Welcome to the world of 40% mechanical keyboards! If you’re wondering what these tiny keyboards are all about, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll dive into the fascinating realm of 40% keyboards and discover why they have been gaining popularity among keyboard enthusiasts and productivity aficionados alike.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “What exactly is a 40% mechanical keyboard?” Well, let’s break it down. Traditional keyboards that most of us are familiar with are usually full-sized or come in compact forms like TKL (tenkeyless) or 60% layouts. However, the 40% keyboard takes compactness to a whole new level. With only 40% of the keys you typically find on a full-sized keyboard, these little wonders strip away unnecessary keys to maximize efficiency and space.
So, why are 40% mechanical keyboards gaining such a devoted following? One word: efficiency. By eliminating the excess and focusing on the essentials, these keyboards offer a streamlined experience that can enhance productivity and typing speed. With practice and familiarity, users can navigate the compact layout with ease and precision.
But it’s not just about efficiency. 40% keyboards also bring a unique aesthetic appeal to the table. Their compact size and minimalist design make them visually striking and add a touch of modern sophistication to any workspace. Whether you’re a professional who values a clutter-free desk or a keyboard enthusiast seeking a new challenge, these keyboards offer a delightful blend of form and function.
So, join us as we explore some of the best 40% mechanical keyboards out there. From the budget-friendly options to the premium picks, we’ll delve into their pros and cons, helping you make an informed decision and find the perfect match for your typing needs. Get ready to embrace the compact revolution and unlock a new level of efficiency and style with 40% mechanical keyboards!
2. VortexGear Core 40%
If you’re looking for a 40% mechanical keyboard that’s ready to roll straight out of the box, the VortexGear Core 40% might just be the perfect match for you. With its out-of-the-box convenience, this keyboard takes away the hassle of assembly or complex setup processes. You can simply plug it in, start typing, and let the keyboard work its magic.
One of the standout features of the VortexGear Core 40% is its reliable brand reputation. VortexGear has made a name for itself in the keyboard community, known for producing high-quality and well-engineered keyboards. When you choose the VortexGear Core 40%, you’re opting for a proven brand that has earned the trust of users worldwide.
Now, let’s talk about the cons, because no product is without its drawbacks. One consideration is that the VortexGear Core 40% might require a bit of adjustment if you’re used to larger keyboards. With fewer keys and a more compact layout, it may take some time to get accustomed to the new arrangement. However, with practice and a little patience, many users find that the adjustment period is well worth the efficiency gains.
Another potential downside to be aware of is that the VortexGear Core 40% may not have all the keys or functions that you’re accustomed to having on a larger keyboard. This is an inherent trade-off of the 40% form factor. Some users may find that certain keys they rely on are missing or that specific functions they use frequently are not readily accessible. It’s essential to consider your specific needs and workflow before making a decision.
In summary, the VortexGear Core 40% offers the convenience of being ready to use straight out of the box and carries the reputation of a reliable brand. However, it’s important to be aware of the adjustment required for users transitioning from larger keyboards and the potential lack of certain keys or functions. By weighing these pros and cons against your preferences and requirements, you can make an informed choice about whether the VortexGear Core 40% is the right fit for you.
3. Planck Ez
If you’re searching for a top-tier 40% mechanical keyboard that combines high-end quality with customization options, the Planck Ez is definitely worth considering. This keyboard is often hailed as a premium pick, designed with meticulous attention to detail and a focus on delivering an exceptional typing experience.
One of the standout pros of the Planck Ez is its high-end build quality. From the moment you unbox it, you can feel the sturdiness and craftsmanship that went into creating this keyboard. Every key press exudes a satisfying tactile feel, thanks to the quality switches and keycaps used in its construction. If you appreciate the finer things in life and want a keyboard that will stand the test of time, the Planck Ez won’t disappoint.
But that’s not all—the Planck Ez also offers an impressive level of customization. You have the freedom to adjust the layout and keycaps to suit your preferences, allowing for a truly personalized typing experience. Whether you’re a programmer who needs specific key arrangements or someone who wants to add a touch of personality to their keyboard, the customization options of the Planck Ez open up a world of possibilities.
However, it’s important to consider the cons as well. One notable drawback of the Planck Ez is its higher price point compared to other 40% keyboards on the market. The premium build quality and customizable features come at a cost, making it a more significant investment. If budget is a primary concern for you, it’s worth exploring other options that offer similar functionality at a more affordable price.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the Planck Ez may require some assembly. While this can be seen as a fun and engaging process for keyboard enthusiasts, it might be a potential hurdle for those who prefer a keyboard that’s ready to use right away. If you’re not confident in your assembly skills or simply prefer a more straightforward setup, this aspect of the Planck Ez may be something to consider.
