Finding the Best Keyboard Size for You: A Guide to 60%, 65%, TKL, and Full Size
When choosing a new keyboard, one of the most important decisions is selecting the right size. Keyboards come in a range of sizes, from compact 60% models to full size keyboards with number pads. The size you choose impacts portability, ergonomics, and functionality. This guide will overview the most common keyboard sizes - 60%, 65%, TKL, and full size - so you can find your perfect fit.
What to Consider When Choosing Keyboard Size
Before diving into the specifics of each size, here are some key factors to keep in mind:
- Desk Space - Smaller keyboards allow more room for mouse movement, which is ideal for gaming. Larger keyboards take up more surface area.
- Portability - Compact 60-65% models are easier to transport compared to bulky full size options.
- Ergonomics - Tenkeyless and 60-65% sizes allow your arms to stay closer together, reducing strain.
- Functionality - Smaller keyboards require using FN keys to access some functions, while full size models have dedicated keys.
- Customization - Standard layouts on 60% and full size keyboards allow for custom keycaps. Other sizes have compatibility issues.
60% keyboards are the smallest mainstream size, offering a compact and portable typing experience. By eliminating the number pad, arrow keys, and function keys, 60% keyboards maximize desk space for mousing.
- Extremely compact and portable
- Standardized layout works with custom keycaps
- Frees up desk space for gaming
- Requires FN key combinations to access some functions
- Big adjustment from larger keyboards
- Not ideal for data entry or office work
Popular 60% models include the Ducky One 2 Mini, Anne Pro 2, and Royal Kludge RK61.
Slightly taller than 60% boards, 65% keyboards add back the arrow keys while retaining a compact footprint. This restores some functionality over 60% boards without sacrificing too much space.
- Compact with arrow keys added back
- Balances functionality and minimalism
- Great for travel and small desks
- Non-standard bottom row limits customization
- Still requires some FN combinations
Check out the GMK67 for quality 65% options.
Tenkeyless (TKL) Keyboards
TKL keyboards remove the number pad while keeping the F-keys and arrow keys intact. This is a very popular "enthusiast" size striking a great balance.
- Standard layouts support customization
- Good balance of compactness and functionality
- Ideal for gaming due to extra mousing space
- Not as portable as 60-65% sizes
- Can be more expensive than full size
Top choices for pre-built TKL boards include the Ducky One 3 TKL, Keychron K8 Pro, and Glorious GMMK Pro.
Full Size Keyboards
As the most common size, full size 105-key keyboards offer complete functionality with a number pad and full set of keys. This comes at the cost of desktop space and portability.
- Total functionality with number pad
- Most variety of layouts, designs, and features
- Easily found from major brands
- Bulky and heavy, not very portable
- Cramped for gaming and mousing
- Less ergonomic for prolonged typing
Full size options are everywhere - top rated picks include the Keychron K10 and Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro.
Finding Your Perfect Fit
When selecting your next keyboard, carefully consider how you plan to use it. Gamers and minimalists will appreciate the compact 60-65% sizes for their portability and mousing space. Writers and office workers may prefer TKL or full size for the extra functionality. There are also ergonomic benefits to smaller keyboards. Take your usage needs into account and choose the size that's right for you!