People often like to carry around their own gear to LAN parties. Carrying around something as huge as your own keyboard might be a hassle. Also playing with bigger keyboards and constricting mouse space might give you a disadvantage. That is why we decided to help you out with your selection on the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards.
Mechanical keyboards are said to be better for gaming for various reasons. But most important of them all is the actuation and travel that is present in mechanical switches. If you are someone who is a fan of gaming gear, then you know that mechanical is the way to go with keyboards.
With many brands going for proprietary switches, you are sure to find something good for your gaming needs. These switches have even more durability than what we find on Cherry MX switches. Razer and Logitech seem to be competing over the best switch in keyboards. We do feel that Romer-G switches have a slight advantage over Razer orange and greens.
But that is all dependent on the user experience, you might like Razer switches better. Or you might not like either of them over the traditional Cherry MX switches.
There are numerous reasons for choosing tenkeyless keyboards over traditional full-sized keyboards. Size is one of the biggest reasons, having tenkeyless keyboards gives you more space for your mouse movement. With more mat to the mouse, you can do those flicker shots that are difficult to do due to a wide movement of the mouse.
Not to mention this makes the keyboard a bit more portable as well if you want to carry your gear for LAN parties. Here is a buyer’s guide for what to look for in tenkeyless mechanical keyboards.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards
This buyer’s guide will cover everything about tenkeyless mechanical keyboards. But choosing one of the keyboards from our list will depend on your preference and budget.
Chances are you might find one of the other keyboards in the list better suited to be on top. But we are basing the list on our own opinions.
Tenkeyless means that the keyboard lacks a number pad that is usually on the side for quicker calculation purposes. You do end up having to use the numbers on top when you are typing in tenkeyless keyboards. But if your primary purpose for the purchase is gaming, which it would be, then you are not losing out on a lot.
Here are a few things to keep your eyes on when you are choosing your keyboards.
We spoke earlier about switches from Logitech and Razer. There are many switches in the market at the moment. We have previously covered a wide range of keyboard mechanical switches. Each switch, although looks similar, have a difference in travel and actuation.
This is the reason why one keyboard might feel different than the other. They have different actuation, tactility, and travel. You will find one keyboard is overall suitable for most tasks. While one kind of keyboard with a different switch might be better for gaming than others.
Your response time might be different when you are playing games on a different switch keyboard than others. So before choosing a keyboard, you should try to get the feel of different switches.
Although unnecessary, RGB does give your keyboard a whole lot more appeal. Not to mention if you are playing in a darker environment, it acts as a backlit keyboard does. If you are not into the whole RGB aesthetic at all, you can just change the color to white. This way you are getting the benefit of a backlit keyboard.
But it is kind of pointless to buy an RGB keyboard for backlighting. Most gamers purchase it for the aesthetic. It does raise the price of the keyboard quite significantly though. Specifically, if it is individual per-key RGB.
Also, some brands do RGB better than others. For instance, Razer is famous for its RGB backlit keyboards.
Macros and Multimedia Keys
Some keyboard brands include macros to switch functionality of your already existing mapped keys. This gives you a huge advantage in games when you are mapping keys. You do not have to place your keys too far from your current configuration. This way you save time on traveling from one key to another by simply pressing macros and changing the mapped keys functionality to another.
Also having multimedia keys on the keyboard just way more convenient. Because you are able to change tracks if you listen to music while gaming, turn the volume up or down or mute the sound entirely. We really like having multimedia keys on the keyboard, they are a really helpful feature to have.
Are you someone who gets tired after playing games on your keyboard for a few hours? Well, chances are your keyboard might not have great ergonomics. Finding a keyboard with a palm rest might give you a slight bit of comfort.
This helps in the long run when you are playing games for hours using your keyboard. Your wrist and palm both stay rested and comfortable while you are gaming allowing you to game longer.
Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards for Gaming Reviewed
Usually we place the best products on the best overall category. But once in a blue moon, a product so balanced appears and we can’t help but place it on top. This is one of those products.
