In 2019 there are plenty of keyboards on the market that you can buy. You can get a decent keyboard for a very low price but there are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind if you are getting a keyboard for gaming or content creation. Here we are going to walk you through all the different factors that you should keep in mind when in the market for a new keyboard.
First of all, we are going to look into the basics. The key features that every keyboard should have. Once we have gone over them, we will move on to other features that you can look into as well.
Here are some of the essentials that you should know about
There are three major form factors that you can consider when buying a keyboard. A full-size keyboard is the most popular form factor. It has all the keys and the number pad on the right side along with the arrow and function keys.
Then you have then tenkeyless keyboards that do not have the number pad. The smallest keyboards are the compact ones that do not have the arrow keys, number pad or function buttons. If you are interested in getting a new keyboard then picking the first two is most ideal.
You can opt for a wired keyboard or a wireless one. A wired one will use a USB cable unless you are using a pretty outdated model. A wireless keyboard uses Bluetooth to connect to your PC via a small USB receiver. If you have Bluetooth support then you can use a totally wireless keyboard that does not come with the receiver and connects to your PC directly. Corsair makes some great keyboard and if you are interested in checking them out then be sure to check out this K70 Lux vs K70 comparison.
Some keyboards have a USB passthrough so that you can connect your mouse or any other device directly into the keyboard rather than having to connect into yet another port on your PC. This can be a very convenient feature if you need to transfer data or just like a nice clean build.
There are two types of keyboards based on the type of keys, membrane and mechanical. Membrane keyboards have rubber layers under the keys while mechanical keyboards have mechanical switches. Gamers prefer to use mechanical keyboards because of tactile and audio feedback. They feel much better to use and some would even say that once you make the switch to a mechanical keyboard, you cannot go back to a membrane keyboard.
Each key has a switch and that is why mechanical keyboards are much more expensive when compared to membrane variants. If you are interested in the tactile and audio feedback as well as a premium typing and gaming experience then you should go with a mechanical keyboard.
Not only are they great to use but they are also more durable. The only downside is that they can get pretty loud. Membrane keyboards are relatively quiet when compared to mechanical ones. Each keycap on a mechanical keyboard can be removed. This makes them very easy to clean and highly customizable. You can get extra keycaps online and customize your keyboard as much as you want.
You should try a mechanical keyboard before you make a purchase because even though people love them and gamers prefer them over membrane keyboards, they are not for everyone and you might not like the experience.
Now that we have gone over the basics, we can move on to some of the extra features that modern keyboards have to offer. Here is what you need to know.
Wrist rests support your wrists when you are gaming or typing. They can be very comforting and they are often integrated with the keyboard. In other cases, they can be removed as well. This can be a great feature if you are going to play games or work on your PC for long durations of time.
In 2019, everything has RGB lighting and everything includes keyboards as well. You can find RGB keyboards that sync with other peripherals and PC parts. They are pretty common now and pretty much every keyboard maker is offering keyboards with RGB lighting. Some keyboard makers do charge a premium for this feature but you can get pretty impressive RGB lighting on a budget as well.
Dedicated Media Controls
Some keyboards come with dedicated media buttons that allow you to mute the audio or change the volume of the audio on the fly. These can be very convenient as they allow you to change different settings without having to go into the menus. Some keyboards have buttons that allow you to skip tracks and control different functions as well. You might not get these buttons on entry-level keyboards but you will find them on mid-range and high-end keyboards.
Some gaming keyboards come with macro keys that can be mapped to different actions. These can come in handy for doing different tasks in specific games but they are not essential. I for one do not like them as they kind of spoil the overall look of a keyboard but you might find them useful and worth it. They can be mapped in the included software and some keyboards allow you to map the macro keys on the onboard memory without having to make tweaks in the software.
If you are in the market for a keyboard for gaming or general work then you should be fine with a standard full-size keyboard or a tenkeyless one. Other than that you can opt to get different features that suit your needs. The major decision that you need to make is whether you should go with a membrane keyboard or a mechanical one. Try both in order to get a feel and then decide which one you will be comfortable with on a daily basis.