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How did I not know these tiny mechanical keyboards existed?

With just three red switches and a dial, you can hold one of these mini keyboards in your hand, or just use it for handy shortcuts.

Tiny three key one hand mechanical keyboard

I’ve seen some pretty small mechanical gaming keyboard designs in my time, but this one goes a big step further than even the smallest 60% designs out there. With just three mechanical keyswitches, plus a control dial, you won’t be able to type out the complete works of Shakespeare on this cute little bar of keys, or at least not very quickly, but you could play a round of Tetris with it.

The aptly named XYZA TinyKeyboard Custom 2.0 is unlikely to be listed among the best gaming keyboards any time soon, but its genuine mechanical switches certainly make it an interesting piece of PC hardware. Like most PC gaming keyboards these days, this newly announced mini keyboard even has an LED backlight.

Now for a confession: until five minutes ago, I’d never seen a keyboard like this, but a quick search on Amazon reveals that there are loads of them with and without dials. People have been clearly using them, while I’ve been completely unaware.

The most common usage seems to be for a bar of quick copy, cut, and paste shortcuts, but there’s so much potential here. Plus, any genuine usefulness aside, I also just love the idea that you can buy a tiny three-key keyboard with genuine mechanical keyswitches on it.

In the case of the TinyKeyboard, this little control bar hooks up to your PC via USB, and gives you three red mechanical switches. There’s no mention of the switch branding, so I assume they’re not made by Cherry, but red is usually the color code for a linear keystroke when it comes to switches. You also get three customizable transparent plastic keycaps, so you can show each key’s purpose with an icon.

Tiny three key one hand mechanical keyboard

Of course, the gaming applications for this miniature mechanical marvel are limited, but an animated GIF on the website shows somebody using it to remotely control a browser on their monitor, using the dial as a scroll wheel, and it would look just right for this if it weren’t for the USB cable sticking out the side – a wireless connection is sorely missing here.

In the meantime, I’ve been solely using a full-size wireless keyboard and trackpad to control the PC plugged into my TV, and I’m slightly annoyed that I could have been using a little handheld mechanical keyboard instead for all this time. Photos of the TinyKeyboard also show it placed next to a standard keyboard, where it can be used as a quick bar for keyboard shortcuts, with a Photoshop icon and an exit sign used as examples.

If you like your keyboards small, but not quite this small, make sure you also check out our full guide to the best mini keyboards, where we take you through all our favorite options at a range of prices.