2012-03-18

Keyboards Without Number Pads

Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/kbd/keyboard_no_numpad.html

Some collection of keyboard without numeric keypad. The list is ordered roughly starting with the best ones.

Filco Majestouch-2, Tenkeyless

Linear Key Action

Filco Ninja Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless NKR Linear Action Keyboard FKBN87ML EFB2
“Filco Ninja Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless NKR Linear Action”, Model: “FKBN87ML/EFB2”. amazon

Notice, the key labels are printed in front of the keys. Nice touch! This way, the key labels won't wear away (and they don't have to use other more expensive tech for key labeling such as laser-etching.)

This “linear action” means the keys are suitable for gaming. That is, no “click”, so you can press fire button rapidly. They use Cherry MX Black mechanical key switches. (See: Guide to Computer Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms.)

This keyboard also features true N-key rollover. (meaning, you can press many keys simultaneously and it'll work correctly.) (See: Keyboard Ghosting & N-key Rollover: How Many Keys Your Keyboard Can Take?)

The company Filco is known among keyboard enthusiasts for its high quality keyboards.

For me, i must have split ergonomic keyboards. But if you don't mind straight keyboard, i highly recommend Filco.

Tactile/Click Key Action

Filco make several models, with different touch sensation and colors.

Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless NKR Click Keyboard FKBN87MC/EMU2
“Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless NKR Click Keyboard” (model FKBN87MC/EMU2) amazon

These are suitable for heavy typers.

  • “linear action” (Cherry MX Black), means smooth. No “click” sensation for key press.
  • “tactile action” (Cherry MX Brown), means there's a “click” sensation for key activation.
  • “click action” (Cherry MX Blue), is like tactile, but with audible click. Even more clicky.

(See: Guide to Computer Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms.)

  • Color Black. (Cherry MX Black) (Model FKBN87ML/EFB2) amazon
  • Color Black. (Cherry MX Black) (model FKBN87ML/EB2) amazon
  • Color Metalic Pink. (Cherry MX Brown) (model FKBN87M/PWE2) amazon
  • Color White. (Cherry MX Brown) (model FKBN87M/EW2) amazon
  • Color Camouflage. (Cherry MX Blue) (model FKBN87MC/EMU2) amazon

Cooler Master

Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid Keyboard SGK-4000-GKCL1-US
“Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid Keyboard”. (model: SGK-4000-GKCL1-US) amazon

This is made by the company Cooler Master, another reputable company, known in gaming communities.

Features:

  • Cherry MX Blue keyswitch. (very clicky, audible)
  • laser-marked keycaps (so the key labels won't wear off)

One bad point about this one is that it has a FN key, instead of a normal Menu key. The problem with this is that you won't be able to customize that key, because FN key is usually hard-wired and your OS won't see it. See: Computer Keyboard: What Are F1 … F12 Keys Used For? Increase Productivity Using Function Keys.

Microsoft Sidewinder X6

MS Sidewinder x6 gaming keyboard
MS Sidewinder X6 gaming keyboard amazon

This is discontinued, because Microsoft is getting out of gaming keyboard/mouse business.

The cool thing about gaming keyboards is that you have many extra function keys, great for programing and emacs use. For this one, the 2 big wheel controls are nice too.

HP USB mini Keyboard

HP USB mini keyboard
HP USB mini keyboard amazon

A cheap rubber-dome keyboard. If you don't really care that much about keyboard, and all you wanted is a keyboard without that number pad, this is the one to get.

Happy Hacking, KCB Poker, Ducky, Apple

Here's some others. Some of these do not have function keys. Some are laptop-style shallow flat keys. If you are a programer or gamer, i do not recommend keyboard without dedicated function keys.