Last Updated on November 14, 2023
When it comes to choosing a low-profile keyboard for your Macbook or iMac, the options are abundant. From sleek designs to customizable features, each keyboard brings a unique set of qualities to the table. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the top low-profile keyboards, shedding light on their designs, functionalities, and what makes them stand out in the market.
|Keychron K3 Ultra-Slim
|Compact 75% layout, Aluminum body, Hot Swappable, RGB lighting
|Bluetooth, USB Type C
|Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS/iPad
|Keychron K1 Version 4
|87-key TKL layout, Aluminum body, Gateron Low Profile Switches
|Bluetooth, USB Type C
|Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS/iPad
|Logitech G915 TKL
|Wireless Lightspeed technology, GL low-profile mechanical switches
|Windows, Mac OS
|Cooler Master SK622
|60% layout, Brushed aluminum body, RGB Low Profile Blue switches
|Bluetooth, USB Type C
|Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS/iPad
|Corsair K70 Mk.2 Low Profile
|Full-size, Cherry low-profile switches, Volume wheel, USB passthrough
|Windows, Mac OS
1. Keychron K3 Ultra-Slim: A Perfect Blend of Slim Design and Functionality
The Keychron K3 Ultra-Slim stands out as an exceptional thin mechanical keyboard designed for Macbooks and iMacs. With a compact 75% layout, this keyboard offers a sleek aluminum body, ensuring sturdiness and durability. Its versatility is highlighted by a switch to toggle between different operating systems, catering specifically to iOS/Mac OS.
Featuring 84 keys with low-profile ABS plastic keycaps, the Keychron K3 promises a comfortable and satisfying typing experience. The integration of Keychron’s Low Profile Switch, coupled with a Hot Swappable feature, allows users to customize their keyboard without the need for soldering. The RGB lighting, programmable keys, and layer functions add a layer of personalization that can be tailored through Keychron’s firmware.
Connectivity is not an issue with Bluetooth options and a removable USB Type C cable that doubles as a charging source for the 1550mAh battery. Compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS/iPad, the Keychron K3 Ultra-Slim is a versatile and stylish choice for Macbook and iMac users, available at an affordable price on Amazon.
2. Keychron K1 Version 4: Larger Design, Premium Build Quality
The Keychron K1 Version 4 steps up in size with an 87-key TKL layout, offering a larger yet still slim design. Crafted with sturdy aluminum, the K1 Version 4 ensures a robust keyboard body. The Gateron Low Profile Switch, known for its smoothness and durability, enhances the typing experience.
This keyboard boasts RGB features, programmable keys, and layer functions customizable through Keychron’s firmware. Bluetooth connectivity and a detachable USB Type C cable, serving as both connection and charging source for the 2000mAh battery, provide convenience. Compatible with various operating systems, the Keychron K1 Version 4 is an ideal choice for those seeking a thin mechanical keyboard with premium build quality, available at an affordable price on Amazon.
3. Logitech G915 TKL: Wireless Excellence with Superior Low-Profile Mechanical Switches
The Logitech G915 TKL earns its place among the best low-profile keyboards, thanks to Logitech’s wireless Lightspeed technology offering low latency for gaming. Featuring GL low-profile mechanical switches, this keyboard excels in build quality with brushed metal surfaces and an ergonomic volume wheel.
Adjustable feet, Logitech’s G Hub software for customization, and a premium feel make the G915 TKL stand out. Though priced higher at $240, its wireless capabilities, build, and exclusive switches make it a fantastic option for those seeking a sleek and well-made low-profile keyboard.
4. Cooler Master SK622: Aesthetic Design with Great Build Quality
The Cooler Master SK622 impresses with a 60% layout and a thin, aesthetic design perfect for Macbooks or iMacs. Crafted with high-quality brushed aluminum, this keyboard ensures a sturdy and rigid body.
Featuring 84 keys with RGB Low Profile Blue switches, ergonomic ABS keycaps, and various connectivity options (detachable Type C cable and Bluetooth), the SK622 is versatile. Its sophisticated RGB, customizable layer functions, and compatibility with multiple operating systems make it a compelling choice, available at a fairly affordable price on Amazon.
5. Corsair K70 Mk.2 Low Profile: Full-Size Mechanical Keyboard with Gaming Features
The Corsair K70 Mk.2 Low Profile offers a full-size layout with gaming features, including a volume wheel and USB passthrough. With Cherry low-profile switches, this keyboard caters to gamers seeking quick and reliable key response.
