CES 2018: Cherry MX Introduces New Low-Profile Switch

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I had the pleasure to speak with the team at German-based keyboard switch manufacturer Cherry MX at this year’s CES 2018, with a private demonstration showing off their newest switch technology for mechanical gaming keyboards. While I may not personally have the most in-depth knowledge of the individual switch differences between the red, blue, and brown variants, there’s still a wide enough market that cares about the individuality such that Cherry MX was requested to make a slimmer switch, one that could eventually make their way to laptop lineups.

The demonstration showed me that there was an incredible interest in this new switch type, one that reduced overall key travel. The new key is designed to do just that, reducing the travel from 4 mm to 3.2 mm.

What I liked about this particular switch is that it feels somewhat similar to my Retina MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which has a set of much flatter keys that have very little travel. I’m probably in a small minority that enjoys this key, even though I have found modest increases in my overall typing speed and accuracy. The keys are rated for 50 million key presses but will last longer, the representative explained. Their engineer showed detailed plans and concepts involving extra LEDs placed under the keycap for better lighting, as well.

At this meeting, the overall question that came up is, “What exactly is Cherry to you?” I enjoy Cherry products for their high-quality German engineering, and that extremely satisfying click that comes from these keys. While the new keys are not quite as loud as I would prefer, I can definitely see that either way, these keys are going to be successful. The company is currently ramping up its production of these keys in Germany, and will be distributed internationally at a later date.