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65% Mechanical Keyboard

15 Best 65% Mechanical Keyboards – 2021

If you’re in search of a 65% mechanical keyboard then you’ve come to the right place.

For its inclusion of a full set of arrow keys (and often a cluster of home keys), the 65% layout is one of the most preferred layouts by custom keyboard enthusiasts.

The compact size generally contains around 68 keys, and may or may not have any white space on the board depending on the model. Besides this, there’s an assortment of other features for you to choose from e.g. Wireless compatibility, Hot-swappable keys, and RGB backlighting, etc.

In this post, we will take a look at some of the best mass-produced models on the market right now.


What is the best 65% Mechanical Keyboard?

15. Qisan Magicforce 68

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: White
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: X

The Qisan MagicForce 65% mechanical keyboard has a compact 68-key layout that somewhat resembles the Ducky Miya Pro. Similarly, it features dedicated arrows and a four-key cluster of home keys. Another likeness is the three DIP switches on the back of the board.

In terms of the build, the Qisan has an angular plastic case with a thick aluminum top plate. The low profile design looks quite minimal as the floating key-caps expose the switches from the side. Moreover, apart from the logo above the arrows, there’s very little noticeable branding.

For switches, the Qisan uses Gaterons. Under each switch is an LED that’s soldered to the PCB. The per-key backlighting looks fantastic as it reflects off the aluminum plate and shines brightly around the board. Unfortunately, you can’t change the color but it’s easy to adjust the brightness.

All lighting controls and eighteen built-in effects can be set through functions on the arrow keys. There are also lots of useful shortcuts using the F1-F12 keys, including some multimedia controls for the volume and other essential signs. All in all, it’s a simple yet effective bit of gear.


14. Vortexgear Cypher 65%

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: X
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: X

The Vortexgear Cypher is a compact 65% mechanical keyboard with 68 keys. It has a strong and durable build while being extremely lightweight. With this model, you can program the individual keys up to one hundred different characters to suit your needs.

Cherry MX mechanical switches and laser engraved PBT keycaps are features of the Cypher. You can choose from a wide range of switch colors such as; Blues, Reds, and Clears. Moreover, for key-caps, have a split or standard space bar option that allows you to assign any key to the bar.

To provide further versatility, the Cypher comes with three pre-programmed layers; Qwerty, Dvorak, and Colemak. As a result, you can quickly match this board to the layout you are comfortable with using. Each layer has its own LED under the left spacebar to indicate what layout is enabled.

Overall, if you’re after an “all-rounder” keyboard that allows you to maximize your space, this no-frills option is a great choice. it’s a scaled-down version of a full-size keyboard yet has all the essential keys available at your fingertips.


13. Yunzii ALT71D

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: X
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: ✓
Software: X

The Yunzii ALT71D is a versatile bit of kit that provides two different typing experiences. Although it is a 70% mechanical keyboard with an original 71 key layout, you can customize it into a 65% board as well. This is done by removing the End, PgDn, and Delete keys.

In terms of the build, the ALT71D has an ABS plastic casing with thin corner bezels. The case is rigid but does have some slight flex if you try to bend it. On top, the keycaps use a higher-quality PBT plastic. These come in two attractive color schemes; black/ yellow or white/ gold.

To power the Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, a full-length battery pack raises the board at an angle underneath the case. Unfortunately, this is non-adjustable and does look quite cheap. On the plus side, it can hold two AAA batteries for an excellent long-lasting battery life and connection.

For switches, the board comes with Cherry MX’s in a choice of four different colors. Apart from the three sockets that allow you to change the layout, the switches are soldered into the PCB and are not hot-swappable. As a result, you won’t be able to mix and match them.


12. Royal Kludge RK G68

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: ✓
Software: ✓

The RK G68 is a budget 65% mechanical keyboard with a compact 68-key layout. Its size somewhat resembles its predecessor (the ever-popular RK61), but it does have some upgraded features. These include tri-mode connectivity, user hot-swappable switches, and PBT keycaps.

Built from a tough ABS plastic, the casing is sturdy and there’s quite a bit of heft. Under the case are four rubber feet that balance the board at an 8° angle. Moreover, armed at the back are three USB hub ports. One of these is a Type-C and there’s two Type-A’s for extra peripherals.

The board itself is equipped with a hot-swap PCB that supports both three and five-pin mechanical switches. For switches, you can choose from three Gateron colors; Blues, Browns, and Reds. However, any other Cherry MX-style switch or clone is fully compatible.

