There has been an ongoing discussion in the typing community on which the chiclet keyboard and low profile mechanical keyboard is better in different aspects. Both the chiclet keyboard and the low-profile mechanical keyboard have different strengths and weaknesses. This article will help you decide whether to get a chiclet keyboard or a low-profile mechanical keyboard.
Low-profile mechanical keyboards and chiclet keyboards are very similar in feel and functionality. Low-profile mechanical keyboards are technically better since they are more accurate and are more durable. However, it all comes down to which keyboard is more convenient and more comfortable to type on for the end-user.
This article will help you know what a low-profile keyboard is, how a chiclet keyboard works, and which between them is better and can increase your typing speed. We will compare chiclet and low-profile mechanical keyboards. And by the end of this article, you will be able to decide whether you should get a chiclet keyboard or a low-profile mechanical keyboard.
What are Chiclet Keyboards?
The chiclet keyboard’s internal system almost functions like a standard membrane keyboard. When the top layer of a chiclet keyboard is driven through a hole to hit the bottom layer, a keypress is registered. The conducted traces located on the bottom layer of each key are basically divided by a non-conductive space for each key.
The switch is then opened, and the electrical flow is stopped. When a key is pressed down, the conductive material located on the bottom of the top layer closes the space between those traces, which in turn closes the switch, therefore allowing the flow of electricity again and registers a keypress.
The difference between a standard membrane keyboard and a chiclet keyboard is that the chiclet keyboard gives more tactile feedback. The chiclet keyboard also has molded rubber keys. A little fun fact about chiclet keyboards is that it looks like a famous brand of American gum named chiclet, which is why it is called a chiclet keyboard.
What are Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards?
Low-profile keyboards are a type of keyboard that is smaller than standard keyboards. They feature smaller switches, smaller keycaps, and smaller casings. A low-profile keyboard is said to be more ergonomic than a regular keyboard. This is because their design enables the user to feel less fatigue or stress in their hand while they are using it.
The smaller key switch inside the low profile keyboard also enables the keyboard to have a shorter actuation, which means that the low profile keyboard is more responsive than a normal keyboard. The typing speed can easily increase using low-profile keyboards. Users can also quickly activate their inputs when they are gaming. Low-profile keyboards are also easy to carry around due to their small size, which means that low-profile keyboards are highly portable.
Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards vs. Standard Mechanical Keyboards
Both the low-profile standard mechanical keyboard features a mechanical key switch, hence the name. A mechanical key switch is a spring-loaded switch that actuates when a key is pressed. In terms of customizability, both types of mechanical keyboards have available parts that you can change for aesthetics. However, it is easier to find keycaps and key switches for the standard mechanical keyboard than that of a low-profile mechanical keyboard.
The low-profile mechanical keyboard outshines the standard mechanical keyboard when it comes to portability. Due to its smaller size, the low-profile mechanical keyboard can be carried around in a small bag, unlike the standard mechanical keyboard that may be too bulky to carry. The low-profile mechanical keyboard is also lighter in weight and more compact than that of a traditional mechanical keyboard.
The low-profile mechanical keyboard also actuates faster due to its smaller switch and shorter travel distance. Some users believe the low-profile mechanical keyboard is also more ergonomic than the standard mechanical keyboard. A problem with low-profile keyboards is that they have varying stems. Some stems are hard to find while others are not.
Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards and Chiclet Keyboards Similarities
Low-profile mechanical keyboards and chiclet keyboards have some things in common. Both the low-profile mechanical keyboard and the chiclet keyboard are very compact, which means that both of them are very portable or easy to travel with. Due to their sizes, both low-profile mechanical keyboards and chiclet keyboards are lightweight.
Both keyboards also have minimal key heights, which means that the travel distance for both keyboards is relatively short. They are considered good for typing with their low-height keys and still have some tactile feedback.
Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards and Chiclet Keyboards Differences
There are a lot of differences between the low-profile mechanical keyboard and the chiclet keyboard. First, the chiclet keyboard is way more budget-friendly than a low-profile mechanical keyboard. The chiclet keyboards are also very silent, unlike the low-profile mechanical keyboard, which emits a fairly audible sound.
On the other hand, low-profile mechanical keyboards are more ergonomic than chiclet keyboards. The chiclet keyboard’s design has a large spacing between the keys, which sometimes results in overreaching that would then cause fatigue in the hands and wrists of the users. The chiclet keyboard is also less responsive than that of a low-profile mechanical keyboard.
Which Between Chiclet and Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard Can Increase Your Typing Speed?
According to some users, both can increase your typing speed. It only depends on the preference of the user. Some users claim that the chiclet keyboard has an ergonomic design that helps them type faster. The actuation point of a chiclet keyboard is also fairly short, which means that the user can type faster with less strain in their hands. The spacing between the keys of a chiclet keyboard also enables some users to type pleasantly.
