Some of the best 65% keyboards today function so well that people forget they’re using a narrow keyboard. These compact mechanical keyboards work well for anyone who has limited space, but they’re not quite as restrictive as 60% keyboards.
Not only do 65% keyboards retain the arrow keys that 60% mechanical keyboards typically lack, but they also often feature keys for home, delete, page down, and page up functionality. The 65% keyboard gets its name from its size. It’s 65% the size of a full-size keyboard. A full-size keyboard may have 104 keys, but a 65% keyboard will usually have just 67 or 68.
Choosing from the many excellent 65% mechanical keyboards sold today takes some investigation since each brand offers different designs, colors, tactile experience, and key types. Let’s explore some of the best 65% keyboards available today and what makes them work so well.
1. Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed
The Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed is a gaming keyboard with 68 keys and double-shot ABS keycaps. The keyboard weighs 1.8 pounds, and it offers one of the lowest latencies for any wireless keyboard. If you’re buying a 65% keyboard for gaming, the Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini is a solid build quality option to consider, especially when you choose the short-travel Razer Yellow switches.
The keyboard is also available with Green switches and is close to the MX Blue switches if they were created with a higher actuation point and reduced actuation force. General users should choose the Green switches, while gamers should get the Yellow switches. The Yellow switches include dampeners, which help if you often play with an open microphone.
One of the interesting features of the Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed is that it’s available with Phantom keycaps, which allow a significant level of RGB lighting to shine through from the sides of the transparent keys. Wild lighting schemes look even wilder with the Phantom key option.
While the Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed is geared toward gamers, the keyboard nevertheless represents an excellent option for any demanding keyboard user, particularly those who want an ultra-responsive experience with low latency.
2. Ducky MIYA Pro
The Ducky MIYA Pro keyboard is a high-end option that benefits from a unique layout and excellent stabilizers. The keycaps are made of dye sub PBT plastic, and the keyboard feels quite solid when used. Manufactured through a partnership between Varmilo and Ducky, the keyboard is sold in more than ten different style options.
The keyboard comes in creative designs with names like Sea Melody, Koi, Panda White, and Forest Fairy. Buyers can also choose case colors, added designs, and different keycap colors to personalize their mechanical keyboards. No matter the combination of design features chosen, the keyboard doesn’t squeak or make any noise you don’t otherwise expect from a keyboard. Users can also use the firmware to program the keys to their liking.
The MIYA Pro features several different switch options like Cherry MX Brown, Silent Red, Clear, Blue, Black, Silver, and Red. With these options, users can choose anything from the loudest keyboard to the one with the most tactile feedback. The switches chosen will influence the overall cost of the keyboard. The keyboard features a 60-inch cord and weighs 2.29 pounds.
3. Durgood Hades 68
The Durgood Hades 68 is a great keyboard for users who employ their mechanical keyboards for everything from gaming to everyday work. The keyboard features per-key RGB and the keycap material is double-shot PBT. The keyboard weighs two pounds and is offered with a variety of Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switches.
The keyboard comes in black or white for its aluminum frame, and its shine-through PBT keycaps feature a solid and responsive experience. The keyboard features pre-lubed stabilizers, which help create smoothness while using the largest keys like the backspace and enter keys. There’s virtually no setup with the Durgood Hades 68, and it’s ready to use right out of the box.
Although the keyboard doesn’t offer hot-swap capabilities, users do have the choice of several different switches in popular options like Red, Blue, and Brown. However, the company takes this functionality a step further and offers rarer switches like Cherry Silver and Silent Red, as well as Gateron Silent Brown.
Superusers can program the keyboard with a compiler with modifications available for every part of the keyboard, from function layers to key layouts. The compiler also works for modifying RGB lighting, and users can also employ macros.
