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Layouts - TKL (Tenkeyless/80%/85%) Keyboards

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TKL keyboards are again some of the most popular in the custom and gaming keyboard scene. They save space on the desk and maintaining the core functionality plus a few extras in the form of a function row and navigation & arrow clusters. TKLs do enjoy some of the same aftermarket compatibility as 60% keyboards, however, there are fewer mounting standards for the TKL keyboards that can be used interchangeably for a larger range of boards and PCBs. Therefore, most of the kits would require a specific plate or PCB to function.

TKL - Tenkeyless keyboard layoutTKL Keyboard Layout


TKL keyboards are often praised for their harmonious aesthetics and the use of white (empty) space between the clusters. Products' looks, while being mostly a quality of life rather than a functional attribute, contributes to the enjoyment of the product as a whole. As to be seen on the market adoption of TKL keyboards. This might be another chicken and egg story since there is a demand for TKLs > custom keyboard designers often use this layout for their creations and focus on the elements and details which differentiate the various keyboards > making them desirable in the process.

Some mass-market TKL keyboard models became so popular it spurred a trend for alternative aftermarket cases. Therefore the original case may be discarded and the internals are transplanted in the new one.

Some may call the TKL keyboards “tenkey,” and that is just wrong. Tenkey is either a cluster/sector on a keyboard or a physical numpad which is a separate peripheral next to your keyboard.

Some of the notable TKLs are TGR Jane, Mode 80, TX EO-87, RAMA U-80, and others.


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