Computers & Electronics

Has anyone here switched from membrane to mechanical keyboards?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 21st, 2017 1:38 am
[OP]
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Sep 4, 2016
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Has anyone here switched from membrane to mechanical keyboards?

How do you like the switch?
Did you end up going back to membrane?
What made you convert?
Do you miss membrane keyboards?
Do you ever see yourself going back?

Were you a long time user of membrane keyboards?

I've been a 15+ year of using laptop keyboards and always preferring the shorter travel key distance and always laughed at the idea when mechanical keyboards came back into fashion. Until I played around with one for fun in a store and I was in love. Despite the massive key travel (when compared to laptop keys), it feels quite nice and a lot less straining on the fingers over membrane keyboards.

You go back to a membrane keyboard and it;s just not the same.
Last edited by DiamondDallasPage on Oct 6th, 2017 10:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
39 replies
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Dec 17, 2011
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I've been using mechanical keyboards for a few years now. I like them. Why did I switch? I built a new PC and people told me to get a mechanical keyboard, so I did :P I don't miss membrane keyboards, but I do occasionally do still use them. Mainly for the convenience. I don't want to bring a keyboard around with me all the time, so I use my laptop's keyboard, which is membrane.
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Mar 14, 2009
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DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 10:51 pm
How do you like the switch?
I love it. It makes a night and day difference for typing in particular. I'm able to type *much* faster on a mechanical keyboard, and the overall experience is much better. The tactile and auditory feedback helps a lot. The solid metal build of the keyboard is nice also.
Did you end up going back to membrane?
No, I can't do it. I only use those keyboards if I have no other option.
What made you convert?
I won a really nice Kingston mechanical keyboard at a contest. I liked it so much that I bought a wireless one off Amazon to use with my HTPC.
Do you miss membrane keyboards?
No.
Do you ever see yourself going back?
Never.
I am a Zoomer customer.
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Feb 24, 2003
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I'm still using an IBM PS/2 104 key keyboard. Love the clicking sound and mechanical feedback.
[OP]
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SickBeast wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 11:34 pm
I love it. It makes a night and day difference for typing in particular. I'm able to type *much* faster on a mechanical keyboard, and the overall experience is much better. The tactile and auditory feedback helps a lot. The solid metal build of the keyboard is nice also.

No, I can't do it. I only use those keyboards if I have no other option.

I won a really nice Kingston mechanical keyboard at a contest. I liked it so much that I bought a wireless one off Amazon to use with my HTPC.

No.

Never.
Did you use to be a long time user of membrane keyboards?

I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised just how effortless it is to type on a mechanical keyboard, but there is definitely some time needed to get used to one. This is coming from someone who used nothing but ultra low profile chicklet keyboards the past decade.

Yes aesthetically mechnical keyboards look out of date and not to pleasing on a desk compared to some of the fancy membrane keyboards today but function>looks.
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DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 11:52 pm
Did you use to be a long time user of membrane keyboards?

I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised just how effortless it is to type on a mechanical keyboard, but there is definitely some time needed to get used to one. This is coming from someone who used nothing but ultra low profile chicklet keyboards the past decade.

Yes aesthetically mechnical keyboards look out of date and not to pleasing on a desk compared to some of the fancy membrane keyboards today but function>looks.
Yes. I typed for years and years on membrane keyboards. I would never go back to one. It would be too painful.
I am a Zoomer customer.
[OP]
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audit13 wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 11:44 pm
I'm still using an IBM PS/2 104 key keyboard. Love the clicking sound and mechanical feedback.
I'm in love with the clicking sound and feedback as well. I don't know what it is but I love the clickity clak sounds.

On a lot of membrane keyboards the keys will get mushy over time and eventually start to snap, crackle and pop (sometimes the keys even pop right off) and the keys will start jamming of getting stuck once the rubber domes wear out.
Also on a membrane keyboard, they are only comfortable when the keys are broken in and this takes a lot of hours to get to this point. Out of the box membrane keyboards feel terrible and feel like rocks.

I could be wrong but I don't think mechanical keyboards need break in time to soften up the keys, nor do they get mushy as it ages.

Also, another thing I've noticed is that number crunching is so much better on a mechancial over a membrane. I can't believe how inferior number crunching is on a membrane numpad vs a mechnical one.
Newbie
Aug 8, 2006
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Mississauga
I’ve switched... sort of. At work I have a Topre keyboard and a Cherry Blue tenkeypad at my desk, but I am often using general workstations with standard $10 keyboards.

I love the clicking sound of the tenkeypad, and it’s good for data entry to hear that I pressed the key. I wouldn’t like it on the main keyboard.

