Even after the mechanical keyboard’s popularity, membrane keyboards are still quite common.
You might have noticed that membrane keyboards are easily available, which means these keyboards are still in demand.
So if you don’t know what a membrane keyboard is and whether you should buy one for gaming & typing, then we have tried to clear your doubts in the simplest possible way.
What is membrane keyboard?
Membrane keyboards use a single rubber membrane underneath the keys. This membrane has a raised dome for every key.
When you press a key, it hits the raised dome, and the dome touches the circuit board and registers a keystroke.
If you have ever opened an old TV remote, then you must have seen a flexible rubber membrane under the keys, which is usually white.
On a membrane keyboard, there are no springs or any other components under the keys. All the keys are placed on the membrane, so the feedback you get is quite mushy because all you are pressing is a rubber dome.
Because all the rubber membranes are mostly similar, the feedback you get on all membrane keyboards is mostly the same.
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Are membrane keyboards good for typing?
Membrane keyboards were the best for typing back in the days when mechanical keyboards were non-existed.
After mechanical keyboards enter the market, they immediately become people’s favorite.
So, does that mean membrane keyboards are too bad for typing?
We have used both membrane and mechanical keyboards, and we have to say that once you use a mechanical keyboard, there is no going back.
However, if you have never used a mechanical keyboard, then you will find a membrane keyboard decent for typing.
Mind you, the feedback you get from a membrane keyboard is non-existed. Sometimes, you can’t even tell if you have pressed a key because the keys require very little pressure.
The keys feel mushy, and you won’t get satisfactory feedback when a key is pressed.
So if we have to summarize it, then membrane keyboards are average for typing.
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Are membrane keyboards good for gaming?
We played some games using the membrane keyboard, and the experience was below average.
We have noticed that 2D games like LIMBO were playable, but modern 3D games weren’t.
Yes, you can play 3D games also, but the experience won’t be any good.
So, should you buy a membrane keyboard for gaming?
To be honest, you should not buy a membrane keyboard for gaming, even if you play games occasionally.
However, there are some dedicated membrane gaming keyboards, which are made using a spring to give the feedback of a mechanical keyboard. These keyboards are budget-friendly, and you can buy one.
But you should stay away from a normal membrane keyboard if you want to play games.
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Who should buy a membrane keyboard?
You should buy a membrane keyboard if you:
- Like a silent keyboard.
- Prefer soft key presses.
- Have a very tight budget, but still want a keyboard.
- Type occasionally, and that too, not much.
- Hardly play any games.
- Are learning typing.
For all these use cases, a membrane keyboard is a good option.
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Who should not buy a membrane keyboard?
You should not buy a membrane keyboard if you:
- Like tactile feedback when you press any key.
- Prefer a clicky sound.
- Are a writer and type a lot.
- Play modern 3D games.
- Like RGB lights for better typing in the dark.
For all these tasks, it’s better to skip a membrane keyboard and get a mechanical one.
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Pros and Cons of a membrane keyboard
- Great for typing in a silent environment
- Doesn’t make any noise
- Requires very little force to press keys
- Thin, light, and easily portable
- Good for casual typing
- Feels mushy
- Not for gaming
- Not for prologue typing
- Doesn’t give any feedback on key presses
- Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the key press is registered successfully
We are not saying membrane keyboards are terrible. We are just saying these are average at best.
Some expensive membrane keyboards give a good typing and gaming experience, but the budget ones, costing under Rs 500, are just average.
You can only expect them to work, and that’s it. You can’t expect a good typing experience with tactile feedback and a clicky sound.
If you have a very tight budget, then you can go for semi-mechanical keyboards. We know these are not as good as a proper mechanical keyboard but still are better than a normal membrane keyboard.
The good thing is that semi-mechanical or mechanical keyboards are now available for a starting price of around Rs 1500.
So, instead of buying a normal membrane keyboard, get a mechanical or semi-mechanical keyboard.
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So, what is a membrane keyboard, and should you buy one for gaming or typing? We are sure you know the answer now.
If you still have any doubts, then feel free to ask us in the comment section.
Do share your thoughts if you agree or disagree with the points mentioned above.