Discover all earlier editions of the PCG Q&A right here. Some highlights:
– Have you ever discovered a real-world ability from a game?

-Quantity keys or scroll wheel weapon switching?

-Worst PC-building catastrophes?

The venerable IBM Mannequin M stays a cultural and design touchstone for what a pc keyboard seems like, and with good motive—they actually acquired it right the primary time. Nonetheless, lovers and producers have been getting kinda nutty with it lately, producing varied ergonomic keyboard designs and even tiny keyboards that decrease value and maximize your desk house.

I used to assume I used to be operate keys and quantity pad man for retains, however for the previous yr I have been dwelling that 65% life and loving it. When you’re unfamiliar, which means my board has 65% of the structure of an ordinary QWERTY, that means no operate row or quantity pad. Accessing my lacking fast save, fast load, and Steam screenshot keys simply requires a easy two-key combo press.

I am positive it is not for everyone although—Alt codes solely work with the num pad, so I’ve needed to get artistic in Gdocs to entry my beloved em sprint. Likewise, in case your work includes something computational or requires a variety of numerical entries, fuhgeddaboudit, you are gonna need the pad. In the meantime, there are layouts even smaller than 65%, astounding workouts in minimalism and key combo memorization that stretch the boundaries of my credulity. However for gaming and writing? 65% fits me simply advantageous.

Would you ever use a tiny keyboard? Listed here are our solutions, in addition to some from our discussion board.

Robin Valentine, Senior Editor: I am the type of man who all the time desires to really feel like they have all of the choices out there. Simply the considered needing a key and it not being right there on the board makes me sweat. I do just like the look of small keyboards, however the performance is not sensible to me in any respect. What are you even utilizing that additional house for – an unlimited mouse?

Lauren Aitken, Guides Editor: I am at present utilizing Everest 60 as a result of I’ve tiny palms and it’s good. I’ve a removable numpad I hold to the correct and programmed my very own shortcut keys so it is tremendous simple to make use of, to not point out very snug to jot down with given I’m a smol gal. Every time I attempt to sort on a full-size keyboard I really feel it takes me ages and I am as clumsy as a swan attempting to open a packet of crisps. It is snug for gaming as properly—once more, the small palms factor would not cease being an issue after I’m utilizing a mouse and keyboard to play video games. It is cute and fairly and makes good sounds and my carpal tunnel has all however disappeared: get on the 60% hype prepare!

Mountain Everest 60 gaming keyboard

(Picture credit score: Future)

Lauren Morton, Affiliate Editor: I downsized to a tenkeyless keyboard some time again and, like Ted, there are a pair Alt codes I actually miss with the lack of my numpad. I’ve developed a extremely codependent relationship with the web site emdash.fan, extremely suggest. I additionally generally miss having a PrntScrn button in extremely particular instances that I can’t presently recall. I might undoubtedly by no means go all the way down to these adorably small compact keyboards I see the minimalism followers utilizing that cast off all of the operate keys and arrow keys. I have been on my Steelseries Apex Professional TKL for round a yr and I’ve nonetheless by no means actually settled into the lack of my numpad.

Dave James, {Hardware} Lead: I am within the Lauren A. camp with my Everest 60 keeb, and I adore it. Although what the hell are you doing sticking the removable numpad on the correct? The left facet is where it is at. Then you’ll be able to calculate stuff and use a mouse with the opposite hand; how else do you take care of spreadsheets? I do know some persons are ultra-dependent on alt-codes, however I am such a dimwit I’ve by no means managed to get them to work on my machine for some motive. As an alternative I’ve turn out to be very adept with the Home windows emoji pop-up keyboard (Win+.)—it is actually helpful when grabbing the outdated emdash, specific characters, or slapping emojis into articles to actually wind individuals up. I’ve additionally set Google Docs as much as all the time give me an em sprint after I double-strike the usual sprint. Straightforward.

However for me, the mini keyboard is totally the way in which to go for gaming. No-one wants F keys in 2023 and the additional house afforded to your mouse hand by a small type issue board actually works for me. These lunatics who go super-minimal and choose a board with out even a set of cursor keys? Man, these persons are a misplaced trigger.

Ducky One 3 gaming keyboard in the Fuji colourway.

(Picture credit score: Future)

Andy Chalk, Information Lead: I might wish to strive one, as a result of my present keyboard is giant and heavy and generally I feel to myself, man, it might be good if my keyboard wasn’t so giant and heavy. Perhaps it might be, anyway. Because of this I might wish to strive one, as a result of who is aware of? Perhaps it’d suck! (I feel the reality is that generally I might similar to to strive a distinct keyboard.)

The one factor that might possible hold me from switching to a tenkeyless completely is—similar to everybody else—I exploit alt codes extra often than you would possibly assume. When doing foreign money conversions for Steam gross sales, for example, it is good to have the ability to simply blap out £ and € alongside $ with out having to click on right into a dropdown menu, or no matter it’s that folks do when foreign money symbols aren’t a daily a part of their lives. The em sprint is a giant one too—(see, there it’s)—I’ve OpenOffice set to auto-convert — to — however I not often use it as a result of it would not work wherever else (like Thunderbird, for instance), so my reflex move after I want one is to make use of the alt code. I feel I might have a tough time giving that up.

