Igor Bubelov About Blog Photos

Mechanical Keyboards

December 25, 2021

We can’t really take it for granted that market forces will always improve the quality of every product. There is a compromise to be made between product price and product quality, and that’s exactly what happened with keyboards. My first PC was a Pentium 4 with a Genius keyboard. They served me well for many years, and it kind of became a baseline for evaluating all computers and peripherals in the future. Newer CPUs were always better, SSDs felt like magic compared to HDDs, GPUs kept improving. We had a lot of incremental improvements pretty much everywhere.

The keyboards didn’t change that much though, and it’s not because there is nothing left to improve. Sure, laptops had to be more creative with space, and they popularized so-called “scissor” switches, which actually feels like a noticeable improvement, but it’s nothing to write home about. In the past few years, I noticed that some of my friends started to mention mechanical keyboards, so I decided to give those things a try. It turned out, there are three kinds of mechanical key switches: linear, tactile and clicky, and the right choice is a matter of personal preference. It’s generally a good idea to try all of them and decide which one is more comfortable for you. Personally, I had to buy two keyboards with different switches because it was hard to make a final decision.

My initial impression is very good, and I’m thinking about buying this keyboard in the future:

https://system76.com/accessories/launch

It’s a bit pricey, but it’s open source, and it’s Linux-first.