Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular among various users, including gamers, content writers, and home users. These users often look for the perfect balance between functionality, design, and customization, leading many to consider the 60 vs 65 keyboard layouts. Since we mentioned several computer games and gaming hardware in this blog, these two keyboard types are worth discussing.
We will discuss the pros and cons of each keyboard layout, compare typing experiences, and discuss customization options and price ranges. We aim to help you make an informed decision based on your needs and preferences.
Understanding 60% and 65% Keyboard Layouts
A 60% keyboard layout refers to a compact keyboard with approximately 60% of the keys of a standard full-sized keyboard. These keyboards often lack the dedicated number pad, function row, and navigation cluster on larger keyboards.
A 65% keyboard layout is slightly larger, including approximately 65% of the keys of a full-sized keyboard. While also missing the dedicated number pad and function row, 65 keyboards typically retain the arrow keys and a few additional navigation keys.
Comparison with a Standard Full-sized Keyboard
Compared to a standard full-sized keyboard, both 60% and 65% layouts are more compact and portable. This makes them ideal for users with limited desk space or who prefer a minimalist setup. However, the reduced number of keys means that users must rely on key combinations or layers to access certain functions.
I prefer to use the standard full-sized keyboard with all keys. Since my computer desk has enough space and I’m using it with my desktop computer, it is more convenient. But if your situation differs and falls in any category we discuss in this guide, think of any compact keyboard.
Benefits of 60% Keyboards
Compact Size and Portability
The compact size and portability of 60% keyboards offer several advantages for different user groups:
Gamers can appreciate the space-saving design, allowing for more mouse movement and a clutter-free gaming area. Additionally, portability is beneficial for gamers who attend LAN parties or tournaments, making it easy to transport their keyboard.
Content Writers often work in various locations, and a compact 60% keyboard is convenient to carry around. The smaller size also helps maintain a clean and distraction-free workspace.
A 60% keyboard can be an excellent choice for home users with limited desk space or those who prefer a minimalist setup. It allows for more room on the desk for other devices or office supplies.
Benefits of 65% Keyboards
Additional Arrow Keys and Function Row
The inclusion of arrow keys and a few additional navigation keys on 65% keyboards provide advantages for different user groups:
Advantages for Gamers: The presence of arrow keys can be crucial for certain games, especially for those that require precise character movement. The extra navigation keys also offer quick access to in-game menus and settings.
Advantages for Content Writers: Writers often need to navigate through text efficiently, making arrow keys indispensable. The extra navigation keys can also help with document formatting and organization.
Advantages for Home Users: The added functionality of arrow keys and additional navigation keys can improve overall productivity and convenience during everyday computing tasks.
Gaming Experience on 60 vs 65 Keyboards
For gaming, the choice between a 60% and 65% keyboard largely depends on personal preference and the specific games played. Gamers needing dedicated arrow keys or playing games requiring precise movement may prefer a 65% keyboard. However, those who play games that primarily rely on the main keyboard area may find a 60% keyboard sufficient and appreciate the extra desk space.
For writers, the difference between a 60% and 65% keyboard comes down to the importance of arrow keys and additional navigation keys. If you frequently need to move around in your text or use keys like Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down, a 65% keyboard might be better. On the other hand, if you prioritize portability and can manage without dedicated arrow keys, a 60% keyboard could be a suitable option.
General Home Use Experience
For general home use, the decision between a 60 vs 65 keyboard depends on the tasks you perform on your computer. If you often use spreadsheets, perform data entry, or need to navigate through large documents, a 65% keyboard might be more convenient. However, if you mostly use your computer for browsing the internet, watching videos, or casual gaming, a 60% keyboard should suffice and offer the benefits of a more compact design.
Price Range and Affordability
Price Range for 60% Keyboards
60% keyboards can be found at various price points, catering to different budgets:
Budget Options: Keyboards like the GK61 or Anne Pro 2 offer a decent typing experience and basic customization options at an affordable price, usually below $100.
- FULL RGB BACKLIT GAMING KEYBOARD – 16.8 million Color combinations, adjustable brightness levels and multiple different lighting effects. Plug & Play, no drivers needed.
