When you are buying a snazzy new computer, which keyboard you choose may just be an afterthought. The lowly keyboard, however, is currently enjoying its moment of pomp and circumstance.
Keyboards, along with the mouse, are the most frequently used interfaces connecting you and the computer. According to TomsGuide.com, the average typist logs more than 8,000 keystrokes per hour; typing time undoubtedly constitutes a large share of professional office work. Standard membrane keyboards are largely inefficient, slow, and uncomfortable. If you are interested in improving your work efficiency, then look into investing in a mechanical keyboard.
Mechanical keyboards use individual, physical switches underneath each key to determine the exact moment of keystroke. Unlike cheap, mass-produced rubber membrane keyboards that exhibit slow, delayed, and inaccurate registration, mechanical keyboards promote rhythm, speed, and accuracy with their clicky, tactile switches under each keycap. The tactile feedback allows the typist to know the exact point of registration of each letter.
Moreover, unlike membrane keys, mechanical switches do not need to be completely pressed down to their exhaustion points to unnecessarily exhaust the typist. The low actuation point and the audible “click” of the keys may at first exhaust you; however, after a few hours, even minutes, of usage, you will notice a noticeable improvement in your typing experience. Your fingers will travel more lightly, more accurately, and more quickly.
“I can vouch that your life will improve by switching to mechanical keyboards,” said Joe Spoelstra, a junior attending Manlius Pebble Hill in DeWitt, NY. “The last thing I wanted to do was spend $100 on a keyboard. Looking back, I am so glad I believed myself with the purchase. My typing speed, comfort, and overall accuracy improved so much. I now carry a smaller mechanical keyboard just for my Macbook. I can’t type without it.”
Mechanical keyboards also provide remarkable longevity. In contrast to fragile rubber-dome constructed keys, all Cherry MX mechanical switches, which are the most widely available mechanical switches, can withstand tens of millions of keystrokes. Moreover, if one key fails, you can simply replace the individual switch– you do not need to replace the entire keyboard. The overall construction of mechanical keyboards, armored with aluminium cases and durable polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) keycaps, are easily superior to standard keyboards.
Trilok Reddy, a junior attending Manlius Pebble Hill, supported the mechanical keyboard movement, stating “my favorite aspect about the hobby is that you can find your personalized, perfect keyboard after inevitable trial and error. There are various types of mechanical switches, ranging from Cherry MX blue, red, green, brown, clear, and more.”
Moreover, mechanical keyboards come in variety of forms and layouts, ranging from smaller sizes without arrow keys and numpads to 108-key keyboards. Depending on various professional requirements and necessities, you can choose the best ergonomic layout that benefits your work environment. Most average users can benefit from slim, smaller designs as they are easier to center to your body and occupy less space on your desk. They also bring the keyboard and mouse closer to your body, benefitting the joint health of shoulders and back.
Mechanical keyboards have remained as a rather niche market due to their high prices, ranging from $100 to $500. However, in recent years, mechanical keyboards gained incredible momentum, as multi-national corporations such as Corsair, Razor, and Cooler Master have began mass-producing their respective line-ups of mechanical keyboards.
Although the initial entry might seem quite daunting and even ridiculous, investing into a mechanical keyboard is investing into your typing experience, an inherent part of modern life, marked by superior accuracy, comfort, longevity, appearance, and ergonomics.
Trilok noted that there are attractive, interesting keycaps that you can use to decorate your board.
“How cool is it that you can customize your keyboard [so that it] is unique to the world?” he said.