Most laptops have membrane keyboards. The keys are not really separate, moving parts but merely contiguous pressure pads which cause a corresponding circuit to complete when they are pressed. Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, actually involve a mechanism for their working. Under the keycap is a spring-loaded hard plastic stem which, once pressed down, causes two metal contacts to complete the corresponding circuit. Thus, each key basically houses a unique switch, which is totally absent in the case of membrane keyboard keys. Mechanical keyboard keys emit a richly satisfying click which, by acting as auditory feedback, assures the user that the key has indeed been pressed. The tactile feedback, too, is very distinct. The vast majority of typists, programmers and gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because of their distinctive auditory and tactile feedback. There is also the undeniable fact that mechanical keyboards, like the first PC keyboards in the 1980s used to be, are simply more robust and durable, and hence, longer lasting than membrane keyboards. Let’s look at the following six mechanical keyboards that are available on Amazon.
Corsair’s mechanical keyboard has a frame made of aircraft-grade brushed anodized aluminium, which makes it both lightweight and durable. This model uses Cherry MX Silent switches, which are linear-style Cherry MX Red switches that are modified to make up to 30% less noise. The keycaps are textured for enhanced grip, coated for durability and back-lit in strikingly different colours to help distinguish them, thus making them suitable for FPS (First-Person Shooter) and MOBA (Multiple Online Battle Arena) gaming. The keyboard has a detachable soft-touch wrist pad for those hours of wrist tension. Additionally, it has a USB pass-through port for your mouse or headset, and its 8 MB profile storage allows three distinct profiles to be stored. Finally, with the Corsair iCUE software, you can customize the lighting profile and LED brightness levels.
HyperX’s Alloy Origins uses HyperX mechanical switches, which are tactile-style switches that travel an actuation distance of only 1.8 mm and require just 0.5 N as actuation force. These switches have exposed LEDs for contrast lighting with 100% anti-ghosting and n-key rollover (NKRO). No matter how many keys are pressed simultaneously, each gets registered completely by the keyboard hardware. The keyboard has on-board memory for 3 profiles, and the HyperX NGENUITY software allows you to customize your lighting effects, game modes and recorded macros. Its USB connection is of the universally recognized Type C, making connections easy. Finally, the legs of the keyboard can be adjusted to give you three different angle settings for the comfort of your wrists.
Of exceedingly minimalist design and an aluminium-magnesium alloy build, the G512 boasts a full complement of features, including a USB pass-through port. You get to choose one of three types of keys for this keyboard. The three types of switches you can choose from are Romer-G Linear, Romer-G Tactile or GX Blue. The Romer-G Linear keys have a 1.5 mm actuation distance and 0.45 N actuation force. The Romer-G tactile have the same 1.5 mm actuation distance and 0.45 N force, but with a tactile bump indeed on. The GX Blue have 1.9 mm of actuation distance and 0.5 N force, with both tactile feedback as well as an audible click. The keyboard has function keys that can be configured to act as media and volume controls. Using the downloadable Logitech HUB software, you can customize which keys get turned off when the Game Mode is enabled, and also set individual key lighting choices.
TVS Electronics’ Gold mechanical keyboard has been an Indian favourite for years now, and with good reason. It uses Long Hua blue switches, which are basically Kailh switches from Kaihua. They are thus soft tactile copper switches with an actuation force of 0.4 N, an actuation distance of 1.1 mm and a 0.5 N tactile bump. With a low actuation force and a reasonable tactile bump, these switches appeal to both touch typists and gamers. The lifespan of each of the Long Hua keys is 50 million strokes. Additionally, this keyboard has a key for the Indian Rupee symbol.
The Tuf K3 keyboard comes in one of three types: with red switches (linear, light feel and silent); with brown switches (tactile, medium feel and silent); and with blue switches (tactile, light feel and loud with a clicky sound). Each of these has keys with a life span of 50 million strokes. The keyboard has a USB pass-through and a detachable wrist rest which is also magnetic. Featuring anti-ghosting and NKRO, aside from on-board memory, there are keyboard media controls and 8 programmable keys for recorded keyboard macros. This gaming keyboard supports ASUS Aura Sync and the Armoury Crate software for customizing audio profiles, colours, lighting effects and recorded macros, and then shelving them all into a single utility.
Of a gunmetal grey colour, this keyboard has preset RGB lighting in 7 modes. It employs Cherry MX Silver switches (a shorter actuation distance than Cherry MX Red switches) with completely anti-ghosting keys that can last beyond 50 million hits. Standard features include USB passthrough, 5 macro keys for volume control, multi-media controls and hotkeys for gaming. It also sports a detachable magnetic leatherette-coated wrist support and adjustable height options for the gamer’s comfort. Quite uniquely, this keyboard comes with a key puller and 9 red keycaps to highlight the cursor keys and the W, A, S, D and Menu keys.