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The Best Compact Mechanical Keyboard for 2023

Beautify your workspace, boost your productivity, and enjoy more ergonomic benefits with this tool.

No computer is complete without a functional keyboard since it is needed to input data. A keyboard is an essential tool for writers, gamers, programmers, teachers, and every other professional that can’t do without a computer.

For these professionals, having a compact mechanical keyboard is the way to go. These keyboards are easier to use and we love that they come in various sizes which means you can easily pack it and go.

A compact mechanical keyboard consists of various moving parts, often a spring and metal contact points that complete a circuit. In this article, we will show you the best compact mechanical keyboards.

How We Picked

  • Size

    One of the most remarkable features of an excellent compact mechanical keyboard is its size. We have picked compact mechanical keyboards that have the standard size and excellent layout of a keyboard. These mechanical keyboards have the appropriate size for an ergonomic keyboard.

  • Build quality

    Compact mechanical keyboards are known to be much lighter than traditional keyboards. This lightweight can be attributed to the material used to build them. Nevertheless, they are made with high-quality materials and they are highly durable. The keys are ergonomically designed so that your fingertips aren't affected when using them.

  • Removable cable

    A keyboard can't work by itself, even a compact mechanical keyboard can't do that. You need a cable or other options to connect a keyboard to a computer. We picked mechanical keyboards that have a removable and durable cable that will serve you excellently.

  • Price

    We know that compact mechanical keyboards are versatile and super awesome. You were probably thinking that with all these amazing features and convenience, they will be expensive. Don't worry, we have picked the best and most budget-friendly compact mechanical keyboards for you.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Ducky One 2 SF

This super bright keyboard is the most balanced mechanical keyboard in terms of the number of keys.

Ducky One 2 SF is highly versatile and easy to use. This keyboard has all the modifiers, letters, and numerals plus a few navigations and dedicated arrow keys on the right side. The Ducky One 2 SF features customizable RGB backlighting which makes it look beautiful and fun to work with. Apart from the colorful backlighting, it is available in two colors: white and black.

Buy Now

This mechanical keyboard is a great tool that gives you comfort and boosts your productivity.

Runner Up

Razer Pro Type Ultra

It is a great keyboard that is recommended for fast typists.

The Razer Pro Type Ultra mechanical keyboard is a great 2.4GHz wireless keyboard. It has hinged feet on the bottom rear that let you stand the keyboard at a choice of two angles. It doesn't make noise, thanks to the soft-touch ABS plastic that covers the keys. The Razer Pro Type Ultra is a nice choice for gamers because of its awesome gaming peripherals.

Buy Now for $159.99

The Razer Pro Type Ultra is a reliable choice for you to race your fingers on without worries.

Most cost-effective

Qisan Magicforce

It is an excellent and affordable compact mechanical keyboard.

The Qisan Magicforce is a beautiful mechanical keyboard that is super easy to use and highly affordable. The keys are soft and of standard size which makes them easy for you to replace. It has a durable and great build quality and is light. The Qisan Magicforce is a light and portable mechanical keyboard that users enjoy working with.

Buy Now for $62.99

This compact mechanical keyboard is affordable and promises 100% delivery of the ergonomic experience.

Almost made the cut

Keychron K3 (Version 2)

This is a wireless compact mechanical keyboard that is great for gamers.

The Keychron K3 Version 2 is a 75% compact mechanical keyboard that has two incline settings. It is a wireless keyboard with a slim low-profile board that makes working easier. The keys are soft and comfortable. The Keychron K3 Version 2 can connect to three devices via Bluetooth.

Buy Now for $80.00

The Keychron K3 mechanical keyboard is light and guarantees the smooth working experience that you deserve.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Ducky One 2 SF

This super bright keyboard is the most balanced mechanical keyboard in terms of the number of keys.

Buy Now

Runner Up

Razer Pro Type Ultra

It is a great keyboard that is recommended for fast typists.

$159.99

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Qisan Magicforce

It is an excellent and affordable compact mechanical keyboard.

$62.99

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

Keychron K3 (Version 2)

This is a wireless compact mechanical keyboard that is great for gamers.

$80.00

Buy Now

Who This Is For

These compact mechanical keyboards are for computer users who want an ergonomic keyboard that is available in small sizes. These keyboards are suitable for people that type a lot such as writers, gamers, programmers, and others.

60% keyboard vs full-size
Full-size or 100% keyboards are the most common keyboard that comes with desktops and laptops. A full-size keyboard consists of 107 keys with a full row of function keys on the upper side and a number pad on the right. A 60% keyboard consists of 68 keys with no numpad, home keys, arrow keys, and function keys. The major difference between these two types of keyboards is the number of keys. A full-size keyboard is recommended for people who do heavy numerical work while the 60% keyboard is suitable for gamers, graphic designers, and people that want more space on their working desks.

