A mechanical keyboard is a keyboard that is equipped with high-quality key switches, usually triggered by spring. Such typing keyboard key switches vary depending on the function or user choice of the keyboard.

Although mechanical switches were used by some of the first widely sold keyboards like IBM’s Model M in the 1980s, the 1990s brought a surge of cheap rubber dome keyboards that entered the keyboard market. Rubber dome keyboards make up more than 90 percent of the keyboards currently in use and provide an affordable yet dissatisfying feel and type experience.

Mechanical keyboards raise the bar in all possible ways. The switches, structure, flexibility, type printing methods, key design, PCB board, LED lighting (sharpness, brightness, adjustability), and a slew of other features of a mechanical keyboard are far superior to conventional dome keyboards. Most of these changes boil down to one thing-feel. Mechanical keyboards feel better than keyboards with a rubber cover.

Should You Switch to Mechanical Keyboard?

You don’t have to buy a mechanical keyboard for a light-use family PC or home theater PC, and laptop or tablet. But if you’re a power user and are willing to shell out a couple of hundred dollars on a high-end CPU or graphics card, don’t use a pack-in stock keyboard to cheap it out. You could find that moving up to a pleasant mechanical model from your old rubber-switch keyboard will make your computing overall more enjoyable. And don’t forget to check back soon for our next roundup of mechanical keyboards.