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Keyboard Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying

When building a desktop PC, we tend to focus more on the peripherals and components inside the CPU casing. But we have to remember that the outside components connected to the PC is also as important as the ones who control them. Especially the keyboard.

The computer keyboard is important because it is the most effective input tool for letters and characters. They are analogous to the keys of a typewriter. Aside from the actions that you’re able to use with the mice, everything is done through the keyboard. What that, you should get a keyboard that helps you because you’d be interacting with it most of them. And we’re glad to help you with that. Here are things you should consider:

Wired or Wireless?

Usually, wireless keyboards these days don’t have that noticeable of a lag, but remember, if you’re going wireless, that means you’ll be powering your keyboard with a battery. If you’re going to using your desktop PC with gaming in mind, you wouldn’t want your batteries dying on you mid game especially if you’re playing a game where both reaction and time is key. Also, going wireless means that you’d still have a slight lag, and if you’re really hardcore about things like aiming or shooting, you might want to opt for a wired one.

The Logitech K480 Bluetooth Keyboard connects with most major platforms.
The DAS Keyboard 4 Professional includes dedicated hardware media and sleep controls.

Bottom line here is if you’re just going to use your keyboard for daily activities such as typing essays, browsing the web and typical office work, you can’t go wrong with a wireless keyboard as it also makes your table look more cleaner. But if you’re a gamer wherein lag is not an option, wired keyboard would be the best choice.

Ergonomic or Traditional?

If you’ve encountered an odd looking keyboard, it’s most likely an ergonomic one. An ergonomic keyboard is a computer keyboard designed with ergonomic considerations to minimize muscle strain and a host of related problems. Typically, they are constructed in a “V” shape, to allow right and left hands to type at a slight angle more natural to the human form.

The Kinesis Freestyle2 lets you split the ckeyboard in half and set it up wherever you feel most comfortable.

If you really have comfort in mind, then you can go for the ergonomic keyboards. It will save your hands, forearms and wrists from discomfort, making you more productive and allowing you to work for longer periods of time. Also, if you’re already experiencing pain in your hands, wrists or forearms, it will surely save you from any existing pain.

Microsoft’s All-in-One keyboard has a built-in touchpad and mouse buttons.

But ergonomic keyboards have some drawbacks also. First is that it will make you type more slowly which can affect your productivity especially if you are accustomed to typing on a traditional keyboard. Also, they are usually priced higher than a traditional keyboard. So if you’re on a budget, you might want to opt for a traditional one and spend that money on other important things.

With those said, if you’re not really experiencing any pain from typing, traditional keyboards are still your best bet. No need for fancy ergonomic ones that takes some learning time and more expensive price tag.

Mechanical or Membrane?

Mechanical keyboards are all the rage these days. They are typically found on the e-sports and gaming side of things while others are still using the standard membrane keyboards. The main differences are the build.

Membrane keyboards is built with a thin film of dome-shaped rubber or silicone that sperates the key from the top of the keyboard’s electrical circuits. When you press a key, the membrane depresses, allowing the two contacts to meet and the keystroke to register with the computer.

Meanwhile, mechanical keyboards have no membrane. Each press is handled by an actual mechanical switch that slides up and down. Each individual key is its own self-contained system, complete with the key, a metal actuator, and a spring that depresses on a stroke and returns the key back with a satisfying mechanical sound that’s really addicting. If you’re planning to get this one you have to one the kinds of mechanical keyboards.

  • Cherry MX Red Switch – It has a linear press and non-tactile feel so you can’t actually feel the actuation point and it has a very light button press so you don’t have to press hard on the keyboard.
  • Cherry MX Black Switch – They are like a heavier version of the red so you can’t really feel the actuation point but they tend to get heavier as you press down to reach the bottom of the keystroke.
  • Cherry MX Brown – They are a little bit lighter and they have an actuation bump that you can actually feel. You’ll know already that have activated the button even before it reaches the bottom.
  • Cherry MX Blues – They are a little bit heavier to press than the MX brown and you can really feel the actuation point and it gives off a really loud click sound.

So when should you buy a mechanical keyboard? Well, if you really want to have that satisfying clicks and presses when typing, you should get one. But the main reason for buying a mechanical keyboards is for gaming purposes. Because you’ll want to know that you’ve actually press the button by feeling it instead of seeing it register on the screen.

Anti-Ghosting

“Ghosting” is the problem that some keyboard keys don’t work when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously. The key presses that don’t show up on the computer or seem to have disappeared are said to have been “ghosted”. On most keyboards, even some that are explicitly marketed as “Anti-Ghosting,” this happens with many three key combinations.

If your keyboard has a label that has “Anti-Ghosting” in it, it may just refer to a particular subset of keys on the keyboard working well together. This does not guarantee that members of this set of keys avoid ghosting when combined with other keys on the keyboard.

You’ll also see a marketing strategy that states “up to” some large number of key presses. This would be a true statement about a keyboard even if only a single combination of keys of that size can be pressed simultaneously while many three key combinations remain with ghosting issues.

If you’re not really playing games that needs you to press so many keys at the same time, then you can safely buy any keyboard that you want and just base it from the other categories mention in this post. But if you’re a hardcore gamer, thorough research in the internet will help you find the best anti-ghosting keyboard.

Backlit Keyboards

The most basic function of a backlit keyboard is to allow you to see the keys in the dark, so that you’ll be able to type without running into problems. Of course, it can make you look really awesome especially if you’re a gamer. Many gaming laptops come with RGB backlighting for individual keys and some others come with zone lighting, where you can set a group of keys to the same colors.

The Corasir K95 has a customizable per-key backlighting.

It’s a nifty feature to have especially if you like working in the dark. But do keep in mind, if you have a non-backlit keyboard, it doesn’t mean that you can’t type in the dark without it. It’s really not that necessary, but if you’re okay with cashing a little extra bucks for it, then go for it.

Conclusion

Bottom line, find a keyboard that suits your lifestyle. Remember that you’ll always interact with a keyboard when using a computer, so you better pick one that really helps you. There’s no “best keyboard” out there because there are different type, so use this guide to help you find that one that suits your needs.

Did we miss anything? What keyboard are you using right now? Talk to us in the comments section below!

 

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Ritz

Zombie ninja. Total social media buff. Bacon lover. Friendly coffee aficionado. Avid gamer. Internet fanatic.

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