Best Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

January 25, 2021-Jake Norman
1

Corsair K60

  • Short distance actuation is efficient for gaming and typing
  • Aluminium frame guarantees durability 
  • Dynamic RGB LED backlighting 
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2

HAVIT RGB

  • Includes number pad, with a total of 104 keys
  • Low profile switches with a short actuation distance 
  • Customizable RGB Backlighting
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3

Corsair K70

  • 104 keys with anti-ghosting and full n-key rollover 
  • Strong and durable build 
  • Customizable RGB LED backlighting 
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Low profile mechanical keyboards are an absolute necessity for gamers. These keyboards feature keys, which have a shorter actuation travel distance. In some cases, the actuation distance on these keyboards is 50 percent shorter than regular keyboards. This makes the low profile switches faster and easier to activate. 

It also means that they are slimmer than regular switches, and therefore, allow for slimmer keyboard designs. A slimmer design helps reduce the strain on the wrists while typing. Thus, a low profile mechanical keyboard is also a great keyboard option for typists. 

However, buying a low profile mechanical keyboard can be tricky. Not only there is a wide range of devices to choose from, but mechanical keyboards also vary in terms of specs and features. In this article, therefore, we will help you choose the best low profile mechanical keyboard for your PC or laptop. 

We will enlist all the important things that you must look for while buying one and also review some of the best low profile mechanical keyboards in the market. We will also answer some of the frequently asked questions about these products in this article. 

Top 10 Best Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards 2021

1. Corsair K60 RGB Pro

Top Pick

Corsair K60 RGB Pro Best Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards
  • Short distance actuation is efficient for gaming and typing
  • Aluminium frame guarantees durability 
  • Dynamic RGB LED backlighting
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The K60 RGB Pro Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard is particularly designed for those who are into intensive gaming. Its slim and stylish design is coupled with a sturdy anodized brushed aluminium frame, which offers exceptional durability. Further, the key switches have a short actuation distance of just 1.0 mm. The company also guarantees 50 million keystrokes on this keyboard. The high degree of accuracy makes it a perfect product for typists, as well. 

The customizable RGB LED backlighting lets you choose from amongst the various backlit options. It has both functional and aesthetic value. It lets you work and play games in the dark, and the vibrant, warm colours that it emanates, enrich your experience. Besides, this keyboard also features customizable macro programming of keys. It has a full n-key rollover and offers cent percent anti-ghosting. Thus, your keystrokes are registered in real-time, offering you the best gaming experience. 

The LED backlighting of this keyboard is fully synchronised with the gameplay when you are playing an iCUE integrated game. All these incredible specs and features of the Corsair K60 have made it to our list of the best low profile mechanical keyboards.  

2. HAVIT RGB Backlit

Budget Pick

HAVIT RGB Backlit
  • Includes number pad, with a total of 104 keys
  • Low profile switches with a short actuation distance 
  • Customizable RGB Backlighting
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This is an almost full-size keyboard, as it has 104 keys and includes anumber pad. It features a compact design and is considerably thinner and lighter than traditional mechanical keyboards. It is fitted with Kailh Blue Switches. These low profile switches have a switch height of 11.5 mm. The keyboard also features 6 mm ultra-thin suspended keypads. 

The short actuation distance of 1.4 mm makes this a truly low profile mechanical keyboard. Moreover, all the 104 keys feature an n-key rollover. It is a plug and play cable and comes with a long USB to micro-USB connector, which simply lets you connect the device to your PC to enjoy gaming.

The keyboard comes with an RGB LED backlighting, which is customizable. It offers a vibrant and rich gaming and working experience, especially in the dark. The keys are also customizable, which adds to the functionality of this keyboard. Besides, the keyboard also comes with a WIN key lock. 

