Should you buy a 60 percent keyboard?

Hyper X Ducky Mini
Hyper X Ducky Mini (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Should you buy a 60 percent keyboard?

Best answer: As long as you don't mind a lack of arrow keys, numpad, F keys, and navigation cluster, a 60% keyboard will save space on your desk, add some style to your setup, and is easier to carry around.

What is a 60% keyboard lacking?

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What is a 60% keyboard? It's a standard keyboard that has 40% of its keys shaved off, including the number pad, top row of F keys, arrow keys, and navigation cluster. It's sort of like a compact laptop keyboard, except with even fewer keys. It can act as an accessory for games, taking on the best gaming keyboards, but it can also easily be used for productivity.

Worthwhile 60% keyboards have a Function (Fn) key that unlocks secondary or tertiary key uses for each press. You can still get your arrow keys, navigation keys, and even number pad keys in a lot of cases depending on the 60% keyboard you're buying. You'll just have to press the extra button and get used to not reaching over to hit an arrow or the Home key.

This new way to type will certainly be a change, but in most cases, you'll be able to do everything on a 60% keyboard as you would be able to do on a full-size deck.

Should you buy a 60% keyboard?

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If you're someone who often needs a number pad for spreadsheet work, the F keys for gaming shortcuts, or the navigation keys for word processing, buying a 60% keyboard probably isn't for you. These aren't the only situations that may arise, but removing all those keys can be an issue if you're used to a full deck without shortcuts.

Many 60% keyboards use high-end mechanical switches beneath the keys for a top typing and gaming experience. Along with RGB lighting, premium materials, and rechargeable batteries, for example, prices climb quickly. You can get cheap 60% keyboards, but the best generally have a steep price despite the small size. This won't be a problem if you have room in your budget, but if you're looking for a value setup you will generally be able to find a full-size keyboard for less money.

Investing in a 60% keyboard can save you a lot of space on your desk, it can improve your game thanks to high-end switches, and it can make moving around a lot easier thanks to its lightweight, compact design. It's also a great way to express yourself thanks to a growing business around custom keycaps and designs.

If you're still not sure whether or not a 60% keyboard is right for you, have a look at our Ducky Channel One 2 Mini review for a much deeper dive into what makes these keyboards so great.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.