Are you looking for a compact and efficient keyboard that takes up less space on your desk? Well, you might be considering a 65% keyboard!
These keyboards are gaining popularity due to their smaller size and aesthetic appeal. However, before you decide, you must know the potential drawbacks.
In this article, we will explore the cons of a 65% keyboard, highlighting some key factors you should consider before opting for this trendy yet condensed typing experience.
Size and Layout
One of the main drawbacks of a 65% keyboard is its limited functionality compared to more prominent keyboards. Due to its compact size, it lacks several keys commonly found on full-sized or TKL (tenkeyless) keyboards.
The omission of these keys can make specific tasks more challenging, such as accessing media controls, adjusting screen brightness, or changing volume levels. Users relying heavily on these functions may miss the convenience and ease of use of a larger keyboard.
Difficult Transition for Some Users
Transitioning to a 65% keyboard can be challenging for individuals accustomed to using standard full-sized keyboards. The smaller layout and rearranged key placements take time to adapt to, and muscle memory built over years of typing on traditional keyboards may need to be relearned.
This learning curve can be frustrating and may lead to decreased productivity, especially for users who rely heavily on touch typing or have specific keyboard shortcuts ingrained in their workflow.
Lack of Dedicated Keys
Missing Function Row
One noticeable absence on a 65% keyboard is the lack of a dedicated function row. These keys, typically located at the top of the keyboard, are often used for various functions such as accessing shortcuts, adjusting screen brightness, or activating multimedia controls. Without the function row, users may need to rely on alternative key combinations, increasing the cognitive load and potentially slowing down their workflow.
No Numeric Keypad
Another disadvantage of a 65% keyboard is the absence of a dedicated numeric keypad. This can be cumbersome for individuals who frequently work with numerical data or perform calculations, as they need to use the compacted number keys on the main keyboard area. This requires adjusting hand placement and can slow down typing speed and increase the risk of errors.
Absence of Dedicated Arrow Keys
Navigating through documents or lines of code often requires arrow keys. However, a 65% keyboard typically lacks dedicated arrow keys, making cursor movement more cumbersome. Users must use alternative vital combinations like the function and keyboard keys to achieve the same cursor navigation functionality. This can be time-consuming and interrupt work flow for those relying heavily on arrow keys.
Potential for Strain and Discomfort
Due to its compact size, a 65% keyboard may not offer the same level of comfort and ergonomics as more prominent keyboards. The reduced spacing between keys can increase the likelihood of accidental keystrokes and create a cramped typing experience, potentially leading to strain and discomfort in the hands and wrists. Users who spend extended periods typing on a 65% keyboard without proper ergonomic considerations may be more prone to repetitive strain injuries or other musculoskeletal issues.
Limited Customization of Hand Placement
Customizing hand placement on a keyboard is crucial for ensuring optimal ergonomics and reducing the risk of discomfort or injury. However, the smaller size of a 65% keyboard limits the ability to adjust hand placement according to individual preferences. This lack of customization options may not cater to users who require specific ergonomic adjustments or have unique hand sizes and shapes. Users may be restricted to a less comfortable typing experience without the flexibility to customize hand placement.
Limited Keycap Options
Difficulty Finding Compatible Keycaps
One of the downsides of a 65% keyboard is the limited availability of compatible keycaps. Keycaps, the plastic covers on top of each key, come in various sizes and profiles. However, correctly fitting keycaps can be challenging due to the compact layout and non-standard key sizes of a 65% keyboard. This limitation can frustrate users who enjoy personalizing their keyboards with different keycap colors or designs.
Limited Availability and Variety
Compared to full-sized or TKL keyboards, the 65% keyboard keycaps market is relatively niche. This reduced demand results in a lower availability of keycap options and limited variety in colors, materials, and designs. Users seeking a unique, aesthetically pleasing keyboard may find it challenging to find keycaps that suit their preferences, ultimately restricting their ability to customize their 65% keyboard fully.
New Layout and Functions
Adapting to the layout and functionality of a 65% keyboard can pose a significant learning curve for users accustomed to full-sized or TKL keyboards. The smaller size and rearranged key placements necessitate adjusting typing habits and shortcuts. Users may need to invest time and effort in familiarizing themselves with the new layout, which can temporarily decrease typing speed and productivity.
Increased Risk of Errors
The smaller size and non-standard layout of a 65% keyboard can increase the likelihood of typing errors, especially during the initial learning phase. The proximity of keys and potential confusion with critical placement may lead to accidental keystrokes and decreased accuracy. Users may make more frequent mistakes during the adaptation period, requiring extra attention and proofreading to ensure error-free work.
