Table of Contents
- What Is a 65% Keyboard?
- Why Use a 65% Keyboard for Gaming?
- Advantages of a 65% Keyboard
- The Picks: 10 Best 65% Keyboard
- Ducky One 2 SF Keyboard
- Qisan Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Akko 3068 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Drop ALT Mechanical 65% Gaming Keyboard
- Tada68 Mechanical Keyboard Gateron Switch 65%
- Durgod Hades 68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Vortexgear Cypher 65% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Nibble 65% 72-Key Mechanical Keyboard
- KKV 68 Keys RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Keychron K6 68-Key Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
- What To Look When Choosing a 65% Keyboard?
- Final Words
65% keyboards are a very well-kept secret of the keyboard world. They make very compact and comfortable keyboards to type due to their optimized size and layout. You can even find keyboards more compact than this, but you will find variety, options, and usability in this category.
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They are light, small, and therefore, easy to carry around. But they also have enough keys to make your work easier. This layout is preferred by enthusiasts who are on the lookout for custom keyboards. These keyboards may or may not have white space. It depends on their design. Just because they stray from the normal-sized keyboards doesn’t mean that they won’t have any of the modern features. You can find 65% keyboards with wireless compatibility, hot-swappable keys, and pretty RGB lighting.
What Is a 65% Keyboard?
A 65% keyboard is simply 65% of one keyboard, that is people term it as “65”. The total number of keys may vary from 66 to 68. The list of the keys includes the page up and down keys, arrow keys, delete keys, insert keys, and much more. This 65% is identical to the 60%. Regardless of this invention, 60% keyboards do not have dedicated arrow keys, as do 65% keyboards.
A 65% keyboard may look great at first, and you may think that you get all the enlisted desired features in this package, but there is a disadvantage to it. These 65% keyboards frequently consist of non-standard key sizes, making it problematic when you need to change keycaps. However, many companies provide the facility of long-lasting keycaps, including spares. So, when you purchase such a keyboard, it wouldn’t be a considerable issue.
The 65% keyboard is a saving grace for many people who cannot get used to the 60% keyboard, and a desirable option for people who don’t want a full-size one.
Why Use a 65% Keyboard for Gaming?
As a whole, a 65% keyboard is a perfect fit for people who love to have an extra compact layout that retains the dedicated arrow keys. The 65% keyboard is great for those with limited space or those who simply prefer a more compact-style keyboard. The 65%, combined with a great number of functions that are available on a TKL and also the space savings, makes for one of the best keyboard options in the market.
This keyboard is gaining popularity day by day. A 65% keyboard for gaming is going to feel great when it comes to typing and gaming. There are no more questions, no creaking, no rattling, and yes, no wobbliness. It provides a lot of switch options and allows customization, aiding gamers to play as they want to.
Advantages of a 65% Keyboard
The 65% and 60% both have more or less the same advantages. They both consist of the same ergonomic design and the calculated mouse spacing is similar too. Moreover, a 65% is a pretty great combination for a laptop, since it has a fundamental NAV cluster.
Since the keys would be closely spaced in these compact keyboards, you won’t have to move your fingers much to reach the various keys while you type. This means that your typing speed would be fast. This is especially useful for people who have small hands and short fingers. You may make mistakes in full-sized keyboards because some keys are just too far. But in these compact keyboards, that problem would be addressed.
Since these keyboards are smaller, you can take them anywhere with you, be that your office, school, business trip, or a friend’s house. They are designed to be small and light. Plus, if you find one that can connect wirelessly, it would make them even more portable. You can use them anywhere without having to deal with wires.
This unique feature is the distinctiveness of a 65% keyboard. If you have an issue using the FN- and PN-layer jiggling that makes trouble in accessing your arrow keys, then the suitable option is the 65% keyboard. The keys are closely presented but once you know, you get used to these easily and quickly.
As we already said, just because their size is customized doesn’t mean that they won’t have the features that standard-sized keyboards would have. You can find 65% keyboards with RGB lighting. It not only makes them look pretty but also increases visibility. That would be useful if your working space is dark.
The Picks: 10 Best 65% Keyboard
This specifically designed keyboard has all the desired features with the space coverage almost the same as that of 60%. The distinctive feature is the arrow keys that make it unique among others. This Ducky One 2 SF has a switch type of Cherry Mx. The uniquely designed petite bezel shape is the distinctive feature of this keyboard.
Furthermore, it has a polling rate of 1000Hz. This 1.4 pound-keyboard is similar to the basic Ducky One 2. However, this specific model is the SF, which stands for sixty-five i.e., 65%. Similar to the other pieces, it has a non-standard underneath row, making it problematic to find replacements keycaps.
