So, you want to buy a new keyboard? You’ve scoured the internet for the best one, which has left you even more confused since there are so many different types and brands in the market.
What are mechanical and membrane keyboards? Why should you care about which one you should buy?
Here’s a simple rundown of what membrane and mechanical keyboards are, what are the differences, and what you should consider when buying one.
The first keyboard ever made was a mechanical keyboard. A mechanical keyboard works by using a mechanism called a switch.
There are switch mechanisms underneath each keycap. When you press on the keycap, you press down on the switch under it, creating an electric circuit.
This sends a signal that you’ve typed a certain letter to your PC. Switches use magnetism, light-sensing, or capacitance to send a signal.
There’s a spring connected to the bottom of the switch, which pushes the switch up after you release the keypad.
Mechanical keyboards can be very different depending on which switch they come with. Some switches are more clicky, which means they produce a sound when pressed on.
They can also be linear or tactile. Linear switches produce a consistent keystroke. This means that they can create an electric circuit even if you don’t press the keycap completely.
Tactile switches have an actuation point, after which the electric circuit is initiated. This means that keystrokes register only after a certain point of travel, called a bump.
You should get a mechanical keyboard if:
– You want a customizable keyboard
Keycaps of a mechanical keyboard are removable, so you can customize your keyboard to your liking.
– You want a durable keyboard
Mechanical keyboards can last a lifetime and more. If a switch breaks or stops working, you can change that one switch without having to buy a whole new keyboard.
– You want a keyboard for gaming
Depending on if you are playing a slow or fast-paced game, you can opt for tactile or linear switches.
Membrane keyboards comprise of a single set of pressure pads. There are two membranes underneath each keycap, and one membrane on the stem of the keycap.
When pressed, the stem of the keycap connects to the membranes, creating an electrical pathway. This sends the signal to your PC that you have pressed a certain key.
Under each keycap stem is a rubber dome, which pops back up once you release the key.
You should get a membrane keyboard if:
– You want a lightweight keyboard
Mechanical keyboards can be quite heavy. If you need a portable keyboard, membrane keyboards are a better option.
– You want a quiet keyboard
If you work in an office or share your workspace with someone, membrane keyboards are a quieter option.
Both mechanic and membrane keyboards come with a set of pros and cons. Which keyboard is right for you depends on your preferences and what you will use the keyboard for. Hopefully this brief explanation has helped you with your decision.