TKL vs Full-Size Keyboards: The Ultimate Showdown

When diving into the ocean of computer peripherals, keyboards stand tall as vital tools for gaming enthusiasts and professionals alike. Yet, the variety of sizes and styles might make you feel like a kid in a candy store – overwhelmed by choices. Today, we’re navigating the waters of TKL (tenkeyless) and full-size keyboards, arming you with the knowledge to make a confident decision.

Understanding Keyboard Sizes

Before we jump into the specifics of TKL and full-size keyboards, let’s get a quick understanding of keyboard sizes. The standard full-size or 100% keyboard typically boasts between 104-108 keys, including a row of function keys, arrow keys, and a full-size number pad. In contrast, TKL keyboards, also known as 87% keyboards, usually have 87 keys, basically a full-size keyboard minus the number pad on the right. There are also 60% keyboards, but for today’s discussion, we’ll focus on TKL and full-size variants.

Full-Size Keyboards

Full-size keyboards are a classic choice, providing all the keys you’d ever need for any task. The inclusion of a full number pad makes data entry a breeze, while the distinct row of function keys enhances usability for various applications. This complete functionality is one of the primary reasons users gravitate towards full-size keyboards.

Full-size keyboards bring to the table a few challenges, despite their many perks. Their substantial footprint could be a concern if your desk space is akin to prime real estate. But, if you’re someone with a desk that stretches into the horizon, this might not even be a blip on your radar.

Another point to consider is gaming. Some games heavily rely on the number pad, meaning that players using full-size keyboards might have an edge.

TKL Keyboards

If you’re looking for something more compact, a TKL keyboard might be your perfect match. These keyboards save valuable desk space by removing the number pad. This more streamlined design can also provide a more comfortable typing experience, as it allows for a more natural hand placement.

The TKL keyboards have an ace up their sleeve – the additional mouse space on the right side, a boon for low DPI gamers who need ample room for mouse maneuvers. For those drawn to first-person shooter or real-time strategy games, TKL keyboards might just be your secret weapon. For the best options, check our guide about the best TKL keyboards on the market.

But, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. TKL keyboards wave goodbye to the number pad, potentially creating hiccups with games not optimized for this layout. But remember, the modern gaming world is versatile, allowing key remapping that can largely solve this issue.

Gaming Considerations

When it comes to gaming, the choice between full-size and TKL keyboards comes down to personal preference and the specific game’s requirements. As mentioned earlier, games that rely on the number pad may favor full-size keyboards. On the other hand, games that demand quick mouse movements might benefit from the extra space provided by TKL keyboards.

Ultimately, choosing a keyboard size for gaming should be based on your individual gaming style and comfort. It’s worth trying out both types if possible, to see which one fits your gaming needs the best.

Professional Use and Ergonomics

When it comes to professional use, both full-size and TKL keyboards have their unique advantages and disadvantages. For instance, full-size keyboards are ideal for tasks requiring frequent number input, such as accounting or data analysis, thanks to the dedicated number pad. In contrast, TKL keyboards provide a more compact and portable option for professionals constantly on the go or working in small spaces.

Ergonomics play a crucial role in keyboard selection for extended periods of use. TKL keyboards can be more ergonomic for some users, as the smaller design allows for a more natural hand and wrist position while typing. This can lead to reduced strain and discomfort during long work sessions.

When selecting the appropriate keyboard size for your professional needs, it’s essential to consider the specific tasks you perform daily and prioritize comfort and efficiency. And, yes, size does matter when it comes to keyboards.

Price Comparison

Let’s talk money, shall we? When you’re eyeing up a new keyboard, cost plays an undeniable role. In general, both TKL and full-size keyboards span a broad price range, from budget-friendly options to high-end models, with the final price tag often dependent on the brand, features, and build quality.

Full-size keyboards, with their wealth of keys and bonus features, can sometimes lean toward the pricier end of the spectrum. The additional space paves the way for extras like dedicated media keys and macro keys, a lure for users who relish comprehensive functionality. If you enjoy indulging in these luxuries and don’t flinch at spending a little more, a full-size keyboard could be your perfect companion.

TKL keyboards, while sporting a compact form, don’t necessarily fall short in the price department. High-end TKL variants can potentially match, if not exceed, the price tags of full-size keyboards, particularly those boasting premium perks like per-key RGB lighting or top-notch mechanical switches. But, if you’re on a budget, worry not; the TKL world is also home to numerous wallet-friendly models that don’t compromise on quality or performance

Customization Options

Unleashing your personal flair onto a keyboard can make typing or gaming even more enjoyable. Both TKL and full-size keyboards offer a variety of customization options to make your keyboard truly yours.

Starting with full-size keyboards, these bigger models provide ample space for customization. You can swap out keycaps with ease, introducing a variety of colors and styles into your typing landscape. Full-size keyboards also often come with programmable keys, so you can tailor your keyboard to your specific needs or favorite shortcuts. And let’s not forget about the exciting world of RGB lighting, which can give your full-size keyboard a captivating glow in line with your mood or style.

Shifting our gaze to TKL keyboards, these compact warriors may not have as many keys to play with, but they’re far from boring. Keycap customization remains an option, allowing you to infuse your personality into every keystroke. In the realm of RGB lighting, TKL keyboards hold their own, with many models offering customizable lighting to illuminate your gaming or typing sessions. Moreover, the smaller size of TKL keyboards makes them a perfect canvas for unique and artistic custom cases, a feature appreciated by enthusiasts.

No matter the size, your keyboard can become a direct reflection of you and your preferences. Enjoy exploring the possibilities, and make your keyboard as individual as you are.

Making the Final Decision: TKL or Full-Size?

The TKL vs. full-size keyboard debate ultimately boils down to your personal needs, preferences, and specific scenarios. Gamers need to reflect on their gaming repertoire, playstyle, and desk real estate. Professionals should ponder their regular tasks and the weightage of factors like ergonomics and portability.

If possible, it’s a good idea to take keyboards for a spin before committing. And don’t forget, other size options, like the 65% keyboards, are also ready to woo you. For the full detail about 65% keyboards and how they comapre against TKL keboards check out our guide about TKL vs. 65% keyboards.

Remember, be it a TKL or full-size keyboard, the primary goal is to find a partner that enhances your gaming or professional journey and propels you to your best performance. Happy hunting!