With many new types of keyboards coming out a low-profile keyboard is definitely something to look out for.
Low-profile keyboards look like your normal laptop keyboard but are built with mechanical parts that try to give you the mechanical feel of a normal mechanical keyboard.
To go into more detail, here is what a low-profile keyboard is.
Low-profile keyboards have shorter key switches that are more ergonomic because they are shorter and flatter than a conventional keyboard. They tend to be more portable, lightweight, and have a shorter actuation distance than a standard keyboard.
There you have it low-profile keyboards can remind you of a typical laptop keyboard that you may be used to, but at the same time gives you the benefit of a mechanical keyboard. Of course, there is more to it than that and that’s why you should keep reading as we go into more detail about the different parts and comparison of a low-profile mechanical keyboard to your normal mechanical keyboard.
How Do Low-Profile Switches Compare to Normal Switches? (Mechanical Keyboards)
You might think that there really isn’t a difference between a low-profile switch and a normal keyboard switch as they are both mechanical, but similar to the normal mechanical switch the low-profile switches come in a variety of different options.
Dissimilar to the normal mechanical switch low profile switches are usually made with different stems. Your typical mechanical keyboard switch is usually made with a cherry stem making it easy to mix and swap different keycap sets.
With a low-profile keyboard switch, there are many different types of stems depending on which brand you decide to go with; meaning you have a smaller choice of keycaps that will go with your keyboard.
This isn’t a big deal most of the time because you will most likely want low-profile keycaps that come with your keyboard anyway to keep that low-profile ergonomic feel.
Next, you have the actuation force and length. It is pretty obvious that the actuation force and the travel distance of the key switch will be much lighter and slower as it is a more compact switch.
Then you have the feel of the keyboard. Even though low-profile keyboards are considered to be mechanical keyboards, many keyboard enthusiasts will say that the feel of a low-profile keyboard does not match the feel of a normal mechanical keyboard.
This is because you will find that a low-profile mechanical keyboard feels mushier and that you get less feedback when you click the switch.
With a low-profile keyboard, you may find that since the switches are flatter you might tend to make typing errors quite a few more times because you don’t have the same rigid feel when typing on a mechanical keyboard. You will find your fingers becoming lost as they lose their position when typing.
Of course, one way to overcome this problem is to type more, as the more you type the more you will get used to the feel of the keyboard and you will make fewer errors.
The Ergonomics of a Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard
One thing that got you thinking about buying or building a low-profile mechanical keyboard might be because of the ergonomics of these keyboards.
With a standard mechanical keyboard, you might find that your wrists start to feel pressure or hurt after long typing periods.
The reason why this happens is that the keyboard is angled very high for an unnatural wrist position. Of course, one way to deal with this is to get a keyboard wrist rest, but another solution is to get a low-profile mechanical keyboard.
Low-Profile mechanical keyboards are very flat, allowing your wrists to have a natural angle while typing. This reduces stress on the wrist and will allow you to type for hours on end without any issue.
The height of a low-profile keyboard also helps with the ergonomics. With a low-profile keyboard, you tend to see that the height is about half the size of a normal mechanical keyboard.
You can see this in the base, keycaps, and switches of a low-profile keyboard. Although the keyboard is not as tall as a normal mechanical keyboard. Your typical laptop keyboard is still much shorter than this.
This is because a low-profile keyboard still uses mechanical switches which you can only make so small without taking the mechanical feel out.
How Portable Are Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards?
Due to the fact that low-profile mechanical keyboards are much smaller than normal keyboards, this makes them much more portable and makes it very easy to put them in a bag. backpack, or luggage.
Not only that but due to their portability, this will allow you to use it in tight spaces such as planes or on the train. Especially since most low-profile keyboards are Bluetooth this just adds to the portability of these types of keyboards.
Low-profile keyboards are also very lightweight which will allow you to bring them to events and hold them for periods of time.
Many times at LAN parties for video games you can find yourself holding your keyboard for a long period of time as you get ready to play in your event. For people who forget a bag, this can be a pain.
With a low-profile keyboard, you will have no problem with this as it is very lightweight.
Should You Buy a Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard?
Low-profile mechanical keyboards aren’t for everyone. Many people who are already used to the feel of standard mechanical keyboards will most likely not enjoy the typing experience of a low-profile mechanical keyboard as it can feel a bit too mushy for them.
However, if you are switching over from a membrane or laptop keyboard and still want something similar. Then, a low-profile mechanical keyboard will work wonders as it is very similar to these types of keyboards.
These low-profile keyboards are also really great for minimalist setups as they are lightweight, don’t take up too much space, and aren’t an eyesore like some standard mechanical keyboards can be.
All in all, it really depends on the person. If you are thinking about buying a low-profile keyboard but aren’t sure. You may as well give it a try. You can find many affordable low-profile keyboards on the market and I am sure you can find one that is the right fit for you.