Best TKL Mechanical Keyboards – A Guide for Gamers and Coders

Best TKL mechanical keyboards

When we discuss keyboards, it’s surprising to see that a discrete universe for these keyboards exists. You came across a variety of variants, types, and modules for a single keyboard. Most of the people are oblivious of the fact that most of the gaming rigs require such keyboards which are user-friendly and competitive. The image of membrane keyboards has been tarnished by the arrival of the mechanical ones, because of the performance boost seen whilst gaming, typing, and coding.

In particular, when you search about Mechanical keyboards, you must have come across a word known as “Tenkeyless”. This type of mechanical keyboard fails to acknowledge the Numpad area. It’s not disadvantageous at all. Most of the gamers and coders don’t usually use this area of the keyboard which simply makes the keyboard enlarged and non-functional most of the time. The idea of a 60% mechanical keyboard came in after so many reports about removing this area surfaced. Now, manufacturers are producing the best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards for users.

If you are a newbie to this whole thing, then let me remind you that mechanical keyboards feature a plethora of switches. They are based on proprietary features such as Clicky, linear, or tactile. When Tenkeyless motherboards are concerned, you get all of these features, except the Numpad area. So, you don’t have to fret about any unusual happening regarding these new types of keyboards.

It’s also in your best interest to discard any form of a membrane keyboard, because they are notable for working at a snail’s speed, especially the registration of keys, it takes eons. You don’t want membrane keyboards to exploit you in any way. Stay away from them and buy the best TKL mechanical keyboard already!

What’s the major difference between Standard, Tenkeyless, and 60% mechanical keyboard?

  1. Standard keyboard: This type of mechanical keyboard comes with all the keys (105-110), without any embedded cut-off. The compactness and originality are always there. If the size and weight are not much of a concern, it’s better to root for standard keyboards, isn’t it?
  2. Tenkeyless keyboard: As mentioned before, Tenkeyless keyboards come with a cut-off version of the standard ones. The keyboard is manufactured without any Numpad area to reduce the overall size by a significant margin. This is helpful for gamers and coders who are looking forward to having less space between the mouse and the keyboard.
  3. 60% mechanical keyboard: The percentage system’s advent was congratulatory. Many people were able to order their custom-made keyboards. The option of having 60% to 75% is viable and can be done easily by the manufacturers.

The fundamental properties: Macros, N-Key Rollover and Anti-Ghosting

I agree these terminologies are a bit terrifying but believe me, they exist to make you comfortable in an oddly satisfying way. Macros are the keys that come with mechanical keyboards. Their function is to make your typing tasks easier. For example, you pasted a long paragraph, which is substitutable for your pending work. What you can do is assign a macro key to one of those copy-pasted paragraphs. When you are done recording the macro key, now you can use it whenever you want. This saves your time by two folds. There’s another example that will clear the functionality of macro keys. Let’s say you type in “Hello, Buddy!”. Simply record the phrase as a macro, and use it every time you initiate a conversation.

What about Anti-ghosting? Well, anti-ghosting is an embedded feature that stops the keyboard from malfunctioning when multiple keys are pressed. The event can occur out of sheer accidental presses, so to avoid internal systematic problems, the anti-ghosting feature comes into role play. This feature is only available in mechanical keyboards.

As far as N-key Rollover is concerned, it detects all the pressed keys at once and registers them without locking out the keyboard. It’s again useful in games like Tekken and FIFA where multiple keypresses are necessary to win the spot.

The below-mentioned table focuses on the best TKL mechanical keyboards you can get hold of in 2020. These keyboards are deliberately put into different categories to ease out your research method. If you are looking for efficient keyboards without any concern to price tags, then simply navigate to your indicated category. I hope it helps!

Prime 7 best TKL mechanical keyboards

Awarding categoryDesignProduct’s nameRatingPrice
Best High-end gaming TKL mechanical keyboardRedragon-K552-60%-Mechanical-Gaming-keyboardRedragon K552 60% Mechanical Gaming keyboard 4.9/5 Check Price
Best typing TKL mechanical keyboardRazer-Huntsman-Tournament-EditionRazer Huntsman Tournament Edition 4.8/5 Check Price
Best budget TKL mechanical keyboardCorsair-K63Corsair K63 4.7/5 Check Price
Best compact-case TKL mechanical keyboardHyperX-Alloy-FPS-ProHyperX Alloy FPS Pro 4.6/5 Check Price
Best stylish TKL mechanical keyboardSteelSeries-Apex-m750SteelSeries Apex m750 4.5/5 Check Price
Best silent-switches TKL mechanical keyboardFnatic-miniSTREAKFnatic miniSTREAK 4.4/5 Check Price
Best RGB TKL mechanical keyboardCooler-Master-MasterKeys-Pro-S-RGBCooler Master MasterKeys Pro S RGB 4.3/5 Check Price

