Not all keyboards fall under the category of flat-panel membrane or mechanical-switch. There’s also a hybrid type that combines elements from both. Known dome-switch, it uses two circuit board traces under a flexible keypad using either metal or polyurethane formed domes (hence the name). To learn more about dome-switch keyboards and whether or not they are right for you, keep reading.
One of the key benefits of dome-switch keyboards is the presence of strong, crisp tactile feedback. Because they are made of metal or polyurethane domes, they typically produce a crisp tactile response. This, of course, helps by reducing typing errors and subsequently improving overall accuracy. With that said, metal dome-switch keyboards produce more tactile feedback than their polyurethane counterpart. So, if you’re looking for a keyboard with strong tactile feedback, stick with a metal dome and avoid the polyurethane models.
That’s not the only benefit of dome-switch keyboards, however. This style also has a long lifespan when compared to other styles of keyboards. It’s not uncommon for dome-switch keyboards to last for up to 5 million cycles. For the average user, this means he or she won’t have to replace it for many years to come. Dome-switch keyboards may cost more than other types, but you have to consider the longevity they offer. While you may spend more on a dome-switch keyboard, it’s usually a smart investment that pays off in the form of a longer lasting keyboard.
Furthermore, dome-switch keyboards can be plated in a variety of metals, including nickel, silver or gold. This allows for a higher level of customization that’s not available in other types of keyboards.
There’s also a scissor-switch type of keyboard, which features keys attacked to the keyboard in separate pieces that “interlock” together, similar to the way in which a pair of scissors work. Scissor-style keyboards don’t produce much tactile feedback. However, they are relatively quiet, making them an attractive choice in environments where noise is a concern. Additionally, they require little efforts to use. Even minimal pressure is enough to strike a key.
To recap, dome-switch keyboards are a hybrid of flat-panel membrane and mechanical-switch keyboards. They offer strong tactile feedback, a long lifespan, and they can be plated in a variety of different metals. A variation of dome-switch is the scissor-switch, which is often used in laptops and similar electronic devices. Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of dome-switch keyboards.