Before each one of our reviews we include a brief introduction to mechanical keyboards to give our inexperienced board-ists (yes, that's a word) a leg up in their quest for the perfect mechanical keyboard.
If you're already and expert in mechanical keyboards, and just want to skip to our Corsair STRAFE review, feel free to do so.
If you're still on the fence about making the jump from a membrane to mechanical keyboard, make sure to read through the below.
Why Mechanical Keyboards?
Mechanical Keyboard Quality
Mechanical gaming keyboards are extremely durable. Since their mechanism for recognizing key strokes is mechanical, not based on electronic functionality, the lifespan of a mechanical keyboard can theoretically be rated at tens of millions of keypresses.
Moreover, mechanical keyboards are much easier to clean and maintain since the keys pop on and off easily, and can be replaced at will.
Mechanical Keyboard Switches
There are a ton of options when it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, which is great since it means you can use mechanical keyboards for a bunch of different things.
You can use them for gaming, work, etc., and change key switches based on your preferences and what you want to get out of your keyboard.
With that being said, most people end up finding one set of key switches that fit them best - Not too soft, not too hard, but just right (Goldilocks reference) - and use them over and over again no matter which keyboard they buy.
If you're serious about getting a top of the line mechanical keyboard, you'll find that most (not all) use Cherry MX switches. First built in the 50's (!), each Cherry key switch has a different color, corresponding to varying levels of clickiness, tactileness, and sensitivity. For example, the red switch has the lowest actuation force, meaning its easier to activate a bunch of keys in quick succession. This makes it great for gaming.
Part of your mechanical keyboard journey will be finding your perfect key switches. While we can help with this, and give you guidance on key clickiness, actuation, etc. - ultimately this is a very personal decision and on you to figure out (Cue training montage).
Mechanical Keyboard Customization
Mechanical keyboards have a number of different customization options beyond even the type of key switch. For example, you can change the type of keycaps on your keyboard, which is different from the switches we talked about above (those change how your key presses feel).
You can change the keycaps whenever you want (they pop off easily), and swap them out for ones that feature molded sculpting, texturing for better tactile control, differently colored plastic, etc. It all depends on your preferences.
Some mechanical keyboards even have added features like macro command customization and dedicated macro keys, which are especially useful for gamers.
- Sturdy Build
- Cherry Keys
- Price ($83.99 on Amazon)
- Plastic (not aluminum like the K70)
- Red Lighting (Upgrade available to the RGB version)
- Lack of wrist rest