Best High-end gaming TKL mechanical keyboard

1. Redragon K552 60% Mechanical Gaming keyboard

Redragon K552 60% Mechanical Gaming keyboard

It’s of no doubt that the Redragon K552 won the gaming category award. The company has been manufacturing high-end mechanical keyboards for years. The keyboard comes with 87 keys, which is enough for gaming and coding purposes. The red-switches which are considered silent and best for the gaming niche has been incorporated in Redragon K552.

Design and Construction

The eye-catching and on-fleek design has made the keyboard stand at the first position in the list. It’s a 60% mechanical keyboard with efficient tactile feedback. The keycaps are smooth to the touch and have embedded printing which lasts forever. All of the mechanical keys are arranged in a dedicated qwerty alignment which suits the standard of ultimate gaming. The implemented N-key roller technology minimized any errors of freezing and hanging, and allowing you to register the keys at once.

Redragon K552 is made of sturdy Metal-ABS construction that is brittle and hard and works like a charm. Due to it being laden with metallic material, the keyboard is heavier, leading to non-portable qualities. It has been recorded that you can do around 50 million keystrokes, without even degrading the performance of the keys and the keyboard. The Tenkeyless design makes the occupy less space on the desk, hence shorter distance between the keyboard and the mouse.

Not to mention, the keycaps are non-slippery and have a fine grip with higher resistive levels.

Lighting

The RGB system is absent from this motherboard, which means that you get LED lights on the keyboard. These red twinkling lights with discrete patterns can be seamlessly controlled from the third-party software found online. The LED settings can be altered simply through the keyboard with changing brightness levels. You can have alternative patterns of LED that can be shuffled as per your will through the software itself.

Switches

The keyboard comes with red switches that are tactile and silent. You can type with little actuation force. This means that the actuation point is way closer, and the registry of keys can be done within mini seconds. You experience zero lags whilst typing; hence making the keyboard register multitude of keys at once.

Compatibility

This Tenkeyless keyboard is compatible with all the PCs but has restrictions with a few Mac devices. You would have to make sure that the device you will be attaching the keyboard should recognize it, without causing havoc. The USB connector can be connected with most of the newer gaming cases, so yeah you don’t have to worry about that.

All in all, Redragon K552 is worth every praise, and is considered the best TKL mechanical keyboard for gamers and coders alike!

Some of the pros and cons are:

Pros
  • Can be fitted in any USB port
  • Non-slip and Water-proof design
  • 87 mechanical keys with 5 brightness discrete modes
Cons
  • No RGB patterns

Best typing TKL mechanical keyboard

2. Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The typing award was won by Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition. You must be aware of how Razer has been manufacturing top-notch quality products. They aim to strive hard and produce user-friendly features that can withstand the coming technology revolution. The Razer Huntsman is one of the elite mechanical keyboards you can get hold of in 2020. The reason for the keyboard to win the typing category is not a surprise.

Design and Construction

Razer Huntsman is a matte black version with quality material on top. The keyboard is made from an aluminum frame, which means the keyboard is brittle and strong then the most traditional mechanical keyboards out there. The aluminum helps in providing extended structural integrity and products the keyboard from being vandalized easily. It has been recorded that; the aluminum used in the keyboard can withstand soaring temperatures easily. It has high electrical resistance, and an insulated internal circulatory pathway that protects the user from eddy currents. The keystroke span for Razer Huntsman surpassed traditional stroking; it’s more than 100 million.

The linear design of the keyboard makes it as per the community guidelines for perfect gaming sessions. It comes with rugged keystroke technology and USB Type-C. The USB connector is detachable which means that it’s replaceable if by mistake you damage it somehow. As far as the keycaps are concerned, they are smooth and have soft-touch bumps, which are formidable and promote smooth endless gaming sessions. Surprisingly, it also comes with a tier S Doubleshot PBT material.

