The 5 Best 60 Percent Keyboards on Earth Today: Ranked and Reviewed

60 percent keyboards are all the rage right now among tech enthusiasts and power users who want maximum efficiency without sacrificing performance or customizability. As a leading computer historian and hardware analyst, I‘ve tested and reviewed the top contenders to spotlight the 5 absolute best 60 percent keyboards available today.

What Are 60 Percent Keyboards and Why Are They So Popular?

A 60 percent keyboard refers to a compact keyboard layout that eliminates the numeric keypad section as well as the F1-F12 function keys to conserve space. What you‘re left with is a tightly packed block that perfectly fits 60% of the keys found on a full-sized 104 key keyboard.

The big appeal of the 60 percent form factor comes down to a few key advantages:

  • Portability: With their small footprint, 60% keyboards are ultra portable and perfect for tossing in your bag to use with laptops, tablets and more on the go.

  • Desk Space: Removing sections you rarely use clears room on your desk for mousing or other gear vital to your workflow.

  • Ergonomics: Bringing your mouse hand closer promotes better posture and alleviates strain that contributes to RSI over extended periods.

  • Efficiency: Condensing essentials fosters faster, more accurate typing thanks to reduced hand travel between keys.

Of course, the more compact your keyboard, the more likely you‘ll need to employ specialty key combos or layers to compensate for lost inputs. Overall though, 60% options strike the ideal balance for many users.

Now let‘s spotlight the 5 very best 60% keyboards available based on performance, features, quality and value.

How I Evaluated and Selected the Top 60 Percent Keyboards

As a tech products reviewer and computer historian, I have a systematic process for evaluating gear across a range of criteria to surface the leading options.

For these mini keyboard rankings, I weighed several key factors:

  • Layout/Size: Priority was given to 60% boards with smart, efficient key positioning without shrinking individual keys too small.

  • Performance: Only keyboards with reliable, responsive switches and key presses made the cut.

  • Features: Customization software, RGB lighting, device compatibility and extras like programmable macros were big plusses.

  • Build: Preference went to sturdy models crafted from aluminum, steel and ABS plastic over cheap plastic frames at risk of cracking.

  • Value: To appeal to varying budgets, I featured premium splurges alongside more affordable picks.

Armed with these standards, I identified 5 superstar 60 percent contenders worthy of your consideration.

The 5 Best 60 Percent Keyboards Available Now

1. SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless — Best Overall

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless asserts itself as the premier 60 percent keyboard money can buy right now. It packs a robust feature set into a compact yet supremely well-built frame.

True to its name, the Apex Pro Mini offers cord-free Bluetooth connectivity along with a choice of switch types. The unique OmniPoint adjustable switches let you customize actuation sensitivity from 0.4 millimeters up to a deep 3.8 mm.

This versatility pairs nicely with 2-in-1 dual function keys allowing for complex macros and shortcuts. Speaking of customization, the SteelSeries Engine software grants RGB lighting control with dynamic effects. And integrated prismatic film ensures captivating illumination visibility from any angle.

Other highlights include IP54 spill and dust resistance, swappable ABS keycaps and a generous 40 hours of battery life. The aircraft grade aluminum alloy body is as durable as they come.

For a cutting-edge keyboard ready to elevate any desktop setup, the feature-packed Apex Pro Mini Wireless earns our top recommendation.

Key Specs:

  • Connectivity: Wireless via Bluetooth 5.0
  • Switches: SteelSeries OmniPoint Adjustable
  • Materials: Aluminum alloy
  • RGB Lighting: Yes, via SteelSeries Engine
  • Battery Life: Up to 40 hours
  • Size: 293 x 105 x 40 mm
  • Weight: 562g

Pros

  • Fully adjustable actuation
  • Multi-device pairing
  • Aircraft grade metal construction
  • Vibrant customizable RGB lighting

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Keycaps prone to shine

Bottom Line: The pinnacle of premium customization and quality with smart space savings in an impeccably built frame.

Price: $199.99

2. Keychron K12 — Best Budget 60 Percent

The Keychron K12 proves you don‘t need to spend big to enjoy a feature-packed 60 percent keyboard ready for work and play. It nails all the essentials from a compact layout built for efficiency to versatile cross-platform compatibility.