- RGB LED lights
- ABS plastic casing
- Double-shot PBT plastic keycaps
- 1000Hz polling rate
- Brand new petite (elegant) bezel design
- Rubber feet present at the bottom
- Two kickstands
When it comes to purchasing keyboards, the Ducky One 2 SF Keyboard is never the wrong choice. It is highly suitable for gamers and typists. It is somewhat expensive but other than that, it is certainly worth purchasing.
The Qisan brand has brought us this remarkable product, weighing just 1.19 pounds. This comes with wired connectivity along with 68 buttons. This keyboard is highly suitable for gaming purposes.
It is uniquely designed keeping in view that it requires less space, and, at the same time, the 68-key layout makes it special. For gamers, it is a highly recommended product to enhance their gaming experience.
- Ergonomically designed
- Mechanical OUTEMU with brown stitches
- Doesn’t consist of borders floating keys and keyboard, convenient
- 1 × USB cable provided
- FN combined with many common shortcut keys
When it comes to purchasing a keyboard with such extraordinary features, you should go for the Qisan Mechanical Gaming Keyboard if it fulfills your requirements. Its design is perfect for gaming purposes.
The YUNZII brand has specifically designed this keyboard for gaming purposes. Its main features include support for USB having Type-C wired mode and Bluetooth as well. It has a dual-mode connection. For this, long-press these keys, Fn + TAB, and it will perfectly switch the connection modes between wired and Bluetooth mode.
This mechanical keyboard is particularly designed with exceptional features. The other thing is keycaps that are made up of 85% PBT material. The dye-sub technology is used in the printing processes. Also, the keycaps are brightly colored with a long-lasting shine. Furthermore, the 68-key compact layout saves extra space on your desktop, and you can easily take it out when needed.
- Bluetooth and USB Type-C wired mode
- Connectivity with Bluetooth devices of three different types
- Keycaps are made up of PBT material
- Dye-sublimation technique used on keycaps
- One lithium-ion battery included
The Akko 3068 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a 65% keyboard. It has enhanced and upgraded features that add up to your comfort level.
DROP has produced this mechanical keyboard with a high level of reliability and ease of use. It comes with USB and USB Type-C connections that make it perfectly fit for gamers to use. Also, it consists of 67 keyboard keys that enhance your gaming experience.
This keyboard is similar to the Drop CTRL, except that it has 67 keys instead of 87. It is perfectly built with customizable RGB backlighting. Moreover, one can easily adjust the color with either the rainbow option or a single color. The backlighting is enhanced by the help of shine through the double-shot keycaps. You can adjust the keyboard stand and make it ergonomic or lay it flat. This 65% keyboard has customizable LED lights with a built-in diffuser. This helps in spreading the light equally.
Furthermore, it provides easy altering of keymaps, and you can create macros. It comes with various types of switches, such as light, heavy, tactile, and much more. The heavy metal frame made up aluminum ensures it doesn’t fade easily, increasing the shelf life of this keyboard no matter how hard you use it.
- Manufactured with a solid aluminum frame
- Customizable RGB backlighting and underlighting
- Shine-through double-shot keycaps made up of PBT material
- Removable magnetic feet
- Hot-swappable switches
- Customizable LED lights
- Programmed with QMK Fireware with an online configurator
- Two USB Type-C connections
- 2 m/s response speed
- Optimized pre-key lightning with various colors
The Drop ALT Mechanical Keyboard has exceptional features that add up to your experience with a high comfort level. There is not any negative feature present in this 65% keyboard. It has pre-programmed, highly customizable RGB lighting, as well as perfect PBT keycaps with a wide range of color variations.
The Tada68 mechanical keyboards are specially designed with full assembly. They have Gateron switches with black, red, brown, or blue color, giving them an appealing look. The keycaps undergo the dye-sublimation technology as well.
It comes with little choices in colors in framing. This is made up of aluminum, whereas the plastic present is black-colored. Also, the PBT keycaps are made up of plastic for enhanced lightning. It also has a non-standard bottom row.
Similarly, it comes with various great options of switches in terms of colors. Some of the options are the slightly cheaper ones. Moreover, the Gateron switches consist of silent reds, silent browns, and silent blacks. The other alternative is Cherry Mx switches. The connection provided by this keyboard is a USB mini cable. Also, this wired keyboard has a detachable connection.
- Frame comprised of aluminum having some color choices with black plastic
- Case consists of cheaper plastic and slightly pricy aluminum
- Consists of a non-standard bottom row
- Soldered to PCB and not swappable
- USB mini connection cable is provided
The Tada68 Mechanical Keyboard is a very interesting keyboard with exceptional built-in features. It’s a great option if you want to build a custom keyboard. Additionally, this is a good start for a mechanical keyboard. The price range is more or less similar to Akko.
