TKL vs 75% Keyboard Layout [Complete Guide]

Although keyboards with different sizes and layouts are available, a lot of people still seem more captivated by TKL vs 75% Keyboard layout. The popularity of form factor keyboards has drastically improved over the years and what’s more surprising is that prebuilt and custom mechanical keyboards have been somewhat left behind.

I took a step to serve those who are eager to know which of the 75% and TKL Keyboard layouts offer the best form factor.

I have tested these (TKL & 75% keyboard) small form factor keyboards and found they have many similarities. Although the total number of keys in both boards is almost the same the TKL layout is different and has a larger footprint in comparison to the overall footprint of 75% of boards.

In context to their interesting design, they both offer a lot more exciting features which I find extremely effective for example volume knobs and screens.

I would rather say the 75% keyboard is a compact version of TKL keyboards that comes with close navigation of keys and pretty much similar functionalities. Still, I am unable to declare any of them the best keyboard as it largely depends on the aesthetic inclination of the consumer anyway.

TKL vs 75% Keyboard Layout Comparison

I present to you this comparison article and will talk through all the differences between TKL and 75% keyboard layout. Basically, we would be discussing the strong and weak factors of these compact keyboards so you will have a clear idea of which form factor serves you best as per your preferences.

What is the Appeal of Compact Keyboards?

The compact keyboard has a special place due to convenience and comfort and saves a lot of space left on the desk. Also, with the smaller keyboard on your desk, you can easily reach for a mouse without moving a bit, it can make research, typing, and gaming much easier and more efficient. That is why compact keyboards dominate the whole market where you must have seen most custom and prebuilt keyboards are smaller keyboards, for good reasons.

The idea & invention of smaller keyboards is, however, very much related to affordable alternatives to full-sized keyboards and the concept has shaped down as TKL keyboards. Further, the great success of the TKL keyboard encouraged companies to produce farther smaller keyboards which include 75%, 65%, and 60%.

These small form factor boards outclass full-sized keyboards on the basis of performance, efficiency, functionality, comfort, and portability.

Obviously, compact keyboards offer an ergonomic form factor and smaller footprints similarly with extra room on the table makes mouse movement easy which is most needed in FPS gaming like the league of legends Keyboards. Definitely, small form factor keyboards are the best when you need enough space on your table to be used for other devices.

Users like gamers, typists, researchers, or writers find compact keyboards more advantageous than full-sized boards. Typists and gamers prefer smaller keyboards to be quick, spontaneous, and flawless.

Although the only drawback of a compact keyboard is that some important keys are sacrificed to be fixed in the smaller design of the keyboard. In reality, not all smaller keyboards have the same case of giving up on functionalities. The case is different with TKL and 75% keyboards without sacrificing functionality they both include all vital elements like F-keys, home row cluster, and arrow keys.

Even though 75% keyboards hold a smaller footprint, they have all the keys in a small layout. The small form factor features more or less every essential key that I find on Tenkeyless keyboards.

Tenkeyless Keyboards

tenkeyless keyboards

TKL keyboards or also recognized as 80% layout and are known as ‘Tenkeyless’ because of the lacking Numpad from the board although it’s another debate that there are 17 or more keyless. The keyboard layout is quite similar to a bulky full-sized keyboard, having 87 keys on board. However, an uncommon TKL keyboard variant is also available with around 92 keys.

Since the late 80s, Tenkeyless keyboards have been in the market and served to be a competent ergonomic variant of 100% keyboards. Also, there are both variants of 80% keyboards available which are preconfigured and custom keyboards to cater to users of all types. Nowadays, almost all the companies of prebuilt keyboards prefer producing TKL versions of keyboards.

TKL keyboards’ popularity has grown over the years due to the perfect size of newer compact form factor keyboards which makes a transition from the full-size keyboard much more convenient and comfortable. Besides, the size of the smaller form factor serves great in terms of functionality, efficiency, and form. Since the TKL keyboard’s layout is almost the same as a full-size keyboard’s layout, it does not bother new users to adjust to this layout.

