Gaming keyboards without number pads

AmberClad

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I'm wondering what gaming keyboards there are out there that do away with the numpad, or has a standalone numpad separate from the keyboard like the original Eclipse I. It's useless to me for gaming purposes and constantly gets in the way, especially for FPSs.

- An example of what I have in mind would be the CM QuickFire. My beef with the QuickFire, other than the potential noise, are the lack of an included wristrest and lack of illuminated keys. I'd be willing to try one out if I find a good deal on it though.

- I don't mean gameboards like the n52 or G13, which don't have a standard keyset for typing in chat, or a number bar above the WASD
 

Goodfellah

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I got a quickfire for $63 shipped back when ncix was having a sale, for that price you can't beat it, very happy with this keyboard. From what I understand the quality of the backlit keyboards is subpar until you get up into the very expensive ones. I also thought I would need a wrist rest considering this keyboard is much taller than my old logitech illuminated but I was able to adjust very quickly. I play bf3, swtor, sc2, etc. love this keyboard playing all of them, it is loud though, quite loud (blue keys). For my first mechanical though, couldn't be happier.
 

Gmok Bonecrusha

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I'm wondering what gaming keyboards there are out there that do away with the numpad, or has a standalone numpad separate from the keyboard like the original Eclipse I. It's useless to me for gaming purposes and constantly gets in the way, especially for FPSs.

- An example of what I have in mind would be the CM QuickFire. My beef with the QuickFire, other than the potential noise, are the lack of an included wristrest and lack of illuminated keys. I'd be willing to try one out if I find a good deal on it though.

- I don't mean gameboards like the n52 or G13, which don't have a standard keyset for typing in chat, or a number bar above the WASD

Snagged this. SHOULD be here this week (from China). Not gaming per se...but seems what you are looking for.

http://rabbitwebfactory.com/pages/kbt_race
 

AmberClad

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Snagged this. SHOULD be here this week (from China). Not gaming per se...but seems what you are looking for.

http://rabbitwebfactory.com/pages/kbt_race
Wow that's a compact keyboard. Looks perfect for LANs, or business travel to be able to not deal with the chiclet keys on a laptop. Curious to hear your impressions, including of your buying experience from that store. Their "about us" page is a bit wacky...



I've been searching and found some others that sorta fit the bill:

- Razer TRON - I tend avoid Razer out of principle (too blingy and gimicky), chiclet keys is a huge no-no, overpriced
tron_keyboard_0720_rgb_whtbrg-620x310.jpg


- Microsoft Sidewinder X6 - hard to find any in stock, otherwise fits all criteria (I might go for this one if I can find a store that sold it)
003.jpg


- AZIO Levetron Mech4 - mechanical switches, extremely bulky-looking (I question whether this would be any less wide than a normal keyboard even without its numpad), somewhat gimicky, no backlight. Props to them for making a keyboard with a Picatinny rail though :D (the macro module down at the bottom attaches to that rail).
azio-mech4-levetron-580x387.jpg
 
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erick_c

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Deck 82 - Ice. Uses Cherry MX Black switches. Personally, I'm not a big fan of Deck, but their boards look solid.

To learn more about mechanical keyboards, read this and go here. Just be warned, once you go mechanical, there's no going back...
 

AmberClad

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This one just caught my eye.

Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9


Pretty damn pricey, but nice features:
- Cherry reds
- comes in either blue or red backlit (I prefer red)
- has a numpad, but 3 inches less wide than my Eclipse II due to compact design
- bundled with wrist rest
- USB / headphone / mic ports in the body of the keyboard
- macro software

$150 though, hmm...

I'm sure there's a less "niche" manufacturer that's made something similar (a full keyset keyboard without all those excessive bezels that bulk up the keyboard). Would probably be cheaper.
 

BurntToast

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The CM QuickFire Rapid is a great keyboard for the price. If it was fully backlit I'd be all over it. They will soon release a backlit version, but only on the WASD keys :/

I had a Sidewinder X6. Yes it has 2KRO, but that didn't effect me at all. It all depends on your layout. I think WASD gamers are the ones most effected by this board.

The KBT race is cool. I was considering it, but didnt like how the keys on the right side of the keyboards where non standard. The shift key for example, is no bigger than any of the letter keys.

