You've probably heard of mechanical keyboard in recent times, they're becoming more and more popular inside and outside the gaming community.
If you've ever wondered what exactly is a mechanical keyboard and why they're so popular then read below as we've outlined some of the key points.
Keyboards all work in a pretty simple way, you hit the key you want and that input is registered as a keystroke by the board's electronics. This input signal (specific to the exact key you pressed) is then sent to the PC, the PC then determines which key was entered (based on the specific signal) and turns it into the corresponding letter on your keyboard.
The difference between a mechanical keyboard and a electronic keyboard is the was that the input from the board is communicated to your PC.
A standard keyboard will use a circuit to register a keystroke. Its default position is 'off' since the circuit is not complete since a silicon membrane is used to separate the key and stop the circuit being completed.
When the key is pressed down the circuit is then 'on' since the contact from the key and the contact from the board come into contact. The keystroke can then be registered.
A mechanical keyboard however, works by using a switch that slides up and down when pressed and a spring to de-press the key. The key is pushed down, the circuit is completed and a signal is sent to the PC, then the key is released and a spring pops us and de-presses the key to end the circuit and complete the signal.
Because of the way mechanical keyboards are built they allow flexibility in their design. The switches used to register the keystrokes can vary to give users more choice when it comes to buying. The main difference here is that the switches vary in the amount of pressure needed to push the keys down.
For example, if you are a quick and light typer, then you can buy a board who's switches and made to accommodate that. When using the keyboard you won't have to press down as hard in order for the keyboard to register the stroke. The keys are designed to offer less resistance than their alternatives, perfect if you want to buy a keyboard that works with your specific typing style.
You can also buy the opposite kind of board if you are a 'hard typer', the keys are built to be more resistant to being pushed down, so if you enter keys with alot of force your keyboard will be built to help.
As we spend more and more time in front of out computers using our keyboards these small differences can help to make things easier for us, the time we spend in front of our computers adds up over the weeks and any small ease can help prevent injury over time.
The whole switch system that a mechanical keyboard uses makes the whole thing more durable compared to a standard keyboard. Each time a key is pressed down it wears the keyboard down less when it is a mechanical keyboard.
On average a mechanical keyboard can withstand 50 million keystrokes before it will start to break, but a standard keyboard can only withstand 10 million. That means a mechanical keyboard will generally last about 5x longer!
So even though a mechanical keyboard will generally be more expensive you would not expect to replace it as soon as you would if it was a standard keyboard, so it will actually save you money in the long run!
Another benefit of a mechanical keyboard is that since the keys are harder to press it means that if your fingers tend to slip when typing then the keys will not resister this accidental slip as an actual keystroke.
This means that whether you're gaming and need full precision for what you're pressing or you're typing an essay and don't want any spelling errors, you will get complete accuracy in using the keyboard.
One of the lesser benefits is also one of the most popular reasons that people buy mechanical keyboards for, the keys feel and sound much more satisfying to press compared to regular keyboard keys. I imagine it feels much like using an old fashioned typewriter, clacking away as the keys are being pressed.
Ready to make the switch to mechanical and try it out for yourself?
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