I have just spent a whopping £120 on a new keyboard and I am not a gamer. Madness you may think but I certainly don’t regret it and here’s why. For as long as can remember I have always thought Logitech make the best keyboards. I usually spent around £70 and used their Wave style boards which are supposed to be more comfortable and wireless too. The problem however is that they just don’t seem to last long. I use my PC a lot so my keyboard gets a fair old bashing almost every day. Most of us take our keyboards for granted and some just use the board that comes bundled with the PC that they buy and think nothing more of it. But the keyboard is so important and comfort of use is vital especially if you are a gamer.
Non mechanical keyboards are composed of a set of three plastic membranes, with rubber dome-shaped switches underneath each key. Press a key, and the rubber switch pushes through a hole in the middle membrane to connect the top and bottom membranes, which creates an electrical circuit that causes the keyboard to send the input to your PC. This keyboard design is inexpensive and spill-resistant, but it doesn’t give you as much tactile or audible feedback when you press a key, which can change the way you type. With a rubber dome keyboard you’ve got to press the key all the way down to the bottom to get it to register. This wastes a lot of energy and causes fatigue, as most of your effort is spent pushing against a solid piece of plastic. This is the same technology used in cheap TV remotes.
A mechanical keyboard uses actual, physical switches underneath the keys to determine when the user has pushed a key. Press a key, and you press its switch down. Press the switch down, and the keyboard sends a signal to the PC telling it that you pressed that key. Mechanical keyswitches are designed so that they register before you bottom out, so you only need to apply as much force as is necessary to actuate it, not wasting any. Modern mechanical switches such as Cherry MX varieties and Topre switches are built to withstand millions of keypresses, this combined with the modularity of switches like Cherry MX varieties mean that mechanical keyboards can last you far longer than their rubber dome counterparts. Mechanical keyboards feel very different and definitely take some getting used to if you switch. They are also very loud (depending which one you buy) so they might not be suitable for an office environment. But, they last much longer than their rubber domed counterparts and can typically withstand millions of keystrokes as opposed to thousands. So even if a mechanical keyboard costs ten times what a cheap dome-switch keyboard costs, the mechanical one should last long enough to make the investment worthwhile – unless you spill your drink on it, that is.
I have had my new keyboard for a few weeks now and I would never go back to the Logitech Wave. It feels so ‘mushy’ compared to the QPAD MK-85 and i can type faster with less mistakes and fatigue. Heja Sverige!