What are the Three Main Types of Keyboards?

Keyboards are an essential part of our daily lives, whether it’s for work, play or communication. But did you know that there are three main types of keyboards? Each type is designed for a specific purpose and offers unique features that cater to different user needs. In this article, we’ll explore the three main types of keyboards and their distinct characteristics. Get ready to discover the world of keyboards and find the perfect one for you!

Quick Answer:
The three main types of keyboards are mechanical, membrane, and touchscreen. Mechanical keyboards are the most popular among gamers and typists due to their tactile feedback and durability. Membrane keyboards are the most common and affordable, with a flat panel and rubber dome switches. Touchscreen keyboards are found on mobile devices and allow for gesture recognition and easy navigation.

Types of Keyboards: Mechanical, Membrane, and Touchscreen

Mechanical Keyboards

How do Mechanical Keyboards Work?

Mechanical keyboards are known for their tactile feedback and satisfying typing experience. The key to their unique feel is the switches. The switches are the components that make mechanical keyboards different from other types of keyboards. They are responsible for registering a keystroke and providing the tactile feedback.

There are different types of switches, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common types of switches include:

  • Linear switches: These switches have a smooth, consistent travel and no tactile bump. They are ideal for those who prefer a silent and smooth typing experience.
  • Tactile switches: These switches have a tactile bump that provides a clear and distinct feedback when a key is pressed. They are preferred by those who want a more tactile typing experience.
  • Clicky switches: These switches have a tactile bump and an audible click sound when a key is pressed. They are preferred by those who want a very distinct and audible feedback.

Here is a switch comparison chart that highlights the differences between the three types of switches:

Linear Tactile Clicky
Smooth and consistent travel Tactile bump Tactile bump and audible click sound
No tactile bump Clear and distinct feedback Distinct and audible feedback
Silent typing experience Good for typing and gaming Good for typing and gaming

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards have several advantages and disadvantages that are worth considering before making a purchase.


  • Customizable: Mechanical keyboards offer a high degree of customization. Users can choose the type of switches, keycaps, and even the color of the backlighting.
  • Durable: Mechanical keyboards are built to last. They are made with high-quality materials and are designed to withstand heavy use.
  • Improved typing experience: The tactile feedback and comfortable ergonomics of mechanical keyboards can lead to a more comfortable and efficient typing experience.


  • Expensive: Mechanical keyboards are typically more expensive than other types of keyboards.
  • Requires maintenance: Mechanical keyboards require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. This includes cleaning and lubricating the switches.
  • Noisy: Some mechanical keyboards can be quite loud, which may not be suitable for all environments.

Membrane Keyboards

How do Membrane Keyboards Work?

Membrane keyboards are the most common type of keyboard and work by using a series of flexible rubber dome switches underneath each key. When a key is pressed, the switch compresses and makes contact with the circuit board, completing the electrical signal and registering the keystroke.

Key Features of Membrane Keyboards

  • Thin and lightweight design
  • Quiet typing experience
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Can be customized with different color options

Advantages and Disadvantages of Membrane Keyboards

  • Advantages:
    • Affordable and cost-effective
    • Compatible with a wide range of devices
    • Low maintenance and easy to clean
    • Customizable with different colors and designs
  • Disadvantages:
    • Keys may become stuck or malfunction over time
    • Not as durable as mechanical keyboards
    • Not as tactile or responsive as mechanical keyboards
    • No individual key customization options

Touchscreen Keyboards

How do Touchscreen Keyboards Work?

Touchscreen keyboards are an innovative technology that has revolutionized the way we interact with our devices. These keyboards use a touch-sensitive screen to recognize and interpret gestures and touch input from the user. The touchscreen technology is based on the principle of capacitance, which measures the change in capacitance that occurs when a conductor comes near the screen.

When a user touches the screen, the capacitance at that point changes, and this change is detected by the sensors embedded in the screen. The sensors then send the corresponding input to the device’s processor, which interprets the input as a specific action or command.

There are two main types of touchscreen keyboards: resistive and capacitive. Resistive touchscreens use two layers of conductive material with a thin gap between them. When the user touches the screen, the two layers come into contact, completing a circuit and sending the input to the processor. Capacitive touchscreens, on the other hand, use a single layer of conductive material and measure the change in capacitance when a user’s finger comes near the screen.

Types of Touchscreen Keyboards

There are several types of touchscreen keyboards available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Some of the most popular types of touchscreen keyboards include:

  • Virtual keyboard: This type of keyboard is displayed on the screen as a software-based keyboard. It is typically used on smartphones and tablets and is activated by tapping on the screen.
  • Physical keyboard: This type of keyboard is built into the device and is physically separate from the screen. It is typically used on laptops and netbooks.
  • Floating keyboard: This type of keyboard is a software-based keyboard that can be moved around the screen and resized. It is typically used on Android devices.
  • Split keyboard: This type of keyboard is designed for users who prefer a more ergonomic typing experience. It is typically used on tablets and laptops.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Touchscreen Keyboards

Touchscreen keyboards have several advantages and disadvantages that users should consider before deciding which type of keyboard to use. Some of the advantages of touchscreen keyboards include:

