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4 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Mechanical Keyboards

4 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Mechanical Keyboards

Even for those with only a minimal need to do so, having a good keyboard to rely upon is so important. Whether it’s looking at more classical keyboards or switching to the various great mechanical keyboards on the market today, knowing what options are open (and useful) to you is very important.

Some people find that using a modern keyboard can feel a little dull, without the same quality that we were once used to. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia factor, the lack of that click and crash that we are all so used to from a classic keyboard. At the moment, the market has two specific kinds of keyboards to pick from – membrane and mechanical options. Depending on what you use and what you tend to prefer (or at least what the profile of your hands prefers) you’ll find that getting the best keyboard can be quite a tough question to answer.

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The Mechanical Keyboard Conundrum

When deciding whether to go membrane or mechanical, you have two major decisions to make. First off, though, it can help greatly to work out what the major difference between the two kinds of keyboard tends to be. Only then can you make a truly educational choice on what option is going to fit your own hands better.

A typical difference is that a mechanical keyboard actually uses physical switches underneath each key. This means that when you press it, a little mechanical tool comes to life under that key and tells the computer what has happened. Accordingly, it then prints the letter that you just hit.

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By pressing the key, you are pressing the switch. By pressing the switch, you authorize that you want this letter to be printed. Whilst not exactly a major difference to what we are used to, it does have a subtle change in operation. The pushing of the key is supposed to make a letter pop up on the screen – that’s why you are here, right?

Well, the main difference is how it works under the hood. Membrane systems instead use small rubber switches underneath each of the keys, instead. So when you press that key, the rubber switch will push through a small hole in the membrane. This connects top, middle and bottom membranes together as one, and this creates the electrical circuit needed. Then, the keyboard sends the message to the PC. The PC will then print the letter that you just pressed on the screen – simple! Right?

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The main difference then is the sound – that audible noise that lets us know we have pressed the right key. When using a membrane keyboard we lack that clear sound and signal to let us know that we did in fact, hit the key. Instead, we have to keep our eyes on the screen to make sure that every hit is picked up and that every key we press actually will appear in front of us.

With a mechanical keyboard, that changes. You hear every hit and hit every touch meaning that you know for sure whether or not you hit that key hard enough. This makes it easier for those used to mechanical keyboards to type with pace and accuracy.

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If you are sick of membrane keyboards being too light and precious to pick up every stroke with accuracy, then you can make an adjustment quickly.

Why Going Mechanical Helps

Still not sure if you should be making the change? Are you worried that a mechanical keyboard might feel a little too tough on your fingers? Let’s look at the differences in each style.

  1. Mechanical keyboards feel quite different while typing on them. You get a much more satisfying (if somewhat more painful on the fingers after a few thousand words) sound from the keyboard when you hit those keys. When you get used to the precision and the feel of typing on a mechanical keyboard, a membrane keyboard can feel light and weak. That might be OK if you feel like your fingers cannot handle the constant back and forth of the mechanical keyboard, but not if you enjoy that particular feeling.
  2. There’s a better crunch on every key. Some people despise laptop keys as they tend to be too bouncy – it’s too easy to think you have hit a key. When you read back your content, though, it’s awash with errors and missing text. Using a mechanical keyboard removes that particular problem from the list of common issues. It’s too easy to tell when you hit a key on a mechanical keyboard as the sound it makes is so telling.
  3. Greater feedback. If you like the idea of the old typewriters giving you 100% feedback on every hit key, and not strokes of other keys being picked up, then this is the place to be. The loudness of every strike simply lets you know that you are on the right track. If you enjoy typing and really feeling every letter and every press of the key come through, then this is the ideal place to get started with. Other keyboards won’t offer the same depth and satisfaction as this is capable of.
  4. Longer lifespan. Another major impact of using a great mechanical keyboard is the lifespan. The membranes wear out faster and tend to be far less secure than the mechanical equivalents that so many of us are used to using today. On an average a mechanical keyboard can get as many as 50m presses before losing strength. For reference, a typical membrane keyboard is likely to last 15m presses. That is a pretty drastic drop and is likely to be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing keyboards to go with.

As you can see, the main difference is likely to come in the profile of every press. If you prefer a more certain and secure feeling behind every key press, then go for the mechanical keyboard. With so many great mechanical keyboards on the market today, finding one that you truly love isn’t going to be too tough.

Featured photo credit: afterpad.com via afterpad.com

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Published on November 19, 2020

15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

  • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
  • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
  • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

    While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

    The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

    Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

    Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

      Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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      In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

      Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

      Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

        One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

        In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

        Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

        A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

        The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

        Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

        Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

        Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

        The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

        Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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        Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

          If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

          This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

          Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

          Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

          For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

          One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

          Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

          Car Charger For Charging On The Go

            For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

            It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

            Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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            USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

            If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

            Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

            A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

            A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

            Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

            Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

              If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

              Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

              A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

              We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

              Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

              Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                  Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                  In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                  Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                  A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                  The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                  The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                  Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                  Bottom Line

                  There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                  Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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