June 15, 2019 by mark wahlbarg
When we talk about gaming keyboards, the first distinction we find ourselves making, regardless of the use for which it was designed, is with regards to the technology of the keys with which it was built.
The two most common key technologies are the mechanical ones from which the name mechanical keyboard derives and the membrane ones from which the membrane keypad.
Over time, the membrane switch manufacturers began making changes to the keyboards, trying to improve them and make them unique by modifying the switches, adding backlighting, macro keys, software complexes, etc.
As a player and blogger, the keyboard is a fundamental component of my work tools and if we add a passion for technology and a great curiosity for new things, you can imagine how many models have tried in these 25 years of PC career.
Every keyboard we have tested turned out to be different, regardless of whether or not they have the same switches, each model has its advantages and disadvantages, each being more or less suited to my way of writing or playing.
What is a membrane keyboard?
With the term membrane keyboard, we tend to categorize all those keyboards made up of layers or flexible layers in which, unlike mechanical keyboards, the keys are not divided among themselves but are all part of a single flexible surface that depending on the pressure that we exercise will send the single impulse.
The first layer called the upper layer of the membrane is the one that shows the letters and numbers, each letter or number has in its lower part a part in a conductive material, separated from the other symbols.
The second layer is the one that separates the upper layer from the lower one.
The third lower layer has a conductive trace and collects and sends impulses to the system.
When we press the button, the first layer will flex and the conductor under the button will touch the bottom layer and create a contact.
The conductive trace on the lower layer is as if it were a map and based on the position of the contact an impulse relative to the specific position and therefore to the letter or symbol will be generated and recorded by our PC.
Benefits of membrane keypad:
• They are Silent: The noise produced while typing is almost zero and is not annoying for roommates.
• They are Economic: The materials used in the construction are cheap and easy to produce.
• They are dirt-resistant: the compact design and the few spaces between the keys prevent dirt from entering.
• They are light: the use of mostly plastic materials makes these keyboards light and easy to carry.