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Mechanical VS Membrane Keyboard (Which Is BETTER?)

Whenever you try to choose a keyboard for your programming or gaming, the two most popular keyboard types that comes to your mind are Membrane and mechanical Keyboards.

If you are looking for a comparison of Mechanical vs Membrane keyboards, then this is the right post.

Mechanical keyboards are mainly popular among professionals and even pro gamers. However, the membrane type of keyboard is the cheapest and most widely used one across the globe.

Complete Keyboard and Mouse Guide

If the mechanical keyboards are the best, then why does someone use a membrane keyboard? I would clear all your doubts in this post.

Why Should you Trust Me? Hi, I am Anirban Saha, an Engineer with a Specialization in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I have experience in Smart TVs, Electronics circuits, and Computer peripherals.

Mechanical VS Membrane keyboard

So, let’s begin with the comparison!

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard

Mechanical KeyboardMembrane Keyboard
CostExpensiveBudget
Lifespan10-15 years1.5-3 years
Repairing costLowHigh
Key TravelMoreLess
Noise during typingHigh with Blue Switch, Moderate with Brown Switch, Silent/ Low with Red SwitchLow
DurabilityVery DurableLess Durable
Keypress DelayVery LessComparatively more
Gaming ExperienceGreatAverage
Intended UsersProfessionals and GamersAny Common User

What is a Mechanical Keyboard?

Mechanical Keyboard

Mechanical Keyboards are the type of keyboards specially built with custom mechanical switches providing excellent durability.

For each switch, there is a unique mechanism of mechanical control that registers your click. These switches pass your click information to the circuit layer beneath it. 

Mechanical keyboards are durable and long-lasting. An average mechanical keyboard can last for about 10-15 years on moderate to heavy usage.

Mechanical keyboards are used by professional gamers, programmers, content creators, and heavy keyboard involvement in daily work.

Advantages of Mechanical Keyboard

So, let’s see now if there are any advantages or disadvantages of the mechanical keyboard to explore further:

  • Mechanical keyboards are very durable and can withstand any workload.
  • A mechanical keyboard has a long lifespan of 10-15 years
  • Mechanical keyboards have good clicky or tactile feedback from their switches
  • This keyboard gives feedback while typing, which improves typing speed and accuracy.
  • Has special features like N Key rollover and Anti Ghosting.

Disadvantages of Mechanical Keyboard

Though there are a lot of advantages, still the mechanical keyboards have the following disadvantages:

  • Mechanical keyboards are loud (especially the mechanical keyboards with blue switches).
  • Mechanical keyboards are bulky and not at all suitable to carry for traveling.
  • Mechanical keyboards are expensive as compared to membrane keyboards.

What is a Membrane Keyboard?

Membrane Keyboard

Membrane keyboards are keyboards that are built with a membrane below the keys. The keys are attached and are not separated. 

Mechanical keyboards are commonly available and are available at budget rates. Mechanical keyboards are great for general uses.

Membrane keyboards are typical among most hobbyists, casual users, students, and even casual gamers.

Advantages of Membrane Keyboard

There are several advantages of the membrane type of keyboards such as:

  • The membrane types of keyboards are available at a very budget rate and are suitable for everyday use.
  • Membrane keyboards are comparatively silent.
  • Membrane keyboards have all the essential features required and hence is cost-effective
  • The input gets slowly registered in the membrane keyboards as the impression happens on the membrane layer before it gets registered on the keyboard.

Disadvantages of Membrane Keyboard

Though there are advantages, there are several disadvantages that the membrane keyboards have:

Find here the comparison of mechanical keyboards and membrane types of keyboards side by side

Durability

Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability. Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, are not as durable. This is because the individual switches in a mechanical keyboard are more durable than the rubber domes in a membrane keyboard.

In Years, the average lifespan is:

Usage CriteriaMechanical Keyboard Estimated Life SpanMembrane Keyboard Estimated  Life Span
Low Usage 18-20 Years4-5 Years
Moderate to Heavy Usage10-15 Years1-1.5 Years

So, do mechanical keyboards last longer? Mechanical Keyboards last 6 to 14 times as compared to membrane keyboards. 

Keyboard Technology

Mechanical and membrane keyboards work with two different types of keyboard technology.

Mechanical keyboards work using individual mechanical keys below the keycaps, while membrane keyboards use a single rubber sheet with conductive stripes running beneath the keys.

Keyboard Switches

Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Mechanical keyboards use a mechanical switch for each key underneath the keycaps to register a keystroke, while membrane keyboards use a sheet of a membrane that depresses when a key is pressed.

