Bigger isn't always better. Technology has advanced so much that many things can now be miniaturized, including keyboards. Seeking the perfect compact computer companion has led enthusiasts and professionals alike to explore the world of 40% mechanical keyboards.
These pint-sized input devices offer a delightful blend of minimalism and versatility, making them ideal for those who seek a clutter-free workspace or require a portable typing solution.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at the best 40% mechanical keyboards that have emerged in 2024. Whether you're a seasoned keyboard connoisseur or just dipping your toes into the world of compact typing, there's something here for everyone.
Although there are many keyboards you can buy in the market, the Keychron Q9 stands out as the best overall 40% mechanical keyboard in 2024. It sets new standards in design, functionality, and performance.
The Keychron Q9 has a sleek and visually appealing design. Its compact form takes up minimal desk space, allowing for a clutter-free workspace. But it's not just about aesthetics. The keyboard's high-quality aluminum frame ensures durability and long-lasting performance.
What truly distinguishes the Keychron Q9 are its advanced features. The hot-swappable key switches enable easy customization of the typing experience, allowing you to choose the feel and sound that suits you best. The backlit keys make it easy to use even in low-light environments.
The Keychron Q9 supports both Mac and Windows layouts, catering to a wide range of user preferences.
Width: 94.1 mm
Length: 326 mm
Front Height: 19.6 mm (without keycaps)
Back Height: 30.7 mm (without keycaps)
Feet Height: 2.5 mm
Angle: 5.2 degrees
Weight: 1050 grams
Body Material: Full CNC machined aluminum
Plate Material: Steel
Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
Keycaps: Double-shot PBT keycaps, not shine-through, OSA Profile (OEM height, SA shape)
MCU: Ultra-low-power Arm Cortex-M4 32-bit STM32L432 (128KB Flash)
Switches: Gateron G Pro (Q9 Fully Assembled Version) or Keychron K Pro (Q9 Plus Fully Assembled Version)
Backlight: South-facing RGB LED
Switch Support: Hot-swappable (5 pin and 3 pin)
Stabs: Screw-in PCB stabs
Cable: Type-C cable + Type-A to Type-C adapter
The Vortexgear 40% Keyboard is a compact and powerful prebuilt option that will surely impress. It's designed to enhance your typing experience by minimizing finger movement and maximizing efficiency.
Don't be deceived by its small size. The Vortexgear 40% Keyboard boasts innovative features that set it apart from the rest. Equipped with Cherry MX switches, known for their reliability, responsiveness, and satisfying tactile feedback, this keyboard delivers an exceptional typing experience. The keys, made of durable PBT plastic, are resistant to shine even with long-term use.
The Vortexgear 40% Keyboard is encased in a sleek and high-quality aluminum CNC anodized case, giving it a premium feel. It's extremely portable thanks to its detachable micro-USB cable, making it perfect for those constantly on the move.
Physical Layout: ANSI
Logical Layout: US QWERTY
Key Switches: Cherry MX switches
Backlighting: customizable RGB backlighting
Material: CNC Aluminum
Keycap Material: double-shot PBT plastic
Programmability: 3 programmable layers / split programmable
Hot-Swappable Switches: hot-swappable switch sockets
USB Key Rollover: 6
Multimedia Keys: Yes
Interface: Micro USB
Dimensions: 3.15 x 9.84 x 1.12 inches
Weight: 1.10 lbs
Looking for a more affordable prebuilt keyboard? Look no further than the Qisan Magicforce 40%. It offers a great balance between price and functionality. Made with a sturdy plastic case and equipped with Gateron Brown switches, this keyboard provides a smooth and tactile typing experience without compromising performance.
The Qisan Magicforce 40% is compact yet accessible. Its ABS keycaps and blue backlight add a stylish touch to your desk setup.
While it may not have as many programmable layers as some other keyboards, the Qisan Magicforce 40% still allows for key function customization. T
At just $54, the Qisan Magicforce 40% is an affordable option for those who don't want to spend a fortune on a keyboard. With this keyboard, you get a high-quality and innovative product without breaking the bank.
