Electronincs & Computer

Chiclet Keyboard vs Mechanical Keyboard | Detailed Guide

Chiclet Keyboard vs Mechanical Keyboard
Written by Sophia Loren

Gaming, programming, typing, or dull day to day tasks on the pcs and laptops cannot do without keyboards. This input device comes into many forms. You need to decide on a manual according to the nature of your work and preference. 

The two most common types of keyboards are chiclet keyboard and a mechanical keyboard. People often feel hard to select one between these two types of keyboards. 

In this article, I will provide you a detailed overview of the chiclet and mechanical keyboards along with their pros and cons. So stick to this article until you decide the suitable manual for your desk.

Chiclet Keyboard vs Mechanical Keyboard

The primary differences between these two keyboards are their apparent style and their internal design. Furthermore, the mechanical keyboards are considered the old model and chiclet are updated modern version of keyboards.  Both types of keyboards have specifications that make them well suited for a particular function.

Take the example of “key rollover.” This term used for the capability of a computer to handle multiple keys simultaneously, imagine you pressed two keys at a time mistakenly, but your computer would register only one key and ignore the other.

And sometimes we need to press modifier keys like alt, control, a shift in combination with other keys to conduct some functions. This is how the keyboards used for different tasks with a combination of multiple or single keys. 

Keyboards with high “N key rollovers” can register the key independently from the hardware and can identify the signal of multiple keys at the moment. Similarly, keyboards with low N key rollover would do the opposite job. 

Now you must be getting close to the decision to getting a new keyboard for gaming, typing or programming. Which console has many N rollover keys, which has less number of N rollover keys, and which one will be suited for your activities?

At the end of this article, you will be able to get first-hand knowledge about the chiclet keyboard and mechanical keyboard. This will increase your understanding of the mode of actions and physical features of both keyboards. Below we are going to discuss these keyboards thoroughly.

1) Chiclet keyboard

The chiclet keyboard is available with many alternate names. Most commonly called chiclet, membrane or island-style keyboards. The reason behind its popular name is a physical resemblance with the American chewing gum brand called Chiclet.

You will find this type of keyboard on laptops, for example, Apple MacBooks. The prominent physical feature of this keyboard is flat, rectangular, or square-shaped keys. The corners of keys are made around with straight sides. No extra spacing found between keys. The chiclet keyboard is smooth and faster. They mostly considered for daily usage.

Usually, every keyboard has the circuits inside them. The chiclet keyboard has two membranes to complete their circuit, therefore called membrane keyboard as well. The layers came into contact when the key pressed this action completes the circuit and prevents the tactile feedback, making them less noisy. We can say that this feature adds to the uniqueness of the chiclet keyboard.

Reasons to buy Chiclet keyboard

  • Easy for pocket money as it will not be a burden on your pocket.
  • The best chiclet keyboard is cheap to buy as compared to their mechanical counterparts. These are affordable and most commonly used.
  • Portable: It has no extra burden of cords or switches. Therefore chiclet keyboard can be carried everywhere, even inside the bags.
  • Mute: The chiclet keyboard does not produce a clicking sound. They are quiet, therefore suitable to use in public places.
  • Travel-friendly: Chiclet keyboards generally embedded in the device like in laptops. Lightweight and less noisy are the attributes that contribute to their travel-friendly nature.

Reasons to avoid the Chiclet keyboard

  • Difficult to clean: The chiclet keyboard lacks the interspaces between the keys; therefore, it is hard to keep them clean.
  • Difficult to repair or customize: Once any key broken, it becomes tough for the user to mend it because the chiclet keyboard has a membrane to complete the circuit. For this same reason, the chiclet keyboard cannot customize according to the user’s taste.
  • Incompatible for competitive games: For competitive gaming, an appropriate setup needed for the team, therefore chiclet keyboard is not suitable in this scenario.

2) Mechanical Keyboard

Here is our next content of discussion about the chiclet mechanical keyboard. The mechanical keyboard would remind you of the school days. 

Do you remember? Every time you clicked the bumpy key of your keyboard, and it produced the sound on every click because in a mechanical keyboard every key behaves as a complete switch.

The keys of the mechanical keyboard have three sorts of switches underneath. 

First is the Linear type of switches that use for consistent resistance; this type is suitable for prolonged typing. Other type of switches is tactile; this will not produce sound when touched. The third type of switches is tactile plus audio; this type will produce noise when reached.

Other types of switches are also available for example so let’s take the case of Cherry MX switches which are quite popular. These classified as Black, brown, red, and blue according to their actuation force and tactile feedback.

Actuation force is a term that means how much energy it requires to press on a key to get it recognized by the keyboard. Black has average to high actuation force about 60 cN, which will be rigid to press. Unlike black switches, red ones have the lowest actuation force of 45 cN, and they are marked as gaming switches because they need less effort to press.

Reasons to buy mechanical keyboards

  • Easy to keep clean: Unlike the chiclet keyboard, the mechanical keyboard has interspaces between the keys, and these are easy to keep clean. The key caps can easily remove if dust penetrates inside the key.
  • Easy to mend: If any key loses its function or it broke, it can be easily fixed or replaced.
  • Tactile feedback on every click: The key can be pressed and released on the sound that it produces on every click. This feature is satisfying for typing.
  • Favorable for gamers: Normally, players have voted in favor of mechanical keyboards because it prevents jamming during high-speed games. Furthermore, it reduces the stress during gaming caused by the ghosting because it has the right amount of N key rollovers. The mechanical keyboard usually complimented with desktops, which are ideal for competitive gaming.
  • Long-lasting: The mechanical keyboard is long-lasting. It made for heavy usage which extends their life.
  • Comfortable for fingers: The mechanical keyboard is easy and convenient for hands if you are doing any task for hours. It will prevent your hands from tiredness and pain.

Reasons to avoid mechanical keyboards

  • Pricey: The mechanical keyboard is costly as compared to chiclets.
  • Loud: The mechanical keyboard may cause noise, which makes it uneasy and lively. It is not suitable when you out of your private space.
  • Unfavorable for travel: Usually, a mechanical keyboard is heavy and needs connecting wires which make it unsuitable for travel.

Final Words

While I am writing my concluding remarks about Chiclet vs. mechanical keyboards, hopefully, you have been cleared about your decision to buy the most suitable keyboard according to your needs. Every positive and negative aspect of both keyboards included in our article. 

If you are a gamer and love to play without any delay, you should go for the best mechanical keyboard. If you are a blogger who spends most of the day typing on a different topic, a still mechanical keyboard is right for you. If you are a student or frequent traveler, then the chiclet keyboard is an appropriate choice for you.

Keeping in mind all the attributes of chiclet and mechanical keyboard as well as your budget will relieve your confusion, which has been a hurdle to buy the most suitable keyboard for you.

About the author

Sophia Loren

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