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Mechanical vs. Membrane: Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard

Mechanical vs. Membrane: Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard

Keyboards are now a Crucial Element to Your Success!

Choosing a gaming keyboard is not as easy as it used to be when we were talking about desktops (many moons ago).

These can now make or break a gamer in high-level or even just friendly but intense competition.

It affects how you play, and gaming now is all about experience and making sure it’s as seamless as possible. 

In this article, we will point out features and what to look out for when considering buying one and make as clear a comparison as possible for those undecided about which way to go.  So, let’s start. 

If you are already a gamer, this article mainly reiterates the differences between the two, but we’ll be impartial throughout. 

What do you Need to Know When Buying a Keyboard in 2023/24?

When choosing gaming keyboards, it’s not just about the keyboard; there are plenty of variables to take into consideration.

ACTUATION POINTS

The actuation point is the other major hurdle to be considered in making important decisions.

The latter is important when you have to input commands swiftly and accurately. In addition, there are keyboards that have customisable actuation points that you can set to your desired level.

ANTI-GHOSTING

Anti-ghosting is another feature that needs to be considered. The keyboard does not support multiple simultaneous keystrokes, leading to ghosting, which is a challenge for game enthusiasts.

Anti-ghosting technology prevents this by allowing for multiple key inputs at once.

OTHER FEATURES

Things to also consider include:

  • Backlighting 
  • Programmable Keys
  • Macro support

Backlighting can be helpful for gaming in dimly lit environments, while programmable keys and macro support can allow for more efficient use of key combinations and shortcuts.

Mechanical vs. Membrane

Mechanical and membrane keyboards differ in their construction and design, which can impact their performance and suitability for gaming.

MECHANICAL

Mechanical keyboards use individual switches for each key. These switches are often made of metal and have a spring mechanism that registers input when the key is pressed. 

The switch design can impact the feel and sound of the keyboard. 

For example, linear switches require the same amount of force throughout the keypress, while tactile switches provide feedback when the key is actuated. 

Clicky switches have an audible sound when actuated, which can be helpful for some gamers.

MEMBRANE

On the other hand, membrane keyboards use a single rubber dome that contains all the keys. 

When pressed, a key pushes down on the rubber dome, which then triggers the input. 

This design can result in a softer and quieter feel, making the keyboard-less responsive and less durable than mechanical keyboards.

COMPARISON

In terms of features, mechanical keyboards often offer more customisation options for gamers. 

They may have adjustable actuation points, allowing gamers to fine-tune their input speed and accuracy. 

They may also provide programmable keys and macros that assist in simplifying gameplay and enable easier execution of complex manipulations.

However, membrane keyboards are usually cheaper, whereas they provide more features for the cost.

They could also be lighter and quieter, thus proving the right choice for travelling or quiet gaming-loving gamers.

Some of the Top Manufacturers of Mechanical Gaming 

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These are some examples of the best mechanical gaming keyboards in 2023, but there are many more to choose from, depending on your personal preference and budget. 

Razer Cynosa V2

A budget-friendly keyboard that features Razer’s own membrane switches, which have a soft and quiet feel. The keyboard also has full programmability, media controls, and RGB lighting that can be customised through the Razer Synapse. Razer Synapse is a superb system for customisation. 

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL

A tenkeyless keyboard with SteelSeries’s own whisper-quiet switches have a low actuation force and a tactile bump. The keyboard also has an IP32 water-resistant rating, a magnetic wristrest, and a dedicated volume wheel with a mute. So all-in-all a nice package. 

Corsair K55 RGB 

A full-size keyboard with Corsair’s rubber dome switches has a smooth and responsive feel. The keyboard also has six dedicated macro keys, a detachable palm rest, and dynamic RGB lighting that can be synchronised with other Corsair devices. Synergy is easy with Corsair as linking up devices is made easy. 

SteelSeries Apex 5

A hybrid keyboard with SteelSeries’s own hybrid blue switches combines the benefits of membrane and mechanical switches. The keyboard also has an OLED smart display, a USB passthrough port, a magnetic wrist rest, and per-key RGB. 

Logitech G213 Prodigy

A full-size keyboard with Logitech’s own Mech-Dome switches has a similar feel to mechanical switches but with less noise. 

A Look at What Manufacturers Are in the Membrane Market in 2023

HyperX Alloy Core RGB Membrane Gaming 

This keyboard has a sturdy build, stays put during use, and offers a spill-resistant design. It has a dedicated media control, quick access buttons, a signature light bar, and dynamic RGB lighting effects. It uses responsive and quiet soft-touch keys and has anti-ghosting and key rollover features for accurate inputs.

ROCCAT Magma Silent Membrane Switch 

This keyboard has a unique RGB colour system, with a panel that illuminates the entire board. It has a whole second layer of macro options and a feel of genuine quality in each key press. It uses rubber dome keys that are silent and responsive and has a detachable wristrest for comfort. It also has a volume wheel and a mute button for convenience.

Corsair K55 PRO LITE RGB Wired Membrane Gaming 

This keyboard is lightweight and durable, with a detachable palm rest and adjustable tilt legs. It has six dedicated macro keys that can be programmed with the Corsair iCUE software and dynamic RGB backlighting with 10+ presets. It uses membrane keys that are responsive and quiet and has anti-ghosting and key rollover features for accuracy.

Loigys Wireless Membrane 

This keyboard is wireless and rechargeable, with a long battery life and a low battery indicator. It has a full layout with a numeric keypad and 12 multimedia keys, a sleep mode, and a power switch. It uses membrane keys that are smooth and comfortable and has a stable and reliable connection with a 2.4G USB receiver.

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL Membrane Gaming 

This keyboard has a tenkeyless and compact design, with a magnetic wristrest and a cable routing system. It has a dedicated media control, a clickable metal roller, and customisable RGB lighting with ten zones. It uses whisper-quiet gaming switches that are water-resistant and durable and have anti-ghosting and 24-key rollover features for precision.

SUMMARY

Ultimately, each experienced gamer knows what gaming keyboards suit their style best and will be versed in the differences between mechanical and membrane keyboards. A mechanical keyboard may offer gamers a better tactile feel and customisation options, while the appeal of membrane keyboards can be its affordability and portability. However, whichever type of keyboard you settle for, ensure that it works in your favour to bring the best out of your performance, considering additional features like anti-ghosting, backlighting, and macro support.

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