Ordinary Keyboards vs. Mechanical Keyboards: 5 Major Differences Unveiled

Guide Difficulty: Beginner; 3 min read



Keyboards are essential tools for our daily computing needs, but not all keyboards are created equal. When it comes to choosing a keyboard, you are often faced with a decision between an ordinary keyboard and a mechanical keyboard. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two, highlighting the unique features and advantages of mechanical keyboards over their ordinary counterparts.

Ordinary Keyboards vs. Mechanical Keyboards: 5 Major Differences Unveiled

Traditional Membrane Keyboard

1. Typing Experience:

One of the key distinctions between ordinary keyboards and mechanical keyboards lies in the typing experience they offer. Ordinary keyboards, often membrane-based, have a softer and mushier feel when typing.

On the other hand, mechanical keyboards employ individual mechanical switches for each key, providing a more tactile and satisfying typing experience. For example, Cherry MX Blue switches offer a clicky feel with an audible “click” sound, providing a tactile response with each keystroke.

In addition, Topre switches are known for their smooth and cushioned typing experience, combining the benefits of mechanical and rubber dome keyboards.

Cherry MX RGB Blue Switches

Cherry MX RGB Blue Switches

2. Durability and Lifespan:

Mechanical keyboards are built to last, thanks to their robust construction and individual switch design. Ordinary keyboards, particularly those with membrane-based technology, may experience key failures or degraded performance over time.

On the contrary, mechanical keyboards typically have a longer lifespan compared to ordinary keyboards. As you may already know, keyboards with switches such as Cherry MX or Gateron are known for their durability and longevity, with each switch capable of lasting for millions of keystrokes.

Not to mention, high-end mechanical keyboards often feature an aluminium or steel frame, adding an extra layer of durability.

Gateron Switches

Gateron Switches

3. Customisation Options:

Mechanical keyboards offer a wide range of customisation options, allowing users to tailor their typing experience to their preferences. From switch choices to keycap designs, mechanical keyboards provide a higher level of personalisation compared to ordinary keyboards. Nowadays, most of mechanical keyboards have hot-swappable switches, enabling users to easily swap out switches without soldering, providing further customisation possibilities.

Besides, keycap sets are available in various materials, profiles, and designs, allowing users to Customise the look and feel of their keyboard.

134 Keys XDA Profile Dye Sublimation PBT Keyboard Keycaps Famicom

One of the most popular keycap sets sold on BerserKeys.

4. Gaming Performance:

Mechanical keyboards are highly regarded in the gaming community for their superior performance and responsiveness. The distinct linear quick response or tactile feedback of mechanical switches allows for precise key presses, making them ideal for gamers who require quick and accurate inputs. Noticeably, linear switches like Cherry MX Red or Gateron Black are popular among gamers due to their smooth keystrokes and rapid actuation.

Moreover, switches with shorter actuation distances, such as Cherry MX Speed Silver or Kailh Speed switches, are favoured by gamers for their increased responsiveness.

Kailh Speed Switches

Kailh Speed Switches

5. Sound and Aesthetics:

The sound produced by mechanical keyboards is another characteristic that sets them apart from ordinary keyboards. Some users enjoy the audible feedback and distinctive sound profiles produced by mechanical switches. For example, typing on a keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches provides a tactile feel without the loud click, making it suitable for office environments or quieter settings.

Last but not least, mechanical keyboards often feature a more premium and aesthetically pleasing design compared to ordinary keyboards. Custom mechanical keyboards allow users to choose from various keycap sets, case materials, and RGB lighting options to create a visually appealing and personalized keyboard.

Cherry MX Brown Switches

Cherry MX Brown Switches


While ordinary keyboards have their place in the computing world, mechanical keyboards offer a host of advantages that make them stand out. With their linear or tactile typing experience, durability, customisation options, gaming performance, unique sound profiles, and aesthetic appeal, mechanical keyboards are a preferred choice for many enthusiasts and professionals alike. When it comes to investing in a keyboard that enhances your typing experience and provides long-term satisfaction, mechanical keyboards are undoubtedly a worthy option.

Ordinary Keyboards vs. Mechanical Keyboards: 5 Major Differences Unveiled

Mechanical Keyboard

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