First, I want to start this blog by saying that these are my own opinions. And I do not speak for all. We are going to talk a little bit about some 60% compact keyboard and define are they really good for typing/coding.
Second, let’s define what a 60% keyboard is: a 60% keyboard is a type of keyboard where there is no Numpad, arrow keys (home end PgUp PgDn), function row (print screen, etc). It must contain at least 47 keys to be considered a 60%. Third, because the layout depends on personal preference, it can be hard to determine if they are good. But here are some common layouts:
1) 1x Esc, 1x `~ 1x Fn Enter 2) 2x ‘\” 3) 1x Fn (F1 etc), 1x `~, 1x Esc 4) 2x ‘\” 5) 1.5x Fn (F1 etc), 1.5x `~ 6) 3x ‘\”, arrows
There are a lot of different layouts that a 60% keyboard can have. I will not be going into detail with each layout in this blog post because it is a very long and arduous process to do so when people have different tastes in keyboards, so I will be going into detail about one layout throughout this blog post – the 3x ‘\” layout.
The reason why I chose to go into detail with this layout is that there are a number of different 60% keyboards that do not have an arrow key cluster, which makes them lighter and more portable/travel friendly. However, if you wanted to use a backpack PC or laptop connected via Bluetooth, it might be difficult to set up your computer without an arrow key cluster. But here’s my take on compact 60% keyboards:
Lightweight and travel-friendly Ergonomic wrist angles More home row keys than most full sized keyboards Able to use tenkeyless cases for assembling Cost effective compared to similar layouts from Pok3r/Vortex/etc
Challenging to type certain things without a function row Can be difficult to use arrow keys if you want to use them as they are all on the right side of the keyboard. Very limited customization options compared to full-sized keyboards, which means that there is not much room for improvement.
For example, having access to macro keys or different layout options, such as split backspace and enter key , etc. Short spacebar and shift keys – this can affect typing speed and accuracy if you’re used to full sized keyboards – it might take some time for your hands/fingers to adjust so that it doesn’t affect your typing capabilities.
Certain layouts may be harder than usual. For example, I tend to use the 2nd / 3rd / 4th columns usually for arrows and such, but on a 60% keyboard, they do not exist (without having additional keycaps on your top right), which can be difficult to get used to at first.
Function keys Some keyboards cut off the function row (F1-12) in order to make more room for other keys or increase portability. This might affect some people who use F1-12 regularly while gaming/typing/etc.
I personally am okay with this because I don’t need these function keys while typing. However, if you’re a person who uses them often , then it will take some getting used to when you try to press buttons such as Print Screen, Scroll Lock and Pause Break.
Community “60% keyboards are for coders” This is a common statement that does not apply to everyone! I don’t think this needs much explanation because the name of the keyboard itself makes it clear what purpose 60% of keyboards serve. But I will say this: It is true that many people who use these keyboards like to program on them, however:
- There may be people who use these keyboards but do not program
- Even if you are a programmer, you don’t have to use it exclusively for programming 100% of the time. You can still use them often without being an exclusive coder because they are very convenient when traveling, and many programmers use them for this reason too.
The other common idea that I’ve observed is that 60% of keyboards are for people who only use the arrow keys, which again, does not apply to everyone! Some people may also say things like “60% keyboards aren’t really for gaming” or “90% > 60%” – it’s whatever you make of it. These types of statements can be subjective and vary from person to person, depending on what types of keyboards they own/enjoy using.