Keyboards are a primary input device. We all use keyboards extensively. But how long do keyboards last?
Computer keyboards can last anywhere between a few weeks to several years. It depends on how you use it and also on the quality of the keyboard. If you invest in a good quality keyboard and maintain it well, it will serve you for years!
With all things going online these days, we are using our laptops and PCs more than ever. Keyboards are easily replaceable. However, not all keyboards are cheap. Knowing how long keyboards can last can be helpful. Can increased usage impact the lifespan of a keyboard and does the type of the keyboard also play an important role? Will the brand of the keyboard impact its longevity? Let’s find out.
How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last?
Mechanical keyboards are now becoming increasingly popular. These sturdy keyboards are one of the most durable types of keyboards in the market. The lifespan of a mechanical keyboard is a vital consideration because these keyboards are usually not cheap.
A good mechanical keyboard can last for a decade. The old, sturdy IBM mechanical keyboards can last up to 20 years. However, a low-cost mechanical keyboard can guarantee to last only till its warranty period lasts. A mechanical keyboard with good switches can withstand about 30 million presses. Superior switches such as Cherry MX can last up to more than 50 million key presses!
However, sometimes with repeated usage, some of the keys (like the ‘space bar’ or the letters ‘a’, ‘e’, etc.) can stop working well. But you can easily get the switches replaced and extend the lifespan. And lo behold! Your keyboard is back to its functional best. Mechanical keyboards are pretty robust when it comes to water and dust ingress, too. This makes them less vulnerable to damage due to water and dust.
So worry not about your mechanical keyboard. You can replace the keycaps if they get old. And with proper cleaning and maintenance, these keyboards can serve you well.
How Long do Membrane Keyboards Last?
Membrane keyboards are more popular and come at a fairly cheaper price when compared to other types of keyboards. But if you are looking for durability, these keyboards don’t fare as good as the mechanical keyboards. A membrane keyboard can last up to ten years with some luck. However, the average is at about 5 years.
Membrane keyboards have a shorter lifespan. Firstly, they are not as hardy as mechanical keyboards. Even the good quality mechanical keyboards have a lifespan of around 5 million to 10 million keypresses. Secondly, they also wear out much quicker than mechanical keyboards. As they wear out, the membrane can start to feel a bit mushy and causes the keys to losing feedback. This can lead to inaccuracy while typing.
Another issue with membrane keyboards is that repairing them is not very easy. So, if a component stops working, it might not always be possible to replace the component. You would need to replace the entire keyboard. Maintenance and cleaning are also difficult due to the build of the keyboard. This also results in the membrane not lasting for a long time.
How Long do Laptop Keyboards Last?
Keyboard purists will tell you that most laptop keyboards are not made for durability. This is kind of true. But it is also true that you might probably replace your laptop before the keyboard becomes unusable. In a nutshell, laptop keyboards usually last ‘long enough‘. That is to say that they usually last as long as your laptop. However, this is only applicable for moderate usage. So, an average laptop keyboard will last for about 5 years.
If you use your laptop for heavy typing, though, the keys might wear out sooner. Also, depending on usage, certain keys might wear out sooner. For example, the navigation keys can wear out faster if you work extensively in text editing.
Since laptop keyboards are usually the chiclet or island type, they are difficult to repair. Replacing the keyboard is also fairly expensive. It is a better choice to invest in a separate keyboard that you can connect with your laptop.
How Long Do Logitech Keyboards Last?
Logitech makes a wide range of keyboards, both of the wired and wireless variety. The mechanical keyboards and gaming keyboard range lasts longer than other types of keyboards from this brand. The chiclet-style keyboards can have a shorter lifespan. But on average, Logitech keyboards can last for more than 5 years.
Logitech makes good quality keyboards. But how long your keyboard will last will also depend on your usage. If you don’t spill anything on the keyboard and maintain it well, it can even last for 10 years or more!
If you are investing in a Logitech keyboard, know that it is a good brand when it comes to computer peripherals. So, the quality is usually good. Opting for a mechanical keyboard that has good resistance to water and dust can automatically increase the longevity of the keyboard. Do note that Logitech offers a warranty period of 2 years on most models.
How Long Do Razer Keyboards Last?
Razer offers a fantastic range of gaming keyboards. They have some great options for office use as well. Their keyboards have an excellent build quality and come in a wide range of switches, but they can get a bit pricey. Also, they are made more for efficiency and not for durability.
However, a Razer keyboard can last on an average for about 5 years. Some products such as Razer BlackWidow Chroma can last up to 80 million keypresses. The gaming keyboards from Razer can withstand heavy usage during intense gaming sessions, too.
Overall, a Razer keyboard is a good buy. Razer, too, offers a warranty of 2 years on their keyboards. And according to keyboard experts, a Razer product that outlives the warranty period will usually serve you well.
How Long Do RGB Keyboards Last?
An RGB keyboard is an advanced type of LED-backlit keyboard that generates colors by projecting combinations of blue, green, and red light. Since it uses LEDs that are soldered, durability is not their first attribute. The LEDs can get damaged or the soldered connections can be compromised due to rough usage.
However, that does not mean that your RGB keyboard will be unusable too soon. Since the LEDs are made to last, they can stay good for up to 50,000 hours. This means that even with heavy usage, the keyboard can last up to 8 years.
The only downside is that if an LED stops working, disassembling the keyboard and desoldering the connections to replace the LED is a hassle. However, some keyboards such as Ducky One RGB, have LEDs that sit under the switch. In case you need to replace the LED, it is fairly easy and does not involve opening up the entire unit.
Another thing to note is that the durability of an RGB keyboard also depends on how often and how long you use the LED lights in it. With lesser usage, these keyboards can even last for up to 20 years!
How Long Do Gaming Keyboards Last?
Gaming keyboards, in the general sense, refer to keyboards with lights in them. These keyboards generally cost more than their regular counterparts. However, for the price, they do not offer more durability. The durability depends on the build and quality of the keyboard and also on the usage.
Gaming keyboards are subject to a lot of intense use. If you go for a lower-end keyboard, it will have a shorter lifespan. It can last for about 3 years. On the other hand, if you for a sturdy mechanical keyboard built for gaming, it will last you for more than 20 years.
If you choose to go for a mechanical keyboard for gaming, the durability will depend on the quality of the switches. Since you can replace switches and keycaps if damaged, the longevity of the keyboard increases. The water and dust resistance will also impact durability. And of course, if you maintain your gaming keyboard well, it will last you longer.
In conclusion, there is no said rule that a specific keyboard will surely last longer than another. The lifespan of a keyboard or any electronic device depends on several factors. Here is a summary of what has been discussed above:
|Keyboard Type||Approximate lifespan|
|Mechanical Keyboard||10 to 20 years|
|Membrane Keyboard||5 to 10 years|
|Razer Keyboard||About 5 years|
|Logitech Keyboard||5 to 10 years|
|Gaming Keyboard||3 to 20 years|
All said and done, every device needs its care and maintenance. So as long as you take good care of the keyboard, it will last long and serve you well! You can make your choice depending on the type of keyboard you’d like to own, the budget you have, and the aesthetics. Want to know how different keyboards cope with spills? Read more about waterproof keyboards.