In recent years, mechanical keyboards have risen in popularity for hardcore gamers and computer enthusiasts alike.
Unlike traditional keyboards, which often place membranes or rubber domes inside their keys, mechanical keyboards use actual switches to facilitate each keypress.
The result is a smoother, more satisfying typing experience.
Below, we will take a look at the pros and cons of owning a mechanical keyboard and whether it is right for you.
Longer lifespan. The switches in a mechanical keyboard are designed to last up to 50 million keystrokes. Even if you pressed the same key 5,000 times a day, it would still take you 27.4 years to reach this milestone. In contrast, traditional keyboards only last around 5-10 million keystrokes, or less than 6 years going by the same example.
Better tactile feedback. Many mechanical switches, such as the Cherry MX Browns or Cherry MX Blues, provide tactile feedback whenever a key is pressed. This is helpful for knowing when a keypress has been registered without having to push it down completely, a process known as “bottoming out”. Traditional keyboards usually require bottoming out, causing unnecessary fatigue and stress on your fingers.
N-key rollover. Also known as NKRO or ghosting, the term “rollover” refers to how many keys your keyboard can register same time. All mechanical keyboards support NKRO, so your keyboard will never get stuck from pressing too many keys. On the other hand, many traditional keyboards are 6KRO, which means they can only register up to 6 keypresses at once. This can be problematic at times when you have to execute a complex chain of commands.
Too expensive. With so many advantages over traditional keyboards, it’s only logical that mechanical keyboards come at a price premium. While the least expensive traditional keyboards can be as cheap as $20 or less, you can expect to shell out at least $100 for a good quality mechanical keyboard. As mechanical keyboards continue to rise in popularity, we should see a wider price range in the market to accommodate all users.
Too noisy. While the clickiness of mechanical switches is great for tactile feedback, some may find it too noisy or even inappropriate in shared settings. If noise is a factor for you, consider getting a quieter switch, such as the Cherry MX Silent, which is designed to keep the noise level to a minimum. Alternatively, you could get O-ring sound dampeners, which act as a cushion to stop the key from bottoming out.
Too heavy. Mechanical keyboards are heavier than traditional keyboards due to the weight of the switches. But this isn’t really a serious issue unless you happen to use your keyboard at different locations all the time. The heaviness of mechanical keyboards also helps to keep itself in place when you type.
Mechanical keyboards are great, but they are not for everyone. If you are a casual computer user or simply find mechanical keyboards to be too expensive, then traditional keyboards will work just fine for you.
But if you are an avid gamer or computer enthusiast, then mechanical keyboards will serve as a great addition to your repertoire.