- Gateron Blue Switches
Mid-range Options: Mid-range 60% keyboards, such as the Razer BlackWidow V3 or Durgod Taurus K320, are some of the best options in the market between $100 and $200, offering higher-quality materials and improved keycaps.
- 3 Modes of Connectivity: Supports Bluetooth for efficient power consumption, HyperSpeed Wireless for lag-free gaming, and USB-C for charging while in use
- 87 Keys Double Shot PBT Keycaps ; Ansi US International Layout ; Cherry MX Switches
Premium Options: High-end 60% keyboards, like the HHKB Professional Hybrid or SteelSeries Apex Pro, can cost upwards of $200, providing exceptional build quality, unique design, and extensive customization options.
- FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE & STUPIDLY FAST with OmniPoint 2.0 Adjustable HyperMagnetic switches
Price Range for 65% Keyboards
Like their 60% counterparts, 65% keyboards are available at various price points:
Budget Options: Affordable 65% keyboards, such as the Keychron K6 or Akko 3068, can be found for under $100, offering a good balance between functionality and price.
- ✅【Program with QMK & VIA】: With the K6 Pro’s QMK/VIA, you can intuitively remap your favorite keys and create macros with any key on any operating system (macOS, Windows, or Linux) for a fluid workflow. The open-source firmware means endless possibilities for keyboard layouts, shortcuts, backlight effects, and more.
- BLACK & GOLD THEME 65% PERCENT – Black and gold is a striking combination that brings elegance and luxury. With extra novelty keys, this unique color scheme with gold accents against black backdrops will transform your desk into a sumptuous and yet modest and restful space.
Mid-range Options: Mid-tier 65% keyboards, like the ASUS ROG Falchion, cost between $100 and $200, featuring higher-quality materials and improved keycaps.
- COMPACT, WITHOUT COMPROMISE - ROG Falchion NX is a 65% form-factor wireless mechanical keyboard designed to change the way you play. Interactive touch panel and innovative two-way cover case, plus it’s the first ROG keyboard with wireless Aura Sync RGB lighting.
Premium Options: Premium 65% keyboards, such as the Keycult No. 2/65 or Rama Works U80-A, often exceed $200, providing top-notch build quality, unique design, and extensive customization options.
Factors Affecting a User’s Decision Based on Price
When choosing between a 60% and 65% keyboard based on price, consider factors such as build quality, keycap material, switch options, and customization potential. Determine your budget and prioritize the most important features to find the best keyboard for your needs.
Customization Options for 60% Keyboards
60% keyboards offer various customization options that appeal to different user groups:
For Gamers: Customizable RGB lighting, swappable switches, and programmable macros can enhance the gaming experience and tailor the keyboard to individual preferences.
Content Writers or who type a lot: Writers might prioritize silent switches, high-quality keycaps, and ergonomic wrist rests to improve their typing experience.
Home Users: Home users may focus on aesthetics, opting for unique keycap sets, colored cases, or customizable lighting to match their setup.
Customization Options for 65% Keyboards
65% keyboards also offer a range of customization options that cater to different user groups:
Gamers can benefit from features like per-key RGB lighting, hot-swappable switches, and programmable macros, allowing them to create a personalized gaming experience.
Content writers may prioritize factors such as comfortable keycaps, quiet switches, and ergonomic wrist rests to enhance their typing experience and reduce fatigue during long writing sessions.
For home users, customization options like unique keycap sets, custom cases, and adjustable RGB lighting can help create a visually appealing and functional setup.
So, we provided enough information; now, the choice between a 60% and 65% mechanical keyboard largely depends on your individual needs and preferences. Both layouts offer compact designs and various customization options, but their key differences lie in the presence of arrow keys and additional navigation keys. Gamers, content writers, and home users should consider typing experience, price range, and desired customization options.
If you are coming out of a full-sized keyboard, the best keyboard for you is the one that meets your specific requirements and provides a comfortable, enjoyable typing experience. By understanding the key differences between 60% and 65% keyboard layouts, you can make an informed choice and find the perfect keyboard to suit your needs.