Rubber keypads offer a reliable and easy-to-use interface for machinery and devices. They feature buttons or “keys” made of rubber. With their rubber construction, they offer a high level of protection against moisture and liquids. At the same time, rubber keypads are soft and ergonomic. If you’re looking to buy a rubber keypad, however, there are several things you should consider.
#1) Tactile Feedback
You should consider tactile feedback when choosing a rubber keypad. Tactile feedback is a physical response to input. Pressing a button is a form of input. If a rubber keypad has tactile feedback, you’ll feel it vibrate or otherwise physically respond to your keypresses.
#2) Key Travel
Something else to consider when choosing a rubber keypad is key travel. Key travel is exactly what it sounds like: the distance keys must travel to activate. Some rubber keypads have greater key travel than others. The higher the key travel, the farther down you’ll have to press the keys. A high key travel often allows for stronger tactile feedback, but it increases the required pressure when using the rubber keypad.
Rubber keypads are available with and without backlighting. What is backlighting, and why do some rubber keypads feature it? Backlighting is a lighting system that’s used in conjunction with a device, such as a rubber keypad. There are different backlighting technologies, some of which include light-emitting diode (LED) and electroluminescent (EL). Regardless, they are all designed to produce light for the device with which they are used. If you’re planning to use the rubber keypad in a dark environment, backlighting may prove beneficial.
#4) Laser Etching
You may discover that some rubber keypads feature laser etching. Laser etching refers to the way in which the keypad’s graphics are created. All keypads have graphics. They are the icons, letters, numbers, characters and words on the keys. Laser-etched graphics are created using a high-power laser. The laser essentially melts a thin layer of material to “etch” in the graphics.
#5) Environmental Resistance
You should consider environmental resistance when choosing rubber keypads. All rubber keypads are rugged, but some of them offer greater resistance to environmental conditions than others. Depending on where you intend to use the rubber keypad, you may want to choose a model with a high level of environmental resistance.
There are several things you should consider when choosing a rubber keypad, some of which include tactile feedback, key travel, backlighting, laser etching and environmental resistance.