What is a tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard?

With the rise of the game industry, the market for mechanical gaming keyboards is also growing. Therefore, more and more mechanical keyboards of various sizes and designs have begun to appear in the market, and a new trend has gradually formed. Among the current game keyboard layouts, there are 3 layouts that are most widely accepted by players, namely 60% layout, 80% layout and 100% layout, and these layouts are changed based on the full-size keyboard.

What is a tenkeyless keyboard?

“Tenkeyless” means “ten key less”, so a tenkeyless keyboard or TKL keyboard is a full-size keyboard minus the 10 numeric keys on the right. But in fact, it is not just that 10 numeric keys have been subtracted, and the other 7 keys in the numeric key area have also been subtracted. After subtracting the number key area on the right, there are two sizes, 75% and 80%, depending on the layout. Therefore, TKL keyboards are 80% or 75% layout keyboards minus the number key area, and they usually have 87 or 84 keys.

75 vs 80 TKL keyboard

80 keyboards usually have 87 or 88 buttons, with the 87-key layout being more common. 75 keyboards usually have 80-84 keys, with 84 keys being more common. Let’s compare 80% and 75% keyboards by taking the most common 87-key 80% keyboard and 84-key 75% keyboard as an example.

Compared with the 80% keyboard, the 75% keyboard usually has 3 fewer keys, namely the right mouse button, the Ins key and the Delete key. Among them, the right mouse button is a button that will definitely be missing, and the Ins and Delete buttons may not be missing. According to the debugging of different keyboard manufacturers, it may be changed to minus the Scroll Lock key and other keys, but the relatively commonly used PaUp, PaDn, End, Home and other keys will be retained.

Why do gamers usually use TKL gaming keyboards?

Compared to 100% full-size keyboards, TKL keyboards are more streamlined and compact. This will allow you to gain more room for the mouse to move around without losing any of the usual function keys, or free up desk space for other items. Also, because the full-size keyboard is longer, your hands will be farther apart, which for some players will make them more comfortable. In addition, because the TKL keyboard is smaller and lighter than the full-size keyboard, the TKL keyboard will be more convenient to carry when traveling, which will be more convenient for laptop users.

Are there any disadvantages to TKL keyboards?

Compared to a full-size keyboard, the TKL keyboard does not lack any functionality. Therefore, for most users, the TKL keyboard is a very last choice, especially for gamers, because most games do not need to enter numbers frequently, but the extra mouse space is very important for their operations. . However, it should be noted that because there is no numeric key area on the right, you need to find the numeric keys on the top of the keyboard every time you enter a number, which is not as convenient and fast as selecting the input through the numeric key area on the right. , then the TKL keyboard may make you feel inconvenient to use and will increase your typing time.

In addition, many full-size keyboards now have 4 media keys in the upper right corner, which is more convenient for adjusting media settings, while TKL keyboards do not have the additional 4 media keys.

If you want to buy or mass-customize TKL keyboards, I also recommend 2 good TKL mechanical keyboards below.

1. White and Black TKL Wired Gaming Keyboard


Backlight: Rainbow LED Backlight
Anti-ghosting: 26 Keys
Keycaps: ABS
Switch: Green Axis (Outemu)
Hot swap: Not Support
Size: Ansi 80%
Connect: Wired

The CB-K550 is a nice TKL layout gaming mechanical keyboard priced at $15.90.

This keyboard features a classic black and white layout with green switches, rainbow LED backlighting, and two-tone injection-molded light-transmitting keycaps, which will give you nice lighting and a crisp typing sound. Unfortunately, this keyboard only supports USB wired connection and does not support hot swapping, but the price is cheap.

2. Wired And Wireless Macro Programming Hot-swappable TKL Mechanical Keyboard


Backlight: RGB LED            Macro: Support
Anti-ghosting: All Keys      Keycaps: ABS
Polling rate: 1000Hz          Wrist rest: Yes
Switch: Black/Red/Blue/Brown (Outemu)
Hot swap: support
Size: Ansi 60/80/100%
Connect: Bluetooth & 2.4G & Wired

CB-TMK61 is a wireless 3-mode macro programming mechanical keyboard.

In terms of keyboard layout, CB-TMK61 adopts ANSI physical layout and has 3 sizes of 60%, 80% and 100%. The 60% size has 61 keys, omitting the function key area and numeric key area on the right side, so it will be more compact and take up less space. 80% of the size is Tenkeyless layout, with 87 keys, the number key area on the right is discarded, but the function is complete, and there is no lack of any function. 100% of the size is a full-size layout, with 108 buttons, and there are 4 multimedia buttons in the upper right corner of it, which can quickly adjust the volume and other functions.

CB-TMK61 adopts Outemu’s mechanical switch, there are four types of black/red/blue/tea switches that can be hot-swappable. If you want to replace its switch in the future, it will be very easy. Different from ordinary membrane keyboards, mechanical switches have a longer service life, and each key can withstand more than 50 million taps. In addition, the CB-TMK61 adopts a full-key anti-ghosting design, and its keyboard of any size supports full-key no-rush, avoiding the embarrassment of key conflict in the game.

In terms of lighting, this gaming keyboard uses RGB backlight and supports 20 lighting modes, 4 backlight brightness levels, and adjustable breathing speed. You can customize the lighting if you want. CB-TMK61 supports macro programming function to adjust the parameters and functions of the keyboard. Therefore, it allows users to freely define the color and mode of the light, and can store up to 5 custom lighting.

The CB-TMK61 supports three connection methods: Bluetooth, 2.4G and USB wired connection. One choice can satisfy all connection methods, so you don’t have to worry about choosing a wired or wireless keyboard.

In order to reduce the wrist fatigue caused by players’ time use, we have equipped it with a detachable plastic hand rest, which will relieve your hand fatigue to a certain extent. Of course, if you don’t need it, it can be removed without any detrimental effect on the use of the keyboard.


If you want to see more gaming keyboards, please click on our gaming keyboards and mouse to enter the store.

You might be interested:

1. How Many Keys In A Keyboard?

2. ANSI vs ISO Keyboards: Which one is Better For You?

3. Detailed introduction of keycap profiles and materials