Chiclet Keyboard vs Membrane Keyboard: Which One is Better?

Laptops, tablets, and smartphones have made it possible to have a unique, productive experience on the go. 

The keyboard is one of the essential parts of any device (and a big reason why many people prefer physical keyboards) because it is the input device that is the most personal way to interact with a device. 

Here’s a look at the differences between two of the most popular keyboard technologies, Chiclet keyboards and Membrane keyboards.

Chiclet Keyboard vs Membrane Keyboard

Chiclet KeyboardMembrane Keyboard
LookLooks modern and keys are sleek with less key travelThey have a standard look and a bulkier size
Design and BuildDesign is sleek and sturdyDesign is bulky and simple. 
Mainly used withLaptops Desktops
Typing ExperienceIt provides a tactile feedback which is good for typingNo tactile feedback present
GamingGaming is good but with mechanical is betterNot good for gaming. Only casual gaming can be done.
Maintenance and Overall CostCost is higherIt is cheaper than Chiclet. They are easy to maintain.
LifeSpan1-3 years1-1.5 years with heavy usage
membrane vs chiclet keyboard

What is a Chiclet keyboard?

Chiclet keyboards are a type of keyboard that features smaller keys and lower key travel than older alternative-style keyboards. 

They were designed to reduce finger strain caused by the long key travel found on older keyboard designs. The reduced travel and size of chiclet keyboards improve typing speed, accuracy, and comfort because the keys are easier to press.

Chiclet keyboards are named after the Chiclet chewing gum that was popular in the late 20th century.

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What is a Membrane keyboard?

Membrane keyboards are the most affordable form of keyboards available. While they are not as fancy or elegant as other keyboards, they are the most popular, seeing widespread use today. 

Membrane keyboards are made with a key membrane circuit. The membrane is flexible, and the circuit is more durable than that of a rubber dome. 

This is because the membrane keyboard is more economical to produce, and therefore more affordable to the consumer.

Look

The membrane and chiclet keyboard are two types of keyboards. Membrane keyboards are types of keyboards that have domes over the buttons. Chiclet keyboards are a type of flat keyboard with buttons. Membrane keyboards don’t have backlighting because they don’t have lighting features. Chiclet keyboards are not waterproof, so the key may not work if water gets spilled on them.

Design

They are made of a plastic membrane between two sheets of metal, with each key having a corresponding membrane that, when pressed, makes the metal touch, completing a connection. Chiclet keyboards are made of a thin plastic groove for each key, molded directly into the plastic. These keyboards are more expensive and less common. 

Durability

Membrane keyboards use rubber membranes that are similar to the rubber caps covering the letters on your keyboard. The membranes actuate the switches underneath them when they are pressed. 

Membrane keyboards have a high failure rate because the rubber membranes are so thin, and it’s easy for the silver traces on the PCB to crack if the keyboard takes a lot of heavy usages.

Typing Experience

Membrane keyboards are soft, made from flexible plastic. Compared to chiclet keyboards, which are harder and have a limited life span, they’re more popular. 

Membrane keyboards are preferred by typists who type a lot and by people who value a considerate budget.

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The membrane keyboards keys don’t produce the same response as chiclet keyboards but are great for people who don’t need a keyboard with as much travel. 

Membrane keyboards can also be more affordable for computers that aren’t as powerful or have a smaller screen due to their compact size. Chiclet keyboards are more popular due to their better performance and response. 

When looking for a new keyboard, we recommend trying out the keyboard in person before purchasing to see if it has the performance you would like.

Chiclet keyboards provide the best typing experience for the user.

Gaming Experience

The gaming experience on membrane keyboards vs chiclet keyboards has always been a bone of contention for gamers and non-gamers alike. 

Gaming on a membrane keyboard is a very different experience than that of a chiclet keyboard. 

The chiclet keys are much closer together, making it a little difficult to hit the wrong key. 

However, a membrane keyboard is much quieter, making for a more immersive gaming experience. 

Price

The price of these two keyboards is pretty comparable, but there are many differences between the two. 

Membrane keyboards are the cheapest and most common. Membrane keyboards are typically found in most computers, while Chiclet keyboards are in laptops and are more expensive.

Maintenance Cost

You can easily clean the membrane keyboard by wiping it with a piece of cloth, while the chiclet keyboard needs to be cleaned by dusting it with a brush as the keys are separated and the membrane.

The maintenance cost of membrane and chiclet keyboards is a lot lower than other keyboards. 

Membrane keyboards are very durable and last a long time. In addition to being very durable, they are very inexpensive.

They are cheaper than most chiclet keyboards. The maintenance cost of membrane keyboards is a lot slower than the maintenance cost of other keyboards.

My View

Membrane keyboards are great. They are also relatively cheap. They are a viable alternative to the more expensive and often more unreliable chiclet keyboard. 

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In some contexts, they have a softer feel to them. The tactile feel and sound are also quite a bit different. There are also a host of plastic variations for membrane keypads. 

Overall, chiclet keyboards are a significant investment. They are more expensive and better constructed, but they are also more sensitive and less durable. 

It is an excellent product, and I would recommend it.

Conclusion

Let’s conclude!

Membrane keyboards were the standard for many years, but many people have been switching over since the introduction of the chiclet keyboard. 

Many people prefer a chiclet keyboard over a membrane keyboard, but there are many differences to consider before making the switch.

I hope you liked the post.