Mechanical switches have been around for quite some time. They gained massive popularity just recently when people needed more from their keyboards. Mechanical keyboards stood up to the challenge. Not all mechanical switches are made the same.
We will go over the Varmilo Electrostatic Capacitative Mechanical Switches. Quite a mouthful. You are going to see what makes them better and stand out from the sea of mechanical switches today.
The Mechanical keyboard.
At the heart of every key on the keyboard is a switch. The switch’s main function is to translate your keystroke into a letter, number, or symbol as displayed on your screen. Because of this simple objective, the key switch can be made in many ways.
One of these ways involves using a mechanical switch with moving parts. A keyboard with mechanical switches is known as a mechanical keyboard. For this article, you need to understand the way a mechanical keyboard works.
Based on the type of switch present in them, keyboards can be generally categorized into mechanical and membrane keyboards.
How does a Mechanical switch work?
A traditional mechanical key switch has the following parts; a stem, a switch housing, spring, a slider, and metal contact leaves. The keycaps cover the switches on the keyboard. A keystroke presses down on the stem which pushes the slider.
This slider presses down and allows metal leaves in the switch to make contact. The spring restores the position of the slider and stem. The physical contact makes allows for the registration of a key.
This is how a traditional mechanical switch works, in simple terms.
This unique mechanism of action has given the mechanical keyboard advantages over membrane keyboards. For years, the mechanical keyboard has been the go-to keyboard. The premium feel, the nice feedback, faster response time, and longer lifespan makes it great. As good as these features sound, traditional mechanical keyboards still have their flaws.
Types of mechanical switches.
- Linear switches: A keyboard with linear switches has a smooth feel when you press each key. The linear switch gives a uniform resistance with each keystroke. Common examples of linear switches are the red switch and the speed silver. Varmilo has its set of linear switches which are the Sakura and the Daisy switch.
- Clicky switches: Clicky switches provide audio feedback when you press down on a key. It makes a clicky while you type or work with your keyboard. O rings can be used to dampen the sound of these keys. Traditionally, cherry mx blue switches are clicky switches.
- Tactile switches: keyboards with tactile feedback provides stronger feedback when pressed down. The feedback here is unlike linear switches. They produce a bumpy feel when you type. The Varmilo EC Rose is a good example of such a switch.
What is an electrostatic capacitative switch?
Innovation has revealed areas of improvement that were once overlooked. One of these new technologies is the Electrostatic Capacitative switch.
These switches give take everything in the traditional mechanical switch and improve it. Let us take a look at the Electrostatic Capacitative (EC) mechanical switch.
Beneath the keycaps on an EC mechanical keyboard are the switches, doing their lovely work. They work in a slightly similar fashion to traditional mechanical switches but they employ a different method of registering keys.
In the EC switch, electrostatic capacitance is used to register a key. When the switch moves, two contact leaves are only brought in close proximity. The electric field between the two contacts leaves becomes disrupted when the distance between them changes. The change in the electrostatic capacitance change is measured and the key is actuated.
The EC keyboard is a mechanical keyboard in every right. The difference between EC switches and traditional mechanical switches is that it doesn’t require physical contact to register a key.
Earlier versions of the electrostatic capacitative switches were not great for keyboards and were expensive. It needed a silicone bowl and had a cone spring. These earlier switches had poor typing feels.
Varmilo revolutionized the electrostatic capacitative switch and made it world-class. The final product is an EC mechanical switch that lasts longer, performs better, and has better typing feels than traditional switches.
The Varmilo EC mechanical switches.
The new EC mechanical V2 switches come in 3 types. The EC Sakura, EC Daisy, and EC Rose. Ivy switch is still under development. You get to choose between the different typing feels they provide.
The purposes and the function of these switches can’t simply be termed as ‘good for typing’ or ‘good for gaming’. These switches are built for professionals, game enthusiasts, and anyone who loves a wonderful keyboard experience. The purpose depends on your lifestyle and choices.
- Sakura: The well known and loved Sakura switch is an EC linear switch. With an actuation force of 45g, It is a lighter switch than the cherry MX red and the speed silver. The terminal force on this switch is 55g.
The EC Sakura switch keyboard is a light switch. It is perfect for high-end users and users who like the red switch. This keyboard switch is for users who have a high taste in typing feels. It is also well suited for professional office workers and daily users.
- Ivy: The EC Ivy switch is quite different from the rest on this list. The ivy switch has nice audio feedback which produces a clicky sound when pressed. The actuation force is 50g which is quite sturdy for a keyboard. It has a tactile force of 60g.
- Daisy: The EC Daisy is the lightest EC linear switch that is made by Varmilo. It is lighter than the cherry MX red and the Speed Silver. It has an actuation force of only 35g and a terminal force of 45g.
