You Should also Read: Difference Between Mechanical Keyboard and Membrane Keyboard
What is a Mechanical Keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard is a keyboard that has been built to last and comes with spring activated – high-quality key switches. Moreover, a mechanical keyboard is made to fit users’ preferences and provide a very satisfying tactile feel or bump. This goes a long way in promoting the experience of a high degree of typing experience.
The key switches form an integral part of a mechanical keyboard, and they are what would provide your keyboard with the individuality you would witness on them. The witches are designed to meet each of the individual typing preferences. The ones like Blues and Greens come with a clicky sound akin to the typewriters used in the olden days, while the ones such as Reds are silent. The mechanical keyboards provide you with a huge range of advantage in the realm of switches, framing, functionality, type print methods, key construction, PCB board, LED lighting, and other features and have been found to be superior in terms of typing experience, durability and everything in between when compared to the traditional rubber dome keyboards.
Why Do People Like Mechanical Keyboards?
If you have ever used a mechanical keyboard and have been able to compare the experience with a traditional rubber dome keyboard, you will need no further explanation. The reasons why people love mechanical keyboards lies in the very backbone of these keyboards – The Key switches.
A mechanical keyboard allows you to type faster, smoother, lighter, and quite accurate. If you are someone who is typing a lot and continuously types for a considerably longer period of time, a mechanical keyboard should obviously be the right choice for you.
A mechanical keyboard needs you to press on a keycap which further activates the spring-loaded mechanism beneath. Depending upon the switch used on the keyboard, you will either need to use more force or less force. The keyboard may also make a click or clack sound or stay silent. In sharp contrast, a traditional rubber dome keyboard does not provide you with a solid and audible click as in the case of mechanical keyboards.
Above all, you can customise Mechanical Keyboard the way you want. You can even change the switche(s) which is the main thing.
Here are a few reasons why people like Mechanical keyboards:
- Mechanical keyboards provide you with tactile feedback, and thus you know that they have pressed the key.
- Users need not press the key all the way down as in the case of membrane keyboards. This will help you avoid the unpleasant feeling of bottoming out.
- Mechanical keyboards come with the effortless typing and a comfortable typing experience.
- In case you are a touch typist, a mechanical keyboard will increase your typing speed and accuracy.
One of the huge advantages offered by mechanical keyboards lies in the feedback that it offers for each of your keystrokes. The mechanical keyboards provide a stronger physical (and an audible in the case of clicky switches) helps you adjust your pace and strokes and thus let you achieve the highest degree of possible word per minute. This would not be something possible with a membrane or rubber dome keyboard.
Prime Reasons Why Techies and Gamers like Mechanical Keyboards?
In our search to find why do people like mechanical keyboards, we thought of understanding why tech experts and gamers are so fond of a mechanical keyboard.
Here are a few reasons to understand why are mechanical keyboards popular:
One of the strongest features in favour of mechanical keyboards is the key switches employed on them. In essence, the switches are akin to the heart in a body. These switches are the prime reasons people like mechanical keyboards so much.
Image – MechanicalKeyboard.com
The key switches are located just beneath the keys, and the type of the key switch determines the feel and sound of a keypress. There are hundreds of different type of key switches, but they are primarily classified as Linear, Tactile and Clicky. Linear switches are smoother and do not produce any tactile bump or sound. Clicky switches are one of the much preferred ones and produce a clicking sound when pressed. The tactile switches are midway between linear and clicky switches. They do not produce a clicky sound as in the clicky switches but provide you with the necessary tactile bump.
The key switches are generally differentiated through colours. The colours are simply an indication of the sounds and feel that is associated with the different switches. For instance, the popular key switches from Cherry MX are made available in Cherry MX Red, Black, Brown, Clear, Blue, and Green.
The huge number of options to suit your exact needs is what makes people like mechanical keyboards. The best mechanical keyboard is the one that perfectly suits your expectations.
One of the excellent options that can make searching for the best key switches a simple enough is to use a switch tester. You can finalise a few of the switch types and opt for a switch tester that meets your individual needs. This will do away the need for replacing your keyboard that can be a severe issue.
