Along with different sizes and form factors, there are two options available in mechanical keyboards to buy. You can either opt for low profile keyboard or you can go with the most preferred normal high-profile keyboards.
Although height is the major difference between both profiles still the shape of separate key rows could be the prominent difference. These are the basic differences though but both carried many other factors, which might affect efficiency and productivity.
Nonetheless, with all factors involved, the high or low profile of the keyboard is primarily a matter of requirements or preference from the user end. You can try chiclet-style laptop-like low-profile keyboards if you don’t feel like using chunky and thick mechanical keyboards. Honestly saying none of them can be declared any better than the other as both have some plus points and limitations that you must know before making a decision.
Those who don’t know the factors of difference between both options can get confused and could face problems getting the most suitable keyboard for their needs and preferences. Here in this post, we will be comparing both profile options of mechanical keyboards as well as enlightening you with the pros and cons of low profile & normal high-profile keyboards.
Let’s get the article on low profile keyboards vs normal high-profile keyboards started straight away:
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- 1 What are Low Profile Keyboards?
- 2 What are High Profile Keyboards?
- 3 Low Profile Vs. High Profile Keyboards – Differences & Comparison
What are Low Profile Keyboards?
The profile of the keyboard describes the key profile in the keyboard and refers to switch design and keycap height collectively. A low profile keyboard in general is the keyboard type having shorter and slimmer keys with lower keycaps height than normal profile keyboards. The switches in the low-profile keyboards are placed on top of the board rather than the floating-fixed within keyboards.
The height difference is however formed by slimming the frame of the keyboard and decreasing the height of switches and keycaps. The first impression of the low-profile keyboard may sound unnatural to some people since smaller computer peripherals seem hard to use and they are mainly designed to fulfill the purpose of compactness.
Further, the limited height and other engineered modifications make low-profile keyboards highly agronomical and portable than other options.
If it is about mechanical keyboards normal high-profile keyboards are pretty much the option that is highly preferable, still, low-profile keyboards are supported by a huge fan base as well. The slimmest body of the keyboard grants users the to type precisely & fluently without putting extra pressure on the wrist. The low-profile keyboards can be the best option for typing and gaming as the key switches pose less travel distance to offer a great response time than normal mechanical keyboards.
What are High Profile Keyboards?
High-profile keyboards are the normal type of keyboards, which are common in the market with the clunky and thick body including high switches stuck in it. These keyboards are termed as normal mechanical keyboards unlike ‘high profile in general. These normal keyboards are good-heightened with a combination of switches’ design and the height of keycaps.
However, standard keyboards are less portable and ergonomic with normal mechanical switches and keycaps but they offer an array of switches variety and are incredibly popular among enthusiasts for quite fair reasons. Such keyboards actually have the majority shares in the market while there are limited options of low-profile keyboards that hit the market.
Low Profile Vs. High Profile Keyboards – Differences & Comparison
Let’s take a look at the significant differences between low profile and high profile keyboards, at the same time we will be comparing both types of keyboards just to know which one can serve your purpose well.
The clear difference in portability can be seen as the low-profile keyboards are fairly smaller in height than normal profile keyboards. In contrast to normal keyboards, low profile boards are designed smaller with very limited height to make them lightweight & easier to carry and use. Most of these keyboards are as thin as laptops thus they are easier to carry into bags or backpacks to travel or move around with. Whereas, the wireless option in low profile keyboards benefits the purpose of portability for the users who have to frequently travel for business.
High profile or standard keyboards on the other side, are quite heavy, tall, and have chunky key switches that make them less portable. Although you can find a variety of wireless options in normal keyboards, considering the bulky design, chunky switches, and weight they are not compact enough to go around with.
Based on the comparison, low profile keyboards are by far portable enough to take everywhere, they are most suitable when you go on a trip or you have to work in a hybrid environment where you have to bring peripherals at home or anywhere else for quite some time for working.
