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Aluminium vs Plastic Keyboards: Making the Smart Decision

Deciding on the perfect keyboard can be a crucial choice for anyone who spends a significant amount of time typing, gaming, or engaging in any activity that requires a reliable and comfortable keyboard.

The material of your keyboard, be it plastic or aluminum, greatly influences not just the look and feel but also the overall performance and longevity.

In this article, we delve into the specifics of plastic versus aluminum keyboards, shedding light on how each material shapes the weight, durability, typing experience, and much more. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Plastic keyboards are lighter and more portable, but less durable compared to their aluminum counterparts.
  2. Aluminum keyboards offer a more muted and solid typing experience, contrasting the brighter and more resonant sound of plastic keyboards.
  3. In terms of aesthetics and customization, plastic provides more color and design variety, while aluminum offers a sleek, premium look.
  4. Aluminum keyboards are generally more expensive due to their durable material, whereas plastic keyboards are more budget-friendly.
  5. Maintenance-wise, plastic keyboards hide scratches well due to their consistent color, while aluminum is more scratch-resistant but shows marks more clearly.

Keyboard Materials: Plastic vs. Aluminum

Weight and Durability

Man holding keyboard

Plastic Keyboards: Known for their lightweight nature, plastic keyboards are easier to carry and handle, making them a convenient choice for those who are always on the move. This portability, however, comes at a cost.

Plastic, while versatile and economical, is less robust than aluminum. It’s more susceptible to damage from drops or heavy impacts. Over time, plastic can also develop cracks or show signs of wear, especially in high-use areas.

Aluminum Keyboards: In contrast, aluminum keyboards are recognized for their heft and durability. The additional weight of aluminum lends a feeling of sturdiness and quality. This material is less prone to damage from physical impacts, ensuring a longer lifespan for the keyboard.

The solid construction reduces the likelihood of the keyboard flexing or bending, which can be a concern with plastic. Aluminum’s resilience also means it can better withstand the rigors of heavy or aggressive typing, making it a favored choice for gaming or professional use.

Feel and Sound

Sound test between a Aluminium vs Plastic Keyboard

The material of a keyboard not only affects its durability and weight but also plays a crucial role in the typing experience and sound.

Plastic Keyboards: Typing on a plastic keyboard often produces a distinct sound profile; it tends to be brighter and can have a more resonant, hollow quality. This sound can vary significantly depending on the keyboard’s design and the keycaps used.

In terms of typing feel, plastic keyboards might not provide the same level of firmness as metal ones, potentially leading to a less stable typing experience, especially for those who type with more force.

Aluminum Keyboards: Aluminum keyboards offer a contrasting experience. They generally produce a more muted, deeper sound when keys are pressed, which many users find more satisfying and less distracting.

The solid nature of aluminum lends a more stable and consistent feel to the keys. This can be particularly beneficial for precise, fast typing or gaming, where consistent key feedback is essential.

Aesthetics and Customization

Difference between Aluminium vs Plastic Keyboards

The choice between plastic and aluminum keyboards also extends to their aesthetic appeal and customization options, each offering unique benefits.

Plastic Keyboards: These keyboards are often more versatile when it comes to design and color options. Plastic can be easily molded into various shapes and infused with a wide range of colors, allowing for a diverse array of styles. This makes plastic keyboards particularly appealing to those who prioritize personalization and want their setup to reflect their individual style.

Additionally, the surface of plastic keyboards can be textured or finished in different ways to achieve a specific look.

Aluminum Keyboards: Aluminum keyboards, on the other hand, are known for their sleek, elegant, and often more minimalist design. The metal finish of aluminum provides a sophisticated and professional appearance, appealing to users who prefer a more refined and understated aesthetic.

While color options might be more limited compared to plastic, the quality of the finish and the premium feel of aluminum often compensate for this. The metal construction also allows for unique anodized colors and brushed or blasted finishes, offering a distinct look that stands out in a workspace or gaming setup.

The Cost Factor

Expensive mechanical keyboard

The material of a keyboard significantly influences its price point, with notable differences between plastic and aluminum options.

Plastic Keyboards: Generally, these keyboards are more budget-friendly. The lower cost of plastic as a material, combined with simpler manufacturing processes, translates into a more affordable price for the end-user.

This makes plastic keyboards an attractive option for those who are looking for a cost-effective solution or are new to keyboards and want to explore without a substantial financial commitment.

Aluminum Keyboards: In contrast, aluminum keyboards tend to fall into the higher-end price bracket. The cost of aluminum as a raw material is higher than plastic, and the manufacturing process is often more complex and intricate. These factors contribute to a higher price tag.

Ease of Upkeep

Maintenance for Plastic Keyboards

Maintaining a keyboard is important for its longevity and performance, and the material of the keyboard can influence how easy it is to keep in top condition.

Plastic Keyboards: These keyboards are relatively easy to maintain. Plastic surfaces are generally resistant to stains and can be cleaned with minimal effort. However, they are more prone to scratches and might show signs of wear more visibly, especially in high-touch areas.

Over time, the color of the plastic may also fade or yellow, particularly if exposed to direct sunlight. Regular cleaning and careful use can help maintain the appearance of a plastic keyboard.

Aluminum Keyboards: Aluminum, known for its durability, is also advantageous when it comes to maintenance. These keyboards are less likely to scratch or show wear over time. The metal surface can handle more rigorous cleaning methods, which is beneficial for removing oils and grime that accumulate from regular use.

However, aluminum keyboards may require special care when it comes to handling, as they can be more susceptible to dents and, in some finishes, smudges and fingerprints are more noticeable.

Flex and Firmness

Keyboard sturdiness

The structural integrity and flex of a keyboard under use are heavily influenced by the material of its construction, with plastic and aluminum offering differing experiences.

Plastic Keyboards: These keyboards tend to have more flex, which can be noticeable, especially during intense typing or gaming sessions. The inherent flexibility of plastic can lead to a slightly less stable typing platform. This might not be a concern for casual users, but for those who type with more force or require precision, the flex could be a downside.

Aluminum Keyboards: On the other hand, aluminum keyboards are known for their rigidity. The robust nature of aluminum minimizes the keyboard’s flex, providing a solid and stable base for typing. This rigidity is particularly appreciated by users who demand stability and consistency in their typing experience.


We hope this article on plastic and aluminum keyboards has enlightened you and made your decision a little easier. If you’re trying to learn all important aspects of a keyboard then I highly recommend you read our article regarding normal-profile vs low-profile keyboards.

We’d love to hear from you – share with us which type of keyboard you’ve decided on and why.

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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