Tips To Find The Best Non-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
With the array of gaming keyboards available on the market today, choosing the right one may be a tough decision to make. And then there are specific considerations like price and keyboard key sound. If you are looking for an affordable keyboard with quiet keys, then you should opt for a non-mechanical model. Consider what features are important to you and compare the options that are available to find the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard.
The best non-mechanical gaming keyboard features include backlighting, anti-ghosting, keycaps, media controls, and N-key rollover.
If you are unsure as to whether a gaming keyboard is important check out our guide that provides some helpful tips.
What Is a Non-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard?
There are two types of gaming keyboards, mechanical and non-mechanical. A mechanical keyboard has mechanical switches, while a non-mechanical keyboard has a membrane.
Non-mechanical gaming keyboards have a circuit board with a silicone membrane on top. When you press a key, it presses down onto the silicone and allows a small electrical current to flow and register the key press. Non-mechanical gaming keyboards tend to be much quieter than mechanical models.
A non-mechanical gaming keyboard like this is ideal for communicating with teammates without having them hear your typing sounds. Likewise, those who play late at night will have no problem with their housemates if they use a non-mechanical gaming keyboard.
Reasons to Use a Non-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
You may want to opt for a non-mechanical gaming keyboard because they are quieter than mechanical models and they are budget-friendly options.
Non-mechanical gaming keyboards are quieter and more affordable than mechanical gaming keyboards.
Reason 1. Non-Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Are Quieter
As a general rule, people do not want their keyboards to make loud sounds when typing. When gaming at night, you want to be sure that you won't disturb your family or roommates. Non-mechanical gaming keyboards like this are quieter than other mechanical keyboards because of a soft landing pad. If you plan to use your keyboard near other people and you do not want to disturb them, consider getting a non-mechanical model.
Reason 2. Non-Mechanical Keyboards are More Affordable
While non-mechanical gaming keyboards tend to be more affordable than mechanical options, they also are known to be less durable. While you may save money on the initial purchase, in the long run getting a non-mechanical gaming keyboard may not necessarily be the best option budget-wise.
You might also find interest in learning how to choose a one-handed gaming keyboard. If so, be sure to check out our related article.
Types of Non-Mechanical Gaming Keyboards
When it comes to choosing the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard, you should know that there are various types.
Membrane keyboards and Chiclet keyboards are two types of non-mechanical gaming keyboards.
You can choose from the following types of non-mechanical gaming keyboards:
Type 1. Membrane Keyboards
Membrane keyboards like this have a layer of rubber or silicone that covers the entire circuit board. As you press a key, the command goes through the circuit and sends a signal to the computer.
Type 2. Chiclet or Island Style Keyboards
These keyboards get their name from the chewing gum brand Chiclet. This is because the keys are the same shape as Chiclet chewing gum - they are separate from each other and have a certain space between them. This article by Hhkeyboards, a keyboard manufacturer, explains what Chicklet keyboards are in greater detail.
Chiclet keyboard keys are known to be trustworthy for typing purposes. They are suitable for typing quickly without making mistakes due to their well-spaced keys. Also, Chiclet keyboards are rising in popularity and are increasingly incorporated into laptops, in particular.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Membrane Gaming Keyboard?
As with any gaming equipment and computer hardware, using a membrane keyboard has pros and cons.
The advantages of a membrane gaming keyboard are that they are silent and affordable. The disadvantages are that they are less durable, often have fewer features, and that key presses tend to provide slower feedback than mechanical keyboards.
Usually, membrane gaming keyboards are more affordable than mechanical keyboards. They are also quieter than mechanical keyboards and require less maintenance than mechanical keyboards.
However, some membrane gaming keyboards don't have as many features as mechanical keyboards. Tactile feedback, or response time on presses, is often lower in non-mechanical gaming keyboards than in mechanical ones. Membrane keyboards also feel less responsive than mechanical keyboards.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Chiclet Gaming Keyboard?
Using a Chiclet Gaming Keyboard can be advantageous, but some gamers may find the opposite to be true.
The advantages of using a chiclet gaming keyboard include a more laptop-like feel when typing, and they are more durable than membrane keyboards. The disadvantages of using a Chiclet gaming keyboard are that they are more expensive, and many people prefer the feel of a membrane keyboard.