3. Corsair K70 RGB MK.2

Budget Pick

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2
  • 104 keys with anti-ghosting and full n-key rollover 
  • Strong and durable build 
  • Customizable RGB LED backlighting
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The Corsair K70 is another great offering by Corsair. It uses an aircraft grade anodized aluminium frame, which makes it more durable than any other mechanical keyboard in the market. Besides, its slim design perfectly blends itself with the setup of the modern PC. The product is designed for intensive gaming, as it features low profile, low travel keys. The Cherry MX switches used on this keyboard have an extremely short actuation distance of just 1.2 mm, making it a truly low profile mechanical keyboard. These switches offer a familiar, smooth and  linear movement.

In addition, this keyboard features a full n-key rollover and supports anti-ghosting. It also supports sophisticated macro programming of keys, in accordance with your requirements. The keyboard also comes with an RGB LED backlighting. With the use of the CORSAIR iCUE software, the backlight is automatically synchronised during gameplay. These features make the CORSAIR K70 a perfect low profile mechanical keyboard.

4. HAVIT Extra-Thin and Light Backlit

Budget Pick

HAVIT Extra-Thin and Light Backlit
  • Compact design with 87 keys
  • Programmable keys, with a full n-key rollover
  • Unique ice-blue LED backlighting with multiple backlight modes
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This is an ultra-thin and light keyboard, offered by Havit. It weighs only 520 g. There are 87 keys on this keyboard, and it lacks a number pad. The low profile switches on this device have an extremely short actuation travel distance of 1.4 mm, making it perfectly suitable for those who are into intensive gaming. Moreover, the compact design makes it perfectly blend itself with the aesthetics of the modern desktop PC. 

This is a plug and play mechanical keyboard, and requires no additional setup. You can simply use the USB connector to plug into the computer and start gaming. In addition, this keyboard features a unique ice-blue coloured LED backlight and comes with multiple backlighting modes, which are customizable. However, the keys can only be customized on a Windows PC.

In addition, the keys are fully programmable. Besides, you get a full n-key rollover on this keyboard. It also comes with an anti-ghosting feature for a smooth and seamless gameplay experience. The low profile switches are merely 11.5 mm high, and they feature a 6 mm ultra-thin suspended keycap. 

5. Logitech G915

Budget Pick

Logitech G915
  • Wireless keyboard with a rechargeable battery
  • RGB backlighting with customizable colour schemes
  • Dedicated media controls
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Logitech is one of the most popular keyboard brands in the world, and its products are known for their quality, durability, and the high value for money they offer. The Logitech G915, just like other Logitech products, is an extremely well-built and a high-performance mechanical keyboard with low-profile switches. 

Moreover, it is a wireless keyboard, and comes with a rechargeable battery. Thus, it offers clean aesthetics for your gaming setup. You can enjoy 30 hours of performance on a single full charge. You can connect this keyboard to your computer using both Bluetooth and a USB receiver. 

The Logitech G915 comes with  RGB backlighting, which can be customized using the Logitech G Hub software. The product that we are reviewing, has linear switches, but you can also get tactile and clicky switches for this product, in accordance with your needs. 

Moreover, this keyboard features five dedicated G-keys, which can be programmed with custom macros and commands. It also has a number of dedicated media buttons. However, a big drawback of this product is that, it does not come with an anti-ghosting feature.

6. Redragon K509-RGB

Budget Pick

Redragon K509-RGB
  • Solid ABS construction for durability
  • RGB LED backlighting with 6 backlight modes 
  • Spill-proof
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The Redragon K509 is a quiet, low profile mechanical keyboard, particularly designed for gamers. This 104-key keyboard features anti-ghosting technology and a 25-key, n-key rollover.

It comes with a full numeric keypad and a corrosion free USB connector for a stable connection. Moreover, this keyboard features a solid ABS construction, with high-quality keycaps. The keys have a short actuation distance and they provide a tactile feedback for a flawless gaming performance. 

Besides, this keyboard comes with an RGB LED backlighting and it features 6 different backlighting options, which you can choose from. In addition, it also features 4 different backlight brightness levels and an adjustable breathing speed.

You can also completely turn the backlight off, if needed. Another impressive thing about this keyboard is that it is spill-proof. This means that it is  protected against accidental coffee and water spills while working or playing games on your computer.