4. Ducky One 2 SF
Those who want a smooth keying experience may want to choose the Ducky One 2 SF, which is one of the best 65% keyboards for heavy users who need a quality typing machine. The keyboard offers a balance of customization versus performance and is an excellent gaming keyboard. The RGB looks fantastic on the keyboard due to its white backplate.
The keyboard frame is plastic but doesn’t feel cheap. Rather, the keyboard feels solid and well-made, as if it would last for years. The cord length is an acceptable 60 inches and comes with ten additional PBT Double Shot keycaps in random colors. The USB-C cable is detachable, which helps with transport and reduces clutter around the desk space.
Conveniently, the Ducky One 2 SF comes with a wire cap puller, as well as an extra set of WASD keycaps. The only drawback to this excellent keyboard is its lack of software customization. Users of 65% mechanical keyboards often use double and treble layered programming, which may not appeal to everyone.
However, software customization isn’t a make-or-break feature for the majority of users. It’s still possible to utilize the onboard programming to make changes. Overall, the keyboard has a lot to offer all users.
5. Drop Alt
The Drop Alt is loaded with features, and one of its only drawbacks is its price on the higher end of the scale. Users who want a keyboard that can do everything, even if they have to pay a little more to get the functionality, should appreciate the Drop Alt. Some of its best features include unique switch options, hot swap switches, and dual USB-C ports.
Why would someone want multiple USB-C ports? The ports sit on the left and right sides of the keyboard, which means you can set your wires up with an extra level of customization. The keyboard also sports a healthy level of incline with its magnetic feet, which allows users of various hand sizes and height preferences to customize the feel of their keyboard experience.
Built in a sleek aluminum case, the Drop Alt is more than twice the price of many other keyboards on this list, but the price is worth it for people who want an extreme level of customization. As with all of the highly customizable keyboards out there, the manufacturer offers the Drop Alt with all of the familiar switches like Cherry Blues or Browns, as well as exotic options like Halo Clear or Kailhua Speed Silver.
6. Leopold FC660C
Leopold is a veteran company with years of keyboard manufacturing under its belt, and the Leopold FC660C is a quality mechanical keyboard with the option for electro-capacitive Topre switches. These switches work differently than the popular Cherry MX switches, and some users feel they work better than the Cherry MX Brown switches, to which they’re often compared.
The Leopold FC660C is on the higher side for cost, but anyone looking to use a keyboard with the Topre switches might want to consider it. The keyboard is offered in quite a few different color combinations like blue, black, white, and gray, and it’s a lightweight machine at just 1.54 pounds versus the 2+ pounds of many other of the best 65% keyboards. The cord length is a tight 48 inches.
The Leopold FC660C isn’t the ideal keyboard for a gamer, but it’s an excellent option for anyone who codes for many hours each day. Many Leopold fans swear by the Topre switches and won’t use anything else after they’ve tried a keyboard that uses them.
Users can choose from two different switches, including the Topre 45g or the Topre Silent 45g. Color combinations for modifier keys versus alpha keys include blue and gray or white and gray. The keyboard is also available in full black or gray.
7. Keychron K6
If the K6 is not available, we recommend the FC660C.
The Keychron K6 is a more affordable 65% keyboard but wouldn’t fall into the budget category. Users can choose from three case options, including aluminum and two different plastic versions. Options include LK optical switches, as well as hot-swap sockets, which allow buyers to use their own switches.
The Keychron K6 offers wireless connectivity with up to three devices. Users report that the wireless connectivity is responsive but that competitive gamers should consider using the cord if they want to avoid any lag. Casual gaming, on the other hand, is fine with the wireless option. The ability to switch back and forth between a wireless, wired, and Bluetooth connection is a nice perk.
One of the only drawbacks of the Keychron K6 is that its lower price point (under $100 in most circumstances) doesn’t allow for the highest quality keycaps. Some high-end keycaps have special texturing that reduces slippage, but the Keychron K6 might feel a little slippery to some users.
