As a serious gamer, you know how necessary your equipment is to your overall gaming experience.
When acquiring your gaming devices, it’s important to get the hardware that best suits your gaming needs. Not all gamers have the budget to go for the best of the best.
Sometimes gamers value style over actual performance. In either case, it’s important to make an informed decision before buying your mechanical keyboard.
This article will help you figure out which type of keyboard will give you the optimum gaming experience.
Different Kinds of Keyboards
Mechanical keyboards are very traditional looking pieces of hardware. They’re sturdy, with prominent, clickable buttons. Mechanical keyboards are made from high-quality materials and key switches under each keycap.
Membrane or Rubber-dome Keyboards
The membrane keyboard is also referred to as the rubber dome keyboard. Unlike the mechanical keyboard, the membrane keyboard relies on rubber domes to provide feedback. These keyboards are constructed, consisting of a rubber dome that, once pressed, completes the circuit on the keyboard’s circuit board. Due to this simplistic design, they’re manufactured at meager prices and are very affordable if you’re shopping on a budget.
Dome Switch Keyboards
Dome switch keyboards are a mix of a flat-panel membrane and a mechanical-switch keyboard. Most lower quality keyboards use this technology.
A scissor-switch keyboard is the kind of keyboard you’ll usually find on laptops. These keyboards use rubber domes and attach the keys to the keyboard using two plastic pieces that interlock kind of like scissors (hence the name). Since these kinds of keyboards don’t utilize spring-loaded switches and don’t have customizable keycaps, they’re not mechanical keyboards.
This technology allows for a shorter travel time and distance. This is referred to as the actuation distance. Actuation distance is the distance that the switch needs to depress for the input to register.
Mechanical Keyboards: Breaking down the Components
These keyboard switches are made up of a keycap, the stem, and the housing. The keycap is the top cap of the letter or number. The stem is the part found under the keycap, which moves up and down when pressed. Lastly, housing is the case that holds it all together.
The loud “clicking” sound they make is largely defined by the loud “clicking” sound caused by the spring loaded switch underneath. When the key is pressed, you’ll feel and hear the famous “clicking” sound that lets you know that the key was pressed with sufficient force to register.
These mechanical keyboard switches are usually either linear or tactile. A linear switch needs to be pressed down. Tactile switches, on the other hand, only need to be pushed down halfway to activate, allowing you to type or enter commands a lot quicker.
One of the great things about mechanical keyboards is that they’re highly customizable. Besides replacing the switches, depending on the model, you can get a keyboard with anywhere from 10 - 20 programmable keys. These also are customizable with backlit keycaps that are illuminated with LED lights.
The keycaps are also replaceable with better quality caps with more durable plastics or letters that can take much more abuse before wearing away. You can add designs, colors, name personalizations, and logos! With mechanical keyboards, the sky’s the limit.
Which Keyboard is Best?
Most gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because they’re quicker, sturdier, and more tactile.
Tactility is the feedback that you get from pressing the key. This feedback is given through the clicking sound and the visual you see when your fingers press the keys, and they spring back and raise the keycap.
This is a feature many gamers look for because they enjoy the feedback and resistance that they receive when typing. The gamers looking for a smaller keyboard that will take up less space, are more portable, and costs less will prefer a membrane keyboard.
Pros and Cons of a Mechanical Keyboard
Here are some pros and cons of mechanical keyboards to keep in mind:
- Mechanical keyboards are more durable
- They are more responsive
- They’re easier to type on and more comfortable
- They are more accurate
- They are more expensive than most keyboard models
- Mechanical keyboards are less portable and heavier than membrane keyboards
- They may take more time to clean
- They’re louder than membrane keyboards
A Mechanical Keyboard’s Durability and Lifespan
Mechanical keyboards are a lot more durable than membrane or rubber dome keyboards. This is important to note once you consider that the average person’s keystroke per hour (KPH) is about 8,000 KPH. Multiply this figure by the sheer amount of hours that gamers tend to spend playing. This number increases exponentially. The more popular brands of mechanical keyboards are rated with a lifespan of 20 - 50 million keystrokes depending on the type of switch. Some models can even reach a 70 million-click lifespan. On the other hand, membrane keyboards, on average last about 5 million keystrokes.
How much do Mechanical Keyboards Cost?
On average, mechanical keyboards can cost from $60 to $200 or more. Older models go for less, and you’ll see differences in prices depending on the brand, size, and lighting features.
It’s no secret that keyboards are essential tools for any serious gamer. As you’ve been able to see, you have many models to choose from within the keyboard realm, each with their benefits. If you’re looking to start gaming seriously and optimize your gaming experience, your best bet is a mechanical keyboard.
If you’re ready to start your search, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Patriot Memory, we have a wide array of choices for you to choose from. Take a look!