One of the most important computer peripherals, and sometimes one of the most overlooked, is the keyboard. Although it is a basic piece to use our PC or laptop, in many occasions we believe that any model is worth in the vast majority of occasions.
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This may be true depending on the personal case of each one, since many times we opt for models that attract us aesthetically or, simply, fit the budget as much as possible. This does not mean that it is the best.
Being a peripheral that, in many cases, is used daily, it can be really useful in the long run to choose a keyboard that suits our needs and our use. For this reason, at ConsumoClaro we have prepared a short guide so that you do not make mistakes when choosing one.
All keyboards …
Many of us are quick to think that keyboards are an “invented” device; In other words, the main difference between one and the other is the budget. This, being true, is only part of the reality.
Keyboards are an industry unto themselves and the possibilities out there are huge. Before buying one of these peripherals it is good to take into account the types that are available.
They can be distinguished according to their technology:
– Membrane. Under the keys is a piece of plastic that, when pressed, emits an impulse through a plastic surface – the “membrane” -. In this way, it can be understood that all the keys share the same interruption system, since the plastic membrane occupies the same space as the keyboard.
– Scissors. Each key has underneath two pieces of plastic that interlock with each other – hence the name “scissors” -. When the key is pressed, the scissors “closes” and activates the circuit. It is the most common technology in laptops.
– Mechanics. Each key has a switch which works much like the switch on our wall: pressing the key pulses up to the keyboard controller. Therefore, unlike the membrane, each key has its own system.
They are the most complex, since there are dozens of types that vary according to their route, sound, etc. In addition to making the product more expensive. However, it is a much stronger and more durable system than the rest.
According to the distribution:
– ISO. ISO is the most widespread in European countries, including Spain. In this layout, the “Enter” key has a turned L shape and there are two more keys: one between Z and “Shift”; and another after the L.
To find this type of distribution, it is usually indicated as “ISO” followed by the initials of the country. So, for example, the Spanish version is usually indicated as “ISO-SP” or “ISO-ES”.
– ANSI. The most widespread distribution worldwide and, therefore, the easiest to find. Unlike ISO, ANSI has a horizontal “Enter” key (similar to our “Crtl” or “Shift”) and an extra key above the “Enter”. It also doesn’t have any more keys than we talked about before.
According to the format:
– Standard. The typical keyboard that we can find in any computer or place. In this type, the format is rectangular and, if we look at the position of the keys, we can see that the first line (from Q to P) is not at the same height as the next two (from A to L and from Z to M), but are offset to the sides.
– Ergonomic. They are keyboards specially designed to be comfortable and avoid pain. On these keyboards, there is usually a split in the middle and a little curvature; well, it is much more comfortable to rest your hands on it – you can see an example, here-.
– Ortho linear. The strangest of all. Contrary to the standard ones, these keyboards are completely straight: there are no differences in heights or larger or smaller keys – except for the “Space”, which is the size of two keys – they are all equal and distributed in the same way – you can see one in the following link-.
It could also be distinguished by the alphanumeric base they use, but in the vast majority of the western world, keyboards are QWERTY and it is very rare to use other types. Therefore, it is not necessary to know it.
… And their sizes
The keyboards have different sizes, ranging from 60 keys to 105. Depending on the use we want to give, the absence of keys can be fatal or, on the contrary, make its use much more comfortable.
Before going into what sizes exist, you have to understand that the keyboard is divided into four parts:
– Alphanumeric keyboard: with which we write and do most of the tasks.
– Keyboard function: the F keys (F1 to F12).
– Control keyboard or cursor: is the zone composed of dates, “Insert”, and so on.
– Numeric keyboard: the zone, normally placed to the right of the keyboard, where there are only numbers and numeric commands.
The size of the keyboard usually depends on which zones it is composed of:
– 100% or Full Size. In ISO distribution, there are 105 keys and it has all the zones.
– 1800-Compact. 100% only that the keys are closer together and, for example, the arrows are usually under the “Enter”.
– TKL u 80%. At this size, the numeric keypad is eliminated.
– 70-75%. Although it has arrows and some function keys, its layout is much more compact.
– 60-65%. They only have the alphanumeric keyboard and in the case of 65%, also with the arrows.
– 40%. It is the smallest functional keyboard, since it also eliminates the row of numbers.
There is an even smaller type of keyboard, the Tenkey, which is the separate numeric keyboard, although its use is even more particular.
So which one is the best for me?
After reviewing keyboard types and sizes, what do we need to look at?
The first thing to consider, obviously, is the budget. Like any peripheral, the price can vary greatly and we find options ranging from 20 euros … to 500 euros. Despite this, there is no point in rushing the money too much.
In other words, the price difference is due, in most cases, to technical issues – in mechanical keyboards, for example, the price varies a lot a switch Marsmallow than a Cherry MX- or design (handmade keys, etc.), so in most cases we can find a keyboard that suits our budget.
From there, we must rethink the use that we are going to give it. Are we going to use it every day? Just to write? Or also to play?
Mechanical keyboards are much stronger and more durable than membrane keyboards, although they are not the most comfortable for typing. Therefore, it can be a good option for those who spend many hours using it and not only write with it, but also play games, program, etc.
On the other hand, the membrane ones can be much cheaper and more comfortable to write, especially if we are not going to use them for long periods of time. In addition, they are usually smaller and their use is more tiring. Despite this, they are very difficult to clean and, if they break, their repair will be more difficult.
We must also take into account the space we have. As we have seen before, there are different sizes and types that make it very easy to adapt them to any situation. If we practically do not have where to place it, 60% may make us gain a lot of space on the table.
For 120 euros, the Anne Pro 2 is a low-profile mechanical keyboard that can serve as an “introduction” to this type without approaching the 200 euros that many models can reach. The switch that is assembled as standard is a GateronRed, so, without being the best on the market, we are going to obtain a satisfactory and deep click; although from the website itself they allow you to choose another.
It also has connectivity both by Bluetooth and by cable. The biggest drawback of this model is that its distribution is ANSI, so if we are not used to it, it will take a while to get used to it.
At 49 euros, the Krom Kernel is an especially cheap mechanical keyboard, although without sacrificing quality. It is a small format keyboard (TKL) that has RGB lights – something that not all profiles will like, but they can be turned off.
The switches are proprietary to the brand and the quality of the assembly is good, so we will appreciate an improvement in the touch compared to the typical keyboard that we buy in any electronics store.
For 20 euros, the Microsoft 600 is the keyboard for any user looking to spend as little as possible and, at the same time, have a peripheral that will last a medium-long season without problems. The 600 is a classic keyboard: membrane, black design, quiet keys and plastic finish.
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