How to Find the Right Mechanical Keyboard

Yes, mechanical keyboards are badass, but which one is right for you?

Let’s face it: mechanical keyboards are awesome. Whether you’re typing in the office or gaming with your friends, there’s something satisfying about the old school click-clack of a mechanical keyboard. They’re practical, durable and cause fewer typos. Older PC users might find that the sensation of using a mechanical keyboard brings back the nostalgia of their very first computer (IBM Model M, anybody?), while younger gamers will appreciate a keyboard that can withstand the heavy usage that modern life demands. Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.23.48 AM(IBM Model M) So we’ve established that mechanical keyboards are epic. But which one should you buy? Finding the right keyboard is like buying any other computer accessory: your choice will depend on your individual needs. Here are some questions to take into account while you make your decision.

How sensitive are you to noise?

By and large, mechanical keyboards are louder than standard ones. Yes, we know you love the sound of your typing, but VP John Smith from the next office cubicle might not share your enthusiasm. You don’t want to irritate everyone around you with your new favorite gadget! Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.23.59 AM If you’re frequently on Skype, FaceTime or something similar, this is a really important consideration, as the person you’re speaking to might find the typing sound distracting. Das Keyboards with brown switches are renowned for having a softer tactile sound. On the other hand, if you just can’t get enough of that magical typing sound, feel free to look into louder keyboards, such as the Das Keyboard with blue switches.

What will you use your keyboard for?

Are you a gaming junkie, or a professional writer typing hundreds of words each day? Most likely,  you’re somewhere between those two extremes. Your answer will affect what types of switch you want on your keyboard. Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.24.50 AMIf you’re a gamer like Kripparrian (pictured), we recommend MX Black switches. These switches leave no doubt as to whether you pressed a key or not, and are great for double-tapping. They’re quite tiresome for regular typing though, since you’ll have to traverse the whole key for a key press to register. The MX Red is a good alternative for student gamers who also want to type occasionally. For users who want to type and game in equal measure, consider a keyboard with MX Brown switches. These keyboards are great for FPS games that require a fast reaction time, because they’re so sensitive that even the slightest twitch will register a keypress. The reactivity of these keyboards comes from a tactile bump near the middle of each key, which conveniently also increases your typing speed. If you want your keyboard for work reasons, check out switches that offer the most tactile feedback, like the MX Blue, MX Green and MX Clear. Of these options, the MX Blue types with the least resistance, giving typists a satisfying click sound when the actuation point of the switch is hit. MX Green switches are a relatively new innovation that are basically a tougher version of the MX Blue — their keys require more force to press down. The hardest keys of all to press down are those of MX Clear keyboards. Typists love them, but such keyboards are hard to find these days.

What’s your budget?

For students and other people on a low income, you can find decent keyboards for less than $100. At the other end of the scale, you can buy flashy keyboards for $920. There are even mechanical keyboards with gold plating on, if you want get really fancy. For quality keyboards that range from from $99 to $179, we invite you to check out our product range here at Das Keyboard.

1 Comment

  1. My ideal mechanical keyboard: Mandatory must-haves: analog volume control (roller, wheel, etc. above the numpad/right side), Cherry MX switches, no software or drivers needed (Linux, mac, win, BIOS compatible out of the box), dedicated media keys (especially mute), fully back-lit keys, no stupid klunky plastic “design” for adolescent gamers (or people who have no clue about style and design), ZERO gimmicks.

Comments are closed.