As technology continues to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, it is easy to get distracted by all that has been made possible. This seems especially true for those in the computer gaming community. With each new title coming out with flashy graphics and soundtracks, newer technologies are being marketed as ways to improve your game performance or level up via customization.
Mechanical keyboards have become one such tool. While not necessarily more expensive than their membrane keyboard counterparts, they are typically considered an advanced user experience. These sturdy, well-made keyboards use mechanical switches instead of rubber membranes to detect input.
These switches are better at detecting key presses than the older, springy switch types, which some people prefer. Some even claim them to be easier to type on due to the heavier action. You do need a little bit more time to properly program these into your typing style, but overall, they are much less frustrating to use!
There are many different brands that make this type of keyboard available, so aside from aesthetics, you should really look into the mechanics behind them before investing in one. Luckily, we will go over some important features here!
This article will talk about why there is a growing market for cutester mechanical keyboards and how you can tell if one is worth trying out. We will also discuss what users have said about them and whether or not they were happy with their purchase.
Apple updates its MacBook Pro keyboard
After months of rumours, reports surfaced this week that Apple is replacing the backspace key on the top row of its MacBook Pro keyboards with an empty white circle. Some speculate that this will be replaced by an emoji picker tool like those found on some smartphone apps.
This seems plausible since there are already several pre-made emojis you can use to create your own stickers in the same way that people have made their own memes by inserting pictures or shapes into an existing set of characters.
We’ve seen similar tools before, most notably the one used to create the now famous “slash” meme which featured the word “/” as a sticker. Since then, it has been adapted for many different uses and got popularised across all types of media.
The next generation of MacBooks could have a new keyboard
Recent reports claim that Apple is working on replacing the full-size, island-style keyboards it currently offers with the newer thinner, vertical design it introduced with its most recent laptops.
This would be a significant change for the company as it heads into the future. Many people still enjoy the depth of feeling that the older style keyboards offer, so there’s a chance this will never make it to market!
However, even if it does, there are already companies producing similarly thin mechanical keyboards that cost less than half what an Air-level laptop would.
The future of the clicky keyboard
There are now more than 20 different companies that manufacture crosable, or easily-swappable key covers for the standard size keyboards we have come to know and love. These at-home accessories feature spring loaded levers that attach onto the main board, allowing users to switch out the top row of keys with ease.
Some even allow you to add additional rows of keys! For example, one user might want to use their G2 as an easy way to input numbers. Or perhaps they’d like to quickly access emoji in all of their apps.
By buying separate Kinesis style touchpad style switches, users can mix and match top rows of keys anywhere they desire. Some even have dedicated layouts such as Dvorak or Colemak!
These are just some examples of how people have reengineered the clacky keyboard genre! And while most of these products cost around $40-$80, there are some very expensive ones if you look hard enough.
How to choose a mechanical keyboard
When it comes down to it, there are two main factors that determine whether or not someone prefers an ergonomic board over one with no special features. These features can be found in most any good quality mechanical keyboard these days- their design is either intuitive and easy to use, or they are cool looking!
If you are more into the second option then maybe trying out some of the new generation clacktables is worth your time! They look super sleek and have unique features such as backlighting and RGB lighting.
The first factor though, interface, makes or breaks the usability of a mechanical keyboard for most people. If you do not feel comfortable using them due to poor key feedback, fuzzy typing feels, or both, you will likely give up on them soon.
So how does this relate to choosing between an ergonomic and non-ergonomic board? Well, if you are looking for an ergonomic board, make sure to check out the additional cushioning layers under the keys! Most of the time you will find a row of foam pieces just underneath each individual key which help mitigate the stress put on certain joints while pressing down on the key.
How to fix a mechanical keyboard
As we have seen, most people seem to prefer the solid feel of a membrane board or the tactile bump of an opto-switch style keyboard. These types of keyboards are great, but they suffer from one major downfall: They only offer limited key switches and switch types.
The ever popular Cherry MX Red has been around for years now, and it is still a very popular choice. However, other switch types such as brown and blue Tactile Happy Hacking (THH) switches and Gateron Switches have become increasingly more common in recent years.
Sadly, these newer switch types cannot be manufactured using the same manufacturing process that the original MX red boards were made with.
How to clean a mechanical keyboard
When cleaning your mechanical keyboard, only use lukewarm distilled water and soft brushes!
Mostly made up of plastic components, mechanical keyboards can easily be cleaned using a damp cloth or some type of microfiber cloth.
Never use alcohol, oil, or abrasive cleaners as they may cause damage to the parts. That would be disastrous!
Sadly, most people do not know how to properly care for their device. Using contaminated supplies could potentially ruin the quality of the keystrokes and/or malfunction completely.
Luckily, we have some tips here that will help you out! If you are ever struggling to remove dust or something else off your keyboard, read over this article. You might find what works for yours.
What are the best mechanical keyboards?
When it comes down to it, there is no one definitive way to identify a good mechanical keyboard. Just like with any other type of board, screen quality can have an impact on how much you enjoy using it.
If you find that the additional features matter more than having a solid typing experience, then go for the better-quality switches. Likewise, if you prefer fast typing speed over having extra features, then look for lower profile boards made of less space efficient materials.
The most important thing to consider when picking out a new switch style is whether or not they feel natural to use. There’s nothing wrong with wanting some cool gimmicks or flashy designs, but something that feels cheap will quickly wash away your confidence in the product.
We recommend trying out different styles before settling on something special! Many vendors do sell direct touch versions of their products now as well, which could also help determine final purchase.
What are the best non-mechanical keyboards?
For those who can’t get enough of the sleek, attractive look of most touch keyboard layouts, there is one solution! Non-mechanical clavier designs have become increasingly popular in recent years. These typically feature an array of discrete keys that are operated by some sort of sensor or button.
The advantage of these types of keyboards is that they don’t require any kind of trackpad or touchscreen to work, which makes them more portable than full sized laptops.