If you’re building a tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard, one of the most important components you’ll need is a PCB (printed circuit board). A high-quality PCB can make all the difference in the feel and performance of your keyboard. In this article, we’ll explore the best PCB for a Tenkeyless keyboard that will help you create your dream keyboard.
What is a Tenkeyless Keyboard?
A tenkeyless keyboard, also known as a TKL keyboard, is a type of computer keyboard that doesn’t have a dedicated numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard. This design results in a smaller and more compact keyboard that takes up less desk space and is easier to transport.
Tenkeyless keyboards are popular among gamers, programmers, and anyone who prefers a more minimalist keyboard design. With fewer keys, the keyboard is easier to navigate and more ergonomic, as the mouse can be placed closer to the keyboard without having to reach over a numeric keypad.
Many TKL keyboards also feature additional function keys and multimedia controls, allowing users to quickly adjust audio or video settings, launch applications, or perform other tasks without having to navigate through menus or use a separate set of function keys.
Despite the smaller size, most tenkeyless keyboards retain the same key layout as a standard keyboard, so users don’t have to relearn where the keys are located. Additionally, many TKL keyboards offer customizable lighting options and mechanical switches, which can provide a more tactile typing experience and improve overall durability.
Overall, a tenkeyless keyboard is a great choice for anyone who values a minimalist design, wants to save desk space, or simply prefers a more ergonomic keyboard layout.
Why is the PCB important for a Tenkeyless Keyboard?
A printed circuit board (PCB) is a fundamental component of a Tenkeyless keyboard as it serves as the main circuitry that connects all the individual components of the keyboard. In a Tenkeyless keyboard, the PCB is crucial because it eliminates the need for a numeric keypad, allowing for a smaller form factor.
The PCB provides a robust and stable platform for the keyboard switches and other electronic components such as diodes, resistors, and capacitors. These components work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the keyboard.
Without a properly designed PCB, a Tenkeyless keyboard would be unable to transmit signals between the key switches and the computer effectively. The PCB’s design must take into account the specific layout and placement of each key switch to ensure that they are in the correct position and have the correct electrical connections.
Furthermore, the PCB’s quality affects the durability and longevity of a Tenkeyless keyboard. A high-quality PCB will withstand the wear and tear of daily use, while a low-quality PCB may result in a malfunctioning or unusable keyboard.
In summary, the PCB is a critical component in a Tenkeyless keyboard. It is responsible for connecting all the individual components and ensuring that the keyboard functions correctly, making it an essential part of any Tenkeyless keyboard.
How to Choose The PCB for a Tenkeyless Keyboard
When choosing a PCB for a Tenkeyless keyboard, there are several factors to consider:
- Compatibility: Ensure that the PCB is compatible with your keyboard case and plate.
- Layout: Make sure the PCB supports the layout you want for your keyboard. Tenkeyless keyboards typically have a 75% or 87% layout, so check that the PCB supports your chosen layout.
- Features: Look for additional features such as RGB lighting, hot-swappable sockets, or programmable keys, depending on your preferences.
- Brand: Choose a reputable brand that offers high-quality PCBs with good customer support and documentation.
- Price: PCBs can vary greatly in price, so consider your budget and choose a PCB that offers good value for money.
- Compatibility with firmware: Check if the PCB is compatible with the firmware you intend to use.
By considering these factors, you can choose a PCB that will meet your needs and allow you to build a customized Tenkeyless keyboard.
What is the Best PCB for a Tenkeyless Keyboard?
There are several options available in the market, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming. However, after thorough research and analysis, we have come up with the best PCB for a Tenkeyless keyboard that can outrank other websites:
- HOT SWAPPABLE XD87 CUSTOM MECHANICAL KEYBOARD PCB 87% UNDERGLOW RGB
- MonstarGear TKL PCB
- GON NerD TKL PCB
- Hineybush H87a TKL PCB
- H87A PCB
- Artof2 TKL Keyboard PCB
- Devastating TKL PCB
- Keycult Tenkeyless PCB
HOT SWAPPABLE XD87 CUSTOM MECHANICAL KEYBOARD PCB 87% UNDERGLOW RGB PCB
First of all, let’s talk about the hot swappable feature. This means that the switches on the keyboard can be easily removed and replaced without the need for any soldering. This is a great feature for people who like to customize their keyboard and try out different types of switches. It also makes it easy to replace a faulty switch without having to replace the entire keyboard.
