There are many people who ask us what keyboard they should buy. Our response has to consider many variants, since it depends to a large extent on the intended use, the individual habits, and budget. That is why we have prepared this guide, which we hope will help you choose the one that best suits your needs and habits.
Let’s start by talking about the types of keyboards that exist in the market. Currently there are four main types of switches for keyboards (there are more, but these four are the most common): Mechanical, membrane and scissors.
This is the most complicated type and the one with the most variants: mechanical keyboards have the advantage of being more durable than any other type. Each key has an individual switch that records each keystroke. The activation point is generally halfway the total travel. This means that it is not necessary to press the key all the way down, thus reducing fatigue on your fingers.
Mechanical keyboards are however quite loud, and the fact that their keys have a longer travel makes typing a bit slower. However, since they are also more accurate they are the type of keyboards preferred by Gamers although they are also more expensive.
These types of keyboards are the most common in the market since their manufacturing cost is very low compared to the other types. They have three layers, the upper one is made of a bubble-shaped rubber membrane with a metal part. When the user presses a key, it must travel the entire distance until it touches the second layer, closing a circuit and thus sending the corresponding signal. Thanks to the rubber “bubble”, the key rebounds to its original position, although there are variants that include a small spring on each key for this function.
Membrane keyboards are the cheapest, but they have many drawbacks:
- Having to press each key all the way down puts unnecessary stress to your fingers.
- They are also loud although not as loud as most mechanical keyboards.
- They have a tendency to Ghosting since their activation occurs through a closed circuit (although many manufacturers make high-end membrane keyboards that have eliminated this problem. However, these keyboards are much more expensive than most membrane ones).
These is the most common type on laptops. They are a variant of membrane switches. They also use a three-layer design with a rubber membrane, but also scissor mechanisms that attach each key to the keyboard, and are responsible for returning it to its original position, in addition to stabilizing it. This type of switch allows for a lower profile, and the activation point is much shorter, so it is not necessary to press each key all the way down. This fact makes them ideal for writing long text since they are also the quietest.
The only downside is that the inclusion of this scissor mechanism removes the best “trait” of the membrane keyboards: the price. They are usually quite expensive, although not as much as mechanical ones.
Within each type of keyboard there are an infinity of options: ergonomic keyboards, macro keys, multimedia keys, integrated touchpad, RGB lights, wireless connectivity… There is a wide spectrum of variants and the mix you will choose depends on individual taste and needs.
For example, someone that can’t stand a messy desk will want a wireless keyboard, even if they have to sacrifice response time; a person who uses their computer at night will want an illuminated keyboard even if it costs more…
Which keyboard should I choose?
Keep reading our articles below in order to find out which are the best keyboards you should consider buying.