The Different Keyboard Sizes layouts Explained

June 21, 2023

The Different Keyboard Sizes Explained! Choose the right keyboard size.

So, you've decided to delve into the world of mechanical keyboards. Welcome to the club! But oh boy, are you in for a treat. Or should I say, a dilemma? Because once you start exploring the different keyboard sizes available, you might find yourself drowning in options and struggling to choose just one.

But fear not, dear reader. In this article, we're going to break down the various keyboard sizes and explain what makes each one special. From the full-sized beasts to the compact 40% models, we'll guide you through everything you need to know so that by the end of it all, you'll be able to confidently choose your perfect match.

So sit back, relax (or maybe don't relax too much if you're a typing enthusiast), and let's dive into 'The Different Keyboard Sizes Explained'.

Key Takeaways

  •   There are multiple keyboard sizes available, each with its own unique benefits and features.
  • Personal preference plays a big role in choosing the right keyboard size.
  • Different brands may have slightly different measurements for the same keyboard size.
  • Choosing the right keyboard size can significantly improve typing experience and productivity levels.

Why different size keyboards?

So, have you ever wondered why there are so many different sizes of keyboards out there? It's like, who even asked for this kind of variety? Well, I'll tell you, my friend: it's all about catering to the needs of every kind of typist out there.

You've got your small ones for people who like to travel light or have teeny tiny hands. Then there's the standard size for all you basic typers (no offense, of course). And don't even get me started on those oversized keyboards for the dramatic types who like to make a grandiose statement. And let's not forget those ergonomic keyboards for people who care about their wrist health (because apparently that's a thing?).

Really, the only thing missing is a keyboard shaped like a dachshund, am I right? All jokes aside, no matter what size or shape keyboard you prefer, we can all agree on the most important thing: the satisfying sound of those keys clicking away as we type out our wildest thoughts.

Full-Sized Keyboard (100%)

Now that you understand the basics of keyboard sizes, let's dive into the most common size - the full-sized keyboard (100%) - and discover why it's a must-have for anyone who spends a lot of time typing.

A full-sized keyboard is also known as a standard keyboard size, measuring around 44cm in width and 14cm in height. It has all the keys you need to type efficiently, including a number pad on the right side.
Compared to other keyboard sizes like TKL (Tenkeyless), which lacks a number pad, or smaller keyboards like 60% or 75%, full-sized keyboards are more comfortable to use for extended periods. The extra space allows your hands to rest naturally while typing, reducing strain on your wrists and fingers.

Additionally, having all the keys within reach means you don't have to rely on shortcuts or function keys to access essential functions. If you're looking for a full-sized keyboard, make sure to check its dimensions in inches or centimeters before purchasing. Some brands may have slightly different measurements than others, so it's best to double-check if it fits your desk space or preferred typing position.

Overall, investing in a high-quality full-sized keyboard can significantly improve your typing experience and productivity levels.

1800 Compact (96%) Keyboard

For this tenkeyless keyboard review, we selected a Cloud 9 Ergo TKL Ergonomic Split Keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches. The connection to our HP PC was done using the cables in the package. We used a small workplace cubicle for our testing venue; we want to determine the minimum amount of space needed for using the keyboard comfortably.

To test the C959 TKL Keyboard’s operations and feel, we copied a few pages of an unedited manuscript. We typed with both halves fused and separated. We also played a Call of Duty video game to see if it’s a good keyboard for gamers.

Finally, to check the quality of the RGB LED lights, we dimmed the lights of the office.

Tenkeyless(TKL) Keyboard

The Tenkeyless keyboard is a game-changer for those who want to maximize their desk space without sacrificing functionality. As one of the most popular keyboard sizes, the TKL layout has become a favorite among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts and gamers alike.

With its compact design, the TKL keyboard offers all the essential keys you need without the numeric keypad on the right side, providing more room for your mouse movements. One of the benefits of using a Tenkeyless keyboard is that it forces you to use your right hand on your mouse rather than keeping it glued to your numeric keypad. This can lead to better ergonomics and less strain on your wrists, especially if you're someone who spends hours typing every day.

Additionally, because this type of keyboard is smaller in size, it's easier to travel with or store when not in use. If you're looking for a gaming keyboard that won't take up too much space on your desk or lap, consider getting a Tenkeyless mechanical keyboard.

These types of keyboards are becoming increasingly popular among gamers due to their compact size and responsive switches that provide superior tactile feedback. With its minimalist design and customizable keycaps, a TKL mechanical keyboard can help elevate your gaming experience while saving valuable desk real estate.

75% Keyboard

If you're looking for a keyboard that provides a comfortable and efficient typing experience, the % keyboard might be right up your alley. This unique keyboard size is also known as the 'percent' or 'compact' keyboard. It's essentially a shortened version of a full-size keyboard, without sacrificing any important keys.

