Choosing a Mechanical Keyboard

Choosing a Mechanical Keyboard

Last year I took the time to invest in a Chromebook. This year, I invested in a mechanical keyboard. I’d been thinking about getting one for the last ten months or so. There were so many features I like about them. Turned out, it wasn’t easy choosing one, and I had to think about what I wanted. There were requirements I had that affected my decision, and I also had to do quite a bit of intensive reading and research. In the end there were five factors that determined my choice.

Key Switches

In my research, I learnt that there are quite a few colours to choose from with the key switches. It took me a while to differentiate the colours, but it ultimately boiled down to blue or brown. Being a typist, I read that blue switches are the best for typing, with brown being similar to blue without the clicky noises. In the end I chose blue because I wanted something that’d type well, and because it was actually cheaper than the brown model of the keyboard I had heavily considered.

LED Lights or Not

A lot of mechanical keyboards come with a backlit feature. I admit, the lighting tempted me. I debated on buying ones that gave off blue or rainbow lights. In the end I decided against it because if the lights died out one at a time, it’d drive me nuts. Plus, being a touch typist, I really didn’t need the light feature. Sure, it looks super cool, but it’s not a feature I need. Plus, without the lights, the keyboard ended up being cheaper.

Tenkeyless and Unnecessary Buttons

I’m a gamer . . . but not on the PC. I looked at a lot of the gaming keyboards that had all these unnecessary buttons. Just, huh? I don’t need all those things! And I’ve come to realise that I really don’t use the number pad, so I opted to get a tenkeyless keyboard. Not only will it lack all unnecessary keys, but it will be shorter in length because the number pad doesn’t exist — the keys are still full-sized — and that saves me space on my desk.

Brand

Compared to my Chromebook, the brand wasn’t a huge factor in my choice. I simply took an easy route and went with what my computer guy recommended. I did consider other brands like Das, Razer, and Corsair, but I found they lacked the above-mentioned features and factors, and then there’s the price factor . . .

Price

I wanted to buy something under $100, but I didn’t want a super cheap one, either. Mechanical keyboards are more durable than their membrane counterparts, but I wanted to strike a balance by investing in a decent one. Realistically, I was looking at something between $50-$100 USD. As a bonus, I also had $71.64 reward points I’d planned to use for this purchase.

My Pick

CMStorm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Keyboard CMStorm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Keyboard CMStorm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Keyboard CMStorm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Keyboard CMStorm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Keyboard

I chose the Coolermaster SGK-4000-GKCL1-US CM Storm QuickFire Rapid with a wrist rest. All together, my order cost $22.34. My keyboard came without any weird shipping drama, and I unpacked and started using it immediately. My verdict? I love this keyboard. Typing on this feels way better than my membrane keyboard! The difference is really noticeable tactile-wise and sound-wise — I feel like I am on an old typewriter. The clickety-clackety noise is quite loud, but it really doesn’t bother me. The keyboard feels quite durable, and it’s quite heavy, so the whole thing isn’t moving around whenever I type intensely. As for the tenkeyless layout — I had to get used to the empty space next to the arrow keys, but otherwise, I’m not missing that number pad at all!

To conclude this entry, I am glad I invested in a mechanical keyboard. I’d become sick of my Pucca keyboard, so it was time for something new. I really took a gamble on buying this without trying them out in person, but in the end I chose a good keyboard. If you’re in a store that sells mechanical keyboards, do take the time to give them a try to see which switches you’d prefer by their feel and their noise level. I don’t think mechanical keyboards are for everybody, but it may be good for you!

Do you have a mechanical keyboard? Or have you used one before? Which features did you consider before buying one? Tell me your thoughts about them in the comment!

Comments

  1. I’ve never really thought about investing in a mechanical keyboard. I do love typing on different keyboards because I like to mentally compare them in the way they look and feel. I might have to look into one.

    • Do check them out when you have the opportunity :) I really like the way they feel!

  2. Seems really cool! Now I kinda wanna try one out! Even if I likely wouldn’t get one, not needing it and all.

    • It doesn’t hurt to try it! I ended up needing one because my current keyboard was just horrible!

  3. I’m glad to hear that all of your research is worth the purchase! I didn’t know there are different types of colored key swatches! Ahhh, choosing keyboards sounds complicated now! LED lights are cool, but it’s pretty much giving a hint of the end of life when the lights die out. Good choice!

    Speaking of excessive buttons, there are some computer mouse that has a bunch of buttons for gaming purposes! *sits here with my traditional key and mouse* LOL.

    I thought at this point, keyboards should be dirt cheap! My next keyboard is probably going to be membrane. Thanks to your review, it’s making me think about doing some research first! I realized I like to have the full-sized arrow keys XD. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :D!

    • Yeah, I can’t do all the extra buttons and keys on the keyboard or mouse! I like to keep things simple in some ways XD

      Keyboards are super cheap nowadays, but I want something that will last longer and be more durable. My previous one was cheap and just terrible!

  4. Even as a PC gamer, I find a lot of the gaming keyboards and mice to be a little too crazy. The normal keys are enough for me!

    I’m glad you found a mechanical keyboard you like, and that it works out for you! That’s a great price too. I know a lot of coworkers who like having one at home. They don’t bring them to work because they’re too loud. We had a coworker use one at work before, and we literally heard it from across the office, haha.

    I’m kind of odd in my keyboard preference, in that I really like flat keys. My current PC keyboard is very similar to a laptop one, but with a full layout (numpad and all).

    • Yes, I love that I was able to save a lot on this keyboard! :D I can be frugal when I want to an extent, haha!

      Nothing odd about your preferences XD To each their own!

  5. Are mechanical keyboards easier on your fingers? I found myself having a tough time typing during the days when I was required to use a PC, and it was louuuud. However as a dev I’d like to know what is easier on my health in the longer term, hehe.

    • I’m not sure if they’re easier on your fingers or not. Maybe not? But since I don’t type long periods of time compared to my teenage and college days, I don’t think it affects me too much.

      Strangely enough, I really don’t recall ever using the old mechanical keyboards from when I was younger. Maybe I did, but I never paid attention to the way they feel and sound!

  6. I sometimes used a mechanical keyboard at work. It is common among programmers. I wasn’t a huge fan of the click noise when it came from other people, but I usually listened to music anyway.

    My brother has a whole series of mechanical keyboards. I think he just wanted one with all the keys and the LED lighting. He is an avid gamer on the PC so it suits him. Some of the letters fade off quite quickly for him. xD He usually gets a mouse to match the keyboard. I don’t remember what brand he has, but he gets a lot of Razer mice.

    Cooler Master was the brand of my PC casing when I put it together all those years ago :)

    • I wonder if he has a Ducky? That seems to be a popular brand for Australians (or so say the two friends I know who has one or recommended Ducky).

      These keyboards are loud — I can see how it’d annoy some people. I think I’d be annoyed by the sound if it came from other people, haha!

  7. Chansoriya on

    Wow, I honestly would have never considered thinking about how my keyboard should look or feel. I think that the ten-key has been a decent part of my experience so I would be so lost without it. It’s so cool how much you saved!

    • Yeah, I never really paid that much attention to a keyboard until I was interested in getting one of these LOL Heck, I didn’t even know there were so many different keyboard switches for a mechanical keyboard!

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