Lighting

The keyboard comes with a discrete lightning pattern, and that too RGB. The LEDs function differently from most of the existing RGB lights. you get around 5 changing brightness levels, with up to 5 mega lighting profiles. These profiles are saved inside the keyboard memory which can be re-written and used as per your will. You can also connect your cloud storage to extend the memory capacity, leading to you saving more profiles.

Switches

What’s surprising about the switches used in the Razor Huntsman TKL keyboard? One thing is sure, they are not even closely related to blue, black, red, brown traditional mechanical switches. These implement switches are way more accurate and faster. They are called Optical switches. The technology uses bean-based actuation (Electromagnetic rays) for instant registration (It has been recorded that the electromagnetic rays are deliberately implemented to produce a proportion of the speed of light for key registration). The optical actuation point is approximately 1.0mm which is way lower than what you get on other mechanical keyboards. Hence making Razer Huntsman the best TKL keyboard for typing purposes. The switches are light and easy to come by, hence increasing your chances to win in games by two folds.

Compatibility

You can connect the keyboard on most of the devices without causing glitches and errors. The mac support is still not acknowledged to the point, but it’s workable. You get detachable USB type-C which can be connected with most of the dedicated USB ports on the motherboard.

Conclusively, if you want to experience lightning speed typing properties, then this is a go-to TKL keyboard.

Some of the pros and cons are:

Pros
  • Fully programmable macro keys
  • Linear optical switch technology implemented
  • 1.0 mm optical actuation point
  • 100+ million keystrokes
Cons
  • Used only on Type-C ports

Best budget TKL mechanical keyboard

3. Corsair K63

Corsair K63

Imagine getting such a beautifully produced TKL mechanical keyboard for just $55. That’s fascinating and worth appreciating. No wonder why Corsair K63 won this category award. It’s worth mentioning that the keyboard proposes a surfeit of advanced features that are not yet present in most of the contemporary flagship models.

Design and Construction

You get lifetime salvation with this extraordinary keyboard. It’s compact-Tenkeyless which makes it great for traversing purposes. The body design is aesthetically pleasing, especially the color scheme of the keycaps. The notion of implementing a metallic body is to withstand high temperatures and protect you from eddy current produced on the body.

You are also blessed with Macros that can be programmed for time-saving purposes. Simply use the given guide with the product to use the macros efficiently.

Lighting

Corsair K63 uses Red LEDs as backlighting which means that you get zero RGB functionality. It’s understandable because of the price tag it comes with. You can still control the pattern of LED with changeable profiles from the iCUE software. You can also brightness levels, and tune them up and down as per your will for the virtual gaming experience. Imagine the room dancing with RED lights in the night. It’s a wonderful sight.

Switches

Corsair K63 uses Cherry MX switches which are silent and tactile. It has been researched that users are fonder of using Red switches than the Blue one because of the silent nature of them, and the lowered actuation point that the keyboard entails. So basically, the keyboard is best suited for typing and gaming purposes alike.

Compatibility

The Keyboard is compatible with most of the Type-C ports on the motherboard. You can also easily install the Corsair K63 on most of the PCs available.

Some of the pros and cons are:

Pros
  • Fully programmable macro keys
  • Use of Cherry MX switches
  • 50 million + keystrokes
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Used only on Type-C ports
  • No RGB

Best compact-case TKL mechanical keyboard

4. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro

HyperX Alloy FPS Pro

HyperX doesn’t manufacture much of the products, but still, with the help of a few top-notch ones, they can climb the ladders to success. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is meant for enthusiast gamers who are looking for the high-end gaming experience, and coders who need extra keystrokes to complete their long hectic coding sessions. Tenkeyless keyboards are known for their compactness, but HyperX Alloy FPS pro has a new definition for you.

Design and Construction

The keyboard comes with 87 keys in total (no Numpad area), with a sturdy and withstanding body. The steel frame which encapsulates most of the keyboard, resulting in armor protection. Even hardcore gamers can’t break the keyboard’s body. Smash it, hit it, do anything but it won’t budge. It’s all because of the compactness of the keyboard. Did you forget to read “Alloy” in the name? As I said, the sturdiness is just because of the Alloy body, which also helps the keyboard to endure high temperatures easily, making it best for overclocking enthusiasts.

