Should you use a wireless keyboard?

Should you use a wireless keyboard?

On our journey to learn everything humanly possible about mechanical keyboards, I realized we hadn’t even considered one of the most popular kinds, wireless! Well, today I’m going to take my best shot at addressing this of this type of keyboard and go over some of the pros and cons of cutting the cable. 

Maybe you enjoy sitting on your couch and projecting your computer screen onto your TV or you like the clean look of not having a power cable. Or maybe you’ve tried using a wireless keyboard in the past and got sick of constantly replacing the batteries.

Regardless of what your motives are, wireless keyboards offer mobility and freedom from the constraint of sitting at your desk within a few feet of your PC.

The question is, however, are the quality of wireless mechanical keyboards worse than that of it’s wired counterparts? 

While allowing for greater mobility and less time spent on cable management, wireless keyboards come with some disadvantages over wired keyboards including interference issues, speed limitations, battery usage, and a more complex set up. We’ll dig deeper into more of the details.

The main upsides to a wireless keyboard:

Mobility

Logitech wireless keyboard mechanical

The main upside to a wireless keyboard is the mobility! No longer will you be stuck to your desk. You can type from anywhere in the house or workplace and not worry about being tether to your computer. It’s also much easier to pack a wireless keyboard with you and take it on the go if you enjoy typing on your keyboard at your local Starbucks or don’t enjoy typing on a laptop keyboard.

Some people may be concerned about the range of the device, but you should be able to type comfortably from across the room without any issues. To verify the distance I would look at the product specifications of your specific keyboard.

Aesthetic

If electrical cables are cluttering your workstation and you are having a bit of trouble neatly routing everything, a wireless keyboard will help alleviate your cable management problems. By getting rid of the keyboard cable, your workstation will look much more tidy and aesthetic.

On the flip side, however, some people enjoy buying customized power cables for their keyboard and that can also add to the aesthetic. It’s also possible to make and design your own from scratch with little equipment and cost requited.

So whether you have the power cable or not, the way your keyboard looks is entirely objective, so do whatever you like best! 

Close up of arrow keys

The main downsides to a wireless keyboard:

Speed Limitations & Interference

Wireless keyboards can have slight lag and latency issues resulting in slower or sometimes missed keystrokes.

While a slightly slower response time may not be a big deal for the everyday user, this can often be a dealbreaker for gamers because those missed keystrokes can take away from their competitive edge.

If you tend to play competitive games that rely on milliseconds of reaction time, wireless keyboards may not be for you.

In addition, having other wireless technologies in close proximity to the keyboard can create interference issues and your keyboard may experience difficulty connecting.

Items that are close by such as wireless mice, wireless routers, cell phones, and even metal objects can cause interference issues.

While interference is an issue, most people don’t experience this problem too often, but when it does it can be frustrating to deal with. So keep an eye out around your workstation for any possible culprits that may cause connectivity issues.

Setup

Unlike wired keyboards which only require you to plug in a USB port and your to start typing away, wireless keyboards require you to fumble around with the settings on your computer to try and pair the devices. 

While this may not sound too difficult for some people, less tech-savvy individuals may have trouble setting things up.

Once the keyboard has been paired, you don’t need to worry about routing the keyboard cables anymore or be in close proximity to your PC, which makes it much easier to move around and use.

Since the wireless keyboard is USB-less, that means the keyboard no longer has an infinite power source so you’ll need to install some batteries. Since the batteries will drain over time, you will always need to be prepared for a little maintenance in case they run out of juice.

Wired cable benefit from the fact that they never need to worry about running out of power.

There are two main battery types, disposable and reusable. Going the reusable route is usually more recommended as you don’t constantly need to replace the batteries. The cost of disposable batteries can add up over time. 

A reusable battery generally requires being charged more often but comes with the upside of not needing to go to the store to buy batteries.

Are wireless keyboards more expensive?

Most of the time, yes. The wireless keyboards require extra hardware for connecting to the computer via bluetooth including the bluetooth technology itself and some form of independent power supply.

There are very affordable wireless mechanical keyboards available for purchase and I would recommend looking at models such as the Keychron. Keychron’s have the option to be purchased with a wireless configuration and are relatively inexpensive.

Another good option is browse the wireless keyboard section on Amazon to find the exact keyboard you are looking for. They have a comprehensive selection of keyboards priced anywhere from relatively cheap to expensive.

Can I convert my keyboard to wireless?

Yes, it is possible to convert your keyboard to wireless. However, this is not for everyone. Converting your keyboard to wireless can be a time-heavy investment and should be reserved for those who are more DIY inclined.

In order to do the wired-to-wireless conversion, you will need to be equipped with some basic soldering skills and a few extra components and tools.

Wireless keyboards

After your soldering kit is ready, you will need to install a rechargeable battery and bluetooth to usb converter. If you’re interested you can read more about it here.

Conclusion

A wireless keyboard can be a great purchase for anyone who does not rely on an extremely fast connection and will work perfectly fine for most of the keyboard users out there.

Wireless keyboards offer excellent mobility and allow you to type from positions that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. 

They also help with keeping your workstation decluttered and clean as you’ll have one less wire to deal with routing.

There are some downsides to purchasing a wireless keyboard and we would definitely not recommend these to competitive gamers or very fast typists.

You also need to look out for issues such as connectivity, interference, and battery usage. If you’re not the most tech inclined it may also be difficult for you to configure and setup the keyboard, so keep that in mind before purchasing.

Thanks for reading. Happy typing!

Resources

https://itstillworks.com/disadvantages-using-wireless-keyboard-1005.html

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