The mechanical keys are those that have an individual press switch, discarding the membranes that usually come in conventional keyboards. In this way, we obtain a better tactile response to our fingers and greater durability. In return, the price to pay is higher. Without a doubt, mechanical keyboards are the favorite peripheral of gamers and of those who usually spend hours in front of the computer. We are going to know what are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of mechanism compared to other technologies (membrane, scissors, butterfly…) applied to keyboards.
Mechanical keyboards are currently the best-selling type of keyboard in the gamer field, they are clear about their preferences. These are their favorites:
- Best Overall: Logitech G Pro Gaming.
- Best for Gaming: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2.
- Best for Professionals: Das Keyboard 4 Professional.
- The best without a numeric keypad: Logitech G Pro X.
- Best for RGB: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum.
- Best for Mac: Vinpok Taptek Keyboard.
The main advantage of a mechanical keyboard over others is its durability. The duration time of each device depends on the manufacturer, but it ranges from 20 to 80 million keystrokes, we could be using the keyboard for ten years without the mechanisms breaking down. Faced with this, the best keyboards with membrane or scissor switches usually have at most 5 million keystrokes of durability.
Another of its most important advantages is that they allow greater keyboard customization, which can be done in multiple ways, but the main one is that we have many types of mechanisms to choose from, and within these, several more types. That is to say, we have Cherry MX, Logitech Romer-G, and Razer switches and within these, there are also very varied types, differing in colors to distinguish them but that vary in terms of hardness, activation point, and if do or do not have tactile feedback. The noise they cause will also depend on the switches.
In the same way, mechanical switches are the only ones that allow you to customize the lighting per key, being able to create colorful lighting effects much better than with any other type.
The antighosting functionality is what allows us to press as many keys as we want simultaneously without collapsing the keyboard. Many gaming keyboards have this functionality but it is limited, generally to 6-Key Rollover, allowing you to press up to six keys at once.
Mechanical keyboards are the only ones capable of providing N-Key Rollover, which allows you to press as many keys as you want at the same time. For this reason, among other things, they are preferred by gamers.
Another of the advantages why gamers prefer a mechanical keyboard over another type is because the keystrokes are more precise since having the keys with more travel makes the keystrokes more noticeable. In the same way, and depending on the actuation point, these types of keyboards are the fastest to register the keystrokes we make.
Ease of repair and cleaning
With the passage of time and prolonged use, the keyboard will inevitably accumulate dirt, especially if any liquid is spilled on us. On a mechanical keyboard, cleaning is easier because all the keycaps can be easily attached and removed, which speeds up cleaning tasks.
If a key gets stuck or gives us problems, it’s easier to access the mechanism to check what’s wrong with it or why it’s stuck, again thanks to the fact that we only have to remove the cap.
Mechanical keyboards usually have a much higher price than membrane keyboards, something that is easily justified with their technology compared to membrane keyboards, since the keys can be replaced very easily and have a much longer life expectancy than a membrane keyboard.
In the same way that mechanical keyboards have advantages over others, they also have their disadvantages, such as:
They tire more
They are not ergonomic as a general rule, except for very specific models, and since the travel of the keys is greater, we have to make an extra effort to press the keys, so we will get more tired. If we use the keyboard for an hour, it is not that we are going to notice it much, but we have to use it throughout the day, and in the end, it will cause a dent.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is a revised version of the Natural Keyboard. For this reason, too, you typically type faster on other types of keyboards (nearly all typing world records have been set on scissor-switch keyboards).
They are much louder
Even the quietest mechanical switches, the Cherry MX Silent, make more noise than a membrane keyboard, not to mention a scissor or butterfly keyboard, which is the quietest. Therefore, if we want to avoid noise, we will have to do without a mechanical keyboard.
They are very expensive
Even low-end mechanical keyboards are quite expensive unless you are looking for Chinese models of dubious quality and reputation.
It will not be easy to find models for less than 60 dollars, reaching more than 200 if they are higher-end models. On the contrary, a membrane keyboard can be found for less than 10 dollars. If we are looking for a gaming keyboard, we can find it for no more than 50 dollars, although of course there are also much more expensive ones.
Keyboard and wrist rest
Another drawback is that they take up more space and are taller. Even the low-profile ones are quite large, heavy, and, fundamentally, tall, so to use them comfortably it is almost essential to have a wrist rest that raises the position of the hands a bit, which further increases the space that occupy on the table.
Also, read about The History Of The Keyboard
Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.