Is Mechanical Better?
by Ashley Robinson

In the computer gaming world, peripherals are fantastically customisation. Unlike a console that has a single operation of control, a PC lets users have their favourite mouse, keyboard, controllers, steering wheels, flight yokes; you name it. Because of this, different keyboards have sprung up in the market – namely membrane and mechanical.

Most elitists in the PC world will tell you that gaming with a membrane keyboard is like gaming with paper mache. They;’re typically less responsive to the touch and don’t feel as satisfying to use, where as a mechanical keyboard has notable sounds and feelings associated with them that give them their premium status. We don’t touch on cheaper keyboards that are unable to monitor more than one key being pressed at a time, rather purpose built gaming keyboards that feature the click of a mechanical press or the stealth of a membrane cushion.

First off, the sound. Although mechanical keyboards range from super noisy to almost silent, they are known for the tac-tac-tac of a typewriter. This is because the keys require physical switches to be pressed in order to give the computer input. A membrane keyboard, however, require pressure pads to be lightly pushed. The result is a feeling of responsiveness for the mechanical keys over the membrane ones, with the pushing of plastic registering a satisfying response in your brain that ensures the key has been pressed. Not everyone prefers this, however – there are people who swear by membrane keys. They require less pressure than a that of a mechanical, which is preferable to some gamers.

If you love prefer style over function, mechanical keyboards might be a better marriage on your setup. Mechanical keys can be removed and replaced, allowing people to fully customise their setups. From wooden to metal, people have found all sorts of ways to make their keyboards unique. As for flashy lights – there are plenty of membrane keyboards that offer full RGB, but it’s far easier to find a mechanical keyboard to suit your needs. Most premium mechanical keyboards come with software to allow the user to create an infinite number of lighting possibilities, where as the top end membrane keyboards are often left lightless. This is purely cosmetic, however, and has no impact on the performance. There are different types of mechanical switches, too – from the softest cherry to the hardest kalih, there is a switch to suit everyone, from the competitive gamer to the office worker.

You can even programme them to be Endpoint blue!

The problem with getting yourself a nice custom mechanical keyboard is the price. For something worth investing in, you could be looking upwards of £80, where as a decent membrane keyboard could be from £30. If that is the deciding factor for you and you don’t care about the millisecond advantage or the tactile feedback, then a mechanical keyboard might not be for you. There is no shame in using a membrane keyboard for gaming, especially as they can look just as nice as mechanical ones. PC gaming is all about case by case preferences, and you should get the perfect system to suit your style.