Chiclet gaming keyboards offer a more laptop-like typing experience. They also tend to be more durable than membrane keyboards.
However, these gaming keyboards tend to be more expensive than membrane keyboards. Depending on your preferences, you might also like the feel of a membrane keyboard more.
Pros and Cons of Non-Mechanical Gaming Keyboards
Non-mechanical keyboards are more comfortable to use if you game for extended periods of time.
The advantages of non-mechanical gaming keyboards are that they are budget-friendly, silent, and more comfortable to use. The disadvantages are that they have fewer features, are not as durable, and have slower response times than mechanical keyboards.
This video tutorial compares mechanical, membrane, and Chiclet gaming keyboards.
Summary of the Differences Between Mechanical and Non-Mechanical Keyboards:
|What are you trying to optimize?||Do you need a mechanical, membrane, or Chiclet keyboard?||Why?||Example keyboard for your needs||Price estimate|
|I want a clicky feeling when I press a key||Neither. Consider buying a mechanical keyboard||A clicky feeling is associated with mechanical keyboards||Fiodio Mechanical Gaming Keyboard||~ $45|
|I want a quiet keyboard||A membrane keyboard||This type of keyboard has the lowest level of noise||Membrane Gaming Keyboard||~ $25|
|I want a durable keyboard||Chiclet keyboard or mechanical keyboard||Built with high-grade plastic||Cherry B.Unlimited Wireless Keyboard||~ $60|
|I want a compact keyboard||Membrane, Chiclet, and mechanical keyboards||Each type of keyboard comes in compact sizes||SteelSeries Apex 3 Tkl RGB Gaming Keyboard||~ $35|
You may also find interest in learning how to find a quiet mechanical keyboard too. If so, be sure to take a look at our related article.
Tips To Choose the Best Membrane Keyboard for Gaming
Let's take a closer look at some of the most important tips to consider when choosing a membrane keyboard.
To choose the best membrane keyboard for gaming, look for one that is durable, quiet, and has a good feel.
As a matter of interest, check out our article that discusses the benefits of gaming with a keyboard on your lap if you enjoy gaming from the comfort of your sofa.
Follow these tips to choose the best membrane keyboard for gaming:
Tip 1. Look for a Membrane Keyboard That Is Made With Durable Materials
When it comes to finding a durable membrane keyboard, look for one that is made with ABS plastic. This is a strong type of plastic known for its resistance to wear and tear.
Also, be sure to choose a keyboard that has double-shot keycaps, as discussed in this thread on Reddit. That way, you can be sure that the keys won't fade away over time.
We recommend this durable membrane keyboard from Razer if durability is what you are looking for.
Tip 2. Choose a Membrane Keyboard That Has Anti-Ghosting Technology
Speed is an essential consideration for gamers. If you play games that require quick response times, look for a membrane keyboard that has anti-ghosting technology. This type of technology prevents keystrokes from being lost, even if you press multiple keys simultaneously. With anti-ghosting technology, you can rest assured that your commands will always be registered. If you’d like to learn about the latest developments in anti-ghost technology, read this article from IEEE by Cheng et al.
This Fiodio Rainbow Membrane Gaming Keyboard is a keyboard with anti-ghosting technology that we recommend for gaming.
Tip 3. Look for a Membrane Keyboard With Responsive and Clicky Keycaps
If you want the feel of a mechanical keyboard but without the noise, look for a membrane keyboard with responsive and clicky keycaps. This type of keycap will give you a tactile response that is similar to a mechanical keyboard. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of both types of keyboards.
This Cherry Stream Keyboard is a low-cost silent model with clicky keycaps.
Tip 4. Pick a Membrane Keyboard That Has Features Like Spill-Resistant Designs and Braided Cables To Lengthen Its Lifespan
When it comes to choosing a membrane keyboard, look for one that has features like spill resistance and braided cables. These types of features will help lengthen the lifespan of your keyboard.
Tip 5. Choose a Membrane Keyboard That Is Quiet and Has a Good Feel
If you want a membrane keyboard that is quiet and has a good feel, look for one that has rubber dome switches. These switches are known for being quiet and having a soft, responsive feel when pressed.
Also, make sure to choose a keyboard that has keycaps that are made from a soft material.