At the K12‘s core is an impressive selection of hot swappable Gateron switch options. Choose between clicky, tactile and linear models to suit your exact typing preferences. Mac users will also appreciate the dedicated Mac layout with command and option keys.

A trio of cozy white backlight levels let you work comfortably even in dim environments. The durable aluminum frame includes adjustable feet for ergonomic tilt angles. And Bluetooth wireless connectivity spans across Windows, MacOS, iOS, iPadOS and Android devices.

If you want a flexible wireless keyboard without emptying your wallet, Keychron‘s K12 is a phenomenal value. The optional RGB version costs slightly more but retains bargain 60 percent status.

Key Specs:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Switches: Gateron (Blue, Brown, Red)
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • RGB Lighting: Optional model
  • Battery Life: Up to 192 hours
  • Size: 293 x 102 x 40 mm
  • Weight: 515g

Pros

  • Broad OS and device compatibility
  • Quality construction
  • Choice of switch types
  • White backlighting
  • Budget price

Cons

  • Keycaps prone to oil shine
  • Connectivity quirks

Bottom Line: A versatile wireless 60 percent keyboard ready for office and mobile use with premium touches well beyond its price.

Price: $74

3. Razer Huntsman Mini — Best for Gaming

Razer dominates the gaming peripherals scene, so it‘s no surprise their Huntsman Mini emerges as the best 60 percent keyboard for play. It brings the company‘s proven optical switch technology down to a tightly packed layout primed for victory.

The Razer Linear Optical Switches actuate at the speed of light, overtaking traditional mechanical switches. This unprecedented responsiveness translates to quicker key presses to stay ahead of the action. The keys themselves hold up to 100 million clicks thanks to reinforced durability.

For further personalization, Razer Synapse 3 software unlocked extensive RGB customization with thousands of color combinations across several mesmerizing effects. Fully programmable macros take your skills to the next level. And a durable aluminum frame gives the Huntsman Mini suitable stability for intense gaming marathons.

Competitive gamers who want a supremely responsive, rugged keyboard able to keep up with fast run-and-gun play need look no further than the Huntsman Mini. It brings stellar Razer gaming tech to a conveniently compact size.

Key Specs:

  • Connectivity: Wired USB-C
  • Switches: Razer Linear Optical (Red silent version also available)
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • RGB Lighting: Yes, via Razer Synapse 3
  • Size: 296 x 100 x 36 mm
  • Weight: 690g

Pros

  • Incredibly fast optical switches
  • 16.8 million color RGB lighting
  • Quality aluminum build
  • Fully programmable keys

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No wrist rest

Bottom Line: Razer brings unrivaled gaming speed, personalization and proven durability to the 60 percent keyboard arena.

Price: $129.99

4. Royal Kludge RK61 — Best Budget RGB

The colorfully illuminated RK61 from Royal Kludge gives you vibrant RGB lighting without breaking the bank. It manages to pack an excellent typing experience into a super compact frame with room left for customization.

At the heart of the RK61 are satisfyingly tactile brown switches with excellent responsiveness for gaming and daily tasks alike. And you can outfit the keys with the included alternate red WASD caps for quick visibility.

But this keyboard‘s star attraction is the gorgeous per-key RGB backlighting with adjustable brightness levels to match your mood or rig‘s aesthetic. The compact 60 percent layout still makes room for handy arrow and function keys.

Connectivity comes courtesy of a detachable USB-C wired connection. And at just 2.36mm thick, the RK61 slips easily into bags, backpacks and tight desktop spaces alike thanks to clever space savings.

If your ideal 60 percent keyboard combines standout RGB illumination, fast key presses and a travel-ready form, all without forcing budgetary compromises, Royal Kludge‘s cheap but cheerful RK61 shines bright.

Key Specs:

  • Connectivity: Wired USB-C
  • Switches: RK Brown
  • Materials: ABS Plastic
  • RGB lighting: Yes, per-key
  • Size: 295 x 102 x 23.6 mm
  • Weight: 550g

Pros

  • Quality RGB lighting
  • Tactile, responsive keys
  • Ultra slim profile
  • Good value

Cons

  • Keycap shine
  • Limited switch options

Bottom Line: Proof you don‘t need big bucks for a responsive, customizable RGB-lit keyboard in a condensed 60 percent package.