Image – drop.com
Yet another reason why people like mechanical keyboards lies in the fact that it offers you multiple layout options. Unlike the standard and traditional keyboards that come in a specific size and layoutc, mechanical keyboards provide you with an option to pick a keyboard that ideally meets your requirements.
You can pick a full-sized keyboard or opt for the percentage keyboards as per your preferences. Some of the options you can check out can include full-sized keyboards, TenKeyLess (or 75 per cent), 65 per cent/60 per cent, split/ optholinear and 40 per cent/ 30 per cent keyboards.
A mechanical keyboard lets you type faster and accurately. The accuracy offered by a mechanical keyboard is what makes people like them the most as compared to the rubber dome keyboards.
A rubber dome keyboard can register a keypress only when it is pressed all the way down. This process is referred to as Bottoming out. In sharp contrast, a mechanical switch actuates midway between the keypress. This will mean you need not bottom out or apply more force on any key to register the keypress.
Mechanical keyboards help you reduce typing errors and other issues. This is achieved with the help of N key rollover, anti-ghosting and switch design.
A rubber dome keyboard may not register the keys despite the fact that you are pressing the keys in the right sequence. This necessitates the need for backing up and correcting the errors. Changing over to a mechanical keyboard can help you reduce the need for correcting the typo issues.
Ghosting is yet another issue you would find on a rubber dome keyboard. Ghosting refers to the registering of a key even when you have not pressed it. Mechanical keyboards come with an anti-ghosting feature where you would not find any ghosting issues. Since each of the switches sends singular signals to the device, you would find access to the best possible performance with respect to the functionality.
N Key Rollover refers to the number of keys that you can press simultaneously and get them registered. The term means you can press n number of keys and the keyboard will register all of them. You may have a 3 KRO or 4 KRO. Most of the mechanical keyboards come with a 6 key rollover feature.
Durability offered by the keyboards is based on the key switch used on the keyboard. Cherry MX key switches are tested for 100 million key presses on most of its versions of the keyboards. Even other keyboards come with a good lifespan that can range across 50 to 70 million key presses.
If you are wondering how long do mechanical keyboards last, the mechanical keyboards should ideally offer you a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. Yet another added advantage offered by the mechanical keyboard is that they let you change any of the malfunctioning key switches and get the keyboard back in shape. The hot-swappable keyboards can even provide you with an option to change the key switches to some other genre of switches. This can further improve the lifespan of your mechanical keyboard.
Are Mechanical Keyboards Better for Typing?
Mechanical keyboards are obviously a better choice for a better typing experience. A mechanical keyboard does not need you to press the key all the way down for registering the keypress. That would mean you can simply press the key only halfway. This ensures that you can get access to faster typing and better accuracy.
Some of the best options offered by the mechanical keyboard for achieving a better typing experience can include:
- A consistent keystroke: Mechanical keyboards provide consistent feedback, and this is helpful in ensuring that you can continue typing without any mistakes. Since the switches have a dedicated key switch, you can expect a reliable registration of the key presses.
- Customised layouts: The customised layout assists you in meeting the individual requirements you may have. A smaller keyboard can be a good option if you aren’t typing a lot and can also be ergonomically a good option.
- N key rollover: The N key rollover feature supported by the mechanical keyboard is one of the best factors that makes them a great option for a better typing experience.
Are mechanical keyboards faster? That would be dependent on several parameters. If you are switching just now from a rubber dome keyboard to a mechanical keyboard, you may not begin experiencing a faster and better typing. It will take a while for you to adjust to the typing experience on a mechanical keyboard. Do remember that switching to a mechanical keyboard will magically improve your typing speed. However, practising for a few days will indeed provide you with better typing than on a rubber dome keyboard. Ideally, a mechanical keyboard would be a great option in areas that need an accurate typing such as transcription.
You do not need to go for the mechanical keyboard just because you have heard about it. However, if you are a power user, you will find using a mechanical keyboard a great option when compared to the rubber dome keyboards.
The discussion above should have clearly let you understand why do people like mechanical keyboards. It should also motivate you to switch from the rubber dome keyboard to a good mechanical keyboard in tune with your exact needs.