Types of the Computer Keyboard

Updated: March 1, 2024


A computer keyboard is an essential input device that allows users to communicate with a computer by entering text, commands, and keystrokes. It resembles the layout of a traditional typewriter but includes additional keys and functionalities that enhance usability and efficiency. From typing emails and browsing the web to playing games and programming, the keyboard serves a vital role in interacting with the digital world. Let’s delve into the various functions, shortcuts, and importance of a computer keyboard, as well as its design and characteristics that make it a fundamental tool for computer users.

 Some common types of computer keyboards include:

1. Standard Keyboard:

A standard keyboard is the most common type found on most computers. It typically features a layout with alphanumeric keys, function keys, control keys, and special keys like Enter, Backspace, and Spacebar. Standard keyboards can be either wired or wireless and are suitable for everyday use.

Alphanumeric Keys

These keys are called after the first six letters in the top row and contain the letters (A) and numbers (0-9) arranged in a QWERTY pattern. They are employed for input of alphanumeric characters and text.

Keys to Function (F1–F12)

Function keys are found in the upper row of the keyboard and have different functions based on the operating system or program being used. They are frequently used for menu access, shortcuts, and carrying out particular tasks within apps.

Keys for Navigation

The arrow keys (up, down, left, and right) arranged in an inverted T-shape make up the navigation keys. They are employed for content navigation on webpages, spreadsheets, documents, and other media.

2. Gaming Keyboard:

Gaming keyboards are specifically designed for gamers and often come with features like anti-ghosting technology, customizable key backlighting, programmable macro keys, and mechanical switches for improved responsiveness and durability. Gaming keyboards are popular among gamers for their enhanced gaming experience.

Mechanical Switches

Many gaming keyboards utilize mechanical key switches instead of the rubber dome switches found in standard keyboards. Mechanical switches offer tactile feedback, audible clicks, and faster response times, providing a more satisfying and precise typing experience. They are also more durable and long-lasting compared to membrane switches.

Customizable Keys

Gaming keyboards often feature customizable keys, allowing users to assign specific functions or macros to individual keys. This enables gamers to execute complex commands or perform actions with a single keystroke, enhancing gameplay efficiency.


The majority of gaming keyboards have programmable backlighting, which lets users select from a range of hues and lighting effects. Backlit keys improve visibility in low-light environments and add a stylish aesthetic to the keyboard setup. Some keyboards also offer per-key RGB lighting for maximum. customization.

3. Mechanical Keyboard:

Each key on a mechanical keyboard has its mechanical switch, which produces both audible and tactile feedback when the key is pressed. They are known for their durability, precision, and ergonomic design, making them popular among typists, programmers, and gamers who prefer a tactile typing experience.

Mechanical Switches

The defining quality of mechanical keyboards is the use of mechanical switches beneath every keycap. These switches are made out of a spring-loaded mechanism that, when pressed, registers keystrokes and, in certain models, gives both tactile and aural feedback. There are many different kinds of mechanical switches, and each one has unique features like tactile feedback, audible clicks, and actuation force.

Tactile Feedback

Mechanical keyboards supply tactile feedback, meaning you can feel it as soon as a key push is detected. With the tactile feedback feature, you can identify when a key has been pressed without having to bottom out the key, which can lead to more accurate typing and fewer typing errors. 


Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability and longevity. Mechanical switches are rated for tens of millions of keystrokes, ensuring that the keyboard can withstand heavy use for many years without experiencing key failures or degradation in performance.

4. Membrane Keyboard:

Membrane keyboards use a flexible membrane layer with printed circuit traces to register key presses. They are commonly found in laptops and budget-friendly keyboards due to their lower cost and quieter operation. Membrane keyboards offer a softer keystroke compared to mechanical keyboards.

Membrane Switches

In membrane keyboards, each key is associated with a rubber dome or membrane switch, which compresses when the key is pressed. The compression of the membrane completes an electrical circuit, registering the keystroke and sending the corresponding signal to the computer.

