Quiet keyboards, or silent keyboards, are exactly what they sound like. Or, what they don’t sound like, if you want to be technical. They’re designed to reduce or eliminate the sound made by your fingers hitting the keys, a blessing for those who want to work without disturbing others, such as roommates or family members.
There are some considerations to be made when looking at quiet keyboards if you want to choose the right one. Let’s take you over the top 5 to keep in mind.
#1. Do You Have Need a Full Keyboard?
The first question is what type of keyboard you need. A lot of people are perfectly happy with a compact keyboard, which saves space and streamlines the keys. The keypad on the right is removed, leaving the numbers above the usual QWERTY letters. If you are used to one type of keyboard over the other, you may need an adjustment period, though it shouldn’t take long to adapt.
There are also gaming keyboards available for those who want a little extra function over regular versions. These can include extra keys/shortcuts. Some gaming keyboards also come with the ability to bind your own shortcut keys, and there are other specialty keyboards available for those who have requirements in terms of large/small keys.
#2. Wired vs Wireless
The development of high-quality wireless technology has seen a big increase in the popularity of wireless, whilst other users don’t see an advantage because they’re likely to be sat in the same spot each day anyway. This is a personal preference and quiet keyboards are available in both versions, so go with whatever you prefer.
#3. Are You Looking for a Combo?
Perhaps you’re also interested in a mouse to go with your keyboard, specifically a quieter mouse. There can be other advantages to a combo as well, such as the quick set-up of both devices simultaneously, or the ability to use a wireless keyboard/mouse combo through a single USB adapter, freeing up a USB port. Some people simply prefer the visual look of a matching set as well.
#4. What Type of Switch is Used
Older keyboards always used what is known as a mechanical switch to operate the keys. With this type of key switch, when you hit a key the plastic (usually) will press down on a spring or similar device and complete a circuit briefly, which is what the computer interprets as a key press. Nowadays there are membrane switches available instead, in which a thin printed version of the circuit is used, eliminating the need for plastic/metal to strike against plastic/metal. This can even be printed onto a rubbery surface allowing even less noise, with some membrane switches having the added benefit of being water-resistant.
#5. Material Used in the Keyboard
One final area to consider is the material used for your keyboard. There are all kinds of fancy keyboards available these days, including full aluminum versions for example. The effect of a hard material or a sharp edge on a desk could cause a little noise, as could hitting keys made from a tinny material. Look for a nice, soft touch and soft feel plastic polymer. Alongside this ensure there are rubber feet on the keyboard as well, so it doesn’t slip, slide or make a scraping noise on your surface.