Ever heard of a keyboard? Of course you have. How about a mechanical keyboard? Probably not. They’re both keyboards for your PC but mechanical keyboards are like the Ferraris of normal keyboards. They have added functionality like macros, RGB backlighting, faster typing speed, and switches. Unlike regular keyboards, mechanical keyboards are so fun to type with they actually make your daily grind a lot more enjoyable. In addition, it can actually increase productivity. Below, let’s look at the major differences between regular and mechanical keyboards, and whether or not it’s worth it for you.
Major Differences Between Regular and Mechanical Keyboards
Here are the main differences that make up a regular and mechanical keyboard:
Switches are the main component of a mechanical keyboard – it’s what makes a mechanical keyboard, well… mechanical. And this one factor is what makes typing on a keyboard faster, more tactile, and more interesting (unlike regular membrane keyboards). The switches under the key of the keyboard are activated as you press down on the key, giving a tactile feel and a clicking noise. Typing on a mechanical keyboard is so much more enjoyable that it can actually boost typing speed. Like most of us, you’re probably the type of person to spend hours of time on your computer every single day. With all that typing, it’s a given that you should at least enjoy it.
Mechanical keyboards often come with added functionality that regular ones don’t. Things such as programmable keys, built-in hotkeys, and backlighting, can make the typing experience faster and smoother. With macros and programmable keys, you can essentially “program” a key do to certain functions. Imagine clicking a key and having the keyboard perform whatever you like. For example, I use my keys to typing in pre-written messages that I use often, or program my keys to go to websites I visit often. This is just a small example of what programmable keys can do.
An important major difference between mechanical and regular keyboards is the price. With all those added bells and whistles, mechanical keyboards can be quite costly. Although this is not always the case. With the rise of mechanical keyboard popularity, many companies have started to compete in this space, making mechanical keyboards more affordable. Top of the line gaming keyboards can easily cost $150. On the other hand, regular mechanical keyboards with macros and programmable keys can be bought at $50 or less. It really depends on how much brand name and functionality mean to you.
With mechanical keyboards, the quality of the frame and build is much higher. This results in a longer lasting keyboard. In addition, with mechanical keyboards, you can remove the keys, which allows you to maintain your keys much longer. For regular keyboards, you can’t actually remove the keys and clean out all that debris from years of build-up. With mechanical keyboards, it’s as simple as removing the keys and cleaning out that gunk with a cotton swab. This ensures that the tactility of pressing remains the same as when you first bought it. Regular keyboards will tend to have a very uncomfortable typing experience over time.
The last major difference between regular and mechanical keyboards its customizability. As previously stated, you can take off the keys with mechanical keyboards. And with that, you can also put in new keys if you like. Want more? You can remove the switches from the keyboard and replace those too! So you might be thinking, “who cares?”. Well, with a variety of switches, you can control the feel and noise of your keyboard.
Brown switches are known to be the quietest – perfect for office use. In contrast, red switches tend to be the loudest – great for gaming or those who like an auditory response. And in between, you have green, blue and a bunch of other switches. With these switches comes a different typing experience. This is customization to a whole nother level.
And, of course, with macros and programmable keys, you can customize what each button or combination of buttons do. Like I said, this can vastly increase work productivity or make gaming a smoother experience. Aside from that, you can also customize RGB backlighting to have different effects – check out what it looks like here.
Should You Buy A Mechanical Keyboard?
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t really go on PC’s anymore and just uses mobile for everything than a mechanical keyboard will be overkill. It won’t be worth the price as you won’t use it to its full potential. You’re better off with a cheap $10 keyboard in that case. However, if you’re a daily gamer, typist, blogger (like me), or programmer, I highly recommend using one. Typing for hours a day shouldn’t be a dull or nonsensational experience – mechanical keyboards can change that. Moreover, mechanical keyboards don’t have to be expensive. Fully functional mechanical keyboards can be as cheap as $40 (or even lower). This is hardly a dent for something that you will be using for hours every single day. So try one out!