Best Gaming Keypad 2021 | One Handed Gaming Keyboards Reviewed

half size gaming keypad
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Technology has given rise to some incredible full size keyboards, however they tend to take up a lot of space. Have you tried a one-handed keyboard before? With typically 20 customizable keys, most gaming keypad users swear by the ergonomics. There are also some design professionals who wouldn’t go without the compact functionality.

With less than 30 keys, these gaming keypads are not suited to writing. It offers a more ergonomic position for gaming and includes macro keys which allow you to allocate complex shortcuts. The one-handed gaming keyboard is ideal for gamers who are looking for a competitive edge or designers hoping to use shortcuts while animating on a tablet or PC.

TLDR

TLDR: The Razer Tartarus V2 is hands down the favorite gaming keypad having won both the best performance and the most comfortable categories of the review. It features mecha-membrane switches with a comfortable feeling rubber base. This left hand gaming keypad is feature-rich with 32 keys, a scroll wheel, and a joystick. If you are aiming to improve your performance in gaming or work and can afford it, the Razer Tartarus V2 is the right keypad for you.

Best Performance Gaming Keypad

The best performance gaming keypad boasts quick response times and can easily be customized. The Razer Tartarus V2 answers both of these requirements and delivers even more functionality. This is a closely contested category, with some great alternatives listed below.

While a new keypad won’t ensure you perform better, a top-performing keypad will give you the best chance of improving your gaming or work.

Best Wireless Gaming Keypad

The best wireless gaming keypad offers low latency times and is suitable for more than games. The Gamesir VX2 AimSwitch is the ideal choice for a wireless gaming keypad as it is portable and compatible with a variety of home consoles. The wireless keypad category has some interesting alternatives too.

While a wireless keyboard offers you freedom to move, the responsibility of having the built-in battery charged could lead to it needing to be plugged in during use.

Most Affordable Gaming Keypad

Thanks to a competitive market, the most affordable gaming keypad manages to deliver impressive performance for the price. The Magegee one handed keypad is the best choice for an affordable gaming keypad and has a great design with attractive lighting. The competition is similarly priced and offers an alternative to Magegee’s mechanical keys.

Choosing an affordable gaming keypad is a great entry into the experience of using a one handed keyboard. Benefit from having extra programmable keys without needing to break the bank.

Most Comfortable Gaming Keypad

The design and layout of a gaming keypad has a large influence on how comfortable the device feels when used. A comfortable gaming keypad like the Razer Tartarus V2 lets you play for hours while keeping your fingers naturally close to the keys.

Whether you choose the Razer Tartarus V2 or one of the alternative comfortable gaming keypads you can feel confident going into a long game. The ergonomic design ensures you are able to easily reach the keys with less fatigue.

Gaming Keypads Comparison Table

Easily find the best gaming keypad to suit your needs using the comparison table below. Consider the different brands by taking into account each product’s strong points and price. Looking for more details on a particular design? Keep reading for the in-depth review later in this article.

9 Gaming Keypad Reviews

Still unsure which gaming keypad is best suited to your needs? Let’s dive deeper into each product before discussing the pros and cons.

Razer Tartarus V2 Gaming Keypad Review

Pros

  • 32 Programmable keys
  • Directional joystick
  • Fast response times – Low Latency

Cons

  • Limited configuration for Mac
  • Expensive

Released in 2017, the Razer Tartarus has stood the test of time as a great programmable keypad. It features high-quality mecha-membrane switches, giving the keys a mechanical feel with a rubber cushion base.

It features four rows of five keys and an ergonomically positioned joystick for the thumb. You can customize the keys and joystick. However, this Razer only offers a driver to customize the keys for use as a PC gaming keypad, so you need a third-party driver when using a Mac.

  • Adjustable wrist rest
  • Scroll wheel
  • 8 backlight colors
  • Comfortable spacebar

If you can afford the Razer Tartarus V2, the experience of using this gaming keypad is second to none.

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Gamesir VX2 Aimswitch Gaming Keypad Review

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • 3600MAh battery
  • Highly compatible

Cons

  • Wrist rest not detachable
  • Not suitable for large hands

The Gamesir VX2 Aimswitch is a mechanical keypad offering gamers high-speed input and precision. It is an ideal gaming keypad, with its wireless configuration allowing you to use the keyboard and mouse without wires cluttering your desk space. The keypad includes a USB transmitter that plugs into the intended device’s USB port.

The response times are great and the 36 mechanical keys are well positioned on the game keypad with a joystick to assist with navigation.

  • 4Ghz Bluetooth receiver
  • Customizable via the Gamesir G-Crux App
  • Individually backlit keys
  • Left joystick

The Gamesir VX2 Aimswitch is the most expensive gaming keypad in our review. It is worth its price tag and delivers amazing wireless performance.

