Standard Keyboard Sizes / Layouts

tutorial
guide

#1

So you want to buy a keyboard and have seen all sorts of different sizes of keyboards? What is a 40%? 60%? 75%? TKL? Let’s answer that:

What is the percentage based on?

It is typically based on the number of keys used divided by the number of keys a standard full size keyboard uses. (Which is 104 keys for a Standard ANSI keyboard). For example your Poker keyboard has 61 keys; divide 61 / 104 = 58.6% this gets rounded to the nearest whole number making is a 60% keyboard. Another example: Your JD40 keyboard has 44 keys; divide 44 / 104 = 42.3% which gets rounded to 40%.

Its not a perfect system: The standard percent sizes you will hear of are not always a perfect fit due to the varying designs; but it at least gives you general idea of the size. For example the 75% keyboard typically has 84 keys; divide 84 / 104 = 80.7%. As the TKL has previously been referred to as an 80% (at a true 83.6%) it makes sense that a more compact version of a TKL would need to be noted as smaller; thus 75%. Like I said, not perfect.

Common Sizes

40% Keyboards

kb-40
Common boards: JD40 / MiniVan / Minorca / Daisy



45% Keyboards


Common boards: JD45 / Pearl



60% Keyboards


Common boards: Poker / HHKB

60% Keyboard w/ Arrows

(These fit the foot print of a 60% although they have more keys.)


Common boards: GK64 / DZ60

HHKB

Learn more about the Happy Hacking Keyboard.


Common boards: HHKB, Tina-C, Tokyo60, M60-A

Note: The MX Switch variant of the HHKB typically has a slightly different bottom row that is symmetrical to the entire board



65% Keyboards


Common boards: WhiteFox / TADA68 / Clueboard / FC660m/c



75% Keyboards


Common boards: Keycool 84 / Drevo Gramr / KBD75



TKL Keyboards


Common boards: Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid / Razer Blackwidow Tournament / Leopold FC750



Compact Full Size Keyboards

TK Layout


Common boards: Coolermaster TK

1800 Layout


Common boards: Cherry G80-1800

96 Key / 96%


Common boards: Lightsaver / RedScarf 96



Full Size Keyboards


Common boards: Coolermaster Masterkeys L, Leopold FC900, Corsair K70



Ergonomic Keyboards

These deserve an honorable mention as they do not fit the description of a standard keyboard.
Read more about Ergonomic Keyboards here.

Atreus - Columnar Stagger & Angled

Learn more


Others similar: Atreus62

Planck - Ortholinear aka No key Stagger

Learn more
kb-planck
Others similar: Preonic, XD75re, Let’s Split

Ergodox - Columnar Stagger, Split, & Thumbclusters

Learn more


Others similar: Minidox, Traveldox, Iris


#2

Maybe it would be a good idea to include a section in the future on why sometimes some boards go with key designations instead of just percentages, and how that can often lead to confusion.


#3

Maybe we should see if Discourse can set up some kind of wiki.


#4

Great guide! @koduh

What about the legendary Blackbird layout though hehe


#5

Came to say I’m very happy you distinguished between 40 and 45. Too many people miss that. It’s the bane of my existence.


#6

Good idea. :+1:


#7

Oh man, the 60% + numpad group is its own thing entirely me thinks. Vortex Vibe, Southpaw 65, Blackbird… etc.


#8

What would you say is the delimiter is between 40 and 45? # of keys or # of columns? How do you describe the difference to people?


#9

Additional column I’d say is the differentiator but I find it easiest to describe using staggered by example, 45 (on most layouts) allows for an additional 2 punctuation keys over 40’s single. It makes the transition down from 60 surprisingly much easier to swallow.


#10

Breaking it down by column doesn’t really work for the minivan, though since it isn’t a whole number of columns wide at 12.75u. It is actually much closer to 45% sized than to 40%.


#11

I think if the Corsair K70 is going to be included here some mention should be made of the non-standard bottom row.


#13

I also mentioned a Razer Blackwidow as a common board. Which fits the same bill. But truth be told, these are generalization of keyboard SIZE not specific layouts. Or else we’d need to address WKL, Blockered layouts and different bottom row options on all of the compact boards. 1u 1u 1u vs 1.5 1.5u … etc.


#14

60% variations

Full size derivatives

1800 derivatives


#15

Perfect. :+1:


#16

Fair… I didn’t see the Razer board in my first read. Perhaps just a * next to the names of the boards that don’t actually fully match the layout they are mentioned under? (and a note at the bottom of the article that shows the star denotes a board with a slight deviation from the pictured layout)


#17

The iris is actually more of a split atreus, it would fit there.


#18

We need a post like this dedicated to just split boards!


#19

Love it! I do think the FC660 series should be separate since they have their own layout (like how the HHKB is a subsection)


#20

Agreed. I think I’ll edit the main post and add some more subsets of boards.


#21

I’m surprised that the MX version of the HHKB layout is meant to be control and alt.

I was expecting it to be a bottom row consisting of:
[SUPER] [ALT] [7U Space] [ALT] [SUPER]

By super I mean the operating system’s super key like [WIN] for Windows or super for Linux.

There seems to be an excessive number of variations considering you have the control key in such a great position.

I’ve never really needed to use the right control key even when I was using full sized membrane keyboards and always remap the capslock to something else on laptops either Control, Function or Escape.

I guess there is no standard which is good to allow customisation.

What does everyone else do for their HHKB bottom row layouts?