Choosing the right keycap profile is a great way to enhance the tactile and sound of your keyboard.In this blog post, let's explore some knowledge related to keycap profiles.
What are keycap profile?
Keycap profiles refer to the shape of a keycap set. There are multiple types of profiles that can fit anyone’s preferred style of typing and each one provides a different typing experience.
Each row of keycaps on a mechanical keyboard has a different height, with common height ranges being from R1 to R4. Starting from the function row (F-row) and moving downward, there are a total of 6 rows of keycaps, each corresponding to a specific height. The typical height arrangement from top to bottom is R1-R1-R2-R3-R4-R4.
Based on human typing habits, each row of keycaps on a keyboard has a different gradient (surface tilt angle). This design provides a more comfortable typing experience and is commonly referred to as 'ergonomic' design.
The common keycap profiles in the market include Cherry, OEM, DSA, XDA, SA, and MDA.
SA-profile keycaps are the tallest, featuring a distinctive spherical shape that offers extended key travel and a pronounced tactile feel. Users often find them more comfortable to use with wrist rests, making them suitable for gamers who prefer a greater key feedback sensation.
MDA-profile keycaps have a more rounded appearance, which is a notable departure from the typical keycap design. In comparison to other keycaps, MDA keycaps are shorter in height and have a smoother surface with fewer sharp edges. The sides of MDA keycaps are curved rather than having sharp corners, giving the entire keycap a softer and more rounded look. If you have a preference for MDA-profile keycaps, we highly recommend exploring our store's N75PRO V98Pro series.
The OEM keycap profile is one of the most common shapes, characterized by its sculpted edges, making it suitable for a wide range of users. It offers a balanced typing and gaming experience. OEM keycaps are typically categorized as medium-profile sculpted keycaps. You'll find that many pre-built keyboards use this popular profile, making it feel very natural to use. Additionally, the keycaps in our store's N75 V98 series are designed with the OEM profile.
The Cherry keycap profile is a keycap shape specifically designed for Cherry MX mechanical keyboard switches. This design features sculpted, angular edges and provides users with a range of height options, including standard height, low-profile, and a mix of both.
The standard-height Cherry keycaps are the most common choice. Compared to OEM keycaps, they are slightly shorter in height and have a slightly smaller curvature, making them more comfortable for wrist positioning and less prone to fatigue during use.
Our X68 S99 series keycaps are designed with the Cherry keycap profile, ensuring they complement the keyboard well and offer a more ergonomic keyboard input experience.
The design feature of XDA keycap profile lies in their low profile and smooth, rounded shape without any curvature design. Due to the relatively consistent height of the keycaps, the overall appearance of the keyboard appears flatter, lending a more refined aesthetic compared to other keycap profiles. However, for users accustomed to using keycaps with a staggered height design, this profile may lead to a higher likelihood of accidental keystrokes.
DSA keycap profile is very similar to XDA keycap profile in that they are low-profile, rounded, and lack curvature in their design. Both keycap profiles have relatively uniform keycap heights, but DSA keycaps are typically slightly lower in overall height compared to XDA. Additionally, the contact area with DSA keycaps is considerably smaller than that of XDA keycaps, which can lead to increased typing fatigue.
If you do not know how to choose the key cap profile, then you can give priority to the OEM or Cherry profile of the key cap, these two are the most suitable for most people, if you have special needs and preferences, you can choose according to the different profile of the key cap type.