Why are smaller keyboards more expensive?

Why are smaller keyboards more expensive?

Why are smaller keyboards more expensive
Smaller keyboards are becoming increasingly popular in the market, especially among laptop users and gamers. However, many people wonder "Why are smaller keyboards more expensive?". This article from Enthkey will answer that question by analyzing factors such as design, manufacturing, market demand and benefits of smaller keyboards, while also introducing some popular options on the current school market.

Defines smaller keyboards (compact/mini keyboards)

Smaller keyboards, also called compact or mini keyboards, are keyboards that are more compact in size than traditional standard keyboards. They often eliminate separate number keys or function keys, focusing on letter keys and basic control keys. The size of these keyboards can vary from 60% to 80% of the size of a standard keyboard.

The growing popularity of smaller keyboards

In recent years, smaller keyboards have become increasingly popular, especially among laptop users and gamers. The rise of mobile working and the need to save space has created a need for compact, easy-to-carry keyboards.

Mobile and space saving trend

With the development of laptop technology and mobile devices, users increasingly prioritize convenience and mobility. The smaller keyboard fits the modern lifestyle, allowing users to easily carry it to work or school without taking up too much space.

Needs of gamers and professional users

Besides, smaller keyboards are also favored by the gaming community and professional users. These keyboards often have an ergonomic design, which enhances comfort and efficiency when typing for long periods of time. They are also optimized for certain game titles, allowing players to perform key operations more quickly and accurately.

Variety of designs and customizations

Another factor contributing to the popularity of smaller keyboards is the variety of designs and high customization capabilities. Users can choose from multi-colored keycap sets, RGB backlighting, and even customize the typing feel according to their preferences. This increases the appeal of these keyboards to users who want to express their personal style. With the advantages of convenience, efficiency and customization, it is expected that the trend of using smaller keyboards will continue to increase in the future.

The reason why smaller keyboards are more expensive

More complex design and manufacturing

Despite its more compact size, designing and manufacturing a smaller keyboard requires more effort and cost than a standard keyboard.

Need to optimize layout and size

To achieve a compact size while still ensuring functionality and convenience of use, designers have to invest a lot of effort in optimizing the layout and size of the keyboard. They must carefully consider the position and size of each key, as well as the layout of controls and special features to ensure an optimal user experience. This process requires a lot of testing and adjustment, increasing product design and development costs. Besides, manufacturers also have to invest in specialized technology and equipment to produce smaller keyboards with high precision.

High requirements for accuracy and functionality

Although more compact, smaller keyboards must still meet the same accuracy and functionality requirements as standard keyboards. This requires manufacturers to use high-quality components and apply strict manufacturing processes to ensure product reliability and longevity. For example, the keys of smaller keyboards must be manufactured with great precision to ensure a smooth and uniform typing feel. Features such as LED backlighting, waterproofing, or customization also require higher technology and investment costs. In short, the need for precision and high-end features increases manufacturing and quality control costs, contributing to the higher price of smaller keyboards compared to standard keyboards.

Needs are lower than standard keyboards

One of the main reasons why smaller keyboards cost more is because of lower market demand compared to standard keyboards.

Produce smaller quantities

Although smaller keyboards are growing in popularity, their demand is still significantly lower than that of standard keyboards. This results in manufacturers having to produce smaller quantities of smaller keyboard models. Producing in smaller quantities increases the fixed investment costs per unit of product, including research and development costs, production equipment costs, and labor costs. Therefore, to be able to cover costs and achieve the desired profit, the retail price of smaller keyboards must be higher.

Higher production costs per unit

Besides being produced in smaller quantities, smaller keyboards also have higher manufacturing costs per unit than standard keyboards. The main reason is due to the requirement for precision and advanced features as mentioned in the previous section. The cost of higher-end components, materials, and manufacturing technology increases the production cost per smaller keyboard. Besides, quality control and reliability assurance processes are also more complex, requiring more effort and cost.

Target special markets

Professional users, gamers

Although less in demand than standard keyboards, the smaller keyboards are aimed at a particular market for professional users and gamers. This is a group of customers with high demands for optimal performance, features and user experience. Smaller keyboards are often designed to best serve activities such as fast typing, gaming, and professional work. They offer features like fast response, high customization, and comfortable typing experience.

