A quality tenkeyless keyboard (TKL) is essential for every competing gamer, as it can decide between winning or losing. The last thing you need is to be blocked by the keyboard when gaming against a friend or in a competitive fight.
The best gaming keyboards are designed according to the gamer’s wishes and the manufacturer’s intention to implement as many advanced functions as possible.
Some of the advanced features without which we cannot imagine a modern gaming keyboard are:
- N-key rollover,
- creating and using macros,
- installing various types of switches,
- detachable USB-C power cable,
- RGB backlight by key,
- separate multimedia keys, etc.
Modern gaming keyboards must withstand years of intensive use and millions of keystrokes and allow gamers to use them as comfortably as possible during gaming sessions.
What is a Tenkeyless keyboard?
Gamers have used 104-key full-format keyboards for years. Recently, we have smaller format keyboards on the market that have become very popular, called tenkeyless or abbreviated TKL.
The main difference is that the tenkeyless keyboard doesn’t have a numeric part compared to a full-size keyboard. Specifically, the TKL doesn’t have ten dedicated keys (0 to 9) that appear on the classic keyboards on the right. This size is 80% of a traditional keyboard with 104 keys, while the tenkeyless keyboard has 87 keys.
A tenkeyless keyboard is probably not for you if you’re into spreadsheets. Look for a 104-key keyboard. But if you are a gamer or often don’t use Numpad, TKL design is as created for you.
Of course, although TKL doesn’t physically have a Numpad, you have access to the numbers on the top of the keyboard.
The advantage of tenkeyless keyboards
- It takes up less space
You often lack space on the desk with a larger keyboard, which isn’t suitable for gamers. Your desk can be physically small, which aggravates when additional space is needed to move the mouse. More excellent proximity to the keyboard and mouse means less strain on the arms, shoulders, and wrists, contributing to more prolonged and comfortable gaming.
- Excellent portability
It’s much easier to put a smaller keyboard in your backpack and go to a friend’s for a game session, a trip, or a gaming tournament. Some versions of these keyboards come with a detachable USB-C cable which contributes to even greater portability.
Tenkeyless keyboards are usually mechanical and come with quality switches such as Cherry Mx original or other manufacturers. You can determine how the keyboard behaves during operation based on the color of the switch. Mechanical keyboards usually come with red, blue, or brown switches.
The red switches have a linear feel; they don’t have a tactile sound to confirm a keystroke. The red switches are quiet and choose them if you are looking for fast action with minimal key resistance in games.
Choose blue switches if you write a lot. They have a clear-click sound and are certainly the loudest mechanical switches. Select blue switches if you like to hear confirmation of each keystroke. The disadvantage is undoubtedly the noise generated by these switches.
Brown switches are the middle between red and blue switches. They have a specific tactile audio response, quiet running, and less activation force than blue, so it’s an ideal combination for typing and gaming. Choose brown switches if you prefer precision to speed in games.
The tenkeyless keyboard (TKL) is a favorite weapon in the hands of gamers. Today’s most popular gamers likely use the tenkeyless keyboard design to achieve top gaming results.
For this reason, these keyboards are mostly made as mechanical and come with higher quality mechanical switches, often the original Cherry MX. Tenkeyless keyboards come with additional options that contribute to more efficient and enjoyable work.
On the market, you can find gaming keyboards of even smaller formats, the so-called 60%. This number shows how much smaller this compact keyboard is than the standard size of a classic keyboard. 60% keyboard is the additional increase of workspace and even easier portability than TKL keyboards.
Many e-sport gamers, streamers, and the traditional audience of writers are slowly turning to this type of keyboard, which is taking a share of the market from TKL.
I sincerely hope you find some model for yourself, and at the end of this article – good luck with gaming and typing.
If you have any questions about tenkeyless keyboards, leave me a comment.