Choosing the right Mechanical Keyboard

Tech Tips
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Gone are the days where your only option was to use whatever keyboard came bundled with your computer or laptop. Now customizable and colorful options are endless and available everywhere. Is ergonomics important to you? There are models that curve to fit your ideal wrist placement. Do you want to be able to type in the dark? You’ll need dimmable LED lights that illuminate every key.

 

These features great, but serious writers and gamers will tell you that what makes a keyboard truly unique is the feel of the keys. To understand the difference in keys, it’s helpful to know about the two types of keyboards.

 

Mechanical vs. Membrane Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards use actual switches underneath the keys that send signals to the computer when a user presses down on a key. Membrane keyboards use capacitive touch (much like a touchscreen) meaning that current flows through the plate and when somebody presses a key, the current changes in that spot and tells the processor that a certain key was pressed.

 

Membrane keyboards have keys that are designed to simulate a tactical feel, but mechanical keyboards are beloved by gamers and writers because of how you much you can feel and customize the keys.

 

Switches

The sound and the feel that people like so much about mechanical keyboards come from the switch underneath each key. The type of switch determines the feel and the sound, and you should choose a keyboard with switches that suit your needs.  

 

Brown

Brown switches are light and quiet. The tactical bump is light and just enough to activate the switch.  

 

 

 

Blue

Blue switches have the loudest and most dramatic clicks, reminding people of the sound of a typewriter or an old PC keyboard. Blue switches are super satisfying to use but many find the noise to be off-putting.

 

 

Green

Green switches are just as loud of blue switches but have a harder spring for a little bit more resistance when pressed.

 

 

 

Clear

Clear switches are a happy medium between brown and blue switches. The sound and feel is more distinct than browns, but not as loud as a blue.

 

 

Red

Red switches are good for gamers because they have a soft tactical bump but also spring back quickly for a quick reset.

 

 

 

Black

Black switches have almost no bump or sound and spring back very quickly for a smooth experience. They bounce back very quickly and are stiffer to avoid accidental keystrokes.

 

 

 

Make the Right Choice

No matter which keyboard you choose, make sure that it is meeting your needs. If you plan on working in a crowded office, maybe stick with a quieter choice. If you’re a serious gamer and need to have lightning fast key reset, go for the faster switches.

 

Gifs from Geekhack.org

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