While it lacks wireless options, the K70 Mk.2’s gaming-friendly features and Corsair’s reputable build quality make it a popular choice. The Cherry MX Low Profile switch ensures an extraordinary typing experience, making it available at a reasonable price.
6. Fnatic Streak65 LP: Compact 65% Keyboard for Esports Enthusiasts
Designed for esports gamers, the Fnatic Streak65 LP is a compact 65% keyboard with an all-aluminum case. The Kailh low-profile switches provide an excellent sound and feel, enhancing the gaming experience.
With a focus on detail and cushioned keys for improved acoustics, the Streak65 LP stands out. Its design, build quality, and gaming-oriented features make it a fantastic option for esports enthusiasts.
7. Redragon K618: Budget-Friendly Wireless Option for Gamers
For budget-conscious gamers, the Redragon K618 offers 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth connectivity, providing acceptable latency for wireless gaming. While not as nicely built as premium options, the K618 mirrors features found in higher-priced keyboards.
A budget-friendly alternative, the Redragon K618 is worth considering for those seeking a low-profile keyboard without breaking the bank.
8. Perixx PERIBOARD-428 Mini Mechanical Keyboard: Compact and Affordable
The Perixx PERIBOARD-428 is a compact 65% mechanical keyboard with a minimalist design. Featuring a latency of 65%, this keyboard is suitable for Macbook and iMac users seeking simplicity.
With Kailh Low Profile Brown switches, ABS keycaps, and RGB features, the PERIBOARD-428 provides a good typing experience. While lacking software support, its affordability and compatibility with various operating systems make it a viable option.
9. Cooler Master SK630: Futuristic Design with Cherry MX Low Profile Switches
The Cooler Master SK630 boasts a TKL layout with a futuristic and modern design. Crafted with aluminum, this keyboard offers a sturdy build and 87 keys with Cherry MX Low Profile switches, ensuring durability.
With advanced RGB features, programmable keys, and layer functions customizable through Cooler Master’s software, the SK630 provides a unique typing experience. Lacking wireless connectivity, its compatibility with various operating systems and affordable price make it a compelling choice for Macbook and iMac users.
10. Vissles LP85: Stylish Low-Profile Keyboard for Mac Users
The Vissles LP85 offers a stylish low-profile keyboard catering to Mac users prioritizing work over play. With optical low-profile switches and a reasonable build quality, this keyboard mirrors the typing experience of a MacBook Pro.
While not a gaming-oriented keyboard, the LP85’s sleek design makes it an excellent choice for upgrading your workspace with a modern and low-profile keyboard.
11. Cooler Master SK650: Full-Size Mechanical Keyboard with Numpad
The Cooler Master SK650 is a full-size mechanical keyboard with a futuristic design, ideal for Macbook and iMac users. Crafted with aluminum, this keyboard boasts 104 keys with Cherry MX Low Profile switches, ensuring durability.
Featuring advanced RGB, programmable keys, and layer functions customizable through Cooler Master’s software, the SK650 provides a comfortable typing experience. Lacking wireless connectivity, its compatibility with various operating systems and affordable price make it a reliable choice for those seeking a full-size mechanical keyboard.
What is a Low-Profile Keyboard?
A low-profile keyboard is a type of computer keyboard characterized by its slim and compact design. It is distinguished by keys that have a shorter height and reduced travel distance compared to traditional keyboards. The primary aim of low-profile keyboards is to provide a sleek and ergonomic typing experience, often appealing to users who prefer a more modern and minimalist aesthetic.
The key features of low-profile keyboards include:
- Slim Design: Low-profile keyboards are noticeably thinner than standard keyboards, contributing to a sleek and modern appearance. This design also makes them more portable and suitable for users who prefer lightweight and compact peripherals.
- Shorter Key Height: The keys on a low-profile keyboard are closer to the keyboard’s surface, resulting in a reduced height. This design minimizes the distance your fingers need to travel when pressing keys, potentially enhancing typing speed and reducing strain during prolonged use.
- Reduced Key Travel: Low-profile keyboards typically have keys with shorter travel distances. Key travel refers to the distance a key travels downward when pressed. Shorter key travel can result in a more responsive typing experience, especially for users accustomed to the feel of laptop keyboards.
