The Keyboard - Debut

What To Look For In A Keyboard

Switch Type – This decision is probably the most important ones, for here you choose whether you'll game on a dome or mechanical keyboard. It is either you want lots of accessories, that generally come with dome keyboards (adjustable back lighting, macro keys, fans,...), or buying a simplistic mechanical keyboard without all the bells and whistles.

Build Quality - This is pretty subjective. Some people equate weight and plastic thickness with durability. Details such keyboard feet that don't collapse easily or slide around, thickness of cable, and plastic finish are other clues. This is one of those things that you can't normally see on a picture, but then again, that's why reviews are for. Also, when reading, don't look that much at the praise they give keyboards, because there is loads of people going on and on about how something is great, but when it comes to criticism – let's just say it's often somewhat lacking.

Keys - Since this is where "the rubber meets the road" you want durable keys where the lettering does not wear off. Often though it's a complex trade-off between looks, durability and cost. And in the end alas all keys will wear down nice and shiny (even though you probably won't care if it takes decades of heavy use, which it does for some materials). Watch out for keys that feel cheap or too lightweight.

It makes people mad - be it good or bad

N-Key Rollover Capability - Any keyboard can recognize anywhere from 2 to 8 keys at one time. This is fine for general typing. However MOST keyboards will fail with certain 3 key combos and this becomes important to gamers (the keyboard is called 2KRO because only 2 keys are GUARANTEED to be recognized at one time). If a keyboard is 6KRO (6 keys guaranteed) and not NKRO (all keys on the keyboard can be pressed at once) that is more then satisfactory, for you only have 5 fingers on your hand. But do note, for NKRO to be possible, one must use a PS2 adapter.

Aesthetics - Your choice. Everybody likes something different, but in general mechanical keyboards are more minimalistic and simplistic (the biggest deviation of this are Mionix Zibal 60 and Razer BlackWidow with shiny back lighting), and dome keyboards full of sometimes useful, sometimes less useful things bundled with the package that is – the keyboard.

Features – Some people just need back lighting – it may cost you more, especially if done correctly (that is back lighting every single key on it's own), others need media and macro keys. There are people (especially SteelSeries headphone users) that swear to audio connectors on the keyboard, others just can't live without USB connectors that often don't have enough power to run reliably. Whatever you do, don't trust the marketing claims such as »24K Gold Connectors For Reduced Latency«, when there is no difference whatsoever in the performance of a peripheral kit.

And of course - price.
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