7. Corsair K68 RGB

Budget Pick

Corsair K68 RGB
  • Spill-proof and dustproof with IP32 protection 
  • Dedicated multimedia buttons and a small hand-rest
  • RGB LED backlighting
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The Corsair K68 is another great product from the company and is one of the best low profile mechanical keyboards in the market. One of the most impressive things about this keyboard is that it comes with an IP32 rating, and is spill-proof and dust-proof. Thus, your keyboard will remain protected against accidental coffee and water spills.

Moreover, the 100 percent gold contact Cherry MX mechanical switches are meant to provide a rich and intensive gaming experience. And with a short actuation distance, the Corsair K68 is a truly low-profile mechanical keyboard. 

Further, this keyboard features an RGB LED backlighting, which is fully customizable using a variety of pre-installed effects. In addition, with the use of Corsair Utility Engine software, you can do sophisticated macro programming of the keys and generate dynamic lighting effects. 

This keyboard also features a hundred percent anti-ghosting and a full n-key rollover. This ensures that your commands and simultaneous keystrokes are always registered in the way you intended them to. Besides, this keyboard also features dedicated multimedia buttons and comes with a small hand rest.

8. Cooler Master SK-621

Budget Pick

Cooler Master SK-621
  • Compact keyboard with a ‘60 percent’ design
  • Low actuation distance for efficient gaming and typing 
  • LED backlighting and macro-programming of keys
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The Cooler Master SK 621 is the most compact low profile mechanical keyboard that has made it to our list. It is a ‘60 percent’ keyboard and has just 60 keys. It is, thus, extremely lightweight and portable. Moreover, it comes with Cherry MX low profile switches, which have a very low actuation travel distance.

You can also choose between two keycap sets: One a  slightly contoured and flat set, and the other a traditional keycap profile set. Moreover, the brushed aluminium design offers a good feel in hand, while typing or playing games. 

Moreover, this is a Bluetooth 4.0 enabled device, and you can connect it with 3 devices, at the same time. You can also connect this keyboard with a removable type USB-C connector and charge the battery simultaneously.

This keyboard also comes with a LED backlight and it can be customized in real-time, without any software. However, this keyboard does not come with anti-ghosting and n-key rollover features. 

9. Cooler Master SK-650

Budget Pick

Cooler Master SK-650
  • Full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad 
  • RGB LED backlighting and side lightbars
  • Cherry MX low profile switches
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This product is very similar to the last Cooler Master keyboard in many respects. However, one big difference is that this is a full-sized keyboard and has a dedicated number pad. It features a durable, brushed aluminium top plate and comes with Cherry MX low profile switches for an enriched game play experience.

The RGB LED backlighting on this keyboard can be customized using software. Moreover, it also has LED lightbars, which makes your work or gaming experience on the computer more immersive, especially in the dark.  

This keyboard has extra-flat keycaps, which are designed for precision and durability. However, unlike its compact counterpart, the SK-621, it does not offer wireless connectivity. 

Therefore, you will have to rely on the plug-and-play USB connector for connecting to  the computer. Besides, it neither has the anti-ghosting feature  nor does it support full n-key rollover. It does not even have dedicated multimedia buttons. 

10. iKBC Typemaster X410

Budget Pick

iKBC Typemaster X410
  • Ergonomic keycaps for typing accuracy
  • Password protection for the keyboard
  • White LED backlighting with 7 effect modes
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The iKBC Typemaster X410 is a perfect low-profile mechanical keyboard for intensive typing. It features Cherry MX Low Profile switches, which have a shallow profile. These switches combine linear switching characteristics with a low travel actuation distance and a low actuation force. 

Thus, this keyboard enables you to work on your computer quickly and smoothly. Besides, with an ABS construction, this keyboard has a durable build quality. It features ergonomic keycaps, which are 40 percent larger than the traditional keycaps. These are meant to increase your typing accuracy. 

