There are different types of keyboards available in the market. A keyboard is a staple in most computer setups as an important input device.
It is used to type letters and numbers, as well as other characters. There are many different types of keyboards on the market, but not all are created equal.
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.
In this article, I will discuss several keyboard types in detail.
Let’s get started!
What is a Keyboard?
A keyboard is a peripheral device that allows a user to input text into a computer.
It typically contains keys for typing letters, numbers, and symbols, as well as directional arrows and other control buttons.
Keyboards come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and some include additional features such as a numeric keypad or a touchpad.
A keyboard’s layout and keys may be similar to that of a typewriter, or it may have keys with symbols encoded into them.
In addition to the basic layout, keyboards may provide additional shortcuts, such as control keys for specific applications.
Keyboards are built around computer keys, which are typically made out of plastic or metal.
The layout of the keys is optimized for a particular language, such as QWERTY in English-speaking countries.
Other keyboard layouts are common in other regions of the world and on different types of keyboards.
There are several different varieties of keyboards that you can choose from. Some of these are more commonly used than others, but each type has its own purpose.
Here are the various types of computer keyboards:
#1. Mechanical Keyboards
A mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses individual mechanical switches under each key.
These switches are made up of springs and metal contacts, which create a more tactile feel when typing and provide better feedback than traditional keyboards.
This makes them ideal for gaming or for anyone who wants a more responsive typing experience.
They are perfect for a keyboard enthusiast or any keyboard lover. I love using Mechanical keyboards very much.
Did you ever use a typewriter before? If you used it or have seen it, the clicky feel of the keys is there in a mechanical keyboard that is similar to a typewriter.
Mechanical keyboards are excellent for programming, gaming, and typing too.
#2. Membrane Keyboard
Membrane keyboards are a type of keyboard that uses a plastic membrane instead of individual keys.
This membrane is usually split into two layers- one for the letters and symbols, and one for the numbers.
When you press a key, it causes both layers to touch, allowing an electric current to flow through and register the letter or symbol.
Membrane keyboards are normal keyboards and are often less expensive to produce, which is why they’re popular in schools and other budget-minded environments.
Membrane keyboards are silent during typing. Still, they have a comparatively lower lifespan as compared to mechanical keyboards. Most of the laptop keyboards are of membrane type.
#3. Mecha-Membrane Keyboard
Razer designed Mecha-Membrane keyboard technology. This Mecha membrane technology for the keyboard combines the best mechanical and membrane keyboards in a single unit.
They offer the feel and feedback of a mechanical keyboard, combined with the quietness and low cost of a membrane keyboard.
Mecha-membrane keyboards are made up of two layers: a flexible membrane layer and a rigid mechanical key layer.
The two layers are sandwiched together, with the key switches layer on top. When you press down on a key, it pushes down on the membrane layer, which in turn activates the switch underneath.
Because mecha-membrane keyboards have both a mechanical and membrane layer, they tend to be thicker than traditional membrane keyboards.
This can make them less portable, but also means they offer more stability and resistance to spills.
You can check in detail the comparison of mecha-membrane vs mechanical keyboards.
#4. Rubber Dome Keyboard
A rubber dome keyboard, also known as a silicone dome keyboard, is a type of computer keyboard in which each key is attached to a rubber dome.
Pressing the key depresses the dome, which makes contact with a switch beneath it.
The switch then completes an electrical circuit, sending a signal to the computer that the key has been pressed.
Most rubber dome keyboards use cylindrical domes, but some use conical or spherical domes.
#5. Chiclet Keyboard
Chiclet keyboards are commonly seen in laptop keyboards or in a Laptop Sized Keyboard. They have a low-key switch journey and are easy to type on.
Inside them, they have a high-quality membrane that recognizes the input and does not need much pressure to type on them.
#6. Scissor Keyboard
A Scissor keyboard is a type of computer keyboard where there are switches beneath a scissor mechanism.
They are very relaxing and easy to type on. They feel very less pressure intensive and clicks are satisfying too.
For Eg: The Apple Magic keyboards are a type of Scissor Keyboard.
