When was the last time you used the 10-key number pad while gaming? If you’re like most gamers, the answer is never. So why waste your precious mousing space on a bulky keyboard made for office work? The answer is simple: you shouldn’t. Instead, get yourself a gaming tenkeyless keyboard.
The best tenkeyless keyboards are sleek, compact, and professional-grade peripherals that are all the rage in the eSports community. They remove the number pad on the right side of the keyboard in favor of a smaller, more ergonomic layout. This makes tenkeyless keyboards easier to use and provides a lot more room for maneuvering. Suffice to say, there’s case building that going TKL does provide a competitive edge.
Ready to ditch the ‘ol 104-key behemoth, and upgrade to the best TKL keyboard? Let’s get started.
Zoom Out: 10 Best Tenkeyless Keyboards Comparison
In the table below, we’ve curated a top 10 list of tenkeyless keyboards to give you a look at the best models on the market. They’re listed in price-ascending order and categorized by features. For a closer look at each unit, head to the Zoom In section below.
|1. Arteck HB030B||Membrane||Wireless||💰||Check Price|
|2. Redragon K552-N||Outemu||Wired||💰||Check Price|
|3. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro||Cherry MX||Wired||💰💰||Check Price|
|4. Cooler Master SK630||Cherry MX||Wired||💰💰||Check Price|
|5. Corsair K63||Cherry MX||Wireless||💰💰💰||Check Price|
|6. Logitech G PRO||Romer-G||Wired||💰💰💰||Check Price|
|7. Razer Huntsman TE||Razer Linear Optical||Wired||💰💰💰||Check Price|
|8. SteelSeries Apex Pro||OmniPoint Adjustable||Wired||💰💰💰||Check Price|
|9. KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge||Cherry MX||Wired||💰💰💰💰||Check Price|
|10. Massdrop CTRL||Cherry MX, Halo, Kaihua||Wired||💰💰💰💰||Check Price|
What to Look For
Before we move on, let’s quickly touch on what to look for when choosing a tenkeyless keyboard.
The best TKL mechanical keyboards feature ‘switches’ underneath each key. These switches provide tactility and signal the computer to register your keystrokes.
Naturally, there are all different types of switches, and some are better than others. Top-rated options include Cherry MX, Romer-G, and custom-crafted in-house solutions. Our recommendation? If you’re looking for a balanced switch that’s guaranteed to boost your game, you can’t go wrong with Cherry MX.
2. Wired vs. Wireless Connectivity
The second consideration is whether you want a wired or wireless model.
Wired models are easy to set up and use. Simply plug it in and forget about it. Wireless models, on the other hand, offers lots of flexibility and are great for traveling. But there are often syncing issues with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless technologies, and you’ll need to charge them regularly.
The choice is yours, but most pro gamers choose wired models for stability and overall performance.
After you’ve sorted through switches and connectivity types, it all comes down to features.
Gaming tenkeyless keyboards boast a range of specifications that enhance the gaming experience. From ergonomic add-ons like wrist rests, to performance-boosting technologies like NKRO, to aesthetic extras like LEDs, it’s simply a matter of finding what’s important to you.
Fortunately, our list of TKL keyboards offers a variety of stellar options to choose from.
Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 10 Best TKL Keyboards in 2021
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at our top 10 picks.
Manufacturer: Arteck | Switches: Membrane | Connectivity: Wireless | Style Options: 1 | Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.25 x 6 inches | Price: 💰
The Arteck HB030B is the best TKL membrane keyboard in this price range. It’s exceptionally versatile, boasting Bluetooth 3.0 and universal compatibility with all your favorite gaming platforms. Choose between 7 different LED backlight colors, and enjoy whisper-quiet gaming for up to 6 months per charge. It’s no mechanical keyboard, but you can’t beat the price.
✔ Compact & affordable
✔ 7 LED backlight colors
✔ Universal compatibility
✘ Inefficient on PC
✘ Slow response time
Manufacturer: Redragon | Switches: Outemu | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 2 | Dimensions: 1.5 x 14.5 x 6 inches | Price: 💰
Seeking a cheap TKL mechanical keyboard with all the essential features? The Redragon K552-N is a fiery-hot choice.
This space-saving, ergonomic keyboard is a fraction of the price of comparable models, but it’s jam-packed with top-tier specs. What can you expect? Aircraft-grade aluminum framing, anti-ghosting gaming technology, best-in-class Outemu Mechanical Switches, and much more. The Redragon K552-N is among the absolute top it terms of average reviews for gaming keyboards under $30.
✔ Outemu Switches
✔ Anti-ghosting w/ key rollover
✔ Durable aircraft-grade construction
✘ No backlighting
✘ Letters fade quickly
Manufacturer: HyperX | Switches: Cherry MX | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 2 | Dimensions: 14 x 5 x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰💰
Ready to take things up a notch? The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is used by top esports players to dominate in first and third-person shooters.
If you’re a fan of games like Fortnite, PubG, or Call of Duty, this baby is sure to impress. In addition to Cherry MX Switches, you’ll find cutting-edge features like anti-ghosting, key rollover, and dynamic lighting. All built atop a solid steel frame for maximum durability. It’s the best tenkeyless gaming keyboard for shooter fanatics.