Silent Function

Because membrane keyboards are recognized for operating quietly, they can be used in shared spaces or offices where noise pollution is an issue. The rubber dome switches cushion the impact of key presses, resulting in a soft and muted typing sound compared to mechanical keyboards.


Membrane keyboards are often more affordable than mechanical keyboards due to their simpler construction and manufacturing process. This makes them a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers or organizations seeking cost-effective computer input devices.

5. Ergonomic Keyboard:

By encouraging a more natural hand position, ergonomic keyboards are intended to lessen strain and discomfort during extended typing sessions. They feature a split or curved design, wrist rests, and adjustable keyboard heights to minimize wrist and hand fatigue. By allowing users to place their hands in a more natural shoulder-width posture, this design lessens the pressure on the forearms and wrists.

Split Layout

A split layout keyboard is a type of keyboard where the keys are divided into two separate sections, usually with a gap in the middle. This layout is designed to promote better ergonomics by allowing the user to position their hands in a more natural and comfortable position, reducing strain and fatigue on the wrists and shoulders. Split keyboards are often used by individuals who type for long periods, such as programmers or writers.

Hand Rests

A lot of ergonomic keyboards have integrated wrist supports or palm rests to offer additional comfort and support during typing. Palm rests help to reduce pressure on the wrists and promote a relaxed posture, further reducing the risk of strain and fatigue.

Reduced Reach

Certain ergonomic keyboards incorporate a compact design or keys to reduce the need for excessive reaching or stretching while typing. This minimizes strain on the shoulders and upper back, enhancing overall comfort and ergonomic support.

6. Wireless Keyboard:

Wireless keyboards connect to computers via Bluetooth or a USB receiver, allowing users to type from a distance without being tethered by cables. They offer flexibility and mobility, making them convenient for presentations, home entertainment setups, and workspace organization. Wireless keyboards come in various designs, including compact and ergonomic models.

Easy Setup

Setting up a wireless keyboard is typically straightforward and hassle-free. Most wireless keyboards come with plug-and-play functionality, meaning you can simply plug in the USB receiver (for RF keyboards) or pair the keyboard with your device via Bluetooth, and you’re ready to start typing.


Wireless keyboards are powered by batteries (usually AA or AAA batteries), which provide the necessary power for the keyboard to function. While this means you’ll need to periodically replace or recharge the batteries, modern wireless keyboards often feature energy-efficient designs that can prolong battery life and minimize the need for frequent battery changes.

Minimal Clutter

Wireless keyboards help reduce cable clutter on your desk or workspace, creating a cleaner and more organized environment. Without the need for a physical cable connecting the keyboard to the computer, you have fewer wires to contend with, leading to a neater and more streamlined setup.

7. Compact Keyboard:

On the other hand, a compact keyboard is a smaller-sized keyboard that typically features fewer keys than a standard full-sized keyboard. Compact keyboards are designed to save space and be more portable, making them popular choices for users who have limited desk space or frequently need to work on the go. Compact keyboards may also have different key arrangements or layouts compared to standard keyboards, such as having the function keys or navigation keys merged with other keys to reduce the overall size of the keyboard.

Space-Saving Layout

Despite their reduced size, compact keyboards often retain most of the essential keys found on full-size keyboards, including alphanumeric keys, function keys, and navigation keys. However, they may omit certain keys or features such as the numeric keypad, multimedia keys, or dedicated function keys to conserve space.


One of the key advantages of compact keyboards is their portability. Their smaller size and lighter weight make them easier to transport and more suitable for use with laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices. You can easily pack them into a bag or backpack when traveling, working remotely, or attending meetings on the go.

Smaller Footprint

Compact keyboards are designed to take up less space on your desk or workspace compared to full-size keyboards. They typically have a narrower width and reduced key spacing, allowing for more efficient use of limited space and making them ideal for use in small or crowded environments.

