What is a 60% size mechanical keyboard

 

The 60% size mechanical keyboard is exactly what it sounds like, it's only 60% of the full sized keyboard. A 60% sized board consists mainly of alphanumeric keys (our letters and numbers) and then some non-alphanumeric keys (open and closed bracket, question mark, etc.). Let me reiterate.The alphanumeric keys are our numbers and letters. Our non-alphanumeric are those such as the tilde, open and close bracket, slashes, space bar, backspace and question marks, etc. 60% mechanical keyboards were not the first to exist as this size. 

In fact, if you take a look at minimalist keyboards for tablets, some of Mac keyboards and laptops, for instance, they too are 60%.They removed the number pad and all of the other functionality keys for travel and desk space. You can whip out a 60% keyboard just about anywhere, while pulling out a full sized while your waiting in the airport would be much less convenient. A lot of smaller laptop take advantage of the 60% keyboard as well.

What is a 60% size mechanical keyboard

In this article, the advantages and disadvantages will be brought up.


Advantages:

      1. Size

      2. Weight

      3. Gaming aka The Tilt

      • Professional Gaming

      • Comfort


Disadvantages:

      1. Size

      2. Complexity

      3. Uncommon

      4. Price



To get a better idea, let's take a look at the image below of a 60% mechanical keyboard. 

 

What is a 60% size mechanical keyboard

   Above I gracefully scratched out the keys that were no longer included in the 60% mechanical keyboard. This mechanical keyboard is known as the Varmilo 'Sea Melody' with Cherry MX Silent Red switches.


Advantages

Why is it a good idea to have a 60% mechanical keyboard?


Size

So like the tenkeyless, why was this tiny little baby keyboard created? The answer is simply the size. I will take my little brother as an example (sorry bro!). He has a very nice gaming computer desk set up, but it's not wide enough as it should be to have a comfortable gaming experience. Having a full sized keyboard would remove space – well needed space. On top of that, there's the comfort level of where your arms and hands are located on your desk while you play a game or write. Some people don't mind a wider stance, but those of us with shorter arms wouldn't mind a closer and more comfortable distance.


Weight

Another advantage to having a smaller keyboard is the weight. In another article, “What is the difference between a mechanical keyboard and a membrane keyboard?”, I mentioned that my Varmilo weighs 3lbs. 60% mechanical keyboards weigh significantly lighter.


The Tilt

The gaming strategy

Finger placement is important for when it comes to playing professionally or playing at all. Players needs to have control over the keys. In that quick moment where you have to switch from one item to the next, having your fingers aligned to the right key and direction is important. If you hit the wrong key because your hands were not placed appropriately, it's going to hurt.

A lot of gamers (especially professional gamers) tilt their keyboard for easier access to the number keys above the WASD directional keys. Counter-Strike: Global Offense professional players, for instance, often tilt their mechanical keyboards in order to move from weapon to weapon, grenade to grenade and knife instantaneously. It's also more accurate than using the scroll wheel to choose. You only have so many seconds in your buy time to select your weapons and gear, too. The tilt gives the player the advantage of buying faster. However, Counter-Strike is not the only game that professionals use the tilting method, like Overwatch and PUBG players.

And yes, that's not the only reason why players tilt their keyboards. Again taking my brother in reference and reiterating what I said above, tilting gives you more space when you are limited. It's not just for professional players who come together and LAN, but for every player who has a tight set up. Tilting a full size keyboard takes up quite a lot of space! Take a look of my full sized keyboard vs. my brother's 60%. It's a full 6 inches less.

What is a 60% size mechanical keyboard



What is a 60% size mechanical keyboard


Disadvantages

Why is it not a good idea to have a 60% mechanical keyboard?


Again, Size

The first time I saw one I thought '”But why?”. The lack of individual function keys, directional arrows, etc. seemed rather unnecessary. In fact, it seemed more difficult than a mechanical keyboard (or any keyboard really) should be. I can see for someone who types on a regular basis, how they would like this sort of keyboard. It's simplistic and small in size. If you don't need a number pad, function keys or directional arrows then this keyboard should do the trick.


A Wee Bit More Complex

After a while of using the 60% mechanical keyboard, it grows old. The lack of keys that you were used to having readily available becomes more of a pain. Not all keyboards are created equal, as we all know, and some of the 60% mechanical keyboards are more arduous than others. You may end up finding one that requires a little bit more effort for a function key, like FN + ALT + T. If there are too many, it's a lot to memorize at first and most likely you will require a set of instructions. There are some that are easier, like the one I am using as an example, the Ducky x MK Frozen Llama One 2 Mini RGB LED 60% Souble Shot PBT Limited with Cherry MX Red switches. Man that is a mouth full.


Uncommon

We hit a real road block on this one. A lot of companies don't have a 60% mechanical keyboard yet or they may never, to be honest. The majority have the TKL, of course because they're awesome, but if you wanted a Corsair, good luck finding one. Roccat? Nope. SteelSeries? Nada. Redragon? Nu-uh. Logitech? Nah. Varmilo? Actually yes. HyperX and Ducky have a mini together, though, if you like HyperX. Ducky, Razer, Obinslab, KBParadise and Vortex have 60% and 65% mechanical keyboards available.

There are also Ducky and Varmilo mixes in 65% (of which I have one and it's amazing).

Price

The pricing is about the same, ranging from $85 to $200. That's unfortunate. You are paying the same amount of money for even less keyboard. Where's the upside in that? I want to say that custom full set keycaps are less expensive, but I am having a hard time justifying that as well. After a considerable amount of research, the range of the 60% custom keycap price was $30 to $90 from popular keycap suppliers. However, I have found full sets of 60% keycaps on Etsy for a reasonable price. If you're on the hunt, always keep Etsy in mind. There are some out there, for instance on Amazon, that are as low as $24 that may be non OEM keycaps, but for the most part reviews are steady. The biggest thing to take into consideration is your switch. Just make sure that the keycaps you are buying match whatever switch you have.


What is a 60% size mechanical keyboard

Rundown

Oh boy!

The 60% mechanical keyboards are cute. Cute because they are tiny. I went to school for software development, that's a lot of typing between developing and taking notes. My friend, as an example, and I were (obviously) extremely into mechanical keyboards. One day, he came in, sat next to me and whipped out a tiny 60% mechanical keyboard to use instead of the Dell keyboard on his laptop. That totally made my day. And it's a perfect reason why these things can be so efficient and useful. If you are the type of gamer who doesn't need the multiple sets of functions, this keyboard is extremely convenient. The 60% keyboard has a place in the world of mechs, it's just a little bit more niche.




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