60 vs 65 keyboard - Which is the Better Choice?

Lindsay Hayes

60 keyboards come with 60 percent of the keys that full-sized keyboards have. This minimalism makes them look more elegant.

65 keyboards have 65 percent of the keys that normal full-sized keyboards come with. Unlike their 60 percent counterparts, you will find arrow keys and a couple of other buttons which makes them easier to use.

I was building a gaming setup recently and was trying to decide between 60 vs 65 keyboards. I went with a 65 keyboard, because I couldn't do without the arrow keys.

I have looked at the differences between the two below, as well as some other additional information.


What is the Difference Between 60 vs 65 Keyboard?

I've described the two keyboards in-depth to give you an idea of how different they are.

Let's get to it.

Turned on Wireless Keyboard

60 Mechanical Keyboard

60 keyboards are designed to come with only 60 percent of the keys that a full-size keyboard comes with.

You basically only get the essential keys, like all the Alphabet buttons to type. However, there are no arrow keys, function keys, navigational keys, the Numpad, Delete, Insert, Prt Sc or Scroll lock buttons.

Although the mentioned keys are gone, you can still gain access to their functions by pressing special button combinations.

If you're all about aesthetics, these keyboards are the right choice for you. They are also useful if you don't have much desk space.

65 Mechanical Keyboards

65 keyboards come with more keys than their 60 percent counterparts. Along with the essential keys (that I mentioned above), you will also find extra keys like the arrow buttons, Numpad, and dedicated buttons for macros.

They are great if you want a more compact mechanical keyboard but can't live without the navigation cluster.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of 60 and 65 Keyboards?

There are a couple of advantages and disadvantages between the two keyboard types.

Let's talk about this.

Advantages of 60 and 65 Keyboards

Some of their advantages include:

Small Form Factor

Probably the main reason users get 60 percent keyboards is due to their compact size. You will have more than enough room on your desk if you get one.

The lack of a number pad and navigation keys alone gives you around 6 inches of space.

You will be able to carry these keyboards around easily, as they can fit in any backpack.

Just as form factor is a major advantage for 60 percent keyboards, this is also the case for 65 percent ones.

Of course, they are a bit bigger. However, they are still small enough that you will have enough desk space to work comfortably.

You will also be able to carry them around with ease.

65 percent keyboards are a great choice for users who want compact keyboards but don't like the fact that there are so many missing keys. You will still get the Delete key, Shift key, and F keys on them.

Just keep in mind that although they do come with arrow keys, they are near the alphanumeric clusters which have a learning curve to get used to compared to the full-sized layout.

Great Customization

60 percent keyboards are quite customizable. They come with standard layouts, so they are compatible with many custom keysets.

You will also find keysets for them being sold, which you might like. There are a couple of custom cases as well.

Close View of Black Keyboard

Disadvantages of 60 and 65 Keyboards

Some of their disadvantages include:

There Are Way Fewer Keys

Although the size is an advantage, many people think 60 percent keyboards are too small. A lot of important keys are missing, like the Nav cluster keys and f keys.

Since there are no number keys, you will have to press the PN key or FN key down while holding the number arrow at the top.

65 percent keyboards don't have as many keys as full-sized options but they are a good compromise, as you still get arrow keys and a number pad. This makes them relatively easier to use. However, you might still miss all the other keys that were removed.

Not a Very Custom Keyboard

65 keyboards are not the most customizable because of their nav cluster keys. Unlike full-sized keyboards, the cluster is in the incorrect row, and the right-side modifiers are squished together to accommodate this.

So adding custom keysets can be difficult, as they don't fit the modifiers or look pleasing to the eye even if you were to install them.

Some manufacturers try to bypass this by creating a gap between the nav cluster and the arrow keys, however.

Most manufacturers don't provide optional aluminum or brass cases, so you will be left with the plastic case out of the box.

Should You Get the 60 or 65 Percent Keyboard Type?

Most users opt for either a 60 or 65 keyboard instead of a regular full-sized keyboard to save space. So 60 percent keyboards are the best as you can have more space to work.

They are very small, so carrying them around would be a breeze. You will also be getting a customizable keyboard, as there are quite a few keyboard cases and switches that you can install on them.

Is 60 or 65 Keyboard Better for Gaming?

You might find it hard at first to game on either a 60 or 65 percent keyboard, but you will get used to it in a couple of days.

I think 65 percent keyboards are the better choice for gamers. You will get a smaller keyboard but arrow keys at the same time.

