Mechanical keyboards, by and large, are simply too big to fit comfortably in most computer setups nowadays. A sizable portion of the real estate is taken up by the number pad, which unless one is into data entry, is practically not that useful. Here are some options for mechanical keyboards that are TenKeyLess (TKL), meaning they come minus the number pad to be more compact.
If you find yourself torn choosing between the addictive clickety-clack of tactile mechanical switches and the smooth actuation of linear mechanical switches, fret not, for you can have the best of both worlds. The E-YOOSO Quiet Mechanical keyboard comes with hot-swappable switch sockets, meaning that you can change your switch type whenever you feel like or even mix and match. For example, you can leave the pre-installed red switches that it comes with for the WASD and gaming keys and pop off the rest with the included tool for Outemu blue mechanical switches for typing. The white keycaps look classy against the chrome body finish, while the aluminium top plate ensures a stable typing experience. You can control the keyboard’s backlighting as well as media playback via the function keys.
Is your full RGB gaming rig lacking an equally glorious TKL mechanical keyboard? The PICTEK TKL keyboard has you covered with its 27 different lighting modes that are sure to satisfy any RGB enthusiast. An understated design in black ensures that the LEDs are shown off to their best extent, while the double-shot injection moulded keycaps make sure that the legends don’t fade away after long term usage. The PICTEK keyboard also offers full key anti-ghosting, which means that consequent or simultaneous key presses all register correctly, making those sick combos off in games that much easier. The Blue mechanical switches offer a tactile bump and an audible click on keypress that helps in touch typing. The keyboard is completely plug and play - meaning that you don’t have to install any software nor drivers to get it up and running.
If you love to have long gaming sessions, a keyboard with a good ergonomic wrist rest is essential to avoid issues such as tendonitis. Enter the Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2. Its large, plush wrist rest helps you maintain good typing angles without putting undue pressure on your joints. The minimalist yet elegant design looks great on any desk, while the per-key RGB Chroma lighting makes it stand out from the rest. The proprietary Razer Green mechanical switches let you feel and hear every keypress for a satisfying gaming and typing experience. If you game or type for hours on end, the Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 is a solid option.
The ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Keyboard features a striking Electro Punk keycap set with black and hot pink keys on a brushed gunmetal body. Distinctive colours aside, the Strix Scope is a well-built keyboard with an aluminium top plate and german manufactured Cherry MX Red switches. The detachable type C USB cable makes transporting the keyboard easy as well as doubling up as a charging cord for your other type C devices. The extra-long left CTRL-key lets you have greater accuracy for this frequently used “crouch” key in most FPS games. What’s more, you can record macro keybinds on the fly, letting you perform repetitive functions with a single keypress.
The Gamdias Hermes E2 keyboard brings the compactness of the TKL form factor at a much more pocket-friendly price point. The Hermes E2 is a well-built keyboard featuring a metal top plate and Gamdias certified blue mechanical switches, which should deliver the distinctive typing feel and sound you expect from mechanical keyboards. The keyboard features a variety of lighting modes that cycle between seven colours and can be changed according to one’s preference. It also has an N-Key rollover, which means that you can be sure that all your inputs are read without any ghosting. The capability to record macros and execute them with the function key makes this board surprisingly feature-packed for its price point.
The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is a high quality, premium keyboard with several unique features that set it above the rest. It is solidly built using series 5000 aircraft-grade aluminium alloy that keeps it light and yet sturdy. The onboard OLED display delivers information to you from supported games and software. For example, you can easily view your KDA in CS: GO, or if you are on Discord, the display shows you the handle of the active speaker in voice chat. The USB passthrough lets you manage the wire clutter on your desk more easily, letting your setup look much tidier. The magnetic wrist rest is easy to attach and detach, while the soft-touch finish eliminates any friction on your wrist during frantic gaming sessions. The per-key customisable lighting is vibrant and can be synced to the rest of your rig via software to ensure uniformity.