The mechanical keyboard is “back” in fashion. Or maybe it would be better to say that it never left. It is, without a doubt, the best option for video games, but it also offers benefits for many other uses. Therefore, many users who try it no longer want to go back to the membrane one, although more expensive and also noisier.
However, if you’re one of those people who spend hours typing, your fingers will thank you. Plus, it’s much faster and more accurate. That doesn’t sound bad at all, does it? Well, that’s not all, read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the mechanical keyboard. And we also give you some tips to choose the one that suits you best.
The most important things in a nutshell
- Mechanical keyboards have their main market among video game players. However, lately, more and more users are betting on them for office automation and productivity.
- Some of the most important advantages that mechanical keyboards offer are greater speed, sensitivity, and accuracy and the ability to press multiple keys at the same time.
- The first thing you need to think about when choosing a mechanical keyboard is the use you will make of it. Also, you have to take into consideration some purchase criteria such as the type of switches, the way they are connected, and the distribution of the keys.
The best mechanical keyboards on the market: our selection
Before diving headlong into the buying guide, we want to introduce you to our selection of the five best mechanical keyboards currently available on the market.
- The mechanical keyboard preferred by gamers
- The most complete mechanical gaming keyboard
- The best portable mechanical keyboard
- The best general-purpose mechanical keyboard
The mechanical keyboard preferred by gamers
The best-selling mechanical gaming keyboard ever is the Logitech G413, with an Italian layout and red backlight. It features special Logitech Roamer-G Tactile switches, with specifications similar to Cherry MX Browns, which guarantee a good balance between performance, tactile feedback, and noise. It is equipped with a USB passthrough and the keys are programmable via software.
Users appreciate the solidity of the materials, the quietness of the keys, and more generally the build quality of the product. The classic and linear design also makes it an excellent keyboard, as well as for gaming, even for the office.
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The most complete mechanical gaming keyboard
The Razer BlackWidow Elite is a mechanical keyboard that does not miss anything and represents a high-end proposal for the most demanding gamers. It mounts special green switches made by Razer, characterized by a stroke of 4 mm, an attenuation point of 1.9 mm, and a pressure force of 50 g, with a decisive but less noisy click than the Cherry MX Blue, which ones inspire you. The RGB backlighting is fully software programmable.
It is also equipped with a wrist rest cushion, passthrough for audio and USB jacks, 3 multimedia keys, and volume control with a wheel; finally, all the keys can be programmed with specific functions, again via software. The reviews are extremely positive, and they praise the keyboard for the excellent quality of the materials and the great variety of functions offered.
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The best portable mechanical keyboard
The RK61 under consideration is a mechanical keyboard with a detachable USB cable and Bluetooth connectivity; it is also characterized by extremely compact dimensions, lacking the numeric keypad, function keys, and multimedia keys. It is undoubtedly a good keyboard to use on a PC, and just unplug the USB cable from the back of the device to use it with your smartphone or tablet.
The opinion expressed by users is very positive and is appreciated for its excellent versatility and portability, but also the affordable price. Finally, the RGB lighting is exceptional, customizable in every aspect thanks to the generous software that accompanies it.
The best general-purpose mechanical keyboard
Among the more affordable options, the AUKEY MK-G6 is by far the best-selling and best-received by users. The keyboard has an Italian layout and features 105 mechanical keys, with OUTEMU Blue switches and an anti-ghosting function. It is equipped with backlighting with non-customizable colors and is resistant to water splashes.
It is an economical solution characterized by a simple and sober design, factors that make it an excellent mechanical keyboard for offices, studios, and general use. However, among the buyers there are also many gamers, enthusiastic about the excellent quality-price ratio and the possibility of changing the WASD keys and darts with colored equivalents, to give the keyboard a more aggressive look.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about the mechanical keyboard
If you want to be successful in your purchase, it is essential that you first resolve any doubts that may arise when making a choice. So that you can do it, we at REVIEWBOX.it have prepared this section for you, with the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the characteristics, advantages, and uses of a mechanical keyboard.
What is the difference between the mechanical keyboard and the membrane keyboard?
Currently, there are two types of computer keyboards, which differ in the way the keys are operated: mechanical and membrane. In the first, the mechanism is quite similar to that used in light switches. In this way, it can be said that each key works independently, making the keyboard more sensitive and precise.
The membrane one, on the other hand, has a membrane or a layer of silicone that extends throughout the inside of the keyboard. This rubber layer is in contact with electrical circuits to transmit the different pulsations. In general, it allows for a smoother and quieter pulsation. Moreover, it is cheaper, but its duration is less.
Who is it recommended to buy a mechanical keyboard for?
Mechanical keyboards are a favorite of video game players. However, he is not the only type of user who can benefit from the advantages that this type of keyboard offers as we have just seen. Many users also prefer them for typing, as it allows them to type faster.