A comfortable option is this HyperX Alloy Core RGB – Membrane Gaming Keyboard.
Tip 6. Pick a Membrane Keyboard That Is Compatible With Your Devices
When it comes to choosing a membrane keyboard, make sure to pick one that is compatible with your devices. Some membrane keyboards come with built-in USB ports, for example.
Tip 7. Choose a Membrane Keyboard That Offers the Features You Need
When it comes to choosing a membrane keyboard, make sure to consider which features you want. For example, you may want a backlit keyboard, and not all keyboards have this feature.
Some membrane keyboards come with programmable keys that could be beneficial when playing games that require pressing many different commands. If you want to be able to customize your keyboard, make sure to choose one that offers this feature.
This Klim Chroma Wireless Gaming Keyboard is the best option that money can buy if you are looking for a gaming keyboard with all the necessary features.
Tips To Choose the Best Chiclet or Island Style Gaming Keyboard
Choose a Chiclet keyboard for its comfortable key spacing, perfect key height, customizable backlighting, compatibility with other gaming devices, features, affordable price, convenient size, durability, and good customer reviews.
Here are some tips to help you choose the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard with a chiclet-style also known as an island-style gaming keyboard:
Tip 1. Find a Chiclet Keyboard With Comfortable Key Spacing To Avoid Finger Fatigue
To avoid errors and finger fatigue when you're playing games, get a Chiclet keyboard with comfortable key spacing like this one that also has programmable keys. As discussed in this article in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, 6 hours of keyboard and mouse use led to fatigue in 18 study participants. Using a chiclet keyboard can reduce such finger fatigue.
Tip 2. Look For a Chiclet Keyboard With a Reasonable Key Height
A good gaming keyboard has a number of important features, one of which is the key height. By choosing a keyboard with keys that are neither too short nor too tall, you won't have to strain your fingers when you're playing games.
Tip 3. Choose a Chiclet Gaming Keyboard With Customizable Backlighting
It is essential to pick a gaming keyboard with customizable backlighting like this one so that you can create the perfect gaming experience for yourself. You can group commands in color blocks and make it easier to recognize which key you should press.
Our tips that explain how to change gaming keyboard light settings can help you to program the backlighting of your keyboard for optimal gaming.
Tip 4. Find a Chiclet Gaming Keyboard That Is Compatible With Your Devices
When selecting a gaming keyboard, ensure that it is compatible with all of your electronic devices. That way, you won't have any compatibility issues when you're trying to use it.
Tip 5. Select a Chiclet Gaming Keyboard That Offers the Features You Need
Before you buy a gaming keyboard, check that it has all the features on your must-have list. For example, if you want a backlit keyboard, make sure to choose one that has this feature. Also, some gaming keyboards come with programmable keys. So, if you want to be able to customize your keyboard, make sure to choose one that offers this feature.
This Philips Wired Gaming Keyboard is a Chiclet-style gaming keyboard with backlit keys.
Tip 6. Get a Chiclet Gaming Keyboard That Is Within Your Budget
Budget is an important factor to consider when choosing a gaming keyboard. You do not want to spend too much money on a keyboard that you are not going to use that often. On the other hand, you also do not want to get a cheap keyboard that is going to break easily. So, make sure to find a balance between these two factors and choose a keyboard like this.
Tip 7. Consider the Size of the Chiclet Keyboard When Making Your Decision
Gaming keyboards come in different sizes. You want to make sure that you choose a keyboard that is the right size for you. If you have a small desk or if you move around a lot, then you might want to get a compact keyboard like this. Our guide on how many keys are on a gaming keyboard outlines their various sizes and their respective numbers of keys.
Tip 8. Ensure That the Chiclet Keyboard Is Durable
A durable gaming keyboard like this can withstand thousands of hours of gameplay. Some keyboards come with a warranty. So, if you are not satisfied with the product, you can return it and get your money back.
Tip 9. Check Product Reviews Before Making Your Final Decision
When you are ready to buy a gaming keyboard, make sure to check the reviews first. The best non-mechanical gaming keyboards have good reviews on websites like Tom’s Hardware and Wirecutter. You may not want to depend solely on Amazon reviews. That way, you can get an idea of what other people think about the product. Also, by reading the reviews, you can learn about the pros and cons of the keyboard.