Almost everyone has to work with computers now, be it for personal use or professional purposes. It’s an invaluable tool in today’s time, and many innovations and conveniences were developed from computers. With the sudden change in working patterns, especially those who have to work from home, comes the need to assess one’s work computer. A lot of people have begun looking at their machines and wondering what to upgrade to improve their work experience. You might have noticed a certain trend in tech: leveling up your peripherals. Specifically, your keyboard. And rightly so, since the keyboard (along with the mouse) is the primary form of input.
Enter the mechanical keyboard. If you’ve been using computers since the ’90s, then you might remember how thick and cumbersome old keyboards are. You might also remember how they make a satisfying ‘click’ or ‘clack’ when pressed, and if you work through that era, you might also remember the very tactile sensation of typing on one. This sound and sensation are what a mechanical keyboard made for. While not all desktops from the bygone eras utilized a mechanical keyboard, they did provide the sound and feel of one. And if you spend a lot of time on a computer now, then maybe a mechanical keyboard is what you need to improve your experience.
Mechanical vs. Non-mechanical
A quick glance at a mechanical and non-mechanical keyboard might not yield much, but looking at the prices will do. Mechanical keyboards don’t come cheap, especially when compared to their none mechanical counterparts. After all, each key is an entire technology on its own. Each piece has a switch that’s either soldered on to the PCB or is connected by a special socket that lets you remove each switch easily.
The common computer keyboard uses a silicone membrane on top of the printed circuit board to register what you type. In contrast, a mechanical keyboard uses individual switches instead of a silicone membrane. This results in a longer product lifespan, more or less resistance (which can be scaled depending on personal preference) when pressed, and a gratifying auditory and physical sensation whenever you type. Versus a standard plastic keyboard, mechanical keyboards often come in a metallic variety to support the weight of each switch. Thus, they are often heavier and sturdier.
Personalized, Absolutely Personalized
One of the most interesting aspects of mechanical keyboards is the choice it provides you. Do you want very soft keys that register a press with the slightest touch? Are you a heavy typist who prefers to feel the key hit bottom before something shows up on the screen? Do you hate hearing the clackity sound of typing? Whatever it is that you may want out of you, there’s a mechanical keyboard that fulfills your need.
The switches themselves are color-coded according to the force you need to press them. Most mechanical keyboards follow the company Cherry MX’s standard, so choosing the right feel for your keyboard won’t be too difficult. While research may be necessary, once you find the right color for you, you’re halfway done.
The feel isn’t where the customization ends; you can even decide what it looks like. Mechanical keyboards come in all themes and motifs, from something as chic as fairy lights to something as industrial as servo depositors. You can choose the case that holds your keyboard’s PCB or even keycaps that go on top of the switches all to your liking.
Those long hours you spend in front of a computer typing on a regular keyboard will immediately tell you that mechanical keyboards feel different. Not only will you feel more satisfied, but it also brings some advantages to the table.
Speed and accuracy are the common goals of the average typist. While the common users type from 38 to 40words per minute, somebody who uses a computer for a living might have to type faster. Thanks to its easily adjustable nature, mechanical keyboards provide unparalleled accuracy. As long as you find one that’s appropriate for you, that is. While results will vary, most swear that mechanical keyboards let them type faster and more accurately.
Do You Really Need It?
The short answer is no. If you’re satisfied with your current keyboard and type fast and accurate enough for your line of work, then you might not have any need for one. However, if you want to add even the smallest inch of efficiency and comfort to your computer setup, then this is definitely for you. There’s obviously a learning curve when it comes to getting a mechanical keyboard as you need to find or make one that suits you. But once you have a mechanical keyboard that’s built to your needs and liking, then you’re off to a faster and more comfortable computing experience.