Keyboards play an important role in modern-day computers. They offer a means for a human operator to input commands, which are then processed by the respective computer or device. While all keyboards share this fundamental purpose, there are subtle nuances between the different types that shouldn’t go unnoticed. To learn more about the different types of keyboards and how they operate, keep reading.
The standard keyboard features keys that are roughly three-quarters inch on center, with a travel of at least 0.150 inches. Certain models of the standard keyboard, particularly those used for desktop computers, also contain punctuation symbols, numbers, alphabetic characters, and special function keys. Depending on the particular model, you may also discover the “Enter” key on a standard keyboard is shaped differently. The standard keyboard is the most common and widely used computer keyboard on the market, offering a simple and effective way to enter commands into a computer.
Another common type of keyboard is the laptop-size keyboard. As the name suggests, this is essentially the same as a standard keyboard but on a smaller scale. There are a few other nuances between the two, however. The laptop-size keyboard typically has a shorter travel distance between keystroke and fewer keys. They may or may not have numerical keypad. And depending on the particular model, some laptop-size keyboards may feature function keys in different locations and sizes than their full-sized counterpart. Furthermore, most laptop-size keyboards use a scissor switch instead of a rubber dome, which is in stark contrast to standard keyboards.
A third type of keyboard is the flexible keyboard. Featuring a full arrangement of keys, they have the unique ability to fold and/or roll for easy and convenient travel. You can literally foll up a flexible keyboard so it can squeeze inside a small bag. Most flexible keyboards are made with silicone, increasing its resistance to water and dust while improving its overall comfort and ergonomics. But there are still some disadvantages to using a flexible keyboard, one of which is its surface requirements. Because it’s flexible, it must be placed on a hard, firm surface for the user to operate
One of the lesser-known keyboard types is a handheld keyboard. These keyboards are characterized by their handheld design, much like that of a video game controller. They are typically connected via a USB cable, featuring fewer keys than a traditional keyboard along with a different layout and positions.