Gamers, the world of mechanical gaming keyboards is really difficult to understand. Just look at the keyboard switches, there are many types from different industries, and you must recognize the features of the macro keys and anti-ghosting. That’s a lot!
Now we will discuss the keyboard sizes and their respective uses. It’s important to know that keyboards can come in any shape, and here are just the sizes that are most commonly found.
1. 100% or Full Size Keyboard
Full Size Keyboard is a common keyboard size. This is the most used keyboard in the office. Full-size or 100% mechanical keyboards have a numpad, function keys (F1, F2, and so on), navigation keys (arrow keys, Page Up, and so on) and Fn keys.
2. 1800 Compact (96%) Keyboard
The 1800-Compact-sized keyboard is somewhere between the full-sized keyboard and the TKL keyboard. For the layout of the keyboard keys this size is almost similar to a full-sized keyboard.
The difference is that the 1800-compact keyboard has almost no space between the position of the numpad and the rest of the keys. While the full size keyboard is very clear the distance between the numpad keys and other keys.
3. 87% or Tenkeyless (TKL) Keyboard
The second common measure is the TKL (Ten-Key-Less) or 80% keyboard. This mechanical keyboard is not suitable for those of you who use numpad because the numpad button is not here. However, this gaming keyboard provides more flexible mouse movement, and is more portable because of its smaller size.
Keyboards like this don’t usually come with multimedia keys, but they are there if you want to look for them.
4. 75% Keyboard
The 80% and 75% mechanical keyboards look very similar because they both only leave the numpad keys. What distinguishes them both are the keys on the gaming keyboard the size of 75% where the keys are close to each other. So the keyboard is more compact, but the function is the same as TKL.
5. 65% Keyboard
The 65% mechanical keyboard is a fairly rare keyboard, but is now quite popular. In this gaming keyboard, there are no function keys and some navigation keys. But don’t worry, there are still arrow keys. Using a 65% size gaming keyboard will certainly provide more flexible mouse movement and is easier to carry everywhere, but it is not suitable for use for work.
6. 60% Keyboard
The 60% mechanical keyboard is the smallest size compared to its current brethren. This gaming keyboard leaves all the function keys, navigation keys including arrow keys, and of course the numpad keys, making it very easy to carry around and giving the mouse more freedom of movement.
7. 40% Keyboard
The 40% keyboard has the following characteristics, no number keys, function bar, and arrow keys. The number keys that line up at the top can’t be found on a keyboard of this size, all that’s left is the letter keys and ctrl, shift. For more details, see the image above.
This keyboard is quite rare in the market because the demand is quite low. If you want to have this keyboard, you can assemble it yourself by buying separate parts.
8. Number Pad
Numpad is usually found on the right on full-sized keyboards. As user needs grew, manufacturers began to produce keyboards that only consisted of 17 keys. Numpad serves to complement keyboards that do not have a numpad, for example a 65% or 40% keyboard.
The Numpad can also be used to move around on your desk, unlike the Numpad on an 1800-compat or full-size keyboard that cannot be moved.
9. Macro Pad
Keyboard macro pads are usually used to meet the needs of certain functions, such as multimedia functions, or mathematical functions. Macro pads can usually be reprogrammed to set the required functions according to the user’s wishes.
Macro pads are often used by DJs or streamers as shortcut keys to quickly access certain functions. For example changing the background scene or to change the background while streaming.
Difference Between Mechanical Keyboard and Membrane Keyboard
Do you know what type of keyboard you often use to play games? Yes, a mechanical keyboard or also known as a mechanical keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are now increasingly gaining a place in the hearts of computer users. Not only for gamers, mechanical keyboards are also recommended for professionals.
Unlike the development of computer technology, both hardware and software, the development of keyboard technology is not fast. Until now, we have only known two types of keyboard technology, namely membrane technology (Membrane Dome) and mechanical technology.
Membrane Technology Keyboard
Do you remember the manual typewriter? Yes, that’s the sensation of typing on a mechanical keyboard, feels a little hard but steady. Mechanical keyboard technology is actually almost the same as a typewriter, only the technology is developed using electrical components or circuits. In the 1980s, computer manufacturers often used mechanical technology in their keyboards, such as IBM products.
The existence of mechanical keyboard technology began to be evicted when membrane keyboard technology began to emerge. In a membrane-tech keyboard, there are three layers that are placed just below the keyboard keys. The membrane is made of silicon with a layer of granite underneath. The function of the membrane is to transmit a knock signal to activate the circuit layer below it.