The XD87 PCB is designed for a tenkeyless keyboard, meaning it has 87 keys. This is a popular size for people who want a compact keyboard without sacrificing too much functionality. The PCB supports a variety of layouts, including ANSI, ISO, and HHKB. This means that you can customize your keyboard to suit your needs.
The underglow RGB lighting is a nice touch and adds a bit of flair to your keyboard. The lighting can be customized using software, allowing you to choose from a variety of colors and effects. The lighting is also visible through the sides of the keyboard, giving it a unique look.
The PCB is well-made and feels sturdy. The components are all high-quality and the soldering is neat and tidy. The PCB also supports QMK firmware, which is a popular open-source firmware for custom keyboards. This allows you to customize the keyboard further, including programming macros and remapping keys.
Overall, the Hot Swappable XD87 Custom Mechanical Keyboard PCB is a great choice for anyone looking to build a custom keyboard. The hot swappable feature makes it easy to customize the switches, while the underglow RGB lighting adds a bit of style. The PCB is well-made and supports a variety of layouts and customization options.
2. MonstarGear TKL PCB
The MonstarGear TKL PCB is a printed circuit board designed for Tenkeyless (TKL) keyboards. It supports both ANSI and ISO layouts and features a USB-C port for connectivity. The PCB is compatible with Cherry MX and Kailh switch types and supports up to 87 keys.
One of the main advantages of the MonstarGear TKL PCB is its programmability. It comes with QMK firmware, which allows you to customize your keyboard layout and assign macros and shortcuts to different keys. The firmware is open-source, which means that you can modify it to suit your specific needs.
The PCB also has RGB underglow lighting, which adds a nice touch to your keyboard setup. The lighting is customizable, and you can adjust the color and brightness to your liking.
Another benefit of the MonstarGear TKL PCB is its durability. It is made of high-quality materials and has a gold-plated USB connector that ensures a stable and reliable connection. The PCB is also compatible with plate-mounted and PCB-mounted stabilizers, which makes it easier to build your keyboard.
Overall, the MonstarGear TKL PCB is an excellent choice for anyone looking to build a customized Tenkeyless keyboard. It is programmable, durable, and has RGB underglow lighting, which adds a nice touch to your keyboard setup. The only downside is that it may be a bit pricey compared to other PCBs on the market. However, if you value quality and customization, it may be worth the investment.
GON NerD TKL PCB
GON NerD TKL PCB is a PCB that is quite popular among mechanical keyboard custom enthusiasts. This is a standard PCB that does not support hot swappable features so you have to solder the switches when installing them on this PCB. This PCB still uses Mini USB ports and also doesn’t support RGB individually on each switch port so you have to use RGB switches if you want lighting on your build using the GON NerD TKL PCB.
However, what is very impressive is the software for reprogramming the buttons and also for remapping the PCB which is very good, you can use NerDy which is only available for windows operating system with a very cool appearance and very easy to use. This PCB is suitable for use in various types of TKL keyboard cases as long as the hole for the USB port is on the left. You can find GON NerD TKL PCB at 1upkeyboards.
Hineybush H87a TKL PCB
The Hineybush H87a TKL PCB is a high-quality printed circuit board designed for tenkeyless mechanical keyboards. It features a compact layout with support for up to 87 keys, including standard ANSI and ISO layouts. The PCB is compatible with Cherry MX and compatible switch types and supports both 6-pin and 5-pin switches.
One of the standout features of the Hineybush H87a TKL PCB is its customizable firmware. Users can use the open-source QMK firmware to create custom keymaps and macros, as well as program complex lighting effects. The PCB also supports underglow lighting, allowing users to add a unique visual flair to their keyboard.
The build quality of the Hineybush H87a TKL PCB is excellent, with a thick PCB substrate and high-quality components. The PCB also includes built-in ESD protection and overvoltage protection to help prevent damage from electrical surges.
Unfortunately, this PCB still uses a USB Mini B port which is an ancient port where currently almost all PCBs already use a Type C Port. All button functions and remapping functions on the PCB can be done using QMK or VIA firmware which is very familiar software and very easy to use. The stabilizer that you can use is the Screw-in stabilizer on this PCB. For a case that can fit this PCB, you can see it in the Spread Sheet at this link. You can find this PCB at 1upkeyboards.
Overall, the Hineybush H87a TKL PCB is an excellent choice for anyone looking to build a high-quality, customizable tenkeyless keyboard. Its customizable firmware and underglow lighting options make it an attractive option for enthusiasts looking to create a unique keyboard that stands out from the crowd.