For me, it’s more important to have a tenkeyless keyboard than to have a mechanical switch. I put my trackball between the keyboard and the number pad.
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Feb 5, 2007
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DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 10:51 pm
How do you like the switch? Love it, just hard to learn/immerse all the options
Did you end up going back to membrane? No, but if you want a membrane hybrid, check topre/rubber domes (a membrane/mechanical hybrid, but they cost alot)
What made you convert? Friend, also last pc upgrade
Do you miss membrane keyboards? Not really, as I said, some people love topre/rubber domes
Do you ever see yourself going back? Nope

Were you a long time user of membrane keyboards? Yup, used a cheap keyboard mom bought me forever.
You could go online and order / request someone in the mechanical keyboard community to build you a test board with all the different switches so you can try em out then dive into your keyboard purchase
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Mar 1, 2012
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i love my old g15 then i went to some azio mechanical keyboard. Hated the layout loved the feedback on it though. And then i got a g710 and its been great. Still miss the g15 sometimes though wish they made that in mechanical version.
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audit13 wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 11:44 pm
I'm still using an IBM PS/2 104 key keyboard. Love the clicking sound and mechanical feedback.
I have the original IBM AT keyboard from 1984. I’ve never used a membrane keyboard.

I’ve tried the Cherry and Alps switches and nothing compares to the buckling springs.
[OP]
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SickBeast wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 11:54 pm
Yes. I typed for years and years on membrane keyboards. I would never go back to one. It would be too painful.
I feel the same but there are specific laptop membrane keyboards that are just too awesome like the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover. The rest of the membrane keyboards are just too exhausting IMO and I'm sick of keys jamming and and crackling due to the springs giving out. Either the spring completely snaps right off or gets dislodged or the spring loses it's elasticity and turns into mush.

Also the break in period required on a new membrane keyboard is annoying. It took a year of full time (40-50hours) a week of usage of my Logitech K810 to get the keys broken in and nice and soft. It was hard as a rock out of the box. It's just too bad that the spring under the enter key (of all eyes *sigh* is starting to give out.
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Apr 22, 2013
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DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 10:51 pm
How do you like the switch?
Did you end up going back to membrane?
What made you convert?
Do you miss membrane keyboards?
Do you ever see yourself going back?

Were you a long time user of membrane keyboards?
- Love the switch, both for practical use and gaming use. Disappointed I didn't do it sooner.
- Not by choice, work keyboard is membrane...and its very frustrating now.
- Far better tactile feel, mistakes are all on me rather than the stupid thing inadvertently making an input or failing to input, never fail to put input a password at home but at work...fail multiple times.
- Not at all, if I could I would take a hammer to smash my work keyboard...but all I'd get is a replacement membrane...would only either be no improvement or slightly better.
- With my own money never again, but I can't convince the workplace.

- I indeed was a long time user, didn't think much about it initially because I was cheap.
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I really like the keyboard on my 13" late 2013 Macbook Pro too. The fact that it is an English only layout helps IMHO.
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JeganV wrote:
Oct 7th, 2017 11:52 am
- Love the switch, both for practical use and gaming use. Disappointed I didn't do it sooner.
- Not by choice, work keyboard is membrane...and its very frustrating now.
- Far better tactile feel, mistakes are all on me rather than the stupid thing inadvertently making an input or failing to input, never fail to put input a password at home but at work...fail multiple times.
- Not at all, if I could I would take a hammer to smash my work keyboard...but all I'd get is a replacement membrane...would only either be no improvement or slightly better.
- With my own money never again, but I can't convince the workplace.

- I indeed was a long time user, didn't think much about it initially because I was cheap.
I regret not making the switch much sooner as well. I never even gave mechanical a chance and just assumed it would put more strain on the wrists and fingers due to greater key travel.

You can't convince your workplace to get you a mechanical for work?

You can always just pay for it out of your own pocket and see it as an expense. When you leave the company, sell the keyboard. Yes it's extra money but IMO, keyboard and mouse are the two things that you touch the most on your work computer throughout the days and that they should of upmost importance to be using something of your liking. My work gave my the green light to get a new mouse and keyboard but there was a budget and my Logitech Anywhere MX 2 mouse @ $99 was well over their budget. So I picked up a lightly used one on Kijijii for $35 (what a steal), paid out of my own pocket and will write it off as an expense. Works like a charm.

I will not use cheap garbage mice and keyboards. I put super high importance on both.

When I joined the company, the very first thing I said was that I was going to toss out the garbage mouse and keyboard. I had to use it for two days and I already felt my hands and fingers straining, it was terrible. For instance my co-worker uses a $10 no name keyboard that is at least 6 years old and the letters have all come off the keys and it's super worn out. SUPER straining just pressing the space bar, let alone type on it, it's terrible. And her mouse is like a first generation wireless Logitech mouse that's at least 7 years old and it's worn out and skips like crazy all over the place and she uses it on a terrible mouse pad that also needs replacement. It's super straining just to move the mouse across the pad. But to her she has no issues with it and she types all day with no strain.:)

For me I prefer to have the exact same keyboard and mouse for home and work for familiarity and so you don't have to get used to each one every time you switch.

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