Price: $54.99

5. Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional Hybrid — Most Premium

The Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional Hybrid justifies its stratospheric price tag by offering unmatched quality and customization for work and code-crunching alike.

Topre electrostatic capacitive key switches with integrated springs deliver ultra-crisp key presses with rapid-fire responsiveness. And thanks to the hybrid construction melding Topre switches into a variable weighting structure, you get a supremely premium feel unlike any stock mechanical switch.

N-Key rollover ensures every input registers correctly, even when pressing multiple keys simultaneously. Dye sublimated keycaps retain crisp legibility even after years of intense everyday use. For further personalization, Hasu‘s alternative controller adds programmability.

If you want the absolute best typing experience money can buy wrapped in an incredibly efficient 60 percent footprint, the HHKB Professional Hybrid warrants its lofty cost. Just know authentic Topre excellence comes exclusively from Japan.

Key Specs:

  • Connectivity: Wired USB
  • Switches: Hybrid capacitive (45g uniform weighting)
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Printing: Dye sublimated PBT keycaps
  • Size: 294 × 103 × 42 mm
  • Weight: 580g

Pros

  • Finely-tuned premium Topre switches
  • Incredibly durable PBT keycaps
  • Proven brand pedigree
  • Endlessly smooth, tactile feel

Cons

  • Extraordinarily expensive
  • Limited switch options
  • bibliotek-h

Bottom Line: Simply the best feeling, most luxuriously crafted typing experience a 60 percent keyboard can deliver (if you can afford it).

Price: $294

What Should You Look for When Buying a 60 Percent Keyboard?

With compact 60 percent keyboards now more popular than ever, you have tons of options to sort through. Keep these factors in mind while shopping to score the perfect model tailored to your needs and budget:

  • Intended Use: Determine whether you mainly want a keyboard for gaming, programming, general office work or some combination thereof. This guides priorities like switch types, key arrangement and customization capabilities.

  • Switch Types: The three most common options are clicky/tactile switches providing audible feedback, linear models for smooth uniform key presses or hybrid switches with specialized mechanisms.

  • Wired vs Wireless: Bluetooth removes cable clutter but may introduce slight latency unacceptable to competitive gamers. Some keyboards allow both connectivity methods.

  • Programmability: Customization software lets you remap keys, build shortcuts and macros, adjust RGB lighting colors/effects and more.

  • OS Compatibility: Most boards support Windows and macOS but some boast connections across desktops, mobile devices, tablets and even gaming consoles.

  • Build Quality: Look for durable aluminum or steel frames over cheaper all-plastic builds. Double shot, PBT and shine-resistant keycaps also signal longevity.

What‘s It Like Using a 60 Percent Keyboard?

The first thing you‘ll notice transitioning to a 60 percent keyboard is the dramatic reduction in overall footprint. By stripping the number pad and function keys, your mouse now sits much closer to the main block of letter keys for improved ergonomics.

This also brings your screens, notebooks or other reference materials nearer to encourage better posture and lessen neck strain from excessive swiveling. Just be prepared for an adjustment period getting used to accessing some lesser-used inputs like arrows and function keys via alternate key combos temporarily until they become second nature.

The other obvious change is your desktop suddenly seeming so much more spacious! Removing up to 40 percent of a traditional keyboard significantly reduces clutter to make way for larger mouse pads, speakers, microphones and other essential productivity accessories.

Within about two weeks of daily driving a 60 percent board, accessing specialty keys through intuitive shortcuts will feel completely natural. And you‘ll wonder how you ever tolerated so much excess desktop real estate swallowed up by bloated keyboards before!

Top 60 Percent Keyboards: Final Thoughts

After extensive testing and analysis evaluating today‘s most compelling 60 percent keyboard options, the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless stands above the rest as the best overall choice right now. It packs unrivaled customization into an impeccably built frame ready for work and play alike.

But the beauty of the 60 percent keyboard market is the availability of a model tailor-made for virtually every preference, use case and budget. Whether you want wireless freedom, RGB personalization or buttery smooth Topre switches, a compact keyboard ready to upgrade your workflow awaits.

Just don‘t underestimate the efficiency gains, improved ergonomics and added desktop real estate you unlock by downsizing to 60 percent! Once you settle into the layered function keys and compact layout, there‘s no going back to a traditional bulky board hogging your precious space.

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