The 75% Keyboard Layout: King of Gaming & Productivity

Guides & Resources

Oct 21 2021

Chances are, you could throw a dart out the window and hit a unique keyboard layout. Full-size, TKL, 60%, 75%, Alice, 40%, we could go on and on. Having a wide range of choices is exciting for those looking for a new mechanical keyboard, but it can get overwhelming at times, especially if you just want a no-frills layout for work and gaming. We're here to make a case for what we think is the best layout for just that: the 75% layout.

Featured Board: White Ice GMMK PRO w/ GPBT Nebula Keycaps


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Sweet, Sweet Arrow Keys

This hybrid configuration features 82-84 keys depending on the board's design, providing an entire function row, dedicated arrow keys, and a column of navigation keys like Home, Page Up, etc. Arrow keys especially, which are lacking on 60% keyboards without the use of layers, are incredibly useful for productivity tasks. You will notice, the exploded 75% layout utilized by the GMMK PRO isolates and frames these keys to make them easier to identify and use at a glance.


GMMK PRO Arrow Keys

Navigating through an Excel spreadsheet or clips in Adobe Premiere Pro are much easier with dedicated arrow keys.


A Blend of Form & Function

At times, it can be hard to distinguish the difference between TKL and 75% keyboards. However, TKL boards typically have 87 keys in total and organize their keys differently, creating a larger overall footprint on your desk than 75% layout boards. The more compact profile of the latter takes up less overall space on your desk than TKL and full-sized keyboards, ensuring your board does not impede on broader mouse swipes necessary for play styles.


Glorious Panda Switches with GMMK PRO

A smaller overall profile leaves more desk room for your gaming mouse (or random loose switches, we won't judge).


Maintains the Function Row

As mentioned previously, 75% keyboards maintain their function row, unlike 60% and 65% keyboards. The function row is like the multi-tool of a keyboard, having a wide range of uses depending on the application. Web browsers, Microsoft Office, the Adobe Suite, and more take advantage of the function row to provide helpful productivity shortcuts. For gamers, the function row is prime real estate for assigning macros and other in-game shortcuts. Abilities, items, weapon-swapping, and more can all be assigned to function keys for convenient access.


Function Row on GMMK PRO with Vinyl Panda Toy

Assigning macros to the function row via customization software can be a major time saver for gaming and productivity.


Compatible with Most Keycap Sets

Let's face it, keycap sets can get pricey, especially if you're shopping around for a unique set that fits your needs or aesthetic preference. More obscure keyboard layouts, like Alice and Ergo, don't feature standard keycap set support without additional add-on kits that further raise the total cost. Standard 75% boards are compatible with base keycap sets from Glorious, GMK, and more, saving you money and making it easier to find a set that best suits your productivity and/or gaming needs.


Wrapping Up

Emphasizing the perks of the 75% layout is not meant to downplay the effectiveness of alternatives, but few ride that fine line between gaming and productivity quite as well. Its hybrid design leaves ample room for your mouse and other desk accessories while still providing you a near full-functioning board. However, like most aspects of the mechanical keyboard hobby, we advise you to research a wide variety of board layouts to find what best suits your individual needs and make the most informed buying decision possible!