TKL vs 65 Keyboards: The Battle of Compactness

Selecting the optimal keyboard might seem overwhelming, given the vast array of choices. TKL (Tenkeyless) and 65% keyboards are two prominent options, each bearing unique features and advantages. To aid you in making an informed choice, this guide will delve into the core differences between these keyboard sizes, underpinned by solid research.

Bear in mind, your personal preference reigns supreme when deciding on a keyboard. As you delve in, consider which features and characteristics resonate with your needs, and explore further resources on keyboard sizes and comparisons, like TKL vs. 60%, and TKL vs. 65%.

TKL (Tenkeyless) Keyboards

Overview and Key Features

TKL keyboards, while larger than their 60% and 65% counterparts, reserve additional space for handy keys like arrows, insert, and home keys. These keyboards cater to users who prefer enhanced functionality but may not require a full-sized keyboard equipped with a numeric keypad.


A primary allure of TKL keyboards lies in the provision of extra keys, enhancing versatility for diverse uses. These supplementary keys prove invaluable for a range of tasks, from data entry and programming to gaming. Moreover, TKL keyboards offer a functionality leap compared to smaller keyboards, such as 60% and 65% variants.


The main drawback of TKL keyboards is their larger footprint, which requires more desk space. Consequently, this may lead to an increased reach for the mouse, potentially causing discomfort or strain during extended use.

65% Keyboards

Overview and Key Features

65% keyboards serve as a great alternative to full-size and mini keyboards, offering many of the same features as TKL keyboards but without the numpad. These compact keyboards are designed to strike a balance between functionality and space-saving, catering to users who prefer a smaller keyboard without sacrificing essential keys.


One of the most notable advantages of 65% keyboards is their improved ergonomics. Their compact size requires less reach for the mouse, which can help prevent repetitive strain injuries (RSI) during prolonged use. Additionally, 65% keyboards feature dedicated arrow keys and delete, page up/down keys, ensuring that users can access crucial functions without hassle.

The main typing area on a 65% keyboard is centered on the desk, with one key width extra on the right side. This design element can provide a more comfortable typing experience for many users. Furthermore, 65% keyboards offer features like media keys and macro functions, which can be accessed through the secondary function of each key.

Customizability is another advantage of 65% keyboards. They can be ordered with preset Cherry MX switches or custom builds for NK Sherbet switches, allowing users to tailor the keyboard to their specific preferences. Finally, 65% keyboards are suitable for various tasks, including writing, text editing, graphics design work, and gaming, and can save valuable desk real estate for trackpads or trackpoints.


While 65% keyboards offer many advantages, they are still slightly smaller than TKL keyboards. As a result, users who are accustomed to full-sized keyboards may need some time to adjust to the more compact layout.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between TKL and 65% Keyboards

When weighing up the choice between TKL and 65% keyboards, several considerations come into play. Below, we distill the most crucial aspects to contemplate.

Personal Preference

Your preferences should be the primary driver of your decision. Consider what features you value most in a keyboard and how each option aligns with your needs and habits.

Desk Space

The amount of available desk space can significantly impact your choice. If you have limited space or want to maintain a clean and minimal workspace, a smaller keyboard like a 65% or 60% might be more suitable.

Intended Use

Consider the tasks you’ll be performing with your keyboard. Are you primarily typing, gaming, or working on graphic design projects? Understanding your intended use can help you determine which keyboard size best meets your requirements.

Ergonomics and Comfort

The ergonomics of a keyboard play a crucial role in comfort during extended periods of use. A keyboard that requires less reach for the mouse or has a more centered typing area may lead to a more comfortable experience.

Customizability and Switch Options

Many users value the ability to customize their keyboards, including switch options like Cherry MX or NK Sherbet switches. If customizability is important to you, ensure the keyboard you choose provides the options you desire.


TKL and 65% keyboards each offer unique benefits and drawbacks. By understanding the key differences between these two keyboard sizes, you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your personal preferences and needs.

Remember to explore other resources on keyboard sizes, TKL vs. 60%, and TKL vs. 65% keyboards to further inform your decision. Ultimately, the ideal keyboard for you is the one that feels comfortable, meets your functional requirements, and suits your unique preferences.