In conclusion, the Planck Ez is a high-end 40% mechanical keyboard that boasts premium build quality and customizable features. It offers a top-tier typing experience for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and enjoy personalizing their setup. However, it’s important to be aware of the higher price point compared to other options and the potential need for assembly. By weighing these pros and cons against your specific needs and preferences, you can determine if the Planck Ez is the perfect fit for you.
a. What are the differences between the VortexGear Core and the Planck Ez keyboards?
When it comes to 40% mechanical keyboards, two popular options that often catch the eye of enthusiasts are the VortexGear Core and the Planck Ez. While both keyboards fall into the same category, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Let’s take a closer look at the key features, design, and functionality of each, so you can make an informed decision about which one suits your needs best.
In terms of layout, the VortexGear Core takes a more traditional approach. It features a compact layout with 40% of the keys found on a full-sized keyboard. This means it retains some familiar key placements, making the transition from a larger keyboard a bit smoother. On the other hand, the Planck Ez follows a more unique and ergonomic layout, designed to maximize efficiency and reduce finger movement. It utilizes a grid-style layout with ortholinear key placement, which can take some time to get accustomed to but offers potential ergonomic benefits.
When it comes to customization options, the Planck Ez takes the crown. It offers extensive customization possibilities, allowing you to reprogram every single key to your liking. This level of flexibility appeals to users who have specific preferences or workflow requirements. In contrast, the VortexGear Core has limited customization options. While it still offers some level of programmability, it may not provide the same depth of customization as the Planck Ez.
User experience also plays a crucial role in choosing the right keyboard. The VortexGear Core is known for its out-of-the-box convenience. It’s a keyboard that’s ready to use right away without any complex setup or assembly required. On the other hand, the Planck Ez may require some assembly, as it often comes as a DIY kit. This can be an enjoyable experience for keyboard enthusiasts who like to tinker and customize their keyboards, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
In summary, the VortexGear Core and the Planck Ez offer different experiences to users. The VortexGear Core provides a more familiar layout, convenience, and a straightforward user experience. On the other hand, the Planck Ez offers a unique ergonomic layout, extensive customization options, and the satisfaction of building and personalizing your own keyboard. By considering the distinctions in terms of layout, customization options, and user experience, you can make an informed decision about which keyboard aligns better with your preferences and typing style.
5. Qisan Magicforce 40%
If you’re on the lookout for a budget-friendly 40% mechanical keyboard that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Qisan Magicforce 40% might be the perfect match for you. This keyboard offers a wallet-friendly option without skimping on essential features and performance.
One of the standout pros of the Qisan Magicforce 40% is its affordability. It provides an entry point into the world of 40% keyboards without breaking the bank. This makes it a great option for those who want to experience the compact keyboard goodness without making a significant financial investment.
Despite its affordable price tag, the Qisan Magicforce 40% doesn’t compromise on build quality and performance. It offers a decently built keyboard that can withstand the rigors of everyday use. The keys provide a satisfying typing experience, striking a balance between comfort and responsiveness.
However, it’s important to consider the cons as well. One downside of the Qisan Magicforce 40% is its limited advanced features and customization options. Compared to some higher-end models, it may lack certain bells and whistles that enthusiasts may desire. If you’re looking for extensive programmability or advanced customization options, you may need to explore other keyboards that cater to those specific needs.
Another consideration is that the Qisan Magicforce 40% may require some adjustment when it comes to the key layout. The compact size means that certain keys may be arranged differently compared to larger keyboards. While it may take a little time to get used to the new layout, many users find that the adjustment period is relatively short-lived, and they quickly adapt to the more compact arrangement.
In summary, the Qisan Magicforce 40% offers an affordable entry point into the world of 40% mechanical keyboards. It provides decent build quality and performance without breaking the bank. However, it’s important to be aware of its limited advanced features and customization options. Additionally, you may need to make a small adjustment to the key layout. By considering these pros and cons in light of your budget and specific requirements, you can determine if the Qisan Magicforce 40% is the right fit for you.
6. Royal Kludge RK61 61 Keys Keyboard
If you’re looking for a keyboard that offers a bit more functionality than a traditional 40% layout, the Royal Kludge RK61 with its 61 keys might be just what you need. This keyboard strikes a balance between compactness and added features, providing a versatile option for those seeking a bit more flexibility in their typing experience.
One of the standout pros of the Royal Kludge RK61 is its 61 keys layout. Compared to a standard 40% keyboard, the additional keys can provide extra functionality and convenience. This means you have more keys at your fingertips, making it easier to access certain functions or shortcuts without sacrificing too much desk space.