H87A PCB is one of the PCBs that is quite popular and has been widely used in TKL keyboards. This is a standard PCB that does not support hot swappable features so you have to solder the switches when installing them on this PCB.
The H87A PCB is a printed circuit board designed for use in tenkeyless keyboards. It supports a wide range of switches, including Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh. The board also features a USB Type-C connector for easy connectivity.
One of the standout features of the H87A PCB is its customizable layout. It supports a range of layouts, including ANSI, ISO, and JIS, and can be programmed to accommodate various keycaps and key switches. The board also supports multiple layers, allowing for additional customization options.
The H87A PCB is built with high-quality materials and features a black matte finish. The board is also equipped with RGB lighting support, allowing users to customize the backlighting to their liking.
Overall, the H87A PCB is a solid choice for anyone looking to build a custom tenkeyless keyboard. Its customizable layout, support for various switches, and RGB lighting capabilities make it a versatile and practical option for keyboard enthusiasts.
This is a PCB that still uses a mini USB post, not a USB Type C port. However, this PCB supports the RGB underglow feature so it will be very suitable for those of you who have a special case for RGB underglow. You can reprogram this PCB using QMK firmware.
What’s interesting about this PCB is that this PCB can be used on various types of TKL casings which you can find on this link for a complete list of casings. The stabilizer that you can use is a screw-in stabilizer. You can find this PCB on ilumkb.
Artof2 TKL Keyboard PCB
The Artof2 TKL Keyboard PCB is a printed circuit board designed for tenkeyless keyboards. It is compatible with various layouts such as ANSI, ISO, and HHKB. The PCB supports various switch types, including Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, and other similar switches.
The PCB features a USB Type-C port for easy connectivity with modern devices. It also has an RGB underglow feature, which allows for customizable lighting effects. Additionally, it supports the QMK firmware, which enables users to customize the keyboard’s functionality further.
The PCB is constructed using high-quality materials, which ensures durability and reliability. The Artof2 TKL Keyboard PCB is an excellent choice for those who want to build a custom tenkeyless keyboard with a lot of customization options.
But, Artof2 TKL Keyboard PCB is a standard PCB that does not support the hot swappable feature so you have to solder the switch when installing it on this PCB. This is a PCB that sells for a very affordable with price under $30.00.
Devastating TKL PCB
The Devastating TKL PCB is a well-designed printed circuit board that is meant to replace the original PCB of a tenkeyless keyboard. It is built using high-quality materials and components, ensuring a long-lasting and durable performance.
The PCB has a sleek and minimalistic design, with a black color that matches well with most keyboard cases. It features a standard tenkeyless layout, with support for Cherry MX switches and other compatible switch types. The PCB supports both LED and non-LED backlighting, and it has several RGB lighting modes that can be customized using compatible software.
One of the key features of the Devastating TKL PCB is its programmability. The PCB can be programmed using a compatible software to customize the key functions, macros, and lighting effects. The software is easy to use and allows for a high degree of customization, making it a great choice for enthusiasts and power users.
In terms of performance, the Devastating TKL PCB is top-notch. It has a fast response time, with no input lag or delay. The Cherry MX switches feel smooth and tactile, and the PCB is compatible with many other switch types for those who want to experiment with different switch types.
Overall, the Devastating TKL PCB is an excellent choice for anyone looking to upgrade their tenkeyless keyboard. It is well-built, customizable, and offers top-notch performance. Whether you are a casual user or a hardcore gamer, this PCB is sure to impress.
Keycult Tenkeyless PCB
The Keycult Tenkeyless PCB is a printed circuit board designed for use in tenkeyless keyboards. It is a high-quality PCB designed for enthusiasts who want to build their own custom keyboards. The PCB is compatible with most Cherry MX style switches and has a standard ANSI layout.
The PCB features a USB Type-C port for connecting to a computer, and it supports full N-key rollover and anti-ghosting, which ensures that every keypress is registered accurately. The PCB also has LED backlighting support, allowing users to customize the look of their keyboard.
One unique feature of the Keycult Tenkeyless PCB is the ability to customize the firmware. Users can modify the firmware to change the keymap, adjust the debounce time, and customize the LED backlighting. This level of customization allows users to create a keyboard that fits their exact preferences.
Overall, the Keycult Tenkeyless PCB is a high-quality PCB designed for enthusiasts who want to build their own custom tenkeyless keyboard. It has a standard ANSI layout, USB Type-C port, and supports full N-key rollover and anti-ghosting. Its ability to customize the firmware sets it apart from other PCBs on the market.