Lighting

The ebony body of the keyboard is illuminated by red-backlit LEDs that come with discrete dancing patterns. You can switch the patterns and modes through the third-party software, or the given function key on the keyboard. You also get 5 brightness levels to have fun with. The only problem with the keyboard is the lack of RGB lighting, but it’s completely okay. You are getting a beast of a keyboard at such a subsidized cost.

Switches

HyperX Alloy FPS Pro comes in two different switch models. One is Cherry MX Blue, and the other is Cherry MX Red. Whilst, selecting the product, you can choose between the two switches. If you are into Clicky ones, then Blue it is, otherwise if you like serene atmosphere whilst keystroking, then Red it is. The keys are also replaceable and have varying actuation points and force depending on the type of switch you have chosen for the keyboard.

Compatibility

HyperX Alloy supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. The keyboard uses the Type-C connector which is used to power on the device. The USB cable is also detachable, giving you an edge over other users who are using non-HyperX products. The removal of the chord allows you to carry it everywhere without compromising on the quality.

All in all, the keyboard deserves all the positive reviews for what it brings into your household!

Some of the pros and cons are:

Pros
  • Anti-ghosting keyboard with dedicated N-key rollover
  • Variable Cherry MX switches
  • Multiple LED patterns
Cons
  • The keyboard feels hard because of Alloy

Best stylish TKL mechanical keyboard

5. SteelSeries Apex m750

SteelSeries Apex m750

SteelSeries Apex M750 is an epitome of aesthetics. No wonder why the keyboard earned the award of being stylish in the mentioned list. Imagine using vibrant colors whilst gaming and typing. Yeah, this is your friendly keyboard from the neighborhood with advanced features such as aluminum alloy frame, aerospace dynamics, and 3rd generation mechanical switches for instant typing gratification.

Design and Construction

The keyboard comes with an ergonomic sliding design with mastered rugged key patterns. This is backed up by a plethora of keystroking capabilities. SteelSeries Apex has a resilient aluminum body that enhances its withstanding properties to soaring temperatures, and overclocking events. The design is on fleek with most of the keycaps being visible from afar. The ABS construction pattern is similar to most of the flagship models, hence giving you an edge over most of the users. It is designed in such a way, that it can cut off a minimum of 7 years without even dying. You can smash it, hit it, or do whatever kinky stuff you want to without even breaking the keyboard.

Lighting

It is an RGB keyboard with 15 million colors that can be channeled as per your will. It also comes with a new technology that lights up the keyboard for every notification that pops on the screen. This instantly alarms you to take whatever action is possible. That’s amazing, right?

Not to mention, the LEDs are laid out with precise progressive coding styles that systematically react to low health, and out of ammo in the game. This feature is backed up by software, known as PrismSync. This software allows you to synch most of the lighting patterns with different RGB components connected to the motherboard. Imagine having a synched color pattern with keyboard, mouse, fans, GPU, and CPU. That’s a sight, to be honest.

Moreover, all the RGB profiles are stored inside the memory of the keyboard which can be extended by the use of cloud storage.

Switches

SteelSeries Apex uses 3rd generation mechanical switches which provide everlasting performance. It harbors QX2 switches which are 2 to 3 times faster than the previous generation switches. With this you get, more linear actuation point, endurance for maximized clicks, and low energy consumption.

You also get an anti-ghosting feature with the keys. On top of that, the keyboard also blesses you with an N-key rollover for efficient functioning.

Compatibility

The keyboard is compatible with all the Windows and Mac OS X versions. You even get a detachable USB port for convenience and portability.

Some of the pros and cons are:

Pros
  • PrismSync lighting control
  • QX2 mechanical switches
  • Aluminum frames
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Best silent-switches TKL mechanical keyboard

6. Fnatic miniSTREAK

Fnatic miniSTREAK

Some of the users are into having completely silent keyboards. They don’t like the Clicky sound of them, that’s why they root for silent switches (Cherry MX red switches). But, there’s a difference. There are a plethora of Cherry MX switches (variants), and Fnatic miniSTREAK uses the best of them.

Design and Construction

The keyboard is Tenkeyless, compact, and portable. This means you can carry the keyboard anywhere. The design is for professional gamers, who are looking forward to having elite gaming experience. Not to mention, the keyboard is made from the metallic body, hence increasing its resistance to thermal breakdowns. You also get a detachable USB cable for replaceable purposes.

It also features PU leather wrist support, which reduces any high-pressure strains on your wrists giving you smooth and soft support.

