Whether you are playing games on your computer or working, a keyboard plays a highly significant role. Any high-quality keyboard can offer a great experience to the user. This is due to the tremendous tactile feedback and accuracy that you get with good keyboards such as mechanical keyboards. But almost all of the mechanical keyboard options out there come in a full-size keyboard.
While you get all of the keys on a full-size keyboard, such keyboards generally take up a lot of space. This can be an issue for those users who have a small and compact desk. Not only that but if you want a portable keyboard for on the go usage, a full-size keyboard is not the best option. And this is where tenkeyless mechanical keyboards or TKL keyboards come into play.
Since you already have a numbers row in a keyboard, most users out there do not need an additional Numpad on the side. And this is precisely what tenkeyless keyboards do by removing the Numpad to offer you a small and compact form factor. Although, since such keyboards are so handy and useful, there are a lot of options out there.
Because of this, it can get quite confusing while choosing the best TKL mechanical keyboard for you. Different tenkeyless keyboards offer different options and features that make them ideal for various users. Hence, today we are here with some of the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards.
We have mentioned all of the essential specifications as well as the pros and cons of these compact mechanical keyboards. You can even find a buying guide related to tenkeyless mechanical keyboards that can be quite handy to learn more about these keyboards. Hence, if you want the best TKL mechanical keyboard for you, make sure to go through this article until the end.
If you are looking for compact mechanical keyboards, you can find multiple options out there. Apart from full-size keyboards, you can also find other options like 40% keyboards, 60% keyboards, and tenkeyless keyboards. Although, the 40% and 60% keyboards might be relatively small for some users as they even miss out on a numbers row and arrow keys depending on the model that you buy. You can check detailed guide regarding this in our separate guide on Keyboard Sizes & Layout: The Complete Guide.
In other words, a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard offers an outstanding balance between size and functionality. Since these keyboards are great for both gaming as well as typing for regular everyday computing tasks, there are a lot of options out there with different features. Hence, we are here with the best TKL mechanical keyboards. You can go through the following tenkeyless keyboards one by one and easily choose the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard for you:
Best TKL Mechanical Keyboards
The Redragon K552 mechanical gaming keyboard can be an excellent option for those of you who are on a budget and still want a great TKL mechanical keyboard. It is one of the only budget options out there that comes with Cherry red mx equivalent Outemu Red key switches.
As a result, you get the best tactile feedback from this keyboard that is much better than other knockoff switches.
When combined with the decent keycaps of this keyboard, you also get pretty decent stabilization that ensures that these keys get pressed every time without any inaccuracy. These keys are also highly reliable since they support a total of 50 million keystrokes as their lifetime rating.
Since this gaming keyboard uses Outemu red key switches, you get n-key rollover anti-ghosting with this keyboard. As a result, you can press multiple keys at a time that can be quite handy while playing games on your computer. Despite having a compact form factor, you get a total of 12 multimedia keys in this keyboard. This is made possible because you get function macros in this keyboard. As a result, you can use the same keys for different functions using the function key of this keyboard.
And the best thing about these multimedia keys is that they work in almost all operating systems including Windows, macOS, and Linux out of the box. This is also true for its LED backlighting that can be controlled while using any device. It allows you to go through a total of 19 backlighting modes without needing any additional companion software on your computer.
While 17 of these modes are predefined and offer decent versatility, the rest of the two backlight modes are user-defined and can be changed as per your wish. Unfortunately, the backlighting of this keyboard is a single light and offers only red colour. Thankfully, you get a total of 6 brightness levels so that you can adjust it according to the light in your room.
- Very Affordable
- Raw Mechanical Feel
- N-Key Rollover and Anti-Ghosting is good for gaming
- 12 Multimedia Function keys
- Solid Steel Frame
- Only one light per row
- Keycaps are of average quality
HyperX is one of the most popular brands of gaming peripherals out there if you are looking for products made for competitive gameplay while using your computer.
HyperX’s Alloy FPS Pro TKL mechanical keyboard is most probably the best option for you if you just want a straight forward compact keyboard that makes for an excellent choice as a competitive keyboard.
