Because there are so many different sized keyboards, some people may not know how many keys are on 60% of the keyboards. It can be difficult to understand the difference between 60% keyboards, 65% keyboards, 75% keyboards, TKL, and how to decide which is right for your needs. A closer look at a keyboard commonly referred to as 60 percent may help provide insight to make an informed decision.
60% of keyboards are typical mechanical keyboards, rarely made into membrane keyboards. 60% keyboards are increasingly used for their portability in home and office work. Because it’s so compact, it’s easy to put in a laptop bag or backpack and take to a new workspace. There are tons of options and factors to consider when choosing a keyboard, and that’s still true when looking at different types of 60% keyboards.
What is a 60% keyboard
60% of keyboards may or may not have arrow keys, and will never have a row of function keys. It is becoming more common to split the shift key and use the function keys, ctrl or Windows keys as arrow keys. Because the escape key can be found on the function row of a standard keyboard, it was moved to the number row, replacing the
~ key on 60% of keyboards. This can be problematic for people using code formatting on GitHub, Slack, or Discord, where backticks are required to display code on these platforms (although GitHub has shortcuts for backticks). Some 60% keyboards move the backspace key down, replacing the \ | key with the backspace key, and splitting the backspace key into the backtick and tilde ~ keys, as shown in the upper right corner of the image below.
60% of keyboards are also missing one of the most important parts of a keyboard that many consider the number pad. Even some advanced touch typists prefer to use the number pad when entering many numbers throughout the day. While smaller keyboard form factors are gaining popularity, this is the main reason why full-size keyboards are still so popular with programmers, engineers, students, financial and business professionals alike.
60% How many keys are on the keyboard
A typical 60% ANSI-derived (American National Standards Institute) layout keyboard has 61 keys on 5 rows. Both the top and second rows have 14 buttons, the third row has 13 buttons, the fourth row has 12 buttons, and the bottom row has 8 buttons. While this is technically 59% of a standard 104-key full-size keyboard, the number of keys can vary a lot if the 60% is a custom keyboard, but in general an ANSI-derived 60% keyboard will have 61 keys And an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) layout can have 61-63 keys. If you’re looking for a 60% keyboard with a JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) layout, you might be stuck, as there aren’t many JIS layout mechanical keyboards available right now, so options are limited.
By contrast, most full-size keyboards have 104, 105, or 108 keys, depending on whether they’re based on the ANSI, ISO, or JIS layout. The full-size keyboard contains a number pad, function keys, arrow keys, and a home cluster. Because of their larger frame, manufacturers often stuff keyboards with extra features for marketing purposes. For example, some full-size keyboards even have media control buttons.
Despite the added features of full-size keyboards, many people choose 60 percent keyboards because they are smaller. 60% of the keyboard measures approximately 11.5″ x 4.25″, which is smaller than a keyless keyboard (TKL). This smaller size gives typists more freedom in choosing the position of the keyboard.
60% keyboard customization options
60% keyboards are very popular when building a custom keyboard, and if you’re building your own, there are plenty of keyboard cases to choose from in different materials and colors. There are also different types of PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) that can be unlit or have RGB lighting on the PCB itself to create a bottom light effect. Almost any type of switch can also make a 60% keyboard, and there are many keycap sets designed specifically for 60% keyboards.
Since 60% of keyboards have fewer keys and out-of-the-box functionality, manufacturers and DIY builds often make them programmable to compensate. Typically, programmable layers use PN keys. When PN- is held down, the function of each key changes. With this feature, 60% of keyboards can use key combinations as shortcuts to function commands or special characters. About 60% of keyboards also have the ability to record macros, so a series of keystrokes can be recorded into a single key. The only problem that can arise with macros on 60% of the keyboard is that there are too few keys and fewer free keys available for recording macros.
With the growing choice and popularity of 60% keyboards, this form factor has found a home for those who don’t have a lot of desk space, want a portable keyboard, want more freedom of finger placement, or are just looking for a small or accessible Program a mechanical keyboard. For those who want a pre-built keyboard with many out-of-the-box features, a TKL or full-size keyboard may still be the best option. While a custom 60% keyboard hobby can get very expensive very quickly, there is a huge community of mechanical keyboards with tons of information, tips, and ideas on building. Building a custom 60% keyboard can even turn into a delightful hobby, allowing you to add a personal touch to your keyboard through aesthetics and feel, and allowing you to build a keyboard that’s one-of-a-kind.