Mechanical vs. Membrane: The Best Keyboards for Gamers
The perfect keyboard for gaming (and getting work done in general) is a hotly contested topic that sparks impassioned debate and intense tribalism in the gaming community. To the average observer, they might be confused. Aren’t all keyboards basically the same?
My advice: don’t ask that question in a room full of keyboard enthusiasts! There are lots of keyboard styles to be found and new ones being innovated all the time, from Apple’s ultimately doomed “butterfly switch” keyboards, to keyboards that can actually be laser-projected onto any surface.
Difference Between Mechanical and Membrane Keyboard
What's a mechanical keyboard? What's a membrane keyboard? The two most ubiquitous keyboard designs by far are mechanical vs. membrane keyboards. In mechanical keyboards, each key is individually spring loaded and produces a distinct “clicking” sound when pressed. Depending on who you talk to, this is either incredibly gratifying...or extremely annoying.
Membrane keyboards have a “mushier” feel and tend to be much quieter. Though they were developed long after mechanical keyboards were first devised, they are now used in most laptops and external keyboards. Their design involves the keys sending an electrical signal to a unified circuit board underneath, as opposed to each key individually firing off like a mechanical keyboard.
Here’s a table with a brief overview of the pros and cons of these two types of keyboards. Read on for a more detailed analysis.
Tactile, noticeable feedback
More comfortable for some users
Bulky, heavy - not portable
Can sound quite loud
Quiet, smooth keypresses
Much more compact, portable
A more familiar feel some users may prefer
No key rollover
Less precision, accuracy compared to mechanical keyboards
Here is a list of some mechanical keyboards that you may think of using for the best gaming experience. This will help you have a comparison between mechanical keyboard vs. normal ones later in this article, as well as the difference between mechanical and membrane keyboard.
1. Ergonomic Keyboard for PC by Matias
The Matias Keyboard is one of the best options you can think of for gaming. The special feature of this mechanical keyboard is that it is split into two. This split design allows you to place the two halves at an ergonomic angle to avoid any strain on your wrist as you type.
There is also a gel palm support pad that will ensure you rest your hands comfortably while gaming. Since it has Matias’ quiet click mechanical switches, you will have a wonderful time gaming without any distractions overall.
2. ErgoTKL Split Mechanical Keyboard by Cloud Nine
The Cloud Nine Ergonomic Split Mechanical Keyboard is another ergonomic gaming keyboard that will be suitable for gamers. If you talk about its keys’ placement, it has a very compact yet ergonomic design. Like the Matias, Cloud Nine’s ErgoTKL is also a split keyboard, so you can tilt it to have the proper keyboard position.
3. RGB K100 Mechanical Keyboard by Corsair
The Corsair K100 Optical is an RGB keyboard that is suitable for gamers who are into comfortable RGB gaming keyboards. Having the required media controls, USB ports, and a metallic volume regulating wheel, this keyboard has some advanced features.
The Corsair has added bright RGBs to add greater definition to the fine look of this keyboard. Overall, this keyboard has an excellent build. However, understanding the wide range of software in this variant would be difficult for the gamers who are not pros in this field.
4. Das Keyboard 4 Professional
Das Keyboard 4 Professional is an iconic mechanical keyboard. The unique thing about this keyboard is that it has a mix of professionalism and style. Therefore, it looks modern and has an attractive design. Das comes with the most popular switches, Cherry MX Brown or Cherry MX blue.
Although its design and features favor its role as a gaming keyboard, there are no backlights in this one. So, some of you might not prefer going for this option if you are interested in the RGB gaming keyboards for your gaming station.
5. Majestouch 2 by Filco
The Filco Majestouch 2 is one of the best mechanical keyboards that are designed for typing purposes. If you are interested in playing video games with a stylish keyboard only, this is not the choice for you. Nevertheless, you may add a mechanical keyboard desk mat to improve your experience quality.
The design of this keyboard has been kept simple and sleek. Some may think of it as elegant, while others may regard it to be mundane. Overall, if you are a pro gamer, we would not suggest you go for this one because of the availability of only the basic features in this mechanical keyboard.
Now, let’s have a look at some membrane keyboards that you may consider if you are interested in this type. If you are wondering what’s a membrane keyboard, these keyboards are designed in such a way that their keys are like pressure pads, linked together rather than being separate units. So, when you are using the keyboard, you will feel tactile feedback.
1. Logitech G213 Prodigy Membrane Keyboard
The Logitech G213 Prodigy Membrane Keyboard is one of the best options in the market currently. The unique thing about this keyboard is that it is highly responsive. This marks the greatest difference between a mechanical and a membrane keyboard.
