Most of the tech world acknowledges that mechanical keyboards are better than regular membrane keyboards. However, different people will give you different reasons. Here are the five most notable reasons why mechanical keyboards are better, and why you should consider adding one to your computer setup.
1. Customizable Features
The main reason why mechanical keyboards are better than other models is they allow to you completely customize your setup. You can order a custom size and move the keys around at your pleasure after purchase. If you have a job or play a video game that requires specific typing patterns, you can adjust the keys to make typing the functions easier.
Mechanicals also have unique backlit features that you often see in advanced PC gaming setups. Membrane keyboards sometimes have a built-in backlit feature, but it’s one fixed color. Mechanical backlit features can have any color you want, giving them an extra touch of individuality.
2. Heightened Typing Experience
Mechanical keyboards have a unique typing experience that many users find satisfying to listen to. When a user presses a key, the stem pushes the spring down, connecting the two metal contacts and triggering the keyboard circuit underneath. This process creates a distinctive “thunk” sound that other keyboards can’t replicate.
Mechanical key switches also require less pressure to trigger the keyboard circuit than other versions, helping you to type faster. It also helps prevent hand stress and the dreaded carpel tunnel syndrome that might occur while typing for long durations. People in writing professions can benefit from mechanical keyboards for the typing experience alone, but the benefits don’t stop there.
3. Better Durability
A mechanical keyboard can last for over a decade depending on the model, while membrane keyboards usually last half as long. Its clear advantage in durability is due to the consistent spring-loaded action of the keys. The stem, spring and metal contacts are built to withstand the repetitive typing process while suffering minimal wear and tear.
On the other hand, membrane keyboards are made from a cheap rubbery plastic called polyurethane. Polyurethane acts as a cushion between the sticky keys and the circuit board. This design holds up well enough for a few years, but rubber domes with sticky keys can’t hope to last as long as metal switches and springs.
Additionally, some membrane keys – the space bar, shift keys, etc. – wear out and become unresponsive after just one year of heavy usage, which can shorten their lifespans even further. The deterioration of specific keys is not an issue for mechanical keyboards, as you will see in the next section.
4. Easier Maintenance
Mechanical keyboards don’t require maintenance as often as membrane keyboards, but they’re designed for easy maintenance nonetheless. It takes years of heavy usage for mechanical keys to become unresponsive, but they can break or shift out of place if your typing is too aggressive.
Thanks to the keycap’s simple design, you can easily remove any cap with a small and inexpensive tool called the keycap puller. A gentle tug pulls the caps right off, revealing the springs underneath.
A mechanical keyboard might need some fine-tuning for several reasons, including routine cleaning, key switch adjustments and keycap replacements. Every keyboard accumulates dust and damage over time, and easy removal allows for easy cleaning.
5. N-Key Rollover
Although membrane keyboards are capable of many typing shortcuts, mechanical keyboards have a special ability called “N-key rollover” that allows you to simultaneously press multiple keys and still register each character.
N-key rollover is extremely useful for high-speed typing. It’s also a significant reason why professional PC gamers are such huge advocates for mechanical keyboards. A quality mechanical setup with a rollover feature gives players an inherent advantage over competitors with a different setup.
Go Mechanical for Your Next Keyboard
Standard keyboards that come with PCs are cheap, but they’re lucky to last more than five years. On the other hand, mechanical keyboards are their own distinct products. They are more durable, easier to maintain and even sound better.
Yes, they initially cost more than membrane keyboards, but you will save money in the long run with a keyboard that lasts for ten-plus years with minimal maintenance. Now that you know why mechanical keyboards are better than their membrane counterparts, join the light side and go mechanical!
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