✔ Solid steel frame
✔ HyperX backlighting
✔ Game Mode w/ anti-ghosting
✘ Uses 2 USB ports
✘ Cheaper keycaps
Manufacturer: Cooler Master | Switches: Cherry MX | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 2 | Dimensions: 14 x 5 x 1 inches | Price: 💰💰
There’s cool. And then there’s Cooler Master.
With the SK630, you get premium functionality at a bargain-basement price. We’re talking low-profile Cherry MX Switches, floating keycaps, and on-the-fly controls. As for style? Choose between sleek black or minimalist white, then complete the look with your choice of 16.7 million backlight color options. Still not convinced? The brushed aluminum frame with ergonomic contours provides a comfy experience that’ll keep you at peak performance for hours at a time. It’s a no-brainer.
✔ Floating keycaps
✔ On-the-fly controls
✔ Brushed aluminum frame
✘ QC issues
✘ Learning curve
Manufacturer: Corsair | Switches: Cherry MX | Connectivity: Wireless | Style Options: 3 | Dimensions: 14.5 x 7x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
Sail through your games aboard a Corsair K63, the best wireless TKL keyboard on our list. What makes it so unique? This baby boasts USB pass-through, 8MB of built-in storage (for macros), Corsair iCUE lighting, and unrivaled portability. Take control of the match and experience true freedom once and for all.
✔ 8MB of built-in storage
✔ 2.4GHz wireless technology
✔ RGB backlighting w/ Corsair iCUE
✘ Heavy build
✘ Occasionally loses connection
Manufacturer: Logitech | Switches: Romer-G | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 1 | Dimensions: 6 x 14 x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
As the weapon of choice for countless top players, you can expect pro-level performance from the Logitech GP.
This heavy hitter features one of the cleanest and most ergonomic designs on our list, complemented by precision switches and sexy LEDs. Its portable frame was built with esports athletes in mind, and it works great for travel, or as your permanent battle station. As one of the brightest tenkeyless RGB mechanical boards available, it’s guaranteed to spice up your setup.
✔ 12 programmable keys
✔ Ergonomic design & cable
✔ LIGHTSYNC for backlight programming
✘ Permanent switches
✘ G Hub App has issues
Manufacturer: Razer | Switches: Razer Linear Optical | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 1 | Dimensions: 5.5 x 14.5 x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
Join the hunt with the Huntsman Tournament Edition from Razer Gaming! You can expect top-tier performance from Razer that’ll bring consistency and style to your gaming.
Enjoy custom-crafted Razer Switches rated up to 100 million clicks, as well as aluminum construction and double-shot PBT keycaps for added stability. Simply set up the keyboard, sync with Razer Chroma, and customize your experience from the LEDs to the Macros. The hunt is on.
✔ Syncs w/ Razer Chroma
✔ Detachable USB-C cable
✔ Aluminum & PBT craftsmanship
✘ Loud keys
✘ Compatibility issues
Manufacturer: SteelSeries | Switches: OmniPoint Adjustable | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 1 | Dimensions: 5.5 x 14 x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
Are you a speed demon looking for the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard? If so, you’ve found it!
The Apex Pro boasts the “world’s fastest mechanical switches,” aka the proprietary OmniPoint Adjustables from SteelSeries. These bad boys feature adaptable 0.4–3.6mm actuation points, allowing you to adapt the feel of your keyboard for maximum performance. Throw in an OLED Smart display, on-board memory, and a premium magnetic wrist rest – and you’ve got yourself one of the best tenkeyless keyboards available.
✔ Magnetic wrist rest
✔ OLED Smart Display
✔ Rated for 100 million keystrokes
✘ QC issues
✘ Subpar printed keys
Manufacturer: KINESIS Gaming | Switches: Cherry MX Mechanical | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 1 | Dimensions: 15.5 x 10.5 x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰💰💰💰
Feeling the flow? Play freestyle with the Freestyle Edge from KINESIS Gaming. This baby features a versatile, ergonomic design that’s split right down the middle. The two sides contour perfectly to your wrists, providing top-notch support and unbelievable precision in your favorite titles. And that’s not to mention the slew of exceptional features like RGB lighting, SmartSet programming, NKRO, and more. It’s hands down the best ergonomic keyboard without a number pad.
You can check out our in-depth review of the KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge here.
✔ Split ergonomic design
✔ 1ms response time w/ NKRO
✘ Learning curve
Manufacturer: DROP | Switches: Cherry MX, Halo, or Kaihua | Connectivity: Wired | Style Options: 2 | Dimensions: 14.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰💰💰💰
The Massdrop CTRL is the perfect multi-purpose TKL. It boasts a sleek, yet unassuming design that looks as great at the office as it does at the battle station. But underneath the modest exterior is an absolute machine.
We’re talking aluminum framing, hot-swappable switches, optimized per-key backlighting, and programmable functions via QMK firmware. Gear up with Massdrop’s special CTRL keyboard. It is our pick for the most stylish 87-key mechanical keyboard.
✔ Choice of switches
✔ QMK programming
✔ Durable aluminum frame
✘ Input issues
✘ Very expensive