Congratulations, you've got CLICKEYbits!
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Now I want a mechanical keyboard!
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What's inside your CLICKEYbits?
There are five models of CLICKEYbits:
- Clicky - 6 clicky green switches
- Silent - 6 silent red switches
- Classic - 2 brown, 2 red, and 2 blue switches
- Beta Tester - red, silent red, black, speed silver, linear clear, and silencer clip red switches
- Clear Tester - blue, green, brown, red, black, and silent red switches (the CLICKEYbits itself may be black, white, or blue)
What does this all mean? Read about the switches below.
What are the Kinds of Buttons?
Inside each CLICKEYbits are six mechanical keyboard switches. These are the actual buttons underneath the colored keycap, and there are lots of varieties to choose from. They fall into three main groups.
Clicky - The click on a keyboard gives you a positive acknowledgement when you hit a key. And when you're on a roll typing away the rapid fire of clicks helps keep up your momentum. Clicky switches are favorites for programmers and people who don't have to worry about annoying someone else in the room.
Tactile - This is similar to a clicky key, without the click. When the button is half way down you can feel a bump that lets you know you've hit the key. This is the most popular form of mechanical keyboard switch, and a great choice if you work in an office with other people.
Linear - This button goes straight down without any kind of click or bump. Gamers prefer this kind of keyboard switch because it can give them a small edge when milliseconds count. There has been an explosion in the variety of of linear switches available on the market and figuring out which is right for you can be a challenge.
Blue - Most clicky buttons are "blue". These feel great and give a satisfying click. They are made by all switch manufacturers with only minor differences. Blues are used in the CLICKEYbits Classic.
Green - These are heavier than the blues, so it takes a bit more force to press them down. Only a few manufacturers make these heavier alternatives. Greens are used in the CLICKEYbits Clicky.
Brown - This is the most common type of switch and is used in offices around the world. It is an excellent mid-weight where you don't press keys by mistake and you don't have to press too hard. The bump is not only useful as feedback when you've hit the key, it helps train you to stop pressing earlier and not "bottom out" which means less strain on your fingers. Although there are some rare other tactile switches, browns are the most common. Browns are used in the CLICKEYbits Classic.
Tactile Clear / White - (unfortunately on occasion some manufacturers use different color codes) This is a heaver version of the Brown. Keyboards with this switch feel solid and great. For someone with a heavy keystroke this is an excellent choice, but others find prolonged typing sessions cause finger fatigue.
Red - This is a classic medium weight button, ideal for most gamers. It is the most popular switch for gaming keyboards today, although gamers now have many options to choose from. Reds are used in the CLICKEYbits Classic.
Black - A heaver version of the reds, for gamers that want more resistance. This is helpful for players with itchy fingers who want to apply some pressure to the keys before the key starts to go down. These are not as common and not all switch manufacturers make them. One black switch can be found in the CLICKEYbits Clear Tester.
Silent Red - This is a new type of red where there is almost no sound when the key hits the bottom, and also very little sound when the key rises back up. Although these are more difficult to find they are worth it if you are in a room where others find your game play to be disturbing. Silent Reds are used in the CLICKEYbits Silent.
Linear Clear - This is a lightweight liner switch for gamers looking for an edge. Resting your fingers in the home row you can feel that they switches will press very easily and quickly. These are not common but are a favorite of some gamers.
Silver Speed - This is similar to the reds except the key press distance is shorter. It takes the same force to press, but the keys will activate sooner and will "bottom out" more quickly. These are a fairly new product being made by a couple of manufacturers, and are proving to be a popular choice.
O-Rings - An O-Ring can be added to any button between the switch and keycap. The O-Ring itself is a rubber ring that absorbs impact. It makes the switch quieter and shortens the distance the switch can be pressed. It gives a softer "landing" when you press the button all the way down. This can reduce stress on your fingers.
Silencer Clips - A silencer clip surrounds the top of the switch and gives it a softer landing, reducing the impact and the noise. Silencer clips can be applied to any switches.