FIND THE KEYBOARD THAT’S JUST YOUR TYPE
With most of us working on a computer for the majority of the day, investing in a mechanical keyboard is surprisingly one of the greatest upgrades you can give yourself. They’re not just for those hardcore gamers winning their BRs, they’re also fantastic at increasing productivity for everyone else.
Here are some things you can expect when making the upgrade to a mechanical keyboard.
- They can feel better
Now I know, this might seem like a trivial reason to some but when you’re typing thousands of words an hour, you really will feel the difference. One of the benefits is due to the individual switches in each key, meaning you can pick up on accidental keystrokes faster, leading to fewer typos, less backtracking for mistakes, and a more productive work flow.
How you type matters. Different brands of mechanical keyboards offer different types of switches for the keys. The two main types are linear and tactile switches.
Linear, as the name suggests, travels straight down when pressed. Tactile switches give a noticeable “bump” feeling when they hit their activation points. Most tactile switches are also audibly clicky and some compare them to sounding like a typewriter.
As mentioned, it all depends on how you type. If you’re a gamer, you’ll likely want a linear mechanical keyboard because there’s less resistance and your keystrokes will register much faster. However, if you are a writer, a tactile keyboard is better as you will feel every keypress and therefore are less likely to make mistakes. Both offer significant advantages over the regular keyboard you’ve been using for years.
- Customization options are a major plus
Different types of switches aren’t the only choice to make when buying a mechanical keyboard. A benefit of using a PC over a console if you’re a gamer, or just a PC user in general, is that you have the option of changing the keycaps. This means you can add colors, lights, even put your own unique design on your workstation.
If you’re a tactile switch user and you find that it’s just a little too loud then there are always O-rings, another customizable option that will dampen the “clicky” sounds that comes from typing.
What some users will do is alter certain keycaps on their keyboards to help them remember shortcuts – specifically the WASD keys for gamers. This offers a contrast to your other keys and achieves a really sharp look.
If you’re a gamer, some mechanical keyboards will have even more appeal. Extra buttons that you can assign certain inputs, combos, or just handy shortcuts are perfect for giving you the edge over your peers. Alternatively, if you’re a writer who is tired of constantly Ctrl+Shift+’V’ing all the time then those buttons offer a timesaving fix for that too.
Most mechanical keyboards also come backlit, which is usually customizable too, assigning your own colors, your own branding, or just whatever color soothes you or helps you concentrate is another benefit over a standard keyboard.
- They can last longer
A common theme you’ll frequently hear when discussing keyboards is how often they need replacing. Mechanical keyboards usually advertise themselves with absurdly high numbers of keystrokes, often in the multi-millions. Of course, it’s difficult to actually test these claims yourself (have you ever counted to a million?) but simply comparing the inner workings of a mechanical keyboard to an ordinary keyboard, it’s certain that they’re designed to be more durable.
The advantage of course is fairly obvious, a more durable keyboard means one that you don’t need to keep replacing and will stand the test of time. They’re also surprisingly affordable.
An absolute top-tier mechanical keyboard will set you back around $150, though a solid one that will still outclass any ordinary keyboard, even with customization options, can be had for around $60 or less if you’re a deal hunter.
The main take-away from this is that investing in a tool that you use an overwhelming amount of times every single day is a sensible thing to do. Once you’ve made the change, you’ll likely never go back to that ordinary keyboard again.