As per its name, this keyboard can be a perfect option for those who want to play FPS games. This is made possible due to the reason that this keyboard uses Cherry MX Red switches that are one of the fastest ones.
These linear switches are highly popular among esports players due to the low actuation force that they require. And since these are Cherry MX switches, you can expect them to last for a long time without facing any issues quickly. One of the unique things about this keyboard is that it comes with a braided USB cable that can be removed if needed. Hence, you can easily replace it if it breaks or uses a different one for changing the default length of 6 feet.
Although, since this is a braided cable, the chances of it breaking are relatively low. When combined with its steel frame, this HyperX keyboard is one of the most durable and rigid keyboards out there with almost no deck flex. Moving over to the backlighting of this keyboard, it offers a very even and bright LED backlighting. That being said if you want multiple customisation options, this might not be the best option for you as you only get a single red colour.
However, you do get multiple colour lighting effects that are always great to have. It includes a total of 6 preset colour settings that result in different products for the user. When incorporated with the five brightness modes, you get decent customisation options in this keyboard. Just like any other Cherry MX switches keyboard, this one also offers full anti-ghosting to the user. It allows you to press all of the keys at once that can be quite handy while playing games.
- Excellent build quality for durability
- Fast red switches for FPS gaming
- Removable cable for ease of use
- Easy to use macros and function keys
- Limited colour customisation options
There are a lot of gaming product offerings from Razer ranging from laptops to peripherals that generally offer a great experience to the user.
This Razer Huntsman TKL gaming keyboard is one of the unique options present in this article. While most other keyboards in this article come with Cherry MX switches or any other mechanical switch, it comes with Razer’s Opto Mechanical key switches.
And this specific TKL mechanical keyboard model comes with the Razer Linear Optical switch. As you can tell by the name, these linear switches have a very low actuation force and critical travel.
It is quite similar to that of Cherry MX Red switches that make it an excellent option for FPS games. Although, since this is an optical switch, you get an even shorter input delay time while using this Razer keyboard. In other words, this gaming keyboard from Razer is most likely one of the best options for you if you want quick and responsive vital switches. When compared to the traditional Cherry MX switches, Razer’s optical switches offer a lifetime rating of up to 100 million keystrokes that is relatively high.
Other than having great switches, the keycaps of this TKL keyboard are also quite significant. These double shot PBT keycaps are slightly textured that offer an excellent grip for a long time. As these are double-shot keycaps, light passes through them correctly for the RGB lighting setup of this keyboard. Talking about its backlighting, it is one of the best in class, just like other Razer products. You can control all things of this keyboard using the companion software of this keyboard which is called Razer Synapse.
A great thing about this software is that you can use it to synchronize your keyboard with other Razer devices as well as Philips Hue bulbs. And all of this comes with game integration for an immersive gaming experience. As you would expect, you get full 16.8 million colour RGB lighting in this keyboard. Just like the previous HyperX gaming keyboard, this one also offers a detachable Type-C USB cable of 6.5 feet length.
- Perfect for portable and the on the go usage
- Highly customisable keyboard
- Fast and precise optical switches
- Removable USB cable for ease of use
- Slightly expensive
Also read: Top 10 Best Gaming Keypads with Analog Stick
Corsair is a brand of gaming products that are known for making the best in class gaming keyboards that are a great overall product for most users out there. If you are looking for a premium and comfortable to use TKL mechanical keyboard for gaming, the Corsair K65 LUX RGB can be an excellent option for a lot of users.
While it is not the most compact option out there, it offers a highly ergonomic and comfortable design to the user. It is the only option present in this article that comes with an inbuilt wrist rest.
This rubberised wrist rest offers a proper grip to the user while being comfortable to use. And if you want a compact keyboard, you can even remove this wrist rest if you’re going to. Talking about the keys of this keyboard, it uses Cherry MX Red switches that are relatively fast and accurate. These keys make for an excellent option for anyone who wants to FPS games.