The Nighthawk X9 is okay. But I'd first look into the Ducky Shine models. They come in nearly every color and switch type. I'm willing to bet that they are built better than the Nighthawk too. I don't think they have macros built in, but you could install Autokey as a replacement for the Nighthawk drivers.

http://tigerimports.net/sunshop/index.php?l=product_list&c=117
http://www.tankguys.com/mechnical-keyboards.html

BTW the more you look around the more you notice diffrent people calling diffrent types of Cherry MX switches "gamer". It is all a matter of opinion, you will hear as many people calling reds, browns, blues, back, clear, etc. as the other.

IMO Blues are the best. YES there is an actuation point. Does it matter? Not at all. Reds IMO are just too light. I'd rather give the browns, clears amd blacks a try first. In that order. Then reds.

GL

...if you have a electronics store in your area, try out the Razer Black Widow Ultimate (Blues) and Corsair K90 (Reds). Take them home for 30 days to try out. If not, choosing the right switch for you will be like walking in the dark.
 

Mr. Wolf

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Just be warned, once you go mechanical, there's no going back...
I went back. After trying several different mechanical boards and switches (Filco, Leopold, CM Quickfire, ABS, Deck, Zowie, Razer BW, Das, etc.) over about an 18 month span, I realized that I still type much faster, more accurately, more comfortably on a membrane/laptop-style board. I'm now using a SIIG Aluminum board and it's perfect for me.
 

BurntToast

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this coolermaster is a really stirdy nicely made keyboard.. 10 keyless.. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823129002 and cheap
Yeah that has already been mentioned a few times.

Great keyboard minus the absurd amount of branding on it.

That is basically a rebadged Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless. But half the price!

But I'm pretty sure that the key caps on the Coolermaster are of much cheaper construction.

http://www.amazon.com/Filco-Majesto...1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1333672758&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Filco-Majesto...5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1333672860&sr=1-5

http://www.amazon.com/Filco-Majesto...1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1333672860&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Filco-Majesto...4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1333672860&sr=1-4
 

Impulse

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That last Filco w/the yellow keycaps looks rather awesome... I'm not sure I'd pay $150 for a tenkeyless w/o backlighting (or w/black switches for that matter), but still. :p

I dunno why CM made the new Quickfire Pro only partially backlit, 'cause it's not just WASD that's lit but also the row above/below and also the number & F keys... Yet it's still only $100. How much more expensive could it have been had they done the other two thirds of the keyboard? :eek: (skipping the number pad, arrows, and Home block) I guess at that point it'd compete w/the Ducky Shine...
 

Goodfellah

Limp Gawd
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Wow, yeah just saw the QF pro, interesting choice for them to partially backlight it. I had a logitech illumnaited before I got my tenkeyless quickfire, after using it for a while now I can't quite understand why I needed the backlighting in the first place...
 

BurntToast

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FYI the Ducky Shine will go into "gamer" mode as well with WASD backlight only.

I'm sure that the QuickFire Pro only has WASD backlighting because their focus group put $100 on the top end of their price point for purchasing a new keyboard. It's too bad that they didn't go all the way because I know a lot of us would have jumped on it otherwise. But when you look at Valve/Steams stats, you start to see that a majority of the users don't even have a video card that cost as much as the keyboard we are looking at. So to best serve the mass of zombies, low balling it with half ass backlighting and cheap caps is the way to sell more.

If you want a good mechanical I don't think that any of these traditional "gaming" peripheral companies have the keyboards that we are looking for... right now.

Unlike Ducky, Deck, Filco, Leopold, etc. who has been making it their main/only business for decades.
 

Nostrovia

Limp Gawd
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The yellow keycapped Filco looks killer. I think that's going to be my next purchase! lol. to get with or without keypad is the question lol.

how hard is it to find all these keycaps I see on the forums, skulls, portal, etc. any site i find them on they're always out of stock
 

Florin22xxl

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I have a ducky teenkeyless with blue swiches,amazing keyboard to bad its not backlit... Anyway just stay away from normal keyboards,mechanical ones are trully amazing.
 

BurntToast

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The yellow keycapped Filco looks killer. I think that's going to be my next purchase! lol. to get with or without keypad is the question lol.

how hard is it to find all these keycaps I see on the forums, skulls, portal, etc. any site i find them on they're always out of stock
Geekhack group buy. Just about every keycap you are interested in was a limited production. You will have to wait for the next batch to be released. That could be one week from now or never. I would not hold your breath if picky.

They can go from $2 per cap to hundreds due to their limited production.
 

