Hall Effect keyboard switches are an alternative to traditional mechanical switches like Cherry and Kailh. Although first introduced in 1968, they were initially thought to be expensive and difficult to manufacture, limiting their popularity. However, advancements in production methods have made them more accessible and cost-effective.
Hall Effect switches differ from mechanical and optical switches in their functioning. Mechanical switches rely on physical contact, while optical switches use light to register keystrokes. Hall Effect switches, on the other hand, utilize the Hall Effect principle, where a magnetic field causes a change in electrical voltage, to detect key presses without physical contact. The Hall Effect technology has been also on the rise in the game controllers space.
Advantages of Hall Effect switches
- Longer lifespan due to the absence of physical contact, reducing wear and tear.
- Greater durability and resistance to dust and debris.
- Faster response time, as the magnetic field can be detected more quickly than physical contact.
Disadvantages of Hall Effect switches
- Limited availability compared to traditional mechanical switches.
- Higher cost, although this has decreased over time.
- Potential unfamiliarity with the feel or response of the switches, which may require some adjustment for users.
Best Hall Effect keyboards on the market
In the consumer market, Hall Effect switches are gaining popularity in modern gaming keyboards, with brands like SteelSeries and Wooting introducing them. Popular Hall Effect switches include SteelSeries Omnipoint switches and Wooting Lekker Hall Effect switches. There also have been crowdfunding attempts like H1-Hera Hall Effect Keyboard, but after a successfull campaign it is unavailable for purchase as for March 2023.
OmniPoint Hall Effect Magnetic Switches from Steelseries
The APEX PRO mechanical keyboard takes a significant leap forward with the world’s fastest OmniPoint 2.0 adjustable switches, boasting 11x quicker response and 10x swifter actuation. Users can customize the sensitivity of each key, ranging from a speedy 0.2mm to a deliberate 3.8mm, and program two different actions to the same key for powerful gaming shortcuts.
The keyboard also features an OLED Smart Display, providing information at a glance from games and apps, and includes a clickable metal roller and media key. Additionally, the USB Passthrough allows connection of another USB-powered device, while the brilliant RGB customization options offer 16.8 million colors and PrismSync capability for a visually stunning experience.
- OmniPoint adjustable switches allow for customization of actuation distance from 0.4 millimeter to 3.6 millimeter
- OLED smart display: An integrated command center for adjusting settings and tracking on the fly info straight from your game, Spotify, Discord, and more
- Aircraft grade aluminum alloy built for a lifetime of durability and stability
- RGB Illumination unmatched customization with 16.8 million colors per key
- Premium magnetic wrist rest: Provides full palm support and comfortable, ergonomic feel. Compatibility : (OS) Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox, and PlayStation. USB port required. (Software) SteelSeries Engine 3.15and for Windows (7 or newer) and Mac OSX (10.11 or newer)
The Apex Pro Mini Wireless is advertised as the world’s fastest and most advanced keyboard, providing unbeatable performance for gaming and typing tasks.
Equipped with OmniPoint 2.0 Hall Effect Adjustable Switches, it uses state-of-the-art magnetic sensors for instant, zero-contact keystroke activation. The 2-in-1 Action Keys allow you to program two actions for a single key, enabling complex combos for competitive gaming. With ultimate adjustability, you can fine-tune the registration distance of each keystroke down to 0.1mm, catering to various preferences. The compact 60% design saves desk space while retaining full-size keyboard capabilities through side-printed secondary functions.
The SteelSeries Engine software unlocks the keyboard’s unique features, allowing customization of action key binds, per-key RGB illumination, and actuation points. The Apex Pro Mini Wireless also features Quantum 2.0 Wireless technology for lag-free gaming and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
- World’s Fastest Keyboard – Overtake standard mechanical keyboards as OmniPoint 2.0 delivers 11x faster response and 10x swifter actuation.
- Customize Every Keystroke – Precisely adjust the registration depth of every key to the nearest 0.1MM, going from speedy 0.2MM touches to deliberate 3.8MM presses.
