A gaming keypad is a small-sized keyboard used only for gaming purposes.
It features less buttons than any keyboard and these buttons are arranged in a way that facilitates comfortable and efficient presses during gaming sessions. Needless to say, these gaming keypads are very helpful, especially in mmo and FPS games.
Best Gaming keypads For 2019
There's a common question I am being asked: how a gaming keypad is different from a gaming keyboard.
While both of them are actually used for the same purpose, they are different devices. Some of the differences (or benefits) are below.
Benefits Of A Gaming Keypad
The biggest advantage of a gaming keypad, when compared to a gaming keyboard, is its reduced size. Gaming keyboards are usually very big in size and having a gaming keypad can be very handy if you have a limited desk-space.
My main problem with gaming keyboards is their design. Their design isn't good, or at least not as good enough as that of a gaming keypad. Due to their large size, you have to hop around the whole keyboard (from one key to other) while gaming.
Due to this, your hand gets pretty tired after some time. Yes, some gaming keyboards come with a wrist-rest area but that's not a good solution.
In gaming keypads, on the other hand, each and every key is accessible to you at the same time. On top of that, your wrist stays at one place during this whole time.
Extra Options: Often times, gaming keypads come with many other features not usually found in gaming keyboards such as volume-control, USB ports and headset ports etc.
Some Things To Be Noted
Since you've read some of the benefits of gaming keypads, I think it's equally important to mention some of potential downsides of a gaming keypad.
Just like any other gaming device, gaming keypads require some time from you to master them. Now this curve can be long as well as short, depending on how much you adapt and play with these keypads.
Secondly, these keypads aren't so beneficial for non-MMO and Non-FPS games.
According to many gamers, the real benefit of gaming keypad comes when you play FPS and MMO games with them. For other gaming genres, they say, it doesn't make much difference.
OK, so now, since you've learned about the benefits and potential downsides of these keypads, let's start this review about best gaming keypads in the market.
Best Gaming Keypads 2019 Review
Razer Tartarus V2 Chroma: Check Price On Amazon
Razer, as a gaming brand, doesn't need any introductions. They made pretty much everything related to gaming niche.
In the list, we have not one but two products from them and the first among these two is Tartarus V2 Chroma keypad.
It's the second iteration of the original Tartarus Chroma. Yes, I know that's a pretty weird name, but then PC gaming market doesn't have too many products with sensible names, in the first place.
Anyways, let's start with its design. This keypad consists of 4 key-rows. Each of these rows has 5 keys, except the last one which has 4 keys plus a scroll wheel.
There are some additional controls of your thumb on its right side, which basically means you have to use your left hand to operate this keypad. These controls include an 8-directional D-Pad, a small circular button which acts as Alt key by default, and another button which acts as a space bar.
This makes the total key count to 32. All of these buttons are programmable, of course, but in real world environment you won't need that much options in any type of game.
In terms of ergonomics, my experience wasn't particularly good. It's because of its large size as compared to other gaming keypads. If your hand is placed on the hand rest, there's no way for you to reach the upper row of keys, without raising your hands.
That's why its' not suitable for people with small hands, like me. Except that, there's nothing to worry about.
Next comes the keys. This keypad comes in 2 different key types; Mecha-membrane and Mechanical keys. First talk about the Mecha-Membrane technology. These are basically the membrane keys that mimic the feel of Mechanical keys.
They're pretty good but not as good as mechanical keys. As far as the mechanical-key model is concerned, you can get that, but for an extra 50 bucks.
Tartarus V2 is equipped with the latest Synapse 3.0 gaming software. This software can be very helpful if you want to do any sort of customization like reprogramming the keys, link profile with specific games, record macros and set RGB lighting etc.
Logitech G13: Check Price On Amazon
Best Gaming Keypad 2019
Any list related to gaming category is incomplete without mentioning a Logitech product. The same is the case here. Meet G13, a high-end gaming keypad.
Design wise, this keypad has some more features than we usually see in a gaming keypad.
It has 4 parts: The main keypad, a digital display, an analog mini-joystick, and a palm and wrist rest. Weighing almost 1.3 pounds, it's a very light device.
Although light-weightiness can end up being counterproductive when it comes to gaming peripherals, this keypad has rubbery feet which make it very stable. Also, it comes with a USB 2.0 cable which is 7-feet long.
