Glossary of terms used on this site

Defining all of the major mechanical keyboard terminology, technology, and specifications.

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Glossaries

Term Definition
Rubber Dome Switches

Rubber dome switches are now the most common switch technology in keyboards. Rubber dome switches use small rubber coverings that are pushed down to complete a circuit. Their largest advantage is their considerably lower cost compared to mechanical switches. 

Author: Michael Kerns
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TKL

Tenkeyless (TKL) -- The term "tenkeyless" refers to keyboards without a number pad. The term tenkeyless is a bit incorrect since the number pad has more keys than 0-9. Tenkeyless keyboards are usually referred to as tenkeyless/TKL, but are sometimes referred to as ~80% keyboards. The XX% format is also used to refer to other layouts of keyboards.

Author: Michael Kerns
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Topre Switches

Topre switches use a spring and a rubber dome to make a low-force, tactile, and quiet switch. The spring is inside the rubber dome and is cone shaped. The rubber dome in the switch provides most of the resistance and tactile feel. When the spring in the switch is compressed, a capacitive sensing component on the keyboard senses the key press during actuation, which results in the switch being activated.

Author: Michael Kerns
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USB Passthrough

A USB passthrough is referenced when a keyboard has female USB ports for other devices to be plugged into the keyboard. USB passthroughs requires more than one USB port to be used by the keyboard in order to pass the USB through to the PC, often requiring an additional connection to the host system for powered ports.

Author: Michael Kerns
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