A great thing about this Corsair gaming keyboard is that it uses aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminium for its frame. As a result, this keyboard is highly rigid without any flexing issues. And unlike a steel keyboard, it is relatively lightweight that allows you to carry it from one place to another easily.
While you get the standard 87 critical layouts in this keyboard, it even offers dedicated media keys. As a result, you do not need to use the function key just to change the volume of your computer while playing games. Another handy feature of this keyboard is that it comes with a USB pass-through port for connecting your wireless mouse dongle in it. Unfortunately, this keyboard from Corsair does not have a detachable cable that can be an issue for a few users out there.
As you would expect from any other premium keyboard brand, Corsair offers the support for a companion app called iCUE. It allows you to change the lighting as well as setup macro keys for a large number of customisations for making your keyboard one of a kind.
- Highly comfortable and ergonomic wrist rest
- Dedicated multimedia keys for ease of use
- USB pass-through port for other devices
- Comes with extensive customisation options
- Not the most compact TKL keyboard
Logitech is one of the most popular gaming peripheral brands among competitive and esports players because of their precise and accurate products.
For those of you who are looking for a gaming keyboard explicitly made for competitive gameplay, this keyboard is most likely the best option for you out there. As you can tell by its name, this keyboard goes along with other Logitech G Pro gaming products, all of which are made for competitive gameplay.
Starting with its mechanical switches, since this is a Logitech gaming keyboard, it uses Logitech Romer G switches.
These switches offer a total of 70 million keystrokes in their lifetime that is higher than Cherry MX switches. As for their required actuation force, they are quite similar to that of MX Red switches that make them ideal for users looking for a fast switch. All 89 keys of this keyboard come with anti-ghosting and 26 key rollovers that should be more than enough for most users out there.
And to offer you a great gaming experience, these key switches are combined with highly stable keycaps. To further provide you proper stabilization, you get an excellent build quality that ensures that there is no deck flex while using this keyboard. Despite being relatively compact and small, it includes rubber feet at the bottom. You can even use these rubber feet to adjust the angle of this keyboard in a total of three steps.
For those of you who are looking for customization options, you get proper 16.8 million RGB colour backlighting in this keyboard. You can control these lights as well as the macros of this keyboard using the Logitech Gaming keyboard quite easily. Thankfully, unlike most other keyboards, its companion software is supported on all operating systems including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
If you want to use a custom cable or want to replace the default one in case it breaks, then it can be done relatively quickly with this keyboard. While the cable is removable, its connector end has a different shape that makes it a bit difficult to replace with third party cables.
- Fast and highly responsive key switches
- Stable build quality
- Small and compact design
- Rubber feet with three angle adjustments
- Cable end connector is a bit large
SteelSeries is yet another highly popular brand of gaming peripherals that generally makes high-quality products that come with multiple handy features.
When compared with other options out there, the SteelSeries Apex M750 TKL mechanical keyboard is the best option for all those of you who are looking for multiple customisation options. Even though most of the options mentioned in this article come with full RGB lighting, this keyboard takes it to the next level.
Its 16.8 million colour RGB lighting can be adjusted relatively quickly and to a large extent. You get the support for SteelSeries’ PrismSync lighting in this gaming keyboard. As a result, you can synchronise this keyboard with the other SteelSeries devices that you have. It even offers the support for in-game notifications and data for changing the backlighting of this keyboard.
In other words, the colour of this keyboard can automatically adjust according to your HP, ammo, money, and other factors. Not only that, but if you use Discord while gaming, this keyboard even supports integration with Discord. It can be quite handy for getting notified about new messages and calls while playing your favourite games. All of this is possible by simply installing the SteelSeries Prism Lighting software on your computer. Whether you have a Windows computer, a macOS one, or a Linux machine, this software supports all of these platforms for ease of use.
Although, if you do not want to spend time making new colour effects, you can use one of the multiple preset lighting effects that come inbuilt in this keyboard. Moving over to its switches, just like Logitech and Razer, SteelSeries also uses its QZX2 switches. These switches require a low actuation force making them one of the fastest switches out there. In other words, these linear switches are quite similar to Cherry MX Red switches.
