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Difference between Membrane Keyboard and Mechanical Keyboard

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Keyboard is like a type-writer but with modern set of arrangements. Basically, it is a input device that takes letters or characters from the user, process it and then shows the output on the monitor screen. It has many push-buttons referred to as keys. 

At first, keyboards were only used for typing but now, they are used by gamer, for editing, and for various professional works. 

There are many types of keyboards available in the market like Flexible keyboard, Gaming keyboard, Wireless keyboard, Membrane keyboard, Mechanical Keyboard, Virtual Keyboard etc. 

In this topic, we will see what are Membrane and Mechanical Keyboards. 

1. Membrane Keyboard : 
A Membrane keyboard has membrane where each keys lies on the different parts of three layered membrane that are pressure sensitive. If you apply pressure by pressing the key in the specific area, it registers as a keystroke. 

Basically, it has a circuit covered by the layer of rubber and above that we have buttons or keys which can be seen on the keyboard. When you press any button, it forces the rubber layer below it, which is further attached with the circuit. When the rubber layer presses the circuit, the circuit sends the information to CPU. Then, CPU shows the output on the screen. 

The keys has to be pressed very hard so that the rubber layer can touch the circuit. For example, Magnavox Odyssey2 and Sinclair ZX80 & ZX81 computers. 

2. Mechanical Keyboard : 
It was introduced in early 2000. A mechanical keyboard uses individual switch for each key. Once you press the key down far enough and engage the switch on the key, it registers as a keystroke. 

It has a mechanism for the working. It does not have the layer of rubber like membrane keyboard. When you press the key, it has a mechanism in its side. When they both collide with each other, the circuit sends the information to CPU which further shows the output on the screen. 

The keys can be pressed even gently, the mechanism in it will automatically detect. For example, Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT, SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL etc. 

There are various mechanical keys which can be seen in many keyboards- cherry mx. 

The cherry mx keys are made with different names, colors and all the specifications are different from each other. The basic colours in cherry mx is red, brown, blue. With these colors, one can differentiate between the keyboards and its specifications and how they work. 

When you press blue cherry mx, they produce a sound of a mouse when clicked and can listened very easily. Brown cherry mx does not produce any clickable sound. Red cherry mx does have a clickable sound but not like the sound of cherry mx blue. Cherry mx red is made for singular smooth linear motion. 

Similarities between Membrane Keyboard and Mechanical Keyboard :

  • Both serve the same basic purpose of inputting keystrokes.
  • Both can be connected to a computer or other device via USB, Bluetooth, or other connectivity options.
  • Both can have a standard or ergonomic design, depending on the user’s preference.
  • Both can have additional keys for multimedia controls, macros, or other functions.
  • Both can have a variety of layouts, including QWERTY, AZERTY, and others.

Difference between Membrane Keyboard and Mechanical Keyboard :  

Membrane KeyboardMechanical Keyboard
It has a rubber layer for working.It has a mechanism for working.
Pressing the key, forces the rubber layer to touch circuit.Pressing the key, it touches with the mechanism on its side, which is read by circuit.
The keys has to be pressed very hard to tell the circuit that which key is pressed.The key can be pressed gently, and it will work properly.
It is economical.It is expensive.
It does not produce sound while clicking the keys.It does produce a sound on clicking.
Limited customization optionsExtensive customization options, including switch type, keycap material, and backlighting
 less suitable for gaming due to lack of tactile feedback preferred for gaming due to tactile feedback and faster response time


The choice between a membrane keyboard and a mechanical keyboard comes down to personal preference and specific needs. Membrane keyboards are generally more affordable and quieter, making them a good option for those who value a softer typing experience. On the other hand, mechanical keyboards offer better tactile feedback, customization options, and durability, making them a preferred choice for many gamers, typists, and professionals.


Last Updated : 21 Mar, 2023
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