Keyboards and key switch maker Cherry today announced its MX2A mechanical switches. The new switches indeed look like a significant rework of the full-sized MX switch, with improvements to many key facets including: smoothness, lubrication, debounce time, and guaranteed lifespan "exceeding 100 million clicks for select switch types". Cherry also launched the XTRFY K5V2 keyboard, which serves as a platform to showcase the new MX2A (red) switches.
Cherry produces some of the most popular mechanical key switches for PC keyboards. However, in the last few years there have been some notable challengers and upstarts delivering compatible switches with certain refinements and advantages compared to the Cherry originals; the introduction of the MX2A design looks like a concerted effort for Cherry to re-establish a lead.
Today, Cherry is attempting to reclaim its hegemony of the PC keyboard switches market. Changes include:
- Application of high-precision ring lubrication for smoothness, stability and removal of any scratchiness
- A new barrel spring design to ensure the spring maintains its original form better
- Cherry’s updated stem geometry is claimed to improve key press consistency, stability an precision
- Optimized sliding surfaces within the switch. In particular advanced stem guidance is claimed to ensure steady, non-scratchy actuation.
Important features that are retained from previous designs are the switch to PCB connections (3- and 5-pin variants will be available), the “industry leading” gold crosspoint contacts, and the standard cross keycap fit.
Taken together the above improvements plus retention of best in class tech means users can expect benefits to actuation, debounce, operation, noise, and reliability / endurance. The new “lifespan exceeding 100 million clicks,” leapfrogs many rival designs which had outgunned the original Cherry MX switches durability claims (50m).
Cherry hasn’t gone a million miles away from its long-lasting key switch design with the MX2A design. It hasn’t created a new optical or hall effect, for example. But many small and thoughtful changes to its long enduring design might pay dividends for keyboard enthusiasts. We'll have to go hands-on with the switches to be sure.
Cherry XTRFY K5V2, a 65% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Cherry has also launched the Cherry XTRFY K5V2 keyboard with these MX2A (red) switches as a pre-install option. The product page is live, and you can see it is a pretty standard looking 65% design with RGB LED illumination. Potential users will be happy to read that the installed MX2A reds are hot swappable, and the more graceful new switches should feel at home in this double layer foam sound dampening keyboard.
On the product page, Cherry’s XTRFY K5V2 keyboard is configurable with MX2A switches and is listed as “coming soon” at $149. Clicking into the customize options, it looks like you can also choose MX2A switches with Blue (clicky) Brown (tactile) and Black (linear) characteristics, too. Stock will be ready by “late 2023,” according to the product page.