A good keyboard is one of the most important elements of any computer system. Very often its role is underestimated, but this particular detail can be called the best friend of gamers, programmers and writers. Therefore, it is so important to know how to choose the right keyboard and understand its standard sizes.
Types of keyboards depending on the size
There are many types of keyboards that differ in their size. This parameter directly depends on the number of keys and the compactness of their arrangement.
Today on the market you can see keyboards such as:
- full size;
- 1800 compact;
- TKL (80%);
- keyboard numpad.
Let’s take a look at each of them separately to find out the features and benefits.
Full size keyboard (100%)
If you close your eyes and try to imagine a keyboard, this is the shape that most likely comes to mind right away. This is the most common type, which can be seen anywhere: at home, in offices, etc. It differs in a set of all the necessary keys: number, arrows, navigation. There is also a function line and, in some cases, modifier keys.
HyperX Alloy Core RGB Black USB
Compact keyboard 1800
Such keyboards also have all the necessary keys, they are grouped more densely. Details like these are a great option for those looking to save space on their desk.
These keyboards are characterized by a very dense key layout. However, they lack only a few navigation buttons. It may seem inconvenient at first, but if you get used to it, you can learn to work quickly enough on such a keyboard.
Tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard 80% or 87%
These keyboards can be called the second most popular after the full-size ones. They differ only in the absence of a digital block on the right side. These models are suitable for those who do not use numeric keys and want a small and comfortable keyboard. In addition, the layout is no different from 100%. On the modern market, you can see a variety of options for such keyboards: with and without backlit, wired and wireless, with various accessories, etc.
HyperX Alloy FPS Pro
These models represent a more compact version of the TKL models. It differs in the dense arrangement of the keys, which saves space. There is practically no free space between the keys.
These are compact and small models that lack a functional row and a few additional keys. Such keyboards are distinguished by the closest arrangement of buttons, small size and weight.
This variant does not have a numeric keypad, arrows, function line, and some other keys. For many users, such models are very convenient, for others, on the contrary, not. In addition, the cost of the devices is low.
These keyboards only have letter keys and a few modifiers. They also contain functional layers that allow you to access the missing keys. The main thing is to learn how to work correctly with such a model.
Numpad or Tenkey
Such devices represent a separate numeric keypad, which, if necessary, can be purchased additionally to the main input device. It can be moved around the table and on either side of the base model, which can be very convenient.
Are there other sizes and types?
We have considered the most basic types of keyboards, but there are also more specific or unusual models. They are rare because of their uniqueness.
- Ortholinear keyboards that are completely straight. The keys are arranged horizontally, in the form of an ideal network.
- Split keyboards are models that have two parts. These can be separate boards, or maybe one with keys separated on it.
- Macropad – Models that are the same size as the numeric keypad, but with assigned macro keys.
- Southpaw is a keyboard in which the numeric device is located on the left side. These models are positioned as devices for left-handers.
Types of keyboard layouts
Keyboards can differ not only in size and shape, but also in layout. Most modern models use the ANSI (American Standard) variant. However, there are also ISO (European standard) and JIS (Japanese standard). The layout depends on the geographic location of the user.
How to choose the right keyboard?
There are several factors to consider when choosing a keyboard.
- Table size. Some surfaces can be so small that there is simply no room for a keyboard and mouse. In this case, it is better to opt for compact, small models.
- The ability to carry the keyboard with you. If the user travels often, then TKL devices are an excellent option, 60% and 40%, because they are the most portable.
- The presence of functional layers. They are necessary in order to access the missing ones using the available keys. These layers are often found in compact, small designs.
The days when all keyboards looked the same are long gone. Today, there are a huge number of devices on the market that differ in their size and functionality. Each user will be able to choose the model that is suitable in a particular case, depending on preferences and requirements.