Why Are Laptop Keyboards Not Good for Gaming? (5 Reasons)

It’s hard to believe that laptops were seen as weak and underpowered compared to desktop gaming rigs just a few short years ago. But now, laptops are quickly becoming the new standard for gaming. Thanks to advances in portable technology, laptops can now offer the same level of performance as desktop computers.

However, most laptop gamers still don’t prefer using the built-in keyboard with their machine. They get an external desktop keyboard instead for gaming. So, why are laptop keyboards not good for gaming?

The answer lies in the design of laptops. Laptops are designed to be compact and lightweight, so they can be easily transported. This means that laptop keyboards are often much smaller than their desktop counterparts. But, this can make it difficult for gamers to press buttons during fast-paced gaming sessions accurately.

Also, normal laptop keyboards, not the gaming ones obviously, are not designed to be used for heavy tasks like gaming. They are not as durable as gaming keyboards and can break easily if you are not careful.

Here are 5 reasons why laptop keyboards are not good for gamers, based on my research and feedback from gamers.

The first thing that makes laptop keyboards not ideal for gaming is their size. With a laptop, you are limited to the size of the keyboard, which can make it difficult to execute complex gaming maneuvers.

Normally, laptops come in two common sizes: 13 inches and 15 inches. And while some 17-inch laptops exist, they are not very common. So, if you have a 15 inches smaller laptop, the keyboard will have about 12 keys in the main area. That is a very limited space to work with when it comes to gaming.

On the other hand, the average size of a desktop keyboard is about 18 inches. That gives you much more space to work with when gaming and the keys are generally larger, making them easier to press.

Read: Best Gaming Keyboard for Small Hands

2. Keyboard Layout

keyboard layout

Another thing that makes laptop keyboards not great for gaming is the layout of the keys. When you are gaming, you need to be able to move your hands quickly and accurately to different keys.

On a laptop keyboard, the keys are typically grouped closely together, the function keys are smaller, and the arrow keys are in a small cluster off to the side. The size of the keys makes it difficult to hit the key you want accurately. This can be a major problem, especially if you have large hands.

However, on a desktop keyboard, the keys are typically spread out more evenly, and the function keys are usually on a separate row above the number keys. This makes it much easier to find the keys you need quickly and accurately.

Therefore, the keyboard layout is another reason why laptop keyboards are not ideal for gaming.

3. Switches

Laptops are designed to be thin and portable. Therefore, laptop keyboards are typically lower-profile membrane switches than their desktop counterparts, resulting in a less comfortable typing experience, as the keys are closer together and require less travel to depress.

In addition, laptop keyboards often have shallower keystrokes, making it difficult to press the keys with enough force to register an input. Unlike desktop keyboards, they don’t provide any feedback or resistance, which can make it hard to tell if you’ve actually pressed the key. This can be a major downside for gamers, who often need to press multiple keys at once rapidly.

Laptop keyboards can also suffer from ghosting, a phenomenon where multiple key presses are registered when only one key is pressed. This can be extremely frustrating for gamers, who may find that their actions are not being accurately recorded.

4. Comfortability

Gamers spend countless hours sitting in front of their computers, so comfort is a major factor to consider when choosing a keyboard. And in this area, laptop keyboards fail miserably.

When you type on a laptop keyboard, your wrists are positioned at an awkward angle that can lead to tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, and other repetitive stress injuries. Even if you don’t develop any of those conditions, typing on a laptop keyboard for long hours is just uncomfortable.

While on the other side, desktop keyboards typically have a more ergonomic design that is better suited for long hours of use. You don’t have to keep your hands at weird angles, and you can position the keyboard at a height that is comfortable for you.

So, those who spend a lot of time playing games prefer using a desktop keyboard for its comfort.

Read: Best Mechanical Keyboard Under $30

5. Durability

Laptop keyboards are designed to be lightweight and portable, so they’re not built to take a lot of abuse. The keys are usually made of a soft plastic that can wear down over time, and the keycaps can pop off if you apply too much force.

If you start gaming on a laptop keyboard regularly, it’s only a matter of time before it starts to show signs of wear and tear. In addition, laptop keyboards are typically not water-resistant, so if you spill a drink on it, you’re likely to have to replace the entire keyboard.

However, gaming laptops are starting to come with more durable keyboards that are better able to withstand the rigors of gaming. But, they still can’t compare to the durability of a desktop keyboard.

Desktop keyboards, on the other hand, are built to be much more durable. The keys are made of a harder plastic that is resistant to wear and tear, and the keycaps are designed to stay firmly in place.

Desktop keyboards also typically have a metal backplate that gives the keyboard added strength and rigidity. This prevents the keys from flexing too much, leading to premature wear. Therefore, using a desktop keyboard is always a good idea.

Can you connect a desktop keyboard to a laptop?

Yes, it is possible to connect a external desktop keyboard to a laptop. In fact, there are a few different ways to do it, depending on the type of laptop you have.

If you have a wired laptop and your laptop has a USB port, then you can simply connect the keyboard to the USB port. If your laptop has a PS/2 port, you can connect the keyboard to the PS/2 port using a PS/2 to USB adapter.

However, if your keyboard is wireless, you will need to plug a small wireless receiver into the USB port on your laptop. This will allow you to connect the keyboard to the laptop wirelessly.

If your laptop doesn’t have a USB port, then you can use a wireless keyboard, which uses Bluetooth to connect to the laptop. It doesn’t require any special adapters.

Read: How to Connect Laptop Keyboard to PS4?

Should you get a desktop keyboard for gaming on laptop?

As you can see, laptop keyboards have some serious deficiencies when it comes to gaming. If you’re serious about gaming, you should definitely get an external keyboard for your laptop.

A desktop keyboard will provide you with the accuracy, comfort, and durability needed to take your gaming to the next level. Also, you can customize your gaming setup more easily.

So, if you’re looking to get the most out of your laptop gaming experience, then you should definitely invest in a desktop keyboard. It will make a world of difference. But, it is advisable to check the compatibility of the keyboard and laptop before making a purchase.

However, if you are a casual gamer and are not looking to make a big investment, you can probably get by using the laptop keyboard. Just be aware that you may not be able to perform as well as you could with a desktop keyboard.

Read: Best Keyboard for Excel

Final thoughts

Thanks to the portability and useful features of laptops, gamers can take their gaming anywhere. But, why are laptop keyboards good for gaming?

No, the keyboards on laptops are not well-suited for gaming, and they can be quite fragile. Above, I have tried to explain 5 reasons.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to get a desktop keyboard for laptop gaming. A desktop keyboard will provide you with the accuracy, comfort, and durability needed to take your gaming to the next level.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether or not getting a desktop keyboard for laptop gaming is worth it. If you’re serious about gaming, the investment will be worth it. But, if you’re just a casual gamer, then the answer is up to you.

Thanks for reading!

Samuel Anali

Tech enthusiast, gamer, programmer, and reviewer, Samuel is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in technology. With an eye for detail, he loves nothing more than getting his hands on new gadgets and tearing it apart to see how it works. When he's not gaming or programming, you'll find him reading a good book.