At MSI, we love video games as much as you do and we share the same passion for the ultimate gaming experience. Today, we take a quick look at keyboard switching mechanisms keep up to keep us connected with the game. Our lightning fast reflexes, split-second decision making, and precise plays can really push the limits of both human and machine and the devices that directly connect us with the PC system should not go ignored.
We will cover three switch mechanisms found in MSI keyboards – membrane, mechanical, and mechanical membrane.
Keyboards with membrane switch mechanisms are perhaps the most common keyboard to be found as the relative simplicity of their mechanism makes them inexpensive. Inside each of these keyboards is a circuit board and a sheet of elastic plastic floating above. This membrane is embedded with wiring so that when a specific switch is pressed into the circuit board, an electrical circuit is completed and the PC recognizes this action as a keypress. Commonly, the membrane is molded with inverted cups or domes that spring back and reset the key when released.
Since membrane keyboards are so commonplace, many people should be familiar with their tactility – the feeling when pressing into the key – of initial resistance before collapsing with little effort. This resistance in the switch makes such keyboards forgiving of mistakes since the keys are harder to accidently press. Compared to keyboards with the other mechanisms we will mention, membrane keyboards are the least durable and it's not uncommon for the elastic domes to wear out and lose their springiness after 5 to 10 million keypresses.
Mechanical keyboards are markedly more complicated, and more expensive, compared to membrane keyboards, but many keyboard enthusiasts swear by the superior tactility and durability the mechanical key switches have to offer. Unlike membrane keyboards, mechanical keyboards are defined by their use of metal coil springs within each keyswitch. MSI keyboards use switches with Cherry MX mechanisms or with similar designs rated for 50 million keystrokes or more. Since the spring in this mechanism only compresses and then returns up to the resting position, even resistance is felt throughout the press. These keyswitches can actuate quickly and reset rapidly, making them popular amongst gamers. Tactility is achieved around the spring whether it's a plastic stem that bumps against the pressed key, a plastic clicker that makes a click noise when pressed, oy by simply bottoming out the keypress. The choice of tactility comes down to preference, with noisier clicky switches preferred by typists and fully linear switches reigning popular amongst gamers looking for as much responsiveness as possible.
MSI mechanical membrane keyboards combine the strengths of both mechanisms resulting in affordable keyboard products that retain the crisp tactility of a mechanical keyboard with elastic plastic parts in place of the metal spring.
We understand that budgets, needs, and preferences are all decision factors and for that MSI has prepared a complete lineup for any PC user. We've designed mechanical membrane keyboards for our more cost-conscious gamers who still want a keyboard that feels great to use. Yet, for our most uncompromising keyboard warriors, MSI's selection of mechanical keyboards are built to astonish with durable materials and precision manufacturing. To learn more about keyboards from MSI, visit our keyboard category webpage.