A keyboard protector or keyboard cover is a device which is placed on top of a computer keyboard in order to reduce its contact with the environment, for example, to prevent dust entry, and to keep the keyboard in a pristine state and reduce or eliminate the need for cleaning the keyboard.
A keyboard protector is usually made with plastic, polyurethane or silicone. Comparatively, silicone is a more protective and stronger substance which cannot be penetrated by liquids (unless they are corrosive alcohol), such as oil and water.
A keyboard protector is placed on top of a keyboard to reduce its contact with the physical environment. For example, keyboard protectors protect against water, oil, dirt, crumbs, hair, and drink spills.
Advantages and inconvenience
A keyboard protector is usually washable and can be used immediately after purchase. Computer users who are accustomed to typing without the keyboard protectors may take some time to become accustomed, since the keystrokes are dampened and the force needed to apply to the keys are different. These factors may also affect their typing speed and accuracy. Some keyboard protectors, such as those made of silicone, can also require very regular cleaning and maintenance as they become dirty and covered in different substances, often reducing their effectiveness.
Since there are several major types of keyboards in the market, some with different layouts, the compatibility of keyboard protectors is also important in order to have the keyboard fully and well protected. Different keyboards will often feature slightly different key spacing or arrangement, leading to ill-fitting protectors.