Apart from this, I am very impressed to know that this form factor comes in a wide range of variety both for entry enthusiasts and those from the conventional sector. Likewise, the TKL board is not just excellent for narrow-spaced setups, the ergonomic factor for typing on alphabetic-centered boards is far more overwhelming.

Even though the TKL form factor has all amazing aspects but surely they do have some issues, which is why further smaller keyboards were made afterward. In comparison, 80% of keyboards still seem quite bulky and dull than other smaller form factor keyboards. But keeping all these small factors aside, TKL keyboards hold a safe and balanced size that is suitable for almost all types of users.

Pros of TKL Keyboards
  • Smaller size, 80% of a full-size keyboard
  • Ergonomically designed for better hand positioning
  • Take less space on the PC desk
  • Portable, easy to carry around
  • Identical layout to 104 full-size keyboard
  • Removable cables
Cons of TKL Keyboards
  • Without Numpad, some tasks can get tough
  • Pricey options especially for custom keyboards

75% Keyboards

75% keyboards

After 80% or TKL form factor, 75% keyboard is the farther smaller form factor designed to be more compact board, have gained recognition over the years. This smaller keyboard includes more or less the same keys as the TKL keyboard.

In reality, 75% form factor has almost TKL build with all the keys packed closer to provide a smaller build along with less traveling time while typing. It is intended to put forward a high level of functionality like the TKL form factor does, with a more compact size. There is no chance that you may find any difference between 75% and TKL form factor in context to useability.

This compact version of TKL holds less space between the F row keys and arrow key cluster while on the right side, the bottom row with spacebar is shorter in size and the shift key is narrowed down further to make room for the Up key. The 75% compact form factor hold navigation keys closer and vertically accommodate keys such as Home, Pg Up, Pg Down, and End to save the width.

In so many aspects 75% compact keyboard is identical to the 65% keyboard with the only difference of F keys that are not included in the 65% smaller form factor.

However, the issue with a 75% compact keyboard layout is that user switching from TKL or full-sized keyboard to a 75% compact form factor needs to readapt or change their typing style. It is the smaller form factor having all keys close to each other which is not the case with TKL. Also, the keyboard’s right side is designed entirely differently to make the form factor smaller.

75% keyboard does not have any standard design, therefore keyboards with a totally different look or layout are somewhat exciting and interesting for some people but somehow it can be an issue of concern for some. The current popular version of the 75% keyboard layout is, although, exploded 75% layout but it can be changed once another layout gets in trend.

Pros of 75% Keyboards
  • A similar number of keys as TKL form factor
  • The same level of functionality as TKL keyboards
  • Smaller footprint than TKL
  • Extra features like OLED screens, volume knobs & badges
  • Durable & adjustable

Cons of 75% Keyboards
  • Standard layout or design
  • Very expensive due to limited options and variety available
  • Compatibility issues with most keycap sets

TKL and 75% Keycap Compatibility

In terms of keycap compatibility, I would rate tenkeyless boards a good 9 out of 10 while the 75% keyboards cast down at the rating of 2, allow me to explain.

I found TKL keyboards are good to go with almost all key sets available even this great form factor is made compatible with any 104 keysets used for full-sized boards, although, you will need some effort and changes.

The case is different with 75% boards as I found it tough to get compatible keycaps for 75 keyboard layouts. Indeed, most profiles do not find 75% layout supportive but some particular keycaps sets are compatible and definitely, they get pricier.

Some base keycap sets like 1U modifiers, 1.75U right shift, Glorious, etc. are compatible with the standard 75% keyboards layout. Also, some high-end sets like GMK and more work great with 75% boards.

You should keep in mind that keycap sizes and keyboard plates differ from one kit to another. There are some smaller keycaps made to fix with keys like arrow keys and others on the keyboard.

75% Keyboard vs. TKL Keyboard – Better Keyboard Form Factor

If you are done with full-sized keyboards and want to try smaller ones then Tenkeyless and 75% keyboards are certainly the best options to consider. Forthwith, when TKL boards earned a great reputation 75% of keyboards hit the market as the most popular compact keyboards. Also, adjusting is much easier when you switch from a full-sized keyboard to any of them as compared to 60% or other smaller alternatives.