Linear vs tactile vs clicky
There are three switch types of mechanical keyboards — linear, tactile, and clicky. The linear switch refers to the smooth and consistent keystroke that produces a quiet noise. The linear switches are suitable for highly intense games that require lots of fast-paced actions. The tactile switch refers to a small tactile bump on a keystroke with moderate noise. They are recommended for general use and also for people that are just starting to use mechanical keyboards. The clicky switch, as the name suggests, refers to a small bump on a keystroke that produces a loud click noise. The clicky switch keyboards are recommended for beginners and great typing experience.

These three switches are known by the noise they produce when you click a key. Linear switch mechanical keyboards are associated with three colors: red, yellow, and black switches. The tactile switch is known for two colors: brown and clear/transparent switches while clicky switch keyboards are associated with blue and green.

Are compact mechanical keyboards more ergonomic?
Yes, compact mechanical keyboards are more ergonomic and they are known as ergonomic keyboards. They have soft and mushy keys that require little force to successfully activate and produce smooth tactile feedback that lets you type much faster. With its size, you have more space to put your mouse and other tools and operate them with ease. Some compact mechanical keyboards feature wrist pads that enhance wrist comfort while typing.

Wireless vs wired
This has been a great debate in many forums and threads. Wired compact mechanical keyboards have wires or cords that connect the keyboard to PCs while wireless mechanical keyboards use Bluetooth or 2.4GHz radiofrequency to connect to PCs. Wired mechanical keyboards are directly connected to computers so they work faster and more effectively than wireless keyboards which can be affected by signal interference. Wireless keyboards aren’t recommended for gaming because of signal disruption. Wireless keyboards give you the freedom to work away from your desk or monitor, unlike wired compact mechanical keyboards that make you glued to your table.

The cord of wired keyboards can cause havoc on your working desk by getting entangled with other gadgets. With a wireless keyboard, you have a free USB port on your PC. It is easier to travel with wireless compact mechanical keyboards than with wired keyboards. Wireless keyboards use batteries to power them so you need to change the batteries and there is a possibility that the batteries can run down when you are working. Wired compact mechanical keyboards are more affordable than wireless keyboards.

Is it worth splurging on?
Yes, compact mechanical keyboards are worth every penny you spend on them. Compact mechanical keyboards are ergonomic, light, beautiful, and effective. They are smaller than standard keyboards which makes them create more space for you to move your mouse and place speakers for entertainment. They have mushy keys and great tactile feedback.

Why You Should Trust Us

It is not easy getting an effective and durable compact mechanical keyboard. There are many compact mechanical keyboards online and getting the most cost-effective ones is a herculean task. That’s why we decided to use our resources and research experience to bring the best compact mechanical keyboards to you.

How We Picked

To get the best compact mechanical keyboards, we reviewed professional opinions from heavy-duty typists, gamers, programmers, and some remote workers. We also checked users’ feedback on these selected compact mechanical keyboards. These opinions and reviews helped us to pick these four awesome and cost-effective compact mechanical keyboards.
We also checked the sizes of these mechanical keyboards and they are well-designed. The keys are well-placed and made with high-quality materials that are durable and comfy. These compact mechanical keyboards are portable and they have detachable cords they are also affordable, beautiful, slim, and sleek – you will love them.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Ducky One 2 SF

Best Pick

Ducky One 2 SF

This super bright keyboard is the most balanced mechanical keyboard in terms of the number of keys.

Ducky One 2 SF is highly versatile and easy to use. This keyboard has all the modifiers, letters, and numerals plus a few navigations and dedicated arrow keys on the right side. The Ducky One 2 SF features customizable RGB backlighting which makes it look beautiful and fun to work with. Apart from the colorful backlighting, it is available in two colors: white and black.

Buy Now

Who it is for

The Ducky One 2 SF keyboard is suitable for heavy-duty typists and gamers who like a silent and beautiful keyboard.

Why it is great

The Ducky One 2 SF keyboard is a 65% size keyboard that features all the essential keys that everybody needs including modifiers, navigation keys, and dedicated arrow keys. The keyboard has a great build quality and easy-to-access keys. The plastic case of the Ducky One 2 SF is solid and sturdy and it also features stabilizers that put the keys in place without rattling. It comes with Cherry MX Brown switches that offer a soothing tactile bump that won't irritate you.

The Ducky One 2 SF keys are good for your fingertips because they are soft and mushy. It features a nice slope that doesn't add pressure to your wrist. This compact mechanical keyboard has two height options for more comfort while working day and night. The One 2 SF supports macro recording and works well on Windows and Mac. This keyboard features customizable RGB backlighting and has a removable USB-C cable. The Ducky One 2 SF has volume and mute keys that you can control Fn+M, comma, and period. This keyboard features an easy-to-understand and illustrated manual that tells you how to swap functions of Caps Lock, left Alt, Esc, Left Os, right Alt, left Ctrl, and Fn keys. The manual also indicates what the DIP switches do and how to customize the RGB backlight.