Another advantage of the Royal Kludge RK61 is its availability on Amazon. This makes it easily accessible for those looking to purchase a reliable 61 keys keyboard. With just a few clicks, you can have the Royal Kludge RK61 delivered right to your doorstep, saving you the hassle of searching for it elsewhere.
However, it’s important to consider the cons as well. While the Royal Kludge RK61 offers more functionality than a traditional 40% keyboard, it’s worth noting that it’s not a true 40% keyboard. If you’re specifically seeking the ultra-compact experience of a 40% layout, you may find that the additional keys on the Royal Kludge RK61 take away from that streamlined feel.
Additionally, because the Royal Kludge RK61 is not solely focused on being a 40% keyboard, there may be potential compromises in terms of build quality and key feel. Compared to keyboards that are purpose-built with a specific layout in mind, the Royal Kludge RK61 might not deliver the same level of precision and tactile satisfaction that you would find in a dedicated 40% keyboard.
In summary, the Royal Kludge RK61 with its 61 keys layout offers a bit more functionality than a traditional 40% keyboard while maintaining a compact form factor. Its easy availability on Amazon is another bonus for those seeking a convenient purchasing experience. However, it’s important to be aware that it’s not a true 40% keyboard, and there may be compromises in terms of build quality and key feel. By considering these pros and cons in light of your specific needs and preferences, you can determine if the Royal Kludge RK61 is the right keyboard for you.
7. Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard
If you’re a fan of retro aesthetics and desire a keyboard that stands out from the crowd, the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard might be the perfect fit for you. With its eye-catching design and 65% layout, this keyboard combines a nostalgic charm with modern functionality.
One of the standout pros of the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard is its retro design. The keyboard exudes a classic appeal, reminiscent of typewriters from the past. The vintage-inspired keycaps and color scheme add a touch of nostalgia to your desk setup, making it a conversation starter for anyone who appreciates retro aesthetics.
In addition to its captivating design, the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard offers a 65% layout. This means that it provides more keys and functionality compared to a traditional 40% keyboard, while still maintaining a compact form factor. The additional keys can be convenient for those who require extra functions or need a more versatile typing experience.
Another advantage of the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard is its multiple connectivity options. It offers wireless 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, allowing you to connect the keyboard to your device seamlessly. This versatility gives you the freedom to use the keyboard wirelessly or through a USB-C connection, catering to your specific preferences and setup.
However, it’s important to consider the cons as well. While the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard incorporates retro design elements and a 65% layout, it deviates from being a true 40% keyboard. The larger form factor may take up more space on your desk compared to a compact 40% layout. If desk space is a concern or you prefer the ultra-compact nature of a 40% keyboard, you may want to explore other options.
Additionally, the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard may come with a potentially higher price compared to alternative 40% keyboards. The unique retro design and added features may contribute to a higher price point. If budget is a significant factor for you, it’s worth considering other options that align more closely with your financial constraints.
In conclusion, the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard offers a captivating retro design with a 65% layout, providing a blend of nostalgia and modern functionality. With its multiple connectivity options, it caters to different preferences and setups. However, it’s important to be aware that it deviates from a true 40% keyboard in terms of form factor, and the price may be higher compared to alternatives. By weighing these pros and cons against your personal style, space requirements, and budget, you can determine if the Durgod Fusion Mechanical Retro Keyboard is the perfect keyboard to bring a touch of vintage charm to your typing experience.
8. Are there any 40% keyboards with wireless connectivity?
If you’re someone who values the freedom of a wireless setup or enjoys the convenience of untethered typing, you may be wondering if there are any 40% keyboards that offer wireless connectivity. Let’s explore the availability of wireless options for 40% keyboards and take a look at the benefits and drawbacks they bring to the table.
Fortunately, there are indeed 40% keyboards available on the market that offer wireless connectivity. With advancements in technology, manufacturers have recognized the demand for compact keyboards without the hassle of cables. These wireless 40% keyboards provide the best of both worlds: a space-saving layout combined with the convenience of wireless connectivity.
The primary benefit of having wireless connectivity in a compact 40% keyboard is the freedom it provides. With no cables to worry about, you have the flexibility to position your keyboard wherever you find it most comfortable. This can be particularly useful if you prefer working from a distance, want to reduce cable clutter on your desk, or need to connect your keyboard to multiple devices without the hassle of cables.
Additionally, wireless connectivity allows for greater portability. You can easily slip the keyboard into your bag and use it with your laptop or tablet while on the go. This makes it a great option for frequent travelers or those who need a compact keyboard for working in different locations.
