Keyboards, like every other computer gadget, have evolved from how they used to be. Today, they come in various types, structures, and dimensions. Each type offers its own advantages and functions that will serve you better than others.
In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular types of keyboards you can find today.
Mechanical keyboards are the most popular type of keyboards today. Their key switches are spring-activated and have numerous moving parts. Most users fancy mechanical keyboards because of the switches and typing experience that they give.
Mechanical keyboards are usually more durable than normal keyboards. When typing, the keys will send electric signals to the CPU that will then display characters on the monitor.
Membrane keyboards are flat and thin keyboards without spaces in-between keys. They are sensitive and upon touching the keys the computer will receive the appropriate message.
They make use of a membrane surface as their pressure pad but this is inaccurate for typing or gaming computers.
Membrane keyboards are rarely used for office or work purposes. They are mostly used as control panels or incorporated in industrial and medical tools.
Production of membrane keyboards is cheap, so they are relatively inexpensive compared to other keyboard types. Their flexibility and resistivity to liquid is another added advantage. However, lack of tactile response is one of the downsides of these keyboards.
Their part constitutes top and bottom membrane layers, hole layers, and conductive traces.
Just as the name implies, flexible keyboards are those with flexible features. They are manufactured from flexible materials that make them foldable or convertible to a compact size. Hence, they are very portable making them ideal for computer users who are always on the move.
Flexible keyboards are very convenient to use. They have noiseless operations, resistant to water, and very convenient to use. You can easily fit them into your bag regardless of bag size. Some brands also have Bluetooth features for their flexible keyboards.
But they also have some downsides. Users who love to type fast have a high probability of missing a keystroke with flexible keyboards. Also, they are very fragile and are one of the keyboard types with a short lifespan.
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to help users type for long hours without feeling wrist or hand pain. For this, they come with a wrist padding to suppress the pressure exerted on the hand while typing.
Ergonomic keyboards are the ideal option for office environments. They enable workers to type for longer hours than the usual keyboards and increase productivity. Also, they help those suffering from existing hand injuries or wrist issues to type easily.
On the downside, they are quite complicated and users must first learn how to use them before enjoying their benefits. There are people who suffer other physical issues from using ergonomic keyboards, like elbow pains. Also, some users that change from regular keyboards to ergonomic usually experience speed reduction.
Even though ergonomic keyboards are designed for hand or wrist issues, not all of them will be the perfect solution for you. You may have to visit an orthopedist to give you a recommendation.
Gamers require keyboards, away from the regular ones, to play games. Gaming keyboards are designed for hardcore gaming. They have features like key rollovers of about 4 to 6 strokes. For regular keyboards, this is within the range of 1 to 2 strokes.
Gaming keyboards also have macro function features that allow gamers to combine various key functions and combinations on just a keypress. Macro function features make it possible for swift and seamless gameplay controls. For gamers who love to play at night, there are backlit gaming keyboards that will make the keys visible.
Gaming keyboards are usually more expensive than other types of keyboards, and they may be technical to use if you are not acquitted with them.
Today almost all gadgets have gone wireless and keyboards are no exception. Wireless keyboards are not necessarily Bluetooth keyboards. Some of them connect with Wi-Fi and infrared.
Most of the keyboard types have their wireless version, so wireless keyboards are very common. One advantage that they have is their compatibility with various devices such as PCs, tablets, Smartphones, and TVs.
There are numerous brands with different styles and types of wireless keyboards. Some of the things you should look out for before purchasing a wireless keyboard are:
- The wireless technology that is available to connect the keyboard with your device.
- The type of key switches you want for a wireless keyboard.
- The keyboard options available for you.
You should also know that wireless keyboards come with batteries that you have to change occasionally.
Multimedia keyboards come with the added features of controlling basic household devices like your home theater. They give you the simple option of just making use of a keyboard for multiple purposes. Some of their features include:
- Audio and video control options
- Internet accessibility with home theater
- Interface between multiple devices
With these keyboards, you might come up with some issues such as software compatibility with various operating systems. Their durability is also in doubt because they will be performing more than one function.
Multimedia keyboards are usually expensive, but they are cost-effective as well.
Virtual keyboards are software-powered. They illuminate the image of a keyboard on a device’s screen so that you can type just like with regular keyboards.
They are different from every other keyboard type on this list because they are basically software keyboards that cannot be purchased physically.
Projection keyboards are examples of virtual keyboards. They make use of lasers to display keyboard images on flat surfaces.
The projectors are always small, making this keyboard option very portable. You can set various colors for projector keyboards making them more fun to use. They also prevent the issue of keyboard logging.
One of the downsides with these keyboards is the lack of touch feeling which can slow down those that are already used to regular keyboards. The light brightness can also affect the eyes, and they tend to draw a lot of attraction to the user especially when working in a public space.