Are you gaming on your PC, have been shopping for some gear, and have been wondering, are those one-handed keyboards worth buying? Perhaps that piece of hardware is all you need to optimize your gaming.
Speaking of gaming gears, have you ever considered protecting your eyes from blue light? Check out this article about gaming glasses, you may want to add it to your wishlist afterward.
Back to the subject at hand. Let’s check it out.
What is a one-handed gaming keyboard?
A one-handed keyboard (a.k.a. a gaming keypad) is basically half a keyboard.
When using a standard keyboard, if you have learned to type using both hands, generally each hand covers a portion of the keyboard.
In this case, a gaming keypad will represent the left side of the keyboard as it is usually operated by the left hand.
When shopping around for that piece of gaming gear, they are usually made for left-handed people, although some companies have made an ambidextrous version of their one-handed gaming keyboards.
This is good for those that are more comfortable using their right hand while using their mouse with their left hand.
There are also a short number of products that are one-handed gaming keyboards with a joystick, so that you can really play one-handed, meaning that it would also replace the use of a mouse. An all-in-one gaming apparatus.
These one-handed keyboards will have a wired connection as would be most gaming keyboards on the market. But, more on that later.
What’s the point of the one-handed keyboard?
When PC gaming, the default keyboard controls are usually located on the left side of the peripheral device giving the user a more ergonomic position while the other hand is controlling the mouse for let’s say example a first-person shooter game.
So if you are using only half of the keyboard why not simply downsize it into a more convenient, smaller device? Fewer keys to press, fewer chances of hitting the wrong one.
Some gaming keypads have the exact same layout as the left side of regular keyboards, keeping their original names, from 1 to 5, Q to T, CTRL, TAB, and ESC, just to name a few.
Although it varies from product to product. You may have a few additional or fewer keys depending on the model.
Other products may change the layout and rename all the keys altogether, from 1 to the total number of keys, for example.
There are been some gaming keypads with user-friendly symbols on the keys to help the user find the appropriate key, from directional left/right, up/down, to jump, crouch, weapon 1, weapon 2, etc.
So basically, the purpose of this type of gear is to simplify the controls for the user, giving them access to easy to reach shortcut keys, getting rid of unnecessary bulk/controls that you will not use, and depending on the model, some keys may be more responsive, which is critical when playing online.
Another great perk is that they work, they are functional, they look cool with their design and they usually come with RGB lighting with tons of colors to choose from. In other words, it is customizable to your own needs or preferences.
Is a gaming keypad better than the keyboard?
A gaming keypad is better than a keyboard because it has been made for gamers, with precision controls, ergonomic design, lots of “hotkeys”, cool features such as RGB lighting, palm rest, and an integrated joystick (on a specific brand/model).
If you are wondering if you absolutely need this type of product for your PC gaming, then it all depends on your preferences and if you need more responsive controls for competitive online gaming.
Other than these features, can a regular keyboard do the job? Absolutely, just less convenient.
Is a wired keyboard better for gaming?
As you might have noticed that most gaming hardware comes with a wired connection.
But, why? It is for responsiveness, as controls will respond more when physically connected to the computer versus having a wireless connection, where it would take more processing time with receiving signals through Bluetooth or a USB dongle.
Sure by processing time we are not talking about seconds but milliseconds, but sometimes it makes all the difference to make up for the internet lag time when playing online.
Another plus side to a wired connection, it helps to keep the cost down, as it would be cheaper to make, even though gaming hardware is usually pricy.
Well, let’s just say it softens the blow a bit when forking up the money at the cash or checkout.
What is the best gaming keypad?
If you are interested in purchasing this kind of hardware, there are numerous different products on the market, each similar in its own way, but some go the extra mile and shine above the rest and by shine, I am not talking about that RGB lighting.
Here are a couple of these one-handed gaming keyboards that deserve mentioning:
1. RAZER Tatarus V2
I had mentioned previously a product that had included a joystick, replacing the need for a mouse. This is the product.
RAZER has also a “Pro” version, which is similar to this one, with the exception of a higher price tag and more sensitive keys as it can measure the pressure applied to them, making them respond differently. So in some cases, a full press would result in running as opposed to a slight press making your character walk instead. Pretty neat perk.
The layout on all the Tatarus models is the same, the keys are pretty gridlike while naming them from 1 to 20, which is the number of keys. The number 20 key is located underneath the joystick for convenience. It makes it look like a component of its own and not as half of a keyboard with at least twice the price tag.
The keys are mid-height between a regular mechanical keyboard and a low-profile one, which hits the sweet spot for responsiveness and it has a mecha-membrane giving it a soft pressing touch for added comfort level.
As for the price point, it will cost you roughly 80 USD. As for the Pro version, the damage will be at around 130 USD, but you never go wrong with the RAZER brand, as they always deliver quality products.
If you are looking for one-handed keyboards worth buying, this one should definitely be among your top choices.
Check out the product video:
2. Redragon DITI K585
I absolutely love the form factor of the DITI K585. It was made for lefties as it is literally the left side of a regular keyboard, from letters Q to T, 1 to 6, function keys of F1 through F5, Shift, Tab, and Ctrl keys, just to name a few.
On the lower right side is a conveniently placed space button that can be pressed using your thumb, which feels more natural.
It is comfortable and ergonomic, there is also a removable magnetic palm rest giving you the option to remove it if you don’t really care for it.
The RGB lighting looks great and is customizable to your liking.
Speaking of customizable, it also bears 7 programmable macro keys. Everything a grown gamer needs.
Price-wise, it is reasonably priced averaging 40 USD.
Please note that you must install the K585 software prior to using your gaming keypad as it is required in order for it to work properly.
For more info on this product, go check the following link on the Redragon website.
So in the end, all in all, is a one-handed keyboard worth buying?
If you are more of a casual gamer, that uses a keyboard to play, then your laptop, regular or gaming keyboard will do the exact same job. Just less convenient, but saves you money by not buying another piece of hardware.
Don’t get me wrong, they are very useful and live up to their purposes. It all depends on your gaming needs, but for casual gamers, I cannot say it would be money well spent.
Then again, you can actually buy one at a very good price, but I would not go for the pricier one as I am also a casual gamer.
It also depends on how handy you handle that keyboard. If swift action is needed while playing your favorite MMO or a multiplayer shooting game where precision and fast button pressing is critical, then for sure go for one of these. They will go a long way in your gameplay.
Remember, good gaming gear is “key”. So gear it up and game on.