If we talk about computer usage, the essential input device is a keyboard, which means that we use the keyboard for most of our processing. That’s why finding an ergonomic keyboard device that feels comfortable to type on is essential for productivity.
But which type of keyboards are more ergonomic; Flat keyboards or Raised keyboards; That’s the question we’ll be looking towards today. So, if that’s what you’re wondering, you’re in the right place.
In this article, I will talk about both flat keyboards and raised keyboards along with their benefits and disadvantages and compare to find out whether flat keyboards are more ergonomic or raised keyboards to take the winning spot. So, without wasting any further time, let’s get started with this comparison guide.
What are Flat Keyboards?
Flat keyboards are keyboards that come with a thin surface and low-profile keycaps and key switches like chiclet keyboards. An example of a flat keyboard can be the Apple Magic Keyboard.
These keyboards are sleek in design and structure, which makes them lightweight and portable. That’s why most traveling business people use flat keyboards for ease of usage.
Flat keyboards are very popular throughout the business world. Due to their professional and decent look, many offices and even personal workspaces use flat keyboards for their computer setups.
Ergonomic keyboards also tend to have this particular design on average. The simple reason for this is that the wrist feels more comfortable working on a straighter angle than a raised position.
However, they have a very niche-specific use for generic work and light typing. For other applications like gaming and programming, standard flat keyboards are not the best option. Getting a specialized tactile flat keyboard would be best. So, trying them out will be a good option for you.
|Stylish Professional Look|
Benefits of Flat Keyboards
We looked at what flat keyboards exactly are, well, how good can they be if you buy them; That’s something exciting and needs to be explored. Luckily, I have explored this area. Here are some of the significant benefits of flat keyboards you’ll receive if you get one:
- Portability – The first and foremost thing about flat keyboards is that they’re shorter and come with thinner bezels, making them easy to take from one place to another. Most business people use such low-profile keyboards to take whenever they’re on the go.
- Compactness – Another excellent benefit of flat keyboards is that they’re primarily compact. Their compactness allows them to be fit into smaller spaces and even on desks that are too small for more prominent full-sized standard keyboards in general. So, that’s a pretty fantastic thing.
- Tactility – Most flat keyboards come with tactile chiclet switches, which are very good as mechanical essential switch substitutes. Even though these switches are very short and low-profile, they have a lot to offer in terms of tactile bump, and that’s precisely why they’re so good even in a thinner form factor.
- Stylish Professional Look – Flat keyboards are primarily marketed towards the business side of things. For this reason, such keyboards are made to look more professionally decent and stylish to be used in office environments because of their sleek design and fantastic look.
- Lightweight – Due to the sleek and thin design, as well as the compactness and small form-factor, the weight of the keyboards is also very little. Another reason for this is that the material used in the production of many flat keyboards is lightweight. This ultimately ends up making the keyboard lightweight as well.
- Wrist Comfort – Your wrists are supposed to be in a straight position in order to stay in their natural position. With flat keyboards, instead of being curved, your wrists are in a straight position which keeps the wrists comfortable and can help you from work for a long time at once.
Disadvantages of Flat Keyboards
All isn’t handy and dandy, however. In addition to many advantages, there are a few disadvantages as well when it comes to flat keyboards. Let’s take a look at them so we can decide whether getting them is the right decision.
- Less Durability – We talked about the thin design of flat keyboards. Well, basically the thing about this design is that the sleekness of flat keyboards causes the keyboards to be flexible and less durable in comparison to thicker keyboards which can be a problem.
- Low Keypress – Most people might like low-profile keycaps, but if we talk about keypress, low keycaps can cause reduced productivity in some cases because the keycaps are so low that the user has to press further down to reach the point of actuation which can be exhausting for some people.
What Are Raised Keyboards?
Raised keyboards are the type of keyboards that are angled in a certain way to provide additional ergonomic usage to the keyboard user. From the frame of the keyboard to the keycaps and everything in between, all the elements are angled for better usage.
These keyboards are much thicker in terms of frame and have a lot of beefiness to them. Their look is stylish but they’re less preferred for business reasons due to their larger frame.
The aesthetics of these keyboards is more suited towards personal usage or gaming because they’re not very much preferred to be taken on business tours due to their non-compactness and heavier weight.
These kinds of keyboards are very common and are available in a range of prices from cheap in the form of standard keyboards to expensive, which are high-quality typing or gaming keyboards. So, getting a raised keyboard for yourself and using it to test it out will be a great decision for you.
|Wide range of Usage||Long-term Injuries|
Benefits of Raised Keyboards
If we talk about raised keyboards, they come with a lot of pretty amazing benefits and advantages. Let’s take a look at some of the major ones so we can decide how good they really are.