  • Portability: Touchscreen keyboards are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for use on smartphones and tablets.
  • Customization: Touchscreen keyboards can be customized to suit the user’s preferences, including changing the size, layout, and color scheme.
  • Multitouch: Touchscreen keyboards support multitouch, allowing users to perform multiple actions at once, such as zooming and scrolling.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using touchscreen keyboards, including:

  • Accuracy: Touchscreen keyboards can be less accurate than physical keyboards, particularly for users with larger hands or those who type quickly.
  • Durability: Touchscreen keyboards are susceptible to damage from water, dust, and other environmental factors.
  • Learning curve: Touchscreen keyboards may require some time to get used to, particularly for users who are accustomed to using physical keyboards.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Keyboard


When choosing a keyboard, it’s important to consider ergonomics. Ergonomics refers to the design of the keyboard and how it fits with your body. A well-designed keyboard can help reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and improve your overall comfort during long periods of use.

How to Choose the Right Keyboard for Your Hands

When choosing a keyboard, it’s important to consider the size and shape of your hands. Keyboards come in different sizes, from tenkeyless (TKL) to full-size, and with different key shapes, such as standard, ergonomic, or split. Consider your hand size, grip strength, and typing style when selecting a keyboard. A keyboard that fits your hands well can help reduce fatigue and improve your typing speed and accuracy.

How to Improve Typing Posture

Good typing posture is essential for preventing injuries and maintaining comfort during long periods of use. Here are some tips for improving your typing posture:

  • Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.
  • Place your hands on the home row keys, with your fingers resting lightly on the keys.
  • Keep your wrists straight and your forearms parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body and away from the keyboard.
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch and rest your hands.

By following these tips and choosing a keyboard that fits your hands and typing style, you can improve your ergonomics and reduce the risk of injuries while using your computer.


When selecting a keyboard, it is important to consider the primary function or usage. Keyboards can be classified into three main categories based on their intended purpose: gaming keyboards, productivity keyboards, and portable keyboards.

Gaming Keyboards

Gaming keyboards are designed specifically for gamers who require quick response times and precision in their gaming experience. These keyboards often feature backlit keys, customizable key functions, and ergonomic designs to reduce hand and wrist strain during extended gaming sessions. Additionally, gaming keyboards may include dedicated buttons for specific game functions, such as quick access to in-game features or the ability to bind certain keys to specific actions.

Productivity Keyboards

Productivity keyboards are designed for individuals who rely heavily on their keyboard for work-related tasks, such as typing, data entry, and programming. These keyboards typically have a full-sized layout with extra function keys, number pads, and dedicated arrow keys for increased efficiency. They may also feature backlit keys, programmable macro keys, and ergonomic designs to reduce strain on the hands and wrists.

Portable Keyboards

Portable keyboards are designed for individuals who need a keyboard that is easy to transport and use on the go. These keyboards are typically compact and lightweight, with a slim profile that makes them easy to carry in a bag or backpack. They may also have built-in batteries, wireless connectivity, and durable materials to withstand the rigors of travel.

Overall, choosing the right keyboard based on usage is essential to ensure that the keyboard meets the user’s specific needs and preferences. Whether it’s for gaming, productivity, or portability, selecting the right keyboard can significantly improve the user’s overall experience and efficiency.


How Much Should You Spend on a Keyboard?

When it comes to purchasing a keyboard, it’s important to consider your budget. Keyboards can range in price from as low as $20 to several hundred dollars, depending on the type and features you need. It’s essential to set a budget before you start shopping so that you can narrow down your options and find a keyboard that fits your needs and budget.

Affordable Keyboard Options

If you’re on a tight budget, there are still many affordable keyboard options available. Some of the most popular affordable keyboards include:

  • Membrane keyboards: These keyboards are the most affordable option and are often used for basic typing tasks. They are usually wireless and have a simple design.
  • Mechanical keyboards: Mechanical keyboards are more expensive than membrane keyboards but are still relatively affordable. They offer a more tactile and satisfying typing experience and are often used by gamers and professionals.
  • Media keyboards: Media keyboards are designed for watching movies and listening to music. They often have a built-in media controller and are typically wireless.

When shopping for an affordable keyboard, it’s important to consider the features you need and the type of usage you’ll be putting the keyboard through. While you may not be able to get all the bells and whistles of a more expensive keyboard, there are still many affordable options that offer a great typing experience.


1. What are the three main types of keyboards?

There are three main types of keyboards: mechanical, membrane, and touchscreen.

2. What is a mechanical keyboard?

A mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses individual mechanical switches for each key. These switches provide a tactile and audible feedback when pressed, and are designed to last for a long time. Mechanical keyboards are often preferred by gamers and typists because of their durability and responsiveness.

3. What is a membrane keyboard?

A membrane keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses a flexible material, called a membrane, to register key presses. The membrane is printed with circuitry that connects each key to the keyboard’s controller. Membrane keyboards are typically less expensive than mechanical keyboards, but may not provide as much tactile feedback.

4. What is a touchscreen keyboard?

A touchscreen keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses a touchscreen display to register key presses. Touchscreen keyboards are commonly used on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. They offer a convenient and portable typing experience, but may not be as accurate or comfortable as a physical keyboard.

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