What's the best mechanical keyboard for designers?

Sorry to have to break it to you like this, but the keyboard that came with your new computer is almost certainly cheap and nasty rubbish. Now, that might not matter to you if you mainly work with a mouse or stylus and only use the keyboard to fire off the odd tweet or email, but if your job involves a lot of typing, whether it's coding website templates or writing pitches, then you almost certainly need a better keyboard, and preferably a mechanical model.

Why? Let's look at the big difference between a cheap keyboard and a more expensive mechanical offering. The cheap model's keys work using little rubber domes – the same as you might find on a pocket calculator or remote control; there's no life to them and they'll wear out relatively quickly. Mechanical keyboards instead use proper switches – usually from the Cherry MX range – that provide lovely tactile feedback when you press them and will keep on going for years and years.

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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.