Nevertheless, you may find some other membrane keyboards that are not as responsive as this one. The Logitech G213 with its two-level wrist rest and LIGHTSYNC lighting will help you have a comfortable and entertaining experience overall.
2. HyperX Alloy Core Membrane Keyboard
The HyperX Alloy Core Membrane Keyboard is the second-best membrane keyboard on our list. Since it comes with customizable RGB lighting, it will give an aesthetic look to your gaming station.
As far as its functionality is concerned, you will have a smooth gaming experience. In addition to that, the keyboard is also water-resistant, so you should not be worrying about any spillage. The major difference between the two types of keyboards, i.e., the mechanical and membrane keyboard, is that the latter is more comfortable and functions smoothly.
Thus, we’d say that you may think of going for this option if you are planning to upgrade your gaming experience recently.
3. Razer Ornata Expert Keyboard
The Razer Ornata Expert Keyboard is yet another membrane keyboard on our listing that will make your gaming experience worthwhile. The unique thing about this keyboard is that it has a mecha-membrane technology, so it can work both ways.
Thus, people who like shifting between the two types should think of going for this keyboard. Since there is also RGB lighting, you can rest assured that you will have an aesthetically pleasing gaming experience.
4. NPET G20 Membrane Keyboard
The last one on our listing is the NPET G20 Membrane Keyboard. This keyboard is a compact gaming keyboard that is suitable for those gamers who have a smaller gaming station. The NPET G20 is designed to cover lesser space, yet it has all keys placed in such a way that they take very lesser space.
With the angular adjustments available, you can always set this keyboard at a suitable angle. In addition to that, with 12 multimedia keys and 87 US layout keys in total, this membrane keyboard is worth a try.
If you make a comparison between a mechanical vs. membrane keyboard at this point, you will understand the market better and make a wise choice in terms of your gaming keyboard.
Which is Better?
The answer to this question is entirely subjective. The keyboards, both mechanical vs. membrane keyboard, themselves are both equally efficient, can both type just as quickly, and depending on who you talk to, are both ergonomically designed.
Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts swear by their keyboards, suggesting that they are more comfortable and satisfying to use over prolonged periods of time. This may be true for many people, there are still those who prefer the smooth, quiet feel of a membrane keyboard.
Then there is the question of accuracy and ease of use, a critical question for gamers who depend on their keys to get the edge against their opponents.
One key advantage of mechanical keyboards over membrane keyboards is a feature known as “key rollover.” This allows the user to register multiple keypresses at the same time since mechanical keys are individually actuated. A membrane keyboard can only register one keypress at a time, which creates the potential for “missed” key presses (which can be catastrophic for gamers).
For this reason, for gamers, mechanical keyboards with their adjustability and customizability, their tactile feedback and their ability to register multiple keypresses at once, are rapidly gaining popularity.
However, between mechanical vs. membrane keyboard, membrane keyboards are much lighter, can be made into portable sizes, and are generally more affordable than mechanical keyboards. If you’re someone who likes gaming on-the-go or travels frequently, a membrane keyboard is probably the best choice for you.
Type ergonomically with a wrist rest
In order to type or game for long periods of time without harming or risking damage to your wrists, it’s recommended you type with a wrist rest or pad to keep them supported and elevated while you type. Your fingers should essentially hover over the keyboard as you type while your wrists remain straight.
Though many ergonomic keyboards come with wrist pads, you’ll have to double check to make sure yours does, or else prepare to order one separately.
Light up your world
Though any keyboard will do, mechanical keyboard vs. normal keyboards with RGB backlighting are popular for gamers because they allow additional customizability (and they just look cool). As long as some kind of backlighting is included you’ll be covered, and your eyes will thank you during those late-night gaming sessions.
Consider your environment
While having a killer keyboard can give you a great competitive edge, it’s also important to take other ergonomic factors into consideration. A comfortable gaming chair makes all the difference, especially for long hours of intense gaming.
More gamers are also turning to standing desks as a great way to mix up the monotony of sitting in one mechanical keyboard vs. normal position for hours on end. A standing desk can inject you with a new burst of energy so you can keep going, stay quick, and stay alert.
While it may seem silly for many keyboard enthusiasts to have such strong allegiances to one type of keyboard over the other, it’s undeniable that having a good keyboard can make or break your gaming experience and success. Especially in more competitive arenas where every millisecond can make a difference, having the best possible tools for your gaming style is essential to your success.
What are some of your favorite keyboards, mechanical vs. membrane keyboards, for gaming and why? Sound off in the comments below!
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