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8 Best Benefits of A Mechanical Keyboard #ExpertOpinion

Keyboard is one of the most important parts of any computer system because this is what you use to type something whether they are numbers, symbols, or letters. At the first glance, it looks very simple to have a keyboard but there is a separate world of Keyboards as there are so many types of keyboards that are used for different purposes. And, Mechanical Keyboards are one of those types. In fact, These are the best keyboards for every use. So, let’s talk about it in a bit detail so that you will come to know about the Benefits of a Mechanical Keyboard, and why do people like this keyboard type. I will also explain its mechanics to make you aware of it in-depth as well.


Benefits of A Mechanical Keyboard {Quick Overview}


We will read the Mechanical Keyboard benefits in more detail later in the article. Let’s first get to know more about Keyboards and other things.

Let’s begin…


What is a Keyboard?


Keyboard is the primary input device of a computer system that is used to type letters, symbols, and numbers. Moreover, there are a lot of features and functions a keyboard offer to use a computer efficiently. It is the improved and advanced version of a typical typewriter from the old age.


Types of Keyboards


Although there are so many micro categories of keyboards such as scissor keyboards, gaming keyboards, multimedia keyboards, wireless keyboards, wired keyboards, and many more, we will consider two broad categories of keyboards which are Membrane Keyboards and Mechanical Keyboards. We select these only because, we are looking at the mechanics of them, and most of the different keyboards either have rubber dome switch or mechanical switch. Let’s get to know more about them.

What is A Membrane Keyboard?

Generally, the keyboards you get along when you buy a computer system, are the membrane keyboards. They are quite cheap and simple. Membrane keyboards are also known as Regular keyboards. In this type of keyboard, there is a rubber dome inside every key. And, there is a membrane beneath the dome. So, when the key is pressed, the rubber dome switch makes it possible to make contact with the circuit and the keypress is registered to the computer, and you see the output on the screen. 

This was a quite simple explanation, but if we go into more detail, a membrane keyboard has four layers, as you can see in the image below:

Membrane Keyboard Build

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • Top Membrane Layer.
  • Holes Layer.
  • Bottom Membrane.
  • Conductive Traces.

Basically, membrane keyboards have 3 main layers. The two layers are Top and Bottom Membranes containing conductive traces. And, a hole(Kind of space) in which the Rubber dome switch resides. 

Let’s now understand this, when the keyboard is not in use, the key is open. That means the space between two membranes separated with a rubber dome keeps both layers apart so that the current doesn’t flow. Now, when the key(The top layer) is pressed, the dome switch actuates and makes contact with the bottom layer. Then conductive traces of both top and bottom membranes bridge the gap and come into contact to flow the current, and the keypress is registered. And, the rubber dome is then responsible to push the key go back again.

membrane Keyboard
Membrane Keyboard

So, this is how the Membrane keyboard works. They are very popular because of the low cost, but, there is not much flexibility in customization.

What is a Mechanical Keyboard?

Mechanical Keyboards are named as they use “Mechanical Switches” rather than rubber domes. There are so many options when you think of getting a Mechanical Keyboard.

There are many types of Mechanical Switches but at the very basic level, there is a spring used in the switch for actuating mechanism. 

Dissassembled Cherry MX mechanical Switch
Disassembled Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Switch

Every Key has a switch underneath that is composed of housing, stem, and spring. Whenever you press a key, the switch actuates, and it goes down, and register a keypress. At times there are other parts too. There are different variants of mechanical switches such as Linear, Clicky, and Tactile. Different types need a different amount of pressure to actuate the keys. 

Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical Keyboard

Actuation force is the amount of pressure that is needed to press the key to register a keypress on the computer. Different key switches may have different actuation force needed.

Types of Mechanical Switches:

Types of Mechanical Switches {From Left: Linear, Tactile, Clicky}

  • Linear Switch: Very little noise with linear and consistent feel.
  • Tactile Switch: These kinds of Mechanical switches have a slight bump in halfway when you press the key. Noise is moderate
  • Clicky Switch: Clicky is a noisy switch, and it does have a slight bump when the key is pressed, and the bump makes a “click” sound. That is why it is called the “Clicky” switch. 

