Keyboards are an essential part of a computer as it is one of the most heavily used input devices in any computer setup. But how long do membrane keyboards last? Well, it all depends on several factors – for instance, the brand and model of your PC keyboard can make a big difference. If you invest in a high-specification membrane keyboard and keep it clean and well maintained, you will get some good mileage before replacing it.
Keyboards may be easily replaceable, but with all the stuff we are doing online these days, it’s good to know which ones will last the longest or are worth the money. How long do average keyboards usually last? Does increased usage impact their lifespan, and is there a best kind to buy? We did some investigating and found out.
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How Long do Membrane Keyboards Last?
Membrane keyboards are more popular among home computer users and those who want to use them for typing needs and light gaming. They are not good at handling the high amount of wear and tear from regular to heavy gaming, thus making them less durable than mechanical keyboards.
The average lifespan of a membrane keyboard is about five years, with some potential for extension if you are fortunate enough not to have too heavy a hand with it. Membrane hardware has only between 5 million to 10 million keystrokes before it reaches the end of its functionality arsenal. In comparison, mechanical keyboards can keep going for over 50 million keystrokes, making them great value for money.
Additionally, membrane keyboards can feel a bit wonky over time as they wear out. Even though the keys are still there, this can often lead to inaccuracy when typing as the feedback deteriorates.
Another issue with membrane keyboards is that repairing them is not a simple process. If you have one that stops working, it may not always be possible to replace the malfunctioning part due to its unusual construction; you need to replace the entire keyboard.
The main problem with membranes is that they are typically designed without any ventilation holes, making clean-up and maintenance nearly impossible unless you are willing to take apart your entire keyboard (the same goes for cleaning!).
How Long do Laptop Keyboards Last?
Keyboard purists will tell you that most laptop keyboards aren’t as sturdy or solid as expected, but that is relative. Some of them can survive the odds and keep your keys clacking away for a very long time! However, even the sturdiest laptop keyboards have life spans, and they eventually get replaced anyway.
A laptop’s keyboard is usually as long-lasting and reliable as its own. The average lifespan is about five years, which also will often mean five years of use from the laptop’s keyboard. However, this figure can vary somewhat with high or low usage rates. A more hands-on owner may find their laptop keyboard lasting about half that time under heavy daily use.
Indeed, the material used to manufacture laptops may not be as durable against heavy typing as a desktop keyboard. Furthermore, certain keys can wear out faster than others, depending on usage. For example, the navigation keys typically require more constant use than other keys to have a shorter lifespan.
Because laptop keyboards have several printed circuit boards, they can be quite difficult to repair. In addition, replacement keyboards can be quite pricey. This is why it might be better for you to invest in a separate keyboard that you can connect to your laptop via USB or Bluetooth.
Also Read: Is a Keyboard an Input or Output Device?
Do Mechanical Keyboards Last Longer than Membrane?
Mechanical keyboards have been gaining popularity recently as they are very durable and excellent in performance. Having a keyboard whose technology can let it last will undoubtedly save you agony in the long run; it’s just one of several things worth considering before investing in this, as these keyboards typically don’t come cheap.
A good mechanical keyboard can last for decades. However, a low-cost mechanical keyboard can last only 3-5 years of use. Mechanical keyboards with good quality switches may lose their responsiveness after 20 to 30 million keystrokes. Keyboards with great switches such as Cherry MX keys can withstand more than 50 million strokes.
However, some of the keys may get worn out with regular usage. However, the fix is easy as you can fix it by replacing them, and thus your keyboard would be functional again. Now that’s pretty cool! Clicky mechanical keyboards are also fairly dust resistant, making them less susceptible to damage thanks to water or dust.
How Long Do Gaming Keyboards Last?
When we talk about gaming keyboards, we are not referring to a keyboard with a joystick or gamepad. Instead, think of it as a general term for any PC keyboards with LEDs. These are great for gamers and cost more, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can last longer. Their durability depends on build quality and usage.
Gaming keyboards tend to become worn out and damaged easily with continuous use due to spills, abuse, or pressure from other gaming accessories. Most cheaper keyboards will only last for about three years before requiring maintenance or replacement. High-end keyboards can last you more than twenty years if maintained properly.
There are so many reasons you should choose a mechanical keyboard for gaming. The sound, the response, or even touch must be experienced. The durability, of course, is one such reason. However, the quality of the mechanical switches themselves plays directly into the durability and longevity of your gaming keyboard.
Now you know how long does a membrane keyboard last? The article also explained the durability and lifespan of membrane laptop keyboards, mechanical keyboards, and gaming keyboards.
However, there is no specific duration of a keyboard lifespan as it all depends on the durability, materials used, and usage. You can go will a good membrane keyboard that can last years or choose a cheaper option that needs replacement every few years – it all depends on personal liking and preference.