Best 40% Keyboards for Space-Saving Efficiency

Looking for a gaming keyboard that’ll catapult your gaming prowess? You’re in the right place! We’ve sifted through the market to bring you the top 40 gaming keyboards ready to revolutionize your play. Casual player or esports pro, it doesn’t matter – we’ve got the keyboard that will take your game up a notch.

With so many dazzling options out there, picking the right one can be daunting. But don’t worry – we’re here to help. We’ve dug into everything from the satisfying ‘click’ of tactile keys to the eye-popping RGB lighting.

So sit tight, folks! We’re about to explore the best gaming keyboards 2023 has to offer. Your perfect match is just a scroll away!

Qisan Magicforce 40%

If you’re a gamer looking for the convenience of a small form factor without sacrificing features, then the Qisan Magicforce 40% keyboard is an obvious choice. Featuring Gateron blue switches and ABS keycaps, it offers smooth and responsive typing with clear legends that are easy to read in the dark. Plus, its adjustable lighting operated through Fn+↑↓←→ further enhances usability. Dedicated arrow and pgup/pgdn keys also make navigating easier. The only real drawbacks are the lack of a way to program the key layout and no numpad layer – but for its price point, it’s hard to beat when it comes to 40% keyboards.

Vortex Core

The Vortex Core is a perfect choice for gamers who want to save desk space without compromising on performance. It boasts an aluminum frame, a unique 3-layer programmable design and durable DSA profile keycaps, with genuine Cherry MX switches beneath the keycaps providing excellent tactile response. Plus it’s much more affordable than other 40% keyboards on the market, offering great value for money. Unfortunately there are no dedicated arrow keys or backlit version yet and certain functions may not be fully programmable – but if you’re in the market for an affordable gaming keyboard that doesn’t skimp on quality materials or performance then the Vortex Core is definitely worth considering.

Redragon K585 DITI

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard, the Redragon K585 DITI is an excellent choice. Featuring Redragon Blue switches with tactile feedback, five RGB backlit modes and seven programmable macro keys, this mini keyboard offers great value for money. It also has a comfortable detachable wrist rest connected by magnets, 42 keys (full rollover) and onboard memory to save permanent profiles. Plus, it even comes with a Type-C cord and USB pass-through port! The main advantages of this product are its remappable buttons, great value for money, comfortable design and solid RGB options; however some users may find difficulty unbinding keys or recording macros due to its one-handed gaming design. Overall though, if you’re looking for an entry level mechanical keyboard that punches above its weight without breaking the bank, then the Redragon K585 DITI is definitely worth considering!

YMDK Air40

The YMDK Air40 is an outstanding mini layout keyboard, with an anodized aluminum plate and a range of switch options. It has a North facing RGB backlit and underglow hotswap PCB which can be switched out conveniently, allowing you to select the switches that best suit your needs. This gives a more responsive tactile feel than other keyboards with stabilizers. As well as this, it comes pre-built with optional foam padding for extra protection, plus it offers QMK support for further customizing your typing experience. The LEDs are also incredibly vibrant and enhance its aesthetics. However, one downside is that there is no reset button included in the kit.

To sum up, the YMDK Air40 makes a great choice for anyone looking for the perfect 40% keyboard; owing to its solid build quality and brilliant customer service – features that set it apart from other similar products on the market. Its dazzling RGB lighting and customizable switch options provide plenty of features to improve your gaming experience and make it more satisfying and comfortable.

Planck EZ

The Planck EZ is a compact, powerful gaming keyboard that packs a lot of features into its small frame. It has 47 keys which are placed in an ortholinear layout to minimize finger movement and make it easier for users to learn the layout quickly. You can also change any key switch at any time without soldering or voiding the warranty, with 8 Cherry MX Switch varieties and 5 Kailh Switch varieties available. The build quality of the Planck EZ is high, with custom PBT keycaps and hot-swap sockets for key switches that allow you to easily customize your setup. The LED indicators below the space bar also help indicate which layer you’re using at any given time. Additionally, it comes with USB C-to-C cable and dongle for USB type A plug as well as programmable RGB LED under every switch.

