Five essential elements for good typing feel
Good type feel of a keyboard is closely connected to following factors: keycap distance, keycap, bounce and key travel distance, heavy base and palm rest.
Standard for keycap distance of a desktop keyboard is between 19mm to 19.5mm. Keyboard with that keycap distance can be called standard keyboard or full size keyboard. Keycap distance for a laptop keyboard can also reach to that range, but only for number and alphabetic. Those F keys, Pgup,Pgdn and other control keys would be make smaller size and with shorter distance in order to save space.
Keycaps with 19 to 19.5mm makes it comfortable to type. When it is 17mm or less, it may take time for users to get used to it. Sometime you may mistype the keys because of limited distance.
Well, the above is not true for all users, especially for those who have slim fingers. Some female users prefer compact design of keyboard, but in the same time they find no difficult in typing on it.
Most keyboards have pillow keytop. A pillow keytop can suit users’ finger tips and increase the contact. The aim for this is to make your finger tips more comfortable when typing. Some keyboards, especially ultra thin keyboard, will make flat keycap in order to reduce the whole keyboard height. To ensure comfortable typing for flat keycap, a keyboard can have scissor switch. That’s why a chocolate keyboard has flat keycap and scissor switch. That happens in laptop keyboard too.
Weight and thickness of keycap also affects its typing feel. If keycaps are too thin, typing may make noise. Heavier keycaps means more gravity, which helps typing more easily and with little sound.
Bamboo keycaps are thicker and heavier than those of ABS plastic. Users will feel “kind of solid” when they are typing on them. The bamboo material also touches very special. It lets you type well and touches well.
Key with rubber paint on make your fingers feel better, especially for those users with wet hands.
Bounce and key travel distance
Common travel distance for keycap is up to 2.5mm. For some slim keyboard it can be 1.5 to 2mm.
If key travel distance is too short, it may feel too hard to type on. Good typing feel can be made by suitable key travel and bounce.
The friction between key stand and volcano slot should not be too strong. When there is too much friction, key needs more pressure so that it can be press down. In that case, type feel will be bad. To solve this problem, key switches should be well molded; lubrication for key is also very important. Lubricating is usually not for scissor switch keys.
A metal plate can help cement the inner structure of a keyboard. With it, the weight of keyboard will be added and thus make typing stable and fast. That is also why a bamboo keyboard usually types better than a common ABS keyboard.
With palm rest, your hands will be in a natural position when you are typing. It reduces RSI. Palm rest with rubber paint will be better.