HomeTechExploring the World of OEM Keyboards: What You Need to Know

Exploring the World of OEM Keyboards: What You Need to Know

What is an OEM Keyboard?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and in the context of keyboards, it refers to keyboards that are produced by a manufacturer to be rebranded and sold under various other companies’ names. These keyboards are often sold in bulk to computer manufacturers, system builders, or companies that then incorporate them into their computers or packages.

Advantages of OEM Keyboards

1. Cost-Effectiveness

One of the primary advantages of OEM keyboards is their cost-effectiveness. Since these keyboards are produced in large quantities and sold in bulk, they can be more affordable than their retail counterparts. This makes them an attractive choice for businesses or individuals looking to purchase multiple keyboards without breaking the bank.

2. Reliability

OEM keyboards often undergo rigorous testing and quality control by the manufacturers before they are branded and distributed. As a result, they generally exhibit good reliability and performance. Moreover, OEM keyboards are designed to be functional and user-friendly, catering to a broader audience.

3. Wide Availability

As OEM keyboards are intended for mass distribution, they are widely available through various channels, including computer hardware vendors, online retailers, and even direct from manufacturers. This ensures easy access to a variety of options at any given time.

4. Standardized Design

OEM keyboards are typically designed to have a standard layout and features, making them familiar and easy to use for most users. This consistency can be advantageous for workplaces where multiple keyboards are needed, as it reduces the learning curve for employees.

Disadvantages of OEM Keyboards

1. Limited Customization

OEM keyboards are usually manufactured to cater to a broad audience, which means they may lack specific customization options that enthusiast users or gamers might prefer. Features such as customizable RGB lighting or programmable macro keys might not be available on all OEM models.

2. Aesthetics and Branding

OEM keyboards often lack the premium aesthetics and branding found in retail keyboards. They are built with functionality in mind rather than style, which might not suit users who prioritize the appearance of their setups.

3. Lower Build Quality

While OEM keyboards can be reliable, they may not match the build quality of high-end retail keyboards. Manufacturers might use more cost-effective materials to keep the prices low, which can impact the keyboard’s overall feel and durability.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing an OEM Keyboard

1. Intended Use

Determine the primary purpose of the keyboard. If you need a basic and budget-friendly option for regular typing and everyday tasks, an OEM keyboard might be suitable. However, if you require advanced gaming features or specific functionalities, a retail gaming keyboard could be a better choice.

2. Customization Needs

Assess whether you require customizable features like programmable keys or RGB lighting. If so, you might want to explore retail gaming keyboards that offer more extensive customization options.

3. Budget

Consider your budget and compare prices between OEM and retail keyboards. While OEM keyboards are generally more affordable, retail keyboards offer additional features and build quality that may be worth the extra cost.


OEM keyboards provide a cost-effective and reliable option for users seeking a basic and functional input device. While they might not offer the bells and whistles found in retail gaming keyboards, they fulfill the essential typing and computing needs of most users. When choosing an OEM keyboard, carefully assess your requirements and consider factors like intended use, customization needs, and budget to make an informed decision. Remember, the right keyboard can significantly impact your computing experience, so choose wisely.



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