Usually every computer user is aware of the standard keyboard that comes along with the computer. However, there are different types of keyboards available in the market that can be molded as per the requirements of the users. Some keyboards make the gaming experience more fun and entertaining. There are some other keyboards as well that suit the user requirement
Table of Contents
- What is a Keyboard?
- Different Types of Keyboards
- Final words
What is a Keyboard?
A device that is used to input the data and information with the use of keys that represent special symbols, numbers, and alphabets is called a computer keyboard. Different types of keyboards are available in the market in all sizes, shapes with various advantages and disadvantages.
There are specialized computers designed for special purposes and uses. Computer keyboards are no more the old qwerty kind of keyboards, they are designed as per the special needs and interests.
Uses of Keyboard
Some of the major use the computers keyboard are put to are mentioned below:
- The input of data and information can be done only through keyboard. Numbers and letters can be typed in the form of text with the help of keyboard. There are special characters also on the keyboard that can be used for the purpose of input of data.
- Various functions available to be used can be catered through the keyboard. There are control keys and function keys on the keyboard to use for a mouseless experience.
- For the access of files and other system related work, keyboard shortcut keys can be used to avoid using mouse.
- Foe several purposes, escape key and control key are the most used keys in many of the functions used.
The latest keyboards that have been launched in the market are more customized and more flexible. Recently, touch screen keyboards have been launched and are used prominently. It is expected to be replaced by new keyboards such as Augmented Reality Keyboards.
Different Types of Keyboards
The world is growing faster in terms of technological advancement. Every day there is some new device launched with better capability, capacity, performance, features and many other things. It is similar to the case of the keyboard. There are different types of keyboards available in the market. Some of the major kinds are mentioned below:
Mechanical keyboards are the most commonly found keyboards today. They have keys and switches that are spring-activated. Switches are made out of different moving parts and are constructed of very high quality. Keyboards are made out of durable material and are in the range of affordable prices.
Opposite to a mechanical keyboard, a membrane keyboard do not have separate keys. The silicone dome and mechanical switches are normally found in computers. However, membrane keyboards are comparatively thinner and do not space in between the two keys. Keys are made out of a flat and pressure-sensitive membrane. It is touch-sensitive and recognizes the touch on the keys to feeding the data on the computer.
These types of computers are normally used in certain industrial equipment, medical equipment and control panels and are rarely used in offices and homes.
Membrane keyboards are flexible, resistant to liquids and dirt, and are comparatively cheaper to produce. The keyboards are normally not used in homes and offices as they do not have tactile feedback and are not recommended for faster typing situations.
As the name suggests these keyboards are flexible. Silicone kind of material is used to produce these keyboards so that the keyboards can be rolled and folded into a smaller size. These types of keyboards are preferred by frequent travellers as they can be easily carried and are highly portable.
- Highly convenient and portable
- Resistant to water
- Operate silently
- Bluetooth and wireless versions also available.
- Fast typist may miss some keystrokes
- Compared to other keyboards they have shorter lifespan
Ergonomic keyboards are specifically designed to relax the users from the wrist problems occurring due to the pressure exerted by computers keyboards. These keyboards have padded wrist support that reduces exertion created on the lower side of the hands.
- Comfortable working
- Better productivity
- Lesser stress on hands and wrists
- Further injury to hands and wrists is curbed
- An appropriate way of using the keyboard is essential
- Some people have reported of other health problems such as elbow problems and others
- The keyboard accuracy and speed may be hampered
Before using the ergonomic keyboard it is better to consult a certain orthopaedist as it may not have the same effect and benefits for all.
These days most people use computers for gaming purpose only. Therefore a specific segment is dedicated to creating designs and different types of keyboards for gaming purposes. A keyboard can remember a certain number of keystrokes. This is referred to as a key rollover. Pre-programmed keystrokes are highly beneficial as many keyboard combinations can be performed in one keypress. Backlit keyboards make it convenient for the gamers to check the key orientation even in dark rooms.
These keyboards are relatively expensive and the macro programming of some of the specific keyboards are difficult to use.
The wireless era of technology is spread all over including keyboards. Three modern technologies that the wireless keyboard connect to are Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, infrared. Every keyboard has inbuilt wireless technology. The greatest benefit of such a keyboard is that it can get connected to any of the devices such as tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, and any Bluetooth enabled device.
There are a number of types, styles and sizes available in wireless keyboards. Before selecting the right keyboard one should look for the following features:
- Select the way you will connect the keyboard to the device through Bluetooth, WiFi, or radio frequency.
- Select the kind of switches you would want for the keyboard
- The various keyboard options such as 10 key pad, full set of function keys, or macro functions.
Wireless keyboards perform on batteries and may need a change frequently. But if you need freedom from wires then, this kind of keyboard is an attractive option.
The multimedia keyboard is specially designed to eliminate the multiple controllers to run the different systems especially home theatre. It controls all the functions of the home theatre through a single keyboard.
- The audio options and special controls for it are grouped together for convenience
- The user programming is allowed through video options and controlling
- Connection to several devices can be programmed conveniently
- The internet can also be browsed through the home theatre
- It is tiresome to programme special keys and macro keys
- The compatibility of operating system and software driver may be disrupted
- May not be very durable
The wireless computer makes the home theatre experience really enjoyable and fun.
These are stylish out of the box keyboards specially used by professional gamers. They do not look like a keyboard at all instead they have a structure ergonomic and also have palm rest. It can be used with one hand and resembles a game controller.
- The keyboard layout is unconventional and out of the box
- The ergonomic design facilitate users with better functions and features for certain specific uses.
- The keystrokes are faster on such keyboards once when you are used to it
- Sometimes it gets tiresome to learn to use. Also getting back to standard keyboard may become impossible once you are used to these keyboards
- Extensive programming is required for use of certain specific applications
- Relatively expensive.
This is another ergonomic structure specifically designed for stress relief for the users. It has a three-dimensional concept and splits the keyboard into two halves. Every set of keys is vertically placed and lie on the edge. It is believed that this kind of keyboard lets the users sit in neutral positions and therefore relieves stress on hands, wrists, arms, neck, back and others.
- Stress free wrists, shoulders and arms
- Natural and better posture for arms and hands
- Body friendly keyboards
- The distance for mouse is increased and so it is lesser efficient
- The users has to be highly qualified typists
- Relatively expensive
These are software-driven keyboards that come along with certain electronic devices. A graphic image of the keyboard is launched on the screen with the push of a button and this image performs to input data and information similar to the standard computer keyboard. They are software aided keyboards and cannot be purchased in the market like other keyboards.
Technologies and requirements change every day. Accordingly, the designs of the keyboard are also customized to suit the needs of the users. However, it is important to perform proper research about your needs and requirements and align the same with the available keyboards. The benefits and cons of various kinds of keyboards should also be properly analyzed. Also, if nothing suits then the standard keyboard is always a good option to choose for.