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Mechanical keyboards are enjoying a massive comeback in recent years. Once a standard for personal computers in the 1980s, mechanical keyboards slowly disappeared in favor of cheaper membrane-style keyboards during the 1990s and 2000s. The emergence of hardware aimed at gamers and PC enthusiasts has created a demand for the sturdy mechanical keyboards from the past.Gamers put a tremendous amount of pressure on their keyboards and need the hardware to be durable and reliable in high-pace gaming scenarios. These are the exact advantages that mechanical keyboards have.
Each key uses mechanical switches to activate the sensor on the electronic board, and the tactile feedback allows users to know if the key was pressed fully or not. This eliminates issues such as missed presses, which are quite common on membrane keys.
Additionally, mechanical switches undergo testing and have certified lifespans of tens of millions of clicks. A quality mechanical keyboard can last forever, which is not the case with the cheaper membrane alternatives.
Best Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards
We tested dozens of mechanical keyboard models from reputable manufacturers and narrowed our choices to 7 keyboards. The methodology we used in testing paid particular attention to the build quality, intended use, features, typing experience, and design.
We believe that our list has a keyboard for everyone. We found a keyboard that will be a perfect fit for your setup, from those looking for bargains to hardcore gamers and those that value premium feel and design.
TOP OVERALL CHOICE
|CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE|
Size: 17.24 x 6.61 x 1.14 inches
|Check On Amazon|
TOP BUDGET CHOICE
|HAVIT HV-KB395L Low Profile|
Size: 540mm × 210mm × 22.5 mm
|Check On ProHavit|
GAMERS’ TOP CHOICE
|Logitech G915 Mechanical Keyboard|
Size: 18.7 in x 5.9 in x 0.9 inches
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TOP WIRELESS CHOICE
|Logitech G915 TKL White Tactile|
Size: 15.2 in x 5.9 in x 0.9 inches
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TOP TENKEYLESS CHOICE
|Cooler Master SK630 Tenkeyless|
Size: 353.5 x 125.5 x 29.8 mm
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BEST 60% CHOICE
|Cooler Master SK621 60% Mechanical|
Size: 293 x 103 x 29.2 mm
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TOP RGB CHOICE
|SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid|
Size: 442.8 x 139.2 x 40.5 mm
|Check On Amazon|
What are low-profile mechanical keyboards?
Low-profile mechanical keyboards are unique because they use mechanical switches to activate the sensor on the PCB, but the travel distance of the mechanical switch is significantly shorter than a regular mechanical keyboard.
Due to this, they are much slimmer and smaller compared to the regular mechanical keyboards. They can often resemble a laptop keyboard’s appearance, especially in the smaller form factors like tenkeyless or 60%.
What are the benefits of using a low-profile mechanical keyboard?
Low-profile mechanical keyboards preserve all the benefits of regular-sized mechanical keyboards, such as supreme durability, build quality, and accuracy. On top of that, due to the shorter travel distance of low-profile mechanical switches, they are quicker and more responsive, making them ideal for fast-paced competitive gaming.The low profile allows for a more compact and slimmer design that might appeal to audiences looking for something minimal.
Who should buy a low-profile keyboard?
The obvious choice is gamers, especially those who play fast-paced games that require lightning-quick reactions. The same applies to people who need a comfortable keyboard for long typing sessions.
Those who predominantly use laptops to type and do tasks might find regular-sized mechanical keyboards too bulky and difficult to use. Low-profile mechanical keyboards are an excellent compromise in these situations due to shorter travel and shallow keycaps. Finally, improved aesthetics and design should appeal to custom setup enthusiasts.
We are not going to lie. It wasn’t easy to narrow down the selection to just seven low-profile keyboards. The keyboard market is full of different formats and intended uses, so manufacturers keep pumping out models to hit every niche.
This guide will cover the different formats like full-size, tenkeyless, or 60% low-profile mechanical keyboards, as well as the best low-profile keyboards for gaming or productivity.
1. CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE – Best Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard
Choosing the best overall low-profile mechanical keyboard was extremely hard. In the end, it was extremely close between our top overall choice and the runner up.
The deciding factor was the price. Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE Low Profile is currently the best low-profile keyboard and a fantastic value.
Corsair’s sleek design and durable build quality are evident.
