For any user who wants to buy a new keyboard, an important factor to know is the difference between membrane switches vs mechanical. The first thing that you have to ask yourself is what you are going to use it for, if you are going to be in front of the PC for many hours, and whether or not you care about silence and of course, how much money you intend to spend on the product.
In the following, let us find out the characteristics of printable membrane keypad and mechanical switches:
Characteristics of membrane keyboards:
Practically, the secret of the quality of stock membrane switches is in the membrane itself. This is an element that is normally constructed in silicone, very flexible and with conductive tracks to provide the activation of each key.
The advantage of these keyboards is obvious – silence. It does not make noise. Of course, the system makes pressing a membrane keyboard very different from a mechanical key due to the nature of the materials, although, over time, we will notice how the membrane keyboard becomes increasingly hard and heavy, so that the mechanic will remain the same, or even become softer. This is because the silicone hardens over time.
Another detail to consider of membrane keyboards is the ability to become very flat, as it does not have a mechanical system to operate, the volume produced by the keys can be reduced to truly small spaces, by only a few millimeters.
It is for this reason that laptops almost always carry membrane keyboards, and also wireless and flexible keyboards. It is one of the great advantages of plastic-based materials.
Characteristics of mechanical keyboards:
While the activation of the key on the membrane keyboard is done at the end of its path by pressing the keyboard until the end, on the mechanical keyboardit is not necessary. The switch has a certain activation path, which depending on the construction may be greater or lesser and thus obtain different typing experiences.
In the mechanical keyboard, we will have different switches with different paths, but also with different actuation forces. While it is true that the actuation force can also be configured on a membrane keyboard depending on the material used and its thickness, it is much more common to do this on mechanical keyboards.
Certain keyboards have very light switches and a lower actuation point so that the distance to travel until clicking is smaller. These can be geared to games, with faster, softer keystrokes while other keyboards will have tougher and longer-running switches.