However, it’s important to consider the drawbacks as well. One of the main concerns with wireless connectivity is the potential for latency or connection issues. While advancements have been made to minimize these problems, it’s possible to experience slight delays or occasional connectivity hiccups. These issues are generally minimal, but they can be a consideration for users who require ultra-responsive typing or gaming experiences.
Another aspect to consider is battery life. Wireless keyboards require a power source, usually in the form of batteries or rechargeable built-in batteries. Depending on usage and the quality of the keyboard, battery life can vary. It’s important to factor in the need for recharging or replacing batteries and ensure that the keyboard can meet your usage requirements without frequent interruptions.
In summary, there are 40% keyboards available with wireless connectivity, offering the convenience of cable-free typing in a compact form factor. The benefits include freedom of movement, reduced cable clutter, and enhanced portability. However, potential drawbacks such as latency, occasional connection issues, and battery considerations should be taken into account. By considering your specific needs, preferences, and tolerance for potential trade-offs, you can determine if a wireless 40% keyboard is the right choice for you.
9. What are the most popular switch types for 40% keyboards?
When it comes to 40% keyboards, the type of switches used can greatly impact your typing experience. Let’s take a look at the switch types commonly found in these compact keyboards and explore their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.
1. Cherry MX Switches: Cherry MX switches are some of the most popular and widely recognized switches in the mechanical keyboard world. They come in different variants, each with its own unique characteristics. For example, Cherry MX Red switches are known for their smooth linear feel, Cherry MX Brown switches offer a tactile bump without being too loud, and Cherry MX Blue switches provide a satisfying clicky sound and tactile feedback. The advantage of Cherry MX switches is their reliability and availability, as they have been used in mechanical keyboards for many years. However, some users may find them a bit expensive compared to alternatives.
2. Gateron Switches: Gateron switches are often considered comparable to Cherry MX switches but at a more affordable price point. They offer similar variants, such as Gateron Red, Brown, and Blue, with characteristics that mirror their Cherry MX counterparts. Gateron switches are known for their smoothness and consistency, providing a pleasant typing experience. However, some users may find that they lack the same level of build quality as Cherry MX switches.
3. Kailh Switches: Kailh switches have gained popularity in recent years for their competitive pricing and a wide range of options. Kailh offers various switch types, including Kailh Red, Brown, and Blue, which are similar to Cherry MX in terms of their characteristics. Kailh switches are known for their smoothness and durability, making them a reliable choice for many users. However, some individuals may find that Kailh switches have a slightly different feel compared to their Cherry MX counterparts.
4. NovelKeys Box Switches: NovelKeys Box switches are known for their unique design, featuring a box-like housing that provides better protection against dust and debris. This design makes them more resistant to key wobble and potentially extends their lifespan. NovelKeys Box switches come in various types, including tactile, linear, and clicky variants, catering to different preferences. However, the availability of NovelKeys switches may be more limited compared to other switch brands.
When choosing a switch type for your 40% keyboard, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some individuals prefer the smoothness and reliability of Cherry MX switches, while others opt for the affordability and consistency of Gateron or Kailh switches. It’s recommended to try out different switch types if possible or refer to online resources and reviews to get a sense of their characteristics.
In conclusion, the most popular switch types for 40% keyboards include Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, and NovelKeys Box switches. Each switch type has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. By considering factors such as typing feel, noise level, availability, and budget, you can choose the switch type that best suits your preferences and enhances your typing experience on a 40% keyboard.
10. General Pros and Cons of 40% Keyboards
As we come to the final section, let’s take a moment to summarize the general advantages and disadvantages of 40% keyboards. These compact keyboards offer a unique typing experience, but it’s important to consider both the benefits and potential drawbacks.
a. Advantages of 40% Keyboards:
1. Compact Design: One of the primary advantages of 40% keyboards is their small and space-saving design. They take up minimal desk real estate, allowing you to optimize your workspace and have more room for other accessories.
2. Potential Increase in Typing Speed and Efficiency: The compact layout of 40% keyboards encourages users to rely more on key combinations and shortcuts, which can lead to increased typing speed and efficiency over time. With practice, you can become adept at navigating through various functions and commands quickly.
3. Minimalist Aesthetics: Many individuals appreciate the sleek and minimalist aesthetics of 40% keyboards. These keyboards often feature a clean, uncluttered design that adds a touch of elegance to your workspace. They can complement a modern and minimalist setup, enhancing the overall visual appeal.
b. Disadvantages of 40% Keyboards:
1. Adjustment for Larger Keyboard Users: Switching to a 40% keyboard may require an adjustment period, especially if you’re accustomed to larger keyboards with a full set of keys. It may take time to get used to the compact layout and the absence of certain keys.