As for its construction, this SteelSeries tenkeyless mechanical keyboard uses an aerospace aluminium frame. This offers extra rigidity to the keyboard for preventing any flex in the body. You also get matte black keycaps in this keyboard that offer decent grip to the user and ensure that your fingers do not slip while gaming.
- Highly customisable lighting options
- Small and compact keyboard
- Fast and linear key switches
- Rigid aerospace-grade aluminium frame for construction
- Quite an expensive tenkeyless mechanical keyboard
Even though Aukey is mainly known for making mobile accessories, you can also find a few gaming peripheral options from Aukey, including a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard.
Just like most of the mobile accessories offered by Aukey, its compact mechanical keyboard made for gaming also comes at an affordable price tag. As a result, if you are on a budget and still want a mechanical keyboard, then this one can be a great option.
Despite having a low price tag, this Aukey keyboard offers multiple options and features to the user that results in a high value for money proposition for most users.
Although, since this is a budget keyboard, you get Outemu Blue mechanical switches with this keyboard. Thankfully, these offer decent tactile feedback with actuation force similar to that of a Cherry MX Blue switch. Another great thing about these switches is that you get a full 87 key rollover with anti-ghosting. This allows you to press multiple keys at once while gaming that can be quite handy.
Even though it is an affordable keyboard, it comes with a keycap remover that can be quite handy while cleaning this keyboard. Speaking of keycaps, it comes with decently stabilized keycaps. It uses double-shot moulded ABS keycaps that do not wear out and allow light to pass through properly for the backlighting support offered by this keyboard. When combined with its matte black casing, you get a decent build quality in this keyboard.
For those of you who are looking for customisation options, you get a decent RGB lighting setup. It includes a total of 7 colour settings and 2 preset lighting effects. As you would expect, you can even change the brightness of this gaming keyboard if you want to.
Although, you do not get any companion software with this keyboard which means that you have limited customisation options with this tenkeyless mechanical keyboard. While its USB cable length is a bit shorter than most other keyboards as it is rated at 5.74 feet, it should not be an issue for most users.
- Affordable price tag for users on a budget
- High value for money due to multiple features
- Easy to change backlighting options
- Decent build quality for longevity
- Does not come with any companion software
Apart from making PC cabinets and cooling products, you can also find peripheral gaming options from Cooler Master, including a tenkeyless gaming keyboard.
Almost all of the compact mechanical keyboards in this article are made for gamers in mind with their fast and linear switches. Hence, if you are looking for a keyboard for your typing needs, then this is a great option.
It is one of the only keyboards mentioned in this article that comes with Cherry MX Brown switches. While these keys are as tactile as Cherry MX Blue switches, they are much more silent. As a result, they make up for a great option if you want to type on this keyboard for a long duration at a given time.
But if you want, you can even use this keyboard for gaming as it offers almost all of the features and options provided by most other gaming keyboards mentioned in this article. For starters, it comes with full 16.7 million RGB backlighting on this keyboard. This backlighting can be easily adjusted and customised as per your wish. You can either use the companion software for extra features or stick to the function keys for adjusting this backlighting.
It offers a wide range of effects and full brightness control options to the user. You can even set up macros in this keyboard that are always handy for saving time while performing different functions on this keyboard. Although, as you would expect, this requires you to use the companion software of this keyboard for creating as well as using the macros.
Another great thing about this keyboard is that it offers 100% anti-ghosting to the user that can be quite handy while pressing multiple keys at once while playing games on your computer. The detachable USB keyboard of this keyboard is a braided one that makes it highly durable and reliable. Although the 4.9 feet length of this cable is relatively short when compared with other options. Thankfully, since it is a removable cable, you can replace it with a longer one for ease of use.
- Great keyboard for typing needs
- 100% anti-ghosting for gamers
- Various colour modes and options
- Small and compact design
- Included USB cable is a bit short.
Huo is a much smaller brand of keyboard and other computer peripherals when compared with other options present in this article.
The Huo JI Z-77 can be an excellent pick for a lot of users out there who are looking for a budget gaming keyboard that is small and compact. It comes with a total of 87 mechanical keys, all of which support n-key rollover along with anti-ghosting.
