plate that adds weight and durability to the keyboard.
It’s also possible to create and store up to five profiles using Razer’s Chroma app.
The Cooler Master SK621 is a 60 percent wireless keyboard that’s perfect for gaming or controlling a PC connected to your TV. You can use it for around 15 hours with the RGB lighting active or connect it directly using a USB-C cable.
The SK621 comes with low-profile keycaps and Cherry MX Low Profile Red mechanical switches. Many gamers prefer the Red variants because of their quiet function and 2-millimeter actuation point. Cherry MX’s Low Profile switches reduce the actuation point down to 0.8 millimeters for an even quicker response time.
The flat keycaps have a fast response time, but they might take a while to get used to. A contoured keycap set is included with the SK621, so you can choose the set you find more comfortable while you adjust to the low profile switches.
Just like the Huntsman Mini, the SK621 is pretty durable, thanks to its excellent build quality. They both have sturdy aluminum frames on a plastic base compared to the full plastic construction of the Dierya DK61 and the Obinslab Anne Pro 2.
Like many options on this list, the SK621 includes RGB lighting and customization software. Lighting effects can be configured using the keyboard by holding down the Cooler Master logo key and pressing the Q, W, and E keys. The RGB lighting can also be synced with your mouse or case using the Portal app. The Portal app also allows you to create macros and different profiles for games like Apex Legends or League of Legends.
The Cooler Master SK621’s low-profile design might take some time to get used to, but it is a versatile 60 percent keyboard with multiple connectivity options.
Ducky One 2 Mini Pure White
The Ducky One 2 Mini Pure White is a great alternative to all the black keyboards on this list. The white color stands out compared to most of its rivals, and it also brings out the stunning RGB lighting.
There are multiple RGB presets and configurable lighting profiles available on the Ducky One 2 Mini Pure White. The RGB lighting profiles can be configured on the keyboard itself, but it’s a cumbersome process compared to using the software.
One of the best aspects of this keyboard is that it allows buyers to choose from several different switch manufacturers. The available switches include Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, and TTC. Each switch has unique characteristics, allowing you to create a more bespoke keyboard.
Double-shot keycaps are another great feature of the One 2 Mini Pure White. The included double-shot keycaps are durable and bring out the RGB lighting better than standard black keycaps. Ducky also makes spare keycaps in a range of brightly colored themes to personalize the keyboard.
Many compact keyboards like the previously mentioned Cooler Master SK621 don’t have adjustable legs and rely on a sloped design to make your typing comfortable. The Ducky One 2 Mini Pure White follows a different path and has three-level adjustable feet that help users find the most comfortable typing angle.
The Ducky One 2 Mini Pure white doesn’t have an aluminum frame, but the plastic feels sturdy unless strong force is applied.
The Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is a 60 percent keyboard with both wired and wireless capability. It can be connected to your computer directly through a USB-C cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth. If you connect wirelessly, you shouldn’t have to worry about the keyboard dying mid-game because the 1900mAh battery has a lifespan of around eight hours and a battery-saving feature.
Like the other keyboards on this list, there’s bright programmable RGB lighting. The Obinslab Starter software is easy to use and allows you to configure the preset modes and create different lighting profiles. You can also use the software to configure the per-key RGB lighting and program up to 16 macros.
The customization options on this keyboard aren’t just about looks. You can also select mechanical switches from popular brands like Gateron, Kailh, and Cherry MX. Each brand has several options to choose from, so you can select a switch that best suits your preference.
Obinslab’s Anne Pro 2 offers a balance of affordability and utility. The Anne Pro 2 is slightly cheaper than a few of the more premium options like the Huntsman Mini, and it offers wireless capability. It’s also a great option if you don’t want cables cluttering up your desk, but Bluetooth connections can be somewhat unreliable in competitive gaming.
The Glorious GMMK Compact is marketed as the world’s first modular mechanical keyboard. The main selling point of the Glorious GMMK is the hot-swappable PCB. Being hot-swappable allows you to try various switches on the same keyboard without any soldering. These hot-swappable sockets are compatible with leading brands like Gateron, Cherry MX, and Kailh.
Glorious also includes a key switch and keycap puller to make customizing your keyboard easier. Glorious offers keycaps in black and white. The company also offers pudding-style keycaps that are black on top and have translucent sides to bring out the RGB lighting.
Some of the other impressive features on the Glorious GMMK include a sturdy aluminum frame and RGB lighting. The RGB lighting is not as bright as the Razer Huntsman Mini, but the light bleeds from underneath the keycaps a bit more. This keyboard feels considerably heavier than the Huntsman Mini despite both keyboards featuring aluminum plates.
The Glorious GMMK presents outstanding value and is the most versatile keyboard on this list because of the hot-swappable switches and keycap options. A minor drawback to this keyboard is that it uses a Micro USB connection, unlike other options that use a more modern USB-C connection.
The Dierya DK61 is a reasonably priced 60 percent keyboard with superb functionality. Like the Anne Pro 2, it can connect to your PC using Bluetooth or the provided USB-C cable. If it’s working in wireless mode, the 1900mAh battery can last for around eight hours, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it dying in the middle of a game.
One of the outstanding features is the IPX certification. The IPX4 certification means the Dierya DK61 can withstand sprays and splashes from all directions, but it won’t survive being fully submerged. This feature may come in handy for gamers that also eat and drink at their desks.
The DK61 is around half the Razer Huntsman Mini price, but it offers hot-swappable switches, like the GMMK. You can choose between different switches in the Gateron Optical range, including the red, brown, and blue variants. Because this is an optical keyboard, users won’t be able to swap the included switches out with traditional mechanical switches.
The Dierya DK61 has a robust set of features and is a fantastic choice if you want a versatile 60 percent keyboard on a limited budget.
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