The EC Daisy is a great switch because of its lightness. It is good for reducing input fatigue. It can prevent tenosynovitis that can arise from prolonged usage of heavy switches. It is good for professionals who use their keyboards for long hours at a stretch.
- Rose: Here is another EC linear switch on our list, but unlike the Sakura, it is a heavy switch. It has an actuation force of 55g and a terminal force of 75g. This switch is heavier than the cherry MX red but lighter than the Cherry MX black.
The EC Rose gives a strong, confirmatory feedback when pressed. It is suitable for people who love the strong feedback it provides.
Traditional mechanical keyboards VS Varmilo EC Switches V2.
The features of the Varmilo EC Switches V2 makes it better than traditional mechanical switches. See how they differ.
The varmilo Electrostatic Capacitative keyboard lasts longer than traditional keyboards. Because traditional keyboards need to make physical contact the leaves of the contact stuff will be subjected to abrasion, wear, and tear.
The need for physical contact may be particularly bad when spills occur. Particles lodged in a traditional mechanical switch can affect and shorten the useful life of the switch . for this reason, it is more advantageous to own a Varmilo EC mechanical keyboard.
Because of its unique design, the problems affecting traditional switches do not affect it. The varmilo EC keyboard can work for a very long time. (In theory, this keyboard switch design can last forever.)
The lack of physical contact in the switch makes it less susceptible to damages caused by dust.
Spilling a drink on a traditional mechanical keyboard can sometimes have severe consequences. In this keyboard, the switch won’t get cloggy or sticky. For the Varmilo EC switch keyboards, the remedy is quite simple. All you need do is to unplug the keyboard, turn it upside down, and leave it to dry.
One thing that affects the speed of mechanical keyboards is the rebounce time. This is the time it takes for the signal to be sent to the computer after the key has been pressed. This is also known as the input lag.
On traditional mechanical keyboards, the input lag is caused by noise. Noise can be caused by jostling the keyboard and it can cause accidental registering of keys. Noise can also be caused by static electricity in these mechanical keyboards.
For traditional mechanical keyboards to compensate for this noise, they have to scan many times a second for legitimate inputs in the keyboard to differentiate from the noise. These limitations reduce the effective speed of traditional mechanical keyboards.
Although traditional mechanical switches are fast, electrostatic capacitative switches are faster. The values for the response time vary per switch. Most traditional mechanical switches take up to 6ms for a key to register. The Varmilo EC mechanical switches actuate a key in less than 5ms.
This is very impressive for a mechanical keyboard. This impressive feat is achieved due to the design of the switch on the Varmilo EC mechanical keyboard. There is no need for physical contact to actuate a key, so the response is much faster.
Better typing feels.
The typing feels of a keyboard, among other things determines how excellent it is. How the keyboard feels when in use can shed some light on the quality and the useful life of a mechanical keyboard. The following factors affect the typing feel on a keyboard.
- Smoothness: The smoothness of a key can be measured by the amount of friction the finger feels when a user presses a key. The feature can be best felt with a linear switch. In a linear switch, a user
experiences uniform smoothness when the key is pressed.
For a fantastic typing feel, smoothness is a priority. You will be glad to know that on Varmilo EC switches, the appropriate smoothness of each switch was not taken for granted.
- Wobbliness: Wobbly keys on a keyboard do not inspire any confidence whatsoever. No one would think a loose and wobbly keyboard as one of high quality. The keys on all Varmilo EC keyboards are sturdy and they provide firm and satisfying feedback.
- Noise and spring resonance: On some mechanical keyboards, users hear spring noise when they press down on a key multiple times. Some switches also make a scrappy noise when pressed. All these negatively affect the typing feel on a keyboard.
High-quality parts and materials are used in the Varmilo EC switch to effectively tackle this problem.
- Consistency: To provide an excellent typing feel for users, the switches have to provide a consistent feel throughout its life. A new keyboard will perform well when newly purchased, but will it provide the same level of feedback till the end?
It is not good to have a keyboard that will only feel great for the first few years of its life. Not only must the keys give accurate feedback, but it must also be consistent when pressed from different angles. This last feature can easily be overlooked.
As many of us grind away on our keyboards playing games or typing those long emails, we won’t hit each key properly. On traditional mechanical keyboards, the feedback given won’t be consistent.
Varmilo has once again gone ahead and beyond its peers and has addressed the issue of consistency. Varmilo guarantees that their keyboards will give consistent feedback throughout their serviceable lives. The feedback is also consistent whether you press the key from the top, side, or bottom.
- Sound: The sound produced in clicky switches is crisp and clear. The noise level on these switches is reduced. The switches still produce a clean click that offers premium satisfaction and yet, not annoying to others.
The Varmilo company has painstakingly dedicated time and resources to provide the best EC mechanical switches you would find on a keyboard. They outlast, outperform, and give better typing feels than their counterparts. Get one and see for yourself.