Razer Goes Linear With Yellow Mechanical Keyboard Switch

Razer has been pushing its own Razer Green (clicky) switch, and to a lesser extent its silent Orange switch, but now it’s produced the Yellow switch to appeal to gamers who demand linear action.

As implied by that introduction, the Yellow switch is linear, like Cherry MX Red or Speed switches. It’s not even slightly surprising that Razer has its own linear switch--in fact you could argue that it’s way overdue--but it's noteworthy  that the Yellow switch appears to have more in common with the Speed switch than the Red, as you can see in the table below.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Razer YellowCherry MX RedCherry MX Speed
Actuation Point1.2mm2mm1.2mm
Total Travel3.5mm4mm3.4mm
Actuation Force45g
Lifespan80m clicks50m clicks

The Razer Yellow switch and Cherry MX Speed switch have nearly identical specs: The actuation points are the same and the full travel distances are 0.1mm apart, but they have the same actuation force. It is true that Razer’s switches are rated for 80 million clicks over Cherry’s 50 million, but frankly that’s a mostly immaterial distinction for all practical purposes.

That brings Razer’s desktop mechanical switch total to three.

Razer also has the almost-mechanical Mecha-Membrane switch and the Ultra Low Profile Switch, of course. However, the Mecha-Membrane switch is still fundamentally membrane, not truly mechanical. We expect to see the Ultra Low Profile Switch appear on desktop keyboards eventually, but for now it’s limited to an iPad keyboard (of all things) and a Razer Blade Pro laptop.

At launch, you can find the Yellow switches only on Razer’s new BlackWidow Chroma V2, but presumably they’ll become a standard option on subsequent Razer keyboards.