On the downside, there is no right shift key, so some users may find this inconvenient; however, if you’re looking for a compact 40 keyboard with great features and customization options then the Planck EZ would be an excellent choice. It’s got bright lighting effects that may be too nerdy for some tastes plus it only offers wired connection (no bluetooth option) so keep this in mind when considering your purchase. Finally, cleaning white keycaps over time can be challenging since they tend to get dirty relatively easily compared to other colors.

KPrepublic BM43

The KPrepublic BM43 is an excellent keyboard for gamers or typists looking for a 40 key option. It’s affordably priced, boasts plenty of features including offline flash apps and hot swappable switch sockets, and comes with Sorbothane sound dampening to keep your typing quiet. The 6 bottom RGB underglow LEDs are pre-soldered and the standard ICSP interface supports MX stem and type C port. However, it does have some downsides – the keycap fitting can be awkward at times and its staggered layout may be confusing for some users. Additionally, its size makes it unsuitable for gaming purposes. Despite these issues though, if you’re looking for a feature-packed keyboard that won’t break the bank then the BM43 is definitely worth considering.

Mechwild Mercutio

The Mechwild Mercutio 40% keyboard is a great choice for those who want to customize their board with an OLED and rotary encoder. The kit includes everything you need, from the PCB to the acrylic guard, MCU, through hole components, OLED screen, knob and encoder, and assembly hardware. It supports all of the standard layouts as well as Mercutio supported ones. Plus it comes pre-lubed with Cherry Stabs and Gateron Gold V2 switches and Aliexpress GMK Outerspace keycaps. It also has some cool features like a foam between backplate and PCB for better sound plus Bongo Cat display programming.

However there are some downsides to this product too – like yellow switches that are visible from the side and compromises made with Cherry profile (using R1 key for Return and Backspace). But overall if you’re looking for a customizable 40% gaming keyboard with plenty of features then the Mechwild Mercutio is definitely worth considering.
Are you in search of a keyboard for a limited workspace, or are you an avid traveler who needs something that packs away quickly? If this is the case, then a 40% keyboard may be the ideal solution. This buying guide will not only expound on what these keyboards are but also provide advice on selecting the most suitable one for your requirements.

What is a 40% Keyboard?

These keyboards are mechanical and designed to occupy as little space as possible. When compared to 60% boards, they’re much smaller in size, and even more so when compared to full-sized models. To achieve their compact form factor, many of the keys found on bigger versions are either taken away or put together into layers; this reduces both key numbers and the amount of finger movement needed while typing.

Features to Consider

When choosing which 40% keyboard would work best for you, there are several features that ought to be kept in mind. The first is layout: some have staggered keys while others possess an ortholinear design. In addition, many offer switchable functions because of layers which can either be activated by toggle buttons or through QMK or VIA customizations.


The main benefit of these keyboards lies in how easy they can fit into small spaces and their portability; they’re perfect for those who need something miniature or who travel frequently. Moreover, as less finger motion is needed when typing with them when compared to larger models, it may lead to faster typing speeds. Some people also think that small keyboards are better for gaming. To learn more about the benefits of 40% keyboards, check out this in-depth analysis.


So, there we have it! Compact and performance-packed, 40% keyboards are a sweet deal if you’re seeking portability or aiming to declutter that precious desk space. With a spectrum of features on offer – switchable layouts, layers, that satisfying tactile feedback, or the glitz of RGB lighting – it’s easy to feel a bit lost in the maze.

But hey, don’t sweat it! This guide was made to navigate that maze. Armed with this knowledge, we’re confident you’re just about ready to find that perfect 40% keyboard – the one that feels like it was made just for you. Your gaming journey is about to get a whole lot more exciting!

We hoped this guide helped you and that you find the prerfect 40% keyboard. If you want to learn more about keyboard sizes, check out this article about the history of keyboard sizes or this comparison between small and large keyboards.