Both 75% and Tenkeyless keyboards include all essential keys thus these are perfect to be used for gaming, writing, typing and so much more. That is to say, which keyboard has a better layout is primarily based on the reason for buying a mechanical keyboard.

In case you are after a traditional mechanical keyboard, TKL boards are excellent to serve as they are recognized compact form factors that have already proven reliability in many situations.

On the other hand, if you like to get a unique design keyboard that features a wide range of additional features like screens, knobs and badges, give 75% keyboard a try. Although it took me a while to get used to working on it while hunting down compatible keycap sets was the hardest part.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many keys does a TKL keyboard have?

TKL keyboards are also known as 80% or 87%, with around 87 keys on board.

What is a 75% keyboard?

A 75% keyboard is a type of mechanical keyboard that contains the same number of keys as a full-size keyboard but in a much more compact form factor. The key layout is more efficient, taking up less space than a full-size keyboard. This allows the user to have more desk space for other activities or peripherals.

A 75% keyboard typically has the standard row of function keys, as well as a row of navigational keys such as Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down. It also includes a number pad, but the number keys are arranged in a single row instead of the traditional two rows. This allows the keyboard to be more compact and efficient.

The 75% keyboard also has a much smaller footprint than a full-size keyboard. This is because it lacks the extra row of keys found on a full-size keyboard. This includes the extra row of keys such as the Insert, Delete, Print Screen, ScrollLock, and Pause/Break keys. The 75% keyboard is popular among gamers, as it offers a more efficient layout that still keeps all the essential keys within easy reach. It’s also popular among typists, as the smaller form factor allows for a more natural and ergonomic typing experience.

The 75% keyboard also offers greater flexibility when it comes to key mapping. Since the key layout is more efficient, you can remap certain keys to make them more accessible or to suit your specific needs. Overall, the 75% keyboard offers a great balance between efficiency and functionality.

It offers the same number of keys as a full-size keyboard but in a much more compact form factor. This allows for more desk space and a more ergonomic typing experience. It also offers greater flexibility when it comes to key mapping, which makes it an attractive option for gamers and typists alike.

The design is although based on narrow space very much similar to 60% keyboard but includes almost all-important keys like TKL.

How big is a TKL?

TKL comes in varied sizes though but the standard is about 14 inches or 35.56 cm while the full-size measures 17.4 inches, 96 / TK is around 15 inches.

Is the TKL keyboard better for gaming?

Tenkeyless design is specially designed to offer efficiency, speed, comfort, and ease for both gaming and working both. The small size of the keyboard although does not include Numpad but offers you enough space for wider mouse movement that is most required for pleasant gaming sessions.

This is why TKL keyboards are the best boards for multiple uses as many top professional gamers love TKL boards for their professional gaming.

Are 75% Keyboards Good?

This compact form factor keyboard brings forth a perfect balance that lies somewhere between a full-size keyboard and a 60% keyboard and surprisingly became the first priority of enthusiasts and pro players of FPS games.

Top recommendations for the best 75% Keyboard are Drevo Excalibur, Epomaker NIZ Plum, and Keychron K2.

What is a TKL keyboard?

A tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard is a type of mechanical keyboard that is designed for maximum efficiency and portability. It is typically about two-thirds the size of a full-size keyboard, making it much easier to fit on a desk or into a bag for travel. The TKL keyboard does not have the numeric keypad found on the right side of a full-size keyboard. This lack of a numeric keypad allows the user to have more desk space for other activities or peripherals.

The TKL keyboard is popular among gamers, as it offers a more efficient layout that still keeps all the essential keys within easy reach. It’s also popular among typists, as the smaller form factor allows for a more natural and ergonomic typing experience. The TKL keyboard also offers greater flexibility when it comes to key mapping. Since the key layout is more efficient, you can remap certain keys to make them more accessible or to suit your specific needs.