Another thing which makes it different is that it's raised from the middle, and both main keypad and the wrist rest are lower. The wrist rest has a very soft and rubbery touch ,and feels very good.
On the right side, the place where the thumb is placed, there's an analog mini-joystick, particularly good for a little bit of racing.
Unlike other gaming keypads, which have an alphabet/numeric numbering, this one comes with suffix 'G' on its keys, e.g: G1, G5, G22 etc. Each of these 22 keys is full programmable and is leaned at unique angles.
This makes it very comfortable to use. The 4 keys for 'WASD' purpose have a slight dimple on them which makes them easily recognizable.
It also has an LCD display which you can use for many important tasks like CPU/RAM usage, macro recording on-the-go and monitoring system data etc.
Below this display, there's another set of buttons. These buttons are backlit on/off button, Mode button, and 3 button for saved programmable key-maps, and a macro recording button.
These 3 buttons are used for storing different functions in same key, which means you can store 3 different functions for each of the 22 keys.
This keypad comes with Logitech's GamePanel software which lets you save macros, editing game profiles, and customize the backlit color etc. It has a on-board memory which lets you save all of those above-mentioned things on the keypad itself.
So that you can use them on any other PC later, without installing any software.
The overall performance level is pretty good. Yes, the learning curve is big, like any other gaming keypad. One thing I didn't like is the joystick. It's because it doesn't really feel like an actual joystick.
Delux T9: Check Price On Amazon
Best Budget Gaming Keypad 2019
Delux T9 is a budget gaming keypad, in fact the only budget gaming keypad in this list. The reason why we feature it, is because not everyone can afford the expensive models.
Other than this, we want to show people that gaming isn't something that comes only with a lot of money and anyone can have good gaming accessory in cheap price.
What really makes this keypad different than the others, is its design. It has a flat design. Unlike others, this one has an almost horizontal profile. Design wise, it's divided in 3 parts.
First one consists of two rows: one for the function keys (from F1 to F6) and the other one is for number (again, from 1 to 6). The second part is the one found in other keypads too. It has 4 rows and each row has 6 keys.
For the most part, these rows contain alphabets. But there are some other keys too. Last key of both 3rd and 4th row, for example, is a special character key.
The left-most column of this keypad has keys like Tab, Shift, Ctrl and Alt key. Below these rows, there's a mini-row with 3 keys; H, V and Mode key. There are a couple of big red buttons on both of this mini-row. These buttons act as a space bar.
On its right side, there are volume up, volume down and mute key. On the left side, there are Home key, Escape Key and Light key (yes, it supports backlighting) . All in all, this keypad can bring you the most keyboard-like experience.
There's no such as a D-pad for thumb, which means your only navigational options are WASD keys.
In order to start it, you just need to plug in into your PC through a USB port and you're done.
There's no customization software though, and its long design means you can't use it entirely while your hand is at hand wrest, either. But you can't argue much in this price range.
Razer Orbweaver Chroma: Check Price On Amazon
Orbweaver chroma is the second one from Logitech, and the last gaming keypad in this list.
Its design resembles that of its cheaper sibling - the Razer Tartarus chroma. Both of them have 4 rows, with each row having 5 keys, along with a thumb-sized joystick and space button on right side (on Tartarus, it's a D-Pad), and a palm rest.
It has slightly narrow design but higher palm-rest than the Logitech G13 we reviewed earlier. Like G13, it has rubber feet to provide stability, and its USB cable is 6 feet long, a little less than the 7 feet long USB cable of G13.
As said before, this keypad has 20 programmable buttons and it's the center buttons that are by default used for WASD keys. One advantage orbweaver has over Tartarus keypad, is its keys.
It's because these keys have mechanical key switches. Mechanical keyboards/keypads work just like a typewriter.
They have an individual switch under every key, which makes the overall keyboard/keypad accurate, more comfortable, and more rugged and responsive. Moreover, these switches require very little force from your side.
Other than this, orbweaver supports backlighting, and one with many different light intensities. One thing you may miss in this keypad, is the tactile different between the WASD keys and other ones.
Performance wise, it's pretty close to the best gaming keypad. It also comes with Razer Synapse to do as much customize as any other gaming keypad. Only one thing takes it away from being out top pick, and its the lack of digital LCD display found in Logitech G13.