If the only kind of keyboard you've ever used is an off-the-shelf budget model, the one that came with your new PC purchase or the one built into your laptop, then you only know membrane keyboards. And while they're cheap and quiet, they're terrible. Just terrible. They're soft and mushy and imprecise, which is bad both for touch typing and computer gaming. If you want to experience how good a keyboard can be, you owe it to yourself to try out a mechanical keyboard -- which uses real spring-loaded switches under each keycap. High-quality mechanical keyboards can get a little pricey, but if you want to see what all the fuss is about, I've found a model that's so cheap it almost defies imagination. Right now, you can get the UtechSmart LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for $17.49 when you apply discount code WF9P6GIN at checkout. That's 67% off an already very affordable price of $53.
I've never used a UtechSmart keyboard, so I need to take some cues from the keyboard's Amazon reviews. The good news is that it has a healthy four-star rating, and both Fakespot and Reviewmeta gave the reviews a clean bill of health, so I think these are trustworthy.
On paper, the keyboard reads like a more expensive product. It operates in both wireless Bluetooth and wired modes, and when wireless, the battery powers about 40 hours of use. It ha an LED backlight, and the full-size 104 keyboard has a dozen dedicated multimedia function controls. Don't get your hopes up about the LED lighting though -- it's red only, not programmable.
And while this isn't a showstopper, especially if this is your first mechanical keyboard, it's a bit of false advertising to describe this as a gaming keyboard. The switches are Cherry MX Blue, not Cherry MX Red. What's that mean? Well, Cherry MX Blue keys require slightly more actuation force and are both loud and clicky -- making them favored more among typists than gamers. But considering this is an $18 keyboard, I'd say the difference between Blue and Red shouldn't be enough to keep you from grabbing one to see what all the mechanical typing fuss is about.
But perhaps you disagree with my take on the Cherry MX Blue. Let me know in the comments if you think this keyboard is worth grabbing.
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