Potential flaws

The Ducky One 2 SF is primarily available in the U.S. which means if you aren’t in the U.S., you may not get your desired design or switches. If you stay outside the U.S., you may get it late like a month or two after you order. The One 2 SF is not fully programmable and it isn't easy to customize. The keyboard also lacks a DIP switch for easy swapping of the OS keys in macOS.

Other features

The Ducky One 2 SF is affordable and available in two colors: white and black. It is light, sturdy, and durable thanks to the high-quality plastic used to build it. The One 2 SF is quite slim and has two height options. It has a detachable USB Type C and a manual. The Ducky One 2 SF is a versatile mechanical keyboard and it is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It features the US QWERTY layout with customizable RGB backlighting with two switches: Cherry or Kalih.

Product specifications

Product Name: Ducky One 2 SF
Dimensions: 12.75 × 4.13 × 1.5 inches
Weight: 2.1 lbs
Number of Keys: 69
Connection: Removable USB-C
Keycap material: Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) plastic
Backlight: RGB

Runner Up - Razer Pro Type Ultra

Runner Up

Razer Pro Type Ultra

It is a great keyboard that is recommended for fast typists.

The Razer Pro Type Ultra mechanical keyboard is a great 2.4GHz wireless keyboard. It has hinged feet on the bottom rear that let you stand the keyboard at a choice of two angles. It doesn't make noise, thanks to the soft-touch ABS plastic that covers the keys. The Razer Pro Type Ultra is a nice choice for gamers because of its awesome gaming peripherals.

Buy Now for $159.99

Who it is for

Get the Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard if you are a fan of fast typing. The Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard has faster switches and it is good for gamers. If you also like to switch regularly between a desktop and a tablet or a laptop, this keyboard will come in handy.

Why it is great

The Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard has two connection options: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz radiofrequency. With these two options, you can use this keyboard to control four devices: one 2.4GHz wireless and three Bluetooth. When you connect the Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard to your PC, you will be able to download and install Razer's Synapse 3 control software. This software will allow you to alter the backlight intensity, set battery-saving timeouts, and customize the keys. The keycaps of the Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard are super soft thanks to the soft ABS plastic. The keyboard features hinged feet that allow you to choose the angle that you want and comes with linear switches which makes it produce a quiet clicky noise. It is a wireless keyboard and its battery doesn't run down quickly. The keyboard features a cushioned wrist rest that reduces pressure and enhances productivity. The Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard is light, portable, and durable.

Potential flaws

The Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard is a wireless keyboard that connects via Bluetooth and 2GHz radiofrequency and these two connectivity options are prone to signal interference. The keyboard is expensive for a mechanical keyboard that works with only Windows. The Synapse 3 software requires registration and the software is clustered with frustrating and repetitive ads.

Other features

The Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard is pricier than the Ducky One 2 SF keyboard and it is available in one color: white. Though this keyboard has a cord that connects it to a PC, it is best suited as a wireless keyboard with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz as its connectivity options. The keycaps are soft and produce little noise. Razer Pro Type Ultra keyboard can control up to four devices with its Razer HyperSpeed technology. The keyboard is durable, light, and effective. It works with only Windows and comes with lithium batteries.

Product specifications

Product Name: Razer Pro Type Ultra
Dimensions: 17.28 × 5.16 × 1.58 inches
Weight: 3.27 lbs
Number of Keys: 104
Connectivity: Wired USB-C, wireless connection via Razer™ HyperSpeed (2.4GHz), and Bluetooth.
Keycap material: Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) plastic
Backlight: Single Color
Batteries: 1 Lithium Ion battery

Most cost-effective - Qisan Magicforce

Most cost-effective

Qisan Magicforce

It is an excellent and affordable compact mechanical keyboard.

The Qisan Magicforce is a beautiful mechanical keyboard that is super easy to use and highly affordable. The keys are soft and of standard size which makes them easy for you to replace. It has a durable and great build quality and is light. The Qisan Magicforce is a light and portable mechanical keyboard that users enjoy working with.

Buy Now for $62.99

Who it is for

The Qisan Magicforce keyboard is recommended for entry-level workers and people that just want to start their compact mechanical keyboard journey.

