Keyboards are the most commonly used and essential peripheral devices. Due to various customer needs, the types and appearances of keyboards in the market are becoming increasingly diverse.
Types of Keyboards
- Mechanical Keyboard: Each key on a mechanical keyboard has an individual switch, referred to as a "switch" or "axis." When a key is pressed, the switch is actuated, triggering the signal. Mechanical keyboards come in various types, such as Cherry MX Blue, Red, Brown, Black, and proprietary switches from different manufacturers, each providing a unique typing experience. Some mechanical keyboards also offer RGB backlighting and customizable lighting effects.
- Membrane Keyboard: Membrane keyboards have a conductive film with metal contact points that connect when a key is pressed, sending various commands. They are cost-effective, quiet, and portable but generally lack advanced features like RGB lighting and media controls. Common brands of membrane keyboards include Lenovo, Dell, and those found on laptops.
- Capacitive Keyboard: Capacitive keyboards use changes in capacitance to detect key presses. Each key is independently detected, ensuring no key ghosting and improving sensitivity and accuracy. Capacitive keyboards offer good tactile feedback and quiet operation. Prominent brands for capacitive keyboards include Realforce and HHKB.
- 104-key: The mainstream standard keyboard with a layout that includes main keys, function keys, and editing keys.
- 108-key: Similar to the 104-key keyboard but with additional multimedia keys in the auxiliary key area.
- 87-key: A compact version of the 104-key keyboard without the auxiliary key area.
- 61-key: A compact version of the 104-key keyboard without the auxiliary and function key areas.
Common Connectivity Options
- Bluetooth: Allows pairing and connection via Bluetooth, making it portable and convenient. It may have slightly less stability and latency compared to wired connections. Most wireless Bluetooth keyboards support connecting to up to three devices for quick switching.
- 2.4GHz Wireless: Requires a USB receiver on the computer for connection. Offers faster response time than Bluetooth but requires an extra USB port.
- Wired: Connected via a long data cable, usually through a USB interface. Provides no latency but can clutter the desktop.
Most keyboards in the market support more than one connectivity option, such as wired and wireless, or even multiple modes like Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, and wired, giving users more choices to suit their needs.