As you would already know, a 100% mechanical keyboard comes with a QWERTY keypad on the left side and a number pad on the right. The number pad works great for those who work with numbers on a regular basis.
Maybe an accountant, a programmer, or a financial analyst would appreciate the number pad that comes with a 108-keyed 100% mechanical keyboard. But not a gamer. In this post, I have selected six conveniently-compact 60% mechanical keyboards to suit your discreet needs. Take it wherever you go.
Best 60% Mechanical Keyboards
Anne 2 Pro from Obinslab is one of the most popular sixty percent mechanical gaming keyboards in the market. Along with some fantastic features, it also comes with nine key switches. If you are a fan of switches from Cherry, you can choose from Cherry Mx Blue, Cherry Mx Brown, and Cherry Mx Red.
For professional gamers, this miniature keyboard is perfect as it comes with a 1900mAh battery. You can connect this device with a computer either with a cable cord or wirelessly with bluetooth. If you do decide to use bluetooth, this device offers up to 8 hours of wireless usage. Isn’t that great news!
Moreover, you can also install a multi-platform software (download for free by clicking here), which can help you remap the keys and create some fantastic lighting effects.
Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is Suitable For -
Most feature-rich miniature mechanical keyboards available in the market are difficult to program. Only a tech-savvy person can manage to read the instructions and follow them religiously. Such is not the case with this one. The ObinsKit software eliminates the need for a physical manual.
Are you a big admirer of small-size mechanical keyboards with astounding lighting effects?
I’d like to call you attention to the fact that the HK Gaming GK61 comes with 6.8 million color combinations. You will never get bored of them. Aurora, Ripple, Music, Rainbow, Waves, Gradient, and Windmill are some of the popular themes. Plus, this product is available in either vanilla white or black color. They go well with the RGB LEDs.
Furthermore, this keyboard comes with Gateron optical switches. Unfortunately, you cannot switch them with Cherry key switches, but Gateron itself has a wide range of switches to choose from.
These switches can be hot-swapped easily. You don’t need to solder or desolder them. In short, as long as you are willing to shell out a few bucks to replace the broken or worn-out switches, the keyboard will last forever.
HK Gaming GK61 is Suitable For -
The GK61 PCB used in this device allows you to customize it like no other mechanical keyboard does. I am not talking about modifying the keycaps. You can even replace the whole keypad with the switches of your choice.
Redragon is a reputed computer peripheral manufacturer from China. It is a famous brand among gamers all over the world. Redragon K552 comes with clicky blue switches, which are quite fun to type on.
Primarily this product is designed for gamers, but you can also use it for typing purposes. Also, the clicking sound is loud but not loud enough to irritate other people in the room.
Furthermore, the standard ANSI layout (used widely in the North American region) of this keyboard makes it easy to learn typing on a newer, smaller keyboard. Still, it also comes with special-purpose and arrow keys at the right-hand side. This is why this keyboard has a total of 87 keys.
Redragon K552 is Suitable For -
The Redragon K552 is designed for those who love the soothing clicking sounds made by Cherry MX Blue key switches.
Also, the affordability of this product makes it one of the most valuable in the market. No other feature-rich miniature mechanical keyboard comes at such a low price. Hence, it is suitable for those looking for a cheaper alternative to Anne 2 Pro but don’t want to compromise on the features.
Best Value Runner-Up
E-Element Z88 is a budget-friendly miniature mechanical keyboard from a Chinese computer peripherals maker named Hui Ji. Those who seek tactile feedback along with the audible clicking sound of the Cherry MX Blue switches will love this device.
This keyboard comes with 81 anti-ghosting keys. You can type multiple keys at the same time still have each of your keystrokes registered.
Also, the backlight is not RGB, but it sports a Rainbow LED theme. Huo Ji always keeps up with the new trends and delivers on it to its customers. Plus, unlike other 60% mechanical keyboards, E-Element Z88 comes with 20 additional keys (arrows cluster and special purpose keys included).
HUO JI E-Element Z88 is Suitable For -
E-Element Z88 is perfect for those who wish to save some space on their desk. It fits the center to your hand, and you can also place the mouse alongside. Replacing your old bulky keyboard with this keyboard will be a massive upgrade for your work or gaming station.
K552-N is another affordable model by Redragon. Are you one of those people who find backlights completely unnecessary? If yes, then this is the right mechanical keyboard for you. The K552-N comes in solid black and vanilla white colors. The design is quite straightforward and down-to-earth.
Apart from that, Redragon K552-N is built to last longer compared to other miniature mechanical keyboards. It comes with replaceable Cherry MX Blue equivalent switches.
Blue switches offer medium resistance and make just enough clicking sound for you to notice a keystroke. You won’t have to worry about their quality as they are tested for 50 million strokes.
Redragon K552-N is Suitable For -
As I already mentioned, K552-N is cherished by those who prefer to use a miniature primeval mechanical keyboard without compromising the latest features. This product is not fancier, just better.
6. ONE-UP G300
Best Budget Runner-Up
G300 is another bargain-priced mechanical keyboard with Cherry Blue MX key switches. It contains a total of 87 keys (arrow cluster and special purpose keys included). No separate number pad provided.