Durgod Hades is a renowned brand that provides keyboards with USB connections. It comes with 68 buttons and is designed especially for gaming purposes. It is simply designed with a compact and elegant look.
When you want to switch to game mode, you can easily use the NK rollover keys. All keys of this keyboard are programmable and independent of profile and macro editor. The advantage is that the profile can be downloaded without the software and used easily. It also comes with a key locking function of window programming. It has good support for speed, brightness, and backlight control. Moreover, it supports keystroke and macros editors
This keyboard consists of 68 keys with aluminum framing. The layout is ANDI-US international and the double-shot PBT keycaps are perfectly built-in. It has various configurable function keys. Also, it comes with a dust cover and English manual instruction. It also has double-layered plastic-modeled keycaps molded to each other. These are called cherry profiles because of the keycaps present in most of the vintage mechanical keyboards. Furthermore, it has customizable backlighting and profiles such as 1/2/3.
- Provides access to many functions by pressing the combination keys along with FN 1 & 2
- Made of an aluminum frame
- Two-layered plastic molded keycaps
- Double shot ABS keycaps
- Customizable profile 1/2/3, RGB backlight, layers
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
The Durgod Hades 68 is specially designed for gaming purposes. You should give it a try.
This compact 65% keyboard has 68/69 keys with dedicated arrows. This feature is not offered by the Pok3r (60%). The Cherry Mx mechanical switches last for up to 50 million keystrokes; they’re strong and highly durable. It brings in the intensity for gaming and typing.
Furthermore, the heavy PBT laser-inscribed keycap has a customizable setup. This setup has three different kinds of layout built-in. Also, the Cypher is available with multiple pre-programmed configurations, consisting of Qwerty, Colemak, and Dvorak. One of the distinctive features of this product is the detachable USB Type-C gold-plated cable.
The other exceptional feature is that it allows you to program up to 100 characters. It has a plastic case coating with dual-layer PCB.
- Compact 65% keyboard with 68/69 keys
- Fully programmable
- Customizable layout with three different kinds of setups
- Multiple layers pre-programmed
- Detachable Type-C USB cable
- Dual-layer PCB
The Vortexgear Cypher Keyboard is specially designed for gaming objectives. The dual-layer PCB and 50 million keystrokes add up to its strength and durability.
This uniquely designed high-quality 65% keyboard has a lot of room for customization for users. The Nibble has used a Pro Micro feature instead of using a discrete microcontroller. This has the advantage of saving assembly time. Most of the time, components such as the USB connector are not easy to solder manually. So, this keyboard gets rid of this problem.
It has more programmable keys compared to the 65% standard one. It also allows for multiple setups. Also, it has optional LEDs and an expansion port. These features make this product unique. It supports various kinds of key configurations and setups such as split space, multiple function rows, and stepped caps lock. Also, it runs with QMK firewire so it is easy for key mapping.
- A remarkable and unique 65% keyboard kit
- 100 percent through-hole design
- Different key configurations
- RGB under-glow is supported in QMK
- LEDs present, supported by acrylic material
When it comes to some outstanding features such as Pro Micro, the Nibble 65% Keyboard hit the top of the list. Its notable features make it unique.
KKV provides this 68-key keyboard with exclusive features. It gives 16.8 million color combinations. It also has multiple backlit modes. The layout can even be set manually.
Moreover, it is compact and portable. The Kailh Box RGB mechanical switches of this keyboard make it unique. This keyboard is highly durable, with 85% PBT material. The keycaps’ printing is processed with dye-sub technology. It gets bright color with no fading.
- 16.8 million combinations of color
- Multiple backlit modes
- Lighting, layout, and macros can be manually created
- Keycaps are made of 85% PBT material, having dye-sub technology
- Ergonomic design and Type-C cable
The KKV 68 Mechanical Keyboard has remarkable features with solid components and nice clicks. Moreover, it has a small form factor and remarkable backlighting. You should give it a try.
This keyboard is highly recommended to those who use macOS. Before you start wondering, interestingly enough, it is also compatible with Android and iOS operating systems. The switches on it are hot-swappable. There is a toggle on the left of the keyboard that allows you to change between different operating systems.
It has RGB backlighting, and it is wireless. On top of that, it is very affordable for all the features it offers. However, it bugs us a little that it has ABS keycaps but that is expected from the keyboards at this price range.
- Gateron mechanical switches
- Wireless but also comes with detachable wire
- Battery lasts for 72 hours of typing
- Equipped with Bluetooth 5.1
- Offers 15 plus RGB lighting modes
- Compatible with Mac, Android, and iOS
The Keychron K6 Keyboard would have been our top recommendation had it not been for those ABS keycaps. Still, it is a very good choice for people on a budget. It is wireless, compact, and compatible with various operating systems.
