The Best Low Profile Keyboard
As soon as the words “gaming keyboard” are mentioned, you immediately picture a large, bulky full-size mechanical keyboard with all the features added by the manufacturer specifically to appeal to gamers.
It’s important to note that not all gamers have the same keyboard preferences. Low-profile mechanical keyboards cater to those who appreciate a more minimalist keyboard.
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Keychron K1 and K3
A great price for a great product
Socket hot swapping
There are several ways to connect
Long lasting wireless battery
Feet are not adjustable
Customizability of software is lacking
Keycaps made of ABS will develop a shine over time
A huge reason why Keychron is a popular brand of mechanical keyboards is that it offers high quality at a reasonable price. There is a reason why the Keychron K1 and K3 are at the top of our list. First of all, the K1 is a TKL (tenkeyless) keyboard, while the K3 is a 75% keyboard. While not 60%, both models fall within the low-profile keyboard category. Also related: Best Tactile Switches in 2023
It has been years since Keychron entered the mechanical keyboard game, and they have been steadily improving. Keychron’s K1 and K3 are true testaments to their development. Keychron’s website offers Gateron low-profile switches that can be linear, tactile, or clicky, and the keyboards are hot-swappable. A nice touch is that you can swap out the included switches for your favorite low-profile switches, something that’s not always seen among low-profile keyboards.
It is possible to pair both the K1 and K3 with multiple devices. With the K1, you can pair 3 devices, while with the K3, you can pair 5. The K1 has 99 hours of battery life with the backlight off, and the K3 has 34 hours with the backlight on.
Wireless operation works flawlessly with any device, and there will be no hiccups. While playing in wireless mode is an option, its meager Bluetooth connection cannot provide the latency necessary for gaming, so it’s not the best idea. Additionally, you should know that both the K1 and K3 use ABS keycaps instead of PBT, which means the legends are of poor quality. Also, the keyboards don’t come with adjustable feet, so you can’t adjust them much. The keyboards don’t come with software, so you can’t customize their functions. Despite these slight shortcomings, the Keychron K1 and K3 are remarkable mechanical keyboards with low profile that are worth considering.
Fnatic Streak65 LP
Keycaps made of PBT
Aluminum case with sturdy construction
Switches from Kailh feel great
Layout is good
Acoustic foam insert
Pricey high-end items
As one of the best keyboards in our tests, the Streak65 from Fnatic is a superbly compact low-profile keyboard that has an ergonomic design that isn’t overly gamey.
There is a strong, light, aluminum case on the Streak65 that keeps it light and strong. The Streak65 uses Kailh low-profile switches that sound and feel great. It has PBT keycaps with a durable legend and high quality. Overall, Fnatic’s attention to detail makes the Streak65 stand out from the competition. It’s packed with foam inside, which greatly enhances its acoustics.
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Corsair K70 Mk.2 Low Profile
Volume wheel on media keys
RGB options are great
It’s not the best idea to use a full-sized keyboard for gaming
Cable with a thick wall
There is a slight wobble in the keys
It’s a full-size mechanical keyboard with a number of features you won’t find on other low-profile keyboards, including a volume wheel. It has USB passthrough too, which makes it the ideal keyboard for gaming.
It comes with a thick, clunky cable that gets in your way more than other keyboards. With Cherry low-profile switches, gamers won’t be able to find any faults with the K70. The keycaps don’t fit very well on the low-profile switches and tend to wiggle quite a bit.
Nevertheless, Corsair has created a respectable low-profile version of the K70 keyboard, which is extremely popular with gamers. In other words, the K60 is similar to the K70 Mk.2, but omits a few media features. These are really good low-profile keyboards from Corsair, and you can customize them according to your preferences with their downloadable software.
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Logitech G915 TKL
Great keyfeel for low profile
Lots of RGB customization
Fast wireless connection good for gaming
The most expensive on this list
The Logitech G915 TKL is known to be one of the best low-profile keyboards on the market. Logitech’s Lightspeed wireless technology ensures low latency when gaming, which puts it well ahead of its wireless counterparts.
In contrast to their regular Romer G switches, Logitech uses their GL low-profile mechanical switches, which are much better designed. The keys press well and feel significantly better than those in the Corsair K70. A brushed aluminum surface and a volume wheel add to the quality of the build on the G915 TKL.
As always, I like the fact that the feet of the G915 TKL can be adjusted. You can download the G Hub software and customize a whole range of features just to your liking. However, the price of the G915 TKL is the reason it is at the bottom of this list. If you’re looking for a low-profile keyboard with proprietary switches, the G915 TKL is an excellent choice if you want a clean, well-built keyboard that’s easy to use.