This makes it especially attractive to gamers and typists who want to customize their keyboards to their liking. The TKL keyboard also offers a better balance between portability and functionality than a full-size keyboard. It offers the same number of keys as a full-size keyboard but in a much more compact form factor.

This allows for more desk space and a more ergonomic typing experience. It also offers greater flexibility when it comes to key mapping, which makes it an attractive option for gamers and typists alike.

Overall, the TKL keyboard offers a great balance between efficiency and functionality. It offers the same number of keys as a full-size keyboard but in a much more compact form factor. This allows for more desk space and a more ergonomic typing experience. It also offers greater flexibility when it comes to key mapping, which makes it an attractive option for gamers and typists alike.

What is the difference between a TKL and a 75% keyboard?

The difference between a tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard and a 75% keyboard lies primarily in size and layout. A 75%keyboard is slightly larger than a TKL keyboard, but still more compact than a full-size keyboard. The key layout of a 75% keyboard is also slightly different, making it more efficient for some users. A TKL keyboard is about two-thirds the size of a full-size keyboard. It does not have the numeric keypad found on the right side of a full-size keyboard.

This lack of a numeric keypad allows the user to have more desk space for other activities or peripherals. The keyboard is popular among gamers, as it offers a more efficient layout that still keeps all the essential keys within easy reach. It’s also popular among typists, as the smaller form factor allows for a more natural and ergonomic typing experience. A 75% keyboard is slightly larger than a TKL keyboard, but still more compact than a full-size keyboard.

It typically has the standard row of function keys, as well as a row of navigational keys such as Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down. It also includes a number pad, but the number keys are arranged in a single row instead of the traditional two rows. This allows the keyboard to be more compact and efficient.

The 75% keyboard also offers greater flexibility when it comes to key mapping. Since the key layout is more efficient, you can remap certain keys to make them more accessible or to suit your specific needs. This makes it especially attractive to gamers and typists who want to customize their keyboard to their liking.

Overall, both the TKL and 75% keyboards offer a great balance between efficiency and functionality. The TKL keyboard is more compact and offers more desk space, while the 75% keyboard offers a more efficient key layout and greater flexibility when it comes to key mapping. Both keyboards are popular among gamers and typists, and both offer a great balance between portability and functionality.

Why do keyboards exist in different sizes?

Keyboards exist in different sizes because they are designed to meet the needs of different types of users. A full-size keyboard is ideal for those who need access to all of the keys and don’t mind the added size and bulk. A tenkeyless (TKL)keyboard is more compact and lightweight, making it a good choice for those who need portability.

A 75% keyboard is even more compact, allowing for more desk space and a more ergonomic typing experience. Full-size keyboards are suitable for desktop users who don’t need to move their keyboards around often. They are also ideal for users who need access to all of the keys, such as gamers and typists, who may need to use the extra row of keys.

TKL keyboards are designed for those who need portability and don’t need the extra keys found on a full-size keyboard. They are also popular among gamers and typists who prefer a more efficient layout and a more natural typing experience.

Finally, 75% keyboards are perfect for those who need a more efficient key layout, but still want access to all the essential keys. They are also popular among gamers and typists, as they offer a great balance between portability and functionality. In conclusion, keyboards come in different sizes to meet the needs of different users. Full-size keyboards are best for desktop users, while TKL and 75% keyboards are better for those who need portability and a more efficient key layout.

What are the benefits of a TKL keyboard?

  1. Compact Design: TKL keyboards are much smaller than full-sized keyboards which allow for more desktop space and portability.
  2. Easier to Reach: The shorter size of the TKL keyboard makes it easier to reach all the keys without having to stretch your hands. This can make typing more comfortable and efficient.
  3. Improved Accuracy: The shorter size of the TKL keyboard can also help increase accuracy since it’s easier to make sure your fingers are hitting the right keys.
  4. Easier to Clean: It’s much easier to clean a TKL keyboard since there are fewer keys to clean around.
  5. 5. Price: TKLkeyboards are usually less expensive than full-sized keyboards making them a great option for those on a budget.

What are the benefits of a 75% keyboard?

