Keyboard Latency test measures the time taken by the keyboard to register the key press. It is an important metric to determine the keyboard’s input lag or delay. The higher the keyboard latency, the higher will be the response time. Take the test to check your keyboard’s latency now.
What is Keyboard Latency?
Keyboard Latency is the total time delay that occurs in registering the key press after it is actually pressed on the keyboard. This time delay gives rise to the keyboard input lag. In general, this lag is unnoticeable, but for specific tasks like gaming etc., it matters a lot.
How Keyboard Latency is calculated?
Keyboard Latency is calculated by determining the time lapse between the key press and the corresponding letter appearing on the displayed.
Let us understand this with an example. When a key is pressed, it takes 5ms to go down and debounce. The moment key bounces back, the signal is generated and sent to the computer which takes another 1ms (polling rate). It might take another 3-5ms (system latency) to appear on screen. Considering all this the maximum keyboard latency will be as follows.
5ms (debounce time) + 1ms (polling rate) + 5ms (system latency) = 11ms
Importance of Keyboard Input Lag in Gaming
If the keyboard has latency, there will be some input lag in the key presses. Generally, you might never notice this lag while performing regular tasks like typing. But, when it to comes to gaming, keyboard latency can be a decisive factor in really close encounters where every single millisecond matters. For example, you press the button to fire and, by the time it actually triggers firing in the game, your target might move just enough to miss your shot. See, its that important!
If you’re into gaming, you must check the input lag of your keyboard to make sure you aren’t loosing your games just because of the keyboard latency.
How to test Keyboard Latency?
To check the keyboard latency, follow the steps below.
- Check the Keyboard latency test provided the top of this page.
- Start the test by pressing any key on the keyboard.
- Every time you press a key, the Key Press History section will show the response time.
- The shortest key press time and the estimated keyboard scan rate is shown on the top.
- Every key response time is recorded, and you can scroll through the list to check the keyboard latency.
Features of Keyboard Latency Test
- Identify Latency Accurately: With this test, you can accurately measure the keyboard scan rate and latency. This will allow you to finetune your performance in games you play.
- Choosing Better Keyboard: If you are going to buy a new gaming keyboard, you can first check it with keyboard response rate test and buy only when you see the input lag is less than 15ms.
- Free to Use: The test is absolutely free to use and will always be free for everyone. There’s no signup required to check your keyboard’s latency.
Factors affecting Latency: Scan Rate, Polling Rate, Response Time, Connection Type
Your keyboard’s latency depends mainly on three different factors – scan rate, polling rate, response time, connection type. Generally, users confuse these with each other but they have very different meanings. Let me explain each of them in detail.
Keyboard Polling Rate
Keyboard Polling rate is the highest frequency at which the response from the keyboard is sent to the computer. Normally, the keyboard polling rate is 1000Hz which means the key press response is sent 1000 times in 1 second to the computer.
There are some gaming keyboards on the market that have even higher polling rates like 2000Hz, 4000Hz, and even 8000Hz. That’s insane!
Keyboards with such higher polling rates have really low latency which is why gamers use such keyboards.
Keyboard Scan Rate
Keyboard scan rate is number of key presses that the keyboard can register in 1 second. If the polling rate is 1000Hz, the keyboard scan rate is calculated by dividing 1000 by the time of shortest key press time.
Keyboard Scan Rate = 1000/ short key press time
The higher the scan rate, the lower will be the keyboard latency and vice versa.
Keyboard Response Time
Keyboard’s response time is calculated by combining the delay in the response due to scan rate and the polling rate. The lower the scan rate or polling rate, the higher will be the keyboard response time. And response time directly contributes to the latency of the keyboard.
Keyboards can be wired or wireless and that affects the latency. Wired keyboards are seen to have lower latency as compared to wireless keyboards. Although, this difference is not much with the new 5GHz wireless keyboards. Also, USB 3.0 keyboards have lower latency than those using USB 2.0 for connection.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I check keyboard latency?
To calculate the Keyboard latency, you can use the keyboard latency test provided on the top of the page.
What is the latency of an average keyboard?
Average keyboard latency is between 3-15ms depending upon the type of keyboard switches used and the connection type – wired or wireless.
What keyboard has the lowest latency?
Logitech G915 TKL has the lowest latency of only 1.3ms in wired connection. It is exceptionally low as compared to other competitors on the market.
How do I reduce keyboard latency?
Here a few things that you can do reduce keyboard latency on Windows PC.
- Change the Keyboard Properties.
- Update or Reinstall the Keyboard Driver.
- Disable Filter Keys.
- Run Keyboard Troubleshooter.
- Buy a New Keyboard.