As a result, you can use this keyboard for gaming without any issues as it allows you to press multiple keys at a time.
Talking about its switches, it comes with Outemu Blue switches that are to be expected at the given budget price tag. While these are not as good as the Cherry MX Blue switches, they are quite decent for the given price. You get a total of 50 million keystrokes with these key switches.
Since it is a TKL mechanical keyboard, it has a small and compact design for smaller desks. Despite having a small and compact form factor, you get a little wrist rest on the bottom of this keyboard. As a result, it offers a decently comfortable and ergonomic design to the user. Since this keyboard is made for gaming needs, you get full RGB lighting in this keyboard.
While it might not be as good as more expensive options out there, it offers a total of 10 RGB colour modes. Thankfully, you do not need any companion software for going through these. You can use function key shortcuts to cycle through these colour modes. You also get multimedia essential shorts using the function key shortcuts in this keyboard that are always handy to have.
Even though this is a budget keyboard offering, it offers a metal construction for high rigidity in the body. When combined with its double shot ABS keycaps, you can expect this budget keyboard to last for a decent period. Just like most other tenkeyless gaming keyboards out there, this one also comes with a 6 feet long USB cord for ease of use.
- Affordable price tag for users on a budget
- Offers full n-key rollover and anti-ghosting
- Easy to change backlighting colour modes
- Comes with a small wrist rest for comfort
- Does not come with a companion software
Durgod is yet another lesser-known brand of computer peripherals like a keyboard that is quite different from other options made for gamers.
We have yet another tenkeyless mechanical keyboard that is made for those who just want a keyboard for typing needs. Just like the Cooler Master keyboard mentioned in this article earlier, this one also offers Cherry MX Brown switches.
Since these switches are quite tactile while being silent, they make for a great option in a keyboard made for office usage. To further make this keyboard ideal for work use, it comes with a subtle design.
Unlike most other gaming keyboards in this article that have RGB lighting, this one offers a subtle design. It features a white and grey colour design with a simple design that is quite similar to older keyboards. Although, while it might look old, it offers a wide range of handy features and options to the user.
One of the handiest features of this keyboard is that it supports Durgod’s Zeus Engine companion software. It allows you to create macros and key shortcuts for saving a lot of time while using this keyboard. And a great thing about this software is that it supports Windows as well as macOS for versatility.
Another handy feature of this keyboard is that it comes with two type C USB cable in the box. This includes 3.3 feet and a 5.9 feet cable so that you can choose either of them as per your wish. You even get a keycap puller in the box that is always handy to have if you wish to clean the keyboard or replace the keycaps with different ones. Unfortunately, this keyboard does not come with any backlighting, which can be an issue for a lot of users who want to use this keyboard in the night.
- Comes with two cables in the box
- Supports companion software for macros
- Small and compact design
- Great switches for typing needs
- Does not come with any backlighting
How to Choose a Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard?
As there are a lot of options out there, we have mentioned the best TKL mechanical keyboards. Because we have mentioned all of their essential details like features, specifications, pros and cons, and much more, you should know a lot about tenkeyless mechanical keyboards in general.
Not only that but all of this information can also be quite handy to differentiate between these keyboards for buying the best TKL mechanical keyboard. However, there is much more to know about while buying a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard. Due to this, while some of you might be still confused, others might be interested in learning more about these tenkeyless mechanical keyboards.
Hence, we are here with a detailed buying guide related to TKL keyboards. You can find various important and useful aspects and factors related to compact keyboards in this buying guide. In other words, you can pick up the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard after going through this buying guide:
1. Switches Characteristics
Even though all of the options present in this article are tenkeyless mechanical keyboards, their mechanical switches are different from each other. Hence, it is one of the most important things to check before buying a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard. Separate key controls offer different properties in terms of the actuation force, tactile feedback, and other things.
As a result, you can find a wide range of crucial switch options out there while testing the switches of a given tenkeyless mechanical keyboard. If you are going with a high-end keyboard, most of them will have Cherry switches. On the other hand, budget options might use something off-brand or from smaller brands like Gateron or Outemo depending on the model that you get.
