Should You Prefer Mechanical Keyboard with Typewriter Keys?
This comparison article aims to help you understand the characteristics of both kinds of keyboards, as well as to see in what sense a keyboard with typewriter keys is special. We hope that after reading this post you would be able to estimate which board type is better for you.
Recently, we noticed that many typists and keyboard geeks are curious about the differences between these two board types, so we’ve decided to clarify things up. It can be confusing to determine which keyboard type is better for you as both types are mechanical keyboards. Is it just the round keycap design that makes the whole difference? Why favor a typewriter-style keyboard over a standard mechanical keyboard?
What are Mechanical Keyboards?
Before jumping into the main comparison, let’s clarify what is the difference between mechanical keyboards and membrane keyboards. The membrane switches, which can be found beneath the keys of most standard boards, are connected to the board by pressure pads with very little tactile feedback. This can make blind typing difficult and potentially lead to fatigue in the fingers. Mechanical switches, on the other hand, are registered individually with a tactile bump beneath each key. With mechanical switches, you won’t need to press the key all the way through but rather halfway, so you can save energy and feel the typing better.
Another advantage of mechanical keyboards over membrane keyboards is the variety of switches options to choose from. There are plenty of switch types out there, but the 3 main groups are blue switches that give you the typewriter clicky sound and tactile feedback, The brown switches, which are slightly less noisy than the blue ones. The red switches are the most like membrane switches as they have no bump inside, and they are quiet with almost no feedback. Mechanical keyboards are inspired by the first keyboards we used back in the ’80s. Today’s mechanical keyboards are used mostly by hard-core typists and gamers, as well as a popular hobby around the globe. These keyboards, including typewriter keyboards, often come with gaming features. Most common are the RGB backlighting effects which add some cool shiny vibes into your setup, n-key rollover, and anti-ghosting tech which ensure that each keystroke is registered when you press multiple keys at the same time. The latter is a key feature in competitive gaming setups.
What Is So Special About Mechanical Keyboard with Typewriter Keys?
The first difference between the standard mechanical keyboard and the typewriter mechanical keyboard is the round keycap design. Many old-school typewriters were designed with round keycaps so obviously, this design was chosen as the retro mark of the typewriter keyboard. But this difference is not the only one. Most of the best retro keyboards today have round metal rings on the keycaps. Such design gives a retro, luxurious feel that many retro gadget lovers and gamers look for. Standard gaming mechanical keyboards, on the other side, don’t offer such a design.
Other distinctive, decorative features that some typewriter boards offer, are return lever and scroll knobs. These vintage features add up the actual feel of a typewriter machine and they are useful too. Some examples of the use of these features are spacing between paragraphs, adjusting the brightness, and backlighting effects, all of which produce a different typing experience than that of standard mechanical keyboards.
Next, we’ve got the clicky sound which is similar in both board types but is not the same. Most typewriter keyboards utilize kinds of blue switches that sound more clacky than those used in standard mechanical keyboards. So, if you like the clicky-clack sound you should go for the typewriter keyboard.
If you do go for a typewriter-style though, note that this type is not as portable as popular, small-size mechanical keyboards. Considering the designer’s aim to resemble the good old typewriter machine, even the small-size typewriter keyboards are a bit heavier and more massive than their comparable mechanical boards.
Also, be aware that it can take some time to get used to typing on a keyboard with typewriter keys. The round keycaps and the different spaces between the keys could lead to more frequent typing errors when getting started. However, after about two weeks or so it starts to get better, and then you can enjoy the typewriter experience.
Typewriter Keyboards Vs Mechanical Keyboards: Verdict
Overall, both mechanical keyboards and typewriter keyboards can upgrade your typing and gaming experience. When you find a mechanical keyboard for your taste and try it, there is no way back to membrane keyboards. It’s so enjoyable to feel your typing – the tactile feedback you get as well as the clicky sound of the keys. However, the special mix between typewriter style and tech features adds an extra vibe to your setup. the clicky-clack typewriter sound and the round keycaps bring nostalgia to work while the RGB lightings shine your setup.
You should be prepared to pay for this typing experience. The special design of such retro keyboards comes at a higher price. This is why it is so important to specify your needs and read reviews first. You don’t want to pay that much for a keyboard that wouldn’t serve your needs.. For example, the noisy blue switch can be unappropriated for quiet work environments. Finally, the time to get used to the round keycaps is typically longer than the time of getting used to standard mechanical keys.
To sum things up, a mechanical keyboard with typewriter keys provides you the tactile feedback and tech features you expect from a mechanical keyboard, plus the delightful, retro typing experience. It also comes with few limitations that you should be aware of before you make a decision. To learn more about typewriter keyboards check out our guide and the top 7 list in the typewriter niche. If you are a gamer, then you might be interested in these typewriter keyboards for gaming.
Shachar is a blogger who enjoys the feel of a typewriter, and he loves tech gadgets with a retro design. Besides blogging Shachar likes to play chess, walk in nature and take view photos.