A mechanical keyboard, but what exactly is it and how to choose?

ByAdan Flannigan 2019-06-20 1026

You will necessarily remember this yellowed keyboard that no one dared to use in technology classes in college. Well, there's a good chance it's a mechanical keyboard!Well, don't worry: today's ones are much sexier than the antiquity that haunts your memories.

Very widely revived in recent years thanks to the development of the esport, mechanical keyboards are definitely on the rise.

But what is the real point of falling for this type of keyboard? We explain everything to you.

Mechanical keyboard: when speed meets robustness

The fundamental difference between a membrane keyboard and a mechanical keyboard is the switches.

No, not Nintendo's new hybrid system. A switch is a switch placed under each key on the keyboard. When you press a key, the switch is activated and the keyboard responds to your command.

The difference with a membrane keyboard is that it does not "resist" when pressed. The use seems more fluid and less brutal, but above all more sensitive. In other words: you are more likely to make a dumpling during a major game.

Thanks to the mechanical keyboards, you have a longer stroke (depth at which the key is pressed), and therefore more comfort in your actions.

Finally: a mechanical keyboard is immeasurably more resistant than a traditional keyboard. It is estimated to last nearly 50 million keystrokes, compared to only 5 million for a membrane keyboard, or chicklet (like those on laptops).

How to choose your mechanical keyboard?

Convinced? So here we go! To find the right mechanical keyboard for you, it is important to pay attention to the switches on it.

Indeed, there are several types of switches, all with their own characteristics. Basically, it is mainly the depth of stroke and actuating force (the pressure required to activate the key) that changes.

The Corsair Strafe RGB keyboard, for example, is equipped with Cherry MX Red switches, which are renowned for their speed.

The Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2 is equipped with Razer Green switches, which are ideal for long game sessions where accuracy is paramount.

Let's take a look at the switches

This detail requires further explanation. After all, this is what will allow you to differentiate typing comfort from one keyboard to another, so don't take it lightly.

There are two types of switches: linear or tactile. The shelves are only subjected to spring resistance, while the tactile shelves have a longer stroke and a half height resistance. More simply, the touch switches make it possible to "feel" the key when pressed. A surprising effect at first sight, but which is very pleasant during typing sessions for example.

The Razer Green switches mentioned above are among them. They are therefore very noisy, but much appreciated during word processing work.

How about a hybrid keyboard?

Can't decide which mechanical keyboard to use, or does the heavy and noisy look of the switches make you reluctant? Be aware that there are hybrid keyboards (called meca-membrane) that combine the advantages of these two worlds.

The Razer Ornata, for example, has for him the performance and reactivity of the mechanical keys while maintaining the comfort of membrane keyboards

To effectively choose your mechanical keyboard, you must therefore find the right switch for YOU. A switch with a stroke that is too short, or that requires too much pressure to operate, may seem unpleasant to you to use.

Robust, precise and comfortable, mechanical keyboards are the ideal companions for performance-oriented gamers. Designed for competition, and acclaimed by all professional players, finding the right mechanical keyboard for you could change the whole game right away.

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