What sets the Corsair K65 LUX RGB Mechanical keyboard is its great balance between aesthetics, ergonomics, functionality, and performance. Let us look at how this keyboard balances all of these in a second.
First, let us talk about pricing, this keyboard has a competitive price. For almost the same price you can also purchase other brands like the Blackwidow and Logitech G Pro mechanical keyboards.
Logitech G Pro might have been our winner due to having better switches but it lacks a comfortable wrist rest and multimedia keys. The Corsair K65 LUX does not have a complete set of multimedia keys. But being able to turn the volume up or down without having to minimize your game is a blessing.
The palm/wrist rest might not be the most comfortable ones in keyboards. The Razer Black Widow keyboard has a way softer one. But it is better than not having one at all and get uncomfortable after playing for hours due to fatigue.
This helps place your fingers in a better position plus you do not get the marks that you get from placing hands on a desk for too long. The wrist/palm rest is also textured to avoid slippage if things get sweaty in the heat of battle.
Speaking of texture, you also get a texturized spacebar along with textured keys for FPS/MOBA games. Having textured keys helps you place your fingers more firmly without slippage plus you are able to recognize the keys way more easily. This way there is not even the slightest of chances to make a mistake.
The frame is made of brushed aluminum, so durability is not even a question here. It is a solid keyboard and you will not be able to find a flex in the body thanks to the durable aluminum chassis.
The other thing that is great in the keyboard has to be the per-key RGB lighting. We gamers love our RGB, having per-key RGB is pretty much the thing for gamers these days.
For switches, we have Cherry MX Reds which is famous for gaming. They are not proprietary Corsair switches or anything, but they are plenty durable and good for at least 50 million clicks. This is more than enough to last you a long time before you need to switch the keyboard.
This keyboard also has a USB passthrough for attaching extra peripherals and freeing your PC’s IO. You can attach a mouse or headset, which is great if you play games on a laptop with limited IO options.
Lastly, with iCUE support, you can store RGB profiles and macros for changing key functionalities.
This product is specifically targetted towards an audience who has preferences for comfort. Coincidentally this product also falls in the most premium category as well due to its high price tag.
So split keyboards are designed so that you can put your hands in the most natural position of your hands. Usually, straight keyboards require you to adjust your hands and wrists in a way that is not meant to be naturally.
The best way to be able to game longer is by making sure you are in the most comfortable position possible. There are gaming chairs for that purpose, gaming keyboards have wrist/palm rests and mice have an ergonomic design.
But a split keyboard just takes the ergonomics to another level. This allows you to game for even longer while you might have become tired otherwise. And that is basically the idea behind this keyboard.
But the comfort comes at a high price, the keyboard costs over $200. But you have a variety to choose from, you can either go for Cherry MX Blues, Browns, or Reds.
We got the Cherry MX Reds, the per-key RGB is amazing, it has options to store onboard profiles as well. We have several macros available and a remapping option as well. Being able to remap buttons without software is very convenient. But you can also install an app to adjust things more easily.
The keyboard has a wire connecting the two pieces which can be used to separate the pieces to a certain distance. You can split it to shoulder distance and use it in the most natural hand position to resist strain and fatigue on your hands. Also, you can purchase a kit separately to tent the keyboard for further ergonomic positioning of your hands.
But as expensive as the keyboard is, we think its best to stick with just for starters. Another thing we liked was the numerous macros keys on the left piece of the split keyboard.
Do all these ergonomic features make it worth the price tag of over $200? Well, we leave that to you people. But the keyboard has very positive reviews and we also liked the keyboard as well.
So we were really impressed by this keyboard, for its price tag it is one of the best in the market. The DIERYA DK61E lacks nothing, has everything, and is cheap compared to most keyboards in our list.
So there are many budget keyboards out there in the market. The Royal Kludge 61 is one of the budget choices we had the chance to review. But we settled on the DIERYA DK61E for a few reasons, its rigidity, and its waterproof circuit board.
It has per-key RGB that can be managed through the company provided software. You can also map various macros using the software as well. With the added FN key you can use the secondary multimedia keys like that on a laptop keyboard.