2. Potential Lack of Essential Keys or Functions: Due to their small size, 40% keyboards typically lack some keys found on larger keyboards, such as the function row or navigation cluster. This may pose challenges if you heavily rely on specific keys or require extensive functionality in your daily workflow.
3. Learning Curve: Using a 40% keyboard often involves a learning curve, especially if you’re new to this form factor. Memorizing key combinations and adapting to the compact layout may take time and practice before you can fully utilize the keyboard’s potential.
4. Limited Customization Options: While some 40% keyboards offer customization features, the options may be more limited compared to larger keyboards. Custom keycap sets or add-on modules might not be as readily available, which can limit the extent to which you can personalize your keyboard.
In conclusion, 40% keyboards offer a compact design, the potential for increased typing speed and efficiency, and a minimalist aesthetic. However, they also require adjustment for larger keyboard users, may lack essential keys or functions, have a learning curve, and offer limited customization options. By considering your typing preferences, workflow requirements, and willingness to adapt to a smaller layout, you can determine if a 40% keyboard is the right fit for you. Remember to weigh the pros and cons against your specific needs and preferences to make an informed decision.
We’ve reached the end of our exploration into the world of 40% mechanical keyboards. Let’s take a moment to recap the pros and cons of the top options we discussed and offer some final thoughts to help you make a decision that suits your personal preferences and requirements.
The VortexGear Core 40%, Planck Ez, and Qisan Magicforce 40% keyboards emerged as some of the best choices in this compact keyboard category. The VortexGear Core impresses with its out-of-the-box convenience and reliable brand reputation. Meanwhile, the Planck Ez stands out as a high-end pick with premium build quality and a customizable layout. For budget-conscious individuals, the Qisan Magicforce offers a decently built option without breaking the bank.
However, it’s essential to remember that choosing the right keyboard ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors such as the size and layout that best suit your typing style, the essential keys or functions you rely on, and the level of customization you desire.
We encourage you to explore further resources and reviews to gather more insights and make an informed decision. Online communities and forums dedicated to mechanical keyboards are great places to discover user experiences and gain valuable recommendations. Additionally, visiting physical stores, if possible, can allow you to try out different keyboards firsthand and get a feel for their ergonomics and key switches.
Remember, your keyboard is a tool that should enhance your typing experience and productivity. Take your time, weigh the pros and cons we discussed, and trust your instincts when selecting the perfect 40% mechanical keyboard for you.
Whether you’re a minimalist enthusiast seeking a sleek design, a typist aiming for increased efficiency, or a gamer looking for a compact gaming setup, there’s a 40% keyboard out there that can fulfill your needs.
If you’re eager to delve deeper into the world of mechanical keyboards, there are a few additional resources and recommendations we’d like to share with you.
1. Mechanical Keyboard Communities: Joining online communities and forums dedicated to mechanical keyboards can be a valuable resource for enthusiasts. Places like r/MechanicalKeyboards on Reddit or Geekhack.org provide a wealth of information, discussions, and user experiences that can help you expand your knowledge and connect with fellow keyboard enthusiasts.
2. Mechanical Keyboard Reviews: There are numerous websites and YouTube channels that specialize in reviewing mechanical keyboards. These reviews often cover key aspects such as build quality, key switches, customization options, and overall performance. Some popular channels include TaeKeyboards, Chyrosran22, and Top Clack. Checking out reviews can provide you with detailed insights and comparisons to make a well-informed decision.
3. Try Before You Buy: If you have the opportunity, visiting physical stores or attending local meetups can be a fantastic way to try out different 40% keyboards in person. Getting a hands-on experience allows you to feel the key switches, test the layout, and assess the overall comfort and ergonomics before making your purchase.
4. Keyboard Brands: Apart from the keyboards we discussed earlier, there are several other reputable brands in the mechanical keyboard market. Some popular ones include Ducky, Keychron, Anne Pro, and Leopold. Exploring their offerings might lead you to find the perfect 40% keyboard that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.
Remember, choosing a keyboard is a personal decision. Consider your usage patterns, typing habits, and aesthetic preferences when making your selection. Ultimately, the keyboard that feels the most comfortable and suits your workflow will be the ideal choice.
We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the pros and cons of different 40% mechanical keyboards. With the right keyboard by your side, your typing experience can reach new heights of comfort and productivity. Happy typing and enjoy your journey into the fascinating world of mechanical keyboards!