The low-profile mechanical keyboard can also increase the user’s typing speed because of the tactile feedback it provides. The tactile feedback of the low-profile mechanical keyboard can help the user feel that their keypresses are registered, which could help boost their typing speed. The low-profile mechanical keyboard can also register a lot of keypress in a short amount of time due to its N key rollover feature.
Which Keyboard is Better?
Both types of keyboards have upsides and downsides. Let’s compare the two on which has the better feel, which is better for typing and gaming, and which is more durable.
Better Feeling Keyboard
When it comes to feeling, the community favors the low-profile mechanical keyboard over the chiclet keyboard. The low-profile mechanical keyboard has tactile feedback, which helps the user feel that the key that they press is being registered. With the tactile feedback provided by the low-profile mechanical keyboard, the user can lessen the number of mistakes that they commit when they are using the low-profile keyboard.
The chiclet keyboard also feels great to use due to its short actuation point. The user can easily type because of the ergonomic design of the chiclet keyboard. It also provides comfort when typing but not as much as the low-profile mechanical keyboard.
Better for Typing
There is a divide among the community regarding which keyboard feels better for typing. The chiclet keyboard and the low-profile mechanical keyboard are both considered good for typing. Some of the users prefer the spacing and the flat-like surface of the chiclet keyboard. They feel that they work faster with chiclet keyboards because they feel they make fewer mistakes since the keys are separated perfectly, which means that accidentally pressing the key beside it will be lessened.
Though it does cause some strain in the user’s hand if they use the keyboard for extended periods, some still prefer it. The chiclet keyboard also emits a muted sound, making it perfect for users who prefer having a silent workspace. The actuation point of a chiclet keyboard is also considerably short.
On the other hand, the ones that prefer low-profile mechanical keyboards claim that the chiclet keyboard cannot even compete against the low-profile mechanical keyboard. They claim that the low-profile mechanical keyboard feels comfortable to use even after using it for long periods. The low-profile mechanical keyboard also offers great tactile feedback. Some users also prefer the loud sound that the low-profile keyboard emits. Not only do they feel satisfied with the sound, but it also lets them feel that their keypresses are being registered.
Additionally, the customizability of a keyboard is a trend nowadays. Many people care about how aesthetically beautiful their keyboards are, pairing the design to their other belongings or devices, like their mouse or custom desk mats. Like the regular mechanical keyboards, you can choose which switches you want to use. Whether tactile, linear, or clicky, they are all available.
Better for Gaming
Between the chiclet keyboard and the low profile mechanical keyboard, the gaming community heavily favors the low profile mechanical keyboard. This is because it is not prone to jamming during highly competitive and fast-paced games.
The gaming community also likes the layout of low-profile mechanical keyboards because it lessens the fatigue or strain in the hands and wrists of the gamers. The lower the fatigue level of the gamers, the better they can perform during their games. The amount of N key rollover present in a low-profile mechanical keyboard also reduces the amount of ghosting that may happen to the gamers.
Some of the gamers also claim that they feel much more comfortable using a low-profile mechanical keyboard for long periods because it feels comfortable to use than the chiclet keyboard. The chiclet keyboard can still be used in games, but it lacks the necessary features that can help gamers perform better in their respective games. The chiclet keyboard also lacks the N key rollover, which means that it cannot register several keypresses that are pressed together.
More Durable Keyboard
If we are talking about durability, the low-profile mechanical keyboard greatly outclasses the chiclet keyboard. The chiclet keyboard is said only to have a lifespan of about five million presses, which is not a lot in comparison to the lifespan of a low-profile mechanical keyboard. Another downside to the chiclet keyboard’s durability is that when a chiclet keyboard is damaged, it can be tough to fix it or even replace the damaged part. The chiclet keyboard is also hard to clean due to the small interspaces of the keys.
Low-profile mechanical keyboards significantly outshine the chiclet keyboard in terms of durability. Low-profile mechanical keyboards can withstand at least 70 million keypresses. In short, they are made to last longer than your standard keyboard. Low-profile mechanical keyboards are also easy to clean.
The user can easily remove the keycaps and clean off the dust or debris that is settled in the keyboard. Another reason why the low profile mechanical keyboard beats the chiclet keyboard in terms of durability is that the damaged part of a low profile mechanical keyboard can be easily fixed or replaced by a new part.
To conclude this post, both the chiclet and the low-profile mechanical keyboard have strengths and weaknesses, though the low-profile mechanical keyboard seems to shine more than the chiclet keyboard. Both are great keyboards that can cater to the needs of the user. However, the difference is that chiclet keyboards are more suited for people’s values of affordability, silence, and portability. On the other hand, the low-profile mechanical keyboard caters to people that value durability, comfort, feedback, and likes to play games.
Additional Reading: Low Profile vs High Profile Keyboards