If you’re like most people, you probably have more experience with regular keyboards than mechanical keyboards.After all, regular keyboards are what you can usually see and buy from typical stores. As students, we weren’t– or aren’t– normally exposed to anything other than a regular keyboard. Most schools use regular keyboards even in their computer classes. At work, offices don’t normally invest in mechanical keyboards. Many of us have been using regular keyboards our entire lives.
But now you must be curious, what’s up with mechanical keyboards? Why do so some people tout them as so much better than a regular keyboard? If you’re interested in making a switch, here are a few things you should know about mechanical keyboards vs. regular keyboards.
Mechanical keyboards are what you call the kind of keyboards that have a manual ‘switch’ per key. These switches activate through the use of springs that are triggered whenever you press them down. Many mechanical keyboards make a loud ‘click’ sound when pressed, though how loud it is can be adjusted based on your preference.
And ‘based on your preference’ is such an important phrase when it comes to mechanical keyboards. One obvious distinction that mechanical keyboards have vs. regular keyboards is the fact that they’re extremely customizable. Each key has its own switch and its own keycap, which are all replaceable. Some of the best mechanical keyboards even have adjustable backlighting, as well as adjustable weights. The weight determines how heavy or light each keypress would feel. For example, if you want to feel like you’re typing on air, you can go for a lighter weight. If you want to really be firm with your typing, go for the heavier weight. It’s all up to you. If you like having absolute control over your things, you’ll certainly like mechanical keyboards.
Another type of user who’ll certainly benefit from mechanical keyboards? Gamers! The kind of feedback that mechanical keyboards give is very quite to gamers who almost always need to have fast reaction times at all points in the game. Some pre-built mechanical keyboards specifically cater to gamers by providing switches that are lightweight and don’t have much tactile feedback, perfect for high-speed typing.
Mechanical keyboards are also good for people who tend to type a lot. They’re a lot more durable than a regular keyboard and are said to withstand up to 50 million keypresses as opposed to just 15 million keypresses of regular keyboards. That is, of course, if you take care of them well. Mechanical keyboards tend to be rather pricey; at least, pricier than regular keyboards. It’s not very hard to maintain them, but the maintenance does have to be constant in order to ensure that they’re in tip-top shape all the time. For some, this can be a downside, since you’d have to remove all the keys and clean them individually before putting them back.
Regular keyboards, as mentioned above, are generally the kind of keyboards that you usually see on most computers. Typically, they use a rubber dome or membrane switch.
A rubber dome switch is probably the most common switch there is. It consists of a rubber dome with a hard carbon center for each one. Their tactile response is pretty good, plus they’re quite durable since the rubber protects the actual keys from spills and other accidents. If you’re looking for something inexpensive yet durable enough, a rubber dome keyboard may be your best bet.
The other kind is the membrane switch. Instead of using a separate switch for every key, a membrane keyboard has a single membrane that covers the entire board. They don’t really have much tactile response, but they’re very quiet to use since the keys don’t make a ‘click’ sound when pressed. Not to mention, like the rubber dome, they’re also quite inexpensive to make.
If you’re on a budget and aren’t really bothered about the ‘feel’ of the keyboard you’re using, you probably don’t need to switch to a mechanical keyboard. Regular keyboards are good enough for what they’re worth, and if you’re just an occasional user who don’t even need to type a lot, mechanical keyboards may be a worthless investment for you. Besides, regular keyboards are available pretty much everywhere, so even if you do wear out your keyboard, it’s always easy to replace them with a new one. No need to go online and search for them, unlike what some mechanical keyboard enthusiasts have to do when buying new keys for their peripheral.
Mechanical Keyboards Vs. Regular Keyboards
Mechanical keyboards and regular keyboards have a lot of key differences. To sum it up:
- highly customizable
- very durable
- need constant maintenance
- can be noisy
- can be heavy
- some switches may be hard to find
- easy to use
- very affordable
- available everywhere
- not customizable
- less durable
As you can see, mechanical keyboards and regular keyboards both have their pros and cons, and not everybody will like one or the other. Some may like mechanical keyboards, others may like the regular ones. But whichever kind you choose, what matters is that it suits your typing lifestyle.