Mollie Taylor, Options Producer: I swapped to the Razer Huntsman V2 tenkeyless just a few months again and I can not lie, I am solely sticking with it as a result of the sound of the keys on my Razer Huntsman Quartz was beginning to irritate me (and had been irritating the remainder of my family for 2 years). I miss my numpad a lot, it dominated! Particularly as an MMO participant, getting access to as many keys as attainable retains my mind completely satisfied. There is no means in hell I might ever go smaller than a tenkeyless. What about your arrow keys? Your PrntScrn key? These candy candy Alt codes? Solely brokers of chaos go for something lower than a 90% keyboard.

Phil Savage, UK Editor-in-Chief: Lotta small keyboard advocates up in right here, and I’ve acquired to say: nah, I am good thanks. As somebody with such terminal MMO mind that I will rebind inputs to refill all out there house, I simply get an excessive amount of use out of the default structure to contemplate reducing down. I might in all probability get by with out F8. And ‘ins’ is doing nothing for me. However in any other case most of my keys are doing work as a timesaver for some area of interest MMO or sim. To be trustworthy, my present keyboard would not really feel uncomfortably massive, so I’ve by no means felt the necessity to even attempt to stay life with out a quantity pad. Would a smaller board really feel even higher? Perhaps. But when I by no means strive one, I will by no means know what I am lacking out on. 

Large Corsair keyboard with RGB-backlit keys

(Picture credit score: Corsair)

From our discussion board

Kaamos_Llama: I had a 75% keyboard from 2014 or 2015 till a pair years in the past, would nonetheless have one if the USB cable hadn’t broke. I like having the additional desk house quite a bit. I used to overlook a numpad often however its been so lengthy since I had one I’ve forgotten about them at this level.

The two I’ve had since then have been TKL, that are nice, however there was one thing fairly candy about having a extremely tiny keyboard too. It might take a while to get used to having a full dimension board once more, and possibly a much bigger desk.

Brian Boru: Reply to your query is a giant no—if that is not clear, let me make clear: NO.

I exploit my KB quite a bit, so each ounce of effectivity I can squeeze out of it makes a distinction—principally psychological in fact, however hey, the within of my head is where I stay.

My KB is even larger than 100%, acquired an additional row of media keys above the F keys, and an additional column on the left. I do not use all the additional keys, about 50%—low-cost and programmable had been the principle attracts.

[later in the thread] It is not in me to stint on where I spend a variety of time. Cannot see myself attempting to sleep in a 65% mattress.

Zloth: If I do not use an ergo-keyboard, my wrists begin hurting after just a few days. Which means a giant keyboard for positive.

EM sprint? (google google) Oh, you imply the lengthy sprint! I suppose the minus signal is not adequate for some individuals.

Pifanjr: I’ve used a laptop computer with out numpad earlier than and I did not prefer it. There have been larger issues with that keyboard than the lacking numpad although.

I exploit the numpad of my present laptop computer rather a lot, however that is principally as a result of I misplaced the common 6 key…

Small profile keyboard with retro-styled, beige and green keycaps

Lutfij from the PCG boards’ small-profile keyboard. (Picture credit score: Lutfij)

Colif: Kind of, I used certainly one of these [Sidewinder X6 keyboard with modular numpad] for about 5 years and more often than not the numpad was unplugged.

Numpad may very well be connected to left or right facet. I usually had it off. However ever since then I’ve used regular dimension keyboards

Lutfij: I’ve each, the X6 and X8, liked it a lot that I wished to finish the set with an X3 and X4 as properly, the latter 2 are unused and even of their unique packaging ready to be unboxed.

Yep, the numpad when connected to the left, would double as a macro, made your keyboard really feel like a pseudo TKL, move the mouse nearer to the keyboard. This was earlier than Asus determined to leap into the keyboard scene.

At present, that is my every day driver; Keychron Q1v2(in Shell White), with a Retrogaming XDA profile keycap set that I sourced almost a yr in the past.

PCG Sprint: I exploit this tiny mechanical set from Logitech and have by no means run into any issues!

Bright pastel Logitech keyboard with round keycaps

(Picture credit score: Logitech)

For video games like The Sims 4 or Arma 3 (which want just a few numpad keys by default for digicam controls and so forth.) I can get by binding these features to the emoji buttons down the correct hand facet.

DXCHASE: I like how among the smaller compact keyboards look esp. the customized ones like those at computex this yr I additionally like actually clear trying setups with these wi-fi keyboards and mouses.

BUT want a 100% full sized keyboard (WIRED!) with sound controls and all. It must be heavy obligation too. I am a giant tough and tumble gamer and want my peripherals to match. Corsair K70 gang!

mainer: My reply isn’t any. I’ve by no means thought of utilizing a tiny keyboard, and from my private perspective, I simply do not see any sensible use for them. I want a full-sized keyboard with a padded wrist relaxation and numpad. I exploit the numpad continuously, particularly outdoors of gaming, and a strong, padded, and connected wrist relaxation is vital for me, in gaming in addition to being a touch-typist (although I do not know if it is the “correct” type, I all the time relaxation my wrists on the wrist relaxation).

I additionally like the load of a full-sized keyboard, particularly if it has a steel body, as I can “spaz-out” a bit in an actual time motion game with out knocking the keyboard midway throughout the desk. My present keyboard (and has been for the final 5 years or so) is the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum. Strong as a tank and has no points, although the ICUE software program from Corsair generally is a bit flakey.