The Different Keyboard Sizes

The Different Keyboard Sizes

Did you know that the size of a keyboard affects its ease of use? 

 

The size of a Keyboard influences the level of comfort, speed, and efficiency of its user. It also determines how much table space your keyboard will require, which is important to consider if you have limited workspace.

There are several keyboard sizes in the market, and choosing is up to you. But it’s not always so easy making the right choice. This article will explore the different keyboard sizes available, highlighting the factors to consider when choosing each. When we’re done, choosing a keyboard that fits your needs will be easier.

 

What to Consider When Selecting a Keyboard Size

Important things must be considered before deciding on the best keyboard for gaming, coding, or regular office work. Some of the top factors to consider are discussed here:

Price

Most of us compare the price tag against our budget before spending. While going for the cheapest option is tempting, a higher price usually means more value. You enjoy better build quality, more advanced features, and better durability. 

Finding the right keyboard won’t cost a fortune. It is about finding a balance between price and performance. So, before you make up your mind, do some research, and remember to compare prices. 

Wired or Wireless

You always have the option between wired vs. wireless keyboards. Yes, wireless keyboards are convenient and can be used without being tethered to a computer. But they require batteries and can sometimes have connectivity issues. Wired keyboards, however, are reliable and do not require batteries. Still, they can be less convenient if you move your keyboard around frequently.

The decision between wireless and wired depends on personal preference and how you plan to use your keyboard. 

Option A: choose a wireless keyboard if you value portability and freedom of movement. 

Option B: Prioritize stability and go for a wired keyboard instead.

Layout

When choosing a keyboard size, you should consider the layout. The layout refers to the arrangement of keys on the keyboard, and it can have a big impact on your typing experience. Keyboards can have different layouts, such as QWERTY or Dvorak. 

If you’re used to a full-sized keyboard with a number pad on the right side, switching to a smaller keyboard without a number pad can take some time. But a smaller layout might be more practical if you’re looking for a more compact keyboard for travel or use in a cramped workspace.

In addition to the physical layout, you should also consider the keys’ layout. Some keyboards have non-standard layouts, making it difficult to find certain keys. In contrast, others have customizable key mappings that can improve your productivity.

The keyboard layout can help you choose a keyboard that enhances your typing experience.

Compatibility

Ensure the keyboard you choose is compatible with your computer or device. You want to avoid getting stuck with a keyboard that doesn’t work well with your computer or other devices. Your keyboard should function well with Windows, macOS, or Linux. 

You should also check if it is compatible with your device’s connection type, such as USB or Bluetooth. Also, consider the layout and key placement of the keyboard. If you’re used to a certain layout, ensure the keyboard you choose is in sync with your typing habit and suits your needs.

Design

Keyboards come in various designs, from sleek and modern to retro and vintage. You can choose a design that matches your style and preferences. A keyboard’s design can greatly affect your typing experience and overall comfort.

For instance, a compact keyboard with a minimalist design may be more portable and space-efficient. Still, it may not have all the necessary keys or features you need. On the other hand, a full-sized keyboard with a more ergonomic design could offer better wrist support and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury.

Consider the materials used in the keyboard’s construction as well. A keyboard made of cheap plastic may not be as durable as one with a sturdy metal frame.

Types Of Keyboard Sizes

The basic factors you must consider when selecting keyboard sizes have been covered. It’s time to dive into the different types of keyboard sizes and discuss their features, benefits, and disadvantages.

Full Sized Keyboard

A full-sized keyboard is one of the most common keyboard sizes available today. It typically consists of 104 keys and includes a number pad on the right-hand side. These keyboards are designed for anyone who values functionality, including writers, programmers, office workers, etc.

The keys on a full-sized keyboard are spaced out to allow for comfortable and accurate typing. They are also typically larger than those on other keyboard sizes, which can be helpful if you have larger hands or prefer a more tactile typing experience.

One of the advantages of a full-sized keyboard is that most of these keyboards come with extra function keys that can be programmed to perform specific tasks or launch programs. The downside is that it takes up too much space at a workstation. Still, it might be a beneficial purchase in the long term due to the increased utility and comfort.

1800 Compact-Sized Keyboard (96%)

The 1800 Compact-Sized Keyboard is a great option for those who want a keyboard that’s slightly smaller than a full-sized keyboard but still wants a numeric keypad. It’s called “1800” because of its similarity to the Cherry G80-1800 keyboard, which is slightly less than a full-sized keyboard.

Its full numeric keypad sets the 1800 Sized Keyboard apart from smaller keyboards, allowing users to work with numbers or data. Also, the keys on an 1800 Sized Keyboard are usually arranged in a more standard layout than on other compact keyboards.

Remember that the 1800 Compact Sized Keyboard is still larger than some other compact keyboards, so it may not be the best option if you’re tight on desk space. However, it is worth considering if you want a smaller keyboard than a full-sized one with a more standard layout.

