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What keyboard size do I need?
So you're looking for a new keyboard but don't know what size keyboard to get? We get you, the number of options can be confusing, but don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through it!
Everyone prefers a different size gaming keyboard. We made it easy for you, and provided you with a list of the most common keyboard sizes, or form factors as we like to call them.
Additionally, if you want to know more about the type of switches, available features or other specifications, we've got another article coming for you soon!
100% Full Size Gaming Keyboard
Firstly, The 100% full-sized keyboard is the el Classico, a full form-factor 104-key giant including numpad and media controls. It takes up a lot of space on your setup, sure, but has all the buttons and functionalities you’re used to.
Full-sized keyboards are large and heavy to travel with, and they'll take up a big chunk of your desk space. Still, if you're not moving your keyboard regularly, this gives you all the bells and whistles with very little compromise. We wouldn’t recommend this form factor as most gamers adapt quite easily and forget the numpad even existed in the first place.
- All functionality without having to use Function (FN) buttons
- Numpad available
- Large and heavy to travel with
- Takes up much space on your desk
- Doesn’t look as clean and organized
The original Fnatic STREAK & Fnatic RUSH are full-sized gaming keyboards but are not on the market anymore.
80% Tenkeyless Gaming Keyboard
Secondly, the tenkeyless (TKL) gaming keyboard has 87 keys and packs in a lot of the functionality of the full form factor keyboard, but cuts off the numpad to create extra space on your desk. Taking off the numpad makes the keyboard roughly 80% of the size, without changing the layout.
If you play a lot of FPS games on low-sensitivity and prefer big mouse sweeps, a smaller board will give you more space for a bigger mouse pad so you can get that clutch! It'll also travel better because of the size and lower weight. In exchange, you're giving up your numpad and other functionalities as media controls.
Fnatic's own miniSTREAK comes highly recommended by reviewers, and is perfect to slide into your bag or tuck away on a smaller desk. Oh, and it won the Best Industrial Design in 2019.
- No need to learn a new layout
- Takes up less space on your desk (80%)
- Allows for more ergonomic posture, giving you more space for your mouse
- Lower weight, easier to travel with
- Programmable keys
- No numpad
- No media control functionalities
The award-winning FNATIC miniSTREAK is a fully-powered RGB mechanical gaming keyboard! Complete with a detachable cable and peerless build quality.
65% Size Gaming Keyboard
Thirdly, good things come in small packages, and this is just about the smallest. The 65% keyboard cuts away the numpad and function keys. All the unnecessary space in-between the keys is removed, making it ultra-compact to give you even more space on your desk and even more space in your luggage.
The 65% layout is the smallest keyboard that will allow you to still have the arrow keys. Just like the 80% form factor, the 65% form factor has programmable keys so you can remap any key and keep all the functionalities you could ever want!
- Even more space on your desk
- Even lighter, easy for travel
- 65% layout still has the arrow keys (60% layouts don’t)
- Programmable keys
- Need to get used to using the function keys to access all functionalities
60% Size Gaming Keyboard
Lastly, remember when we said the full-size keyboard has 104 keys? The 60% gaming keyboard has only around 62. In order to make a keyboard this small, the keyboard has been brought down to the absolute basics, which sacrifices a lot of functionality.
Honestly, if we wouldn't recommend this form factor for gaming. In addition to that numpad and function keys - you'll also lose the arrow keys. That's a lot of functionality gone for a tiny bit of extra space compared to the 65% keyboard, like the STREAK65.
- The smallest common keyboard.
- The lightest and smallest travel option
- Size over function, as a lot of things are cut back for size constraints.
To conclude, the rule of thumb is, the smaller the keyboard, the better it is for FPS titles. FPS players typically use a lower mouse sensitivity to improve accuracy. As a result, they need more movement for their flicks, and more space on the desk. A smaller gaming keyboard will give you more space for your mouse, and is therefore the better option. However, the difference in size between a 60% layout and a 65% layout is minimal. Therefore, we recommend the 65% layout, like the STREAK65. This keyboard allows you to keep the arrow and function keys while taking up minimal desk space.
For other games, like MOBAs, the keyboard size is less relevant as long as you are happy with your keybindings. MOBA players usually use higher sensitivity for extremely fast reaction and do not necessarily need the extra desk space. A TKL keyboard, like the miniSTREAK would be an excellent fit. Althought the STREAK65 might be a better all-round choice due to it's compactibility.