Mechanical keyboards are very popular with programmers and gamers. But they may not be for everyone. They certainly have their drawbacks and downsides. So, before we delve into reasons to avoid getting a new mechanical keyboard, let’s look at their background.
Some Background on Mechanical Keyboards
Mechanical keyboards have designs like old-fashioned typewriters. So, they use the QWERTY layout, which is the same as most US-based keyboards. Most students learn to type on this kind of QWERTY keyboard layout.
Mechanical keyboards use individual switches and springs to make each separate key work. As a result, keystrokes feel hefty to your touch, which many people find comforting. However, they do make a click-clack sound, so if that bothers you, avoid getting a new mechanical keyboard.
Programmers use their computers all day long. And many of them see mechanical keyboards as the best tool available. Programmers or PC gamers want to use the best keyboards like a painter using the best brushes.
If you want a reason to avoid getting a new mechanical keyboard, keep reading for some great alternatives.
Reasons to Avoid a New Mechanical Keyboard Today
Here are the top reasons to avoid a new mechanical keyboard purchase.
Many mechanical keyboards cost more than their membrane counterparts. As a result, some users spend between five and six hundred dollars (OUCH!) to customize their mechanical keyboards to their specific liking.
And we don’t know about you, but that’s more than we’d like to pay, even as writers and spreadsheet junkies who spend much of the day typing on a keyboard.
- Made from high-quality, durable PBT keycaps
- Ergonomic design
- 89 keys
- Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows VISTA, and other systems
Complex features and designs are part of the appeal of mechanical keyboards. But if you don’t need customizable backlighting or programmable keys, you may feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, a basic design works well, and that’s why so many minimalist keyboards are sold daily.
Not all mechanical keyboards are compatible with every computer or operating system, so check the details carefully before purchasing one.
Because they get customized to the user, mechanical keyboards are often heavier and larger than conventional membrane keyboards. That might be a good reason to avoid getting one if you have limited desk space.
Since individual keys have their own springs and switches, mechanical keyboards are often louder than other keyboards. So, even if you love the sound of clacking away, your office mates might start giving you the stink eye. Be aware of the louder noise, especially in a shared workspace.
Alternatives to a New Mechanical Keyboard
If you want to avoid getting a new mechanical keyboard, check out one of these excellent alternatives.
Rubber-Dome/ Membrane Keyboard
Rubber-dome keyboards are also called membrane keyboards. And they’re by far the most common and cheapest type you’ll find. Keys are pressure-sensitive with no space between individual keys.
The characters are outlined on the underlying flat surface. So, if you pop off a key, you can likely still press the underlying surface to register a keypress.
But the rubber domes feel somewhat squishy when typing. And they restrict some of the tactile feedback you get with mechanicals. However, they are much quieter. If you’re like us and hate all the clicking keyboard and mouse sounds, a membrane keyboard is an affordable and quiet way to go.
Keyboards designed to reduce hand and arm strain from typing are called ergonomics. They’re usually laid out with room for your hands to rest naturally in a neutral position while you type.
If carpal tunnel syndrome concerns you, consider avoiding a new mechanical keyboard in exchange for an ergonomic one. They’re ideal for users who work at computers many hours throughout the day.
These portable keyboards can easily roll up and pack away in your laptop bag. They’re usually made of silicon material, so they’re easy to clean. And they are also dust- and water-resistant, two huge things in the keyboard world.
We wouldn’t recommend these for everyday use at your desk, but these silicon options are great if you need something to take with you. You won’t have to worry about a flexible keyboard getting damaged.
You understand the need for a gaming keyboard if you’re a PC gamer. They offer the fastest response times, so you have split-second in-game action.
In addition, gaming keyboards often have backlit keys and enhanced elements specifically designed for gaming. So, choose this option if you want a keyboard that keeps you in the game with an optimal experience.
Although you’ll find backlit keys in some gaming keyboards, these are also perfect for working in low-lighting areas. In addition, backyard astronomers will appreciate that they don’t interfere with your night vision, letting you stargaze nonstop.
Backlit keyboards also look pretty cool, which never hurts. But, for most people, they aren’t a necessity. For users with vision concerns, backlit keyboards make it easier to see which key to press. They provide visibility in low lighting and are great for gamers, too.
Numeric keypads give you easy access to numbers for data entry and mathematical functions. They do make your keyboard a little larger, which is something that not everyone likes. But for anyone doing regular calculations or numerical 10-key entries, these portable keypads are necessary.
Wireless RF keyboards use a radio frequency antenna for connectivity. And since you don’t need to plug them in, they offer a perfect solution for using with a smart TV or personal computer. Just insert a dongle into your computer’s USB port for quick and easy pairing.
Wireless connectivity is sometimes a bit cheaper than Bluetooth. So, this is a great way to save money and still get a quality keyboard.
Bluetooth keyboards are often more costly than other wireless options. But, like all technology, the costs come down regularly. The most significant advantage of Bluetooth over most wireless options is that it won’t take up one of your computer’s USB ports. So, you can connect other devices with them.
Untethered flexibility makes Bluetooth keyboards a top choice. And there’s no chance of losing a dongle since you won’t need one!
If you want to avoid a new mechanical keyboard in favor of an affordable and accessible option, choose a wired system. For under $15, you’ll have a decent keyboard and get back to work quickly.
These plug-and-play wired keyboards simplify your life because they’re so easy to use. Without spending a fortune, you even get a number pad which is super handy for 10-key operations and data entry.
Just plug this keyboard into your computer’s USB port and start typing. It uses your computer’s power source, so you won’t need to purchase additional batteries. Of course, you can find wired keyboards in varying styles. So, if you want an ergonomic, backlit wired keyboard, it’s out there.
Apple Magic Keyboards
Apple’s Magic Keyboard is Bluetooth-enabled to connect to Mac computers, iPhones, and iPads automatically. In addition, these keyboards have a high price tag and long-lasting battery power, which helps offset the initial cost.
Magic keyboards have a thin and sleek design that can go weeks without recharging. That means no loose batteries to replace is a bonus. Unfortunately, some newer versions don’t work with iPhones and iPads, so if that connectivity is essential, be sure to verify.
Mechanical keyboards are a favorite among many gamers and programmers. But they cost more than membrane styles. Additionally, many users don’t like the louder clicking when the keys of mechanical keyboards are pressed. Instead, they like the quiet efficiency of rubber dome keystrokes.
While it comes down to personal preference, you may find that the reasons to avoid a new mechanical keyboard outweigh those to buy one. Fortunately, we’ve provided quite a few alternatives for you to choose from.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©ceconds/Shutterstock.com.