Tenkeyless Keyboards (TKL)

As the name suggests, TKL keyboards have fewer keys than standard keyboards, and that’s because they lack a numeric keypad. One advantage the TKL keyboards have is that they allow users to assume a more comfortable typing position, reducing strain on the shoulders and wrists.

Additionally, TKL keyboards are portable, and their small size makes them easy to carry around and use on the go. They are especially popular with gamers who need to travel for competitions or parties.

One downside of TKL keyboards is the absence of a numeric keypad, which can disadvantage users who need to input many numbers regularly. However, this is easily mitigated by purchasing an external numeric keypad or by using the number row on the keyboard.

75% Size

A 75% size keyboard is about 75% of the size of a full-sized keyboard and typically includes all the standard keys you’d find on a full-sized keyboard. The major difference is that some less frequently used keys are removed or compressed. This results in a smaller footprint, benefiting those with limited desk space or prefer a more minimalistic setup.

A 75% keyboard can still provide a comfortable typing experience despite its smaller size. The keys are typically spaced well enough to avoid accidental presses. Many models even include dedicated function keys or arrow keys for increased functionality.

Remember that, like with any keyboard size, the layout of a 75% keyboard may take some getting used to. If you rely heavily on certain keys, ensuring they are still on the keyboard before purchasing is important. The 75% sized keyboard should be the go-to option for anyone looking to save space without sacrificing too much functionality.

65% Size

65% size is one of the most popular keyboard sizes. It is a compact keyboard with more keys than the 60% keyboard while still smaller than a full-sized keyboard. Despite its smaller size, it still offers a wide range of functionality, with arrow keys, a function row, and dedicated navigation keys.

The 65% size keyboard is also popular for gamers and programmers, as it provides all the necessary keys for gaming and coding without taking up too much desk space. Its features allow it to maintain the perfect balance between functionality and portability. Its compact size allows for more comfortable hand placement and reduces physical discomfort.

60% Size

The 60% keyboard is approximately 60% the size of a standard full-sized keyboard. What sets a 60% keyboard apart from other sizes close to it is the absence of number pads, function, and arrow keys. You will value the small size and ease of portability if you are a coder. It is also popular among gamers and those working in tight spaces.

However, the absence of some essential keys means that users may need to rely on key combinations or custom keys to access certain functions. Although the 60% keyboard size is a great choice to maximize a small workstation, consider your specific needs and usage before deciding if the 60% keyboard size is right for you.

40% Size

A 40% keyboard is another compact keyboard designed to be as small as possible while retaining all the essential keys. This type of keyboard typically has only 40% of the keys a full-size keyboard has, hence the name.

Despite its small size, a 40% keyboard can still be a great option for people who want a more compact and portable keyboard. They are perfect for very limited desk space too.

However, it’s important to note that a 40% keyboard may only be suitable for some. If you rely heavily on certain keys or functions, such as the arrow keys or the number pad, you may find a 40% keyboard to limit your needs.

Nevertheless, a 40% keyboard is a great option for those who value portability and want to conserve space. But before getting one, consider your needs and preferences. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Standard Keyboard Key Sizes?

Standard keyboard key sizes vary depending on the type of keyboard. Generally, desktop keyboard keys are around 19mm wide and 19-20 mm high. Laptop keys are usually smaller at around 14-15 mm wide and 14-15mm high. Some specialty keyboards may have different sizes for specific keys.

What Are The 3 Types of Keyboard Layouts?

The top three keyboard layouts are QWERTY, AZERTY, and QWERTZ. The QWERTY layout is common in English-speaking countries.The AZERTY layout is used in French-speaking countries. And the QWERTZ layout is used in German-speaking countries. Each layout has a different arrangement of keys.

How Do I Know My Keycap Size?

To know your keycap size, measure the width of one of your keyboard’s keys. Use a ruler or caliper to measure the distance from the center of one key to the center of the adjacent key. Keycap sizes are typically measured in millimeters, and popular sizes include 1u, 1.25u, 1.5u, and 2u.

What Size Is a Laptop Keyboard?

Laptop keyboards vary in size depending on the model and brand. Typically, they range from 12 inches to 17 inches in width. Some laptops have smaller keyboards to accommodate portability, while others have larger keyboards for user-friendly reasons. It’s best to check the specifications of a particular laptop to determine its keyboard size.

How Do I Choose A Keyboard For My Laptop?

When choosing a keyboard for your laptop, consider the size, layout, and type of keys. Ensure the keyboard is compatible with your laptop model and has the necessary connectivity. Look for features like backlighting, function keys, and multimedia controls. Consider the durability and comfort of the keyboard for extended use.

Conclusion

Finally, choosing the right keyboard size is essential to your comfort, typing speed, efficiency, and productivity. While selecting the proper size can be challenging, considering factors like price, wireless or wired connectivity, layout, compatibility, and design can help you make an informed decision. 

A full-sized keyboard is ideal for those requiring a number pad and all the extra keys. In contrast, a smaller layout keyboard is best for portability and tiny workspaces. It would help to do some light or thorough research before picking a keyboard that meets your needs and enhances your typing experience.

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...