The % keyboard typically has 60% of the keys found on a full-size keyboard, including all alphabets, numbers, and some function keys. The arrow keys are usually integrated into other keys or placed in an alternative location. While this may seem like a drawback to some, many users have found it to be more ergonomic and easier to navigate once they get used to it.

Like other mechanical keyboards, the 75% keyboard offers tactile feedback and durability that traditional membrane keyboards can't match. Its compact size makes it easy to carry around or fit into smaller desk spaces.

As with any different keyboard sizes out there, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what works best for your needs.

65% Keyboard

When you're working on-the-go, the % keyboard is an excellent choice because of its compact size. With fewer keys than a standard keyboard layout, it's easy to fit into your bag and take with you wherever you go.

While the exact number of keys can vary depending on the % keyboard model you choose, most have around 60-75 keys. One thing to keep in mind when choosing a % keyboard is that they often use non-standard key sizes and layouts. This may take some getting used to if you're used to typing on a traditional keyboard, but many people find that they adapt quickly.

In addition, % keyboards often use different types of switches than standard keyboards, which can affect how they feel when typing. Overall, the compact size and portability of % keyboards make them an attractive option for those who frequently work on-the-go or have limited desk space.

While there may be an adjustment period due to the non-standard layout and switch options, many people find that the benefits outweigh any initial challenges. If you're looking for a highly customizable and portable option for your next keyboard purchase, consider giving a 65% keyboard a try!

60% Keyboard

You'll love the compact and highly portable nature of a % keyboard, making it an excellent choice for those who frequently work on-the-go or have limited desk space. This keyboard size is also known as a 'tenkeyless' keyboard, which means that it doesn't come with a number pad.

Instead, the keys are arranged in a more condensed layout, which can take some getting used to if you're accustomed to typing on a full-sized keyboard. Despite its smaller size, % keyboards still offer impressive functionality and features.

Many models are mechanical keyboards, which means they use individual switches for each key instead of rubber domes like traditional keyboards. This results in better tactile feedback and faster response times when typing or gaming. Additionally, there are wireless gaming keyboard options available in this size that give you the freedom to move around without being tethered to your computer.

If you're looking for a versatile keyboard that's easy to transport and offers great performance, then consider investing in a 60% keyboard. With fewer keys than traditional keyboards but still packed with features like mechanical switches and wireless capabilities, this size strikes the perfect balance between functionality and portability.

Whether you're working remotely or just need extra desk space at home or in the office, this option is definitely worth considering when shopping for different keyboard sizes.

40% Keyboard

With its condensed layout and mechanical switches, a % keyboard is the perfect choice for those seeking a portable yet high-performing option. This type of keyboard takes up less space on your desk, making it easier to navigate between multiple screens or documents.

The number of keys on a % keyboard varies from 60 to 75, depending on the model you choose. One of the key benefits of a % keyboard is its size. It's almost half the size of a standard keyboard, measuring around 300mm in width compared to the typical 500mm measurement for most keyboards.

The smaller size makes it ideal for gamers who need more space on their desk for their mouse and other gaming equipment. Additionally, this compact design makes it easy to travel with your keyboard without sacrificing performance. When shopping for a % keyboard, keep in mind that there are different layouts available.

Some models have arrow keys while others do not. Additionally, some models may have function keys integrated into other keys or require special key combinations to access them. Take some time to research which layout works best for you before making your purchase decision.

Overall, if you're looking for a more portable option with high-performance features, consider investing in a 40% keyboard - just make sure you find one with the right layout that fits your needs!

Number Pads

Now that you know about the percent keyboard, it's time to talk about something that may be more familiar to you: the number pad. This is a group of keys located on the right side of a fullsize keyboard piano and has all the numbers from 0 to 9, along with mathematical symbols such as +, -, *, /, and =.

Some people find the number pad essential for their work because it allows them to input numbers quickly and efficiently. Others may not use it at all since they can easily type numbers using the row of numbers at the top of their keyboard or by using a mouse or touchpad.

If you're someone who uses arrow keys frequently, then having a number pad may not be ideal for you since it requires your right hand to be positioned further away from those keys. However, if you're someone who needs to input large amounts of numerical data on a regular basis, then investing in a keyboard with a number pad might make your life easier.

Macro Pad

If you're looking for a way to streamline your workflow and increase productivity, consider adding a macro pad to your setup. A macro pad is a small keyboard that contains a limited number of keys, usually between 4 and 24. Each key can be programmed to perform complex functions or execute specific commands with just one press.

Macro pads are especially useful for gamers, coders, and graphic designers who need quick access to shortcuts and macros. They allow users to customize their keyboard layout without having to memorize complicated key combinations or stretch their fingers across the entire keyboard. Macro pads can also be used as standalone devices or as an extension of an existing keyboard.

When it comes to choosing the right macro pad, there are several factors to consider such as the size of the device, the number of keys available, and compatibility with different operating systems. Some macro pads come in compact sizes that fit perfectly next to your main keyboard while others are more sizable and can function as standalone devices.

