Just like a new smartphone or car, new keyboard models can also garner ooh and ahs from people. But novelty fades, and you may end up asking this question: What is the best one for me? Whether your keyboard is used for business or leisure, a great model will make a difference. When it’s time to shop for a new keyboard, the following can help you make the right purchase.
If your computer mouse can go wireless, why can’t your keyboard too? But it will depend on what exactly you use the keyboard for. Keyboards are normally plug-and-play devices that don’t require additional software installation (excluding certain gaming models).
Wired models draw power from a USB connection, eliminating the use of batteries. Gamers tend to prefer wired over wireless because they won’t have to deal with lag and interference issues.
If you want to declutter, then wireless is the way to go. With this type of keyboard, data is transmitted to your PC either through a radio frequency connection to a USB receiver or via Bluetooth. Wireless models have their pros and cons, but they reduce the number of cables on your desk and give you more flexibility. You can lie on the couch and type from across the room. Also, most models connect to the PC via a 2.4-GHz wireless dongle that can also be used for cordless phones and Wi-Fi, providing connectivity to multiple devices at once.
The right type of key switches
This aspect of keyboard design is widely mentioned in reviews, yet many people overlook the importance of the type of switches used for individual keys. Although the intricate mechanisms that hide beneath the keys may not excite you, the difference you feel from each type will.
The three main types of key switches include silicone dome, scissor, and mechanical switches. Keyboards that come with a new desktop PC generally use silicone-dome switches, whereby two dimpled layers of silicone membrane form a grid of rubber bubbles that acts as the switch for each key. This requires you to press the key hard to type a letter, gradually diminishing its springiness and responsiveness over time.
The newer laptops and ultrabooks use scissor switches which have a mechanical stabilizer for uniformity. Moreover, under each keycap is a plunger that allows for shorter key travel. This causes scissor-switch keyboards to have a shallow typing feel, making them more durable than silicone dome switches.
What keyboard enthusiasts can’t get enough of are mechanical switch keyboards. Their advantages lie in the spring-loaded sliding keypost beneath each key. Several variations are available with slightly different sensations or sounds. Mechanical switches generally provide enhanced tactile feedback and have a clicking sound. Thanks to their sturdy switch mechanisms and durable springs, these keyboards last longer and can easily be repaired. Furthermore, each keystroke registers quickly, making them ideal for touch typists.
To keep carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injury at bay, keyboards are designed to keep your hands in a neutral position while typing. Not only do ergonomic keyboards provide greater comfort, but they also reduce joint and tendon stress. This prevents inflammation and pricey surgical procedures. Ergonomic features range from simple padded wrist-rests to elaborate curved and sloped keyboards.
It won’t take long to examine your current keyboard and see how well it works. Do not settle for anything but the best. If you need help finding the right keyboard, email or drop us a line. We’re more than happy to hear from you.