Deciding On The Best Compact Gaming Keyboard – Top 5 Keyboards & Buyer’s Guide

Best Compact Gaming Keyboard

If you enjoy a good game on your computer every now and then, you might as well get a cheap $15 keyboard and deal with it. Sure, you could also go to a fancy restaurant and order a plate of fries or play Mozart on a smartphone speaker. The point is, if you truly want a proper gaming experience, you need a quality keyboard – in fact, you need quality peripherals, including a great mouse too.

A good keyboard will work wonders on your gaming experience, working projects, and anything else. There are lots of products out there and each of them will promise you the world. Whether you are building a gaming machine from scratch or you are just looking for some upgrades, choosing the best compact gaming keyboard will work wonders in the long run – a real accomplishment.

All in all, here are some of the best keyboards to consider for your games, as well as what you need to look for before spending your money.

#1. Glorious GMMK

This compact keyboard features not more than 61 keys. It has a 60% layout, yet you can find it in the full size as well. It is easy to fit into tight places and allows a quicker gaming experience due to its small-sized design – you only get the basics, what else do you need?

Keys are mechanical. You have mechanical key switches – Gateron Brown, yet you can also install other switches – Kailh or Cherry. Practically, you can customize your gaming sessions in the smallest details. The design is quite simplistic and features raised keys – no branding.

In terms of design, the sandblasted aluminum faceplate will maintain its looks and appearance. The keyboard is durable and likely to last for more than just a few years. To boost your gaming experience, it comes with backlighting – 16.8 million colors, special effects, and adjustable brightness.

Connectivity is wired – while wireless connectivity is more modern, the wire ensures an instant response. The USB cable is braided and removable. Plus, the keyboard comes with anti-ghosting capabilities. In terms of sizing, it measures 11.5×4.1×1.4 inches.

What are the Pros?

  • Great anti ghosting features
  • Mechanical switch can be changed
  • Back lighting effects and adjustability
  • Solid and durable construction
  • Easy to use due to its size

What are the Cons?

  • Manual of instructions lacks lots of information

#2. HyperX Alloy Origins Core

HyperX is one of the top-rated manufacturers in the gaming industry and its compact gaming keyboard can seriously stand out in the crowd. Designed with gaming purposes in mind, it is also available in a full size design. The compact alternative comes with 87 different keys.

The compact unit comes with mechanical switches. The keyboard is designed to take over 80 million keystrokes without showing any signs of wear. Furthermore, it is based on aircraft-grade aluminum, so it is solid, stable, and likely to make a difference in your gaming experience.

The design is simplistic due to its compact size. It has a decent USB cable that can be detached for portability. Connectivity is wired – while not as convenient as the wireless one, at least it ensures an excellent response – almost instant. You want no lagging when playing though.

Other than that, the classic RBG lighting could not miss either. You have all kinds of profiles and dynamic effects. Plus, the keyboard comes with its own software – the HyperX Ngenuity program allows even more customization based on the games you play.

What are the Pros?

  • Extremely durable and solid materials
  • Compact and highly portable – USB cable is detachable
  • Extra customization through its software
  • Superior RGB lighting effects
  • Great value for money

What are the Cons?

  • Software is not very straightforward

#3. Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Go to a few gaming tournaments and you will notice Razer is one of the most popular brands for professional gamers. This unit makes no exception either – the compact gaming keyboard has been specifically designed to take tournaments to another level.

Traditional mechanical switches tend to become history with Razer because the unit features the Razer linear optical switch functionality. It relies on optical actuation and registers keypresses much faster than any other keyboard on the market.

In terms of design and durability, aluminum construction will ensure a long lifespan. The unit is covered in a matte design and the aluminum design guarantees structural integrity. Not only is its performance superior, but the unit is also portable – a small design and removable USB cable.

The keyboard is easy to customize and sync with some of the best-rated games on the market. It features Razer hardware and extras for more than 30 partners. It can take 16.8 million colors and keys are individually backlit. Key combinations can be remapped for complex commands.

What are the Pros?

  • Solid and durable construction
  • Deep key and combo customization
  • Superior hardware
  • Designed for tournaments
  • Great portability

What are the Cons?

  • No macro keys or USB ports

#4. Keychron K2

Basic, simple and built to last – this is the type of compact gaming keyboard you can get from Keychron. It feels a bit old school because there are no fancy bells and whistles, but it gets the job done in the smallest details. This keyboard is designed with performance in mind – no doubts about it.

The 75% layout brings in 84 keys. They are all RGB backlit. The unit is based on an aluminum frame for durability and a bit of extra weight – stable on the desk. It is mechanical and can easily retain shortcut keys. Other than that, you should know that it features Bluetooth connectivity.

The keyboard will remember up to three devices, so switching among them is fairly simple. It also has wired connectivity if you want more responsiveness in intense games. You have both Windows and Mac keys for compatibility, regardless of the operating system you use.

