What is a 40% Mechanical Keyboard?
In simple terms, it can be described as a keyboard with only 49 keys as opposed to the 101 keys in regular keyboards.
As the name implies, 40% keyboards should be about 40% the size of regular keyboards, lending itself to superior portability.
Benefits of a 40% Mechanical Keyboard
For writers who do not frequently have use for the Numpad, a 40% keyboard is their best fit. This is because it gets rid of the extra space in regular-sized keyboards.
These types of keyboards are modeled differently and are produced by a long line of different manufacturers, heralded as specialists in making different types of keyboards.
For those who are predominantly into writing and do not make use of the num-pad (AKA a tenkeyless keyboard), a 40% keyboard is the best solution to reduce that extra space occupied by regular-sized keyboards.
40% keyboards come in a variety of designs, and they are manufactured by companies usually specialize in keyboard products.
Best 40% Mechanical Keyboards
What to Look for When Buying a 40% Keyboard?
Because of the barrage of keyboards that litter the market these days, making a buying decision can be quite tricky. There are several considerations to be made before settling for a mechanical keyboard.
For the most part, the best 40% keyboards available in the market are marked by excellent key placement, portability, switches and keycap quality, and the quality of materials used.
The best 40% keyboards should not only be great at the task for which it was designed but be easy on the pockets as well.
The best keyboard products need not be extra cheap. However, it shouldn’t be too expensive for customers to purchase.
Most 40% keyboards are sub-$100.
This is one of the biggest highlights of the best 40% keyboards. It should have a portable size and should be easy to carry or transport from place to place.
The lack of size lends itself to better portability, compactness, essential key placement, and lighter weight. If you’re an everyday typist looking to add extra space or a minimalistic look to your gaming setup, then a 40% mechanical keyboard might be right for you.
Switches and Keycap Quality
As much as portability is a huge selling point, sticky switches that are packed too tightly could come off as a disappointment. Therefore, both keycap quality and placement are essential to any 40% keyboard.
Typical high-quality materials used in keycaps are double-shot ABS and double-shot PBT – these are longer lasting keycaps and something you should look out for.
And of course, switches are essential to every mechanical keyboard (check out our guide here for more information about switches)
Best 40% Keyboards Available on Amazon
Royal Kludge RK61 61 Keys Keyboard
Disclaimer: This is NOT a 40% keyboard
Although not a 40% keyboard, we decided to add this one to the list given not only its popularity but its lightweight and relatively small size.
The Royal Kludge RK61 is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices.
You can connect with as many as three devices all at once. This Bluetooth connectivity, coupled with the ease of connecting makes it great for general use.
All you need to do to activate a connection is click the dedicated Bluetooth-button. This is one of its other most significant selling points. Its blue switches come with excellent tactile feedback, a class above regular keyboards. This feedback system gives it a wholesome typing experience.
With a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts as much as 10 hours, it provides the luxury of writing anywhere, even when you are traveling. There are two levels of brightness. Furthermore, it also has a battery-saving feature. The backlight automatically gets turned off when you are not using it for more than three minutes.
Its battery can last for as long as ten hours, making it an asset on long trips. With a mini compact size of 11.5 x 4 inches and a 0.5kg lightweight frame, it is very portable for use on the go. You could get this Bluetooth-enabled keyboard for only about $43.
|Long-lasting battery||keys can be noisy|
|Solid and sturdy construction|
|Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices|
Vortexgear Core 40% Keyboard
VortexGear Core 40% is a small size keyboard with just 47 keys.
The keycaps used here are DSA caps which are excellent, but it will take some time for you to get used to them. In terms of quality, we’ve tested Vortex keyboards before so we know that they design and manufacture great quality products. If you’re interested in their other products, check out our Pok3r RGB and Vortex Race 3 review.
Like most others on this list, this product is quite portable. It features only 47 switches with its small size. It is 11.6 x 1.5 x 3.2 inches in size and weighs only 14.5 ounces.
Since its keys are programmable, you can customize the keyboard to suit your keyboard preferences.
It is, however, imperative to note that symbol keys can be assigned to some other keys. This keyboard has a sturdy build, yet, feels good to the hand. Vortexgear Core 40% keyboard was produced using good quality materials.
Vortex is well known for its high-quality materials and attention to the mechanical keyboard space.
|High-quality build||Its spaces bars cannot be programmed|
|Minimal design||The absence of feet|
|GATERON Brown switches|
|Good quality LED|
You simply don’t get switches similar to Cherry MX Brown switches in the price of this product quoted on Amazon. The switches used here are mechanical GATERON Brown switches.
Qisan has managed to provide a brilliant 40% mechanical keyboard that you can also use for gaming purposes. The keyboard has a terrific backlighting feature which is backed by the ABS keycaps.
There are four rubber pads fitted to the base of the keyboard as supports. The layout of the keyboard is standard like the full-size keyboards available in the market. Qisan hasn’t been much inventive about the design but has rather emphasized on the comfort.
Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn’t work with Bluetooth. Even though good quality plastic is used for the construction of the gaming mechanical keyboard, it happens to be lightweight, and you can easily carry it in a sack.
The best feature of the keyboard is the adjustable lighting. Overall, Qisan has structured the keyboard according to the ergonomics, which makes it a great buy in the price.
Manufacturer: Geyes | Keys: 58 | Switches: Plastic | Backlighting: No |
Dimensions: 223mm x103mm | Weight: 7 ounces |
Disclaimer: This is not a mechanical keyboard.
Though not mechanical, we decided to add this one to this list to switch it up and show you what else is out there.
In terms of design, this product is the sleekest on the list.
With a compact and portable design, it is easily one of the best keyboards on the block. Its battery can last up to 40 hours and takes only about 2 hours to charge.
On standby mode, its battery can take you for as long as six months. It is about 223mm x103mm in size. It comes with a detachable stand that you can place your mobile phone or tablet on when typing. This makes it easy to use, even on the go.
|Excellent battery life||Keys can be hard to press|
|Removable stand improves ease of use|
|Tactile response||Compatible only with iPad|
|100 hours of life||NOT mechanical|
|Range of 10 meters|
Specifically designed for iOS, Fintie wireless Bluetooth keyboard goes well with iPad mini 1, 2, 3, and 4. Even though the design is slick, and the keyboard is slim; the keys have a feel of the ones that you find in laptops.
They are hard and impart a tactile response. The build quality is great as it is made of ABS material. It also has a built-in rechargeable lithium battery which enables you to use it for more than 100 hours after full charging. The company has also provided a USB cable even though it works well on Bluetooth with a range of 10 meters.
It is a lightweight keyboard similar to the Geyes portable keyboard mentioned above. You can easily put it in a sack and travel. The keyboard does deliver the goods in all aspects, but the only drawback is that it is compatible with iOS only.
40% keyboards are one of the best alternatives to full-sized ones. But for a more comprehensive list of compact keyboards, check out our article on the best ones here.
Unfortunately, the variety of 40% keyboards is constrained due to their less demand in the market. However, the keyboards mentioned above are value for money products as they are robust and offer portability and wireless typing.