As mentioned, the arrow keys on 65 percent keyboards aren't in the regular spot, however. They usually are around the alphanumeric space.

You will also get additional dedicated keys that will help with typing, so you can speak to your teammates easily.

Just keep in mind what I mentioned about 65 percent keyboards not being very customizable.

Gaming is all about flexing, so you won't be able to customize and change up your keys to match your gaming setup. This is definitely something that I would consider.

Mechanical Keyboard with RGB Light

What Are the Best 60 and 65 Percent Keyboards?

I decided to look at some of my favorite 60 and 65-percent keyboards.

65 Percent Keyboards


The RK68 is one of my favorite keyboards on the market. It comes with a total of 68 keys while also being ultra-compact.

Its physical size is impressive, as it weighs 12.95 in x 6.02 in x 1.77 in across. Plus, it's light as well.

You get a detachable USB-C wired design to make sure you get a stable connection. It is also compatible with different operating systems, from Windows to Linux.

The RK68 comes with RGB lighting that can handle 18 different modes. This makes it an excellent choice for gamers.

It comes with brown tactile switches that have a good bump to them. They are pretty easy to trigger, which will help when gaming. However, you can swap the switches out if you want.

What's also great is that you get anti-ghosting as well as double-shot keycap compatibility.

The RK68 of course comes with dedicated arrow keys, which I mentioned that 65 percent keyboards have.

2. Razer BlackWidow V3

If you're a gamer, you would have heard of Razer before. They are arguably the biggest gaming peripheral brand in the world.

They make 65% percent keyboards, and the BlackWidow V3 is a good choice that I had to mention.

It comes with 200 hours of battery life, so it can last when you have long gaming sessions. The keys on it are also tactile and clicky but not noisy.

It uses HyperSpeed Wireless technology to ensure there is no lag between your keystroke and the action on your computer.

You get some impressive RGB lighting. Razer has included their Chrome lighting on the BlackVidow v3, so you get 16.8 million different shades of colors.

As it's a 65 percent keyboard, it has all the keys that you need for regular use, except for the F row. You will be getting a right and left arrow key as well.

Its dimensions are smaller than the standard layout. They are ‎5.14 in x 1.61 in x 12.55 in.

60 Percent Keyboards

1. Kraken Pro 60

The Kraken Pro 60 is one of the most popular 60 percent keyboards on the market. You will not only be able to use it on the PC but the XBOX and PS4 too.

It's super small, and its dimensions are 13.23 in x 5.59 in x 1.93 in

It also comes with a vivid RBG lighting effect that is fully customizable.

Of course, the Kraken Pro looks cool. I mean look at its design - it comes in both black and pink keycaps that are very appealing.

2. MageGee B092CHWH1D Keyboard

The MageGee B092CHWH1D looks like a retro keyboard. This makes it a good choice, as it stands out compared to quite a few of the options on the market.

Since it's a 60 percent keyboard, it's no surprise that it's so small. You're looking at a device that weighs around 12.1in x 3.9 in x 1.5 in across.

It comes with mechanical blue switches that have a nice feel to them. You also are getting a charming blue blacklight. The lights are customizable, which is appreciated.

It works with different operating systems, while supporting USB 2.0 as well.


Answered below are some popular questions.

Are Smaller Keyboards Better?

This depends on your personal preference. I am a fan of compact keyboards because of how stylish they are.

If you don't like either the 60 or 65 percent keyboards, there are 75 percent keyboards that you can buy.

A 75 percent keyboard is also known as a tenkeyless or TKL keyboard. It has 10 less keys compared to regular full size keyboards. It's a compact keyboard that offers the best of both worlds. You can still use it with a bit of muscle memory.

Just keep in mind that TKL keyboards are not easy to find. Very few keyboard manufacturers sell these compact layout types.

Read more resources

Final Thoughts

As you can see, 60 and 65 percent keyboards differ quite a bit when compared to regular keyboard sizes. They come with 60 and 65 percent less keys, respectively.

This keyboard size makes them super compact which will give you more space to work. So they are ideal for users who are stuck with a small setup, as they can comfortably get enough horizontal space to work.

However, there are a few drawbacks to these compact options. For starters, you will have to press special macros to access Fn keys, on 60 percent keyboards.

I also looked at how a tenkeyless keyboard compares with the two.

Like I said, 75 percent keyboards are a compact version of a full-sized keyboard that comes with quite a few extra keys.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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