Three-mode connectivity (2.4 Ghz, Bluetooth, and wired) is another standout feature of the G68. The 2.4 GHz dongle plugs straight into your PC or console to establish an instant connection. Thanks to the 3150mAh battery, it can last about one week (8 hours/ day) on a full charge.

Like most boards at the lower end of the price scale, it does have some cons. Although the keycaps are made of PBT, they are completely opaque and prevent the stunning backlighting from shining through. Additionally, the Bluetooth can sometimes drop and is highly inconsistent.


11. Epomaker Akko 3068

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: X
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: ✓
Software: X

The Akko 3068 is an incredibly space-efficient 65% mechanical keyboard. It houses 68 keys, including a full set of arrows, numbers, and two shift keys. To provide a layout that makes the most of its small form factor size, not a millimeter of space is wasted in-between each key.

Unlike most of the other 65% keyboards on this list, the 3068 does not feature RGB backlighting. Instead, it goes for a clean and stylish layout that still manages to grab your attention. When it comes to battery life, this will also work in your favor, lasting up to 120 hours when typing.

The Akko 3068 has all of the high-quality extras you would hope for. These include rapid Cherry MX key switches, PBT Keycaps, and Bluetooth 3.0. The greyscale theme is most common with this board, but it can also come in Pink, Retro, and Ocean Star variants.

It’s definitely up there with some of the best budget 65% form factors.


10. Womier 66 Mechanical Keyboard

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: X
Software: ✓

The Womier 66 custom mechanical keyboard is destined to impress and bound to catch your attention. If you are an RGB fanatic then you are going to love it. This keyboard is all about its majestic backlighting and takes under-glow lighting to another level.

As you can see, the acrylic case has a frosted coat finish and is entirely transparent. This allows the switch LEDs to glow evenly around the whole of the base and not just from above like with other compact form factor models. Due to this reason, the style appears very minimalistic.

Although it’s not widely known, there is now software available for this board. It allows you to create macros and customize any of the 16.8 million colors. Besides this, you can set any of the static colors or eighteen preset animations by holding the FN combination key.

RGB lovers will adore this majestic keyboard.


9. Keychron K6

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: ✓
Software: X

The Keychron K6 is a versatile 65% mechanical keyboard that aims to maximize your workspace. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac, however, Mac users will find this device particularly appealing as it’s one of the few keyboards that comes with extra Mac keys.

Connectivity is one area in which the Keychron excels. Due to supporting Bluetooth 5.1, it allows you to easily switch between three different wireless devices; whether this is your smartphone, laptop, or gaming lighting. Of course, you can also use it wired via the detachable USB Type-C.

For those who are after a wireless keyboard, the K6’s large 4000 mAh battery capacity is another highlight feature. It can last up to 72 hours (with static RGB lighting), or up to nine, eight-hour days without. When compared to other similar priced 65% boards (such as the GK68XS), this is a big plus.

Due to the cases aluminum mounted panels, the build quality is actually very good. A few downsides though is that it does comes with ABS keycaps (rather than PBT). Furthermore, although it features eighteen types of RGB backlighting, this is not exactly the brightest.

All in all, it’s a great multi-tasking keyboard for the price.


8. Epomaker GK68XS

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: ✓
Software: ✓

Inspired by the input of the mechanical keyboard community, the GK68XS features everything you could ask for from an affordable, 65% board. To name a few, it includes dual connectivity (wired and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless), RGB backlighting, and user hot-swappable switches.

Upon purchase, the GK68XS offers a selection of Gateron mechanical switches. You can choose from Browns, Blacks, Reds, and Browns. Moreover, thanks to the Kailh sockets, the board is fully compatible with Cherry MX’s and clones, too. It’s also fine to mix and match the switches.

Although the case is only made from plastic, it’s noticeably sturdy and there’s very little flex. On top is a thick aluminum plate, in which the stabilizers are plate-mounted. You’ll be glad to know that the stabilizers do come factory pre-lubed to give a quiet, desirable sound.

Another highlight of the GK68XS is its interchangeable spacebar. Essentially, this lets you swap from a traditional single spacebar to a split/ dual-split bar without having to take out every switch and install/ re-install spacebar stabs. As a result, you can quickly adapt your typing interface.

The RGB is software-driven, and so is the 3-layer programmable customization. The software is a bit difficult to use and the 1900mAH battery could hold a better charge, but apart from that, you won’t be disappointed with this product. It’s a great dive into the world of custom keyboards.



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