As more people work remotely , the time spent on keyboards increases the likelihood of developing repetitive strain injuries .
Fortunately for us, there is an option that can prevent us from suffering and even make us more efficient in our daily tasks: low-profile mechanical keyboards.
What Are Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards?
Low-profile keyboards have—you guessed it—a lower profile that comes from shorter keycaps, thinner switches, and a more streamlined build that is only half to two-thirds of a standard keyboard.
They are more ergonomic by allowing a lower, more relaxed hand and wrist position.
Top 5 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards
Below are some of the most popular low-profile keyboards on the market. With different features and designs, you can find just the right one for you.
Corsair Gaming K70 RGBMK.2 Rapidfire – Best Overall
With top-grade materials and lightning-fast typing capability, this full-size, wired Corsair keyboard is ideal for gamers and great for the office.
There are several different Cherry MX switches available, including Brown, Red, Blue, Silent Red, and Speed, so you can pick what kind of typing experience you like. The Brown switches are quiet, give good tactile feedback, and only need light pressure. The Blue are clicky switches, which means a much louder keyboard.
The RGB backlighting is fully customizable, and you can set macros to any key with the iCUE software. The keyboard comes with an onboard memory of up to three profiles with the possibility of more through the software. It’s fully compatible with Windows and partially compatible with macOS and Linux.
The ABS keycaps are stable with a nice feel. The spacing of the keys may take a bit of time to get used to, so don’t be surprised if you have a few initial typos. Being a full-size keyboard, it also has dedicated media keys and a volume wheel.
The Corsair is comfortable to use, with one incline setting of 10 degrees and a detachable wrist rest, which can lessen fatigue. Due to the wrist rest, it can take up more space than some other options.
The USB passthrough underneath allows a mouse to be attached directly to the keyboard and hides unsightly cords, keeping your workspace free of clutter.
Overall, this Corsair model is a fantastic choice with an array of features that stand out from the pack.
MSI Vigor GK50 – Best Budget
For those people on a budget that love the classic feel and sound of a typewriter, the MSI Vigor GK50 may be the perfect keyboard.
With its clicky sound and fast response, typing becomes a pleasurable pastime. The matte, octagonal keycaps repel oily fingerprints and have a slight indent to cup your fingertips.
The shorter actuation distance requires only light pressure, although the spacebar and shift button do have a little bit more resistance to them, which could affect certain gaming functions. However, your typing speed may actually increase due to the keycap design and switches.
The Vigor has a high-low keycap design for a more ergonomic hand position that reduces fatigue and the chance of injury, but it doesn’t come with a wrist rest.
There are eight different backlight color effects that are built into the keyboard, and many more available through the software. From rainbow to white, you can pick your favorite look.
For portability, the Vigor is a winner at only 1.5 pounds. Even with its cord, it’s a breeze to grab and carry when you’re on the go.
Even though this keyboard doesn’t have as many technical features as others, with a price just over $40 and a quality design, it’s a worthy contender.
Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED – Best High-End Wireless
For a premium keyboard from the top-selling gaming brand, look no further than the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. As its name suggests, this keyboard was built for efficiency and is a favorite among gamers.
The full-size design includes a column of dedicated macro keys on the left along with media controls, so it does take up a substantial amount of space. If you need a more compact version, check out the Logitech G915 TKL. Using the software, you can save three different profiles and switch in between them.
The ABS keycaps are comfortable with a tiny bit of wobble that isn’t noticeable during typing. They tend to absorb oils from the fingers and become a bit shiny.
With its metal frame and sturdy plastic backing, this keyboard can withstand the rigors of extensive gaming or office work. There is a slight bit of flex due to its thinness, but it’s minimal.
The Logitech has a good ergonomic design with two incline settings and rubber feet to prevent any movement. There is no wrist rest included, but it’s low profile makes for a very comfortable typing experience.
You can choose between tactile, linear, and clicky key switches for the feel that you want. The tactile gives a more classic feel without the noise of traditional keyboards.
With fully customizable RGB backlighting, you can use the Logitech G HUB software to pick a color for each key.
The wireless design allows for portability and a clean workspace. It only takes three hours to charge with a micro-USB cable and lasts up to 30 hours. It can also wirelessly connect with two devices at once.
Redragon K614 Anivia 60% – Best Minimalist Design
The Anivia brings lightweight, compact keyboards to a whole new level—perfect for traveling professionals.
It has 61 keys with N-key rollover support. The ABS keycaps are sturdy, flat, and don’t wobble, due to the short stem on the switch. The Anivia’s switches can be swapped out for Cherry MX low-profile switches and TTC KS32 switches.
The keyboard has a flat base with built-in, rubberized feet risers on the front of the keyboard to prevent any sliding. But even with the feet, it’s still only 3cm tall, making it a good ergonomic option for users who need to reduce fatigue and strain.
The RGB lighting is clear and bright and can be switched between colors with the keyboard. However, there is no option to customize each individual key.
Downloadable software offers quick-access profiles and a key assignment feature.
With a sturdy plastic backing and a metal top plate, the Anivia is sturdy enough to hold up to both transport and use. When you pack it for your trip, you don’t have to wonder if it will still be in one piece at your destination. And at less than a pound, you won’t even know you’re carrying it.
Ideal for small spaces and portability, the Redragon K614 Anivia 60% is an affordable practical solution.
Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge – Best Ergonomic
For people looking for a top-notch, ergonomic low-profile keyboard, the Kinesis Freestyle Edge is a great option.
At just a hair over 1 inch tall with a split design, this keyboard offers ultimate flexibility in placement. Separating the two halves allows your arms to be in a more natural position. You can also move the mouse to the middle to avoid overextending your arm.
Each half has a plush wrist rest that magnetically attaches to the keyboard. The pads are removable for cleaning. It doesn’t come with incline settings, but there is a Lift Kit that can be bought separately. The low profile allows your wrists and hands to be more relaxed.
There are five rubber feet on each half of the keyboard that adds stability and prevents sliding. A 20-inch cable connects both halves.
Both the base plate and top frame are made of heavy plastic that gives a sturdy feel to the keyboard with very little flex. The matte finish on both the keyboard and the ABS keycaps resist oil and add little grip. The keys have a bit of wobbling and rattling, but nothing major.
Depending on what kind of switch you choose, whether Cherry MX Brown, linear Red, or clicky Blue, you can have the feel that you want. They all offer a light touch, so long
periods of typing are not tiring. However, you may need time to get used to the split design.
The RGB lighting adds another element of appeal and practicality with multiple modes and the ability to program each key. The brightness level is also adjustable.
The Kinesis Freestyle Edge is fully compatible with Windows, Linus, and macOS, but it doesn’t work with mobile devices.
For ergonomic benefits and function, this is a great keyboard to try.
As a side note: if you need a good ergonomic option that doesn’t break the bank, check out Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business.
Whether you’re looking at low-profile mechanical keyboards for ergonomic or functional reasons, there are plenty of good options to choose from. From gaming to the office to working on the road, low-profile keyboards have established themselves as a more comfortable and efficient piece of equipment than the standard keyboard.
To design your ideal workspace, take the time to consider your priorities and what features will work best for you. Are you a serious gamer? Coder? Do you type for hours every day? With the growing variety of options, you can find the perfect solution for your budget and needs.
- https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-29/remote-work-projections-are-on-t he-rise-in-u-s-managers-survey