Despite the brand of key switch that you pick, you can find different kinds of controls that have different colours. This includes options like blue switches, brown switches, red switches, and various others. While blue switches require a high actuation force, red switches are linear and an excellent pick for gaming.
Similarly, you can find different switches with different characteristics. You can also choose switches based on their feedback. Tactile switches, Linear switches and Clicky switches are the three general feedback in mechanical keyboards.
2. Lighting and Patterns
If you are buying a gaming keyboard for your PC setup, then the chances are that you are looking for keyboards with inbuilt backlighting. This LED lighting serves mainly two functions to the user that includes customisation as well as being able to read the switches in the night. While some models will come with a primary single colour backlighting option, other advanced models come with full RGB backlighting.
As you would expect, this allows you to set any colour for the keyboard backlighting. You can even change the brightness of the backlighting if you want to in these tenkeyless mechanical keyboards. Although, if you’re going to have full customization options while using such a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard, you should look out for lighting effects and patterns.
These are generally controlled with the help of a companion software included with a given keyboard. Some tenkeyless mechanical keyboards also come with key shortcuts for directly changing the light that eliminates the need for any companion software at all.
3. Keycap Construction
Apart from having suitable mechanical switches in a given tenkeyless mechanical keyboard, you also need good keycaps. There are various things to check in the keycaps of a given keyboard before buying one. This mainly includes the construction material used by a given keyboard. While most of the options come with ABS keycaps, some better models might have PBT keycaps.
Comparing ABS with PBT, PBT keycaps are considered to be much better. These last for a long time and do not get shiny as fast as ABS keycaps do. And since slippery keycaps are not suitable for grip, PBT keycaps are better than ABS. To further improve the grip offered by the keycaps, some keyboards come with rubberised keycaps. These have an extra grip layer on the top that ensures that your fingers do not slip from the keycaps.
You should also look out for keycaps that are adequately stabilized. Such keycaps ensure that they do not have any extra travel. And whether you press the keycap on the corner or in the centre, it should require the same actuation force to trigger the given key switch.
All of the tenkeyless mechanical keyboards present in this article have a standard size because of which they are called tenkeyless keyboards. Generally, if you are buying any tenkeyless mechanical keyboard with a traditional layout, it will have a total of 88 keys. It includes all of the keys found on a full size 104 key keyboard except for the Numpad present on the side. Hence, you get a total of 87 keys on a given tenkeyless mechanical keyboard.
But some keyboards might have a slightly modified layout in terms of the total number of keys included. This can consist of extra macro keys or media control keys on top of the keyboard. As you would expect, such keys can help you save a lot of time while using your computer and using these shortcut keys. Some keyboards also come with Gaming keypad and stick dedicated for gaming.
Although, you should remember that having extra keys also results in a larger footprint for the given keyboard. This can be an issue for users who want a small and compact keyboard for their gaming and typing needs.
Almost all of the modern tenkeyless mechanical keyboards out there, including the models mentioned in this article come with a USB connector. This makes these keyboards highly compatible as you can use them with almost any computer or device out there. You can even use these keyboards with a mobile device using an adapter.
Although, if you want to use such keyboards to their full potential, then you need to also check the compatibility for the companion software. While some of them are made just for Windows, others also support other operating systems like macOS and Linux so that everyone can use it.
If you are using a computer, then having a proper keyboard is highly essential. It can help you with both gaming as well as other tasks on your computer. And if you want all of the functionality of a full-size keyboard in a relatively compact form factor, a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard is the way to go.
These offer an outstanding balance between size and form factor as you still get most of the essential keys while having a compact keyboard. Since we have mentioned some of the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards in this article, we hope that you have selected the best one for you.
We have even mentioned their specifications along with the pros and cons so that you can easily differentiate between them. And the detailed buying guide present in this article will take you through various things related to such tenkeyless mechanical keyboards.
However, if you still have any doubts or any suggestions regarding the keyboards mentioned in this article, make sure to leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section down below.