Mechanical Keyboard vs Normal (Membrane) Keyboard

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There is no perfect keyboard that suits everyone. The type of keyboard you want entirely depends on what kind of feel and feedback you want from each press.

Mechanical Keyboard vs Normal keyboard, which one is the best?

The selection of a keyboard type is highly dependent on personal preference.

To make the right choice between a mechanical keyboard vs normal (membrane) keyboard, you must find out the differences between them.

In this guide, we will compare both types to provide you a clear understanding. Moreover, we will also let you know the different types of mechanical switches and their functions.

What is a membrane keyboard?

What is a membrane keyboard

When choosing a keyboard, there are two options: mechanical and membrane. The membrane is a traditional style keyboard that uses a rubber dome underneath the keys.

Each key lies over a different part of a three-layer to the membrane that is pressure sensitive. If you apply pressure by pressing a specific key, it registers a keystroke.

These keyboards are normally quiet when you press the keys. They offer very little tactile feedback, making blind typing very difficult.

Also, they are less responsive and slower than mechanical keyboards. When it comes to cost, the membrane is a cheaper option.

What is a mechanical keyboard?

What is a mechanical keyboard

A mechanical keyboard uses mechanical switches underneath each key instead of the rubber dome like a regular keyboard. It gives you consistent solid feedback with each keypress.

So, you get a different tactile feel while pressing as it requires less amount of weight to activate the key. The mechanical keyboards come with various switches, such as clicky, tactile, low profile, or a smooth linear switch.

Some switches provide tactile feedback by having a click sensation, while others provide auditory feedback by having a distinct clicking sound. Furthermore, some switches have no feedback, while others have both.

The popular type of mechanical switch is called the Cherry MX switch. It comes in a variety of colors that signify the type of feedback that switch provides, such as:

  • Cherry MX Brown: Tactile click, no audible click
  • Cherry MX Blue: Tactile click and audible click
  • Cherry MX Red/Black: No tactile click, no audible sound (key weight varies)

The best way to select a mechanical switch is to try all of them. For this, you can go to a nearby electronics store and try to test a variety of switches before making a final decision.

Another alternative is to buy a switch tester, such as WASD 6 keys Cherry switch tester. It will let you test each type of switch.

Mechanical Keyboard vs Normal

Mechanical Keyboard vs Normal Keyboard

Although mechanical keyboards are more popular, the personal preference of a user plays a vital role.

It depends, which keyboard type makes you more comfortable when using it because there is a big difference between mechanical and membrane keyboards.

So, check the following comparison between them to make the right choice.

1) Typing Feedback

When it comes to typing feedback, mechanical keyboards are on the top.

They offer you a great tactile typing experience, which means typing a letter doesn’t require a lot of effort to register a keypress.

The best thing about the mechanical switches is you will feel the keypress once it is registered. It is one of the reasons why mechanical keyboards are the top choice for gaming and fast typing.

On the other hand, the membrane keyboard also has a slight touch of tactile feedback.

When compared to its mechanical counterpart, it requires extra effort to register a keypress. So, using a keyboard for long hours will make you tired.

2) Durability

The Mechanical keyboards are ten times more durable than regular keyboards. It is another reason that makes them the top choice.

On average, a mechanical keyboard has a lifespan between 10 to 12 years. In terms of keypress, the key switches of these keyboards can be pressed around 50 million times.

However, the regular keyboards have a shorter lifespan. They start to wear out quicker and cause the keys to losing their input.

3) Key Rollover

There will be moments when keypress will not be registered for a fast typist while using a membrane keyboard. It fails to register a key when you press several keys simultaneously.

On the other hand, mechanical keyboards allow you to click several keys at once without missing any. For gamers and quick typists, this is a huge plus.

4) Build quality

The build quality of the membrane keyboard is not much reliable and long lasting. They are flimsy and lightweight, cannot sustain a lot of pressure.

If any part or key of the keyboard stops working, there is no replacement. You will have to replace it with a new keyboard only.

On the contrary, mechanical keyboards are heavier and long lasting. The parts replacement is available. If any of the keys are broken, you can replace them with a new key instead of replacing the entire keyboard.

5) Affordability

When it comes to the price, membrane keyboards are very affordable. You can get a decent option at a meager price range.

But mechanical keyboards are very expensive compared to the membrane keyboards. If you can afford then always go for a mechanical switch as they are more sturdy and reliable.

Furthermore, be aware of the cheap mechanical keyboards coming out of China. Their quality will not be as good, and most of the time, it will not worth it.

Instead of buying a cheap mechanical switch from a Chinese manufacturer, it is always better to go for a durable option.

6) Cleaning

To clean a keyboard well, you need to take away the keycaps. Normally, the membrane’s keycaps are not removable, which makes it harder to clean the internal dirt.

However, mechanical switches are easy to clean as you can remove the keycaps without any hustle.

7) Sound Level

The normal keyboards are generally quiet and have less sound. This is another reason why these keyboards are prevalent in offices.

On the other hand, mechanical keyboards have clicky sounds, which may annoy others if you use them in a quiet place.

But the Cherry MX switch in mechanical keyboards reduces the noise to a similar level to a regular keyboard.


Types of Mechanical Switches

The best thing about the mechanical switches is there are many different options with various levels of resistance, tactile feedback, and audible noise.

Check the following table to see their stats.

SwitchTypeSound LevelActuation Force
Cherry MX RedLinearQuiet45g
Cherry MX BlackLinearQuiet45g-75g
Cherry MX SilverLinearQuiet45g
Cherry MX GreyLinearQuiet45g
Cherry MX RedLinearQuiet45g
Cherry MX BrownTactileQuiet45g-50g
Cherry MX ClearTactileQuiet50g-65g
Cherry MX BlueClicky TactileLoud50g-60g
Cherry MX GreenClicky TactileLoud80g
Razer YellowLinearQuiet45g
Razer GreenTactileLoud50g-60g
Razer OrangeTactileQuiet45g

Is A Mechanical Keyboard Worth It

Yes, it is worth buying for better gaming and typing experience.

Many of the same features are available on mechanical and membrane keyboards, such as backlighting, key rollover, and anti-ghosting. But they differ in the way keystrokes are registered.

The cool thing about a mechanical keyboard is the variety that suits your style well, such as how a key press feels, layout, programmability, aesthetics, materials, and so on.

The ergonomic design of these keyboards helps you have more room on your desk for a mouse, which is convenient for gaming.

Getting the right mechanical switch that feels good to you and serving your needs can potentially impact your efficiency and overall performance while gaming and typing.

If you spend a lot of time on content typing or playing games, going with a mechanical keyboard can improve your overall experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

What gaming keyboard does Ninja use?

For gaming and streaming, currently, Ninja uses the CORSAIR K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Keyboard.

What keyboard does Mongraal use for gaming?

For streaming and gaming, currently, Mongraal uses the Steel Series Apex Pro TKL gaming keyboard.

What gaming keyboard does Tfue use?

Tfue currently uses a custom luxury gaming keyboard named Taeha Types Keycult. It is the most expensive mechanical keyboard.


Conclusion

A keyboard is an essential component that we all use on a regular basis, whether at home or the office. Having the right keyboard in your hands will boost your experience and increase your overall productivity.

If you are happy with your rubber dome keyboard, there is no need to rush for a mechanical keyboard.

For pc enthusiasts and gamers, who want to compete at the highest level, a mechanical keyboard is a top choice.

A poor gaming keyboard brand can also ruin your experience, so stay away from them when buying.

Quick Question: Which keyboard type do you prefer for gaming or content typing?

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