At the keyboard’s heart are the Cherry MX low-profile Speed switches that provide a reliable linear typing experience and lightning-quick 1,000Hz keyboard report rate, ideal for gaming.
The K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE also includes many extras, such as a soft-touch detachable armrest, media control keys, and replaceable keycaps. The only thing missing is the wireless connectivity in this otherwise perfect keyboard.
- Top-of-the-line performance with Cherry MX low profile Speed switches
- Durable, premium materials
- Dedicated media control keys
- Per-key RGB backlighting
- No support for wireless connectivity
- The full-size format might not be ideal for some
2. HAVIT HV-KB395L – Budget Pick Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard
Up until now, all keyboards on the list have been premium models from some of the best manufacturers of PC peripherals.
The list was missing a real budget low-profile mechanical keyboard entry, and we believe we found it in Havit HV-KB395L Low-Profile Mechanical keyboard.
HV-KB395L is one of the thinner keyboards we have reviewed.
Although initially, we felt a bit skeptical about the Kailh switches and how they stack up against the Cherry MX standard in the industry, it turns out that we had nothing to fear.
Overall, we were impressed with the build quality and performance of this wireless mechanical low-profile keyboard. It feels and types like a much more expensive keyboard, and the compromises that Havit had to make to cut the price do not influence the overall experience when typing or gaming.
- Fantastic value for the money
- Khalil Low-Profile Blue switches are responsive and accurate
- Solid build quality
- RGB synchronization
- Spacebar rattles and feels a bit loose
- The software has some bugs
3. Logitech G915 – Top Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard for Gamers
Honestly, some keyboard enthusiasts might throw a fit that we did not choose this keyboard for the top overall choice.
After all, Logitech G915 has all of the features that Corsair’s K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE has, plus the wireless connectivity and full aluminum body.
We just could not get past the price, which is almost double of the Corsair one.
Setting its price aside, the G915 is nevertheless, a monster of a low-profile gaming keyboard.Logitech’s GL low profile switches come in three variants, linear, clicky, and tactile. Each of them is incredibly responsive, and the overall typing experience is superb. The build quality is outstanding as well, with the full aluminum body of the keyboard.
Additionally, the keyboard is just 0.9 inches tall, making it the slimmest full-size keyboard on our list. Programmable G keys for gamers and productivity wizards, dedicated media controls, and RGB lighting are just some of the extras you get.
There are plenty of things that Logitech did well with the G915; we just wish it was more reasonably priced.
- Amazingly thin profile
- Excellent typing performance with GL low profile linear switches
- Programmable G keys and dedicated media controls
- RGB support
- The full-size format might not be ideal for minimalist setups
4. Logitech G915 TKL White Tactile – Best Wireless Low-Profile Keyboard
The next entry on our list and the choice for the best wireless low-profile mechanical keyboard is the Logitech’s G915 TKL White Tactile.
It is the smaller brother of our best choice for gaming, the full-size G915. G915 TKL features a tenkeyless design, eliminating the numpad, for a more compact and cleaner package.
The programmable G keys for gamers are gone as well.
We were particularly impressed with the white color option. It is the most appealing low profile white mechanical keyboard we tested.
Our feeling is that Logitech decided that a tenkeyless version of the G915 would be more appealing to those who like clean, minimalist setups and do not need a full-size keyboard.Although a bit cheaper than the full-size G915, the G915 TKL is still quite an expensive keyboard.
Logitech always puts a premium on their products, but unfortunately, we can see many go in a different direction at this price range.
- Great, minimalist design
- GL low profile tactile switches are great for typing
- Excellent RGB support
- Lightspeed wireless technology
- No USB-C
5. Cooler Master SK630 Tenkeyless – Top Tenkeyless Low-Profile Keyboard
Cooler Master is a company that usually excels in marketing high-quality power supplies and PC cases. Recently they ventured into other PC peripherals, as they try to establish themselves among the gaming population particularly.
The SK600 series of gaming keyboards targets gamers who like the low-profile, chiclet-style keyboards that feature on most laptops, but with all the goodies that a modern gaming keyboard offers.
With the unboxing taken care of, the Cooler Master SK630 just floored us with its looks!
The clean, brushed aluminum top cover, the smooth flat keys, and the discrete RGB integration give this keyboard a classy look that can easily fit into a gaming setup, productivity workspace, or office setting.
