Joining the rock-solid standard-issue keyboard from Diatec – the Filco Majestouch 2 – come two principal variants. Instead of a full-length keyboard with number keypad to the right Diatec has a short-form version without extra numbers, known as the Tenkeyless Keyboard, since it lacks the ten numbers from 0–9.
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It’s not entirely bereft of extra keys though, since you still get the handy Ins, Del, Home, End, Pg Up and Pg Dn keys in their little island to the right of the Return key. You also still have full-size cursor arrow keys in the usual inverted-T pattern.
And if you do ever need a dedicated numerical keypad, Filco makes a separate unit that can complement this keyboard for £48.
Tenkeyless is not unique in the world of specialist keyboards. But what is quite remarkable is the quality that gives this particular Tenkeyless Qwerty its elite assassin moniker of Ninja – the plain black key tops, with key legends moved to a more covert position on the front sides of the keys.
Stare down directly from above, and you have a vista of unmarked keys, as once issued at typing schools and still available from Das Keyboard and the cult-followed Happy Hacking Keyboard (HHKB).
One suggested advantage, aside from confusing non-touch typists who sit at your PC and can’t lean back far enough to read the edge markings, is to obviate any chance of wear to the lettering through prolonged use. We’d hope that’s a thing of the past now anyway since high-grade brands routinely boast of laser-etched key tops that we’re told won’t wear off.
The same great build quality can be found in the Ninja Tenkeyless as the regular Majestouch 2 – the same supremely heavyweight build and rigid frame that supports a resilient underboard for the keys, and which ultimately inspires easy typing.
Our sample was fitted with Cherry MX Red switches, the easy-travel take on the linear Black switch. These have the same long stroke of 4mm as the Black, with bite point halfway down, and are certainly quieter than the high-click sound of Blue switches, although we did find our typing accuracy suffered a little.
But do note that UK distributor The Keyboard Company can also supply the Filco keyboard with tactile but quieter Brown switches, or the typists favourite, Cherry MX Blue.
If you have no need of the accountant’s friendly numberpad, a Tenkeyless design saves some useful desk space. And if you want your keytops to remain as fresh as the day you started using your faithful keyboard, the side-marked Ninja layout will be a most appealing take on the trusted Filco Majestouch keyboard.