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Differences Between Low Profile and Normal Profile Mechanical Keyboards

1. The Main Difference

Low profile mechanical keyboards are a class of mechanical keyboards that have recently emerged.

As the name suggests, the literally main difference is the height, the height of the low profile switches, keycaps, and casing are shorter than normal profile keyboards. As a result, they are also lighter. The most significant component that causes the difference is the switch.

2. A Detailed Introduction of the Differences

Slimmer switches and keycaps allow for a slimmer and low profile keyboard design.

2.1 Switch

The low profile mechanical switch is 35%-40% shorter than the normal profile mechanical switch, which offers a lower travel distance and a faster trigger rate. Low profile means shorter travel, including pre-travel and total travel, making low profile switches both faster and easier to activate. A shorter actuation distance makes them slimmer than regular switches as well. People who mainly use normal profile keyboards may not be accustomed to the typing feeling and sound of low profile switches at first.

2.2 Keycap

Similar to the switches, the low profile mechanical keyboards are equipped with low profile keycaps that are usually much thinner than normal keycaps to reduce the overall height.

2.3 Design

The low profile mechanical keyboard is more ergonomically friendly thanks to its low profile mechanical switches and keycaps. You don't need to raise your wrist to type, which can eliminate the pressure on the wrist to some degree. You may need a palm rest for a normal profile mechanical keyboard.

Take Keychron Q1 and Keychron S1 for instance, you can see that the Q1 normal profile has more structural components than S1 low profile (e.g., top case, gaskets, silicon gaskets, and case foam). The S1 body is slimmer with less space to add more objects.

Keychron Q1 layered structure

Keychron S1 layered structure

2.4 Customizability

Low profile mechanical keyboards have relatively limited options for keycaps and switches than normal profile ones. Even for mainstream switch brands, such as Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh, there are remarkably few options for low profile switches compared to normal profile switches.

Moreover, a normal profile mechanical keyboard has more room to spare for your mod.

3. Buying Suggestions

1. If you want a compact and simple design or portability, try a low profile mechanical keyboard that is less chunky and heavy.

2. If you want to try different keycaps and switches, choose a normal profile mechanical keyboard that has a variety of keycaps and switches to play with and more space inside for you to develop.

3. If you need to type for a long time or chase the ultimate typing experience, a normal profile mechanical keyboard is better. Most professional gamers and typists opt this option.

4. Keychron Keyboards

Keychron specializes in mechanical keyboards, including low profile and normal profile keyboards, with customization options to satisfy the needs of various users. Click on the button below to explore all of the options and collections we have available for you.