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Aula Excalibur One Handed Keypad Review

Pros

  • Comfortable design
  • Eight programmable buttons
  • Removable palm rest

Cons

  • Large
  • Driver is on a CD

The Aula Excalibur one handed keypad offers mechanical keys and delivers effective gaming performance. It has 60 mechanical keys which feel well positioned and are LED back-lit with your choice of 5 programmable backlight modes.

The wrist pad is removable and improves the user experience by delivering crucial support. The Aula Excalibur performs well under pressure. It delivers a perfect signal while multiple buttons are being pressed with its anti-ghosting keys.

  • 0,4 pounds
  • 12 x 3.25 x 8.5 inches
  • Anti-ghosting keys
  • 5 pre-programmed backlighting modes

The Aula Excalibur one handed keypad is a great option for gamers or design professionals who want a gaming number pad with many programmable keys.

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Redragon K585 Diti Wireless Gaming Keyboard Review

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • 3000 MAh battery
  • Detachable wrist support

Cons

  • Color changes
  • Magnet attaching wrist support is weak
  • Space bar is not a regular shape

The Redragon K585 DITI Gaming Keypad is a transformative keyboard thanks to the ergonomic design and 7 onboard macro keys. The layout of the 42 mechanical keys and the removable wrist pad make it a comfortable design to use.

The Bluetooth connection allows you the freedom to position your keyboard without wires for 15-20 hours of continuous play. The battery efficiently charges in 10 hours, ready for another day of gaming.

  • 4 Ghz Bluetooth
  • 39 pounds
  • 06 x 9.13 x 1.69 inches

If freedom of movement is an important criterion for your choice of gaming keypad, then the Redragon K585 DITI is a perfect choice.

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Rii i8 Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Review

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great device compatibility

Cons

  • Small keys
  • Shallow buttons

The Rii i8 Mini Bluetooth keyboard is a console-style gaming keypad offering a variety of functions. It hosts a full Qwerty keyboard and a touchpad. The device has 92 keys and is designed like a game console’s controller, intended for hand-held use. Using the keyboard feels natural with the device’s easy-to-press membrane keys.

Use the device wirelessly with your PC, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, or TV using a Bluetooth connection. It comes with a built-in lithium battery and a USB charging cable. While this keypad is not a conventional mechanical keyboard it may just be what you are looking for.

  • 35 pounds
  • 7 x 4 x 1 inches
  • 15m operating distance
  • 12 month warranty

If you don’t mind holding your gaming keypad or prefer the feel of shallow keys, then this alternative gaming keypad could be right for you.

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Magegee One Handed Keyboard Review

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Supporting palm rest area
  • Four programmable keys

Cons

  • Only rainbow backlight
  • Keys are hard to press

The Magegee one handed keyboard is an affordable entry into the world of single handed keyboards. It has a compact layout of 35 mechanical keys and offers a quiet and satisfying click. The wrist pad makes long hours of gaming possible by adding support to your resting hand.

The RGB color backlight creates a great ambiance. The colored light spreads through the letters on the double-shot injection molded keycaps.

  • 9 pounds
  • 2 x 7.4 x 1.69 inches
  • No driver needed

As one of the most affordable keypads in this review, Magegee is perfect for a first-time gaming keypad user.

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Redthunder One-handed Gaming Keyboard Review

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact design
  • Two-color keycap

Cons

  • Loud click from keys
  • Space bar is short
  • Coating on keys fades

The Redthunder gaming keypad is the most affordable design in the review and rivals more expensive models thanks to its great performance. The membrane keyboard features 35 anti-ghosting keys with two additional macro buttons which can be programmed without using additional software.

The RGB backlight offers 7 colors in a static or breathing mode. The keys are constructed using a two-color injection mold, allowing the light to transmit through the key.

  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • 77 pounds
  • 06 x 6.69 x 1.18 inches
  • Released on 26 February 2019

As the most affordable keypad in our review you would expect Redthunder’s gaming keypad to lack the quality offered by its rivals. However, the device is well constructed and is perfect for first-time gaming keypad users.

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Fanber Single Handed Gaming Keyboard Review

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Soft palm rest area
  • Membrane keyboard

Cons

  • No bump on the ‘f’ key
  • Keys are hard to press

The Fanber gaming keypad is an easy entry into the world of single handed keyboards. It has a compact layout of 35 buttons and offers a quiet and satisfying click. The wrist pad makes long hours of gaming possible by adding support to your resting hand.

The RGB color backlight has 8 settings and a cycle option. It creates a great ambiance with the colored light spreading through the transparent PVC plate.

