The standard keyboards that come with most computers often have a so-called rubber “dome” underneath the key. But for some time now, mechanical keyboards have been on the rise. If you asked yourself what is the actual difference between these types of keyboards? And what are the major advantages of a mechanical keyboard compared to the standard keyboard? Especially when it comes to gaming. Then you’ll hopefully get your answer in this article.
What is a mechanical keyboard?
So let’s start with the simple definition. Mechanical keyboards are keyboards that consist of mechanical switches that operate separately from each other. Each key has its own switch that registers each keystroke. This also ensures that the keys of a mechanical keyboard have a long life span and the typing comfort is better than the rubber dome keys that a standard keyboard contains.
Advantages of a mechanical keyboard
As previously indicated, each key on a mechanical keyboard has a separate mechanical switch compared to that of a standard keyboard.
The standard keyboard, on the other hand, contains a circuit board with registration points. So when you press a key, the rubber dome makes contact with a part of the board that registers a character and transmits it to the computer. These boards with rubber domes are cheap to manufacture, but sometimes of poor quality. But the key of a mechanical keyboard has its own switch instead. This alone results that the lifespan of a mechanical keyboard will be much longer than that of a standard keyboard.
Pressing Multiple Keys Simultaneously
With a standard keyboard, you can only hold a limited number of keys at the same time. This is not the case with a mechanical keyboard. This has the advantage that in fast games, you make fewer mistakes when switching a key quickly.
A key on a standard keyboard must be pressed to the bottom to reach the so-called actuation point. An actuation point is a point at which the keyboard registers the stop. On a standard keyboard, the actuation point is placed on the circuit board, and therefore you’ll have to press until it reaches that point. In a mechanical keyboard, this is incorporated halfway into the key. This has the advantage that you can get faster actuation and feedback on a keystroke. This can make a big difference during gaming.
Different Types Of Switches
If you are willing to buy a mechanical keyboard, it is useful to know which type of switch suits you. There are many different switches available on the market. But most switches are made by the company Cherry.
Cherry is also the biggest and best-known player in this market. Some companies use other brand switches or in-house made ones, but the core characteristics of these switches remain the same. We will therefore highlight the switches from the Cherry brand for you.
You can divide these switches into 3 groups/colors:
Cherry MX Red (for gamers)
These switches respond very quickly, and less force is needed to hold a button down longer. These are also called linear switches. These switches also have the property that the feedback is not audible or palpable when the button is registered.
Cherry MX Blue (for people who type a lot)
These are also called clicky switches. While typing you will hear clicking feedback when a key is registered. Because you feel and hear exactly when you have registered a key, you can release the key faster with the advantage that you can type faster, and with less fatigue.
Cherry MX Brown (for all-rounders)
The Cherry MX Brown switches are a combination of the above two switches. They give tangible feedback when pressing the switches. This is ideal for people who type and play a lot of games.
Mechanical keyboards are available in different finishes. You can choose RGB LED lighting, additional function buttons, and even an extra display.
Also, you will have a choice between 100%, 60%, or a 65% keyboard.
A 60% keyboard will give you more space on your desk by taking away the numeric pad and arrow keys. A 65% keyboard is the same, only that it does have the arrow keys.
All these different variations are available in different price ranges.
A mechanical keyboard is a clear improvement over the standard keyboard, especially for the serious gamer and typing professional. The advantage is that with a mechanical keyboard you can make your actions faster and more efficient while gaming or typing. This also provides improved comfort and less fatigue. The purchase price will be a bit higher, but there are a lot of advantages.