What To Look When Choosing a 65% Keyboard?
It is always good to read about the products you want to buy, especially if it’s your first time. Doing that will help you make a good buying decision. In this buying guide, we are going to tell you about a few factors that you need to keep in mind when you go out to buy your 65% keyboard.
We will talk about mechanical switches in this section. Assuming that you know about them a little bit, we’d recommend you to buy keyboards with hot-swappable switches. They allow you to change switches on the go. But be careful; hot-swappable switches wear down faster. So, if you don’t know how to properly use them and care for them, don’t buy them.
Keyboards with non-clicky switches are a good idea if you share your workspace with a few others. Cherry MX red and brown are good examples of non-clicky switches. This way, you can work non-stop on your project without disturbing others with the click-clack of the keyboard keys.
In the non-clicky keyboards, you also have the option of going with linear and tactile keyboards. Linear switches bottom out smoothly. They are great for fast typers. On the other hand, tactile switches offer a bump in the middle of the switch travel. They are great for those who want to know where and when their keypresses are registered.
Also, if the noise is not your major issue, you can go for clicky switches. They make a satisfying click and provide good feedback while bottoming out.
Now we know we said that 65% keyboards are lighter, but although they have almost the same form factor, their weights can vary. Materials used and the interior can cause the difference in weight. The rule of thumb is that the heavier the keyboard, the more expensive it will be. Because that means that it is made of premium quality materials.
You will come across budget keyboards that are made of ABS plastic. You will also find high-quality keyboards that are expensive and have an aluminum casing. Some manufacturers also use high-quality plastic to remain competitive in the market.
But it depends on you. You might not like a heavy keyboard, even though it means it is high-end. A heavy keyboard means it is hard to move around with it. But a keyboard with a metal case will indeed be much more durable than one made with plastic.
Almost all keyboards have wired connectivity even if they have wireless connectivity. USB-C type connectivity is the de facto choice on high-end keyboards. Micro-USB connectivity is the choice of connectivity on budget keyboards.
Wireless keyboards use Bluetooth technology for connectivity with the computer or laptops. You will find keyboards with Bluetooth 4, 4.1, 4.2, and even the latest 5 versions. The newer the better. It will be especially useful if you play games.
Wireless keyboards have built-in rechargeable batteries since they forgo the cable. The life of the battery will depend on various factors such as Bluetooth, battery capacity, backlighting, and more. You can find keyboards that work for 26 to 72 hours straight.
Another thing to consider in wireless keyboards is detachable cable. It is always nice to have one since you can remove it or attach it anytime you like. A fixed cable will reduce the portability of these compact keyboards.
Keycaps and Layout
Keycaps on keyboards are mostly made of ABS, PBT plastic, or rubber. You will find ABS keycaps on budget keyboards. But there are also high-end keyboards that use high-quality ABS for their keycaps. You can mostly find PBT keycaps on medium to high-end keyboards. Rubber keycaps are relatively hard to find because they are mostly in keyboards intended for gaming. They provide a better grip.
PBT will last for a long time. We’d recommend you to choose PBT whenever possible. ABS keycaps have smooth surfaces but they are not very durable.
65% keyboards come in two form factors: separated navigation keys and in-clustered navigation keys. There are no significant benefits to one or the other layout, so you can choose one based on your personal preferences.
Media control, programmable keys, and backlighting are some of the other features that would make using 65% keyboards more fun. They are nice to have, but you can use your keyboard without them just fine. More features also mean that the price would be high.
If the place you usually use your keyboard in is dark, you’d benefit from backlighting. Programmable keys allow you to have full control of your keyboard. However, you must know about reprogramming your keys.
The winner of this category is Drop ALT 65% Keyboard. It has an aluminum frame, PBT keycaps, and programmable keys. It has hot-swappable switches, customizable RGB lighting, removable feet, and two USB-C connections. Hence, it doesn’t miss anything.
KKV 65% Keyboard is our selection for this category. Not only does it have a very compact design, but it is also made of very high-quality material. It also features beautiful backlighting. The response of the keys on this keyboard is also impressive.
Best Value for Money
Keychron K6 is a clear winner of this category. It is wireless and compatible with many operating systems. It offers long battery life and 15 plus RGB lighting modes. This little keyboard comes with a detachable cable as well, which increases its usability.
65% keyboards are the perfect compact keyboards to have. They offer you all the essential keys and a space-saving design. Besides the list of products, we have compiled a buying guide that has all the necessary information for you to make a good purchasing decision. We hope you find it useful.