Finding the right keyboard for you may be more difficult than it seems


If you need a keyboard for gaming your choice is easy. Most probably you want a mechanical keyboard, even with dedicated keys for macros and the like. You can just read the reviews of other users and specifications of several keyboards in the price range of your budget, to find what you want and be happy. Your own responsibility would be to decide if you want some tactile feedback or not on your switches, etc, but all specifications are available and –most important– they are objective: nothing to worry about, provided that you are going to dedicate the necessary time to review all relevant information, which is abundant.

If you need your keyboard mainly for typing, things can become really difficult, even to decide if you prefer a mechanical keyboard or not. I skip this specific dilemma, since I’ve written elsewhere (see Scissor switch vs mechanical keyboards, and the winner is…), so that we can concentrate now on choosing the right membrane keyboard. Objective information exists and regards construction quality, dimensions, style, etc. You can and should check all of this, but the most important is not objective: you cannot rely to anyone’s opinion to know about the “feeling” of the keys. What for some is a soft key, for you can be hard; what for some is a nice texture, for you can be appalling.

When I was searching for my own keyboard, right after I decided to stop using mechanical keyboards, I happened to read a lot of reviews by experts and ordinary users, that in general recommended Logitech K280E warmly. A lot of those opinions were enthusiastic emphasizing the excellence of the keyboard independently of its (low) price. I paid a special attention to those claiming that the keyboard offers magnificent typing experience, since this is what I was mainly searching for. And I decided to buy this keyboard. Its building quality was indeed great. Even typing was as described by some — provided you typed really slow! If you are fast, and you need your keys to be softer, the keyboard is not for you. Its texture too can be nice or not according to your taste (I didn’t like it at all!)

I went to a store near my house to try some keyboards without relying on anyone’s reviews. And I found a keyboard that was close to my needs and better than others that were a lot more expensive. I bought it and left the place happy. After a couple of months the keyboard started to have problems, some keys produced without reason double characters on a single press, which is not that rare with membrane keyboards anyway. However, this is something you can be informed about in reviews, while typing experience is personal and you need to combine the reading of reviews with real contact with a keyboard to decide if a particular product works for you. Otherwise you need luck and you may have to change some keyboards before you find what you search for. Unless your budget is limitless, this try-and-see way can regard only nice priced keyboards — you cannot just try and see if you like a keyboard that costs $200 such as Logitech Craft, or even $100 like Microsoft Surface Keyboard, or $60 like Logitech K800.

If you want a keyboard for typing, you need to try it, you need to touch and write with it, you need to be in a physical store, not on line. Otherwise, read a lot of reviews and prepare yourself for the possibility of being disappointed when the real thing arrives. If you purchase a keyboard on line, you need most of all to be lucky.

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