Keyboards are an essential part of every computer system, and being a part of the computer system, it has seen a lot of improvements and changes. It is a device that allows you to input commands on your computers, smartphones, and tablets.
You can type for hours with a lousy keyboard; then, you have soreness in your hands, arms, and wrists. It could probably take a minute if we’re talking about the keyboard we typically see on most computer setups. Still, you should know that the world of keyboards is a complex one with many different types and options.
And its history? It can be traced back to the early typewriters. A good keyboard is an essential part of a good computer setup. It should be able to give you a satisfying typing experience and make your work or gaming more enjoyable. Here’s a breakdown of the components you’ll find on a keyboard, what these are for, and basically what you need to know to find the right one.
What Is A Keyboard?
A keyboard is a mechanical device that detects and transmits keystroke sequences through an array of levers or buttons. A computer keyboard is a typing device with a set of row buttons, often including letters, numerals, and other keys, linked to an alphanumeric readout as it provides a physical mechanism for entering characters and symbols into a computer. A touchscreen keyboard, sometimes known as a tablet keyboard, is a kind of virtual keyboard that uses a touchscreen or projected capacitive display to project letters or symbols.
Laptops have a built-in keyboard, while as said, tablets have a touchscreen keyboard, as well as smartphones and some older phones have a built-in keypad. However, some keyboards can be connected to devices that are non-physical keyboards with a Bluetooth keyboard. The QWERTY layout is the most used layout for keyboards today, and it is logical when frequently used characters such as vowels, consonants, and numbers are located in the same place on the keyboard. The layout is practical because it reduces errors and saves space.
How Do Keyboards Work?
There are various kinds of keyboards on the market today, but they all serve the same purpose: they enable you to enter text into your computer. Keyboards exist in a range of forms and sizes, but the core components are the same. Let’s examine how a keyboard works.
Each key on a keyboard is linked to a metal strip called a switch as you type. When you press a key, it pulls the switch down and completes an electrical circuit. This transmits an electrical signal to your computer, informing it of the key you pushed.
The science underlying the keyboard is fascinating. Each key has two components: the plunger and the slider. When you push down on a key, the plunger strikes the switch, and the slider goes down the track that runs below each row of keys.
History Of Keyboards
The history of keyboards is an interesting one. Keyboards are one of the most important and commonly used pieces of computer hardware. Since then, keyboards have evolved a great deal. But who invented them, and when? Now, let’s see.
|1714||–||Henry Mill invented the keyboard|
|1868||–||C. Latham Sholes invented the QWERTY keyboard layout|
|1878||–||The QWERTY keyboard was introduced in the typewriter|
|1936||–||The keyboard of a typewriter was simplified|
|1963||Teletype Corporation||Introduced the Teletype Model 33 ASR (also a typewriter known as teleprinter)|
|1981||IBM||Developed and launched the first keyboard for a computer|
|1984||IBM||Improved the first keyboard they developed|
|1994||Microsoft||Launched the first ergonomic keyboard|
|1999||–||The first foldable/bendable keyboard was developed|
|2003||–||Howell Brian invented the first illuminated keyboard|
|2006||–||The illuminated keyboard became famous to the world|
|2008||–||The first laser keyboard was invented|
|2013||–||The first touchscreen keyboard was developed|
|2020||–||Customizing keyboards became a techies obsession|
Types Of Keyboards
The first keyboard ever made had no keys but rather holes for the user’s fingers to go through. The user would press on the different holes to type. And now, the evolution of keyboards has taken over the world. Let’s take a look at it.
|Mechanical||The most common type of keyboard|
|Membrane||Keys are not separated from each other|
|Flexible||Constructed of flexible materials such as silicone, allowing the keyboard to be folded or rolled into a smaller size|
|Ergonomic||Keys are divided into two for a relaxed use|
|Gaming||Keyboard designed for gaming which is usually small|
|Wireless||Uses Bluetooth/receiver for connection|
|Handheld||Designed for mobile use|
All Keyboard Manufacturers
There are many keyboard manufacturers in the market, but some brands are more popular than others. Each company has its own unique features and benefits that make it stand out from the competition.
|Logitech||Has the best budget keyboards|
|Ducky||Has the best mechanical keyboards|
|Razer||Has the best wireless mechanical keyboards|
|SteelSeries||Has the best gaming keyboards|
|Apple||Has the best keyboard with Touch ID|
|Kinesis||Has the best ergonomic keyboards|
Components And Parts Of A Keyboard
When it comes to the anatomy of a keyboard, there are a few key components that you should be aware of. The main parts of a keyboard include the keycaps, the key switches, the PCB, and other features. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Once you’ve decided on your keyboard size, you can choose your PCB because your circuit board decides both the PCB and the case. Your choice of PCB and case will also affect a few other elements of your keyboard, precisely the kind of stabilizers used and whether your keyboard is plate-mounted.
Mechanical keyboard switches are classified into three types: linear, tactile, and clicky. Gamers love linear switches because they are the smoothest and quickest. Because of the feedback, touch typists prefer tactile switches.
A keycap is the plastic covering that sits atop each key switch and serves as an identifier for the character or symbol that is typed into the computer. Users who only use their keyboards occasionally are happy with the standard keycaps. However, keyboard lovers often replace the keycaps with customized ones.
There are two primary types of stabilizers, Costar, and Cherry, which sit below a keyboard’s larger keys and prevent them from swaying from side to side as you push them. These stabilizers can be found in most standard keyboards.
Case And Backplate
Keyboard cases are the overall structure of your keyboard, while the backplate is the backbone. It’s critical that the case you choose for your printed circuit board (PCB) and plate be the correct size. The keyboard won’t work correctly if the component sizes don’t match.
How Much Does A Keyboard Cost?
Keyboards may be costly, with some versions costing more than $200. The cost of a keyboard is typically determined by its features and quality. Backlights, customizable keys, and other extras are common features of higher-end keyboards. There are even custom keyboards that can be priced up to $600 while cheaper keyboards, the ones we just buy for functionality, can cost you around $10 or even less.
While individuals use keyboards for various reasons, the quality of construction is the most important influence on how much they cost. More expensive keyboards are often built better, which means they will last longer and provide a greater degree of comfort. They may also include additional features like backlights or customizable keys.
Some may ask why a keyboard costs so much when it doesn’t seem to perform anything. Because keyboards are sophisticated pieces of equipment, precise engineering and high-quality materials are required. This makes them more costly to manufacture than a mouse, which contains much fewer components.
Frequently Asked Questions
I guess that’s it for now about keyboards. I am personally interested in buying an external keyboard since I use a laptop. I’ve tried different keyboards with my gamer friends whenever I go to their places. Surprisingly, it feels good to type when it makes a clickity-clackity sound. And I highly suggest you try one for yourself too, if you haven’t. It will really get you thinking about buying one of your own.
With that said, I wish this blog helped you with that. I think that keyboards are a great investment, especially if you are into computers.