Virtual keyboards are available for on-screen typing or as a laser projection on a table or flat surface. A virtual keyboard allows users to type on their device without a bulky physical keyboard, which makes computing easier to manage while away from the office or home. The capabilities of the virtual keyboard are perfect for those communicating on the go.
One benefit of a physical keyboard is the ability to feel the keys pushing down. Although this is not necessary, it does help some users determine when a key is struck with an appropriate amount of force. The virtual keyboard does not provide the same tactile feel and can take some adjustment for those composing letters, documents or chatting online.
On a device with enough screen space to accommodate a full size keyboard, it can be difficult to see the document being typed on the screen. A full-size QWERTY keyboard uses a large amount of the screen space to accommodate two hands while typing. This limits the ability to proofread a document or letter while typing. Only a fraction of the letter or document will be visible above the virtual keyboard.
While a physical keyboard can become dirty with crumbs, dust and debris, the screen usually remains clean. When using a virtual keyboard and touch-screen technology, the screen will inevitably become smudged and dirty. Over time, the device's screen can become difficult to see and read.
Using a virtual keyboard on a larger tablet style device can cause ergonomic issues for the user. The device must be propped at an angle to keep wrists in the proper position for comfortable typing. The user must also look directly down on the screen while typing and this can lead to neck injury or neck fatigue if typing for a long period.