Originally Posted by dpx [R]
im not seeing the diffrence between a mechanical keyboard, and a razer lycosa, unless thats a mechanical keyboard.
i havnt researched, looking for a quick answer plss :]
The difference is in the switch type. Keyboards like the Razer Lycosa and Logitech G15 (and pretty much all of the commonly available keyboards at stores like Newegg, Best Buy, etc.) are Rubber Dome switch keyboards. This means that there's a big rubber sheet with a dome molded into this sheet for each key. There's also a contact pad for this sheet so that when a key is pressed, a connection is made and then that keypress gets registered/sent to the computer.
The advantage of the Rubber Dome switch type is that it's extremely cheap to make (especially for mass producing), but the problem is that it doesn't last much longer than 5-7 years, and in comparison to the feel of mechanical switches, it feels mushy and crappy. Now, the reason why it doesn't last that long is because that contact area I mentioned wears out over time. This means that there comes a point where some keys have to be pressed harder in order to work - especially the keys that get used the most.
Generally, the build quality of a mechanical keyboard is also usually far superior to that of rubber dome switch keyboards like the Lycosa and the G15 (but especially the Lycosa in this comparison). Most rubber dome switch keyboards can bend and flex a little bit, but most mechanical keyboards are built like a rock. They're so tough that some of them almost feel as tough as solid steel.
Now, with a mechanical keyboard, there is an individual switch for every single key
. There is no rubber sheet or anything like that. The feel is also much better because there's a spring in each switch (with other mechanics involved) that gives back when a key is pressed. It's a much livelier and superior feeling to the rubber dome sheet. Also, one result of having at least 104 switches is that the keyboard is heavier (but it's not the only reason why it's heavier), and therefore it will never move from normal use like keyboards such as the Lycosa does.
Mechanical keyboards will also last about 20 years or more as opposed to the 5-7 years of rubber dome keyboards. This is because a single mechanical switch is usually good for about 100,000,000 (one hundred million) key presses while a single rubber dome/contact area is only good for about 5 million. There's also virtually no degradation: the feel remains almost constant over the lifetime of the switch, but a single rubber dome/contact area for 1 key wears out over time (so think about the entire keyboard too and also which keys get used the most).
There are dozens of other reasons why mechanical keyboards are generally superior to rubber dome boards, but the best thing to do is to maybe get started by checking out the Mechanical Keyboard Guide