In addition, this keyboard also features a full n-key rollover to make all your keystrokes count. This makes it a perfect device for playing games, as well.  It also comes with a beautiful multimedia dial, which can be rotated both ways to control volume.

A unique feature about this keyboard is that it can be password protected. The password protect function secures your keyboard while you are away from it. It also has a white LED backlight with a 5 level adjustable brightness and 7 effect modes. With these specs and features, the iKBC Typemaster is, indeed, one of the best low profile mechanical keyboards in the market. 

Factors To Look For While Buying A Low Mechanical Keyboard

1. Size And Layout 

The size and layout of the keyboard are the first things to consider while buying a low profile mechanical keyboard. You can find several options in the market with respect to the size and layout.  However, they can be classified into three main categories - full size, tenkeyless and compact. 

As the name suggests, a full-sized keyboard has all the keys, which are meant to be present on a traditional QWERTY keyboard. This includes letters, numbers, function keys, and most importantly, the numeric keypad. 

These keyboards are particularly suited for those who frequently use the number pad for their day to day tasks. However, full-sized keyboards lack a compact design and hence, they require a lot of space to be placed on a computer table. 

Tenkeyless keyboards are a bit smaller than full-sized keyboards, because they lack the number pad. However, they have all the other keys, which are present  on any full-sized keyboard. This size is preferred by a lot of users because it is compact than a full-sized keyboard, yet has all the important keys. 

Finally, we have compact keyboards, which do not have a singular definition. They are usually referred to in terms of percentage, such as 60 percent keyboard, 80 percent keyboard, etc. This is done in reference to the size of a full-sized keyboard. 

These keyboards have the same number of keys as that of a tenkeyless keyboard. However, the keys are squished together, which gives rise to their compact form-factor. In our review of the best low profile mechanical keyboards, we have included all three different kinds of keyboards. 

2. Switches

Switches are the most essential component of any mechanical keyboard. Located below the individual keys, they make the keyboard more durable, easier to repair, and offer  better  customization options than scissors and butterfly keyboards. There are three main types of mechanical switches - linear, tactile, and clicky. 

Linear switches offer a smooth feeling when pressed. Tactile switches, on the other hand, tend to have a bump partway through the keypress, so that you come to know that the key is pressed. Clicky switches are quite similar to tactile switches. However, these switches make an added click sound to match the tactile bump when pressed. 

3. Key Rollover 

Key rollover is a very useful feature on low profile mechanical keyboards. It refers to the maximum number of keys, which can be pressed at once and still be recognized by the keyboard. 

4. Full N-key Rollover

The full n-key rollover (also referred to as NKRO) is the unlimited version of key rollover. It allows you to press multiple keys at the same time. On a full n-key rollover keyboard, each key is scanned independently by the keyboard hardware. In this way, each key press is correctly detected, irrespective of how many other keys are being pressed or held down at one time. 

5. Build Quality

The cheaper keyboards feature plastic cases and plastic backplates. It makes them sound hollow when you press keys on them. A keyboard with ABS or PBT keycaps, on the other hand, is more durable and it feels great when you type or work on it. 

Another important consideration in terms of build quality involves the frame of the keyboard. Here, you get two options: plastic frames and metallic frames. Both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, while a plastic frame makes the keyboard lighter, a metallic frame adds to the durability of the keyboard. 

6. Keycaps

There are two main types of materials used for keycaps: ABS and PBT. ABS keycaps are lightweight but are prone to wear and tear. Over a long period of time, they become smooth and shiny, and thus, you may lose the original feel. On the other hand, PBT keycaps are more durable. They have a nice texture, too. 

Another thing to take note of with respect to keycaps is the keycap profile. It determines how the keycaps are shaped in each row. A number of mechanical keyboards feature built-in keycaps.  However, if you plan on buying keycaps separately, there is a wide range of different profiles to choose from. 

7. Programmability

This is one of the most important aspects to consider while buying a mechanical keyboard, especially if you are into intensive gaming. Programming allows you to change the default behaviour of the keys, to perform other actions. Most non-mechanical keyboards cannot be programmed at all. 

