It’s game on with these gaming keyboards

It’s game on with these gaming keyboards

A gaming keyboard. Picture credit: Karol D

Imagine the scenario of a dimly-lit room and a teenager furiously clicking away at the keyboard and using other computer peripherals. It is the exciting world of computer gaming.

Computer gaming is big these days. And with this comes the demand for computer gaming hardware. Obviously, one of the most crucial input peripherals in computer gaming is the keyboard.

A keyboard is a keyboard. Why can’t a normal keyboard suffice for gaming? Ask any gamer and he or she will beg to differ.

A regular keyboard can generally be used just for typing documents or surfing the internet. The requirements for a gaming keyboard are slightly different. They need to have separate controls that are used for playing games. Some of them even have programmable functions, whereas regular keyboards have a few multimedia keys like play, stop, pause and volume up and down.

Gaming keyboards have snazzy designs, they are backlit with single or multicolour LEDs for quick identification of keys, volume control knobs, better key response, good ergonomics for long hours of use and several other features. They are also built to last more than regular keyboards.

Other important features in gaming keyboards are key rollover and anti-ghosting.

A keyboard with a six-key rollover means that the computer will register inputs from six keys.

Ghosting is a problem in which some keys don’t work when others have been pressed down already. The anti-ghosting feature in a keyboard eliminates this problem. Top-of-the-line keyboards have n-key rollover and this means that any number of keys can be pressed at the same time and the input will be registered by the computer.

Keyboards are of two types. One is the membrane keyboard and the other is the mechanical one.

A membrane keyboard is the most commonly used one and the keys are physically smaller. Electrical contact is made on the circuit board inside the keyboard when a key is pressed.

A mechanical keyboard has physical switches under the key caps that make the keyboard send a signal to the computer that the key has been pressed. These keyboards can easily be spotted with their tall key caps and noisier operation.

Mechanical keyboards are more accurate and will last longer. It also takes less force to register a key press with a mechanical keyboard than a membrane one. Due to this, mechanical keyboards allow for faster gaming.

Good mechanical keyboards are often fitted with switches from Cherry MX or Romer companies. These switches are known to be of high quality and will last for a long time.

However, the gaming community is divided on this as there are some who prefer membrane and the others like mechanical.

While deciding between the two, it is best to try it our before making the purchase.

Mechanical keyboards can be expensive. However, there are membrane keyboards that give the feeling of mechanical ones. These give a good balance between price and the tactile feel of a mechanical keyboard.

Corsair, Razer, Logitech, Roccat, SteelSeries, Zebronics, G.Skill, HyperX, Dragonwar, Redgear, HP, Cooler Master, Rapoo and several other companies manufacture gaming keyboards.

The cheapest gaming keyboard can be bought for about Rs 600 and a high quality mechanical keyboard could cost up to Rs 20,000.