Nostrovia

Limp Gawd
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Geekhack group buy. Just about every keycap you are interested in was a limited production. You will have to wait for the next batch to be released. That could be one week from now or never. I would not hold your breath if picky.

They can go from $2 per cap to hundreds due to their limited production.

Thanks BurntToast, I'll have to hop onto their forums as well. I just ordered the yellow keycapped Filco with keypad, can't wait for it to get here. I saw wasdkeyboards does custom ordered keys so that might be an option as well.

but back to the OP, go with what you want :D I like the compact size of one w/o a keypad, deck keyboards offer a mechanical w/o the numpad, i hear they're a sturdy setup too.
 

AmberClad

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I just made an impulse buy :eek::

41R8CWoyhRL.jpg


QuickFire Red

Should be here on Wednesday. If I end up liking it for gaming, I might get an illuminated Blue-based keyboard with numpad for typing on. We'll see...

Those weird swirly logos used for the Windows key might bother me enough to want to replace them.

The yellow keycapped Filco looks killer. I think that's going to be my next purchase! lol. to get with or without keypad is the question lol.

how hard is it to find all these keycaps I see on the forums, skulls, portal, etc. any site i find them on they're always out of stock
I actually found a guy from China on eBay selling a set of yellow keycaps for $14 shipped. They have the text printed on the bottom side instead of the top (the tops are blank), which I kind of prefer for a gaming keyboard. They would be amazing if they were semi-transparent -- I'd love to do a Deus Ex mod, piss filter be damned.
 
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CyberJunk

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i got the quick fire with brown mx switches and i this feels the best.
 

D4rkn3ss

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Wow that's a compact keyboard. Looks perfect for LANs, or business travel to be able to not deal with the chiclet keys on a laptop. Curious to hear your impressions, including of your buying experience from that store. Their "about us" page is a bit wacky...



I've been searching and found some others that sorta fit the bill:

- Razer TRON - I tend avoid Razer out of principle (too blingy and gimicky), chiclet keys is a huge no-no, overpriced
tron_keyboard_0720_rgb_whtbrg-620x310.jpg


- Microsoft Sidewinder X6 - hard to find any in stock, otherwise fits all criteria (I might go for this one if I can find a store that sold it)
003.jpg


- AZIO Levetron Mech4 - mechanical switches, extremely bulky-looking (I question whether this would be any less wide than a normal keyboard even without its numpad), somewhat gimicky, no backlight. Props to them for making a keyboard with a Picatinny rail though :D (the macro module down at the bottom attaches to that rail).
azio-mech4-levetron-580x387.jpg

man, this must be the ugliest selection of keyboards in a single post that i ever saw in my whole life!
 

AmberClad

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Looks like Razer is jumping onboard with a tenkeyless Black Widow.

Razer Black Widow Tournament Edition

I like my Stealth BW Ultimate with brown switches... not sure I'd want this TE with blues and no backlighting.
I think Razer slightly missed the point of why people want a TKL instead of a normal keyboard. It's about an inch unnecessarily wide and at least 3 inches unnecessarily tall. (It doesn't look as neatly compact and portable as a TKL clone like the QuickFire)

The branding is slightly less obnoxiously excessive compared to the QuickFire though. I wonder how gaudy the red plates under the keycaps on the QF Red are -- guess I'll find out tomorrow.

As a sidenote, I think at some point I'm going to want to buy a numpad. I do use the numpad a lot when I'm not gaming. I've only managed to find one Filco one though.
 

Impulse

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Back plate isn't anywhere near as visible as some photos make it seem, unless you're just standing directly over the board with overhead lighting and looking for it... :p
 

AmberClad

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Well, I have the keyboard in front of me right now, and the plate under the keys is undeniably red. It's not bright freaking burn your eyes out red like in the CM images, but you can definitely tell there's a dark red plate under there.

The finish on the shell sort of surprised me -- I kind of expected it to be the same as on the QuickFire blue (which is painted dark gray), but it's completely smooth rubberized black instead. It actually looks and feels pretty slick and high end (too bad it's marred by the swirly red logos everywhere!).

I can't tell which is more tacky -- the Windows button with the Coolermaster logo, or the version with the swirlies.

The Caps Lock and Scroll Lock buttons have integrated red LEDs. If you toggle them on, they're bright enough to sear an afterimage into your retinas.

