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TKL vs. Full-Size Keyboards

When it comes to choosing a gaming keyboard, one of the most important decisions to make is whether to go for a full-size or a TKL keyboard. Full-size keyboards have been around since the late 80s and come with 104 keys, whereas TKL keyboards are more compact and don’t have a numeric keypad. In this article, we’ll be exploring the differences between these two keyboard form factors to help you make an informed decision.

Full-Size Keyboards:

Full-size keyboards, as the name suggests, have all the keys that you would expect from a keyboard, including the numeric keypad, function keys, and arrow keys. This makes them great for tasks that require a lot of typing, such as coding or data entry. Additionally, full-size keyboards are more comfortable for people with larger hands as the keys are more spread out.

Full-size keyboards also tend to come with a variety of extra features, such as multimedia keys and customizable backlighting. These features can be useful for gamers who want to have quick access to their favorite macros or media controls.

However, full-size keyboards can be quite bulky, taking up a lot of desk space. They can also be quite heavy and difficult to transport, making them less than ideal for gamers who like to play at LAN parties or other events.

TKL Keyboards:

TKL keyboards, on the other hand, are more compact and don’t have a numeric keypad. This makes them smaller and more portable than full-size keyboards, making them ideal for gamers who need to transport their keyboard regularly. Additionally, TKL keyboards tend to have a more ergonomic design, with the keys closer together, making them easier to reach and reducing the strain on your hands and wrists.

However, TKL keyboards do have some drawbacks. Without the numeric keypad, you’ll need to use the number keys at the top of the keyboard, which can be inconvenient for tasks that require a lot of number input. Additionally, TKL keyboards tend to have fewer customization options, making them less ideal for gamers who want to create custom macros or have customizable backlighting.

Benefits of Full-Size Keyboards:

Full-size keyboards offer a wide range of benefits for gamers and professionals who spend a lot of time typing. The additional keys, including the numeric keypad and function keys, make it easier to enter data, navigate through documents, and perform complex tasks.

One of the key benefits of full-size keyboards is that they offer a more comfortable typing experience for users with larger hands. The keys are more spread out, which reduces the risk of accidentally pressing the wrong key and helps prevent hand fatigue.

Full-size keyboards also tend to offer a range of additional features that are not available on TKL keyboards. For example, many full-size keyboards come with dedicated media keys, which allow you to control your music or video playback without having to switch between applications.

Benefits of TKL Keyboards:

While full-size keyboards offer a wide range of benefits, TKL keyboards also have their advantages. One of the main benefits of TKL keyboards is their portability. Because they are smaller and more lightweight than full-size keyboards, they are much easier to transport and can be ideal for gamers who need to move their equipment around regularly.

Another benefit of TKL keyboards is their ergonomic design. Because the keys are closer together, it’s easier to reach them, and this reduces the strain on your hands and wrists. This can be especially important for gamers who spend long hours playing games and typing.

TKL keyboards also tend to be more affordable than full-size keyboards, which can be a deciding factor for gamers who are on a budget.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Full-Size and TKL Keyboards:

When choosing between a full-size and a TKL keyboard, there are several factors that you should consider. First, consider the size of your workspace and whether you have enough room for a full-size keyboard. If you have a small desk or prefer to work with your keyboard on your lap, then a TKL keyboard may be a better choice.

Next, consider your typing needs. If you do a lot of typing or data entry, then a full-size keyboard may be the better choice as it provides all the necessary keys. However, if you primarily use your keyboard for gaming or other tasks that don’t require a numeric keypad, then a TKL keyboard may be more suitable.

Finally, consider your budget. While TKL keyboards tend to be more affordable, full-size keyboards offer a wider range of features and customization options, which can be important for gamers who want to create custom macros or have more control over their keyboard.


Choosing between a full-size and TKL keyboard ultimately comes down to personal preference and your individual needs. Whether you prioritize comfort, portability, or customization, there are keyboards available that cater to your requirements.

When making your decision, it’s important to consider the size of your workspace, your typing needs, and your budget. By taking the time to research and compare different options, you can find the perfect keyboard that meets all your needs and enhances your gaming or professional experience.


Q: What is a full-size keyboard?
A: A full-size keyboard is a traditional keyboard layout that includes a number pad and typically has 104 to 108 keys, depending on the region and Function key layout.

Q: What is a TKL keyboard?
A: A TKL keyboard, or Tenkeyless keyboard, is a keyboard that does not have a number pad. It typically has 87 keys, although some models may have more or fewer.

Q: Which type of keyboard is better for gaming?
A: Both full-size and TKL keyboards can be used for gaming, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some gamers prefer the larger size and additional keys of a full-size keyboard, while others prefer the smaller size and portability of a TKL keyboard.

Q: Which type of keyboard is better for typing?
A: Again, it depends on personal preference. Some people find that they type more comfortably on a full-size keyboard due to the larger key spacing and additional keys, while others prefer the compact size and closer positioning of a TKL keyboard.

Q: Are full-size keyboards more expensive than TKL keyboards?
A: Not necessarily. Keyboard prices can vary widely depending on the brand, features, and build quality. While some high-end full-size keyboards may be more expensive than TKL keyboards, there are plenty of affordable options for both types of keyboards.

Q: Can I use a TKL keyboard for work?
A: Absolutely. TKL keyboards can be a great option for office workers who want to save desk space or who need to transport their keyboard frequently.

Q: Can I customize the keycaps on a full-size or TKL keyboard?
A: Yes, you can customize the keycaps on both types of keyboards. However, it may be easier to find compatible keycap sets for full-size keyboards, as they are more likely to have standard keycap sizes.