  1. Compact Design: Much like the TKL keyboard, the 75% keyboard is smaller than a full-sized keyboard and allows for more desktop space and portability.
  2. Improved Accuracy: The smaller size of the 75% keyboard can make it easier to hit the right keys and increase accuracy.
  3. Easier to Reach: The shorter size of the 75% keyboard makes it easier to reach all the keys without having to stretch your hands. This can make typing more comfortable and efficient.
  4. Easier to Clean: It’s much easier to clean a 75% keyboard since there are fewer keys to clean around.
  5. Price: 75% keyboards are usually less expensive than full-sized keyboards making them a great option for those on a budget.

Are TKL keyboards 75% keyboards?

No, TKL keyboards are not typically considered 75% keyboards. A 75% keyboard, also known as a compact keyboard, is a type of keyboard that is smaller than a full-sized keyboard but larger than a 60% keyboard.

These keyboards typically have around 75% of the keys found on a full-sized keyboard, with the bottom row of keys(which often includes the arrow keys) being the most commonly removed. TKL keyboards, on the other hand, are a type of keyboard that stands for Tenkeyless. This type of keyboard does not have a number pad, making it slightly smaller than a full-sized keyboard.

However, it typically has all the same keys as a full-sized keyboard, minus the number pad. This means that it does not have the same reduced key count that a 75% keyboard does. Furthermore, the purpose of a 75% keyboard is to provide a more compact and portable keyboard option, while still retaining most of the keys found on a full-sized keyboard.

TKL keyboards, on the other hand, are typically used by gamers and typists who want a larger keyboard option but don’t necessarily require the number pad. Therefore, while TKL keyboards are smaller than full-sized keyboards, they are not considered 75% keyboards as they do not have the same reduced key count.

Is a TKL better for typing?

A TKL (tenkeyless) keyboard is a type of keyboard that does not include a numeric keypad, which makes it slightly smaller and more compact than a full-size keyboard. This type of keyboard is often preferred by typists because it allows for more space on the desktop, which can be beneficial when typing.

The absence of the numeric keypad also allows the typist to keep their wrists in a more natural position while typing, as they don’t have to reach so far to the right to access the number keys. This can reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries associated with typing. Additionally, TKL keyboards typically feature specially designed keycaps that more closely resemble those of a typewriter, making them more ergonomic and comfortable to use.

The compact size of a TKL keyboard also makes it ideal for gamers who don’t need the extra keys offered by a full-size keyboard. It can free up valuable desk space for mouse movement, allowing for more precise movements with less effort. The smaller form factor also makes it easier to transport to gaming events or LAN parties.

Overall, TKL keyboards provide many benefits for typists and gamers alike. Their smaller size and ergonomic design make them more comfortable to use, and the lack of a numeric keypad allows for more efficient typing and gaming.

Does a 75% keyboard have a delete key?

Yes, a 75% keyboard does have a delete key. 75% keyboards are designed to be a compromise between a full-size keyboard and a tenkeyless keyboard. They usually have around 75% of the keys found in a full-size keyboard and are generally smaller than a tenkeyless keyboard.

The delete key is usually included in the 75% keyboard layout, located in the same spot as a full-size keyboard, between the left shift key and the backspace key. This makes it easier for someone who is used to a full-size keyboard to transition to a 75% keyboard. As with all keyboards, the exact layout of the keys may vary depending on the make and model, but in general, a 75% keyboard should include a delete key.

Conclusion

Above all, Tenkeyless keyboards are best to use for multiple situations, however, 75% of keyboards are mostly preferred by pro gamers and typists. Both keyboard sizes are perfect to use for working or gaming with almost all the needed keys and functionalities.

To be honest, 75% of keyboards are hot in town than TKL keyboards but still, the final choice should be based on your aesthetic and personal preferences.

Brandon S. Lee

Hi, My name Brandon S.Lee and I am a professional Gamer, I also worked with the keyboard making company called Logitech. I was the quality check manager of the Logitech keyboard department. Here we have a team of people who researched on the keyboards, talked with keyboard users and analyzes the user reviews and then write the product reviews.

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