When building your own PC for gaming or streaming, for example, keyboards make a big impact on how it all comes together in the end. Mechanical keyboards can give your setup your very own style and edge with backlight features, clicky switch noises, and fun keycaps. Not to mention, they are more effective for playing fast games as they will always read your keystrokes no matter how messy or quickly you type.
If you’re a gamer, you know that the best gaming keyboards will meet all of your needs and go beyond them to have the best gaming experience possible. They will have RGB lighting or wrist rest, work with Bluetooth, or contain media keys—it all depends on you. Many gamers opt for the full keyboard, so they have all the necessary keys that we’re all familiar with. However, others prefer more compact designs like 60% or TKL mechanical keyboards. If you’re planning to buy a keyboard and need help picking between these two styles, read on.
What is a TKL keyboard?
A TKL—or Tenkeyless—keyboard is a type of mechanical keyboard that contains most of the keys in a normal full keyboard. The only distinction is that, as the name implies, it has ten keys less because it does not include the 10-key numeric keypad on its right side. This allows the user to have more free space in their desk to place other accessories like your mouse to have a better reach or faster reaction time.
What is a 60% keyboard?
On the other hand, a 60% keyboard is a much more compact mechanical keyboard layout. As the name suggests, these layouts fit only 60% of the keys a normal keyboard would otherwise include. These keyboards are perfect for people who won’t use the arrow keys, have a much smaller desk, and prefer minimalism over functionality. There are much smaller keyboards, but this is the smallest one preferred by gamers. You may need to configure some keys due to its limited supply. However, if you would rather use the WASD keys for gaming instead of the arrow keys, then this keyboard may be what you’re looking for.
Choose the best layout for your setup.
Going through the differences between keyboards can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, it’s important to know what your preferences are before settling for one or the other. The purpose behind each keyboard is different. Although the TKL doesn’t have the Numpad, it still contains the number keys at the top, like the 60% keyboard. Both styles are customizable to your taste. This means, if they’re hot-swappable switches, you can change between different switches like linear, clicky, or tactile, and you can install new PBT keycaps or ABS keycaps.
These keyboards are also available waterproof. If you like gaming and eating or drinking and accidentally spill water on it, you can easily clean it without damaging it. Also, wireless keyboards are available for both styles. Some may even allow you to switch between wired and wireless settings. Lastly, if you want to switch between work and gaming, you can easily do so with both keyboard layouts.
Consider keyboard brands and prices.
Finally, once you have decided which keyboard you would like to use, research brand names and compare prices. If this is your first keyboard, you don’t want to splurge on a $120 Razer Huntsman Mini or a Corsair Champion Series (or maybe you do, but we won’t be held responsible for the overwhelming amusement this may bring). Instead, give it a shot first with a more economical option like a $60 Redragon Dranconic K530.
Picking your own keyboard for your gaming setup will be an exciting process. You will find so many settings and accessories that you want for yourself, and it will be a journey for continuous improvement. Decide today which of the TKL or 60% keyboards is the one for you, and game on!
Founder Dinis Guarda
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