Not having dedicated media keys or a wrist/palm rest does put a dent on the keyboard’s score. But having a hot-swappable optical switch feature is kind of a great thing.
If you feel any of your switches is not functioning as it should, just swap it with another optical switch. The keyboard uses Geteron Optical Red Switch, which is not the best, but it’s still better than most knock offs.
The body is rigid, it does not have flex on the body whatsoever. It is not as light either, but not so heavy that you feel encumbered by its weight while carrying it in a bag.
There is not a lot you can say about the keyboard other than that it is a pretty solid budget choice. The RGB is good, not great, but good nonetheless. It has solid keycaps which are wear-resistant, you have switches that can be swapped out as well.
For the price tag, the features are not half bad. The keyboard costs around $50-$70 depending on where you buy it from.
This keyboard is our favorite when it comes to performance. The only reason it is behind the Corsair K65 LUX is that it does not have dedicated media keys and a wrist/palm rest.
Otherwise, there is hard to find quality like the Logitech G PRO mechanical keyboard in other products. We really love the finishing of the keyboard, the aluminum body that just makes it feel elegant and durable.
the RGB is amazing as well, as usual, Logitech is not far behind the RGB game than Razer. The keys are also very smooth and wear-resistant, they use Logitech’s proprietary switches as well.
This particular model uses Logitech GX Blue switches which have tactile feedback and are clicky. The actuation and tactile feedback are just perfect for gaming. We really love the feel of the switches and the keycaps.
Using LIGHTSYNC you can map macros as well for easier access during games. The wire is also detachable for easier transportation and the wire has a 3-pronged design for a secure fit. So when you are taking your gear with you on LAN parties or competitions, just take the wire out and pack it in your bag for easy transportation.
This way the wire and the keyboard both have a secure connection. Using the FN keys you can access the secondary multimedia keys, we would have liked to see dedicated ones but this works as well.
The keyboard costs about $130 on Amazon and is one of the best tenkeyless keyboards at the moment.
How could it be that we end our reviews without adding one of the best gaming brands on our list? Well, we have not forgotten. It is just there are better options in the market, but there are a few things that Razer does the best.
The Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition V2 Tenkeyless mechanical keyboard uses proprietary Razer switches. The switches are said to be one of the best with an 80-million click life. That is going to last you a very long time indeed.
There are three switches available, you can choose between which ones you want. There are the Green, Yellow, and Orange switches, each having distinct features that you can properly view in detail on the Razer site.
The wrist/palm rest on the keyboard is very soft and comfortable which helps in resisting fatigue build-up during longer sessions. There is that beautiful RGB lighting that is undeniably one of the best in the market.
The Razer HyperShift technology allows for easy remapping and switching between macros with profiles. The cable is also detachable and can be taken out when you need to carry it around.
There are only a few others who do things as well as Razer does. The quality, the finishing, and the durability of Razer products are top-notch. The BlackWidow is an acclaimed and renowned model of the Razer brand that people often choose over other keyboards.
The ‘SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB’ is a premium 10-keyless mechanical gaming keyboard. This keyboard has everything one would need from a gaming keyboard, and then some.
The Apex M750 RGB uses aluminum alloy and has a nice black finish, giving it an amazing look. Combine this with the RGB lighting feature, and the keyboard looks absolutely stunning. It’s lightweight, durable, and portable; essential qualities for an e-sport peripheral. The keyboard uses a USB interface for connectivity.
The Apex M750 makes use of the QX2 mechanical switches. This allows for precise button presses and low force. Surprisingly, for a gaming keyboard, it is very silent. Apex M750 works on both platforms: Windows and macOS.
Modern gaming keyboards aren’t complete if there isn’t a touch of lighting. The Apex M750 goes beyond just a touch. It comes with customized Discord chat integration. With the GameSense event-based lighting, the keyboard lights respond and change according to game events such as kills, low health, ammo, etc. With the GameSense software, it is even possible to customize keys and macros for higher levels of play.
The SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB isn’t just for show. It has proven itself to be an e-sport winner. With everything that the keyboard has to offer, it certainly is one of the best ones to look out for.