Annoy everyone with one simple purchase! Cherry MX Blue switches will never cease to bug your fellow office/house mates. However, if you actually like people, you might want to check out our glossary of keyboard terms to avoid the most clickiest and clackiest key switches available to you.
Mechanical keyboards are an incredible experience compared to their membrane counterparts, but there are a lot of different features and switches out there. We’ve compiled a breakdown of all the terms you’ll need to get started in your inevitable never-ending quest for the perfect board.
- Compact: Just the essential keys required for typing.
- Tenkeyless: A regular keyboard with the number pad missing.
- Oversized: A keyboard with macro keys.
- USB pass-through: A USB hub port on the keyboard which acts as a standard PC-based USB port.
- Mechanical: A physical switch with actuation point on keypress. Possibly offers tactile feedback.
- Actuation point: This is the moment during a key’s travel that the switch is activated and the connection made. The amount of travel can vary greatly between different types of switch.
- Tactile: Keys that offer a physical click when actuated.
- Linear: Keys that offer no tactile feedback once actuated. Popular for gamers.
Cherry MX: A popular manufacturer of mechanical switches. //MX switches diagram image//
- Anti-ghosting: Ghosting is when the keyboard stops recognising key presses in certain combinations, anti-ghosting prevents this effect, although ghosting is an antiquated term.
- N-Key rollover: N-key rollover means any and all keys can be pressed and recognised at once. 6KRO is usually enough for even the fastest typists.
- Membrane: Electrical circuit reports key press through sheet of plastic instead of PCB - can sometimes offer some water resistance.
- Rubber Dome: Actuates a switch with a rubber dome within each key.
- Wrist rest: An ergonomic feature with some keyboards, offers improved comfort for long typing sessions.
- Macro keys: Programmable custom keys.