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Layouts - 60% Keyboards

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Sixty-percent, sometimes also referred to as mini, is one of the most popular and widespread custom layouts. lt is essentially a keyboard consisting of just Alphas and Modifiers. Without any function, navigation, and other keys. This layout became very popular among gamers, as the keyboard retains most of the keys needed, leaving much more space for a mouse and other peripherals on the desk. At the same time, these boards are quite compact and easy to carry to an event or a cafe. However, there is another reason why 60% keyboards became so popular. Since the layout uses the same key size and placement as a full-size, the 60% boards are compatible with many aftermarket parts which have been standardized over time.

60% keyboard Layout ANSI60% ANSI Keyboard Layout

 

60% keyboards usually utilize a similar mounting style with either tray mounts being placed at specific spots and either PCB/plate screw into them (tray mount), attaching PCB/plate to the top keyboard panel (top mount), or even utilize foam/rubber strips to sandwich the PCB/plate between the top and bottom part of the keyboard case (gasket/sandwich mount). These are of course just a few options of how keyboards can be assembled and it mostly depends on the designer of the keyboard and market trends/preferences. Each mounting style might excel at different aspects and prioritize certain features over others.

While 60% keyboards enjoy great incompatibility on the aftermarket, they might be too limiting for a large portion of users who prefer to have more than just Alpha and Modifier keys. For example, many users need dedicated arrow or navigation keys for the applications they use daily, and accessing them through a secondary function layer is not an option for them. This might not be such a big problem for a programmable keyboard, it is still an obstacle. It is also important to state that there have been keyboard layouts that enabled to have dedicated arrow keys in the 60% form factor at the expense of non-standard key sizes and positioning.

Some of the notable 60% keyboards are Pok3r, ANNE Pro, KBDFans Tofu, Mekanisk Fjell/Tind/Klippe, ai03 Polaris, Wilba.tech Thermal, and others.

 

 

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