There is an ongoing dispute on the Internet: which type of keyboard is better – membrane or mechanical? There are a lot of arguments for mechanical keyboards, which may result in a single conclusion: they are superior in any aspect to the membrane ones. Still, a mechanical keyboard is not always the ultimate choice for your PC setup. For further discussion, let’s establish the difference between mechanical and membrane keyboards.
These devices are made from hard alloys that extend their lifespan. Each of the keys has a separate switch underneath it. That results in distinct audio and tactile feedback, making the pressing experience close to a typewriting machine. Besides, it extends the customization possibilities via changing the upper part of the buttons.
Also, mechanical keyboards go with a high rollover number. Rollover is a characteristic responsible for the precise registration of numerous buttons pressing. Due to the separate switches, mechanical keyboards are free from keystroke issues.
Gaming mechanical keyboards go with the regular advantages of such types of products: RGB lighting, additional buttons, and any other features. However, with a great number of benefits comes a high price tag too.
Membrane keyboards are usually made of plastic. It is cheaper than metal alloys. The response from a membrane keyboard is softer and much quieter than from a mechanical one. Such keyboards use a single layer of the plastic pad under all of the keys, the membrane.
Membrane keyboards may work a bit slower than mechanical ones, have lower rollover numbers, and be less resistant to spilled liquids. However, there is a subtype, the so-called hybrid keyboards. These are enhanced membrane devices that imitate mechanical feedback and have a sturdier body. The prices of such keyboards, membrane, and hybrid, are lower than the cost of mechanical ones.
One of the primary examples of a membrane keyboard is the Redragon S101. This device features a soft response feeling, stylish design, and LED backlighting. Another attractive characteristic is the price tag: the keyboard is cheaper than most of its niche competitors.
Redragon S101 is a hybrid device due to the plastic pad as the core of the pressing mechanism. The keyboard is enhanced with rubber inserts, and its corpus is hit-proof. Overall, it is a quality product and a good representation of membrane keyboards. You should check out this Gaming Keyboard Redragon S101 review if you want to learn more about the related technical aspects.
Which Is Better?
Mechanical keyboards may seem to have the upper hand in the comparison: they are sturdier, have more distinct feedback, and are more precise in general. However, each of these advantages may be turned into a downside if a mechanical keyboard does not fit your gaming style.
You may prefer long night gaming sessions, and any odd sounds would be unwanted. You may play slow-paced video games, and won’t wear out your keyboard easily. Or you may avoid having snacks beside the PC.
At this point, all features of mechanical keyboards, such as audible feedback and extra sturdiness, would be overpriced gimmicks that will bring you no use. At the same time, a membrane device, such as a red dragon keyboard would come in handy.
The point of this passage is not to diminish the mechanical keyboard’s value and praise membrane ones. The former work fine for intense, multiplayer, competitive games like Valorant or StarCraft. Mechanical keyboards are a tool for intense, regular, and long-session gaming. Therefore, they have a respectful design and price tag.
On the other hand, membrane devices like a red dragon keyboard are meant to provide comfort during casual gaming. They come with a stylish design and try to mimic the feeling of a mechanical keyboard.
However, they don’t provide the same experience. They don’t have to. Membrane keyboards are an alternative for people who want to play their favorite games without paying for the features they don’t need. These devices are well fit for single-player, slow-paced video games and a more casual gaming style.
How to Choose
So, you’ve come up with a decision to buy a new gaming keyboard. Where to start? Here are a few tips which may help you navigate the vast sea of gaming devices.
- Price tag. Everything starts with a budget. If you have strict limitations and are trying to build up a budget PC, then you should not invest too much into a keyboard. In the end, it is a periphery, and even an essential periphery should not cost more than the actual hardware. Mechanical keyboards pricing starts with a $100 tag and goes further. Membrane ones may cost either $100 or lower.
- Design. It is a vital factor to which you should pay attention. A keyboard should fit on your desk, and it is desirable to have some extra space. Besides, the item should match another periphery you have.
The ideal variant is periphery by one brand: Razor, Corsair, or any other. A single brand will allow you to manually configure lighting and other parameters to harmonize your gaming space. If you have a setup by various brands, try to choose matching pieces to have an organic combination of devices.
- Feedback. It is an ambiguous and strictly personal parameter of a gaming keyboard. In terms of choosing feedback, soft or strong, silent or clicky, it is important to know your preferences.
There are plenty of advertisements that promote typing and audible feedback of mechanical keyboards as the ultimate experience. However, you may prefer quieter and easier pressing than these items can provide. Or you are willing to try the mechanical experience but don’t want to overpay for a device that may not satisfy you; then, your choice is a membrane or a hybrid keyboard.
The Final Tip
You might follow the advice of those who love mechanical keyboards or listen to the people who prefer membrane keyboards. However, all the tips may be concluded in one thought – buy a keyboard according to your preferences because there is no better device than the one that suits you.