Mechanical keyboards are better than the membrane or dome switch keyboards because of their high wear and tear threshold with an estimated lifespan of around 50 to 60 million clicks as against the range of a rubber dome keyboard being 5 million. According to LYRTech, all of these keyboards have a similar build with slight differences here and there, leading to a difference in their attributes including the actuation force required for registering a keystroke, travel and actuation distances, and the nature of the keys in the board itself. This article will shed light on the above-mentioned attributes and give you an insight on what to look for if you are purchasing a mechanical keyboard.
1 – Actuation force required for registering a keystroke
The actuation forces required, generally, for registering a keystroke on mechanical keyboards range from 45g to 80g at the most.
2 – Travel and actuation distances
Travel and actuation distances for the keys are based solely on the company you’re purchasing the keys from. One thing that is common in all the types is that actuation happens at a lesser distance than that of the entire travel (obviously). For example, almost all the keyboards produced by Cherry MX have an actuation distance of 2mm, but a travel distance of 4mm, as against the keys produced by Topre having both the actuation and travel distance of 4mm.
3 – Nature of the keys in the board
The keys may be linear, tactile and/or clicky in the board, with enthusiasts for typing and the like having a penchant for clicky keyboards due to the very audible and satisfying click they produce on being struck.
3.1 – Linear
These kinds of keys have the least complex mechanism and are used for fast-paced games where there is no obstruction of the clicking mechanism. An example would include Cherry MX Black.
3.2 – Tactile
These kinds of keys, on actuation, give a feedback to the person typing in the form of a tactile bump (hence the name). These kinds of keys almost always have actuation distances lesser than that of travel distance. An example of keys that are purely tactile would include ones from the model Cherry MX Brown.
3.3 – Tactile and clicky
These kinds of keys give a feedback in the form of a very audible click on actuation. An example of keys that are purely clicky is non-existent as these are always tactile. An example of a tactile clicky switch would be Cherry MX Blue.