DESKTOP PC KEYBOARDS FOR GAMING OR PERSONAL USE
7 Tips To Choosing The Perfect Computer Keyboard For You
Many of us spend a fair amount of time at our computers every day, pressing the keys ceaselessly (when we are not clicking and scrolling). We’ve got plenty of typing jobs to do these days – home works, school projects, online gaming, documents that our boss wants typed, and what not. We rely heavily on our computers and of course, the keyboard on it.
Keyboards are primarily used for typing but really they can do so much more. With a few extra features, what your keyboard can do for you will make you fall in love with it.
When your old keyboard needs to be replaced, you’d naturally go for the same kind of keyboard which you are used to. But, with a great many types of keyboards coming to the market every day, the keyboard you want might not be the right one for you. (Chances are your old keyboard is outdated and is not available in the market anymore).
Here below we have listed a few things you have to consider to choose the perfect computer keyboard that matches all of your computing needs.
1. Work type
Varieties of computer keyboards are available in the market today, each designed with a focus on specific features to suit special purposes. The first thing you need to consider is the kind of work you will be doing with your keyboard.
There are keyboards specially designed for gaming. Get one of them, if you are a serious gamer. The best gaming keyboards incorporate special gaming keys to assist playing computer games. If you need your computer for typing jobs that have you typing for prolonged periods, then get an ergonomic keyboard that gives you a great, comfortable typing experience.
If you need to work with the numbers, you’d better make sure that you get a keyboard with a numeric keypad. Your work dictates, to a large extent, what kind of keyboard you should choose so that you don’t spend your money unnecessarily on the wrong type of keyboard that you don’t need.
2. Keystrokes (Switches)
Make sure you check the keystrokes the first thing, when you are buying a computer keyboard. You don’t want to end up with a keyboard that feels like a typewriter (which will literally give you a hard time). Check and test how the keys feel. There are keyboards that have sensitive, soft, feather-like touch and there are others that require some extra pressure to type on.
Rubber dome switch Keyboards
Rubber dome switches are now the most common switch technology in keyboards. Rubber dome switches use small rubber coverings that are pushed down to complete a circuit. Their largest advantage is their considerably lower cost compared to mechanical switches.
Rubber dome switches are quiet and vary in feel. Some rubber domes are tactile, with a bump above the actuation point, while others can feel mushy. Rubber domes also must be completely depressed – known as “bottoming out” (think: suspension system) – to register a key press. Rubber dome switches use a number of different key cap mounting methods, and for this reason, finding replacement key caps is not really possible. Rubber domes are not considered to be a mechanical switch.Dome – switch keyboards are a hybrid offlat-panel membrane and mechanical-switch keyboards. They bring two circuit board traces together under a rubber or silicone keypad using either metal “dome” switches or polyurethane formed domes. The metal dome switches are formed pieces of stainless steel that, when compressed, give the user a crisp, positive tactile feedback. These metal types of dome switches are very common, are usually reliable to over 5 million cycles, and can be plated in either nickel, silver or gold. The rubber dome switches, most commonly referred to as poly domes, are formed polyurethane domes where the inside bubble is coated in graphite. While poly domes are typically cheaper than metal domes, they lack the crisp snap of the metal domes, and usually have a lower life specification. Poly domes are considered very quiet, but purists tend to find them “mushy” because the collapsing dome does not provide as much positive response as metal domes. For either metal or poly domes, when a key is pressed, it collapses the dome, which connects the two circuit traces and completes the connection to enter the character. The pattern on the PC board is often gold-plated.Both are common switch technologies used in mass market keyboards today. This type of switch technology happens to be most commonly used in handheld controllers, mobile phones, automotive, consumer electronics and medical devices. Dome-switch keyboards are also called direct-switch keyboards.
Scissor switch Keyboards
A special case of the computer keyboard dome-switch is the scissor-switch. The keys are attached to the keyboard via two plastic pieces that interlock in a “scissor” like fashion, and snap to the keyboard and the key. It still uses rubber domes, but a special plastic ‘scissors’ mechanism links the key cap to a plunger that depresses the rubber dome with a much shorter travel than the typical rubber dome keyboard. Typically scissor-switch keyboards also employ 3-layer membranes as the electrical component of the switch. They also usually have a shorter total key travel distance. This type of key switch is often found on the built-in keyboards on laptops and keyboards marketed as ‘low-profile’. These keyboards are generally quiet and the keys require little force to press.
Scissor-switch keyboards are typically slightly more expensive. They are harder to clean but also less likely to get debris in them as the gaps between the keys are often smaller.
Mechanical switch Keyboard
Each key on a mechanical-switch keyboard contains a complete switch underneath. Each switch is composed of a housing, a spring, and a stem. Switches come in three variants: linear with consistent resistance, tactile with a non-audible bump and clicky, a tactile with an audible click. Depending on the resistance of the spring, the key requires different amounts of pressure to actuate. The shape of the stem varies the actuation distance and travel distance of the switch. The amount of sound produced by actuation can also be changed. Mechanical keyboards allow for the removal and replacement of key caps.
Mechanical keyboards also have a longer lifespan than membrane or dome-switch keyboards, with an expected lifespan of 50 million clicks per switch for Cherry MX switches, while switches from Razer have a rated lifetime of 60 million clicks per switch.
What is RGB?
RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. These are the three primary colours of the additive colour system. In lighting we encounter RGB for coloured lighting. RGB lighting enables you to create millions of different colours of light, all based on these three primary colours.
Additive versus subtractive colour system
The additive colour system is based on the mixing of different light colours. When two primary colours are mixed, you get a lighter colour. Mix the three primary colours (red, green and blue) and you will get white light. Unlike with paint, yellow is not a primary colour.
The best example of the additive colour system can be found in computer screens and televisions. Use a strong magnifying glass and you’ll notice that every pixel consists of a red, green and blue sub-pixel. By playing with the brightness of these sub-pixels, you can create any light colour.
The image below shows the mixing scheme of the additive colour system. It looks like this:
- Red + green = yellow
- Red + blue = magenta
- Blue + green = cyan
- Red + blue + green = white
The additive colour system is not to be confused with the subtractive colour system, which is used e.g. for print. This system is called ‘subtractive’ because less and less light is reflected when mixing colours, mixing results in darker colours. The primary colours of the subtractive colour system are cyan, magenta and yellow.
RGB lighting can form all colours, ranging from warm orange to cool blue. It is often used in LED strips. In RGB LED strips we distinguish three types:
- Classic RGB: a LED strip with triple diodes (red, green and blue on one diode). To form white light, the three diodes are used simultaneously. With these classic RGB the white light may contain traces of other colours. This white light will not have the same brightness as the white light of a true white LED.
- RGB+W: A LED strip with triple diodes (red, green and blue on one diode) and a separate white diode for pure white light. Because of the larger distance between the two diodes of the same colour, evenly distributed light is not guaranteed. With this type of RGB, the distinction between the different light beams will be easier to see.
- RGBW: A LED strip with quadruple diodes (red, green, blue and white on one diode). Provides nice evenly distributed lighting in any colour.