A basic question when choosing your keyboard is, what type to choose, depending on your needs. Today we focus specifically on gaming, but we will talk about the main differences and uses of both mechanical and membrane keyboards.
what is a membrane keyboard?
Membrane keyboards were the most widely used until a few years ago, surely we have all had one. This does not mean that they were the only ones, as mechanical keyboards also have their years, but membrane keyboards were gaining popularity, until they began to make this separation according to the main use that we were going to give to the keyboard.
The main feature of membrane keyboards is, redundantly, the membrane that activates the function of each key. This membrane is usually made of silicone and is common to all keys. This means that the keyboard has a single membrane, which all keys share.
The operation of these keyboards revolves around the membrane and its possibilities, when we press one of its keys, its switch presses the membrane, and in turn, this makes contact with another electrified layer. At that moment the key function is activated, which requires direct contact between the mechanism and the membrane, so we will always have to press the key fully, and this conditions the durability of the keyboard, with a lifespan of between 5 and 10 million keystrokes, as a general rule
Another aspect to take into account is that, by sharing a single membrane for all keys, you can never press two or more keys at the same time and have them perform the action, this is what we know as ghosting, something we gamers run away from.
what is a mechanical keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard, as with membrane keyboards, owes its name to the way in which its keys are operated. In this case, each key has a switch that is operated individually, without the need for a membrane at the base to pick up the keystroke. This means that it will not be necessary to press the key fully, depending on the type of switch that has the mechanical keyboard in question, as there are plenty of them, here is our guide to switches in case you want to inquire about it. In addition, since there is no direct contact, the wear and tear is less, making the lifetime of a mechanical keyboard can reach 50 million keystrokes
Choosing a type of switch according to the use you are going to give to your mechanical keyboard is essential. The activation distance or activation travel will determine your speed when you play, since it defines how far you have to press the key to trigger the action associated with it
Another advantage of mechanical keyboards is anti-ghosting. By not having a membrane shared by all keys, but a completely individual mechanism for each one, you can press several keys at the same time without any problem, all actions will take place at the same time. This individual mechanism also influences the precision of the keystroke, in addition to the fact that, depending on the travel of the switch we choose, we will feel the keystroke better and it will give us more control. The greater the travel, the greater the feel of the keystroke
In principle, it is assumed that membrane keyboards are quieter, but it does not have to be. Currently, there are countless types of switches with different characteristics, so you can customize your mechanical keyboard with the ones that best suit you. You can choose them quieter or louder, and with different keystroke sensations. They can be specific for gaming, for typing or even hybrid, for all kinds of uses.
You may also have heard of optomechanical keyboards which, in essence, work in a similar way to a mechanical keyboard, but their switches or mechanisms are activated by a light laser, which makes them incredibly accurate and fast. In Newskill you can find the range of optomechanical keyboards Gungnyrwith full layout or in its TKL version, and of course, in both black and white, our Ivory models
In addition, Gungnyr supports hot swap, which is basically, the ability to swap switches of the keys you want, to customize it to your heart's content. This is great so that the keys you use in certain games, work in the right way for those games, and so you can have a lot of keyboards in one. Discover Gateron's range of interchangeable switches, and customize your keyboard, so you always have the right one depending on the title you are going to play
- Anti-ghosting - only possible with mechanical / optomechanical keyboards
- Lifetime - membrane: between 5 and 10 million keystrokes / mechanical: up to 50 million keystrokes
- Sound - membrane: silent / mechanical: choice between silent, soft and clicky
- Pulsation speed - membrane: single / mechanical: according to the switch
- Configuration software - membrane: simple illumination and function options / mechanical: usual functions, illumination, macro recording and more
Advantages for gaming
Without a doubt, we recommend a mechanical or optomechanical keyboard for gaming, for many reasons. The main one is the possibility of customizing the switch, being able to choose between different configurations and features, depending on the game you are going to play and its requirements. You will not need the same for a shooter as for an MMO, and with a mechanical keyboard you can use different configurations
On the other hand, its lifespan, which reaches up to 50 million keystrokes. In the end, the actions of PC games are arranged on a few keys, which we use much more than the rest of the keyboard, so we can press a key a lot more times while playing, than if we were typing
Accuracy also has a huge influence on the choice of a mechanical keyboard for gaming, especially in certain games, such as shooters. To this we must add the speed of activation, which can mean the difference between victory and defeat. And well, as an extra, the configuration options and RGB lighting that is usually characteristic of this type of keyboards. It won't impact your game, of course, but it gives personality to your set-up, admittedly
Discover the entire range of mechanical gaming keyboards from Newskilla lot of options with different features, styles and colors