Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard compact models without a number pad, and usually with mechanical switches—are becoming fast favorites among space-strapped PC users and gamers. Here’s how to shop for the best.Own a tenkeyless keyboard? It never fails: Someone passes by your cubicle, or your work area at home, glances at your computer keyboard, moves on, stops, backs up, and asks, “What happened to your keyboard?”
They’ll look at it and not be sure why it looks different. Then they’ll figure it out: no number pad. That’s what makes for a Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard. Those ten keys on the right (plus a few more) will be missing.
Why aren’t more people familiar with Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard? For starters, as a subclass of keyboards being actively pushed to consumers, they’re fairly new. (As you shop for them, you may also see them referred to as “TKL” keyboards for short.) And perhaps it’s because when some people think computer and think small, they skip right down from full-size workstations and desktops to laptops or even smartphones. (“Who’s a cute little Android? You are!“) Their own workspaces are spacious enough for all their needs—and if they aren’t, they simply move some items off of it to fit a keyboard, not even realizing they can downsize the keyboard itself. After all, for ages keyboards have come in one typical size that accommodates a QWERTY letter area, a median navigation-keys area, and a number-pad area.