A fairly large number of gamers prefer shortened keyboards, without an additional number pad - they take up less desk space, freeing up space for the mouse. Well, for e-sportsmen this is actually a must-have, since the TKL keyboard is easier to carry, and they don't need the Num block at all. In this article, we have collected five really great compact mechanical switch keyboards that are equally suitable for amateur gamers and seasoned online fighters.
In a convenient table, you can compare the main characteristics of the keyboards included in our review. More models for self-selection are waiting for you in the general catalog of gaming keyboards.
Over the past couple of years, the Redragon brand has distinguished itself with a whole scattering of interesting gaming keyboards that are gradually gaining recognition in the gaming community. Redragon understands that it is extremely difficult to compete in a direct battle with bison caliber Razer and Logitech, so they are looking for workarounds.
Firstly, it is a very convenient separate button for quickly writing macros into memory. Secondly, a multimedia key block with a pleasant to the touch volume wheel in the spirit of the much more expensive Corsair Strafe keyboard. Such a rarity for compact tournament keyboards. Even more rare are 9 separate programmable macro keys. One block of buttons is displayed on the left panel, the second is located above the F1 - F4 keys. We say right away that the macros to the left of the main keys cause a slight embarrassment at first, but this is not so much a problem with this model as with the form factor itself. Similar options from Dell and Logitech also raised a lot of questions.
Among other advantages of Redragon Broadsword Pro, we should note a massive, well-assembled frame (there is protection against moisture), dynamic illumination of each key, a comfortable soft-touch brush holder with magnetic latches. As for ergonomics and quality, there is also complete order. It is difficult to say how the blue switches from Outemu used in it will behave over time, but they practically do not differ from the reference Cherry switches. Unless they click too damn loudly, working on Broadsword Pro is convenient only if fate has awarded you a separate office.
For the past couple of years, the gaming division of Kingston HyperX has been actively focusing on gaming peripherals. They rarely shoot, but accurately, so most of the products do not pass by the players, and some become real hits. We do not presume to judge the fate of the new HyperX Alloy Origins Core keyboard, but the impressions from it are the most pleasant. Like the original HyperX Alloy, this esports version stands out for its interesting proprietary switches and a chassis made from a single piece of aluminum.
Let's start with switches. Among their advantages, Kingston / HyperX engineers note a short stroke to the actuation point and an increased resource to failure (up to 80 million clicks). The full key travel is 3. mm, the actuation travel is 1. mm, and the pressing force is 45 g. By their nature, they resemble traditional red switches, but unlike them, they are not so light and do not accidentally press under the weight of your fingers.
After a couple of weeks of using the HyperX Alloy Origins Core impressions are the most positive - it's a simple, elegant, reliable and very comfortable keyboard without weak points. At the same time, it has additional goodies like a detachable cable or built-in memory, which allows you to record macros, control the backlight, or change the key assignments. Up to three profiles can be stored in memory. To this should be added the bright, but not annoying backlighting and proprietary software that allows you to fine-tune the keyboard functions, if necessary.
BlackWidow is without the slightest exaggeration the legendary series of gaming keyboards. Under these flags, more than a dozen different and at the same time similar keyboards have come out, which follow a proven formula for success: close to ideal ergonomics, high-quality materials, reliable assembly, flexible macro management system and branded switches.
The compact tournament BlackWidow V3 TKL uses Razer's proven green switches, which are similar in performance and feel to Cherry Blue switches. They have a fast response speed, medium pick / drop values and a short homing distance. Only Razer has more failover (80 million) and higher resistance to moisture. By the way, such a combination of characteristics allows BlackWidow V3 TKL to be used for quite comfortable printing. Unless, of course, you are not annoyed by the clicking of mechanical keyboards. If confusing, then try the version with smooth and quiet yellow switches.