Switch options include Gateron Red, Blue, or Brown, and all keycaps are gray laser etched ABS with backlist legends. The keyboard has an impressive 72-inch cord, and its 4000 mAh battery offers 240 hours of typing when the backlight isn’t used.
8. Durgod Fusion
For users who don’t want to deal with short battery life, the Durgod Fusion is a solid option with two different wireless modes and excellent stabilizers right out of the box. The keyboard also features a retro design that may please anyone creating a workstation or gaming rig with an old-school feel. The color scheme might remind the user of the original Nintendo gaming system.
One of the best features of the Durgod Fusion is its wireless capability, which boasts one of the lowest latency connections available with a 2.4 GHz dongle and a USB-C connection for wired gaming. Anyone who wants to cut the cord while gaming may want to consider the Durgod Fusion for its speed, but the keyboard does offer a wired connection, too.
One of the only cons of the Durgod Fusion is that it’s a little pricey and requires some initial setup that could get a little complicated for new users. The keyboard doesn’t have any software for customizations, and it’s not hot-swappable, so it does require soldering to change the switches. Out of the box, the keyboard comes with multiple cables, a keycap puller, a cable routing helper, a plastic dust cover, and a sticker.
9. Qisan Magicforce
On the other hand of the price spectrum is the Qisan Magicforce, which is one of the most affordable options on this list of the best 65% keyboards. The keyboard weighs just 1.4 pounds with an attractive aluminum top plate. Although the keyboard doesn’t offer a wealth of customization, its affordability is an excellent tradeoff.
There is no fancy lighting on the Qisan Magicforce, and users will get the single-color white LEDs, and an ultra-budget version of the keyboard actually comes without any backlighting. Despite this drawback, the keyboard is a reliable and solidly built device. One might expect this budget keyboard to feature full plastic construction, but the device does feature a beautiful brushed aluminum plate.
For anyone looking for a high-performance 65% keyboard, the Qisan Magicforce probably isn’t the best option, but it’s an ideal keyboard for users interested in using a mechanical switch keyboard for the first time.
Buying a $200 keyboard is intimidating, especially for anyone in the midst of building their first computer. The Qisan Magicforce is a great option for first-timers and those who don’t require superhuman functionality from their keyboard.
10. Leopold FC660M
Leopold holds multiple spots on this list of the best 65% keyboards, and its reputation for building quality keyboards is why the FC660M is a great option. Anyone interested in a very solid experience while typing will appreciate the Leopold FC660M. The keyboard feels like it would survive quite a significant level of abuse in heavy use or gaming environments.
One of the interesting features of this keyboard is the set of dampeners installed inside the case. Not only do these dampeners help with acoustics, but they also enhance stabilization. The thick plastic case also ensures a stable and steady keying experience. The keyboard features several options for Chery MX switches, including Silent Reds, Red, Brown, Blue, and Black.
The only area where the Leopold FC660M comes up short is in how much users can customize the device. There is no option to use software for customization or key remapping. Dip switches on the rear of the mechanical keyboard offer a minimal amount of modifier options.
Anyone interested in getting a keyboard that will last through heavy use should consider the Leopold FC660M. However, superusers and anyone interested in utilizing heavy customization might want to go with a different option.
11. Magicforce 68
The Magicforce 68 is another budget-friendly option and might be the most affordable mechanical switch 65% keyboard available when you choose the base model. The price changes slightly depending on which switches you choose. Surprisingly, the keyboard is available with several switch options, including Cherry, Outemu, and Gateron in Blue, Brown, and Red types.
One of the areas where the budget price of the keyboard is really noticeable is in its acoustics. There are no fancy features in the keyboard that create a pleasing sound. The keyboard is noisy and might remind you of a mechanical keyboard in the 1980s. Some users might actually appreciate that old-school sound.
