Capacitive Keyboard VS Mechanical Keyboard

Capacitive Keyboard VS Mechanical Keyboard

A friend of mine told me a story that his girlfriend wanted to purchase a mechanical keyboard for him as his birthday's present. She purchased an HHKB as she learnt HHKB is built for programmers. The HHKB she bought was capacitive. 

Is capacitive keyboard a kind of mechanical keyboard? 

Capacitive keyboard, as Deskthority's wiki explained,  is a variable conductive diode matrix with hysteresis capacitance device that was improved by J. Arthur Cencel. In this type of keyboard, pressing a key changes the capacitance of a pattern of capacitor pads. The pattern consists of two D-shaped capacitor pads for each switch, printed on a PCB and covered by a thin, insulating film of solder mask which acts as a dielectric.


Mechanical Keyboard contains a complete switch underneath each key. Each switch is composed of a housing, a spring, and a stem. Switches come in three variants: linear with consistent resistance, and tactile with a non-audible bump, or tactile with an audible click. That's why mechanical keyboard may not a good equipment in the office. One of my colleagues complained about the noise from my typing.


In fact, I used to treat capacitive keyboard as a mechanical keyboard. With the development of my vision and chatting with mechanical keyboard users, I would like quoting a geekhack member's explain,

I would define "mechanical key" is one that has:
* A "mechanism", in classic terms. There is at least two parts that together form a simple mechine, a joint, a lever, wedge, etc. and...
* This mechanism plays a part in actuation of the key.

+ A IBM Buckling Spring switch (membrane or capacitative) is mechanical because the foot pivots.
+ Cherry MX is mechanical because the plunger has an inclined plane that presses against a leaf spring.
+ Alps SKCL/SKCM is mechanical because it has a plunger that presses against a leaf spring - that is an inclined plane.
+ Fujitsu Peerless is mechanical because the coiled spring interacts with the rubber dome that it sits on!

- A scissor switch is not mechanical: there is a mechanisms but the mechanism is not used to actuate the key.
- Topre is not mechanical because there is no classic mechanism: only a sensor, which provides a value in a range.
- Linear Flaretech is not mechanical because there is only a plunger: only a sensor which provides a value in a range.

Perhaps, I have to talk with new or non-mechanical-keyboard consumers, therefore, I also keep a concept like, 
It isn't important that capacitive keyboard is a mechanical keyboard or not. The important thing is we are enjoying typing on both of them. Both of them give us typing and gaming pleasure beyond membrane. 
I read an article said the capacitive keyboard is more durable than the mechanical keyboard if using the keyboard just for typing. Maybe we can proof it someday.
At the end, I want to say, if you are an office person, you should try a capacitive keyboard as it brings you more comfortable and pleasure of typing without noise; if you are an enthusiast of mechanical keyboards, you should have a capacitive keyboard as well, as it will develop your vision of the keyboard.
Go to KPrepublic for 
Plum Niz84
  • 84 keys
  • Bluetooth 4.0 & USB Dual Mode
  • 35g electro-capacitive switches
  • All keys can be programmed
  • No backlighting
  • Cherry-compatible PBT keycaps 
  • Bulit-in lithium battery:3000 mAh


  • FN + F9: Caps / Ctrl swap
  • FN + ESC: Numpad lock
  • FN + Win: Windows lock
  • FN + F7: Backlight toggle
  • FN + F12: "M" Settings
  • ESC + Delete + Left Ctrl + →: Factory reset
Firmware&Upgrade link for Plum Niz84 Pro
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