Mechanical Switching Keyboards

I decided to take the plunge and buy a keyboard with mechanical switches. What put me over the edge was the claim that it improved typing accuracy because your hands got used to sound and feel of the actual switch.

After using it for a week or so, I can’t say that I’m in love just yet. The sound of the keyboard really is loud. I’ve found I have to pay attention to how I’m typing as well. I’ve heard that once you get used to it you don’t really press all the way down because you can feel where the switch engages. Whether or not this is entirely true, using a light touch seems to help avoid mistyping. The most common error when I’m trying to type quickly is when the wrong letter comes first. It is almost like a real typewriter in that it feels like I need to type slowly and deliberately in order to make sure I get it right. Another common frustration is repeated keystrokes. Often when I have to delete more than one letter or word, I’ll press the delete key and not fully press it where it engages. The result being I start typing and have to start over since due to the spacing being incorrect.

I will say that I’ve never been a very strong typist. While I can type quickly at times, my error rate is pretty high. My hope is that this new keyboard will help improve my accuracy and so far I think it might be working. At least as far as typing on this keyboard is concerned. When I move to my laptop keyboard it feels rather foreign and takes a bit of getting used to. That also might be due to having a new X1 Carbon rather than my MacBook pro. The X1 has a pretty good keyboard, but it I wouldn’t consider it any better than my mac keyboard.

I do hope that this change is helpful. The keyboard does feel really rugged and having something new to type on does add a little spice to writing code. At this point I can’t say I’d recommend mechanical switches, but I can definitely see how over time someone could really fall in love with the feel and sound.