The shift from early mechanical keyboard technology to membrane technology keyboards was due to the following reasons:
1. The typing sound sounds softer.
Because the keystrokes of the keyboard are coated by a layer of silicone before hitting the electrical circuits below, the sound that comes out is softer. This certainly will not cause noise when used at work, especially offices.
Membrane-tech keyboards are usually made of plastic material, making them lighter and easier to carry anywhere.
Because the material is mostly made of plastic, membrane keyboards are cheaper than mechanical keyboards. For computer manufacturers who usually sell PCs in packages, the use of membrane keyboards is considered much more profitable.
Mechanical Tech Keyboard
Now, mechanical keyboard technology is a refinement of mechanical keyboard technology before being replaced by membrane keyboards. These improvements include the use of solid materials (metal) to various other technologies that make this type of keyboard more attractive, especially for gamers.
Unlike membrane keyboards, mechanical keyboards place individual switches on each key. So, each key on the keyboard has its own mechanic which is equipped with a spring so that the keys can bounce perfectly.
When viewed globally, mechanical keyboards are much more durable and tough than their predecessors. For example, a mechanical keyboard can withstand 50 million clicks or more, while a membrane keyboard averages only 10 million times. Do you know? Currently, there are still many old mechanical keyboards that are approximately 30 years old that can still be used, one example is the IBM Model M with PS/2 connector.
Here are some reasons why many people are starting to look back at mechanical keyboards.
1. More durable
Mechanical keyboards use metal and plastic mechanical switches. The mechanical keyboard also feels heavier and sturdy, because the switches used are high-quality switches.
2. The sensation of typing is more stable
Most mechanical switches on the market have a working mechanism where the switch will accept input from the keycaps you press even if only half-press, and after reaching the midpoint of the switch. Then, a “click” sound will be heard. For gamers, the sensation of pressing as well as a steady “clicky” sound will add to the sensation when playing games. Moreover, you choose a mechanical keyboard that uses blue or black button mechanics.
More accurate and reduce RSI risk
Because there is a distance of a few millimeters between keys on a mechanical keyboard, pressing keys is more accurate – not straying to other keys. This is different from a membrane keyboard where the distance between the keys is very tight. Some sources reveal that the risk of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), a disease that occurs when you type too much, will be much reduced if you use a mechanical keyboard.
3. Easy to maintain
You can remove all the keycaps on the keyboard, making it easier for you to clean the dust that is stuck between the keycaps or on the keyboard body.
4. Can be modified according to taste
Are you one of those people who like to be different? You can change each keyboard button according to taste.
5. More style
Some of the mechanical keyboards on the market have a very attractive LED backlight. But don’t worry, if you’re one of those people who don’t really like LED backlights, there are also plain mechanical keyboards that don’t have LEDs.
6. Anti-Ghosting Ability
Have you ever tried pressing multiple buttons on your computer at the same time and not all of them appeared on the screen? That’s called ghosting. Due to the simple circuitry in the keyboard, the membrane dome based keyboard is not capable of accepting multiple inputs simultaneously. We will not encounter this on a mechanical keyboard because each key has an individual switch.
We will get more advantages by using a mechanical keyboard, but it cannot be denied that the price for this keyboard is still quite high, especially for the gamers market, who are mostly teenagers.
In addition, the loud noise produced by the mechanical keyboard is also something that makes some people still not interested in using it because they prefer a quiet atmosphere when doing typing work.
Tips Choosing the Right Keyboard and The Right Size for You
Will you follow the trend of buying a TKL keyboard or a 65% keyboard?
Mini-sized keyboard alias small is becoming a trend in the gaming world today. Its small size with a trimmed number of keys is an attractive choice for gamers who need a compact, practical, efficient, and ergonomic keyboard.
Therefore, from time to time, gaming keyboard manufacturers continue to strive to provide a keyboard with a mini size but still functional.
By reducing the number of buttons in it, it does not mean eliminating the function of the buttons it has removed, but rather making one button able to function in several ways. It is done with a combination of keystrokes so that the function remains the same as the previous button.
Various Mini Size Keyboards beyond full size and 1800-Compact
- Currently, broadly speaking, mini-sized keyboards are classified in four forms based on the percentage of the number of keys. First, the TKL or Ten Keyless keyboard.
- Called Ten Key Less because this keyboard eliminates all ten numeric keys. This term later became more widely used on the keyboard with this number of 87 keys.
- Second, 75 percent keyboard. The size of this keyboard is actually just a few keys reduction from the TKL keyboard. There are some buttons that are omitted, such as arrow keys, up and down buttons, to PS/PB/PL buttons.
