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Come in and Test Drive a Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical vs membrane the difference is striking.
Chances are you are using a membrane keyboard, but you may have heard about that other option - 

The Marvellous Mechanical Keyboard!

So what’s the difference?
Ultimately it’s about control, which is why mechanical keyboards are so popular with gamers.
Mechanical keyboards can provide tactile feedback and some provide an audible click. Each key has its own spring back, push-button switch beneath it.
When you strike a key, depending on the switch you can hear and feel it, allowing you to type faster and more accurately.
Or in the case of gamers, when your keyboard is your weapon, it can mean the difference between life and death.


Think of your keyboard as a car transmission. Sure anyone could drive an automatic, but for total control, you would choose a manual. And just like cars, mechanical keyboards feel different depending on which switch is used.
The switches are coded by colour. Cherry Corporation has produced switch mechanisms in commercial keyboards since about 1985 and the MX blue, brown, black and red remain among the most popular.
Each colour features different touch and audio sensations.


Switch Breakdown


Cherry MX Red and Black are both linear, meaning your fingers have a smooth ride all the way to the bottom. There is no tactile bump at the point the key is actualised (where it sends the message to your computer).
The red switch is a favourite with gamers who use the same keyboard for work and play due to its smooth touch and quick response, midrange actuation.
The black switch is also linear but provides more resistance making it popular with heavy handed typist. It leaves no doubt about a successful key strike but it can be more tiring to use over an extended period.
Cherry MX Blue and Brown are tactile. There is a discernable bump at the point of actuation. The blue switch adds an audible click, combining touch and sound to alert users that the keystroke has registered.
Blue is often the switch of choice for touch typists. Once they are attuned to the midpoint actuation, greater speed can be attained without pressing the key all the way to the release point at the bottom of the switch.
This feature makes the blue switch popular with gamers as well, as double taps are fast and easy. The brown switch has the same tactile bump without the audible click.
Users who love the feel of the blue but don’t want the sound, often select keyboards with a brown switch. Like the red switch, keyboards with a brown switch often double for both work and play.

But what about Membrane Keyboards?


Membrane keyboards work by squeezing two underlying membranes together, forming a temporary circuit. This sends a signal to the computer telling it which key has been pressed.
These keyboards utilise a silicone dome switch or a scissor switch which adds a mechanical stabilizer to the silicone membrane. They are generally quiet and unfortunately, there is little or no sensory feedback.
They offer neither the smooth tap through to the release point of the linear mechanical switches, or the solid bump at the point of actuation of the tactile mechanical switches.
The general feel can best be described as mushy, with no immediate feedback as to whether or not the keystroke has been successful.
Membrane keyboards are usually less expensive but this can be a false economy because they are less durable than the mechanical option. Mechanical keyboards are also easier to maintain and repair.


So which keyboard is right for you?


There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a keyboard; it's connectivity, size and space limitations, value for money, etc.
But the feel and ease of use are not to be overlooked and are a matter of personal preference.
While mechanical keyboards offer a variety of special features suited to gamers; the control and speed they provide make them desirable for a much wider range of users.
Stardot stocks a selection of both membrane and mechanical keyboards.


Come experience the difference for yourself!