When used with Bluetooth connectivity, the K2 keyboard can take up to 72 hours. It will last for about seven days of regular use – up to eight hours a day. It has a massive 4,000mAh battery. It also comes with a Gateron mechanical switch that is guaranteed to last for 50 million keystrokes or more.

What are the Pros?

  • Both wired and wireless connectivity
  • Compact and stable on the desk
  • Durable design
  • Both Windows and Mac keys
  • Great battery when used wirelessly

What are the Cons?

  • Old school design may not be very attractive for some gamers

#5. Corsair K65

Corsair’s K65 keyboard features a 10 keyless design – more room on your desk and easy to travel with. It comes with 87 keys and classic wired connectivity for great responsiveness. Unlike other keyboards in this range, it does come with classic media controls.

The unit is based on aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum. The frame is likely to last for ages without showing any signs of wear and tear. Keys are well lit – multi-color backlighting and a vibrant experience for your gaming station. There is virtually unlimited customization.

Keycaps are large and comfortable – you can use the keyboard for hours without feeling any strain. The Cherry MX RGB Red key switches feature gold contacts for precision. As for the HID report rate, it goes up to 1,000Hz. The smooth and linear construction ensures a silky feeling too.

The keyboard comes with the Corsair iCue software. It allows extra customization on the lighting, as well as macro programming and full synchronization over other Corsair peripherals. All in all, the keyboard measures 14×6.5×1.5 inches and weighs just under a couple of pounds.

What are the Pros?

  • Well put together and durable
  • Sophisticated iCue software for greater customization
  • Comes with media controls
  • Excellent HID report rate

What are the Cons?

  • A little heavier than other keyboards in this range

What To Look For While Choosing The Best Compact Gaming Keyboard

Compact Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Combo

Now that you are aware of the best options on the market, what do you need to look for when choosing the ideal compact gaming keyboard? Of course, size is a top priority and it should be chosen with your needs in mind – different keyboards come with different amounts of keys and sizing standards.

Mechanical versus membrane

This aspect will help you determine how the keys feel when you press them. Mechanical keyboards bring back old-school memories. Keys are relatively tall and feature mechanical switches. They feature their own stems and springs, tend to click and feel tactile. There are more types of varieties, based on how much of that clicking experience you actually want. The feedback and precision are great.

Membrane keyboards are less expensive and feature thin designs. They come with a silicone or rubber layer under the buttons. They are versatile and do not feature that click. They are soft and smooth, but the lack of clicking noises will make it difficult to know if you have actually pressed the key. While comfy and quiet, gamers tend to like mechanical keyboards more because they need feedback for accuracy.

Macro buttons and customization

Many keyboards come with a few extra buttons – usually in a column aside. They can be customized to ensure complex key combinations. By assigning a particular action to such macro keys, the gaming experience becomes much smoother – less likely to waste time trying to come up with the right combination yourself.

Macro buttons and customization

This type of convenience is critical if reaction times must be short. Being able to swap mechanical switches under keys is another plus to look for. You might want a soft spring under WASD, but a bit of clicking noise under the space bar. All this customization will make the gaming experience more appropriate for your needs.

Anti ghosting and key rollover

A compact gaming keyboard is designed to take a few simultaneous keys for specific activities and the feature is known as the N key rollover. The higher this number is, the more efficient your key combos will be. It is all about flexibility – you might as well use the keyboard for two players simultaneously, hence the necessity of a high N key rollover.

Anti-ghosting features are just as important in the process because they prevent the keyboard from transmitting mixed signals. Some gaming keyboards isolate popular keys only – such as WASD, while others can tackle every key on the keyboard. The ghosting issue is not a problem when you write an essay though, but it is critical for gamers.

Back lighting

Back lighting On Gaming Keyboard

Backlighting is slowly becoming a standard in this industry, but you need more than that. You also need proper customization though – the idea is not just to impress those around you, but also to isolate keys on the keyboard. Keep the WAST blue and the rest red, for example. You no longer need to think where fingers have to go. Some keyboards allow customizing each key.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still undecided about the best compact gaming keyboard?

What can I do with a gaming keyboard?

A gaming keyboard is designed for gaming, yet it will obviously take all kinds of other activities – such as work, typing or just browsing the Internet. They are more efficient for gaming than classic keyboards though.

How long does a gaming keyboard last?

A classic gaming keyboard in the middle range will last for a few years. Some professional gaming keyboards can take up to 20 times more keypresses, meaning they will last longer than that.

How many keys does a compact keyboard have?

Standards vary from one brand to another. Some keyboards may bring in 80 keys, while others can go under 60 keys.

Conclusion

Bottom line, choosing the best compact gaming keyboard is not all about the brand, but also about the features, capabilities, and specifications. You need a bit of research if you are serious about your gaming experience. The good news is that no matter how picky you are, you can easily find something suitable for your personal needs.

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