Top 10 Best 60% / Compact Mechanical Keyboards

By George Wood Jr.

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Why make the switch to a 60% / compact mechanical keyboard? For one, the compact keyboards allow for more space to maneuver the mouse, leading to less contact between keyboard and mouse during intense firefights. Additionally, a smaller keyboard is more portable, which is convenient for toting it along when the gaming moves outside of your personal gaming den.

Of course, maybe it’s a practical solution; such as a small keyboard to go with a quaint lil’ gaming desk for a smaller gaming space.

Still, paring down on size should not affect the features offered when compared to their full-sized cousins. If anything, the small space should open up a door of new functional possibilities. Below are our top picks for the best 60% / compact keyboards, where size is reduced but customization of RGB settings and variety of mechanical switches are not.

One of the best 60% / Compact keyboard setups on a budget is the E-Element Z88. With a less expensive purchase there is the ever-present fear that the purchaser is in for a steady onslaught of malfunctions and disappointment. This is fortunately not the case with the Element Z88.

The anti-ghosting 81 key setup means vigorous response times when mashing overly intricate keystroke maneuvers during intense gaming sessions. Clickiness is a big selling point for any keyboard I recommend, a feature that is audibly apparent here.

The injection molded keys pop up from the frame, revealing a calming, customizable RGB glow. However, my favorite color featured on the Z88 is gold, as in the gold-plated USB plugin on the side.

The GK61 is one of the best wired 60% / compact keyboards available with some of the most durable keys on the market. The switches on this keyboard are rated for 100 million keystrokes, which makes its switches some of the most durable on the market. A+ in my book, considering I’m quite heavy handed with keyboards!

I also for one don’t mind the single-color backlight option on this keyboard. The GK61’s electric teal is pleasing to the eye versus the sometimes distracting nature of flashy RGB light shows.

Blue, brown, black, and red are my four favorite colors available on the Asceny One, and I’m not referring to the RGB swatches. For gamers who want to switch up the clickiness of their keys, the Asceny One offers four colored, hot swappable optical mechanical switches to choose from.  This is a strong candidate as the best compact keyboard for gamers who adore customizable keyboards.

One other strong selling point for me is the Laffy Taffy-inspired gummy key caps available for swappage on the ctrl, alt, shift and escape keys. A bold choice that reminds me of Tekashi69’s grill, few other keyboards on the market offer this sort of poppy color flair.

Another wireless contender for the best compact keyboard, the MOTOSPEED rolls in with enough RGB color display to make a retired raver vomit rainbows.

One thing I like about this keyboard is that it is offered at a better price than the ROYAL KLUDGE while offering the same approximate 10-hour battery life. Even better, the MOTOSPEED has a built in on/off switch to lengthen the battery life when not in use. At a standby time of up to 480 hours, this setup can hold a decent charge.

Full n-key rollover and anti-ghosting is the industry standard for keyboards of this caliber, and this one does not break the pattern. How it does stand brightly apart is the 19 blaring backlight effects. They are a touch overstated in my opinion, but some gamers dig that sort of thing so keep that in mind before purchasing.

The ANNE PRO 2 is a strong keyboard, featuring n-key rollover, anti-ghosting and programmable offline macros, (programmable macro keyboards are a huge game changer on whatever virtual battlefield you march on).

At 61 compact keys, customizable RGB functionality, a magic key switching to different buttons and a long lasting wireless battery life that can be switched on and off, the ANNE PRO 2 brings a lot to the table to elevate itself as one of the best compact keyboards.

Still, it’s hard to justify the $100+ price tag when it hardly out-muscles other entries on this list in terms of features and functionality. Yes, your gaming ability will jump significantly especially if you are transitioning from a non-gaming keyboard, but the cost here really doesn’t guarantee a better offering than other wireless RGB keyboard options.

The DIERYA holds the title for best choice of font on a keyboard, fingertips down. The symbols convey a feeling of killer intensity, like something you would see on a space pirate cruiser.

While I liked the on/off switch available on the MOTOSPEED, the DIERYA takes battery conservation one step further by programming a sleep mode that kicks in after 3 minutes of inactivity. This is especially important, because the humming glow of the DIERYA RGB backlighting would otherwise be a bummer power drain.

The ergonomic sweep of the key arrangement on this keyboard does feel a bit more wrist-conscious than the previous options. This is especially important for avoiding the diabolical bane of all gamers: Carpel Tunnel.

The RK61 is the wireless older sibling of the ROYAL KLUDGE, offering wireless connectivity for up to three different devices and a league of 27 different backlight modes.

As far as the best 60% / compact keyboards for strong gaming performance and professional productivity, the Wireless RGB RK61 walks the tightrope like a versatile chainsaw-juggling trapeze artist.

Finding the right level of clickiness is important for long term use. To meet the varying demands of consumers, there are 3 different Gateron switches available for easy installation. Aesthetically, the company also offers a selection of keycaps to be purchased separately, including an Atari-esque retro style set or another that is aqua teal and cotton candy pink for those gamers who like to get weird.

When it comes to getting your money’s worth on a big keyboard investment, I can give an A+ recommendation on dropping $100 for a Cooler Master SK-621.

I really appreciate a more understated RGB backlight setup on my gaming keyboards, combining vibrant coloration without disturbing my focus on the monitor. The Cooler Master nails this with all 18 of its light patterns, plus a jazzy RGB ring that orbits around the brushed aluminum frame. This more low-key glow likely contributes to the beefcake battery life of 15 hours of activity, and reportedly 4-5 months on standby mode.

This keyboard features tight, clicky red mechanical switches with the option of flat panel keys or a more traditional curved key. I also really appreciate the lack of any software necessary for RGB or key mapping because this promotes a more seamless gaming experience.

Alexander the Great’s campaign of conquering Europe and nearly all of Asia was a glorious thing. When Beowulf wrestled down the ferocious beast Grendel in hand-to-hand combat, that certainly falls under the classification of “glorious.”

However, when the Glorious Modular keyboard offers the first wireless, compact keyboard compatible with hot-swappable mechanical switches from Gateron, Cherry, and Khalil, suddenly glorious seems like an understatement.

For gamers looking for the most customizable mechanical switches on their keyboard, no other compact can beat out the Glorious Modular keyboard. Swapping is done with ease, using two tools included in the set.

The RGB lighting here is a moderate brightness out of the box, but can be adjusted with ease later on. Ergonomically, this keyboard is quite forgiving after marathon sessions. On the aesthetic front, clean showing from Glorious keyboard.

Check out how we stacked the Glorious up with other tenkeyless keyboards here.

Razer produces absolutely savage gaming equipment, from the quality of their mouse and keyboard combos to how suitable they are for Call of Duty Warzone

The Huntsman will certainly make a killer out of you, and we wholeheartedly rate it as the best compact keyboard. While Glorious Modular accommodates a full range of mechanical switches, Razer is bold enough to stick to their own proprietary switches as the only one you’ll need for crushing foes.

Razer supports 168 million RGB color possibilities, and some games even sync up with the RGB software to coordinate lighting patterns with your on-screen gaming experience. To immerse yourself even further into the match, the Huntsman does allow for programmable macro keys and Mercury and Black for the colors of the keys and frame.

Conclusion

The best compact keyboards do more with less, while maintaining a beautiful look in the process. Now you just have to decide, what are you going to do with all this extra space?

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