The difference between mechanical and membrane keyboards

Are you confused about choosing a mechanical or membrane keyboard? If so, you need to know in advance the difference between a mechanical keyboard and a membrane keyboard.

Although mechanical keyboards have been around for some time, they have only become popular in the last decade. This is due to a variety of factors, but perhaps the most prominent is the growth of the gambling industry. Today, many people enjoy the benefits of their mechanical keyboard, including non-gamers.

As with many similar issues, there are still debates about the pros and cons of using a mechanical keyboard over a membrane keyboard. To do this, let’s further explore the differences between mechanical and membrane keyboards.

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How the membrane keyboard works

The membrane keyboard is very simple in design. They can be seen as a multi-layered device. The bottom layer is a circuit board with connectors that triggers each button. Above it is a membrane made of a flexible material, such as rubber, with the contact points for each button raised by default.

When a button is pressed, it pushes the diaphragm down, pressing the contact point on the circuit board and closing the lock circuit. This allows the keyboard to record keystrokes.

This design is inexpensive to manufacture and replicate, and has been the common approach for most desktop keyboards for a long time.

How mechanical keyboards work

Mechanical keyboards are a bit more complicated than membranes. Each key has its own switch under the keyboard cover, which is a mechanical device that activates when it reaches a certain threshold.

Key switches are determined by several features, including the time required to record keystrokes, keystroke noise, and the resistance of keystrokes.

This makes mechanical keyboards very flexible in design. Some require a very light touch to trigger the key. It is known that others click hard while typing, which is actually a feature that some users want.

But the most notable difference is from the reliability section. Mechanical keyboards tend to be more predictable with each keystroke.

What is the difference between mechanical and membrane keyboards?

The main difference between a mechanical keyboard and a membrane keyboard is the way they feel. Membrane keyboards have a distinct “soft” feel when you press the keys due to the rubber underneath. Meanwhile, mechanical keyboards have spring switches under the keys that move smoothly when pressed, responding with a “click”.

Mechanical keyboards give users better overall feedback than membrane keyboards when typing, but mechanical keyboards have a much louder typing sound compared to membranes that are relatively quiet.

Another thing that distinguishes between membrane and mechanical keyboards is the reversal of the keys. This feature allows the keyboard to successfully detect several different keystrokes at the same time, which is invaluable when playing games that include input combinations (e.g., squat).

It also helps if you are a fast typist. Without pressing the keys, the keyboard will be left behind with your input due to its limited processing. Mechanical keyboards always have the keys running, but membrane keyboards almost always do not fully run the keys.

Membrane keyboards also have advantages such as accessibility. These keyboards are much cheaper than mechanical keyboards, which makes them a great option if you’re on a tight budget. Membrane keyboards can also be very robust, even in situations such as spilled drinks. In addition, its simple design makes it easy to disassemble and clean.

Read also: 25 Windows keyboard shortcuts you need to know

Are mechanical keyboards more expensive?

It is also important to consider the average price. Mechanical keyboards are generally seen as a premium product, and the price reflects that. On the other hand, membrane keyboards can be purchased very cheaply. The higher prices of mechanical models often come with good features, such as additional warranties and support. But in the end, this is due to the more expensive materials and production involved in the model. Mechanical keyboards can take a long time.


So that’s the difference between mechanical and membrane keyboards. Now it’s time to decide which keyboard to buy or use. Finally, the choice between membrane and mechanics is based on what you need from the keyboard.

If you spend a lot of time typing or want something nice for gaming, a mechanical keyboard is the answer. But if you’re on a tight budget or plan to type only occasionally, a membrane keyboard is a great choice.

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