#7. Flexible Keyboard
A flexible keyboard is a type of keyboard that can be bent to fit the shape of the user’s hands.
They are also becoming more popular among consumers, as people seek out an ergonomic alternative to a conventional keyboard.
Flexible keyboards vary in terms of their flexibility; some models can be bent almost completely in half, while others are less flexible.
They are typically made from silicone or plastic, and some include a wrist rest for added comfort.
#8. Ergonomic Keyboard
An ergonomic keyboard is a computer keyboard that is designed to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) by theoretically providing an optimal typing experience.
The most common type of ergonomic keyboard is the split keyboard, which separates the keys into two symmetrical halves so that each hand can reach them more easily.
Some ergonomic keyboards also have a different layout from a standard keyboard, such as curved or staggered keys, and they may be slightly larger or smaller than a traditional keyboard.
Maintaining a good posture during typing or using a mouse may cause finger pain. Ergonomic keyboards solve a ton of problems related to pain in fingers, wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.
#9. RGB Gaming Keyboard
RGB gaming keyboards are designed specifically for gamers. They also often come with software that allows you to create macros and customize your keyboard’s lighting.
You can customize the color of the keyboard’s backlight to whatever color you want in a Gaming Keyboard.
This is a great feature for gamers, as the gaming keyboards allow them to customize their keyboard to match their gaming setup.
#10. Wired Keyboards
Wired Keyboards are USB keyboards that are connected to the PC or laptops using wires in either a USB port or a PS2 port.
The wired keyboard is popular and widely used.
Pro gamers like using a wired keyboard for participating in tournaments and not a wireless keyboard because the unmetered performance that a wired keyboard gives is unmatched.
You never worry about the battery getting drained out or any lags and glitches that may occur in Wireless keyboards.
The wired keyboard has a speedy response time and hence it is preferred by professional gamers.
#11. Wireless Keyboards
Modern wireless keyboards don’t have wired clutter like a USB keyboard, and hence do not look bad in your workspace.
With Wireless keyboards, you can connect to different devices by Wireless connectivity like 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency and Bluetooth Connectivity.
A Bluetooth keyboard is awesome as it connects to mobile devices, your Smart TV, and more devices at a go without even needing to plug in the 2.4 GHz Adapter.
Learn more about which is better in the comparison of wireless vs Bluetooth keyboard.
#12. Multimedia Keyboards
The multimedia keyboard is a general full-sized keyboard but has multimedia playing buttons on the top.
The multimedia functionality includes volume control(Up, Down and Mute), audio play, pause control, and control to switch to the next or previous track.
The added multimedia controls in the keyboard provide quick navigation to the user.
#13. Handheld Keyboards
A handheld keyboard is a small, portable keyboard that can be used with a computer, phone, or other devices. They are often used for traveling or when there is limited space.
Handheld keyboards come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and some include built-in trackpads or mice.
They are a great way to have an extra keyboard around when you need one. They are small and portable so they can be taken with you wherever you go.
They also work with a variety of devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops. This makes them versatile tools for both personal and professional use.
Handheld Keyboards typically have a smaller number of keys than a traditional keyboard, and some models include special function keys or a trackpad.
They are powered by either batteries or a USB connection.
#14. Vertical Keyboards
Vertical keyboards are keyboards in which the keys are oriented vertically, as opposed to the more traditional horizontal orientation.
This layout is said to be more ergonomic, as it allows the wrists and hands to rest in a more natural position.
Some also find that it is easier to reach certain keys with a vertical keyboard than with a traditional keyboard.
Vertical keyboards are generally split keyboards where there are two parts of the keyboard. This type of keyboard is generally of two parts.
Vertical keyboards help us get the proper ergonomic position for our hands. These types of keyboards are better ergonomic designed.
#15. Virtual Keyboards
What will keyboards be not like the other keyboards like wired keyboards or wireless keyboards which ideal form of keyboards?
Virtual keyboards add the keyboard-like feature present in touch devices like smartphones and tablets.
Even though on-screen keyboard views can also be called the virtual keyboard, so, for mobile and tablets, the default keyboard we use to type is the virtual keyboard.