- Modern Aesthetics: These keyboards often feature a sleek and contemporary design, appealing to users who prefer a minimalist and uncluttered look on their desks. The slim profile and clean lines contribute to a modern aesthetic that complements devices like laptops and slim desktop monitors.
- Gaming Applications: Some low-profile keyboards are designed with gaming in mind. They may incorporate features such as mechanical switches with faster actuation, customizable RGB lighting, and programmable keys. Gamers appreciate the reduced key travel for quicker response times in fast-paced gaming situations.
- Variety of Switch Options: Low-profile keyboards come with various switch options, including mechanical and membrane switches. Mechanical switches, known for their tactile feedback and durability, are especially popular among users who prioritize a satisfying typing experience.
In summary, a low-profile keyboard is a modern and space-efficient input device that offers a slimmer design, shorter key height, and reduced key travel compared to traditional keyboards. These keyboards are suitable for users who prefer a contemporary look, want a more ergonomic typing experience, or require a portable option for on-the-go use.
Are low profile mechanical keyboards better?
Whether low-profile mechanical keyboards are better depends on individual preferences, use cases, and typing preferences. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating the suitability of low-profile mechanical keyboards:
Advantages of Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards:
- Reduced Strain: Low-profile keyboards are generally designed with a lower profile, allowing for a more natural wrist position. This can reduce strain during extended typing sessions.
- Slim Design: Low-profile keyboards are often more compact and lighter, making them more portable and suitable for on-the-go use.
- Sleek Appearance: The slim and modern design of low-profile keyboards can enhance the overall aesthetics of your workspace.
4. Typing Experience:
- Shorter Key Travel: Some users prefer the shorter key travel distance of low-profile keyboards, especially if they are accustomed to laptop keyboards.
Considerations and Potential Drawbacks:
- Limited Switch Variety: Low-profile keyboards may offer a limited variety of switches compared to traditional mechanical keyboards, limiting customization options.
2. Typing Feel:
- Subjective Preference: The typing experience on low-profile keyboards is subjective. Some users may find it less enjoyable compared to traditional mechanical keyboards with higher-profile switches.
- Limited Options: High-profile mechanical keyboards dominate the market, resulting in a more limited selection of low-profile keyboards.
- Switch Durability: Some users argue that the switches in low-profile keyboards might not be as durable as those in traditional mechanical keyboards.
5. Customization Options:
- Reduced Keycap Compatibility: The design of low-profile keyboards might limit compatibility with certain custom keycap sets.
Who Might Prefer Low-Profile Keyboards:
- On-the-Go Users:
- Individuals who need a portable keyboard for travel or remote work may appreciate the compact and lightweight nature of low-profile keyboards.
- Aesthetic Enthusiasts:
- Users who prioritize a sleek and modern aesthetic in their workspace might find low-profile keyboards more visually appealing.
- Laptop Users:
- Those who primarily use laptops and enjoy the feel of laptop keyboards may find low-profile mechanical keyboards more familiar and comfortable.
- Ergonomic Concerns:
- Users with ergonomic concerns, such as wrist strain, might benefit from the lower profile and potentially more natural hand positioning of low-profile keyboards.
Who Might Prefer Traditional Mechanical Keyboards:
- Typing Enthusiasts:
- Individuals who enjoy a more tactile and robust typing experience with a longer key travel distance may prefer traditional mechanical keyboards.
- Customization Enthusiasts:
- Users who appreciate a wide range of switch options and customization possibilities, including keycap compatibility, might lean towards traditional mechanical keyboards.
- Gaming Enthusiasts:
- Gamers who prioritize specific switch types, key rollover features, and tactile feedback may find traditional mechanical keyboards better suited for gaming.
- Programming and Coding:
- Programmers and coders who rely heavily on specific key combinations and functions may prefer the customization options provided by traditional mechanical keyboards.
Why do people like small mechanical keyboards?
People are drawn to small mechanical keyboards for various reasons, and the popularity of these compact keyboards has grown significantly in recent years. Here are some key reasons why people like small mechanical keyboards:
- Space Efficiency: Small mechanical keyboards, such as 60%, 65%, or 75% layouts, have a reduced number of keys compared to full-sized keyboards. This makes them more space-efficient, leaving more room on the desk for other items or allowing users to have a more minimalist setup.
