Are you wondering what a membrane keyboard is? You are not the only one. Many people do not know the gem that is a membrane keyboard. But if you are a gamer or a typist, you must have heard about it around the block. Don’t worry; we will save your pride and tell you all you need to know! Then, you can decide if it is worth your money.
A membrane keyboard is a cheaper alternative to mechanical keyboards. It has a protective layer of plastic or silicone that protects it from gathering food crumbs and dirt between the keys. Plus, they do not make that irritating clicking sound every time you press a key.
Now, this may tempt you towards an instant purchase. But wait, let us learn a bit more about this keyboard before you regret a valuable buy.
This blog will learn about the pros and cons of a membrane keyboard, its distinct features, the difference between a membrane and a mechanical keyboard, if you should buy a membrane keyboard, and the conflicted debate of whether membrane keyboards are better.
How Does a Membrane Keyboard Work?
A membrane keyboard is a flat surface of keys. Under this flat layer, there is an integrated circuit system. When you tap on a key, the electric circuitry is activated, and the signal is sent to the processor. As a result, you see the characters displayed on your screen.
Features of a Membrane Keyboard
Do you want a short description of a membrane keyboard? Here are the main features of a membrane keyboard:
- They are inexpensive.
- They are flexible and have a thin layer of keys.
- They are easy to carry around and lightweight.
- A protective layer is present over the key to prevent dust buildups.
- They do not create a clicking sound upon pressing the keys.
Pros and Cons of a Membrane Keyboard
What are the advantages of a membrane keyboard? Is it worth the money? Let’s see its pros and cons.
- There is no typing sound upon clicking the keys.
- It is lightweight, smaller in size, and easily portable.
- A cheaper alternative offering reliable quality.
- They carry a protective layer of silicon.
- Sometimes, it is hard to see if the key has been pressed.
- The keys are not removable.
- It is comparatively harder to clean if there is no protective layer.
- They do not have a long lifespan.
Mechanical Keyboard vs Membrane Keyboard
Let’s talk about the mechanical keyboards first.
Moreover, the keys on a mechanical keyboard respond much faster, which is a major plus on its profile.
However, a mechanical keyboard has one big con. It is quite expensive. Many people with limited work often find this a negative. But as it is durable and comes with lesser replacement costs. On that note, its long-term investment does not sound so bad.
How do I know if my keyboard is mechanical or membrane? Tap on the keys. If there is a clicking sound, it is a mechanical keyboard.
Furthermore, you can remove the keys delicately to see if there is a switch below the key. You can also check the packaging of the keyboard. If it is a mechanical keyboard, it will be mentioned.
In contrast, membrane keyboards are portable, small-sized, and easy to carry around. Another great thing about this keyboard type is that it does not create a clicking noise upon pressing a key.
But this is not well-received amongst typists who like the tempting sound of the keys as they type.
One thing, however, that does take the lead for the membrane keyboard is that it is budget-friendly. You can buy it at cheap rates and get the work done. Moreover, it provides a soft feel against the fingers, although some users complained that the result is not entirely satisfactory with quick typing.
But the place where it has to take the back seat is when its durability comes into question. The membrane keyboard does not have a long lifespan. In addition, its broken parts are neither easily replaced nor found.
So, are membrane keyboards better? We would not say that. They have their benefits, but we would not declare a winner between the two. The reason is simple; what you buy depends upon your needs.
Should You Buy a Membrane Keyboard?
A membrane keyboard is for users who do not want much out of their keyboards. A keyboard is an essential part of the computer, only for some people. And users who prefer the top-notch experience and an amazing typing feel can opt for a mechanical keyboard. For example, typists and gamers prefer to go with mechanical keyboards.
However, a high-quality membrane keyboard can be great for users who prefer a lightweight, portable, and quiet keyboard for their systems. Many shared office spaces often go with this choice.
If a membrane keyboard has you in doubt, you should know that membrane keyboards are expected to feel like mechanical keyboards in a few years. Recently, companies have been working on bridging the gap between membrane keyboards and mechanical keyboards.
All in all, this is all you need to know about a membrane keyboard. However, while membrane keyboards are quite the hit, they are not loved. If you are a dedicated gamer or an all-time typist, we do not think you would prefer this option. However, we hope that this blog was clear on whether or not you should buy a membrane keyboard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Membrane keyboards can be used for gaming, but they are not the preferred option. Many gamers prefer mechanical keyboards due to their faster response.
Usually, they are membrane keyboards. You can check if the keys make a sound to determine whether or not your laptop keyboard is a membrane keyboard.