  • 63-inch wire
  • 1 pound
  • 9 x 7.3 x 1.5 inches
  • First released December 2, 2018
  • 12 month warranty

As one of the most affordable keypads in our review, Fanber is perfect for a first time gaming keypad user.

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Koolertron One-handed Gaming Keyboard Review

Pros

  • 23 Programmable keypads
  • Save up to 4 layouts
  • High-quality plexiglass

Cons

  • Loud mechanical keys
  • No wrist support

The Koolertron one-handed gaming keypad offers a minimalist option for gamers who enjoy the feel of mechanical gaming keypads. The 23 keys are programmable and thanks to the built-in MCU (micro-controller unit), the new functionality can be saved to the device. This allows you to set the keys using the software provided and never need to set them again.

This custom configuration makes the Koolertron a favorite for designers and video editors in addition to gamers. Toggle between configurations easily, helping you to improve your workflow.

  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • 5 x 3.5 x 1.2 inches
  • 45 pounds
  • Released 22 November 2018

If you have limited desk space, the compact Koolertron one-handed gaming keypad is the perfect solution.

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wireless headphones gaming accessories

Best Gaming Accessory Reviews

Having looked at the benefits of using the best gaming keypads, let’s explore the best accessories to improve your gaming experience. It can be elevated through the use of wireless headphones, a wireless mouse, and a non-slip keyboard mat.

Wireless Headphones

A pair of wireless headphones are the perfect accessory for your gaming keypad. The benefit of noise canceling headphones is it helps you to feel truly immersed in your game. The clear audio elevates your gaming experience and can help your performance.

Choose from a variety of wireless headphones, or purchase the Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones if they suit your budget.

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Wireless Mouse

Alongside your gaming keypad, a mouse is a critical component of your gaming experience. Choosing the correct mouse can mean the difference between getting a shot on target or a near miss.

A Bluetooth mouse like the Razer Basilisk X gives you freedom to move without wires and delivers incredibly accurate motion thanks to low latency levels. It also offers 3 additional programmable buttons to complete complex macro functions in addition to scroll, left, and right click.

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Non-Slip Keyboard Mat

Ensuring your keypad stays firmly planted while letting your mouse move with accuracy is the primary function of a non-slip keyboard mat. The Anyshock desk mat is the perfect non-slip surface for your gaming keypad and mouse.

Anyshock’s desk mat has a large usable area, measuring 35.4 x 15.7 inches, and features a stitched edge to prevent fraying.

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Gaming Keypad Buyers Guide

A gaming keypad is defined by its performance, ergonomic design, and functionality. Below the attributes are explored and how they benefit the gamer’s experience.

Have you bought the Razer Tartarus V2 and looking for a tutorial to set it up? The video below explores the Razer and how to set up your joystick.

Ergonomic Design

Feeling comfortable when using a one-hand gaming keyboard is an important part of it improving your gaming performance. The repetitive stress of using keys can cause injury or discomfort. Look for a gaming keypad with soft yet durable surfaces.

Upgrading your keyboard to a more comfortable design can give you hours of pain-free play time. Gaming keypads with ergonomic designs typically feature a support for your wrist, well-positioned keys, and a curved surface to match the natural shape of your hand.

The positive effects of having comfortable shoulders, hands, and fingers can benefit your gaming and work life.

Mechanical Keys

Gaming Keypads typically use mechanical keys for the satisfying tactile feedback it provides. The light actuation force required for shallow switches is favored over the deep switches which are more suited to typing. The brand Cherry MX is a leader in keyboard switches and uses blue, black, yellow, and brown colors to distinguish between their products.

There are three main types of mechanical switches defined by their behavior: linear, tactile, and clicky. Linear switches are the simplest and allow for rapid actuation. Tactile switches have a noticeable bump in the middle of travel and don’t need to bottom out to register. Clicky keys have a distinct ‘click’ sound when pressed.

Wireless Functionality

A gaming keypad with wireless functionality offers a major advantage to mobility. The keyboard can be positioned without the limitation of wires, letting you game from a distance of up to 10m when using a Bluetooth connection.

While a 2.4Ghz Bluetooth connection provides a fast and responsive gaming experience, the keyboard may not be compatible with older devices without wireless functionality. To solve this, many of the wireless gaming keypads have a USB Bluetooth dongle to add this functionality.

Do I need a Gaming Keypad?

Read the review and still feel unsure? You need to try a gaming keypad to experience the comfort and customizability loved by so many gamers and designers. Benefit from having a myriad of shortcuts programmed at your fingertips.

Whether you choose the affordable keypad offered by Magegee, or commit to the much loved Razer Tartarus V2, you will enjoy the competitive edge or improvement to your workflow offered by these extra keys.

Are you the happy owner of a gaming keypad? Share your experience in the comments below. Need a new screen? Read these reviews of the best 21-inch monitors.

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