Keyboards guide: mechanical, rubber dome or TKL?


Mechanical or rubber dome, expensive or cheap, lighting or special keys? Our guide explains gamblers how to find the perfect keyboard.

Keyboards for gamers are a dime a dozen and in pretty much every price range. The sheer selection of different models, types of keys and equipment quickly overwhelms. In this guide we explain the different keyboards, go into more detail about important features and show the differences between the key types. We also recommend a range of solid devices between 25 and 200 euros.

More information and tests on individual keyboards can be found in our gaming keyboard theme world. There is even more to do with gaming, including a construction proposal for a VR-compatible PC under 530 euros in our gaming themed world.

The keys are the heart of every keyboard, which is why they should be the most important criterion. The keys on standard keyboards are basically divided into two types, the mechanical and the so-called rubber dome keys, the former in turn being available in different variants.

The Razer Yellow Switches. The RGB LED that sits above the keys is clearly visible.

Most manufacturers offer both rubber dome and mechanical keyboards with and without a cable connection. The disadvantage of a wireless connection is a minimal input lag, which can be particularly uncomfortable in fast games such as shooters. This problem rarely occurs with high-quality keyboards, but older devices with radio transmitters in particular are sometimes lagging.

Rubber dome keys are mainly found in cheap or flatter keyboards. They consist of a kind of rubber mat under the actual keys, which registers the key press and provides the pressure resistance. If the user presses a key down, it compresses the rubber or silicone underneath it and establishes contact with the electronics, which forwards the corresponding key signal to the computer. The rubber then moves the key back to its original position.