Do you rock a full size keyboard or have you downsized to tenkeyless?

Lauren Morton

Staff member

Hey PC gamers, welcome to another week in the dangerous customization rabbit hole. This week Mollie and I dragged our senior hardware editor Jacob Ridley out to talk shop about building and customizing mechanical keyboards. I never thought I'd be a person who wanted to get that granular about my setup but I just keep seeing all the aesthetic mechanical keyboard ASMR videos on social media and I have to admit I'm enticed. Jacob helped walk us through where to start, common pitfalls, and some of the terms you need to know in order to customize your keyboard. But since Mollie and I still haven't taken the plunge yet, and it's possible many of you haven't either, I just want to know something a little simpler:

Do you need a full size keyboard or have you downsized to the compact, tenkeyless life?​

Full keyboards, also called 96% or 100% size, have the full numpad attached to the right hand side. The 75% and 80% keyboards, also called tenkeyless, do away with that numpad but keep your other necessities. Then there are the 60-65% compact keyboards that do away with the function row keys and sometimes even arrow keys. Personally, I've gone down to an 80% tenkeyless keyboard, and while I like the small shape to keep my desk looking clean, I find myself missing that numbad (and my PrntScrn key) a lot more than I realized. Mollie says she could never do away with the numpad because it's home to all her MMO macros. Are you attached to your full set of keys or would you consider a smaller keeb life?
 

Always a good day when I learn a new word!

"Do you rock a full size keyboard"
Continuing in SA mode, warning: do NOT use rocks on a KB of any size—I find breadcrumbs and piecrust debris to be sufficiently rigorous abuse.
However I have successfully used rocks on a mouse…

All that wisdom imparted, to answer the Q: I use a full-size ++ with media keys above function row, 5 macro keys at very left and 3 more under spacebar—Roccat Isku from 2016, still going great:

ZIeteln.png


Do you need a full size keyboard

I absolutely need full size, and totally want the ++ I have. Gaming is the #2 use of my KB, work and general purpose occupy more of its time, so that's what it's geared for—I currently have 3 profiles setup, first Windows, second gaming, third image work, and there are 2 more profile slots if I need them.
 
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Okay, so I have a 96. I wouldn't call it full, as its got no wasted space on it.
2jH8agD.jpeg

no gaps but has a number pad... one day I might even use it.
 
Or just do what Asus, and Microsoft years before them, did and have detachable numpad


have to pay me to install Armory Crate on my PC though, so the Asus wasn't on a list I would make.

I (like Lutfi) had the original Microsoft one. I never did use numbpad but I have a course this year and it might help to have one...
 
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May 1, 2020
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Full size for me. It's all I've ever known, and desk space has never been an issue for me, so I've just stuck with it. Currently rocking a Corsair K70 MK.2 with Cherry MX Brown switches - it's my first mechanical keyboard, and I like it a lot. But I'm also not a massive keyboard/mouse enthusiast either, so I don't have any strong feelings on different keyboards. I just don't see any world in which I'd downsize tbh, perfectly happy with full size.

K70_RGB_MK2_UK_02.webp


I also have a lapboard for some couch gaming where a controller won't cut it; the keyboard itself is pretty average, Roccat Sova, not super special in and of itself. But in terms of utility it's granted, it's been amazing to be able to kick back on the sofa and play some FPSes, or watch my wife play Doom Eternal while she's using it.
iu
 

Lauren Morton

Staff member
Okay, so I have a 96. I wouldn't call it full, as its got no wasted space on it.
Oh wow, now I know exactly what layout I'm looking for. A compact 96% is exactly what I need in my life. I miss my ALT codes and PrntScrn button so badly.

I also have a lapboard for some couch gaming where a controller won't cut it
Oh wow, this thing is an entire TV dinner tray 😆 Look super useful though.
 
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Oh wow, now I know exactly what layout I'm looking for. A compact 96% is exactly what I need in my life. I miss my ALT codes and PrntScrn button so badly.


I think I am missing about 4 keys. many of which I didn't use anyway.
The media keys are just functions of other keys now. I don't have a pause key... I never used it on last keyboard so no loss.
I don't have a scroll lock key - since its purpose is ancient I don't feel I missed anything. Keyboard makers only put put it there as its always been there...
Guess I don't have an insert key either. A key that is more a problem than a solution, as there is no way to know if its on or not. Without pressing it and typing to see what happens next.
Reminds me, only indicator light I have is for caps lock... but I know there are more than just my model, other 96 layouts might have the lights... use more space for it.

When I am having problems figuring out which keys I am missing, should be a clue I don't really miss them.

I am still learning its layout so I often hit the printscreen button when I want to hit del, they right next to one another.

I still have 4 apple keys on there, it came with theh windows keys and a stack of spares. I know which keys are alt, I don't need it to say it... This way if caps ever do fade I have a few replacements
Q67Fn7c.jpg

Package also included power cable so keys came out at time, hence one arrow button is upside down. And Alt was as well, but I noticed that before taking photo. 7 switches for trial purposes in case you want to swap. I can change almost everything on this keyboard but so far I like it is as is.
 
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