Here's Why the 75% Keyboard Layout is Trending

Keyboards are one of the most important parts of a gaming or work setup. From full-size, to tenkeyless (TKL), to even 40%, determining which keyboard size is right for your needs is an important undertaking.

But in recent years, smaller keyboards have mostly dominated the mechanical keyboard space. Now, most custom and prebuilt keyboards found on the market are compact keyboards.

Let’s start with tenkeyless keyboards to describe how these compact form factor keyboards surpassed full-sized keyboards.

Why Are Compact Keyboards Appealing?

The tenkeyless keyboards pioneered the concept of compact keyboards.

These boards allow you to have a smaller footprint, more ergonomic form factor and more room for wider mouse movement for gaming. It is also a great option for those with less desk space. This inspired manufacturers to create even smaller keyboards.

Since the success of TKL keyboards, a number of compact keyboards have appeared, including the 75% layout.

    The 75% Layout

    75% keyboards are TKL builds but with all the keys packed into a smaller body, allowing for a more compact build and less typing travel time.

    One problem with some compact keyboards is the need to sacrifice some of the functionality to fit into the small keyboard, such as removing important keys. However, this is not the case for all compact keyboards.

    All of the fundamental elements, such as the home row cluster, arrow keys and F keys, are included on 75% keyboards.

    Dedicated Arrow Keys

    This configuration features 82-84 keys depending on the board's design, providing an entire function row, dedicated arrow keys and a column of navigation keys like Home and Page Up. Arrow keys especially, which are lacking on 60% keyboards without the use of layers, are incredibly useful for productivity tasks.

    Maintains the Function Row

    • As mentioned earlier, 75% keyboards maintain their function row, unlike 60% and 65% keyboards. 
    • The function row is like the multitool of a keyboard, having a wide range of uses depending on the application. 
    • Web browsers, Microsoft Office and the Adobe Suite, for instance, all take advantage of the function row to provide helpful productivity shortcuts. 
    • For gamers, the function row is prime real estate for assigning macros and other in-game shortcuts.

    Takes Up Less Space

    • At times, it can be hard to distinguish the difference between TKL and 75% keyboards. 
    • However, the more compact profile of 75% keyboards take up less overall space on your desk than TKL and full-sized keyboards, ensuring you have ample space for broader mouse swipes.

    Compact and Customizable

    Featuring a compact 75% layout, the Cascade Keyboard keeps all of the essential function keys while minimizing space. This popular layout emphasizes a mix of form and function for a compact, minimalistic setup. The Cascade is easily customizable with hot-swappable switches and PBT designer keycap themes.