Additionally, some macro pads may feature RGB lighting or customizable keycaps depending on your personal preferences. While most people are familiar with standard keyboards like ANSI or ISO layouts, there are many other types of keyboards out there designed for specific tasks like gaming or programming.

Adding a macro pad to your setup can help increase efficiency and make navigating through complex tasks much easier by allowing you to create custom shortcuts that save time in the long run. So if you're ready to take your productivity game up a notch, invest in a good quality macro pad today!

Choosing the Right Size for You

As you're considering which macro pad to add to your setup, don't overlook the importance of choosing the right size for you. After all, understanding keyboard sizes is essential so that the device fits comfortably within your workspace and complements your workflow.

Here are three things to keep in mind when choosing the right size for your macro pad:

  1. Consider how many keys you need. While a full-size keyboard may have 88 keys, a macro pad typically has only between 3-9 keys. Decide how many keys you need based on what tasks or shortcuts you want to assign.
  2. Think about portability. If you plan on taking your macro pad with you on-the-go, consider a smaller size that can easily fit in your bag or pocket.
  3. Look at compatibility. Make sure the size of your macro pad is compatible with other devices in your setup, such as laptops and desktops.

Choosing the right size for your macro pad is crucial to ensuring maximum efficiency and comfort while working. By keeping these factors in mind - how many keys you need, portability, and compatibility - you'll be able to find the perfect fit for your needs and workflow.

Q: What are the different keyboard sizes?

A: The most common keyboard sizes are full-size, compact, and mechanical. However, there are also less common keyboard sizes, such as 75%, 60%, and 40%.

Q: What is the difference between a full-size and a compact keyboard?

A: A full-size keyboard typically includes a numpad, while a compact keyboard does not. Compact keyboards are often smaller in form factor and have the number keys integrated into the main section of the keyboard.

Q: What is a mechanical keyboard?

A: A mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses individual mechanical switches under each key. This can make for a more satisfying and responsive typing experience.

Q: How does keyboard size affect layout?

A: The size of a keyboard can impact both the layout and available features. For example, a smaller keyboard may not have a numpad or dedicated navigation keys. However, some smaller keyboards may offer custom layouts or programmable keys.

Q: What is a numpad?

A: A numpad is typically found on the far right of a standard full-size keyboard and includes a set of number keys, a decimal point, and math symbols. It is often used for data entry and calculations.

Q: What are the most common keyboard sizes?

A: The most common keyboard sizes are full-size, compact, and mechanical. Full-size keyboards are typically the largest and include a numpad, while compact and mechanical keyboards are usually smaller and may or may not have a numpad.

Q: What is the perfect keyboard size?

A: The perfect keyboard size is subjective and depends on individual preferences and needs. For example, someone who frequently uses number keys may prefer a full-size keyboard, while someone who wants to save desk space may prefer a compact keyboard.

Q: What are the navigation keys on a keyboard?

A: The navigation keys on a keyboard include the arrow keys, page up/down keys, home key, and end key. They are typically used to navigate through documents, web pages, and other content.

Q: What is a laptop keyboard?

A: A laptop keyboard is a compact keyboard that is integrated into a laptop computer. It often lacks a numpad and has a smaller form factor than a standard desktop keyboard.

Q: What should I consider when choosing a keyboard size?

A: When choosing a keyboard size, consider your preferred typing experience, the available desk space, and any specific features or keys you may need for your work or hobbies.


To truly optimize your workflow and create a comfortable workspace, it's important to keep in mind the key factors of size, portability, and compatibility when choosing the perfect macro pad for you.

With so many different keyboard sizes available on the market today, it can be overwhelming to decide which one will best suit your needs. However, understanding the pros and cons of each keyboard layout type can help you make an informed decision.

If you're looking for a high-quality typing experience with tactile feedback, mechanical keyboards are a great choice. They come in various sizes (such as full-size, tenkeyless or 60%) and offer customizable options that allow you to program macros and hotkeys for quick access.

On the other hand, if portability is your top priority then a smaller keyboard like a 60% or even a compact 40% might be more suitable.

Choosing the right keyboard size is essential in creating an efficient workspace that works for you. Whether you prefer mechanical or membrane keyboards, there's no shortage of options available to cater to your specific needs. Just remember that finding the right balance between size and functionality is key when selecting a keyboard that will help take your productivity to new heights.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
hello world!


Pinstack is a dedicated online media platform focusing on selling and reviewing mechanical keyboards. Our commitment is to provide comprehensive reviews, in-depth guides, and much more. With our active presence on YouTube and our website, we strive to deliver top-quality content across multiple platforms, aiming to bring the best to our audience.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscription Form

We care about the protection of your data. We’ll never share your details.

Pinstack is an Amazon Affiliate. All earnings from this website are from qualified purchases.
2023 - Copyright, All Rights Reserved
Pinstack magnifiercrossmenu
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x