Big, small – such different keyboards

Here I want to look at different types of keyboards. Moreover, “types” have two meanings: the method familiar to everyone

actions (membrane or mechanics) and standard sizes.

Heirs of printing presses

Globally, keyboards are divided into twolarge class: membrane and mechanical. It is easy to distinguish them: usually the second ones are several times larger than the first ones (of course, there are exceptions in both directions). Also, different feelings from working for them: indirectly, this is affected by the type of keyboard used, as well as the materials from which it is made.

Here it is necessary to recall some renegades: optical switch keyboards and Topre. The first are built almost on the same principle as the mechanical keyboard. Only the mechanical contact is replaced by the sensor aka "turnstile in the subway", which responds to the interruption of the light beam. At the same time, they have no noticeable advantages over the “outdated mechanics”.

Keyboards built on electrostaticTopre capacitors, in turn, are not very well known outside of Japan. There are two reasons for this: firstly, they are difficult to get anywhere other than the land of the rising sun; secondly, their cost exceeds the cost of conventional mechanics several times. If we talk about the difference in action... They are built on a membrane with a spring under it. Formally, such keyboards can be called membrane keyboards. But, looking at the cost, I can't help but wonder.

Is the pleasure of them the same?

And now according to standard sizes. We will go from the biggest to the smallest. There is no standard classification as such. However, for simplicity, it is better to use percentages.

Let's start with the standard: full-size keyboard (Full size) or 100%. It contains 104 keys, that is, full stuffing: the main part with letters, a block of numeric and F-keys on top, arrows and a calculator in the rightmost part (there are also left, but very rarely).

Some manufacturers expand it by addingprogrammable buttons or player control unit. About the usefulness of such upgrades, everyone decides for himself. In Photoshop or games, macros can be hung up - maybe it will be useful for someone. In any case, for additional functionality you have to pay space on the table. And increased cost.

There is an alternative to a full-size keyboard: This is when Numpad moves right next to the main unit. In this case, the arrows usually remain, and the Ins, Del, etc. etc. either disappear or move to a row above the calculator.

Go ahead - Tenkeyless or TKL, it’s 87% or80%. It turns out at "cutting off" at the full-size Num-block. It remains in this case 87 keys. Such a keyboard already takes up less space on the table. And weighs not so much. But if a set of numbers is critical (in documents, in calculations, or else where), you will have to suffer. Or buy separately Numpad.

We continue to reduce. 75 or 70%. Only the main block of keys remains in them from TKL: letters, numbers and the upper F-row. Often, a space filled with office buttons (Ins, Del ...) and arrows appears to the right. True, because of the latter, the right Shift and the bottom row lose weight.

60% or nothing extra. Ideal for those with a minimum of space on the table, but the work forces to print. After amputation of almost everything, only the letter block remains. And digital on top. Everything else is on additional layers, which can often be programmed as you please.

And to whom numbers are not needed at all, they can find for themselves 40%! Or you can get a separate Numpad. Fortunately, there are many of them, and you can find them in almost any store.

So, to get 40% leave only letters. Backspace can be located instead of a backslash, to at least be in the area of ​​habitual halos habitat. And you can go further, completely remove it and Delete to boot. Then I will feel as if I were working for a real typewriter: you cannot correct typos, but it is long and difficult to do it with a mouse.

There are also so-called switch testers. Usually it is just a case in which there are keys with different colors of switches.

Do you know that there are special keyboards for “osu!”? Like this:

Is there something more interesting?

Separately, you can consider ergonomickeyboard. They are built either on the basis of a single case of a bizarre shape, which should reduce the tension in the wrists and increase comfort while typing. Or from two separate parts of the keyboard - left and right.


There is another "perversion". Ortolinear keyboards. It's simple: the keys are not located in the usual places, but in vertical rows. Most likely, it beats the convenience and comfort for the wrists. And it’s hard for me personally to imagine how convenient (or vice versa) will work for her.

Search yourself

What is the meaning of this species diversitykeyboards, when you can’t even touch them anywhere in our regions? Portability comes to mind first (although it is worth remembering that even 60% of mechanics will weigh at least 300-500 grams, depending on the materials). But the great thing about such a big choice is what it is. And you can always pick something up for yourself.

What if you don’t like anything? No problem. You can go toAli,kbdfans, or other sites, find the necessary components for the assembly: boards, switches and stabilizers, keykapy, body. Write out and wait until they arrive. And then collect.

The body can be made on the spot. Only tools and materials are needed: wood, aluminum, acrylic. And you can decorate it as you like, draw a favorite scene from comics, turn the keyboard into a note book or paint a beautiful landscape on it.