To assemble a gaming setup, it is not enough to have a powerful CPU or a state-of-the-art video card: the peripherals are also important to improve the in-game experience. On the other hand, many still don’t understand the importance of gaming devices, such as keyboards, in relation to conventional devices.
Below, we will explain the difference between a gaming keyboard and a regular keyboard, explaining the technologies present in each one, the possible uses, and the average prices to buy.
To begin with, one of the main characteristics that differentiate a gaming keyboard from a regular keyboard is the physical structure of the product. The gaming model usually has a comfort-oriented design, with an anatomical casing. This is because they are made for consumers who spend consecutive hours in front of the computer. In addition, the durability is also designed for more robust use.
Common keyboards are usually more “rigid”, with less flexible and cheaper materials. Therefore, over time, they can present problems, such as keys that lock up or even make typing heavier. So, investing in a gaming keyboard can also be interesting for those who work many hours typing in front of the computer, even if they are not interested in games.
Even within the “gaming” category, you can find poor-quality keyboards or ones that end up not offering the right features daily. So, it is worth understanding some categories within the manufacturing of peripherals.
Mechanical keyboards vs Membrane keyboards
Common keyboards are usually membrane keyboards. They take this name because they are manufactured with a unique silicone “membrane” (or similar material) underneath the keys. This feature is responsible for moving the keys (back and forth) during typing or when they are pressed.
Among the advantages of a membrane keyboard are its accessibility and price. Models of this type are often cheaper and easier to find than mechanical keyboards. In addition, membrane keyboards are quieter. This is because their commands are sent to the CPU using electrical conduction. They are well suited for users who do not need to perform heavy and complex commands during work and can be a good economy for those who do not want to invest in a special keyboard.
The mechanical keyboard, on the other hand, has individual structures for each key. The system is called a switch and works with its switch. This feature increases the response time between the keyboard and the PC considerably compared to a standard keyboard.
This is because on the mechanical keyboard, the small switches below each key cause the command to be detected, processed, and forwarded more quickly and effectively. In a membrane keyboard, on the other hand, it is the electrical conduction that plays the role of routing commands to the CPU.
In addition, mechanical keyboards are generally produced to withstand extremely long periods of use. Below the keys, there are some structures like springs that allow for greater durability. These springs also allow for no problems of one key interfering with another during commands.
For gamers, less responsive keys and shorter response times can be a big problem. Therefore, mechanical keyboards are the ideal models for gaming fans.
The gaming keyboard has customization possibilities, allowing the keys to having custom configurations. This gives the user greater autonomy over their experience with the device. The customization of these keyboards can happen through specific programs, and some devices already have integrated software.
For example, it is possible to program a single key to perform the same function as several simultaneous keys. Thus, the movements become faster inside the game. In addition, gamer models offer greater customization of the physical structure – with different colors and designs – in comparison with common keyboards, which are usually more standard.
Anti-ghosting or Key Rollover
Mechanical gaming keyboards allow multiple keys to be pressed at the same time, without any commands getting lost in the process. The name of this function is anti-ghosting or Key Rollover.
Nowadays, there are already keyboards with the “N-Key Rollover” specification, which makes it so that you do not miss any simultaneous keystrokes while playing. However, the cost of this type of material is also higher, and usually, only competitive-level gamers make use of this equipment. A gaming keyboard (mechanical type) tends to come with at least six Key Rollovers. That is, they do not lose the function of up to six keys when pressed at the same time.
When one thinks of a gaming keyboard, the image of a peripheral with a light show of every possible color comes to mind. And, nowadays, many mechanical models offer LED backlighting under the keys. The national market offers these peripherals with RGB lighting (a pattern that mixes primary colors), which makes it possible to create several custom patterns.
This is a great advantage over normal – or cheaper – keyboards, since the absence of built-in lighting can make it difficult to use in darker environments. There are simpler keyboards too, with a single common backlighting area that permeates the entire keyboard. Despite being more limited, these options are usually more affordable in the user’s pocket.
But style is not everything. If you like to play in the dark, or if your setup is installed in a low-light environment, backlit keyboards will undoubtedly make all the difference in your in-game experience.
Pricing and Availability
In terms of availability, regular keyboards are easier to find in physical and digital stores. These models are cheaper on Amazon, costing up to $16 for the simplest accessories.
In contrast, mechanical keyboards can also be found on e-commerce or in stores. However, the base price of this gamer product is higher: mechanical keyboards can be bought for as low as $46.
Is it worth buying?
The investment in a gaming keyboard (mechanical), even in the entry-level ones, is more expensive and worth it if the user needs most of its advantages daily. So it is fundamental to understand if the peripheral will meet your demand. In other words, it can be interesting if the person needs to type for several hours straight, use illumination on the keys, or value greater comfort.
For gamers, keyboards that have high-quality switches, with shorter response times, are undoubtedly one of the best devices to purchase. In addition, checking the specifications of the anti-ghosting system, backlighting capabilities, customization, and keyboard infrastructure are important points when choosing gaming peripherals.
Several manufacturers, such as Lenovo, Logitech, Multilaser, Redragon, and Razer offer products in this line in the market.