Mechanical keyboards are extremely popular at the moment, at least if we look at the available keyboards on the market. For our new comparison test we received a total of 16 models by 11 different manufacturers. Which one should you get?
Originally keyboards with mechanical switches, as we should call this type of keyboard, have been popular among professional typists: writers and programmers. These users were left with classics such as the IBM Model M and brands like Filco and Ducky. However for some time now a new target audience has arisen that is interested in these keyboards: PC-gamers.
The hardware-industry has identified the PC-gamer as someone that is prepared to pay a lot of money for high-end hardware. In a shrinking market this means that a lot of products, from cases to power supplies to motherboards, are given a twist so as to appeal to this audience. The same can be seen when looking at mechanical keyboards: it does not even matter if there are extras that have an added value for gamers, practically all of them are targeted towards this audience.
This can be seen when looking at the price. Mechanical keyboards are a lot more expensive than the membrane counterparts; then again it is clear that there is a hefty margin on these products. In this test the prices of the competitors are high: the cheapest keyboard (the Ozone Strike Pro) averages 85 pounds / 110 euros; the most expensive (the Cherry MX-Board 6.0) costs more than 180 pounds / 230 euros. That is quite a lot of money so you can expect that, when bought, these products are supposed to last a long time. In that regard you can raise questions when looking at the ever-increasing amount of variety in terms of brands and products.
The more expensive models usually differentiate themselves from the cheaper ones with extra functions, like programmable keys or software that allows users to change all kinds of things. Something else that seems to be popular are different lighting effects.