The Best 40 Percent Keyboards - The OLKB Planck and Preonic

Small and Powerful

40% keyboards are small and powerful little keyboards that are portable and minimal. As opposed to "100%" keyboards with a full layout and number pad, 40% keyboards usually only have the set of alphas and a handful of modifier keys around them. Because of this, 40 percent keyboards heavily rely on programmability and shortcuts. Very few people use all the functionality of a full 100% keyboard, let alone have a need for the built-in functions there.

Planck & Preonic

This is where keyboards like the Planck and Preonic shine. They offer a compact keyboard that frees up space on your desk, and allows you to work more efficiently when set up with your own macros. The grid layout and universal 1u size of each keycap on the Preonic and Planck keyboards allows your to map a key or command without worrying about hierarchy.

For example, you can change the key of the default "Shift" or "Enter" and it's not a giant key compared to everything else. It's the same size as every other key and the experience is the same. Read our article on how to configure your Planck or Preonic to see how easy it is!


The latest version of the Planck keyboard supports hot swappable switches, LEDs, a small speaker and even rotary encoders. There are several offerings for baseplates: EOTW (easy on the wallet), hi-pro and low-pro. These keyboards usually come in as a kit with some light assembly required.

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The Preonic keyboard is the Planck's big brother with an extra row of keys for those really missing the number row or want more keys to customize. The newest version of the Preonic is almost identical the Planck in terms of features.

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