TKL vs Full Size Keyboards: Differences (2023)

Author: Anirban Saha

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I have been using mechanical keyboards of different sizes for a long time. From my experience, I would discuss here the difference between Tenkeyless and Full Size Keyboards..

I only considered TKL(Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards) while I was looking for a compact-sized keyboard over my regular full-sized mechanical keyboard.

TKL vs Full Size Keyboards

Let’s get started!

TKL vs Full Size Keyboard

CriteriaTKL KeyboardsFull-Sized KeyboardsAdvantage
Size and FootprintSmaller, take up less desk spaceLarger, take up more desk spaceTKL: More suitable for limited desk space.

Full-size: Suitable for those who need a numeric keypad.
FunctionalityStreamlined design, easier-to-find keysAll Regular and Numpad in the right size.TKL: Preferred by gamers.

Full-size: Ideal for those who need a numeric keypad regularly.

What is a TKL Keyboard?

A TKL keyboard, as the name suggests, is a keyboard that doesn’t have a numeric keypad. It’s called “Tenkeyless” because it doesn’t have the 10 numeric keys found on a full-size keyboard.

TKL keyboards are compact and lightweight, making them a popular choice for gamers and office workers who want to save desk space.

They also offer a more ergonomic typing experience as your arms are positioned closer together.

What is a Full-Size Keyboard?

A Full-Size keyboard, as the name suggests, is a keyboard that has all the standard keys, including the numeric keypad.

These keyboards are larger and heavier than TKL keyboards and are typically more suitable for desktop users who need the numeric keypad for data entry or other tasks.

Full-Size keyboards offer a more traditional typing experience, but they take up more desk space and can be less ergonomic.

Size and Footprint

The most obvious difference between TKL and full-size keyboards is their size. TKL keyboards are exactly what they sound like – they don’t have a numeric keypad on the right side, hence the name “Tenkeyless”. Full-size keyboards, on the other hand, do have a numeric keypad, making them larger in size.

This keyboard size difference can have a big impact on your desk space and overall setup. If you have limited desk space, a TKL keyboard might be the better choice as it will take up less room.

However, if you have more desk space, you might prefer the added functionality of a numeric keypad that comes with a full-size keyboard.


While the numeric keypad on a full-size keyboard can be a big advantage, it also means that you’ll have more keys overall, which can lead to a cluttered layout and make it harder to find the keys you need.

TKL keyboards, on the other hand, have a much more streamlined design that can make it easier to find and use the keys you need.

In terms of functionality, TKL keyboards are often favored by gamers as they allow for more mouse space and a more natural hand positioning.

However, for those who regularly use a numeric keypad, such as financial analysts or data entry workers, a full-size keyboard is a must.


When it comes to ergonomics, TKL keyboards have a slight advantage over Full Size keyboards. The compact design of TKL keyboards means that your arms are positioned closer together, which can help to reduce the strain on your shoulders and neck. 

Full-Size keyboards, on the other hand, can be more ergonomic if you use the numeric keypad regularly, as it helps to keep your hands in a more natural position.

You may also read about whether are mechanical keyboards more ergonomic.


Another consideration when choosing between TKL and full-size keyboards is the price. In general, TKL keyboards are less expensive than full-size keyboards, making them a more budget-friendly option.

Full-size keyboards tend to have more features, such as backlit keys and dedicated media controls, which can drive up the price.

Which is Better Between TKL and Full-Size Keyboards?

At the end of the day, choosing between a TKL and a full-size keyboard comes down to personal preference.

If you have a specific need, such as gaming or financial analysis, that will dictate which type of keyboard is best for you. 

However, if you’re looking for a keyboard that is comfortable and easy to use, it’s important to consider both the size and functionality of each type of keyboard before making your decision.

However, there are a few key takeaways and insider tips that can help you make the right choice for you.

  1. Consider your desk space: If you have limited desk space, a TKL keyboard might be the better option. On the other hand, if you have more room to work with, a full-sized keyboard might be more suitable.
  2. Think about your typing needs: If you’re a gamer, a TKL keyboard might be the way to go, as it offers a more streamlined design and makes it easier to find the keys you need. If, on the other hand, you need a numeric keypad for work or other tasks, a full-sized keyboard might be a better fit.

Other Similar Size Keyboard Comparison

To know about the different keyboard sizes, you can check this article here.

Now, here are the comparison of more specific sizes of keyboards below:

  1. 60% keyboard vs 65% keyboard
  2. TKL vs Full-Size Keyboard
  3. TKL vs 60% keyboard
  4. 75% vs TKL keyboard


Let’s conclude the post on TKL vs Full-Sized Keyboards!

In conclusion, both TKL and Full Size keyboards have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post!

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