Logical Layout: US Qwerty
Switches: Gateron or Cherry MX
Ergonomics: Split space bars
Backlighting: Snow White or Icy Blue LEDs
Anti-slippage: Rubber feet
Interface: Mini USB cable connection
Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches
Weight: 349 grams
The Drop Planck Keyboard Kit is an exceptional choice for those seeking customization options. This kit allows you to build your own keyboard, tailoring it to your specific needs by selecting from a wide range of options. It's not just a keyboard you're getting; it's an experience crafted by you.
The Planck Kit boasts a compact and minimalist design while still delivering excellent functionality. With its fully programmable layout, you have the freedom to assign any function to any key. The ortholinear layout, which arranges keys in straight columns and rows, enhances typing speed and accuracy.
The Planck Kit has an innovative hot-swappable switch design. You can experiment with different switches without the need for soldering, allowing for continuous innovation and exploration.
Dimensions:.2 x 3.2 x 1.3 inches
Weight: 510 grams
Switch Compatibility: Hotswap compatible with all Cherry-style clones including Cherry, Kaihua, Gateron, Halo, Holy Panda etc.
Frame: Anodized CNC machined aluminum
Stabilizers: PCBA mounted
Mounting: PCB Plate Mount
Backlighting: RGB bottom lighting
If you're looking for an affordable 40% keyboard that doesn't compromise on quality, the YMDK V2 is a fantastic option. It provides all the features you need without breaking the bank.
One of its standout features is the ability to customize key layouts with its four programmable layers. This allows you to create a personalized setup that suits your typing or gaming preferences.
The YMDK V2 is built to last, featuring a sturdy aluminum case that can withstand regular use. It's also available in various colors, so you can choose one that matches your setup's aesthetic. The keyboard utilizes Gateron switches, known for their responsiveness and durability, ensuring a satisfying typing experience.
Assembly of the YMDK V2 is straightforward, making it suitable for beginners as well. It can be an enjoyable and rewarding project, allowing you to add a personal touch to your keyboard.
Material: CNC anodized aluminum case with acrylic layer for RGB underglow
Ergonomic design: Stamdard Alice Wings
Backlighting: RGB and underglow
Hot-swappable design: Yes
Silencing: Foam for PCB and Bottom Case
Stabilizers: Black-Clear Screw-in Stabilizers
Switches: Gateron KS3 Milk Switches
Keycaps: OEM Laser-Carving PBT Keycaps
Connectivity: USB C-A Cable.
A 40 percent keyboard is a compact and minimalist version of a standard keyboard. Unlike traditional keyboards, it lacks a number pad, arrow keys, and the top row of keys. The name "40 percent" refers to the approximate key count compared to a full-sized keyboard.
However, this doesn't make it any less useful. The 40% keyboard is designed with efficiency and portability in mind, making it a game-changer in the world of technology.
Essentially, it's a keyboard that removes all the unnecessary elements, leaving you with just the essentials for an optimized typing experience. That's exactly what the 40% keyboard offers. It's a space-saving solution, perfect for smaller work desks or for digital nomads who are always on the move. Key characteristics of a 40% keyboard include:
There are several other competitors that could easily contend for the title of the best 40% keyboard of 2024. Let's check some of them:
With so many options available, selecting the perfect 40% keyboard can seem overwhelming. But fret not, we're here to help you through the decision-making process.
Choosing a 40% keyboard can be a personal and sometimes challenging decision, as it depends on your specific needs, preferences, and use cases. Here are some steps to help you make an informed choice when selecting a 40% keyboard:
Indeed, in many cases, smaller is better! Now you have the information you need to choose the best 40% mechanical keyboard of 2024. Whether you prefer the premium feel of the NuPhy Air 75, the affordability of the YMDK V2, or the ergonomic design of the Libra Mini, there's a perfect option for you.
And as computer technology advances, these keyboards will only become better!
The key is to find a keyboard that meets your needs, enhances your productivity, and feels comfortable to use.