- 2-in-1 Action Keys – Program two different actions for the same key, such as walking with a light touch and sprinting with a deeper press.
- 60% Form Factor – Streamlined design saves desk space and leaves more room for mouse movement, retaining full-size keyboard capabilities with side-printed functions.
- Durable PBT Keycaps – Long-lasting double shot PBT keycaps provide a high-quality texture for enhanced keystroke feel and improved typing accuracy. Compatibility-OS-Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, and Mac OS X. USB port required(*Not all software features supported on Mac OS). Software-SteelSeries Engine for Windows (8.1 or newer) and Mac OSX (10.13 or newer) (*Not all software features supported on Mac OS)
Wooting Lekker Keyboard Switches
Wooting Lekker switches are a type of analog mechanical keyboard switch developed by Wooting. These switches provide a unique typing experience with adjustable actuation points and pressure-sensitive input, enabling more precise control in gaming and other applications. They offer a smooth and consistent keystroke feel, making them a popular choice for gamers and typists looking for a customizable and responsive keyboard experience.
Wooting Two HE
The Wooting Two HE is pretty groundbreaking keyboard that offers analog input, detecting full switch motion with 0.1mm accuracy for every key. This feature enhances both typing and gaming experiences without compromising standard keyboard functionality. Built for performance, the keyboard’s firmware prioritizes input speed, and its Tachyon mode allows for analog key position updates in less than 2ms.
Engineered without compromises, the Wooting Two HE individually reads keys and parallel scans them for minimal latency. Users can control the actuation point for each key, ranging from 0.1 to 4.0mm, customizing their playstyle. The Rapid Trigger feature eliminates input latency caused by key release travel, allowing for faster key presses and more efficient gaming performance.
Although Hall Effect switches have a magnetic component, they are still considered mechanical switches due to their spring and stem components. The typing experience on Hall Effect keyboards is similar to linear switches, offering smooth key travel and well-defined keypresses. However, Hall Effect switches differ from other mechanical switches in their underlying technology and advantages.
Should you buy one?
Hall Effect keyboards resemble mechanical keyboards in appearance and feel, providing similar performance in typing and gaming tasks. These keyboards offer adjustable actuation force, allowing users to mimic various popular mechanical key switches and accommodate different typing styles.
In gaming performance, Hall Effect switches are comparable or even superior to mechanical keyboards. They eliminate key chatter and offer exceptional durability, ensuring long-lasting performance even with repeated keypresses.
When considering whether to purchase a Hall Effect keyboard, keep in mind that they are less widely available and offer fewer switch variations compared to mechanical keyboards. If you’re seeking a change from traditional MX-style mechanical switches, Hall Effect keyboards can provide a refreshing alternative. However, if you prefer a wide range of switch options or are interested in customizing your keyboard, mechanical keyboards may be a better choice.
Is Hall effect keyboard better than mechanical?
It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. If durability, water and dust resistance, and a contactless design are your priorities, a Hall effect keyboard might be the better choice. On the other hand, if you prefer tactile feedback, customizability, and a wider range of options, a mechanical keyboard might be more suitable for you.
1 thought on “Keyboards with Hall Effect switches [GUIDE]”
Initially, I had concerns about the OmniPoint switches since I was used to Cherry MX Browns with a tactile point. However, the smoothness of the Omni switches amazed me, and I ended up preferring them over the Browns. They offer unique adjustability in actuation, which can be customized per key.
The RGB lighting on the Apex Pro is outstanding, with raised caps allowing vibrant colors to spill over the board, creating an attractive effect. The typing experience is incredible, and I’ve noticed fewer errors compared to my previous keyboard.
Minor issues include the average Steelseries software and the use of ABS keycaps instead of double-shot PBT. The small OLED screen doesn’t add much functionality but is a fun, customizable feature. Also, only the primary keys have Omni switches, with other keys using generic linear switches.
Overall, the Apex Pro is a fantastic keyboard that surpasses my old Gskill in every way. If you’re looking for an analog-based mechanical keyboard with adjustable hall effect switches, this one is worth considering.