Why it is great

The Qisan Magicforce is super affordable and easy to use by everybody, even a learner. When compared with other mechanical keyboards in its price range, the Qisan Magicforce has great body quality and offers an excellent typing experience. The ABS keycaps are soft and of standard size. The Qisan Magicforce features a solid aluminum backplate and has a nice open design. The keyboard sits well on every surface and has many switches such as the Cherry, Kalih, Outemu, and Gateron. The Magicforce has excellent DIP switches for locking the OS key, swapping the OS key and Fn, and swapping Caps Lock and Ctrl. It features clearly labeled media keys along the bottom alphabet row. Qisan Magicforce works well on Windows and Mac, and it features a cable-management channel on the underside that gives access to the removable Mini-USB cable. The keyboard has a nice slope that doesn't hurt your wrist in the long run. It has a floating-key design that allows its backlighting to shine clearly.

Potential flaws

The Qisan Magicforce doesn't feature a warranty. The Outemu switch version of the Qisan Magicforce is unpleasant to work on and the other switches are hard to get. The Magicforce mechanical keyboard isn't fully programmable and it is difficult to swap the OS and Alt keys. The USB cord is short and limits the movement of the keyboard.

Other features

The Qisan Magicforce is a budget-friendly keyboard made with high-quality Polybutylene Terephthalate or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. It features an adjustable ice-blue or white backlight and contains 68 ANSI standard-size keys. It is a wired keyboard with a removable mini-USB. The Magicforce is sturdy, slim, light, and cool. It has different switches namely Cherry, Kalih, Outemu, Gateron, and other unnamed types.

Product specifications

Product Name: Qisan Magicforce
Dimensions: 13.38 x 4.13 x 1.57 inches
Weight: 1.28 lbs
Number of Keys: 68
Connectivity: Removable Mini USB.
Keycap material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) or Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) plastic.
Backlight: White or Ice-blue.

Almost made the cut - Keychron K3 (Version 2)

Almost made the cut

Keychron K3 (Version 2)

This is a wireless compact mechanical keyboard that is great for gamers.

The Keychron K3 Version 2 is a 75% compact mechanical keyboard that has two incline settings. It is a wireless keyboard with a slim low-profile board that makes working easier. The keys are soft and comfortable. The Keychron K3 Version 2 can connect to three devices via Bluetooth.

Buy Now for $80.00

Who it is for

The Keychron K3 (Version 2) is suitable for Mac users that want to move from the Apple Magic Keyboard to a compact mechanical keyboard.

Why it is great

The Keychron K3 (Version 2) is the upgraded version of the Keychron K3 and it is a compact 75% wireless keyboard. It is light and has two incline settings for excellent ergonomics. This version of the Keychron K3 connects to a PC via Bluetooth and can connect to three devices. You can also connect the keyboard to your PC with its charging cable. The Keychron K3 V2 keyboard has a good build quality coupled with a reinforced aluminum chassis. The keycaps are soft to the touch thanks to its double-shot ABS. They are available in either Keychron Low Profile Optical switches or Gateron Low Profile mechanical switches. The Keychron K3 V2 features full RGB backlighting with each key having its light. This mechanical keyboard offers decent typing and a casual gaming experience.

Potential flaws

The Keychron K3 Version 2 doesn't come with companion software to program macros or remap buttons. The keyboard isn't fully compatible with MacOS as the screen brightness hotkeys. The backlighting is dimmer than that of the Ducky One 2 SF and even the original version of the Keychron K3. The keyboard isn't well-spaced and you can't customize its RGB backlighting settings.

Other features

The Keychron K3 Version 2 is affordable and promises a great typing experience. It is known as a wireless keyboard and can connect to laptops, tablets, and smartphones though it has a Type C USB. It is light and durable thanks to its aluminum plate and plastic frame. It features 84 keys and has two adjustable rubber feet. In the box, you will find a Keychron K3 Version 2 keyboard, user documentation, one orange light bulb key, a USB Type C cable, four replacement windows keys, a keycap puller, a Keyboard layout pamphlet, and a switch puller.

Product specifications

Product Name: Keychron K3 Version 2
Dimensions: 13.38 x 4.13 x 1.57 inches
Weight: 1.1 lbs
Number of Keys: 84
Connectivity: Removable Mini USB and Bluetooth
Keycap material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic
Backlight: RGB

Care and maintenance

How to keep clean
There are many ways to clean a compact mechanical keyboard. You can remove crumbs or dust by turning the keyboard upside down and gently tapping it with one hand while you hold it firmly with the other. Also, you can use an air gun to blast dust out from beneath the keys. If water or juice spills on your keyboard, use a towel to absorb the liquid and dry the keyboard. Don’t use a strong towel or harsh chemicals to clean your keyboard. You can use keyboard cleaning gel to clean mechanical keyboards.

Where and how to display
Compact mechanical keyboards can be displayed on desks with their feet or mounting hardware

Where and how to store when not in use
You can store your mechanical keyboard inside its original box. You can keep them in desk drawers, keyboard trays, wall racks, and cupboards. You can lean it against the wall but you need to place it where it won’t trip people or where it can be easily kicked.