Alright, enough complaining I guess, it's still $50 than a TenKeyLess, which leaves me plenty of money to replace the Windows key or Deus Ex-ify it with yellow keys. I do like the modern font they used on the keycaps -- doesn't make me feel like I'm using some typewriter-era throwback.
 

AmberClad

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Very crisp and light (noticeably lighter than a bubble dome), and it's a linear switch. I think I would agree with people who find them less ideal for typing, just because the amount of pressure needed to activate the keys is so little. But for gaming, the reduced amount of fatigue is a big bonus.

Just to compare it to my old n52 (the gray and black Belkin one) -- that keypad has a very...gummy?...feel as you reach the bottom that makes it feel like there's a bit of delay before the bubble goes all the way down to activate and again before it goes back up. Also, the amount of force you have to exert on a key to keep it depressed (if you're running for example) is a lot higher, so you begin to feel fatigue in your fingers quickly.

I think Razer owns the license to make n52s now (under the Nostromo name)... if they were smart, they'd make a mechanical version of it. The dome switches on the n52 were the worst of the lot, on an otherwise great piece of FPS gaming gear.
 
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Oddity

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I'm thinking seriously of getting the Coolermaster model you have.The red switches and tenkeyless is just what I need for gaming. I've owned a Belkin n52te for years and if they came out with one with mechanical switches like you mentioned I would be all over it :)
 
D

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Very crisp and light (noticeably lighter than a bubble dome), and it's a linear switch. I think I would agree with people who find them less ideal for typing, just because the amount of pressure needed to activate the keys is so little. But for gaming, the reduced amount of fatigue is a big bonus.

Just to compare it to my old n52 (the gray and black Belkin one) -- that keypad has a very...gummy?...feel as you reach the bottom that makes it feel like there's a bit of delay before the bubble goes all the way down to activate and again before it goes back up. Also, the amount of force you have to exert on a key to keep it depressed (if you're running for example) is a lot higher, so you begin to feel fatigue in your fingers quickly.

I think Razer owns the license to make n52s now (under the Nostromo name)... if they were smart, they'd make a mechanical version of it. The dome switches on the n52 were the worst of the lot, on an otherwise great piece of FPS gaming gear.

Are you still using the CM keyboard? If so, how is it after a few months of use? Did you ever replace the keys? Thinking of buying it myself. I need a short keyboard, the keyboard I have now is 17.5" wide and it's still too wide for FPS games where I need the room for my mouse. I end up sliding the keyboard all the way over to the left when I have play.

Really wanted something back lit, but I guess that's not a big issue.
 

Ricedaddy

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I agree, a mechanical n52 would be a big seller imo.

While not the exact same form-factor, I am quite sure that the Razer Orbweaver has mechanical keys and in the same vein as the Nostromo.

I just picked up a Razer Nostromo about two weeks ago and I can't quite get used to it...I'm still giving it the ole college try, but I wish that they had downloadable profiles for popular games.
 

sharknice

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I agree, a mechanical n52 would be a big seller imo.

Razer Orbweaver supposedly came out about a month ago.
http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-orbweaver

They aren't readily available yet (ships in 4-6 weeks) and extremely expensive $130.

Also they use a clicky switch which seems kind of silly when it is obviously going to be used for gaming. I would prefer a red switch.
It has a joystick but it is only 8 way which is kind of disappointing too. It would be nice to have a real 360 degree joystick.

Considering it is Razer there is also a 90% chance it will break after 3 months.
If it used red or black switches I would probably still pay the $130 because I want mechanical game pad so bad.

Oh well, hopefully it will get the attention of other companies and they will make their own versions.
 

Skull_Angel

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Razer Orbweaver supposedly came out about a month ago.
http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-orbweaver

They aren't readily available yet (ships in 4-6 weeks) and extremely expensive $130.

Also they use a clicky switch which seems kind of silly when it is obviously going to be used for gaming. I would prefer a red switch.
It has a joystick but it is only 8 way which is kind of disappointing too. It would be nice to have a real 360 degree joystick.

Considering it is Razer there is also a 90% chance it will break after 3 months.
If it used red or black switches I would probably still pay the $130 because I want mechanical game pad so bad.

Oh well, hopefully it will get the attention of other companies and they will make their own versions.

Not a fan of Razer products myself, but if their mechanical boards last several months of normal use they normally last a little while; the over all build quality feels really poor in comparison to other mech. boards and their software has much to be desired none the less.
 
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