Planning To Get A Mechanical Keyboard? Here's What You Should Know

Keyboard hunting for newbies



Quarantine has changed the way we work, play and wind down. The longer we stay indoors, the more we realize the need to improve our office stations for better productivity. One step to improving your work-from-home nooks is to find the best supplies and tech accessories to cater to all your needs, whether it’s for work or play. One of the major accessories that are becoming popular are keyboards, due to its major role in e-sports and online gaming.


Whether you’re in it for gaming or for day-to-day work and study, selecting your first keyboard might be a long elimination and research process. Here’s a beginner’s guide on what you need to know about mechanical keyboards before you proceed to check out.


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Size and layout

When hunting for a keyboard, take into consideration the functions and needs it’ll be addressing as you use it. For example, will the keyboard only be used on one device or will you be switching between your laptop, phone and tablet? Getting compact keyboards might have you sacrificing some keys for portability. Will this help as you crunch numbers and type out reports? Check out the types of layouts and sizes below:


Keyboard
Image Source: Wirecutter


The full-sized keyboards or 100% keyboards are the typical ones that accompany desktop computers and wider laptops. It has the complete number pad, function keys, cursor and screen control keys.


The tenkeyless (TKL) keyboards are more or less 75 to 80% smaller than the full-sized ones. These omit the number pad keys while merging the cursor and screen control keys as multi-functioning ones, leaving no empty space on the keyboard. 


The last types are the compact keyboards, which can be 60% smaller. Here, the function keys, cursor and screen control keys are merged with the regular letter and number keys. Users will be inputting a unique combination of keys to get the desired function key. 


Switches

Mechanical keyboards utilize a one key to one switch mechanism in alerting your computer or laptop the character that was input once pressed. The switches also make these keyboards durable and easier to repair in case of faulty keys. Different switches offer different kinds of feels, sounds and response speeds. These are also the functions behind whether or not a keyboard is noisy or not once used. We break it down below:


Type of SwitchFeel
Sound
ResponseGood for
Linear / Red
SmoothQuietFast and sensitive, prone to misclicksGaming
Tactile / BrownTactile bumpQuietFast and accurateGaming and typing
Clicky / BlueTactile bumpAudible clickSlightly slower and less sensitiveTyping


Listen and see the differences of the keyboard switches with this video.


Wired or wireless

Majority of mechanical keyboards come with both wired or wireless options, giving the user more options. Wireless ones are handier and offer better portability, especially for those who are dependent on two devices as they work. At the press of a key or a key combination, the user can immediately switch between typing into different devices.


Wired-only keyboards also offer their own pros and cons. These limit the user’s location to a few meters near the device. However, these mechanical keyboards are also less susceptible to battery issues and lagging due to signal interruptions. Not to mention these types are generally cheaper due to lesser features.


Best budget-friendly keyboards


The cheapest mechanical keyboards you can find on e-commerce sites can range from Php 700 to 900. Mid-range keyboards may cost Php 1,000 to 2,800 depending on the brand and the switches. Lastly, premium mechanical keyboards geared towards heavy gaming may cost as much as Php 7,000 or higher.


Brands like Logitech and Xiaomi offer a range of budget-friendly to high-range keyboards that are either full-sized or compact. These two brands cater to both casual users and gamers. Meanwhile, for budding gamers or those who are willing to spend a little more on this particular tech accessory, Redragon and Royal Kludge are the go-to introductory brands. Both offer durable and stylish keyboards with a price range not too heavy on the pocket. 


You can easily find these brands and shop for your next mechanical keyboard on Shopee and Lazada.


Now, you’ve taken note of all the needs that the keyboard has to address and the technicals that make its use better. You’re ready to scope for the best budget keyboard that fits your lifestyle.


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Check out the Globe Shop for more tech accessories you can add for your work-at-home and gaming needs.



Author Kai Franco

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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