If you wanna take your gaming experience to the next level, you need to get your hands on one of the best compact gaming keyboards. While a bad worker always blames his tools, without the right gaming gear you won’t get far. Especially if you want to go pro.
While full gaming keyboards can get the job done, we’ve dedicated this article to compact gaming keyboards (AKA tenkeyless keyboards). In addition to looking cooler than traditional gaming keyboards, they’re also more comfortable and convenient.
If you want to get maximum ergonomic comfort full-size gaming keyboards are not the way to do it, as they take too much space on your desk. They also lack removable cables, make the desk look asymmetrical. And you’ll almost always end up tilting the keyboard to get your hands closer together while gaming.
So, to avoid this hassle, we made a list of the best compact gaming keyboards that you can get your hands on right now.
Functionality and comfort may be a hard combination to find but with these compact gaming keyboards, you are getting the best of both worlds.
The Corsair K65 reigns superior to all the gaming keyboards that we have tested for a number of reasons. Aside from its sleek and minimalist design this keyboard offers something that most tenkeyless keyboards don’t, which is a wrist rest to make gaming that much more comfortable. It also maintains the portability aspect of gaming keyboards as the wrist rest is detachable.
Another thing that we really admire about this tenkeyless gaming keyboard is its build quality. Corsair managed to pull off a sleek design with highly durable aluminum frame that is built to withstand all your hardcore games while still making your desk look sleek.
While some gamers argue about which keyboard switches are better there is no doubt that the Cherry MX Red offers the best of both worlds. With a safe acquisition weight of 45g this switch is a go-to for most typists and gamers.
Another great thing about this keyboard is the fully customizable LED colors allowing you to add a little bit of character to your keyboard.
If the full RGB LED doesn’t do it for you and you are after a more muted look then this keyboard is your best pick. Corsair managed to pull off a great gaming keyboard with a great budget without compromising on quality.
Red backlight gaming gears are one of the most popular looks that gamers aim at. If you are into that look and already have a gaming gear with red backlight, this tenkeyless keyboard will be the cherry on top.
Redradgon are known for their budget-friendly gaming gear. Despite being a budget choice, this keyboard managed to make quite a fuss with its price and cool design.
If you are on a tight budget and looking for a compact gaming keyboard under the $50 mark, look no further. Redragon managed to put together a compact gaming keyboard with backlighting and mechanical switches at a price that’s mind-boggling.
We absolutely love the design of this laptop however, there are a few things that you need to have in mind before purchasing. The backlight isn’t adjustable, and while the frame is really sturdy and well built it’s still made of plastic. So I would take that in consideration before making the purchase.
If you have been on the hunt for a good gaming keyboard you’ve probably heard the name SteelSeries pop up a few times. SteelSeries is well known in the gaming keyboards world and it has managed to make quite a reputation for itself, and for good reasons.
This models falls at the high-end of compact gaming keyboards. It comes jammed with all the features that you could wish for. And of course, professional features translates into a professional price tag .
The thing that really makes this SteelSeries compact gaming keyboard stand out the most is the Omnipoint switch technology. This is the latest technology in the gaming keyboard world right now. It allows you to change the actuation point based on what you are doing. For example, lower actuation for gaming, higher actuation for typing.
You can control the actuation along with the music volume, profile and many other things using the brilliant OLED display on the top right corner of this keyboard. Or you can just add a logo on the screen just for fun.
Razer knows what it’s doing when it comes to any gaming gear. From gaming laptops to even gaming keyboards, just by hearing the name Razer you know you are getting something high-end.
Right out of the box you will see that this keyboard doesn’t scream “gaming keyboard” it has a muted, simple, aesthetically pleasing aluminum design.
Razer claims that this keyboard has the fastest keyboard switches ever created, and using it does feel this way. With beam based actuation and a distance of 1.0mm hyper-speed games will be a walk in the park.
Cooler Master. Everyone has a different preference when it comes to switches, some like tactile, some linear, and others switch. Cooler Master gives you the chance to choose the feel that you are most comfortable with, red, brown, or blue.
There is also no need to use keyboard software on your PC to adjust the RGB; you can easily change every single key color using only the keyboard and save the RGP and macro patterns on one of the 4 different profiles on the keyboard.
By far the best thing about this tenkeyless keyboard is its versatility. Turning on your macros while gaming then off while working have never been easier. The 4 profiles also add to that versatility making it easier to switch profiles between different games or characters in the game.
They also threw in a detachable wrist rest, you know just for comfort.
One of the most popular keyboards ever released by Razer is the BlackWidow, and for good reasons. It comes equipped with all the high ends features that you would expect from Razer. A stunning RGB backlighting, programmable macro support, and one of the most comfortable wrist rests that you can get.
The wrest rest has a pillow-like structure that is built to help you throughout your hours of hardcore gaming without breaking a sweat.
It’s also worth mentioning that his keyboard comes equipped with Razer’s green switch technology with an acquisition force of 50g and an overly-satisfying clicky sound. However, some people might feel like it’s too loud.
Compact Gaming keyboards buying guide
There are a few things that you need to take into consideration when buying a gaming keyboard if you wanna get the best bang for your buck without costing yourself an arm and a leg.
Mechanical VS. Membrane Keyboards.
It goes without saying that mechanical keyboards have the edge of membrane keyboards. However, if you are not fully familiar with why that is, here are a few reasons why.
When you are using membrane keyboards you will have to press them all the way down in order for the command to be executed, however, this isn’t the case with mechanical keyboards.
With mechanical keyboards, you can hit the key halfway only and it will still execute the command. The reason behind this is that the circuit is located on the side of the switch as opposed to the bottom of the switch as in membrane keyboards.
Another reason why mechanical keyboards reign superior is that they are more audible. Aside from the sound being endlessly satisfying the audible feedback lets you know when a keystroke has been successful.
For a more in-depth comparison between mechanical and membrane keyboards, check out this blog post.
When you buy a gaming keyboard you want to make sure that you have something that’ll last. Mechanical keyboards are almost 10 times more durable than most membrane keyboards. So, you won’t have to worry about picking up a new keyboard for a long time.
Mechanical keyboards also let you choose the switch that best suits your needs. You can easily choose the switch that has the best combination of acquisition, resistance, and loudness.
Wired Vs. Wireless.
A gaming computer comes with a whole lot of cable clutter. You literally got wires flying everywhere around any gaming computer. And that’s one of the reasons why wireless keyboards are becoming more and more popular.
The wireless keyboards are also are very convenient in terms of portability. However, wired keyboards are more responsive and quicker so you have to choose what works best for you.
Backlighting and Programmable Keys.
If you are a serious gamer having a keyboard with RGB backlighting does yell “gamer” and makes it much easier to play in the dark. You should also choose the backlight that complements the entire gaming gear that you have.
As for programmable keys they allow you to execute a series of commands with a single keystroke, also some keyboards offer different profiles so you can choose the profile that compliments each game. All of this however does come with a price.