Higher willingness to pay for quality

This group of customers is often willing to pay higher prices to get high quality products that meet their professional needs. They consider factors such as performance, durability, and user experience as more important than price. Recognizing the needs and higher willingness of this customer group to pay, manufacturers may charge higher prices for high-quality smaller keyboards. This helps them recover investment costs and maintain desired profits.

Benefits of a smaller keyboard

Despite their higher price, smaller keyboards offer many attractive benefits to users, which helps explain why they have become so popular.

Convenient to move and save space

One of the biggest benefits of a smaller keyboard is its portability and significant space savings.

Easy to carry

With its compact size, the smaller keyboard becomes an ideal choice for those who frequently travel or work in many different locations. They easily fit into a bag or backpack, allowing users to always have a reliable keyboard with them without taking up too much space.

Save workspace

Besides, the smaller keyboard also significantly saves working space on the desk or mobile desk area. This is especially beneficial for people who work in space-constrained environments or who frequently have to clean their desks.

Ergonomic design, more comfortable

Many smaller keyboards are designed with ergonomic criteria in mind, providing comfort and reducing user strain when typing for long periods of time.

Optimal key layout

Designers often optimize key layouts on smaller keyboards to match the user's natural hand position. This helps minimize muscle tension and fatigue when typing continuously.

Wrist support

Some smaller keyboard models also incorporate removable or removable wrist rests, allowing users to place their hands in a more comfortable position, reducing pressure on their wrists and arms.

Easy personalization and customization

Another benefit of a smaller keyboard is its ability to be highly personalized and customizable, tailored to the user's specific preferences and needs.

Change keycaps

Many smaller keyboards allow users to easily change keycaps to different colors, shapes, and styles. This helps users customize the interface and typing feel as desired.

Customize backlight and effects

In addition, some smaller keyboard models also allow customization of the LED backlight and different lighting effects, creating a beautiful visual experience that suits personal preferences.

Programming key combinations

Smaller premium keyboards often support programmable macro keys, allowing users to assign complex key combinations to a single key, increasing efficiency and productivity. This high level of personalization and customization not only helps users express their own style but also creates a more suitable and effective usage experience that meets each person's specific needs.

Popular smaller keyboard options

On the market today, there are many options for smaller keyboards from different brands. Below is an introduction to some outstanding keyboard models with a comparison of features and prices.

Introducing some outstanding keyboard models

Keychron K2

The Keychron K2 is a 75% sized keyboard, equivalent to removing the number pad on a standard keyboard. It uses Bluetooth technology and can connect to up to 3 devices at the same time. The keyboard has a monolithic aluminum design, lightweight and neat. The price is about $69 - $89 depending on the version.


IQUNIX F96 is a 96% keyboard, retaining the number pad but removing the separate function key. Made from solid aluminum, has customizable RGB LED backlighting and supports key combination programming. The price is around $199.


Drop CTRL is a tenkeyless keyboard (87%), eliminating the number pad but retaining a separate function key. Features a sturdy and highly customizable aluminum design. Supports RGB backlighting and key combination programming. The price is about $199 - $349 depending on the version.

Varmilo VA87M

Varmilo VA87M is an 87% keyboard, also tenkeyless. Made from ultra-lightweight magnesium alloy, features monochrome LED backlighting and a sturdy design. The price is about $139.

Compare features and prices

When comparing featured smaller keyboard models, we can see differences in size, materials, features, and price.
  • In terms of size, they range from 75% to 96% of standard keyboards, with the most popular models being tenkeyless (87%) and 75%.
  • The materials used are usually aluminum, magnesium alloy or high-quality plastic, ensuring durability and a solid feel.
  • In terms of features, most models support LED backlighting (monochrome or RGB), the ability to program combination keys and wireless connection via Bluetooth.
  • Common prices range from around $69 for a basic smaller keyboard model, to $349 for more advanced models with many advanced features.
In general, smaller keyboards that cost more tend to offer better quality materials, sturdier designs, and more advanced features like RGB backlighting, combo key programming, and high customization capabilities. . Users need to consider the price and features that suit their needs to choose the most suitable smaller keyboard.


Through the article "Why are smaller keyboards more expensive"that Enthkey shared, we have learned about the reasons why smaller keyboards are more expensive. Despite their more compact size, designing, manufacturing, and marketing, smaller keyboards require more effort and expense. However, smaller keyboards offer many benefits such as portability, space saving, ergonomic design, and high customization. These advantages help offset the higher price and make the smaller keyboard an attractive option for users with special needs such as gamers, power users, and those who travel frequently.

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