Unsuitable for Gaming
Lack of Dedicated Function Keys
Many computer games require function keys for in-game actions or accessing specific game features. However, a 65% keyboard lacks dedicated function keys, making it less ideal for gaming. Gamers may need to reassign function key functionalities to other keys to compensate, leading to potential inconvenience and decreased gameplay efficiency.
Inconvenient Key Placement for Gaming
The compact layout of a 65% keyboard may result in less comfortable critical placement for gaming purposes. Specific keys, such as arrow keys or other essential gaming keys, are often moved to unconventional locations or combined with other keys to fit within the limited space. This can lead to accidental keystrokes or difficulty executing precise in-game movements, negatively impacting the gaming experience.
Implications for Work Productivity
Slower Typing Speed
The smaller size and rearranged layout of a 65% keyboard can contribute to decreased typing speed, especially during the initial adaptation period. The reduced space between keys requires more precise finger movements, which can slow down the typing pace. This decrease in speed may be a significant drawback for individuals who rely on fast and efficient typing for their work, potentially affecting overall productivity.
Increased Time Spent on Keyboard Shortcuts
Without dedicated keys for various functions, users of a 65% keyboard often need to rely on keyboard shortcuts to access specific features or perform actions quickly. However, mastering and consistently using these shortcuts can be time-consuming, particularly for users transitioning from a standard keyboard layout. Increased reliance on keyboard shortcuts may temporarily slow workflow as users familiarize themselves with the new vital combinations and muscle memory.
Limited Collaboration Support
Possibility of Compatibility Issues
Sharing a 65% keyboard with others, particularly in a collaborative work setting, can present compatibility challenges. Users accustomed to traditional keyboards may find it difficult to utilize the compact layout and unique critical placement, resulting in potential difficulties when switching between keyboards. This lack of compatibility can hinder seamless collaboration and teamwork, requiring additional time and effort to adjust to the 65% keyboard’s layout.
Difficulty Sharing Keyboards with Others
The absence of dedicated keys and non-standard layout on a 65% keyboard can make it challenging for multiple users to share the same keyboard efficiently. Different users may have varying preferences for critical placement or customized keycaps, making it challenging to cater to everyone’s needs. The lack of flexibility to accommodate different users’ preferences limits the usability and practicality of a 65% keyboard in shared or collaborative work environments.
Potential Incompatibility with Software
Unoptimized Keyboard Shortcuts
Specific software applications may have keyboard shortcuts for standard full-sized or TKL keyboards. When using a 65% keyboard, these optimized shortcuts may not be as readily accessible or convenient due to the critical layout differences. Users may need to manually remap or redefine shortcuts to align with the compact layout, potentially disrupting established workflows and causing inefficiencies in software usage.
Challenges with Software Hotkeys
Software hotkeys, which allow users to trigger specific functions or commands within a program, may also pose compatibility challenges with a 65% keyboard. The absence of dedicated function keys and rearranged key placements can make it more challenging to execute hotkeys smoothly. Users may need to spend additional time finding alternative methods or defining custom hotkeys within software applications to compensate for the limitations of a 65% keyboard.
Higher Price Range
Limited Market Availability
While the popularity of 65% keyboards has been steadily increasing, they are still considered a relatively niche product in the keyboard market. Due to the limited demand, 65% of keyboards may be restricted compared to more mainstream keyboard options. As a result, finding the desired 65% keyboard model may require more effort and potentially lead to higher prices.
Premium Price for Compact Design
The compact design and customized layout of a 65% keyboard can come at a premium price. Comparatively, full-sized or TKL keyboards often offer a more comprehensive range of price options due to their popularity and larger-scale production. Users seeking a 65% keyboard may need to be prepared to invest more financially to acquire a high-quality, feature-rich model that meets their specific requirements.
In conclusion, while 65% of keyboards offer a compact and aesthetically appealing design, they come with several cons that potential users should consider. The limited functionality, absence of dedicated keys, reduced ergonomics, and restricted keycap options may not suit the needs and preferences of all users.
The learning curve, unsuitability for gaming, implications for work productivity, limited collaboration support, potential software incompatibility, and higher price range further contribute to the drawbacks of 65% of keyboards.
Before choosing a 65% keyboard, one must carefully evaluate one’s typing requirements, work demands, and personal preferences to determine if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for an optimal typing experience.