- High-Profile Keys – The great thing about raised keyboards are the high-profile keys that are included in them. These keys are easier to reach because of their higher profile and that’s why it feels easier to press them and type for most people, although some people might prefer using flatter keys, this stat is based on the larger consensus of keyboard enthusiasts.
- Durability – Raised keyboards are thicker in terms of the frame as I said before. Well, this is basically because of the fact that they’re made to be more durable. The thickness brings a certain factor of durability in the keyboard and makes sure that it exhibits little to no amount of flex so it can last longer, even though it might weigh heavier.
- Wide range of Usage – Raised and thicker keyboards are usually preferred for a wide range of usage. They’re not only used for general purposes like surfing the web or typing but they’re also used quite a lot for gaming as well as things like programming, content writing, etc.
- Cheaper – As I said before, standard keyboards are usually raised at an upward angle in terms of their keycaps. This makes raised keyboards easier to get and more commonly available which directly means that such keyboards are cheaper than others and can be the choice of people who have a smaller budget. However, there are expensive options available as well.
Disadvantages of Raised Keyboards
In the case of raised keyboards, the angle is always directed upwards which can be the reason for many disadvantages you might face. Let’s take a look at some of the common ones that you’re going to have to go through if you get a raised keyboard.
- Discomfort – One of the biggest problems that raised keyboards to come with is discomfort. The thing is, your wrists aren’t supposed to bend in an unnatural raised position. That’s why when using a raised keyboard, you feel tired and uncomfortable quickly and why you want to leave work earlier than usual.
- Reduced Portability – The portability of raised keyboards is severely reduced in comparison to other keyboards because they’re usually thicker in size and this thickness propagates through to their weight. Thus, heavier weighted raised keyboards are difficult to take with you and put in bags or containers that are easy to carry from place to place.
- Long-term Injuries – If you’re a regular computer user, the use of raised keyboards in a non-ergonomic angled fashion can cause bone and muscle disorders like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, etc. which can be incredibly detrimental for your long-term health.
Are Flat Keyboards More Ergonomic than Raised Keyboards?
Yes, flat keyboards are more ergonomic than raised keyboards, but what makes them more ergonomic exactly; To find that out, I’ve made a list of factors and considerations comparing both flat and raised keyboards so we can decide why exactly flat keyboards take this win. Let’s get to it.
1. Better Productivity
Productivity is in direct relation with comfort. The more comfortable you are while working or playing a game, the better the results of productivity are going to be.
If we talk about the comfort factor of flat keyboards, it is undoubtedly better than that of raised keyboards which ultimately leads to flat keyboards allowing you to work for a longer period and producing better results. So, in terms of productivity, we can say without hesitation that flat keyboards get you further than other kinds of keyboards.
2. Natural Wrist Position
If you’re someone who is constantly working on digital projects or playing games on the computer, then ergonomics and natural wrist position should definitely be a concern for you.
When you’re using flat keyboards, the keycaps are thin which allows your wrist to stay naturally straight while using the keyboard which is not the case with high-profile raised keycaps of raised keyboards. So, in terms of natural wrist position as well, flat keyboards are better and more ergonomic than raised keyboards.
We’ve established that flat keyboards have thinner frame designs and low-profile thin keycaps that complement the design of the keyboard. And that raised keyboards have larger keycaps that are higher in terms of keypress and that have thicker frame designs.
So, right off the bat, you realize that the thinner keyboards which are flat are lighter and more portable in comparison to the thicker keyboards that are heavier and larger in size. In this case, as well, flat keyboards are better than raised ones.
4. Price and Expenses
Price is also considered quite an important factor when we’re talking about keyboards and other peripherals. Basically, the price of raised keyboards is cheaper usually because they’re not designed with the intent of being ergonomically correct.
However, that’s not the case with flat keyboards. Since flat keyboards have a vision of being ergonomically correct, they’re more premium and at times more expensive than raised keyboards which is why they’re less preferred by budget gamers.
5. Overall Design and Working
If we talk about the overall design and working of both kinds of keyboards, keeping all the facts and statistics ahead of us, definitely flat keyboards have an edge over raised keyboards.
But if you want the most ergonomic experience of using a keyboard, your best bet is going for a negatively inclined keyboard. Those are the polar opposite of raised keyboards yet incredibly ergonomic and great for use. They’re expensive but they truly are amazing.
Flat keyboards might look like they’re not very great in terms of overall durability and usage, but in terms of ergonomics, yes, they’re better than raised keyboards due to the upward angle of the latter ones.
With the aforementioned knowledge, you’ll be able to make sure your keyboarding experience is as ergonomically correct as it can be. If you use flat keyboards, you’re definitely going to feel much more productive throughout your days.
I hope you learned a lot from this article and that you’re going to have an amazing time with your new keyboard.