The question that troubles most people is the difference between a gaming keyboard and a regular keyboard. The basic intent is to determine whether a regular keyboard works for gaming or a gaming keyboard can be used for everyday use? Well, there are many factors that determine the importance of both types of keyboards. Primarily it depends on your usage and needs to choose the right keyboard. However, the comparison between a gaming keyboard Vs. regular keyboard can help to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of both types of keyboards.
Gaming Keyboard Vs. Regular Keyboard- Similarities and Differences
A gaming keyboard is explicitly made for the gamer and has additional features that are not available in regular keyboards. These extra features include media controls, programmable keys, and RGB backlights. Gaming keyboards also have mechanical switches, making them more responsive and durable than membrane keyboards.
Mechanical Vs. Membrane Switches
Gaming keyboards are equipped with mechanical switches, whereas regular keyboards have membrane switches. Typically gamers love to use mechanical keyboards are they are best for both typing and gaming.
Fast Response Time
Mechanical or gaming keyboards come with a slightly low input lag/latency of about 15-25 milliseconds, whereas membrane or regular keyboards have up to 30 milliseconds latency.
The difference may seem minor, but the quick response time of gaming keyboards allows them to react quickly. This is one prime difference in competitive esports gaming, including Overwatch, CS: GO, and Fortnite.
Modularity and Versatility
Gaming keyboards have modular nature. These keyboards allow you to swap the existing kind of mechanical switches with another type that suits your gaming needs without replacing your gaming keyboard. This flexibility is not available in regular keyboards.
The travel distance, actuation force, sound, and feedback (clicky, tactile or linear) produced by mechanical switch type differs.
Modularity allows popping off the keycaps with a keycap remover and removing the gunk that collects in-between the keys. You can easily replace the damaged mechanical switches without the need for soldering.
One cool feature of gaming keyboards is the keyboard backlighting. Backlights, also known as RGB backlights, are available in single and multi-colored styles. Popular gaming brands like Logitech, Razer, and Corsair allow customizing the lighting on the gaming keyboard with that of other peripherals like gaming mice from the same brand.
Also known as NKRO, the N-Key Rollover is the ability to press a number of keys simultaneously, registering them accurately and incorrect order. It is usually available with gaming keyboards as each keypress is scanned individually irrespective of the number of keys pressed or held down.
On the other hand, membrane or regular keyboards allow a maximum of 6 key rollovers. In simple words, you can handle a maximum of six simultaneous key presses. This feature may not be handy for typing but works best for gaming.
Consistency of Keypresses
You can get feedback with mechanical keyboards without having to bottom out. It helps build up muscle memory as you can perfectly predict when a keystroke is registered.
This function is not available with membrane keyboards as they come with variable actuation force, which makes it hard to predict how far users need to press down a key before registration.
Gaming involves the forceful and repetitive pressing of certain keys. Some commonly used keys are the W, A, S, and D, which are utilized to move game characters around. That’s why the switching mechanism of a keyboard should be durable.
Typically, gaming keyboards have Cherry MX switches that provide a lifespan of up to 100 million.
When it comes to regular keyboards, it’s challenging to get a similar lifespan.
Comfort and Functionality
Gaming keyboards feature paddings or sometimes detachable wrist rests for additional wrist support. It helps to improve the ergonomics and comfort of a keyboard. Also, this allows using the computer for extended gaming sessions without wrist strain and exhaustion.
Compared to normal keyboards, the keys in membrane keyboards are well-placed, which makes it convenient to type and difficult to press the wrong keys accidentally. Other comfortable features include rubberized keys, media control buttons, extra USB ports, headphones, and microphone jacks.
Best gaming keyboards have their own proprietary software that helps to optimize and customize a keyboard. Razer Synapse, Logitech G Hub, Corsair iCUE, and HyperX NGenuity are the most famous example of such keyboards.
The software detects peripherals automatically from the manufacturer and also keeps firmware up to date. It also helps to save multiple character profiles within your favorite game and switch between them with a single press of a button.
Assigning macros, key binding, and creating color animations are all done through proprietary software.
Programmable Keys (Macros)
Another significant difference between gaming and regular keyboards is that gaming keyboards feature extra programmable keys. Programmable or macro keys allow assigning a complicated command sequence to one key. These keys are helpful when playing MOBA or MMORPG games that have various abilities and skills like Guild Wars 2, Warcraft, and DOTA 2.
Macros can be used to set up multiple profiles for each game. In other words, you can customize the programmable keys to perform different actions according to the gaming needs.
Besides gaming benefits, these keys can be used to increase productivity and save time in routine activities, including copying and pasting, opening and closing windows, and launching programs.
Regular keyboards have a few select colors that include black and white.
On the other hand, a gaming keyboard offers a wide array of colors with a detailed pattern and flashy LED light.
When it comes to shape, regular keyboards have a clean and simple design. Gaming keyboards feature a variety of shapes and designs.
To many, the differences between gaming and standard keyboards don’t matter. However, both are used for specific purposes. A regular keyboard is mainly used for routine activities like office and home use, whereas a gaming keyboard is made for gamer needs with additional features.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I use a gaming keyboard for regular use?
The gaming keyboard is designed for gamers, but you can easily use a gaming keyboard for routine activities like programming, browsing, and typing.
2. Can I use a gaming keyboard on my laptop?
Yes, you can comfortably use a gaming keyboard with your laptop as long as your laptop has a USB port. Make sure to consider the Bluetooth version of a wireless gaming laptop before buying it for laptop use.
3. Does a gaming keyboard help you type faster?
The feel, sound, comfort, and feedback of a gaming keyboard help type faster and accurately.