Several days ago I bought my first mechanical keyboard. There are several good keyboards on the market but if you write a lot you may need a mechanical one. Average typists write up to 60 words per minute, more or less 300 keys per minute, so keyboards should be stable and durable.
Also, tactile feedback is very important from an ergonomic point of view. There are of course several other important factors for the keyboard’s ergonomics as the inclination, width and presence of wrist rest. But the tactile feedback and the sound are one of the strengths of mechanical keyboards.
Besides the layout, keyboards are classified through the keys technology. The main typologies are membrane and mechanical keyboards. Membrane keyboards are designed with pressure-sensitive keys, they are generally flatter, quieter and cheaper than mechanical ones. When a key is pressed the circuit of the membrane is closed and the signal is sent to the computer.
Mechanical keyboards are constructed through single switches. Each key is connected to the underneath switch that registers the key pressure. Different switches may completely change your writing experience for sound as well as for tactile feedback. Furthermore, several models allow for switch interchanges and substitution or keycap personalization.
I used a lot of older keyboards, made with mechanical switches, but now the market is full of different typologies of switches that could satisfy every typer’s perversion.
Mechanical switches are mainly dived into three categories: linear, tactile and clicky.
Linear switches are smooth and don’t show any tactile feedback. The key actuation is registered when the switch reaches the bottom position. Tactile ones are similar to linear ones but offer special tactile feedback. When the actuation point is reached the key requires a little more pressure to go down and register the typing.
Clicky switches are constructed with a louder design. There is an extra element that offers a very special sound similar to the older typing machines. They could be very louder and still offers bumpy tactile feedback.
Further details on switches tests are present on rtings.com
I chose a compact version of the Keychron keyboard. They are very well-designed and affordable keyboards. I opted for the brown switches for their special tactile feedback with still a good sound. As an engineer, I can only be excited about a graph showing a force-displacement curve for my switches.
The keyboard sound like that: