80% keyboards are probably the most popular mechanical keyboard size of all time.
It has enough keys to be highly functional, but with a sleeker layout that saves desk space over full-sized 100% keyboards!
Here’s more details 👇
How many keys are on a 80% keyboard?
There are usually 87 keys on a 80% keyboard. However, there are a few 80% keyboards that might have 88 keys.
Sadly, many keyboards are incorrectly labeled as 75% (or even 65%) keyboards, when they are really 80% (and vice-versa).
Remember, 80% keyboards don’t have a numberpad, and DO have dead space in-between the key clusters! 75% keyboards are the exact same, except with no dead space between the key clusters.
All the keys are smushed together on 75% keyboards.
Almost all of the most popular 80% keyboards have 87 keys:
What keys are missing on a 80% keyboard?
80% keyboards do not include the following sections:
- The 10-key number pad (usually on the right side of the keyboard)
80% keyboards still include:
- The standard letters and punctuation keys
- The number key row
- The function key row
- Modifier keys (like Alt, Control, Command, Option, and Function)
- The “home cluster” keys (Home, End, Delete, Insert, PageUp, PageDown, etc)
What are some other keyboard sizes?
First, check out our full guide to keyboard sizes here.
Some of the most popular keyboard sizes include:
- 100% full-sized (has all the keys, function row, arrow keys, numberpad, etc)
- 96% – Has the same keys, but with no “dead space” in between the key clusters
- 80% TKL – Doesn’t have the numberpad
- 75% – Same as 80%, but with no “dead space” in between the key clusters
- 65% – Doesn’t have the numberpad or function row, but usually has arrow keys and a few “home cluster” keys
- 60% compact – Doesn’t have numberpad, function row, arrow keys, or home cluster keys
- 40% compact (doesn’t have a number row)
What’s the BEST keyboard size?
This comes down to personal preference, including what keys you need for work or gaming, as well as the desk space you want your keyboard to take up.
That said, the most popular keyboard sizes are 60%, 65%, 75%, 80% TKL, and 100% full-sized.
These offer enough functionality, with the 75% and 80% TKL keyboards being the best balance of functionality and desk space!
How big/long is a 80% keyboard?
80% keyboards are definitely NOT compact keyboards. They take up a good bit of desk space!
The exact dimensions vary from keyboard to keyboard, but most 80% keyboards are roughly 14 inches long (34cm) and 5 inches tall (12cm).
How many switches will I need for a 80% keyboard?
More than 88 switches. Since switches often come in packs of 10, I recommend choosing a package of around 90 switches.
It never hurts to have extras in case a switch turns into a dud.
What are some of the best uses for 80% keyboards?
The great thing about 80% keyboards is their wide range of use. They’re perfecrt for gaming, typing, work, media editing, etc.
Everything except using a 10-key numberpad 🙂
The only real downside I can think of is the lack of wireless 80% keyboards (they exist of course, but they’re more rare than 75% wireless keyboards).
But if you leave your keyboard on your desk (instead of traveling with it), this isn’t an issue.
The functionality can’t be beat though, and it’s nice to save the desk space.
Are keyboard “sizes” and “layouts” the same thing?
Although “size” and “layout” are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to different aspects of keyboards! “Size” generally refers to both the physical size of the keyboard, and how many keys the keyboard has (a 60% keyboard has 61 keys, while an 80% keyboard has 88 keys).
“Layout” usually refers to the arrangement of the keys and shape of some keys, such as ANSI (popular in North America), ISO (popular in Europe), and JIS (Japan).
Additionally, “layout” can also refer to the software arrangement of the typing keys, such as “QWERTY,” Colemak, and Dvorak.
Here are the top 80% keyboards we recommend:
You can see our top recommendations for TKL keyboards here, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Keychron K1, A tenkeyless (87-key) ultra-slim wireless mechanical keyboard built for high productivity and a great tactile typing experience.
- Connect the K1 with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth 5.1 or to a single device with the USB Type-C wired option. Pair it with your smartphone, laptop and iPad, and switch amongst the devices swiftly. It...
- With a unique Mac layout, the tenkeyless K1 has all the necessary Mac function keys while still being compatible with Windows. Extra keycaps for both Windows and Mac operating systems are included.
Keychron makes a bunch of different sized keyboards, and the K1 is their 80% TKL. It’s wireless, hot-swappable, pairs with several devices, comes in a few different designs, and works GREAT with both Windows and Mac computers.
That, and it’s budget-friendly!
GMMK (or GMMK 2)
- 5-Pin Hotswap Versatility- Experience effortless switch customization with support for mechanical switches from Glorious, Cherry, Kailh, Gateron, Glorious Panda Switches, and more. Say goodbye to...
- Top-Grade Metal Build- Our modular keyboard base is designed with a sleek, low-profile look and a premium brushed finish. It provides robust coverage, ensuring maximum strength and durability for an...
- Immersive Sound Experience- Our lubricated stabilizers deliver a consistent and sound profile. The thick interior keyboard foam acts as a dampener, eliminating base ping, creating a hot-swappable...
I’ve owned the originally GMMK 80% keyboard for a few years, and have always loved it.
There’s not many fancier features (it’s not wireless, for one), but it is hot-swappable and built like a truck.
In 2022, they also released an upgraded version, the GMMK 2, which features better parts, a slightly different design, and the ability to customize further on the GMMK website.
- LIGHTSPEED wireless delivers pro-grade performance with flexibility and freedom from cords. Creates a clean aesthetic for battlestations. Delivers 40 hours on a single full charge.
- LIGHTSYNC technology provides RGB lighting that synchronizes lighting with any content. Personalize each key or create custom animations from ~16.8M colors with Logitech G HUB software.
- Low Profile mechanical switches offers the speed, accuracy and performance of a mechanical switch at half the height The GL Clicky switch features a distinctive sound and tactile feedback. Comes in 3...
The G915 is one of Logitech’s premium keyboards, with a TON of smaller features that add up into something special!
The keyboard itself is wireless and low-profile (which is rare for the bigger keyboard companies), and it comes with several switch options, can be customized via the Logitech software, etc.
It costs a bit more, but the features are worth it.
Happy clicking and clacking my mechanical keyboard friends!
Here are our other guides to various keyboard sizes 👇