Mechanical or Membrane Keyboards?

By: FAYLYNN VIDRIO

When picking out a keyboard to buy, it may be a tricky task but it ultimately depends on your own personal preferences. Whether you are looking for a simple functioning object to type on or a more detailed and technical keyboard can impact your decision. As with anything, these prices can range from highs and lows, so do your research before deciding what keyboard you want to spend your money on.

A membrane keyboard is something that is used more by people who aren’t too interested in getting a high tech keyboard. It uses 3 different layers that are made to be flexible, light, and quieter. The first layer is called the top membrane, and when the key is pressed, it moves through the second layer which is called conductive traces. The second layer is made up of holes, allowing the pressure pads to pass through the bottom membrane layer. Do keep in mind these types of keyboards tend to have key rollover, meaning that if one is typing fast the keys may not register. However, since they’re pretty quiet, simple, and cheaper, these types of keyboards definitely get the job done. 

Pros and Cons of a Membrane keyboard:

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Affordable
  • Portable 

Cons

  • Cleaning
  • Life-span
  • Key rollover

Mechanical keyboards on the other hand are used by more tech savvy people, or people who simply prefer the clickiness the switches provide. Unlike a membrane keyboard, there aren’t specific “layers,” rather switches are used to send typing signals. Each key comes with its very own switch, which is made up of a base, spring, and stem. There are many different types of switches you can get- each comes with its own typing sounds, sensitivity, and feel to them. The most commonly used ones are blue, red, brown, and black. Mechanical keyboards allow owners to be more creative with their keyboards, since most have detachable keycaps, allowing customization. Keep in mind that these types of keyboards tend to be on the pricier side. Although mechanical keyboards are mainly advertised to be for ‘gamers’ due to the fact that they are modified to increase one’s gameplay, anyone may purchase this item just for the enjoyment of it.

Pros and cons of Mechanical keyboards:

Pros

  • Removable keycaps
  • Durability 
  • Tactility 

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Loud
  • Heavy 

If you’re wondering what keyboard you should get, add up the pros and cons that refer to you, because it’s all about preference. Both keyboards are functional, but are you willing to pay a little extra for cool sounds and sensitivity, or are you satisfied with getting a simple cheaper model?

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