We don’t think about them too much; but second only to the computer mouse (and arguably the touchscreen), the humble keyboard has been one of the primary means of interacting with electronic devices for entering and manipulating data & input. Even this article was created via the use of a keyboard – naturally.
But how do they work?
While most modern physical keyboards use a membrane beneath the keys – basically a rubbery silicone that squishes when you press on a key, completing an electrical circuit which the computer recognises as a key press (or hold). They’re cheap to manufacture and have slight spill resistance. However there’s been a resurgence in an older design amongst gamers and other users – the mechanical keyboard. Rather than squishing a membrane, each key operates a physical switch, which gives a much more defined, definite, and pleasing thunk or clack (you can listen to a YouTuber compare some here). What this means is each key press is more deliberate and more accurate, but it also means that the keys themselves are much more durable than their ‘modern’ counterparts – which has attracted the attention of gamers (and therefore gaming accessory companies). These keys can also be more easily be replaced if one is lost, or even if the user would like to customise their keyboard with different keys (if the keyboard design allows it). These mechanical keyboards are heavier though, due to having more parts – meaning they’re best suited for a desktop setup. They’re also typically ‘noisier’ than common keyboards, having a more defined ‘click’ – so they’re not for everyone.
So if you’re after a change from your current keyboard – or just curious – give a mechanical keyboard a try, you may be pleasantly surprised. Also, if your device is having keyboard issues or you would like to know more; give us a call or drop into one of our stores, as we’re always happy to help!