Modern keyboards are similar in many ways, although they may differ, such as the presence/absence of a number pad, tilt legs and so on. And yet one of the fundamental differences is the design of the keys. The keys can have several different operating mechanisms: scissor, mechanical, optical, membrane and hybrid. We will not go into the principle of each – it’s better to tell briefly about the advantages and disadvantages of the two basic types, mechanical and membrane.
The most inexpensive to produce, and therefore a popular mechanism. Quite suitable for office use, but professional gamers and those whose work is connected with typing, they dislike. Why?
The reason lies in the switch mechanism itself, which does not support a large number of simultaneous presses. If you type regularly, you probably type very fast. In speed typing, each key is pressed faster than the previous key is completely released. Professionals may have a large number of characters in this chain at once.
Universal budget membrane keypad
For example, you type text using the blind method, you type the fourth letter in the word, but your finger does not fully release the first key. With the membrane keyboard you can face the loss of characters: some of them simply will not be displayed. The same goes for gameplay, especially MOBA and RPG games where the player uses a lot of hotkeys.
The lack of tactile feedback also aggravates the situation. That is, in any case you need to press the key as far as possible to make it “register”. And while working with text or gameplay, many keys are pressed in passing, because all the actions are done very quickly. Altogether this saves a lot of time. The membrane devices do not allow the user such a luxury due to their design features.
An excellent gaming solution from a famous brand
But the membranes are very quiet. You hear almost nothing when you press keys, so you won’t disturb anyone in the office or at home in the evening. In addition, keyboards with this type of keys are light and low – that can also be an argument.
- Low price
- The sound of pressing the keys is almost inaudible
- Low weight
- Lack of tactile feedback
- Short key life
- Often long response time
Mechanical keyboards, unlike membrane keyboards, have special switches that close a contact inside the key. As soon as a key is pressed to a certain level, the device recognizes the signal. Accordingly, it is not necessary to press each key to the end. And this is one of the main advantages of such devices. Each key has a characteristic click, which can be felt when the keys are pressed to a certain level.
Mechanical keys also provide excellent feedback. That is, you will feel physical resistance until you press the key until it clicks. This is what’s called tactile feedback, which makes life very much easier when working with text. Over time you get used to a certain key stroke and no longer press it all the way, which speeds up your work.
Affordable model with good reviews
There are also many types of switches for mechanical keyboards. For example, red, brown, blue, green and even silent with a noise-absorbing pad. Speaking of “loud.” This is a big disadvantage of mechanical devices, because all switches, except the silent one, make loud clicking noises, which can disturb the people around them. But you can choose switches “to your liking”. In terms of personal customization there is no equal in mechanics.
The main advantage of this type of keyboards is their durability. In addition to the extremely high lifespan of the keys, the base of mechanical keyboards is made of metal, which makes the whole structure stronger. However, the obvious disadvantage is the weight.
A premium product for gamers
It’s also worth mentioning the price issue. All other things being equal, the mechanics will cost 2-3 times more expensive than the “membrane”.
- Haptic feedback
- Long key press life
- Wide range of switches
- Rugged case
- Low response time
- High price
- High weight
- Almost all switches click loudly
So, which keyboard to choose? In our opinion, it goes something like this.
A membrane keyboard, inexpensive and quiet, is great for office managers or for home use. Even the products are not top brands will serve you for several years without any problems. And then you can buy a new one.
A mechanical keyboard is for those who work with text or often play. Here it makes sense to overpay (compared to buying a membrane keyboard) – you will get not only a higher life span, but also a completely different level of comfort.