Mechanical keyboard spring loaded switches are typically rated for a longer lifespan than membrane keys Membrane keyboard switches may degrade more quickly if exposed to liquids or dust.

Mechanical keyboard switches offer more tactile feedback than membrane keyboard switches. This can be helpful for touch-typists and people who need to be able to feel when they have pressed a key fully.

Membrane keyboard switches are often quieter than mechanical keyboard switches, making them a better choice for people who work in quiet environments or want to avoid waking up others in the morning. We still have linear switches from mechanical keyboards which are silent and can be used in a quiet environment.

Keypress Experience

Mechanical keyboards offer more responsive and tactile feedback than membrane keyboards. Membrane keyboards are the most common type of keyboard that use a rubber or silicone dome beneath membrane switches to create the key presses.

The downside to membrane keyboards is that a membrane switch can be less responsive and have a shorter life span than mechanical keyboard switches.

There are many different types of mechanical keyboard switches, but the most popular are Cherry MX Keys like Cherry MX Blue, MX Browns, and MX Blacks. Other type of switches are Optical switches which you will find in several keyboards including Razer. Those work great.

Keyboard Customization

The main thing that makes a mechanical board differ than the membrane ones is their customization.

Mechanical keyboards are great for keyboard enthusiasts as they can be customized the most. Also, there are several DIY keyboard kits coming for a mechanical keyboard where you can customize each component of the keyboard from the base to the keycaps.

With a mechanical keyboard, you can change the keycaps to match your favorite color or style, or you can add custom keycaps with symbols or designs. You can add any custom mechanical boards base to your keyboard. Many Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts customize their Keyboard look and take it to the next level.

You can also choose between different switch types, depending on how much resistance you want each keystroke to provide.

Mechanical keyboards also offer backlighting options, so you can see the keys in the dark.

Membrane keyboards only offer a limited number of customization options.

Keyboard Cost

Mechanical keyboards typically cost more than membrane keyboards.

This is because mechanical keyboards have individual switches for each key, while membrane keyboards have one large rubber dome that depresses when a key is pressed.

The individual switches in a mechanical keyboard make for a more durable and precise typing experience.

Response Time

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new keyboard is the response time. Response time is the amount of time it takes for a keystroke to be registered by the computer.

Mechanical keyboards are known for their fast response time. It is more noticeable during gaming.

Mechanical keyboards offer a faster response time because they use a physical switch to register a keystroke.

Membrane keyboards use a rubber dome to register a keystroke, which leads to a slower response time.

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard for Programming

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard for Programming

Membrane keyboards would give you a good typing experience as the clicks would be silent. Overall, it would be a good experience. 

If you use a mechanical keyboard for programming, you would feel the clickiness feel of the keyboard that I like very much. The sound of the mechanical switches helps me to know that I have pressed the key.

I used both the mechanical keyboard and membrane keyboard for programming. Initially, it was a good experience with a membrane type of keyboard. But once I used the mechanical type of keyboard and get used to it. 

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard For Gaming

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard For Gaming

I play racing games, primarily adventure-based games, and a few FPS games. While gaming, you will notice a huge difference.

With the mechanical keyboard, the clicks get registered better when you click fast due to the anti-ghosting present in the mechanical keyboard. The mechanical keyboard felt much more responsive when I clicked during the game.

Also, the RGB lighting on the mechanical keyboard set up my gaming mood. 

Overall, you would love playing games more on a mechanical keyboard.

Which One Should You Choose?

Mechanical keyboards are often considered to be of higher quality but come with a higher price tag. Membrane keyboards, while not as high quality, are much cheaper.

So, Which One is the Better Value for Money?

Mechanical keyboards are often seen as a more premium option when it comes to typing and gaming as they offer a more tactile and responsive experience. However, membrane keyboards are cheaper to produce, and as such can be found at lower prices.

I use a mechanical keyboard with clicky switches for regular work and gaming.

Ultimately, the decision between a mechanical or membrane keyboard comes down to personal preference.

If you want the best possible typing experience, go for a mechanical keyboard. You can check these awesome mechanical keyboards available on Amazon.

Last update on 2022-06-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

However, if you’re looking for something that’s more affordable, a membrane keyboard is the way to go. You can check these awesome membrane keyboards available on Amazon.

Last update on 2022-06-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

Let’s conclude the post on Mechanical keyboard vs Membrane Keyboard!

The membrane keyboard satisfies cost-effectiveness with balanced performance, whereas the mechanical keyboard, though expensive but performs the best.

I hope you liked the comparison between a mechanical keyboard and a membrane keyboard. Feel free to share this post.