What Mechanical Keyboard Size Should You Choose?
Jun 06, 20
If you’re a rookie in the Mechanical Keyboards Community getting familiar with the different keyboard form factors (meaning the different sizes) can be quite tricky. Keep in mind Layouts and Form Factors are two different things.
If you also want to read about Keyboard Layouts you can click here.
Which form factor is the best? Which one should you choose as a beginner? These are some of the questions you might be sitting and asking yourself.
The short answer is that it simply depends on you and what you prefer. Which we know is a really sh*tty answer if this is your first rodeo. So here is what’s going to happen.
We’re going to go through the 4 most popular Keyboard Form Factors, what the differences are and how they look so you can choose the one you enjoy the most!
First of all, what exactly is the form factor? The keyboard form factor is the physical shape and size of the keyboard and the amount of keys.
The 4 most popular form factors (sizes) in the mechanical keyboard community we are going to talk about today are:
- 65% Keyboard
- 60% Keyboard
- TKL/Tenkeyless Keyboard
- 75% Keyboard
A full-sized keyboard is also very popular, but mostly for pre-build keyboards. Custom full-sized keyboards are not very popular, so we won’t be talking about it today.
The 65% Form Factor keyboard is the most popular in the community. And it makes sense, it’s very easy to get used to.
You get a minimalistic and aesthetic keyboard while still maintaining some amount of functionality. When choosing a 65% form factor keyboard you say bye-bye to your numpad as well as your function keys, although you can still use the functions by holding down the FN button. The 65% form factor keyboard has around 69 keys.
The 60% Form Factor keyboard ranks second in popularity. It probably has something to do with the similarity to the 65% form factor. The one small difference is the complete removal of any keys to the right of Enter and not only the numpad and function keys.
When choosing a 60% form factor keyboard you are focusing completely on minimalism and aesthetics and not caring much for functionality. You will still be able to use the navigation and functions keys by holding down the FN button.
The TKL Form Factor is something that will be very familiar if you like to play video games. The TKL form factor got rid of the numpad completely. It’s almost a perfect balance between functionality and form. The TKL form factor is amazing if you have a smaller desk or if you need a lot of space to move your mouse around. People playing first-person shooters will know exactly what I'm talking about.
The main advantage is that you can place it more ergonomically in front of you without having to place it more to the left or tilt it, like you would have to with smaller keyboards. They simply have a bit of extra healthy space.
The 75% Form Factor keyboard is very similar to the TKL, it has more or less the same functionality but the 75% has gotten rid of any space and crammed the buttons together. If you have ever used a laptop before this will feel very similar.
The most obvious disadvantage here is that there is no spacing between the buttons, so fat fingering the wrong button frequently happens while getting used to it.
We hope this gave you a bit of extra inside into which form factor (size) to choose when it comes to building your own keyboard.
If you want to know more about the different layouts, namely ISO and ANSI you can take 5 short minutes to read our article by clicking here.