They are also a great option for people who spend many hours writing, whether they are journalists, translators, programmers, or any other similar professional. The reason for this is that they can help reduce finger pain caused by repeated keystrokes, as mechanical keyboards don’t require as much force to press them.
Why is the mechanical keyboard so popular with gamers?
Among video game players there is no doubt, the best option is mechanical keyboards. However, if you are one of those who are entering this world, you may be wondering what this predilection on the part of the players is due to. Let’s see some of the benefits they offer while playing:
- Greater precision in movement.
- Faster reaction rate.
- They usually have RGB backlighting.
- They allow you to press multiple keys at the same time without producing ghosting effects.
What is the ghosting effect?
If you are one of those who have heard of the ghosting effect, but you are not sure what it is, don’t worry, we will explain it to you in a very simple way. It is the effect that occurs in some keyboards that are unable to detect the simultaneous pressing of multiple keys. It mainly affects membrane keyboards.
These keyboards only recognize the simultaneous pressing of a small key combination. However, for games, it is essential to be able to use several keys at the same time. This is what is called a key rollover, which can be a specific number (6, 8, or 10 keys simultaneously) or unlimited (NKRO).
What are the most important features of a mechanical keyboard switch?
Talking about a mechanical keyboard means talking about independent switches or switches. And it is that each type has its characteristics. Let’s see which are the most important.
- Activation point: this is the point of the switching stroke where the pulsation is recorded.
- Stroke: the distance from when the button is pressed to the bottom of the switch.
- Actuation force: this is the minimum force that must be applied to operate a key and make it complete its entire stroke.
- Sensation: it is the sensation you get when you press a key. It can be of different types: linear, tactile, or clicky. In the linear, the path is smooth. In the tactile, there is a slight opposition when the key is pressed. While with the clicky you notice the response at a certain depth when the key is pressed.
Often, many users are unsure which are the most appropriate purchase criteria for choosing a mechanical keyboard. So that this is not your case, we want to offer you the ones that we believe are the most important to take into consideration.
- Use that you will give to the keyboard
- Switch type
- Wired or wireless connection
- Keyboard format and layout
- Appearance, lighting, materials, and shape of the keys
Use that you will give to the keyboard
If you are looking for a mechanical gaming keyboard, it is essential that it has an anti-ghosting system and ideally that this is complete. After all, on some models, the system does not apply to all key combinations. Additionally, models designed for gaming often come with RGB lighting.
A different case is if you are one of those who spend long hours writing because you work as a copywriter, programmer, or journalist. If so, a model with an ergonomic and lightweight design would be better for you so that your hands don’t get tired. You may also be interested that it has good feedback with noticing the moment to press and release the key.
Wired or wireless connection
It is not very common to find mechanical keyboards with wireless connectivity via Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz radiofrequency. They are usually connected via a USB port or a PS2 port. The use of the latter is justified as the USB ports only support up to 10 keys pressed simultaneously, while the PS2 connection supports an unlimited number.
Keyboard format and layout
We can find different keyboard formats, although the four most common are the following:
- Complete: it is the most common or, at least, the best known. It has twelve function keys and a numeric keypad on the right. It usually has 103 or 104 keys.
- TKL: Delete the part of the numeric keypad on the right to reduce its size. The best option if you don’t usually use the number part.
- Compact: It is even more reduced since it also eliminates the function keys and special keys on the right (Insert, Home, and ImpPt, among others). Ideal for those who regularly travel with the keyboard.
- Extended keyboard: It is similar to the full one, although it adds a few extra keys. The G keys on the left side of the keyboard or the multimedia keys on the top are very common. They are designed, above all, for gaming.
When thinking about the keyboard layout, it is important to first distinguish between the American (US ANSI) or European (ISO) layout. The size and location of the keys depend on this. Next, you need to choose which layout suits you best: US QWERTY, English QWERTY, German QWERTY, and, of course, Italian QWERTY.
- For programming, nothing better than one that is in English, as programming languages are designed with that language in mind.
- To write, logically, the one that suits you best is the Italian one, or at least the one with the positioning you are most used to.
- And whether you want it for gaming, depends on your preferences and the type of game you will play. You may also be interested in opting for one with fully customizable keys.
Appearance, lighting, materials, and shape of the keys
If you want the mechanical keyboard for gaming and will use it in low-light environments, choose one with backlight, monochrome, or RGB. This will make it easier to find the keys. This is without counting the advantages it offers on an aesthetic level. On the other hand, a mechanical keyboard can last you for a long time.
However, not all mechanical keyboards are made from the same materials. The best option is that they are made of PBT, as it is a material that withstands the passage of time better than those made with ABS plastic. As for the printing of the keys, the double-mold printing of the backlit models stands out. The cheapest are laser engraving, thermal sublimation, and UV digital printing.