However, a number of mechanical keyboards can be customized. Some keyboards feature a real-time, onboard customization, i.e. you can program the keys on the keyboard itself. You need to press certain keys to record macros and customize backlighting. 

Others have dedicated software  for programming. Using the software, you can record macros, remap and customize different keys. For instance, you can switch between Windows and Mac layouts, or disable some of the OS specific commands for the two operating systems. Some keyboards even offer a fully customizable layout. 

8. Removable Cable 

Keyboards with a removable USB cable are preferred over the ones with a built-in cable. This is because it is always easier to replace the USB connector than replacing the entire keyboard or opening the keyboard for repair when the connector develops a defect. 

9. Backlight

This is one of the most essential features on any keyboard, particularly if you are someone who has to regularly work during the night. Besides, backlit keyboards offer an immersive gaming experience in the dark. It adds to the aesthetics of your customized gaming PC. However, always go for a keyboard that  offers customizable backlighting. A number of keyboards allow the users to adjust the brightness of the backlight.   

10. Gaming Mode

As the name suggests, keyboards with gaming mode are designed for those who are into intensive gaming. By putting the keyboard in the gaming mode, you can get access to dedicated game play features. However, most importantly, it disables the Windows key, so that you do not accidentally pull up the Start menu and knock yourself out in the middle of a multiplayer game. 

11. RGB Lighting

This is not a necessary feature on a keyboard, but it definitely adds to the aesthetics of the device. It is a fun feature, which allows you to completely customize the backlight of your keyboard and chooses from millions of colour combinations. Some keyboards can automatically synchronize the RGB lighting in accordance with the game scene. 

12. Macro Recording 

This is a useful feature for those who play massive multiplayer online games or MMOs. It is also a useful feature for those who play simulation games. In general, it is a nice feature, as it makes repetitive keystrokes easier.

FAQs on Low Profile Mechanical Keybaords

Q1. What Makes Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards Better?

The commonly used keyboards are fitted with cheap, rubber dome switches. Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, feature high quality mechanical switches. While these switches differ from one keyboard to another, all mechanical keyboard switches contain individual strings and are much better than rubber dome switches in terms of quality. 

Other features which set mechanical keyboards apart from other types of keyboard include key rollover, PCB board, LED backlighting, etc. These keyboards are thus preferred by gamers to any other type of keyboard.

Q2. Would You Type Faster On A Mechanical Keyboard?

There is no guarantee that typing skills would improve by typing on a mechanical keyboard, as it is something which only develops with a lot of practice.

However, the tactile feedback of the keys on a low profile mechanical keyboard makes it a preferred choice for the typists. Some of the best low profile mechanical keyboards, listed in this article are particularly designed for intensive typing. 

Q3. How Loud Are Low-profile Mechanical Keyboards?

Mechanical keyboards usually tend to be louder than conventional keyboards, irrespective of whether they are low profile or not. Some brands have, however, managed to keep their products low on sound.

If you are someone who is going to use the keyboard for intensive typing, the noise produced by the keyboard can be very annoying. Hence, go through the product description carefully to check whether it is a noiseless device. 

Conclusion 

A low profile mechanical keyboard is an important computer peripheral. With its spring activated switches, this type of keyboard is designed for high performance and immersive work and gaming experience. Low profile mechanical keyboards have a low actuation travel distance, which makes them a preferable choice for gamers. Moreover, they have a slimmer design, which also makes them comfortable for those who have to type a lot on an everyday basis. 

However, buying a low profile mechanical keyboard can be tricky. You need to be aware of a number of specs and features. In addition, there is a wide range of these products in the market, which makes the choice even more confusing. 

Therefore, in this article, we have tried to make your choice easier by reviewing some of the best low profile mechanical keyboards in the market. We have also included the things that you should look for, while buying one of these devices, and answered some of the frequently asked questions regarding them.

Jake Norman

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