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Redragon K618~Best Low Profile Keyboard
Lots of features at an affordable price
Connectivity via USB 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth
Wheels and media key
Build quality isn’t the best
It is difficult to type
The K618 is a great budget wireless keyboard. Dragon has always been the budget gamer’s best friend, and now they’re also in the low-profile keyboard game. You can even play wireless games with respectable latency thanks to Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connectivity options.
Despite not being as well built as the G915 TKL, the Redragon K618 offers almost all of the same features. It’s worth checking out the Redragon K618 if you’re looking for a low-profile keyboard without spending too much money. The cost cuts have to come from somewhere. The build quality and key feel of the K618 are disappointing.
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Vissles LP85~Best Low Profile Keyboard
Stylish aesthetic reminiscent of Macs
There is a latency with wireless, it is not geared towards gaming
In order to understand the Vissles LP85, it’s important to acknowledge that it is the furthest thing from a gaming keyboard. In terms of design, the LP85 is mainly aimed at Mac users who are more work than play, which is why it’s such a great keyboard to type on. It’s almost reminiscent of a MacBook Pro keyboard, which is very comfortable to type on. It has a respectable build quality and optical low-profile switches. Its keycaps are very Mac-like, and feel great to use. Vissles LP85 might be the right keyboard for you if you’re looking for a low-profile, clean-cut keyboard.
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The Pros and Cons of a Low-Profile Keyboard
Pros of a low-profile keyboard
In addition to being shorter than conventional mechanical keyboards, low-profile keyboards make your wrist less elevated, making them more ergonomic. If you tend to spend a lot of time typing at your desk, a low-profile keyboard will make it much less likely for you to sustain a strain injury.
Short key travel
Also, low-profile keyboards are known for having short key travel distances—particularly their switches. It is important to note that this is a subjective opinion. Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts tend to prefer generous key travel as it enhances the feel of the switches.
For gamers who want a reduced key travel distance plus low latency, low-profile keyboards are a great alternative to laptop and notebook keyboards.
It won’t be difficult to make the switch to a low-profile mechanical keyboard if you’re used to small laptop keyboards like those found in MacBooks and Dell thin and lights. You’ll most likely be back to your regular typing speed in no time!
It also helps that low-profile switches reduce the overall thickness of the keyboard, allowing you to easily get it into a bag pack and go. In general, low-profile keyboards tend to be the traveler’s best friend due to their lighter weight and reduced thickness.
Cons of a low-profile keyboard
Lack of choice
There is one crucial point you need to be aware of if you’re just getting started with mechanical keyboards: high-profile keyboards are all over the place. Because of this, you have a ten-to-one chance of selecting a high-profile keyboard over a low-profile keyboard when it comes to choice.
Lack of customizability
There are few switch types available for low-profile keyboards. If you fell in love with mechanical keyboards because of their variety of switch types, I have disappointing news. There are a few reputable low-profile switches available, such as the Cherry MX reds and blues. With a high-profile keeb, however, you will have a much greater number of switch options, but they aren’t nearly as customizable.
Less satisfying to type on
The general consensus among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts is that high-profile switches feel better to type in every way. Of course, this is very subjective, and you might even prefer how low-profile switches feel.
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Our testing process
You can only test the quality (or lack thereof) of a low-profile keyboard by playing a crapload of games, and that’s the foolproof way! In first-person shooters, 60% keyboards make it easy to move your mouse around to take perfect shots because they leave plenty of room for movement.
To gauge how well these keyboards performed, we tested them on FPS games like Valorant, Apex Legends, and Modern Warfare, as well as Dota 2.
The performance of these mechanical keyboards wasn’t the only thing we tested; ergonomics, key feel, and durability were also included. We wanted to ensure that your wrist didn’t cramp up after long hours. In addition, we hammered the keys hard to make sure they remained smooth and rigid.
We also reviewed public opinion to see if some keyboards didn’t deserve to be on this list based on our own testing. In order to better understand how people felt about the keyboards in day-to-day use, we conducted a ton of research on all our selections, including reading user reviews on social media and other gaming outlets. We eliminated any candidates who had reported quality issues.
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What We’re Looking for in Low-Profile Keyboards
It’s simple, we look for the same staples that make any keyboard a good keyboard.
Switches and feel
Size and design
All keyboards that met our criteria, as well as being readily available and in the right price range, have been included in our list. We think most gamers will enjoy any/all of the below choices since they are all really good. Rather than choosing keyboards with limited editions or group buys, we chose keyboards that remain available year round.
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What is a Low-Profile Keyboard?
As its name suggests, low-profile keyboards feature a short height and switches with a shorter travel distance. They mimic the ergonomic feel and portability of laptop and notebook keyboards.
In addition to being faster to actuate and feel faster to press than a traditional mechanical keyboard, low profile switches can also dramatically improve your typing speed once you get used to them. Rubber, mechanical, and optical switches are available for low profile switches, so you can choose from all the flavors that regular switches come in.
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