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Why are mechanical keyboards better than membrane?

There are various reasons.

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Image: KnowTechie

If you’re reading this on a computer that came with a keyboard, you’re probably using a membrane type keyboard. That’s fine to get you started on your computer journey, but if you really want to get the most enjoyment out of your computer, it’s time to look into better peripherals.

One of the first upgrades suggested is a mechanical keyboard. Maybe someone has already suggested this to you, but you were hesitant after looking at the price difference.

That’s okay, but like all decisions about upgrades – it’s time to do some research.

So, are mechanical keyboards really better than membrane ones?

Short answer: Yes (mostly)

Let’s start with the biggest improvement mechanical keyboards have over membrane ones – the key switches. See, typing on a mechanical keyboard just feels better. The mushy feeling on membrane keyboards is fine if you’re a slower typer, but if your typing speed is higher you’ll benefit from mechanical key switches.

You’ll also benefit from a thing called NKRO, or n-key rollover. Basically this just means your keyboard will register any keystrokes you make, even if you press every key at once. Membrane keyboards often top out at a single-digit number before the signal to your computer locks up.

READ MORE: How are mechanical keyboards different from membrane keyboards?

Mechanical keyboards also allow for easier cleaning and even repair, as you can take the keycaps off, and on some keyboards, the key switches. Couple that with the longer lifespan of mechanical key switches and you’ve got a keyboard that will cost less in the long run.

Membrane keyboards do have a couple of advantages though. They’re often cheaper, and the noise they make when you type is softer. That’s good if you’re the person in charge of the budget in your office, but not so great if you want to game on your computer once the workday is done.

What do you think? What type do you prefer? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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