Why Get a Mechanical Keyboard?


I’ve been covering mechanical keyboards
for quite a while now, dealing with the whole spectrum, but I’ve never really talked about
why. Why mechanical keyboards? Why spend a tonne of money on a keyboard,
when a cheap $10 one does the same thing?. And this is absolutely true. We can’t deny that a cheap one does what it’s
supposed to do. But there’s more to it. For many of us a keyboard is an essential
tool that we use everyday, whether it be at home or at work; or both. So like many other everyday items, why not
get something that may potentially better your experience? ​
The cool thing about mechanical keyboards is the variety, and the ability to pick out
a keyboard that suits your needs. Variety in how a key press feels, layout,
programmability, aesthetics, materials and so on, is very limited with the membrane keyboards
we see in normal electronic stores. ​
Don’t need a number pad? Just get rid of it with a tenkeyless or smaller. Need dedicated macros? Macro away. Want better ergonomics? Get a split or ergonomic keyboard. You like the colour blue? Then just find a blue themed keyboard or keycaps. It’s all there. And honestly, that’s not even really mechanical
specific, but is just something that’s grown and has been made available with the mechanical
aspect, as majority are based on the MX style keyswitch, meaning universal parts, modularity.
and so on. So if you look at your desk and what you need,
and just think about it in your head. You may say, okay, so I don’t need a numpad
because I don’t do any real work. Now I have more space on my desk and for my
mouse for gaming, which is pretty comfortable. But now I’m really missing my dedicated
arrow keys. I’ll need some colour to brighten up my
existence. But I’m not that girly. And fortunately, these keyswitches won’t
wake anyone else up in the house. And see, now I have a keyboard that suits
my needs. But the main drawpoint of mechanical keyboards
is how they feel. This isn’t something you can really control
with membrane keyboards, since they’re just a sheet of collapsing domes. But with mechanical switches, you can get
a range of weights. You can go with a clicky, tactile, or a smooth
linear switch, loud, silent, low profile, whatever you want with everything in between. Getting something that feels good to you,
and serves your needs can potentially impact on your efficiency, performance, and just
straight up enjoyment. Now that’s a pretty big word when you think
about it. Doesn’t it just sound right to turn an otherwise
boring daily tool into something that’s enjoyable to use? I certainly think so, because they really
do feel so so good. And then there’s the functional side. There’s the durability of the keyswitches,
which are usually at around 50 million keypresses. Honestly, I haven’t even had a membrane
keyboard die on me, and it’s more likely you’ll do something else to break the keyboard
first. But in general, mechanical keyboards are heavier,
tougher, and more nicely built. ​
But the deeper you go, the more expensive it gets, and the more it starts to not make
sense to the outside world. But this is when it starts to get more fun. And this is what’s usually shown to the outside
– all these mad decked out boards; showing the expensive end. But it’s just like other hobbies, so why
not? ​
And that’s one of the underlying misconceptions of mechanical keyboards. Not all mechanical keyboards need to rip your
wallet apart, and this is one aspect I’m quite passionate about. Objectively mechanical keyboards cost a lot
of money, especially to those who live in certain areas in the world. But there are many keyboards coming out of
China that can be affordable; at say $30 and upwards. While the quality and tolerances won’t be
as good, and sometimes not worth it, so do your research, these will still deliver the
mechanical experience – and that’s the important part. ​
I’ve been thanked by many people for covering these lesser known and cheaper keyboards,
since most of the mainstream outlets concentrate on Razer, Logitech, Corsair etc – which are
indeed expensive. ​
And on top of all of that, we have the wonderful community. I’ve met so many awesome people through
keyboards alone, and it’s become part of my daily routine to just talk to people about
keyboards. Obviously it’s a bit different for me, but
I just love how we’ve built these communities around the world, where people can talk and
meetup. So in the end, it’s an important tool that
we use everyday for extended periods of time. It can boost our productivity, or make for
a more enjoyable gaming experience. And it really is all about options. Options to get what you want. You could go for a cheap one, or indulge yourself
and find yourself digging a deep continuous hole in that is the hobby of mechanical keyboards. Let me know in the comments if you have anything
more to add, because I’d really love to hear your thoughts.

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