What Are the Differences Between a Gaming Keyboard and a Regular Keyboard?
Every computer has a keyboard, and most keyboards look just about the same and have for years, if not decades. With that in mind, you could be forgiven for thinking that you do not need to pay attention to the keyboard you use for gaming. However, gaming keyboards are a critical component for anyone who is serious about their gaming, and they can be great even if you are not a gamer at all.
While the distinctions can be subtle, it is important to understand gaming keyboards vs regular keyboards, and go in-depth on keyboard membrane switches so you can answer a crucial question: Are membrane keyboards good for gaming?
What Is a Gaming Keyboard?
A gaming keyboard is a keyboard that is made specifically for gaming. It has a number of performance features and design attributes that make it particularly well suited to those who are gaming, though its use is not at all limited to gaming – gaming keyboards can help increase your typing speed and efficiency for any normal keyboarding work. When looking at mechanical keyboards vs regular keyboard gaming, the benefits are obvious.
Gaming Keyboard vs Regular Keyboard Differences
Once you understand gaming keyboard vs regular keyboard differences, you will have an easier time determining if upgrading from a regular keyboard to a gaming keyboard makes sense. Many of these differences are subtle, but if gaming or high-performance keyboarding is a priority for you, then investing in a gaming keyboard may be worth it for you.
When looking at the differences, you may see talk about membrane keyboards. What is a membrane keyboard?
A membrane keyboard is a computer keyboard where the keys are not separate moving parts – they usually consist of a plastic sheet printed with a keyboard pattern on top and electrically conductive ink underneath. In this type, there are no keyboard membrane switches. The lack of mechanical keys is the main difference between a mechanical keyboard and a membrane keyboard.
Are membrane keyboards good for gaming? Because of their slowness, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Mechanical switches are an important feature of gaming keyboards. Mechanical keyboard switches are the devices under the keycaps on a mechanical keyboard that help you to type more quickly and more precisely. There are three types: linear, tactile, and clicky. Linear switches are the smoothest and fastest.
Rapid Response Time
Gaming keyboards boast a rapid response time, which can help give gamers the edge they need when speed is a priority. Fast gaming keyboards will have a response time that can be measured in fractions of a millisecond.
Another subtle difference that can be important for gamers is keypress consistency. A high-quality gaming keyboard or mechanical keyboard will have consistency with each key press – it will take exactly the same effort to engage the key on every key on the keyboard, and remain that way for millions of keystrokes.
Of course, your budget is a key consideration here, but you may be surprised to learn that gaming keyboards are not necessarily any more expensive than regular keyboards. Both styles have inexpensive, moderate, and expensive options. Despite the apparent similarity in price, gaming keyboards will almost always have superior performance when compared to a regular keyboard of the same approximate price.
Typing experience is subjective, and it can be wise to pay attention to user reviews to see which keyboard works well for you. Here, a number of factors combine to make up a typing experience, including keystroke operating force, actuation force, pre-travel distance, total travel, and noise type and level.
Macro keys on a gaming keyboard are sometimes used by gamers as ultra-fast buttons that give them an edge over their opponents. A macro key is a shortcut to a number of keyboard keystrokes, mouse actions, or menu actions that make up a command.
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
N-key rollover denotes the ability of the keyboard to correctly process several simultaneous keystrokes. This helps gamers who may want to perform several actions simultaneously.
Keyboards don’t last forever, but the mechanical properties of gaming keyboards mean they may last longer than regular keyboards. Some can handle 70 million individual clicks. Membrane keyboards, or regular keyboards, may only last for 5 million keystrokes.
RGB backlighting on a gaming keyboard offers the ability to customize the colors and their appearance on your keyboard.
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