- Third, the keyboard is 60 percent. The 60% keyboard is becoming very popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who need a gaming keyboard that is more compact in size, but still has full functional keys.
- Fourth, which is even smaller, a 40 percent keyboard. This 40 percent keyboard only leaves the keys of all letters plus a few supporting keys, such as Backspace, Control, Enter, and so on.
The size is not standard. Some manufacturers can add and remove keyboard keys based on the needs of most users.
Although not standard, manufacturers must still meet the keyboard standards that apply internationally, namely the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and the International Standard Organization (ISO). ISO is applied to many countries in the UK and Europe.
How to Choose a Keyboard
For those of you who want to have a keyboard that doesn’t take up space when playing using it on your computer desk, there are a few things to consider:
1. Keyboard size
The smaller the size, of course, the fewer button functions are trimmed. Therefore, make sure that the keyboard you want to buy is representative so that you can use it to play various games and other work activities. As a suggestion, the keyboard size with TKL size is still a favorite until now.
2. Design and color
Who doesn’t want to look attractive? Everyone would want. You also need to pay attention to the keyboard design. Currently, many keyboard designs look stylish, with modern key color accents, such as white, blue, and even orange.
3. Connectivity technology
As a keyboard that can be carried anywhere, the keyboard should ideally have several modes of connectivity. Some keyboards offer a combination of wired and wireless connectivity options in one keyboard.
Keys play a vital role in a keyboard. The button here refers to the switch. There are many choices of brands and types of keyboard switches today. Among many well-known switch brands, Outemu and Gateron are two brands whose reputations are well known to the public. Just adjust the type of switch to your taste, there are Red Switch, Blue Switch, Brown Switch, and many more. Choose a keyboard that uses switches with high durability. It is usually indicated in M (million) lifespan, such as 50M, 100M, and so on.
5. Hot Swappable Switch Technology
Still a matter of switches, you can also glance at the keyboard which is equipped with hot swappable technology. This technology allows you to replace your own or combine the switches with other types of switches, even from other switch brands.
6. Material keycaps
Keycaps or the head of the button is the part often exposed to tapping and finger friction. Therefore, choose a keyboard that uses quality plastic keycaps. ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is the type of plastic material that is most widely used as a material for making keyboard keycaps today. Slightly above the quality of ABS, there is a type of PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) plastic which tends to be harder and less shiny than ABS.
7. Adjustable RGB LED
The use of RGB LEDs is common on keyboards, but the use of RGB LEDs that can be adjusted and adjusted to the functions and needs of the user is the best choice. Don’t let the RGB LEDs dazzle or interfere with your work.
8. Macro pendukung support software
Select a supported keyboard with the Macro feature. This feature allows personalized button settings. In addition, you can maximize the choice of Game Mode as in the Steelseries Keyboard which makes it easier for you to adjust the keyboard according to your needs.
9. Compatibility with all operating systems
No less important in choosing a keyboard is its compatibility with all existing operating systems (OS), such as Windows XP/VISTA/7/8/10, IOS, MacOS, Linux, Android. The presence of the keyboard is certainly intended to be able to connect with more and more devices so that a system that supports multiple OS is needed.
Lastly, you should also pay attention to this issue. Although attractive, the price of a keyboard must remain reasonable so that it remains commensurate with its function. For a quality keyboard, the average price is $70 to $120, which is quite reasonable.
What is The Best Keyboard size for programmers?
There is no definite size for best use on a programming keyboard. The most popular are the TKL, 1800-Compact, and Full Size keyboards for programming.
But not infrequently you find programmers who use a keyboard with a 65% or 75% layout. It all comes back to the preferences of each user. In my opinion, to work on a mobile basis or move anywhere, programmers need a keyboard with a compact size like 60%, 65%, or 75%.
What is The Best Keyboard size for gaming?
Based on the data collected by Prosettings.net, professional gamers choose to use a keyboard with a TKL layout size. Nearly 60% of professional players in competitive games such as Dota 2, Valorant, or Fortnite use TKL-sized keyboards such as Logitech G Pro, HyperX Alloy FPS Pro, CORSAIR K70 RGB TKL, and Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition TKL.
With so many different keyboard sizes on the market today, don’t let it confuse you to choose. Choose a keyboard that is ideal for your needs and a design that suits your taste. For now, gamers prefer TKL-sized keyboards compared to others. It all comes back to your needs, because you know better what you need from a keyboard.
Here is our recommendation of the best keyboard for typing.