Welcome to the first entry of the Wired vs Wireless peripheral series. The concept is self explanatory: many peripherals have a wired and wireless counterpart. These posts aim to provide you with guidance on which one to select given the peripheral you are looking to purchase or upgrade. This first entry will be covering the topic of Wired Vs Wireless keyboards for your Battlestation.
There is no doubt that keyboards are a near-mandatory component of any setup. It’s needed for performing google searches, chatting with friends, writing reports, coding etc. It stands to reason that a lot of time should be spent deciding which keyboard is right for you. While this isn’t a comprehensive buyer’s guide for keyboards, I hope this post will help nudge you in the right direction. You should spend some time right now to think about what you use your keyboard for, and the role it plays in your setup. This will help you when looking at the considerations discussed below.
In the future, peripherals such as mice, headsets, speakers and more will be covered as well, so be on the lookout for those!
Wired keyboards are the most popular choice for gaming and desk setups. Inherently, wired peripherals have more capabilities than their wireless counterparts for a few reasons. Below I’ll discuss the key pros and cons associated with them.
- Wired keyboards don’t need a battery. The wire provides all the power it will ever need! You will never need to charge or replace the batteries of a wired keyboard, which is a huge positive to many.
- Wired keyboards usually have more functionality. Not all keyboards are built equal. Having the benefit of a wire to continuously supply power can enables manufacturers to include additional features. The most noteworthy feature would be RGB back lighting which can require a significant amount of power.
- Responsiveness. A benefit that all wired peripherals share is that they have no input delay. Typing will typically feel very quick and responsive, which is very beneficial for those who spend lot’s of time taking notes, writing reports or coding. It is also very important for gamers who need highly responsive inputs, such as in FPS or MOBA games.
- Wired Keyboards have a wire. If all else were equal for a given product, I would always go for something without a wire. Wires add clutter to gaming and desk setups. They don’t usually look very nice and can detract from the overall aesthetics and feel. At the same time, a single wire never hurts anybody, and it’s really up to you to decide whether it’s worth ‘removing’ at the expense of the pros listed above.
- Lack of portability. The only other real issue inherent with wires is that wired keyboards lack portability. This would only really matter for people who sit very far from their computers, usually using a TV or projector as a monitor. For a typical gamer this isn’t much of a problem, since they will usually game in only one location.
Wired keyboards are usually a very safe choice. The only real downside is the slight aesthetic turnoff and lack of portability. For most people, this is quite a good trade off for not needing to charge it, having more features and quicker response times.
Wireless keyboards don’t quite need a pros and cons list, since you can infer that information based off the wired keyboard discussion above. Regardless, there are a couple more key things that you should consider when deciding whether a wireless keyboard is right for you.
- Features will come at the expense of battery life. There are wireless keyboards out there that have some very nice features, such as the Drevo Calibur Wireless Mechanical Keyboard. It has a RGB back-lit key feature, which can look and feel very nice but will need to be plugged in to charge after about 10-12 hours. I feel this is a pretty good length of time for my own use, however that is something you will need to decide for yourself. Without using RGB the battery will likely last much, much longer.
- Input Delay. Mentioned above, a wireless keyboard using Bluetooth or Radio Frequency will inherently have some level of input delay. This might bother those of you who do lots of typing (writing reports for school, coding, programming etc.) or play FPS or MOBA games which might need highly responsive inputs. Technology is advanced enough to where it might be difficult to tell a difference, but the delay will always technically be there.
Wireless keyboards are for those who might highly value a clean looking battlestation or for those who require portability. An example of the latter could be for individuals wanting to sit on the couch or their bed while using a large monitor or projector from afar (for watching TV or livestreams). Or they could be frequently transporting their gaming laptop around, and they prefer the feel of their wireless keyboard compared to the built-in one.
For those who are wondering, I have been using wired keyboards for all of my life. I am currently using the wired Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, and have been for the past four or so years (Cherry MX Brown master-race, btw). Note that I am using the older version of the keyboard than the one I just linked.
For me, the benefits of having the wire far outweigh the cons to having it. My Battlestation is static and pretty standard, so I have no real reason to bring my keyboard anywhere. I also tend to do lot’s of typing (Re: This blog), so having no input delay is very important to me. I also get to enjoy the RGB capabilities to match my gaming setup without worrying about battery life!
Deciding between wired vs wireless keyboards isn’t always an easy decision. I know that I needed to do some research on the topic before purchasing my current keyboard. As a quick recap, a wired keyboard is usually the way to go for most people. The benefits they have over a wireless keyboard are numerous, including no need for a battery/charging, more functionality and increased responsiveness. Wireless keyboards are be more geared towards entertainment centers that are hooked up to computers. While they look very clean in a gaming setup, they aren’t always the most practical.
I hope the above discussion provided you with the guidance you need to decide between a wired and wireless keyboard.
As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to drop a comment below or email me at YourBattlestationBlog@gmail.com