- Portability: Compact keyboards are inherently more portable than their larger counterparts. Their reduced size and weight make them easier to carry, making them a popular choice for users who need to work or game on the go.
- Aesthetics and Design: Small mechanical keyboards often have a sleek and modern design. The compact layout contributes to a clean and minimalist aesthetic, which appeals to users looking for a stylish and visually appealing keyboard.
- Ergonomics: Some users find that the reduced size of compact keyboards contributes to a more ergonomic typing experience. With fewer keys to reach, users can experience less strain on their wrists and shoulders, leading to a more comfortable typing or gaming session.
- Customization: Enthusiasts and gamers appreciate the customization options offered by small mechanical keyboards. Many compact layouts allow for easy keycap customization and offer programmable keys, giving users the ability to tailor the keyboard to their specific needs and preferences.
- Gaming Performance: Gamers, especially those who play first-person shooters, often prefer compact keyboards for the increased desk space and freedom of movement for their mouse. The smaller form factor allows for quick and precise mouse actions.
- Niche and Enthusiast Appeal: Small mechanical keyboards have gained popularity within niche communities and among keyboard enthusiasts. The customization possibilities, unique layouts, and limited production runs of certain models contribute to their appeal among enthusiasts who enjoy building and customizing their keyboards.
- Adaptation from Laptop Keyboards: Users who are accustomed to laptop keyboards find the transition to small mechanical keyboards seamless. The reduced key travel and compact layout mimic the feel of laptop keyboards, providing a familiar typing experience.
- Reduced Clutter: For users who prioritize a clutter-free workspace, small mechanical keyboards help reduce the visual and physical clutter associated with larger keyboards. This can contribute to a more organized and focused work environment.
- Community and Trends: The popularity of small mechanical keyboards has been driven by online communities, social media, and trends within the tech and gaming communities. As more users share their setups and experiences, the appeal of compact keyboards continues to grow.
In summary, people like small mechanical keyboards for their space efficiency, portability, aesthetics, ergonomic benefits, customization options, gaming performance, niche appeal, adaptation from laptop keyboards, reduced clutter, and the influence of online communities and trends. The diverse reasons contribute to the widespread adoption and appreciation of small mechanical keyboards in various user communities.
In conclusion, the world of low-profile keyboards for Macbooks and iMacs is brimming with options catering to various preferences and needs. Our exploration of the best low-profile keyboards has unveiled a diverse range of choices, each offering a unique blend of design, functionality, and customization.
For those seeking the perfect balance of slim design and versatile features, the Keychron K3 Ultra-Slim and Keychron K1 Version 4 emerge as standout options. Their compact layouts, premium build quality, and customizable features make them ideal companions for Macbook and iMac users, all at an affordable price point.
Gaming enthusiasts, on the other hand, may find the Logitech G915 TKL and Cooler Master SK622 particularly appealing. The Logitech G915 TKL boasts superior wireless capabilities and exclusive switches, while the Cooler Master SK622 impresses with its aesthetic design and gaming-friendly features.
Budget-conscious consumers have excellent options in the Redragon K618 and Perixx PERIBOARD-428. While more affordable, these keyboards still provide acceptable performance, making them accessible choices for those mindful of their budget.
For a full-size option with gaming features, the Corsair K70 Mk.2 Low Profile stands out, offering a complete package for gaming enthusiasts who also seek additional features like a volume wheel and USB passthrough.
The Fnatic Streak65 LP caters specifically to esports gamers, offering a compact 65% keyboard with a focus on performance and durability.
The list further expands with the inclusion of the Vissles LP85, a stylish low-profile keyboard tailored for Mac users prioritizing work, and the Cooler Master SK650, providing a full-size layout with a modern design.
Ultimately, the decision on the best low-profile keyboard hinges on individual preferences, be it for sleek design, gaming prowess, budget considerations, or specific use cases. By considering factors such as wireless connectivity, keyboard layout size, software support, and battery capacity, users can confidently select a thin/slim mechanical keyboard that seamlessly integrates with their Macbook or iMac, enhancing both productivity and enjoyment.
Kizaru is a fan, collector, and has a huge addiction to mechanical keyboards. Kizaru has a collection of dozens of mechanical keyboards that come in different sizes and use different switches. He also frequently contributes to various forums that discuss keyboards such as Reddit and GeekHack.