Similar to Huo Ji E-Element Z88, this keyboard, too, comes with the latest Rainbow LED backlights. To meet your entertainment needs, One-Up has provided eight different game modes, nine backlighting modes, and six vibrant colors.
Furthermore, the body of this product is made from a combination of metal-alloy and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). No matter how long the gaming session carries on, the keyboard will be able to withstand the pressure.
Also, the ergonomically designed keycaps prevent you from experiencing any aches and pains during and after the gaming sessions.
ONE-UP G300 is Suitable For -
This product is perfect for those looking for an inexpensive miniature mechanical keyboard. It contains 87 keys. But the size of each key is smaller than usual, and the keyboard real estate is managed excellently. However, the blue clicky switches do make some noise while typing. Any gamer would love to add this device to their arsenal.
What is a 60% Keyboard?
A 60% mechanical keyboard is a miniature version of the full-size keyboard. It contains 55-62 keycaps and does not come with a number pad. The first row does contain numbers--like every other keyboard--in case you need to use them.
Furthermore, the special purpose keys like F1, F2, F3, home, end, etc. are embedded with the numbers. To access the function keys, you need to press the function key (fn) first and then your desired special-purpose key.
Lastly, in a 60% mechanical keyboard, even the arrow cluster keys are missing. Instead of the conventional arrow keys, gamers are encouraged to first press the function key (fn) and then either WASD or IJKL. It depends on the manufacturer.
I know what you are thinking. Pressing fn and then arrow keys disguised in the QWERTY keypad seems like a nightmare. But trust me. With time you will be able to retrain your mind. I am hoping, by now, you have more knowledge of miniature mechanical keyboards than you did before.
Why Do Gamers Prefer to Use Smaller Mechanical Keyboards?
It’s a sensible question. Unlike a full-sized keyboard, a 60% keyboard is small, compact, and lean. It is preferred for its space-saving attributes. Not everyone has a large-sized desk. Some people wish to save some space on the desk, so the gaming station appears organized and well-maintained.
Further, some gamers--especially the younger ones--use a computer primarily for gaming purposes. They do not need extra arrow keys and a number pad as they don’t use the machine for work purposes.
Besides, a smaller mechanical keyboard can be used for school-level homework and assignments. You can write an essay or publish a science paper online without any issues. All you need to do is go through the keyboard manufacturer’s manual and learn the shortcuts as well as you can. You will become familiar with them in no time.
Are 60% Keyboards Better?
You might not be fully aware of the fact that most laptops come with a 60-70% keyboard. Unless you prefer laptops with a monitor width greater than 17 inches, you probably already have used a miniature keyboard.
Just like in a 60% mechanical keyboard, to use the function keys like F1, F2, F3, etc. on your laptop keyboard, you do have to press the function key (fn) first and then the special purpose key to adjust brightness, volume, etc. You are already in a great position to judge the utility of a miniature mechanical gaming keyboard. Nevertheless, I have shared a few of its features in the next section.
Let’s talk about some useful features of a 60% mechanical keyboard that make it better than its counterparts.
The compact layout allows you to carry the keyboard anywhere you go. Most gamers prefer to take a ton of accessories and equipment to gaming tournaments. A miniature keyboard is space-saving and helps you carry more stuff in your backpack. Some also come with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. You don’t even need to bring cables.
2) Makes You Better at Keyboard Handling
Most people who use a 60% mechanical keyboard do not realize that having to work with a small keyboard--with functional limitations--can help them develop some amazing keyboard handling skills.
No gamer likes to take their hand away from the navigational keys (WASD). This is one of the primary reasons they prefer a conveniently compact mechanical keyboard -- now they can focus on what’s important.
It’s true that even a 100% mechanical keyboard can be remapped with the help of the right software. But in a 60% mechanical keyboard, the customization features are carried out by an inbuilt mechanism. You don’t need any software. Simply refer to the manual provided by the manufacturer.
You can remap, change the pattern of the RGB LEDs, have control over bluetooth, etc. They also offer dip switches to help you change modes.
We have talked about how a miniature mechanical keyboard can be carried to tournaments as it fits comfortably in your backpack. But the concise and compact styling also lets you do more with your desk.
Once you replace your bigger keyboard with a smaller one, you will realize that you now have more space on your desk. You can use that extra space to keep the mouse, writing pad, coffee mug, or simply leave it vacant, so the desk appears organized.
How Many Keys are on a 60% Keyboard?
Depending on the layout, a 60% mechanical keyboard has anywhere from 55-62 keys. Mechanical keyboards come in two layout styles: ANSI and ISO. The ANSI layout was originally used by the IBM Model M. ANSI keyboards come with 61 keys.
On the other hand, ISO contains 62 keys. Alt-Gr is the additional key, and Return or Enter is L-shaped (larger in size compared to ANSI layout). To accommodate the Alt-Gr, the Shift key is downsized by half.
I hope I was able to clear your doubts regarding 60% mechanical keyboards for gaming. Based on your requirements and budget, you can pick any of the products mentioned above.
Although, I would recommend you to go for Obinslab Anne 2 Pro. As a professional gamer, you must be able to hook your keyboard up with any PC wirelessly. The PCs available at the tournament may or may not have an additional USB port for you. It comes with a quick start guide, a cable, and extra keycaps.