What are the disadvantages of mechanical keyboards

Mechanical vs. rubber dome - what does a me ...

Mechanical vs. rubber dome - what does a mechanical keyboard do for you?


If you do even a little bit of PC gaming, sooner or later you will stumble upon the term "mechanical keyboard". In the following article we will explain why these keyboards are particularly popular with gamers and how they differ from the alternative.


In order to understand the advantages of a mechanical keyboard, it is of course helpful to know the disadvantages of the alternative. So let's start with a little basic knowledge.
Most conventional keyboards that you have on your desk or that have been built into your laptop are so-called rubber dome keyboards.

With these keyboards there is usually a silicone mat under the keys with many small bumps exactly where the individual keys will later be. These mats look a bit like bubble wrap, if you can better imagine it that way. The bumps on the mat act as a buffer between the button and the contact under the mat. If you press a key down, the buffer triggers the contact and the desired action is carried out.

Rubber dome keyboards are inexpensive to produce and usually very quiet in use, which is why they are very widespread and are particularly suitable if you mainly do office work with your keyboard. However, the silicone mats wear out over time. This reduces the resistance and it can happen that you have to press a key several times before something happens and the typing experience becomes less precise and uncomfortable.


Mechanical keyboards - pressure and feedback

In a mechanical keyboard, each key is equipped with a spring. When typing, you will feel a clearer, harder stroke and you will mostly hear the typical "click" sound. After the key has been hit, the spring pushes the key back into its starting position. While rubber dome keyboards require you to press one full key to trigger an action, mechanical keyboards do not. Here, the stroke is recognized even before the key is fully pressed, so that even quick key actions and combinations can be recognized well during gaming.

However, there are also differences between the mechanical buttons. These relate to the feeling of pressure and the sound. Cherry MX from Germany is one of the largest and best-known manufacturers of mechanical switches. Cherry alone has 6 different types of keys that differ in sound, feedback and feel. In this video you can learn more about the switches from Cherry and get an impression of their features:



Extended functions and features

The functions and features of a mechanical keyboard also differ from those of rubber dome devices. Often these are designed to meet the needs of gamers if you want to run many Office applications with your keyboard, but then the extras can also be useful for you.
With mechanical keyboards there are usually always macro keys that you can assign your own commands. Either these keys are specially integrated into the keyboard for your individual wishes, or you can double-assign the F keys. This is of course particularly useful for gaming applications when you can execute certain commands so very quickly. In the office setting, you can call up or run certain applications more quickly.

Have you ever pressed several keys simultaneously for a command on a rubber dome keyboard and it didn't work? There is no so-called key ghosting with mechanical keyboards. The reason: Rubber dome keyboards use matrices (circuits) for several keys. If several keys are pressed at the same time, it is possible that not all keystrokes are registered. With mechanical keyboards this is different due to the construction. You can usually press up to six keys at the same time without any problems, and on some keyboards you can even press all keys.

In addition to these properties, mechanical keyboards are also characterized by their longer service life. Rubber dome keyboards can withstand an average of around 5 million keystrokes, while mechanical keyboards can withstand up to 50 million.

Last but not least: the design. Because rubber dome keyboards are usually designed for office use, the design is usually kept simple. The shape only changes when it comes to ergonomic adjustment, you will usually look in vain for colors. Because mechanical keyboards have been on the rise again in recent years, mainly due to the gaming scene, and many gamers love their individual PC builds, there are also gaming keyboards in numerous designs and mostly with individually definable RGB lighting. The keyboards fit particularly well into the home set-up.


Mechanical keyboards are superior to their rubber dome cousins ​​in many ways: service life, the tactile perception of the user, the sound, the individual adjustment options and functions. In return, the mechanical keyboards usually cost a little more. So if you mainly use your keyboard for typing, the purchase may not be worthwhile.


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