Silicone Keyboards - Are They Good for Typing?
Published November 9, 2017
After 2 years of using silicone keyboards, they are still my preferred keyboard for typing. As a blogger and sometimes writer, I have several keyboards and typewriters (yes, I’m that old). The silicone keyboards have outlasted some of my more expensive and feature-rich keyboards. I paid less than $20 for my keyboard and they’re even cheaper now on Amazon (Amazon affiliate link).
Benefits of Using Silicone Keyboards
There are several benefits to using silicone keyboards.
Benefit number one: The keyboards are waterproof. I’ve been known to spill a cup of coffee or two (and at least one glass of wine) on my keyboards. With the waterproof keyboard, my only concern is that I've wasted a perfectly good cup of coffee or wine. No longer am I concerned about ruining my keyboard.
Benefit number two: They're very easy to clean. I don’t know how I manage to get a keyboard so dirty (aside from spilling beverages on it). Fortunately, a simple damp cloth returns it to its brand-new condition.
Benefit number three: Although it's the third benefit mentioned, it's just as important as benefit number one. These silicone keyboards are whisper quiet. On those occasions when the writing bug bites very early in the morning (which happens most mornings), I don’t have to worry about waking anybody up. I can barely hear my fingers on the keys.
Benefit number four: They're portable. If you want to travel with it just roll it up stick it in its cylindrical case and bring it with you. If you don’t like the case stick it in a baggie or whatever else you have to use to transport it.
Potential Downsides of Silicone Keyboards
There are a few downsides to this keyboard. Depending on what's important to you, the downsides can be major or minor. I've developed workarounds for each downside so I'm okay with them.
Downside number one: It’s a soft, pliable keyboard. If you prefer typing with a keyboard on your lap, you won't be able to do it with this keyboard. My workaround is I use one of my other keyboards as a stabilizer. I place the old hard keyboard backside up on my lap and place the silicone keyboard on top of it. This way I have a firm base and am able to type from my lap if I so choose. Yes, there is a keyboard redundancy but a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do (I only do this at home).
Downside number two: Fancy colored silicone keyboards are attractive to young children. I’ve got to hide it when my young grandson comes to visit. If I'm forewarned of his visit, I hide the attractive silicone keyboard and replace it with a wireless keyboard. I make sure the keyboard and mouse are turned off. This way when he climbs up on my computer chair to type his memoirs (or search for Spyro the Dragoon), he doesn't escort my computer down some unknown corridor that I won’t know how to get it back from.
Downside number three: This keyboard does not have media keys (not all silicone keyboards omit media keys). I’m not so concerned about the Fast-Forward/Rewind, Pause and Stop buttons. I use those infrequently, but I am a regular user of the volume control buttons. I like having a readily available mute key at my disposal. For the life of me, I don't understand why some websites feel the need to scream at you when you visit. Between loud websites and the never-ending stream of advertisements, I like to keep things muted and would prefer a few simple keystrokes to do so.
Workaround for the Missing Volume Keys
This workaround isn't exclusively for silicone keyboards. It works for non-silicone keyboards that are missing volume controls (I know it works on PCs, not so sure about Macs). The video below explains how to assign volume up/volume down and mute hotkeys to your existing keyboard/mouse. Warning: He's a bit long-winded at the beginning of the video. He doesn't begin to address the solution until 2 minutes into the video (2:10 to be exact), but he does a good job of explaining things.
Typing with Flexible Silicone Keyboards
To be honest, flexible keyboards takes some getting used to. If you're accustomed to a hard noisy keyboard, or if you have large fingers with a heavy touch, give yourself some time to adjust. The keyboard offers a very soft touch. I happen to like it because my touch is light and it allows my fingers to move across the keyboard quickly.
The particular keyboard that I have is not wireless. I have it connected via USB to my Windows PC. I purchased a micro USB adapter (Amazon affiliate link)that enables me to also use it with my Samsung tablet. This keyboard is not compatible with iPhones. I purchased an adapter in an attempt to retrofit it to my iPhone but it just did not work (the possibility exists that I purchased the wrong adapter).
If you’re considering buying a silicone keyboard, make sure you purchase it from a place with a good return policy. Not everybody likes typing on such keyboards. If you find after a few days or a week of using it, it’s not for you, then return it. Make sure it is still in excellent condition..
Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.
Last Modified: 31 January 2024
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