| 10. October 2021

Best Low Profile Keyboards (Mechanical & Membrane)

Before we delve any deeper into our list, one thing simply needs to be said: there’s no such thing as “best.” Keyboards come in various shapes and sizes and there’s no “one-size-fits-all” kind of model, a peripheral that would satisfy everyone’s needs, demands, and workflows. Still, some are better than others, and there have definitely been a few models over the years that have stood out in all the right ways.

Low profile membrane keyboards are bit easier to recommend as there’s no shortage of options. Low profile mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, are somewhat of a novelty. This means they’re often overpriced and somehow pale in comparison to their full-fledged, regular-sized mechanical brethren.

Be that as it may, there’s definitely a demand for such a product, and keyboard manufacturers have tried their hardest to meet it with a fairly varied list of offerings. Whether or not they’ve succeeded is up to you to decide.

So, with that little introduction out of the way, let’s begin!

Low Profile Membrane Keyboards | What Are Your Options?

low profile keyboards

As beautiful as it gets!

Logitech MX Keys Mini — The first keyboard on our list is also the last one to be released and, frankly, it’s quite a looker! The MX Keys Mini from Logitech has all the hallmarks of a spectacular membrane keyboard, and is packed with all the many bells and whistles we both need and want. We’re talking Bluetooth connectivity, multi-device support, phenomenal craftsmanship, automatic backlighting, great battery life, and a host of other features that result in a user experience unlike any other.

Oh, and it comes in three slick colors, too! That’s obviously the least important thing, but you’re not going to spend $99 on a keyboard and have it be ugly.

Finally, if you’re not the TKL type, there’s always the regular old MX Keys which is still a phenomenal option.

low profile keyboards

White or black? Full-sized or TKL? You make the choice.

Apple Wireless/Magic Keyboard — Apple’s membrane keyboards still rank high in terms of experience and build quality, but they’re by no means equipped with any nice-to-haves or little “flourishes” and features that would make them stand out from the competition. They’re wholly utilitarian which, depending on your point of view, is either just what you’re looking for, or is flat-out boring and unappealing given the broad range of options you can choose from these days.

Moreover, the lack of any backlighting and multi-device support definitely renders them a bit outdated and, depending on your region, overpriced. Be that as it may, they’re still as slick as ever, with some beautiful keystrokes and a level of craftsmanship and build quality that puts every other manufacturer to shame. Apple’s design language has definitely stood the test of time.

Microsoft’s take on Apple’s tried-and-true formula

Microsoft Surface Keyboard — If you’re a fan of Apple’s looks but are a member of team Microsoft, the sleek and slender Surface Keyboard should be right up your alley. It is absolutely stunning design-wise and is a bit cheaper than Apple’s offerings, too! It might not be the most feature-rich keyboard out there, but as far as aesthetics go, it definitely ranks near the very top.

There’s a TKL version, too, in case you’re fed up with the num pad and want to save as much desk space as possible!

RGB galore!

Razer Ornata Chroma — Razer’s Ornata Chroma is a very peculiar product as it tries to blend the best of both worlds: it’s a “mecha-membrane” keyboard, the first and probably last of its kind. Now, that phrase is arguably more marketing fluff than anything else, but it’s not necessarily a lie.

When typing, you can definitely feel a click of sorts, as if it were a Cherry MX Blue kind of switch. It’s tactile and quite audible too. You’ll either fall in love with it from the moment your fingers start typing, or despite its guts with the utmost fervor. In any case, you won’t be indifferent, so that’s definitely a plus.

Razer’s keyboards don’t have the best track record when it comes to quality control, so just have that in mind before pulling out your wallet. Then again, at just $59.99 at the time of this writing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option (wrist rest included), especially if you’re focused more on gaming and are after the feel of a mechanical keyboard.

Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards | Standout Options

Keychron K1 — No list of mechanical keyboards (be it low-profile or not) can ever be complete without at least one product from Keychron. The K1, specifically, is an absolutely stellar option, one that will satisfy both grizzled typists and gamers alike.

With three different Gateron low profile switches to choose from (Red, Blue, and Brown), you’ll be able to “fine-tune” this phenomenal keyboard to your liking, and the fact that it’s compatible with basically any Bluetooth-equipped device (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, etc.) means it’ll deliver no matter your platform of choice. It’s also incredibly cheap given its wealth of options and features, so if you’re after a low-profile mechanical keyboard (from a very reputable brand, no less), the K1 from Keychron should definitely be at the very top of your list!

And, in case you want something a bit more petite, the K7 is also a stellar option!

CORSAIR K70 MK.2 — If you want something that screams “hardcore gamer,” then the K70 from Corsair should definitely do the trick! The MK.2 is based on the well-known K70, but sports low-profile switches and keycaps. That’s pretty much it. The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” definitely comes to mind. You’re getting USB passthrough, dedicated media buttons, an included plastic wrist rest, and all the RGB your heart can handle.

It doesn’t come cheap, though, but if your wallet can handle it, you’ll definitely be satisfied with what the low-profile K70 MK.2 brings to the table!

Logitech G915 Wireless — Speaking of expensive low-profile mechanical keyboards, the G915 Wireless from Logitech definitely stands out as one of the best and most well-rounded models on the market, although it’s obviously nowhere near worth the asking price ($249).

This is, without a doubt, one of the most complete products on the market which, naturally, has to come at a cost. At just 22mm, it’s also the thinnest of the bunch and comes with some truly mind-blowing build quality and overall craftsmanship. You have three switch options to choose from, including the GL Clicky, GL Tactile, and GL Linear. Multi-device support and dedicated media controls have also been thrown into the mix and, well, for around $250 that’s the least Logitech could’ve done to justify such an obscene price tag. Be that as it may, if money isn’t an issue, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better low-profile keyboard these days, and there’s even a TKL variant in case you don’t want that pesky numpad on the right-hand side!

Cooler Master SK630 & SK650 — Cooler Master’s SK line-up is both great and somewhat half-baked. There are certain omissions and things that could’ve been done better (given its higher-than-average price), but as a whole, they’re quite solid and wholly beautiful. They also come in multiple different sizes, with the smallest of the bunch (the 60% model) having Bluetooth connectivity as well.

It’s not exactly built with gaming in mind but will definitely deliver for the occasional late night MOBA excursion! This is just one of those models that need be tested in person first before making any kind of purchasing decision, but it’s definitely worth your time and attention.