We will be talking a lot about the Mechanical Keyboards and the different switches later on this site. For now, we quickly move to our main topic i.e. the Advantages of Mechanical Keyboards.


Best Benefits A Mechanical Keyboard


  1. High Stability

Mechanical keyboards are quite stable on the desk because of their weight. They are a bit heavier than the membrane keyboards. Even if you type faster for longer, it will not move here and there on the desk.

Most of the people don’t look at this stability thing but it is very important that your keyboard is well settled on the desk, and doesn’t move here and there so that you can work without any disturbance and extra noise which may come out when it keeps shaking and moving here and there on the desk.

  1. Long Lasting

Mechanical Keyboards last longer than Membrane Keyboards. Mechanical switches are generally designed and tested for 30 to 70 Million Keypresses. Different switches may have different keystroke limits. Some might last till 100 Million Keypresses. So, these are way more long-lasting than Membrane keyboards which last somewhere about 5 Million keypresses. Also, the build quality of Mechanical Keyboards is way better, and they are quite sturdy. So, if you have the question in your mind “How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last”, then you have the answer here!

  1. Keypress Sound {Can be Disadvantage to Many}

Although for some, the sound of a Keyboard may be a disadvantage, there are many people who love the click sound of the keyboard when the keys are pressed. I was reading a Quora thread where you can see many people claiming that they do love the sound of typing.

So, if you are one of those people, you will love to work with Mechanical Keyboard.  

By the way, here the sound means, the keypress sound which is liked by many. Sound can be produced because of the wrong placement on the desk as well. So that is another thing, and we are not discussing that here. Moreover, if you are one of those people, who like the mechanical keyboard experience but don’t like the sound much, then you can go for the Silent Switch Mechanical Keyboards which produce little to no sound. Either you can get a new Quiet Keyboard or you can just replace the current switches of your keyboards with silent switches. That is the benefit that you can customize your Mechanical keyboard the way you want.

  1. Improved Typing Experience

When it comes to typing, I found typing on a mechanical keyboard is amazing. The slight bump after every keypress gives the ease, and fingers don’t pain even after long hours of typing. Apart from this, you can always go with the switch that you like, you can get them replaced in your keyboard as per your requirement and liking.

I use my Mac’s keypad and mechanical keyboard for typing sometimes, and I just feel the difference when I type on Mechanical Keyboard. Typing is awesome, and I love the clicky sound. 

  1. Bliss for Gamers {Benefits of a Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming}

Gamers used to press the keys a lot faster and harder while playing some games, that is why mechanical keyboards are great as they are sturdy, and keys don’t stick even on harder keypresses, and above all, gamers love the sound that keypresses generate while playing. Even the keypresses registered when keys are pressed halfway through, and they provide stronger feedback every time keys are pressed.

So, Mechanical Keyboard is bliss for gamers, and I recommend every gamers to use this keyboard type only for gaming. So, in short, the benefits of a mechanical keyboard for gaming is its clicky sound, tactility, sturdiness, and the heavy build. And, at the last, they are more comfortable as well.

  1. No Wear Out

One of the best benefits of Mechanical Keyboards is that no matter how much time passes, typing on these keyboards will almost feel like the same as day one. That means, whatever you feel while typing on a mechanical keyboard when it is new, the same feel it offers even after months of use. They hardly wear out, and that is one of the best advantages of a mechanical keyboard.

  1. Higher N-Key Rollover {Best Advantage for Gamers}

NKRO, short for N-Key Rollover, is a feature offered by high-end keyboards that detects all the key presses that are done simultaneously. 

Generally, the NKRO of the membrane and other keyboards are not higher, that means they can only detect a few key presses simultaneously {usually around 3-6 keys at once if pressed can be registered} But, in Mechanical Keyboard, somewhere around 10 keys at once if pressed can be registered which is one of the best benefits of Mechanical Keyboards for Gamers.

