Full-sized keyboards are too big. 60% form factor keyboards are too small. So which TKL keyboard is going to be just right for you?
The Fnatic miniSTREAK is a serious contender for anyone looking to step up their gaming peripherals without increasing the footprint on their desk. As the marketing on their website says, it’s “…slim but strong. Built to be David, not Goliath.”
This little powerhouse features an anodized metal top plate that gives it structure. It also has premium Cherry MX switches, Competition Mode, and, of course, RGB.
Zoom In: Specs
- Format: Tenkeyless
- Size: 360x142x36mm
- Weight: 704g
- MCU & Memory: NXP / 8 MB
- Lighting: RGB 16.8m Colors
- Switches: Comes in Cherry MX Red, Silent Red, Blue, or Brown.
- Cable: 2.2m detachable USB Type-C
After removing the Fnatic miniSTREAK from its crisp black and white box, the first thing that struck me was the keyboard’s small footprint.
The tenkeyless form factor means this little guy won’t take up much space on your desk. This can be useful for someone with a smaller workspace, anyone who wants something portable, or those looking to keep a little extra mousing space.
The miniSTREAK’s anodized metal top plate comes in a color that’s somewhere between gunmetal and matte black. It looks clean and smooth, fitting with nearly any modern aesthetic. That is, until you use it. This keyboard attracts a lot of dust, hairs, and other small particles — meaning you’ll need to clean it regularly if you hope to keep it looking pristine (and for the sake of all that’s holy, keep the Cheetos away).
It also comes with a PU leather wrist rest that snaps into the base of the board. This is a lot firmer than your typical memory foam rest, but it makes up for that firmness by keeping your palms closer in line with the actual keys. The PU leather has a premium feel to it that I don’t typically associate with wrist rests. I personally prefer it to any of the memory foam ones I’ve used.
There are no less than six rubberized grips on the keyboard’s underside, which keeps it from moving around. Two of them are extendable, lending a little lift for those who prefer their keyboard to be angled toward them. A nice touch.
This is also where you’ll find a pathway to route your USB Type-C cable, keeping it secure, so you don’t have to worry about it accidentally coming disconnected in the middle of a battle royale.
One of the most interesting features is the removable magnetic signature plate on the back of the board. Fnatic promises that they will soon be offering customizable plates to replace it with your name or gamer tag. The back of the keyboard is not generally in view, but perhaps some gamers are looking to get creative with hand-cam placement?
+1 for Cherry MX Switches
Cherry MX is the name in mechanical key switches. Companies like Logitech and Razer have come a long way in making their own mechanical switches, but Cherry is the brand we always go back to.
You can order the miniSTREAK with one of four different types of Cherry MX switches.
- Red (linear)
- Silent Red (silent linear)
- Blue (clicky)
- Brown (tactile)
The ones that we sampled (and the ones that’ve gained the most popularity on this particular board) were the Silent Reds. They provided the right amount of tension to keep you from making any accidental keystrokes when resting your fingers on the keys without being heavy or fatiguing to depress.
The Silent Reds are considerably quieter than any other switches on the market. You might find this useful if your teammates are sick and tired of hearing the constant rat-a-tat-tat of your current keyboard over the mic, or if you want to be more considerate in a shared workspace.
That said, this keyboard is heavily marketed towards streamers and content creators. And whether you’re on Twitch, Mixer, Facebook or Youtube, you can count on the fact that no one wants to hear you clacking away at the controls.
Sam Woodhall uses the Fnatic miniSTREAK on his stream. For those of you who don’t know, Sam is a graphic designer who does design and animation work for Harris Heller, Pokimane, and Ninja.
The Fnatic OP software offers a decent range of options for customizing their devices. The keyboard has eight different RGB lighting modes built right into the firmware of the board itself, but pairing it with the native software allows you some more nuanced control. You can change colors, animation speed, and direction.
You can also use the Fnatic OP software to manage a feature called “Competition Mode,” a setting that disables selected keys, so only available keys are backlit. This makes it easier to find the control keys you need for a given game and cuts away the distraction of a full keyboard. There is also a dedicated key on the board (marked by the Fnatic logo), which switches this mode off and on.
While this board isn’t uncomfortable to type on, it’s clear that it was prioritized as a gaming board. The keys feel a little bit close together for my taste, and I’m still making considerably more typos on it than I usually do even after two weeks of use.
I should note that my wife has much smaller hands than I do, and she found the typing experience to be impeccable. Make of that what you will. It will undoubtedly make it easier to reach over and hit that “G” key when you need to huck a grenade. Life is all about priorities.
Coming in at an MSRP of $109, this keyboard is a pretty fierce addition to the TKL market. It’s $20 cheaper than the Corsair K65 and offers features and designs that hit well above its weight class.
The Fnatic miniSTREAK might just be the one to beat if you’re looking to add a small form factor board to your set up.
- Best Tenkeyless Keyboards
- Best 60% Gaming Keyboards
- Best Gaming Keyboards
- Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards
- Best Gaming Keypads
Zoom Out: Verdict
Performance - 8.5/10
Value - 9/10
Features - 9.5/10
The Fnatic miniSTREAK is a delightful little tenkeyless keyboard with Cherry MX Switches and stunning RGB lighting. Designed primarily for the streaming and eSports scenes, its size and software are perfect for dedicated players. For those seeking a productivity keyboard, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Competitive price
- Cherry MX mechanical switches
- Excellent software customization
- ABS key caps
- Difficult to keep clean
- Somewhat tight key spacing