Virtual keyboards are often more secure. Different banks also use virtual keyboards to enter login information.
Also, you will find virtual keyboards coming from anti-virus brands. These are secure options for desktops.
For Eg: If you are checking this article from your phone, then the keyboard you used to search or type here is the virtual keyboard.
#16. Projection Keyboard
We have seen projections to watch movies. We have seen some future movies that try to project screens on the table or desk and achieve to type or touch that and perform some action.
Projection keyboards are a relatively new technology that is starting to gain in popularity.
It is not a physical keyboard. They work by projecting an image of the keyboard onto a flat surface.
This can be done either by using a built-in projector or by using a device such as an iPad to project the image.
They have optical sensors to detect your finger movements and convert them to the respective mapped keys.
One of the main benefits of projection keyboards is that they are very portable, unlike any regular keyboards.
Since they don’t require any special hardware, they can be used with any computer or mobile device.
Another benefit of projection keyboards is that they are very easy to use. The layout of the keyboard is very similar to a standard keyboard, so there is a little learning curve involved.
Additionally, the keys are large and brightly lit, making them easy to see even in low light conditions.
Projection keyboards look advanced, being a type of keyboard for the future.
Improvements are going on till we can have a good one as the typing speed is slower here as compared to a regular keyboard.
What are the uses of a Computer Keyboard?
The keyboard is an input device used to enter text and data into a computer, Smart Tv, laptop, or any device which can connect to it.
The keyboard can be used for a variety of purposes:
- Typing documents,
- browsing the internet,
- sending emails,
- playing games,
- controlling music playback,
- inputting text commands into chat programs,
- programming and more…whenever you need typing.
How to choose the right type of Computer Keyboard?
A computer keyboard is an input device that allows you to communicate with your computer.
There are many different types of keyboards on the market, so it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs.
It’s the piece of hardware that we use the most in a day, so it’s important that we choose the right one. Here are the factors which you should consider when choosing a computer keyboard:
The first thing you should decide when buying a keyboard is the type of design you want.
There are several different designs to choose from, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Standard (QWERTY) keyboards are the most popular, and this is the design that has been used for over a hundred years.
Looking into the keyboard’s functionality is a major factor.
Most keyboards don’t have a backlit functionality, especially computer keyboards.
However, backlit keyboards are awesome and the light emitting from the switches looks awesome and also helps to see the key legends easily even in low lighting.
If you are a gamer you need to look into the special features like NKRO(N-key rollover) or Anti-Ghosting feature, RGB color feature, Window key lock feature, different profile feature, and macro feature in a keyboard.
For general purposes, basic keyboards are great.
You need to look into keyboard size for its portability. Having a portable keyboard like a smaller 65%, 60%, or even 40% is great to carry during travel. Also, using them saves a lot of desk space and the table looks clutter-free.
Considering the budget would be a major factor in choosing the right type of keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are more expensive than regular RGB membrane gaming keyboards.
So, choose according to your budget.
Noise can be a major factor in choosing a keyboard specially if you consider a mechanical keyboard for your regular work.
If you need a clicky loud-sounding keyboard then the Blue switches would be great. For people who love the silence of keyboard clicks, the linear switches would be great like Red switches.
Types of Keyboard FAQs
Q. How many types of keyboard keys?
Q. Which type of keyboard is best for typing?
Q. What is a standard type keyboard?
Q. What are the 12 function keys?
Q. Does Wireless Keyboard work in BIOS?
Let’s conclude the post on types of keyboards!
Similarly, there are several types of mice available on the market. Each one has its own unique set of features that can be advantageous for different users.
It is important to consider what you will be using the keyboard for before making a purchase.
If you are unsure, it may be a good idea to try out a few different types in order to find the best one for you.
I hope you liked reading the post.
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I’m Anirban Saha, Founder & Editor of TechBullish. With a B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering, and 5+ years of experience as a software developer, I have expertise in electronics, software development, gadgets, and computer peripherals. I love sharing my knowledge through informational articles, how-to guides, and troubleshooting tips for Peripherals, Smart TVs, Streaming Solutions, and more here. Check Anirban’s Crunchbase Profile here.