Lighting

The keyboard supports full RGB backlighting that can be activated through the keyboard itself. You can store different profiles in the keyboard’s memory, and channel them as per your will. Moreover, there are different presets and modes embedded in the LEDs, so yeah that’s a thing.

All in all, select the pattern which suits your taste buds.

Switches

Fnatic miniSTREAK uses premium Cherry MX red switches that have around the ability to sustain 50+ million keystrokes. These switches are tactile and have lowered the actuation point. Surprisingly, each key is dust-resistant, has fiberglass-reinforced for cleaning purposes.

Compatibility

You can easily install the keyboard on all PCs and Mac without any foreboding.

 Some of the pros and cons are:

Pros
  • Uses premium Cherry MX switches
  • Have RGB profiles
  • Wrist support
Cons
  • Heavy

Best RGB TKL mechanical keyboard

7. Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S RGB

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S RGB

The last award on the list goes to Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S RGB for bringing out ultimate aesthetically pleasing lights into play. I’ll be honest, Cooler Master never ceases to surprise me.

Design and Construction

The product uses phenomenal keycaps that result in instant response feedback. The metal used to manufacture the keyboard is unparalleled (Steel framed), which helps in resisting higher temperatures. You can smash it and throw it away, it won’t budge. It also comes with an ABS plastic keypad which makes the keystrokes simple and soft. The plastic is shaped in a way that creates parabolic curvature resulting in high endurance possibilities.

Also, the keyboard is Tenkeyless which means that there is no Numpad area, hence making it compact and small. This is efficient in the sense that gamers and coders will not be displacing their wrists and arms by a greater distance.

Lighting

As far as the RGB patterns are concerned, the keyboard uses more than 16.7 million colors for combination modes. This is one of the humongous feats made by Cooler Master in recent years. The RGB LEDs are designed in a way that they can be customized with different software. You can set your favorite preset mode whilst gaming, and you are good to go.

Some of the best patterns include Color wave pattern, breathing, and shadowing.

Switches

As for the switches, the keyboard uses Cherry MX Brown switches which have greater feedback than other existing switches in the market. These switches help in extending the performance of the keyboard by two folds. Not to mention, there’s a dedicated N-key rollover and anti-ghosting technology to avoid glitches and malfunctioning. It has been recorded that the keyboard provided the best benchmark results.

Compatibility

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S RGB is compatible with most of the Windows and Mac OS X versions. You also get a detachable USB cable for compatibility purposes. Attach it only to Type-C ports on the motherboard. The cortex M3 processor works efficiently inside the keyboard.

Some of the pros and cons are:

Pros
  • Convenient to use
  • Customized RGB patterns
  • Anti-ghosting and N-key rollover
Cons
  • Uses outdated mechanical switches
  • Heavier (2.15 lbs.)

Final Thoughts

The above-mentioned awarding list tackles most of the high-end mechanical Tenkeyless keyboards you get hold of. Each category works best for the mentioned product. I’ll be honest, if you are looking forward to having a versatile keyboard, then the Redragon K552 60% Mechanical Gaming keyboard should be your ideal shot for so many reasons.

You get an aesthetically pleasing design, RGB lighting, light keystrokes, and formidable armor body. It’s an all-in-one product for you. But again, only if you can afford it. If affordability is the main issue, then how about you root for the best budget gaming keyboard category? The last choice should be rational and extracted from the mentioned factors.

I hope this product review has cleared your doubts regarding the Tenkeyless mechanical keyboards!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Tenkeyless keyboard worth a shot?

yes. Tenkeyless directly relates to them being smaller than a standard keyboard, hence providing you more room to settle other peripherals in close-proximity. Even the distance between the keyboard and the mouse reduced. That’s something to note. It has been also researched that smaller keyboards are way better in terms of gaming and typing.

Why are some of the TKL keyboards expensive?

The reason for them being expensive is nothing but a niche product. TKL is designed for a few respective elite class gamers and coders alike. Imagine yourself creating an alternative of the same product, it will take time, wouldn’t it? And you will charge more for it, right? That’s how it works.

Are 60%-keyboards worth going for?

Well, 60%-keyboards are relatively smaller than Tenkeyless keyboards. You won’t get any function keys at the top, but the FN key at the very bottom for desired effects. If portability and compactness is your main aim, then 60%-keyboards should be your ideal aim.

Read Also: A Gruesome Battle: Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard!

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