A 60% keyboard is a small keyboard that typically lacks a Numpad, navigational cluster, and a function row. Instead, most of these missing commands are layered as secondary functions on the alphanumeric keys that make up most of the board. These little units are having their moment in the sun right now, and it's easy to see why. They offer gamers—and on-the-go typists—much more room on their desks for dynamic mouse movements while gaming or to keep a coffee close at hand. While many of these picks are gaming-focused, they're still versatile units you can use for general work or typing tasks.
We've tested over 185 keyboards with over 15 compact 60% units. Below are our picks for the best 60 percent keyboard. If you're interested in more gaming-oriented options, check out our list of the best gaming keyboards. Or, if you want a dedicated typing or programming keyboard, we have options for those as well in our best keyboards for programming and best keyboards for typing articles.
The best 60% keyboard we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless. It's a compact version of the enduringly popular SteelSeries Apex Pro. Like its full-size cousin, this keyboard also has an adjustable pre-travel distance feature, which means you can customize the sensitivity of your keypresses. Whether you want a nearly instant 0.2mm actuation point for competitive gaming or a longer pre-travel of up to 3.8mm for general typing, you can fine-tune your preferences for each key, making this a versatile unit that's great for both work and play.
This keyboard also connects using a USB receiver or Bluetooth, so you don't have to worry about cable management. Its battery life is a bit on the lower end, which is normal, considering it also has fully customizable RGB backlighting lighting. The battery lasts between 30 to 40 hours, depending on your usage. If you're concerned about the battery life, there's a wired version of this board, the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini. The wired version offers the same high-end performance and features, and it's typically cheaper, especially when it goes on sale.
Like our best pick above, the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog also has an adjustable pre-travel distance feature. However, this keyboard's switches use optical technology, which means laser beams, and they aren't as consistent or accurate as the magnetic switches on the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless. Plus, the range isn't as wide as the lowest and most sensitive setting you can set is 1.5mm. It performs pretty similarly to the SteelSeries, with equally low latency and excellent RGB backlighting. However, the Razer has a few more interesting features up its sleeve that the SteelSeries lacks.
One such feature is the 'Analog Mode.' When enabled, the switches register how far down you've pressed a key to respond in-game, like a gamepad controller. This feature is beneficial if you're a fan of racing games or flight simulators, as it gives you much finer movement control than you'd typically get with your average WASD keys. It's worth noting that this is a wired-only unit, unlike our top pick above, so you'll have to do some cable management. Thankfully the cable is a detachable USB-A to USB-C cable, so if you find it too stiff or bulky, you can easily change it for something more flexible.
While the Razer and SteelSeries picks above offer in-depth customization, the Corsair K65 RGB MINI is a straightforward mid-range unit focused on raw gaming performance. Instead of non-standard switches with adjustable pre-travel distances, the Corsair comes with typical Cherry MX switches. You can get your choice of switch type, including Cherry MX Speeds, a classic gaming switch with a feather-light actuation force and a short pre-travel distance for a sensitive and smooth keypress throughout—though beware, these switches can make you more prone to making more mistakes while typing as even light touches can register a keystroke.
The high-quality PBT keycaps have a bit of texture to them, so they aren't slippery, even during tense, competitive games. They also have very clear legends that allow the RGB lighting to shine through them, making them easy to read in darker rooms. Overall, this keyboard's gaming performance is unparalleled at this price point, with its higher-than-average maximum polling rate of 8000Hz and split-millisecond latency for a highly responsive in-game experience. This keyboard is also compatible with Corsair's iCUE software, meaning you can sync up your lighting effects with other Corsair products, like your mouse or PC components, for a unified theme in your setup.
If you're looking for the best budget 60% keyboard that offers solid performance for gaming and general typing, we recommend the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. When you use this keyboard connected with its cable, it has exceptionally low latency that's on par with gaming-oriented options like the Corsair K65 RGB MINI above. However, you can connect it wirelessly and pair up to four Bluetooth devices if you'd rather use it for work or general typing tasks. However, the latency over Bluetooth is much higher, so it isn't recommended for faster-paced or competitive gaming.
It also comes in a variety of switch types from major brands like Kailh, Gateron, and Cherry, making it easy to find a switch that suits your preferences. It also comes with a few colorful keycaps to add a bit of personal flair to your board. On the note of the keycaps, this board has doubleshot PBT keycaps like the higher-priced options on this list, which is a nice touch for a budget board. They feel great on the fingertips and have a nice texture for a good grip. While most compact boards lack arrow keys, this keyboard has a feature you can enable to make the right-side modifier keys act as arrow keys.
Although its latency isn't nearly as low as the wired latency of the Obinslab Anne Pro 2, and its build quality isn't as high as the Corsair K65 RGB MINI, the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is your best bet for a cheap compact board. It's well-suited for casual gamers or on-the-go professionals looking for a smaller board to use at home and the office. Surprisingly, for a cheap board, it has a hot-swappable printed circuit board, meaning you can swap out the stock switches with other mechanical switches of your choice for a typing experience tailored to your needs.
It's a great choice if you're just getting into keyboards since it's a cheap way to test out what switches you like without spending a small fortune. Plus, it comes in several variants that offer wireless connectivity options, different backlighting configurations, and a range of sizes, so you'll surely find the version that works best for you.
Feb 20, 2023: We've refreshed the text in this article and made some minor changes for clarity, but we haven't made any changes to our recommendations with this update as they continue to represent the best picks for their respective categories.
Dec 22, 2022: Minor changes to text for readability; no changes to picks.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 60 percent keyboards available. We factor in the price (a cheaper product wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), the feedback from our visitors, and availability (no keyboard that is difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is our list of 60 percent compact keyboard reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no product is perfect for every use, most keyboards perform well enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.