8. Virtual Keyboard:

Using a mouse, touchscreen, or other pointing device, users can select on-screen keys to text using a virtual keyboard, which is a software-based input device. As a substitute for physical keyboards, virtual keyboards are frequently used on touchscreen devices like smartphones, tablets, and kiosks. They provide a convenient typing solution when a physical keyboard is not available.

Touchscreen Input

The main purpose of virtual keyboards is to be used with touchscreen gadgets, like computers, tablets, and smartphones. Instead of physical keys, users interact with the virtual keyboard by tapping or swiping their fingers on the touchscreen display.


Virtual keyboards eliminate the need for a physical keyboard, saving space on devices with limited screen real estate or those where space is at a premium. They provide a compact and convenient input solution for devices such as smartphones and tablets, allowing users to maximize the use of available screen space.


Some virtual keyboards incorporate security features such as anti-keylogging technology to protect against unauthorized access and data theft. By generating keystrokes dynamically on the screen, virtual keyboards help safeguard sensitive information from being intercepted by malicious software or hardware keyloggers.


Keyboard shortcuts are key combinations that allow users to perform tasks quickly and efficiently, such as copying and pasting, saving files, and navigating between applications. The keys on a computer keyboard include letters, numbers, function keys, arrow keys, control keys (Ctrl, Alt, Shift), and special keys like Enter Backspace, and SpacebarThe size of a computer keyboard can vary depending on the model and design, but a standard full-sized keyboard is usually around 17 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep. The depth of a keyboard, or the distance from the front edge to the back edge, is typically around 5 to 7 inches for a standard full-sized keyboard. Ultimately, the best computer keyboard for you will depend on your personal preferences, typing needs, and budget. Explore different keyboard options to find the one that suits your style and enhances your computing experience.

FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the purpose of a computer keyboard?

To communicate with a computer system, users can enter text, commands, and keystrokes using a computer keyboard. Its main purpose is to facilitate data input and communication between the user and the computer.

What is a keyboard shortcut in a computer?

A keyboard shortcut is a combination of keys that, when pressed simultaneously or sequentially, perform a specific command or function in a software application. Keyboard shortcuts are designed to increase efficiency and speed up tasks for the user.

What are the keys on a computer keyboard used for?

The keys on a computer keyboard are used for inputting characters, entering commands, navigating software interfaces, controlling multimedia functions, and performing various other functions depending on the software being used.

Why is a keyboard important in using a computer?

A keyboard is important in using a computer because it serves as the primary means of inputting data and interacting with software applications. Without a keyboard, users would have limited or cumbersome ways to input commands and text into a computer system.

What are keyboards used for?

Keyboards are used for various purposes, including typing documents, sending emails, browsing the internet, playing games, programming, controlling multimedia, and performing a wide range of tasks on a computer system.

Why is a keyboard considered an input device?

A keyboard is considered an input device because it allows users to input commands, text, and data into a computer system, enabling interactions and communication between the user and the machine

What is keyboard input and output?

Keyboard input refers to the data entered into a computer system through a keyboard, while keyboard output typically refers to the visual and auditory feedback provided by the computer in response to user input (e.g., displaying text on the screen or playing sound).

How many keys are there on a keyboard?

The number of keys on a keyboard varies depending on the type and layout of the keyboard. Standard keyboards typically have around 104 keys, including alphanumeric keys, function keys, and special keys for various functions.

What is the size of a computer keyboard?

The size of a computer keyboard can vary, but standard full-size keyboards are typically around 18 inches wide and 7 inches deep. However, there are also compact and mini keyboards available with smaller dimensions for space-saving purposes.

How deep is a keyboard?

The depth, or thickness, of a keyboard can vary depending on the design and model. Standard keyboards are typically around 1 to 1.5 inches deep, while slim or low-profile keyboards may have a thinner profile of around 0.5 to 1 inch.

Computer Guide

Computer Guide

Please Write Your Comments