Height & Size
As the name refers low profile keyboards have a lower height or profile, however, the normal keyboards are of good height. The height of low-profile keyboards is around half or less of the height of normal profile keyboards, the most significant difference can be noticed immediately in one look. The height of such keyboards lies somewhere in the middle of chiclet and high-profile keyboards.
Primarily the height of keyboards consists of some essential factors including switches, body/frame, and keycaps. Therefore, low profile options have small structures, slimmer switches, and keycaps while the case with regular keyboards is totally opposite.
Even though the Apple Magic keyboard is still lower than low profile boards, the modification in height makes such keyboards more compact, lighter, and easier. As it is one of the key factors increasing demand for low-profile keyboards in the market.
The leaner keyboards have switches called low profile switches that are specially designed to provide a good feeling while typing. Nonetheless, the height difference between low profile switches and normal keyboard switches deeply affects the actuation point that leads to better performance. Similarly, the size of keycaps between both kinds of keyboards is another major difference and factor of comparison. Normal keycaps cannot fit with low-profile switches due to their different manufacturing style and large size.
The keycaps though are not as slim as the chiclet keyboards’ keycaps but still are shorter compared to standard keycaps.
As mentioned earlier low-profile switches offer considerably low-key travel distance than regular switches, shorter actuation point is considered great for faster input and typing feel. However, you will have to invest some time to adapt to type on low-profile keyboards due to the feel of the keys.
Normal switches are however not good in terms of actuation point but the variety of mechanical switches required the lowest actuation force with a clicky or tactile feel making them satisfying to type on.
The short travel time and quickest activation are the factors that played a crucial role while typing, low profile keyboards provide faster and more accurate typing sessions. Similarly, the ergonomic factor of these peripherals increases the comfort level for people who have to type or work for the whole day. If you are considering switching from the laptop so low-profile options are the good pick for typing/working even gaming.
Low-profile Cherry MX and Logitech GL switches are the best low-profile mechanical switches for the quickest typing and gaming session with 1mm to 1.5mm of activation.
Normal mechanical keyboards are expressly designed having gamers in mind that’s why such keyboards are highly popular among the faculty of pro gamers and enthusiasts around the globe.
If you are an enthusiast or willing to make a future in professional gaming switching to high profile mechanical keyboard can be your first step to prosperity.
In regards to ergonomics low profile keyboards dominate the standard keyboards, the advantage of lower profile keys takes the lead. You do not need to raise your wrist too high on low-profile keyboards for typing makes these options highly comfortable to type on.
For precise and faster typing experience shorter key switches resulted in less stress on hands or wrists so that the chances of wrist pain or carpal tunnel reduces from less to none.
Long-term typing on normal keyboards, on the other hand, required users to put a hand in a bending position when they have their wrist on the table while their fingers are on the keys, which may cause many wrist-related issues. That’s so wrist rest is often used with normal profile keyboards to save from damage to some extent caused by using these keyboards, while the slim design and shorter height of low-profile boards ultimately make the ergonomics better by keeping the angle of the wrist far more unbent.
Customization, Modification & Availability
Customization is the factor in which normal mechanical keyboards outplayed low-profile options. Low-profile keyboards are not customizable in general, those who love keyboard modding should not consider low-profile options.
Not only the standard keycaps compatibility is a problematic part but there are also limited options for low-profile keycaps and switches available than full-sized or standard mechanical keyboards. You will have a hard time finding keycaps and switches for a low-profile keyboard if you like to switch for a good change.
Whereas you can go limitless with customization and modification in high-profile keyboards as they provide options for just about everyone.
Availability is another field in which low profile keyboard fall short, considering the demand account only a few companies are producing low profile keyboards which make the selection even harder.
Low Profile Keyboards vs. High Profile Keyboards – Verdict
Both high profile and low-profile Alice keyboards have their separate pros, cons, and most importantly support groups so it’s better to get the one that suits your personal preferences and environment.
They both provide significant benefits for various situations, low profile boards are ergonomic, compact, and highly portable, and normal style keyboards are extremely supported by world-class players and a big crowd of enthusiasts.
Good luck for the best!