That is why Mechanical Keyboards are Anti-Ghosting as well. Keyboard Ghosting is a term used to tell that more than 6 keys are not registered at once when you press. So, that is keyboard ghosting. But, mechanical keyboards at Anti-ghosting because due to high N-key Rollover, more than 6 keypresses can be registered at once.

  1. Programmability

Many of the Mechanical Keyboards are programmable which means you can assign functions the keys. To put it simply, you can just program any key to output the thing you want. Just for an example, if your “Delete” key is broken, and you want it, you can just program another keyword with a certain group of keys to work as the “Delete” button. This is obviously for a power user but a great feature that you can program your keyboard to output the way you want.

We have had a look over the benefits of a Mechanical Keyboard, now, let’s have a look at a few Disadvantages of Mechanical Keyboards as well.


Disadvantages of a Mechanical Keyboard


  1. Cost

Mechanical Keyboards aren’t cheap. They come with heavy price tags. So, for many, it could be a disadvantage. Moreover, there are some low-cost mechanical keyboards in the market as well. But, yes, they would still cost higher than the normal membrane Keyboards.

  1. Sound

Generally, Mechanical Keyboards are noisy, and that can be a disadvantage for many. Moreover, they have the option to replace the switches with Silent Mechanical Switches which can lower the clicky sound to a greater extent.

  1. Weight

Mechanical Keyboards are heavy, and that is a benefit actually that it doesn’t move here and there when you type faster. But, when it comes to portability, the heavyweight can be a big disadvantage.

As you can see, there are a few disadvantages of Mechanical Keyboards but actually, they are not complete disadvantages as these disadvantages can be advantages for many such as I like the clicky sound while typing. And, those who don’t want sound, can use silent switches. 

So, overall, Mechanical Keyboards win the race of keyboards as they have the best benefits for every group of people using Keyboards.


Mechanical Keyboards FAQs


Q: How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last?

A: Usually, Mechanical Keyboards last longer as their build is strong, and they made for millions of keypresses. If you keep your keyboard carefully, and save from Physical damage they can last longer as much as you want.

Q: Why Are Mechanical Keyboards So Loud?

The sound comes from Mechanical Keyboards because of each switch mechanism. The plastic sliders underneath each key are depressed down on a spring that closes the electrical circuit to activate the corresponding key to register the keypress into the computer, and show output. 

When the key is pressed, the slider component builds up force on the switch to slide down. When the slider releases, it hits the housing of the switch which causes a clicky sound.

This is the reason Mechanical Keyboards are so loud but in the Membrane keyboards, they have rubber sheets to cover the actuation making less to no noise at all. However, nowadays, silent mechanical switches are the options to dampen clicky sound. 

Q: Why are Mechanical Keyboards so expensive?

Mechanical Keyboards are expensive because of the build quality, and complex mechanism as compared to the membrane keyboard. It has separate switches for every key, and also the amount of time and labour required to build Mechanical keyboard is more. Thus, they are costly.

Q: Why Do People Like Mechanical Keyboards?

People Like Mechanical Keyboards because of the ease of typing, they are tactile, they provide keypress feedback, and above all, they last longer. And, no matter how long you type, you will not feel pain in your fingers as you don’t have to put a lot of force to press the key. Just a simple pressing registers the keypress that makes you feel not tired of typing.

Conclusion

If you have never used a Mechanical Keyboard, gift yourself one, and I am sure, you will not regret. In fact, you will love it. The typing will be fun, and the build quality will be awesome too. Moreover, RGB lights are there in many gaming Mechanical Keyboards too which is fun to have, and good when you sit in the dark to work.

If you have any questions, regarding the Benefits of a Mechanical Keyboard, please do ask in the comments, and we will use our expertise to answer the queries.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is a blogger who has been publishing on the web for more than a decade. He shares his knowledge and expertise in the form of Text and Video Content.

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