Keyboards. Something that many of us use everyday, especially in this day and age. We might not come to think of it much, but keyboards have become pretty much of an essential if you have a desktop or use an external monitor. They’re just something that’s usually taken for granted by many users as they just transfer your tactile input to the computer. But…if you’ve spent a good amount of time using a computer keyboard you might’ve heard or know about mechanical keyboards. What’s so great about them, and why is it a big deal? What’s it like using a mechanical keyboard and are they worth their price? Read more to find out what my experience with a mechanical keyboard is like and my thoughts on it.
For some background knowledge, more commonly used keyboards, or what some may consider “regular” or “ordinary” keyboards, are generally comprised of rubber membranes that lie under each key and above each conductive circuit to record a keystroke. What makes them so common is the cost-effectiveness and simplicity of producing them. Mechanical keyboards, however, consist of physical, mechanical switches that are spring-loaded which usually give them their distinct clicking sound.
The first time I picked up and used a mechanical keyboard was the day I felt like I would never go back to a regular membrane keyboard. Yeah, sounds dramatic but let me tell you why. Aesthetic wise, most modern mechanical keyboards are backlit since most are also gaming keyboards. It’s more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion, which is a plus for me. But aside from its looks, the usage experience was great. Each key input and click was not only satisfying, but also felt reassuring that a key was registered. The keys are also very sturdy, and not wobbly and squishy like membrane keyboards where you sometimes feel uncertain if a key was registered. Mechanical keyboards also offer more variety of customization, such as changing keycaps to the mechanical switches. Speaking of switches, there are different types of switches that have divergent feedback, sound, and feel; I particularly used both the Cherry MX Blue and Red switches and found the former to be more of my liking.
Mechanical keyboards generally are more durable and typically last longer than membrane keyboards, which as an engineering student, I appreciate. There’s a reason why many gaming keyboards are mechanical—it’s because of their durability. Customization and aesthetics are typically subjective, but I think durability is a must in everyone’s checklist for buying a product. One of the downsides of mechanical keyboards is how loud they can be, but I think the benefits outweigh that. Mechanical keyboards are also easier to maintain and clean, as you can remove the keycaps.
Although they can be pricy, mechanical keyboards can go a long way. There are budget mechanical keyboards that are decent and even water resistant, which I have used before (Redragon K552). Check it out here. The one I am currently using (and really liking the feel of), is the Rosewill mechanical keyboard, which you can find here. All in all, I think mechanical keyboards are very worth their price if you usually use a keyboard on a daily or frequent basis. On the other hand, I think it wouldn’t be worth it for someone that uses a stand-alone keyboard seldomly.
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