What Is a Chiclet Keyboard? – The Complete Guide

Unless you regularly keep up with every minor update, it is tough to keep track of all the technological advancements. From mice to hard drives, every computing system unit has hundreds of variations; keyboards are no exception.  This article aims to explain what is a chiclet keyboard.

There are various keyboard types, whether based on size, layout, or build. Currently, one of the most popular keyboard types is the chiclet keyboard. While they are very trendy, not everyone knows all their features and history. So, this article discusses everything you need to know about chiclet keyboards, from their names to their benefits. 

Chiclet Keyboard

About Chiclet Keyboards

Chiclet keyboards, also called island-style keyboards, have small and flat rubber keys instead of block keys like standard keyboards. This keyboard is called Chiclet after the famous chewing gum brand, “Chiclet.” The keys on this device are small and flat like an eraser, which resembles the shape of chiclet chewing gums.

Some keyboards during the 1970s and 1980s had flat keys that people called “chiclet keys.” However, this design style was not well-received by the people back then. Many compared the typing experience on the earlier models to touching “dead flesh.” However, once IBM released its first chiclet model, this perception shifted.

Chiclet keyboards use rubber keys and a similar mechanism as membrane keyboards. Here, the keys are not separate from the actual body of the keyboard. Instead, they are just moving parts that require pressure to function. So, when you press down on a key, its top layer touches its bottom layer to register a keypress.

While these keyboards are usually solid and inflexible, there are various models with a complete rubber structure, for a gentle experience. In standard chiclet keyboards, plastic caps cover the rubber domes on the keys. Hence, the user only touches the plastic keycap to initiate a key press.

You will also find people using the term “chiclet” for scissor keyboards. Here, the keycaps on the board use a bezel for separation. These keyboards are usually low profile and discreet. 

Additional Features and Benefits


One of the top benefits of using a chiclet keyboard is cleanliness. Standard mechanical keyboards are difficult to clean since dirt gets stuck in the cracks between the keys. However, chiclet keys have significant spaces between them and are not as high as the former. Hence, reaching the gaps between keys on these keyboards is quite easy. 


Buying a chiclet keyboard is that it does not burn a hole through your pockets. Chiclets are very inexpensive and cost-efficient when compared to other types. So, they are your top choice if you need a simple keyboard for minimal use.

Reduces Risk of Typing Errors

Many people also argue that chiclets reduce the risk of typing errors. Since these keyboards have huge spaces between keycaps, it is unlikely to press the wrong key. They also offer a smooth typing experience. You can switch between keys efficiently and improve your typing speed. 


The final benefit of these keyboards is their subtle nature. Chiclets are extremely quiet due to their rubber domes and low-key design. So, if you work late at night, you need not worry about disturbing your roommate or housemates with typing noises. 

Where Can You Find Chiclet Keyboards?

You can find chiclet keyboards commonly on laptops. Since laptops need to be closed, they do not have large, upraised keys like desktop computer systems. Sony was the first company to popularize using chiclet keyboards for laptops. However, on popular demand, several chiclet keyboard models are also available for desktops now. You can now find both wireless and corded chiclets for your computer.  You can find chiclet keyboards on Amazon’s online store.

What Is a Chiclet Keyboard

Other Types of Keyboards 

Here are some more popular keyboard types with similar features.

Mechanical Keyboards 

These are standard desktop keyboards, possibly the most popular keyboard type. Mechanical keyboards are sizable and thicker than chiclets. 

Membrane Keyboards

These devices are very similar to chiclets. However, while chiclets use an extra upper layer for keypress, membranes enable direct contact. 

What Is a Chiclet Keyboard? – A Complete Guide: Final Thoughts

Chiclet keyboards are thin, compact keyboards that use a rubber dome design. You can find these keyboards on laptops and other compact devices. They are cheaper and faster than standard keyboards. The spaces between the keys also make it efficient to clean these keyboards. With the recent rise in popularity, wireless and USB chiclets are also available for desktops.