Semi-mechanical keyboards are keyboards where a few important keys have mechanical switches and all other keys have a rubber or membrane dome. They are a mix of the two. It is a cheaper alternative for gamers who want to start experimenting with a mechanical keyboard but are reluctant to take the leap either because they are used to membrane keyboards or for financial reasons. In this article we are going to tell you the main differences between the mechanical keyboard, advantages and disadvantages of both and finally, whether or not it is worth the purchase. Here we go!
Characteristics of a semi-mechanical keyboard
The main features are:
Macros and patterns on the mechanical keys are easy to use.
When it comes to semi-mechanical keyboards, there are a few important and commonly used keys that are mechanical. The rest are not. They have a mechanical WASD design. For gamers and especially if you’re an streamer, it’s something to consider, because the speed is not the same.
If we talk about the mechanical keys on a semi-mechanical keyboard, the key-press experience is pleasant, tactile and precise, but the other keys on a semi-mechanical keyboard are not too bad either. Compared to standard keyboards, the rubber dome switches on a semi-mechanical keyboard are designed to give a mechanical and tactile feel, which makes them better than other keyboards.
Pros and Cons of Semi-Mechanical VS Mechanical Streaming Keyboards
Now that we know what a semi-mechanical keyboard is and what it offers, let’s look at some of the pros and cons before making a final decision about it.
Pros of semi-mechanical keyboards
- Affordable: Semi-mechanical keyboards are quite affordable due to the fact that they only have a few fully mechanical keys.
- Good quality switches: Despite having few mechanical switches, the switches they do have are of good quality, which beats membrane keyboards.
- Decent keystroke feel: The overall keystroke feel of semi-mechanical switches is usually pretty amazing. This is because they have a tactile and precise keystroke, not comparable to mechanical switches, but superior to membrane keyboards.
- Faster than a normal keyboard: Semi-mechanical keyboards are much faster than membrane keyboards. Key registration and commands are sent and activated faster because of the few switches. There is a noticeable difference in this compared to membrane keyboards.
Cons of semi-mechanical keyboards
- Not all switches are mechanical: One flaw that is quite obvious when purchasing a semi-mechanical keyboard is that only a few switch groups are going to be mechanical, and the rest are not.
- They are not intended for a specific type of use: Semi-mechanical keyboards are considered a generic solution only for average computer use, video games and writers. However, they are neither powerful nor very good for any specific type of use.
Want to start monetising with Streamion?
It's very simple: sign up, choose the brands you want to collaborate with and start earning money.
Mechanical and semi-mechanical keyboards: What is the difference?
Now that we know what a semi-mechanical keyboard is and what it offers, let’s look at some of the pros and cons it has before making a final decision on it and seeing if it’s a good idea to incorporate it into your streamer set up.
The very big noticeable difference is the keystroke experience. On mechanical keyboards, since all keys are mechanical with switches underneath, they offer the same amount of feel, precision, accuracy and overall responsiveness. However, when it comes to semi-mechanical keyboards, only a few mechanical switches offer high quality precision and feel. So, in this regard, I would say that mechanical keyboards are far superior to semi-mechanical keyboards.
If we consider the quality of both types of keyboards, it depends on a few factors. Normally, mechanical keyboards are of higher quality because of the mechanical switches, but semi-mechanical keyboards are quite good in quality as well, although we would say a bit below these. It also depends on the vendor and manufacturer. For example, some keyboard manufacturers tend to include irrelevant features in mechanical keyboards and end up using cheap mechanical switches. The same can happen with semi-mechanical keyboards. But in general, premium keyboards are mostly mechanical, and in today’s market you can see many affordable but low-quality semi-mechanical parts.
Price is a very important and often the most discussed difference between mechanical and semi-mechanical keyboards. If you have a low budget, mechanical keyboards may be inaccessible to you. On the other hand, we would like to point out that semi-mechanical keyboards are perfect if you don’t have a big budget!
So, price-wise, we can safely say that semi-mechanical keyboards are a better choice than mechanical keyboards. Still, we insist, that if you have a bigger budget, you should opt for a mechanical keyboard, as the overall key-pressing experience will be much better.
Who is a mechanical keyboard intended for, and what are the usage requirements to get a semi-mechanical keyboard? Well, there is a difference for sure between them.
Mechanical keyboards come in different types of switches, and each of them serve a specific purpose very well. For example, linear switches are good for gaming, touch switches are versatile, click switches are great for typists, etc.
However, semi-mechanical keyboards are considered a fallback item. This is because they are good for generic use. They are not specially designed for a specific need. However, you can use them for anything, you just don’t get incredibly amazing results if that’s what you’re looking for.
Which one should I buy?
You have to be very clear about what you want it for. If you are looking for a gaming keyboard for streaming, we recommend several things. First of all, it should be backlit, that is, it should emit lights for better visibility in front of the camera. And the second thing is the speed you need in the keystroke of the keyboards. If you are a gamer and you are an streamer (or maybe you would like to be an streamer), you are interested in a mechanical keyboard. On the other hand, if you are streaming but you do not need to press the keys quickly and for you it is not relevant to invest a lot of money in a keyboard, then a semi-mechanical keyboard is better. Both mechanical and semi-mechanical keyboards fulfill their objectives, but in comparison, mechanical keyboards take the prize. However, there is one problem, and that is the price. If you are on a tight budget but want to get that mechanical feel, a semi-mechanical keyboard will suit you well, as they are inexpensive.
In general, mechanical keyboards are much better in feel, quality and touch than semi-mechanical keyboards, but they are also more expensive. So, that’s something that a lot of people don’t like. I hope that you have learned a lot about mechanical and semi-mechanical keyboards in this article and that you are going to use this knowledge when you are going to buy one of these keyboards.