Despite its very basic construction and lack of finesse, the Magicforce 68 does have a rather unique design and pleasing layout. Despite its low price point, the keyboard features eye-pleasing floating keys. The keyboard’s stabilizers are barely noticeable, and the keyboard will oft4en rattle or when users press the keys too vigorously.
Users who want a keyboard with some customization but which won’t break the bank may want to start with the Tofu65. This keyboard offers some excellent upgrades over the budget models from Magicforce. The keyboard features an attractive aluminum case and is also available with what feels like an endless number of switch options.
The keyboard comes in several colors, including black, purple, burgundy, and white. Depending on the options chosen, some users might pay a premium for keycaps when they customize the keyboard. It’s worth noting, too, that the programming of the keyboard can get a little complicated and requires some study from novice users.
The Tofu is a 65% mechanical keyboard to consider when you’re ready to graduate from introductory keyboards but don’t need the extreme functionality and cost of a high-end device. Those interested in customizing their first keyboard will enjoy all the options available for the Tofu65.
13. Fnatic Streak 65
The Fnatic Streak 65 is a beautiful and compact 65 percent keyboard with all the necessary functionality you might need for competitive gaming. Rather than offering an endless number of different switch options, the keyboard comes with the Fnatic low-profile mechanical switches that promise speed and silent operation.
One of the reasons the mechanical keyboard is an excellent option for gamers is the way it accommodates double-taps for fast-paced action games and first-person shooters. Its small size means that the keyboard fits just about anywhere, but users don’t need to sacrifice any functionality to enjoy a top-tier gaming keyboard.
Users report that the keyboard feels exceptionally sturdy, and its aluminum frame looks and works well to create a sturdy gaming experience. Those who buy the Fnatic Streak 65 will enjoy pre-lubed stabilizers on the larger keys like the space bar for silent operation. The USB-C port is placed well to avoid interfering with the mouse, and gamers will appreciate the competition mode option, which locks the Windows key.
14. Asus ROG Falchion
The Asus ROG Falchion sits on the higher end of the price scale for mechanical keyboards, but some of its unique features are worth the investment for those who want a high-end keyboard. One of the unique features is the touch-sensitive strip that runs along the left side of the keyboard, which allows the user to modify the volume or activate macros.
Interestingly, the keyboard comes in two pieces and allows users to remove a metal-lined case in favor of a more lightweight plastic case. The fully assembled unit offers the most durability, while the plastic-only option is the highly portable, lightweight option. Users can also pick a wired, USB, or wireless connection that boasts 2.4GHz.
14. Epomaker TH66
The Epomaker TH66 is a great middle-of-the-road keyboard with lots of features and solid construction. One of the unique features is the rotary encoder wheel which sits in the upper righthand corner, which isn’t commonly found on 65% of keyboards. The mechanical keyboard also offers full RGB lighting and clean architecture.
If you’re looking for a keyboard that won’t keep your roommates, spouse, or kids awake, the Epomaker TH66 is a terrific option. The keyboard is extremely quiet, and its 2200 mAh battery offers many hours of use. The keyboard is usable via a USB-C wired, 2.4 GHz wireless, or Bluetooth connection, and it’s ready to use right out of the box without any lengthy setup.
The keyboard doesn’t have a significant level of functionality as far as its software is concerned, but there are options to rebind keys, change the lighting, and use macros. The keyboard also has firmware that receives occasional updates. Overall, the Epomaker TH66 is a satisfying and beautiful 65% mechanical keyboard that won’t break the bank.
With the incredible variety of keyboards available today, sometimes it’s difficult to choose one of the best 65% keywords unless you already have significant experience with the size. For many users, the decision will come down to a keyboard with responsive keys, ergonomic size, and reliability.
However, secondary considerations include added features like backlit keys, special colors, wireless capability, and appearance. Some users may miss the function row, but the dedicated arrow keys are a big plus on a compact keyboard. Explore all of the features of the keyboards that interest you, and read the reviews, too, for a complete picture of the best 65% keyboards to buy this year.