Gamers love their keyboards, from the high-end ones like the SteelSeries Apex Pro to the sleek-looking kind like the Razer BlackWidow. However, not all of these accessories fit on a desk nor are they always comfortable, which is why a lot will opt for their smaller variety — the 60% ones. These mechanical keyboards have 40% fewer keys than a full-sized one, so they have less functionality. And while this could hamper the productivity of any other user, it’s the perfect keyboard for gamers.
“Many players get fatigued during long or competitive gaming sessions,” gaming journalist Colton Deck explains in an article. “Going with a [60%] may help with shoulder and wrist aches because its small form factor allows the user greater freedom to adjust the position of their keyboard.”
If you, too, are looking for a 60% keyboard of your own, here are 2021’s top picks:
Ducky One 2 Mini
As one of the few keyboards that make RGB on white paintwork, the Ducky One 2 Mini is the best non-black keyboard you can get on the market. However, the keyboard’s best aspects aren’t found in its design but rather, in its customization features. For example, The Ducky One 2 Mini comes with Gateron, Kailh, Cherry MX, and TTC switches upon purchase. It can also be adjusted to three different levels, allowing you to find the most comfortable wrist angles for your gaming session.
Glorious GMMK Compact
The Glorious GMMK Compact is the world’s first modular mechanical keyboard or one that’s built with a hot-swappable PCB. It’s tricky, but every good manufacturer knows to start PCB designs with routing and swappable layers, making the integration of hardware features much easier. With the same method, Glorious can sneak special sockets into the keyboard’s PCB, which lets it automatically attach switches into place. This setup doesn’t use a soldering gun, so gamers are free to swap switches around whenever they want to customize their presses.
Razer Huntsman Mini
Razer creates beautiful keyboards every year, and their most recent lineup is no different. The Razer Huntsman Mini is the company’s first try at a 60% keyboard, and it doesn’t disappoint. It has the new patented “Optical Switches.” These switches feature a tactile bump and several reset points for the best gaming experience possible. It also has optimized actuation. Actuation force is the power required for the keyboard to register your presses. The Huntsman Mini’s actuation can be adjusted depending on your preference.
Cooler Master SK621
If you’re not too fond of the flashy RGB lighting of most gaming keyboards, the Cooler Master SK621 does the lighting more subtly for an almost lamp-like glow. Its colors can be customized by pressing down on the Cooler Master, Q, W, and E keys simultaneously.
Because of the dimmer lighting, the SK621 can last up to 15 hours without charging. However, you do have the option to connect it directly via USB-C cable. Its only “downside” (at least if you’re not used to it) are the flat default keycaps. Fortunately, newer versions of the SK621 come with a separate contoured keycap set, which you can use as replacements.
There are plenty of 60% gaming keyboards on the market, but as with all things tech, some of them are better suited to your needs than others. So think about the features that you want before settling on a purchase.