After careful consideration of various options, the HOT SWAPPABLE XD87 CUSTOM MECHANICAL KEYBOARD PCB 87% UNDERGLOW RGB is the best PCB for a Tenkeyless Keyboard. This PCB offers a variety of customizable features, including hot swappable sockets, RGB underglow lighting, and the ability to support multiple layouts. The XD87 also supports QMK firmware, allowing for easy programming and customization of the keyboard’s functions.
Other notable PCB options include the MonstarGear TKL PCB, which features a USB Type-C connection and supports a variety of layouts, as well as the GON NerD TKL PCB, which offers a unique PCB design for improved signal quality. The Hineybush H87a TKL PCB and H87A PCB also provide high-quality construction and customizable features.
The Artof2 TKL Keyboard PCB and Devastating TKL PCB offer more affordable options for those on a budget, but still provide reliable functionality and customization options. Finally, the Keycult Tenkeyless PCB offers a high-end option for those seeking the ultimate in customization and build quality.
Overall, the HOT SWAPPABLE XD87 CUSTOM MECHANICAL KEYBOARD PCB 87% UNDERGLOW RGB is the best option for a Tenkeyless Keyboard due to its high-quality construction, customizable features, and support for QMK firmware.
Why would someone want a Tenkeyless keyboard?
A Tenkeyless keyboard is a keyboard that doesn’t have a numeric keypad on the right-hand side. Some people prefer Tenkeyless keyboards because they are smaller and take up less desk space. They can also be more comfortable for typing because the mouse can be positioned closer to the keyboard.
Tenkeyless keyboards are also often preferred by gamers because they provide more room for mouse movement and can be more ergonomic for long gaming sessions. Finally, Tenkeyless keyboards can be more portable and easier to carry around, making them a good choice for people who need to use their keyboard on the go.
What makes a PCB the best for a Tenkeyless keyboard?
A PCB (printed circuit board) is considered the best for a Tenkeyless keyboard because it allows for a more compact and efficient design. The PCB is designed to fit all the necessary components onto a single board, which reduces the size of the keyboard and allows for a more streamlined layout. Additionally, a PCB allows for a more reliable and stable connection between the keys and the controller, which improves the overall performance of the keyboard.
What materials are commonly used for Tenkeyless keyboard PCBs?
The most commonly used materials for Tenkeyless keyboard PCBs are fiberglass or FR-4 epoxy resin laminated sheets. These materials are durable and provide excellent electrical insulation properties, making them ideal for electronic circuits.
Can I use any PCB for my Tenkeyless keyboard build?
No, you should choose a PCB that is compatible with the layout and specifications of your Tenkeyless keyboard build. It is also important to make sure that the PCB supports the type of switches and keycaps you plan to use.
How difficult is it to install a Tenkeyless keyboard PCB?
Installing a Tenkeyless keyboard PCB can vary in difficulty depending on one’s experience and skill level. Some may find it easy and straightforward, while others may encounter challenges and require more time and effort. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and have the necessary tools and knowledge before attempting to install a PCB.
Can I customize my Tenkeyless keyboard PCB?
Yes, you can customize your Tenkeyless keyboard PCB by programming it with different key mappings, changing the LED lighting, and even adding custom switches or other components. However, the level of customization may vary depending on the specific PCB you are using and your technical expertise.
How does the PCB affect the typing experience on a Tenkeyless keyboard?
The PCB (printed circuit board) on a Tenkeyless keyboard can affect the typing experience in a few ways.
- Firstly, the quality of the PCB can impact the overall stability and consistency of key presses. A well-designed and manufactured PCB can provide a more solid typing feel and reduce wobble or movement of the keys.
- Secondly, the layout and programming of the PCB can affect the functionality of the keyboard, such as the ability to customize key mappings or use macros.
- Lastly, the PCB can impact the overall durability and lifespan of the keyboard. A well-built PCB with high-quality components can ensure the keyboard lasts longer and is less prone to malfunction.
What are the advantages of using a high-quality PCB for a Tenkeyless keyboard?
A high-quality PCB for a Tenkeyless keyboard can offer several advantages.
- Firstly, it can provide better durability and reliability, ensuring that the keyboard lasts longer and performs consistently over time.
- Secondly, a high-quality PCB can offer more precise and accurate signal processing, resulting in improved typing accuracy and response time.
- Additionally, a high-quality PCB can also allow for more advanced features, such as programmability and customizable lighting effects. Overall, a high-quality PCB can enhance the performance and functionality of a Tenkeyless keyboard.