Performance and reliability are excellent with the Cherry MX Low Profile switches, certified for 20 million clicks. We only managed to find two flaws with this otherwise fantastic keyboard. Lack of wireless connectivity is a downer since this model will appeal to the crowd that likes clean and minimalist setups.Finally, the controversial flat keycaps. Those who predominantly use laptops will be fine, but others might find it challenging to get used to the keycaps without bevels placed so closely together.
- Excellent build quality
- Performance and durability of Cherry MX Low Profile switches
- On-The-Fly RGB controls
- Flat keys, chiclet-style design are ideal for the laptop crowd
- No wireless connectivity
- Key spacing leads to typing mistakes
6. Cooler Master SK621 60% – Best 60% Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard
It seems that Cooler Master can hear the heartbeat of smaller form factor keyboard enthusiasts.
The SK630 was our top choice for a tenkeyless model, and Cooler Master SK621 is continuing that tradition in the ultra-compact 60% form factor.
It shares plenty of characteristics with the SK630, but it is still a unique product with some advantages over the big brother.
Among these advantages, an obvious one is that SK621 offers wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 4.0, while the SK630 does not.
The inclusion of the On-The-Fly system for RGB control without the software is a plus. The build quality is excellent throughout the whole SK600 series, and the SK621 is no exception.
The only real downside we found is the lack of dedicated media control keys. Yet, very few 60% keyboards have them.
- Excellent build quality
- Very compact, just 293mm x 103 mm
- On-The-Fly system allows RGB adjustments without the software
- 1ms keyboard response rate
- No media controls or programmable keys
- The key location might be an issue for those unfamiliar with the 60% form factor
7. SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid – Top RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries is a manufacturer of gaming equipment and peripherals, so it is no wonder that they manage to win the best RGB low profile wireless keyboard award from our staff.
The RGB integration is excellent, with plenty of customization options and even a small OLED Smart display that can show your favorite gifs, messaging notifications, or on-the-fly messages from the game you are playing.
The SteelSeries Apex 5 gaming keyboard comes with unique, hybrid mechanical switches.
The idea behind the hybrid switches is to retain mechanical switches’ reliability and longevity while providing a smooth and quick typing and gaming experience of the membrane keyboards. The jury is still out on how durable the switches will be long-term, but they feel solid, and SteelSeries claims they should last 20 million presses.
We wish that SteelSeries included a wireless connectivity option on the keyboard, but unfortunately, the Apex 5 is a wired-only keyboard.Finally, the Apex 5 is by far the thickest keyboard we tested. It does not look or feel like a true low-profile keyboard, and that might be a dealbreaker for some.
- Sturdy aluminum body
- Excellent RGB integration
- Customizable keys and OLED Smart Display
- Detachable magnetic armrest
- Questionable longevity of the hybrid keys
- Thick, not-really low profile
Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards FAQs
Can you switch low-profile keyboard mechanical switches?
It depends on several factors. Some keyboards have swappable keys; others require soldering to replace the switches. Also, additional features like RGB integration might not work if you swap the keys. To make sure, only purchase keyboards that clearly note that the switches are swappable.
Are Cherry MX Low-Profile Red good for gaming?
Cherry MX Low-Profile Red switches are ideal for gamers. The switches have no tactile response, so the key presses are incredibly smooth and quick. Considering the shorter travel distance, the Cherry MX Low-Profile Red switches should be the absolute best mechanical gaming switches.
What does a low-profile keyboard mean?
A low-profile keyboard uses slim-design keycaps, housing, and short-travel switches to give a more sleek and comfortable typing experience. Low-profile keyboards are ideal for those who mainly type on laptops or need their key presses to record as quickly as possible during gaming.
We had so much fun testing all of these keyboards, and we barely managed to cut the list down to seven entries. We believe that all of the entries in the list deserve to be there, although the competition was quite stiff.
Those who are looking for the absolute best that the low-profile mechanical keyboards have to offer should consider either our top overall choice, the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2, or the best gaming keyboard, the Logitech G915.
Bargain hunters should look no further than the Havit HK-KB395L and its fantastic performance on a tight budget.
Finally, the list also included keyboards that offered a different size and form factor and unique features like wireless connectivity. We hope that this will help you find the ideal low-profile keyboard for your needs.