Ducky One X keyboard first to use Cherry's innovative induction switches

Ducky One X
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Over the last few years, we've seen a number of keyboards with analog switches that allow you to adjust their actuation points with software. Want a very sensitive key press so you can shoot faster in games? Set your actuation point to 0.5mm. Want a lower point so you don't end up with a slew of typos? Change it to 2mm. 

Most of these analog keyboards use Hall Effect sensors that detect changes in magnetic fields as you depress each switch. But Cherry, the company behind the popular Cherry MX line of key switches, has another -- perhaps better -- way to create analog switches: inductive sensors. And Ducky will be the first company to deploy Cherry's inductive "MX Multipoint" switches in a keyboard, its upcoming Ducky One X. 

With MX Multipoint, there's a series of coils on the PCB that detect changes in the electrical field as metal in the switches approaches them. This apparently uses less power than Hall Effect sensors because you don't need a sensor for every switch and the coils are built into the PCB. Cherry and Ducky also claim that there's less chance of interference from other electronics.

We got a chance to see the One X, which will be available in both 60 and 100 percent layouts in either black or white,  at Ducky's Computex booth. The keyboard wasn't connected to a computer so we couldn't adjust the actuation point and see how sensitive the sensors were. Ducky says you'll be able to adjust the settings via a web-based tool.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The keyboard doesn't look particularly special. It uses standard OEM keycaps. The back surface contains a USB-C port for charging / connecting wired mode and a switch that allows you to choose among 2.4-GHz, Bluetooth, or wired modes. There's also a USB Type-A port that we assume is for pass-through. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The keys themselves felt pretty good for linear-style switches. Cherry makes three MX Multipoint switches: Silver, Cyan, and Black, all of which are linear but with slightly different feels. 

Ducky will use the Cyan and only the Cyan switches on the One X. The Cyan has a "progressive spring," which feels a little harder the further down you press it. So, if you set this for a high action point and don't bottom out, the key may feel quite a bit lighter to you.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Ducky says that it is going with the inductive technology because using Hall Effect switches would drain too much power from the battery. However, there are several wireless Hall Effect keyboards on the market so whether the differences in power consumption translate to longer battery life remains to be seen. The Akko MOD007B-HE has Hall Effect switches and claims 40 hours of endurance.

Ducky did not have a battery life estimate for the One X so we'll have to wait and see how it fares when we get one in for testing. It's due out in Q3 with prices likely to be in the $140 to $170 range. However, one thing is clear: Cherry and Ducky are trying something new by deploying this technology and, if it lives up to the hype,  keyboard enthusiasts everywhere could have a new and compelling option to rival the best wireless keyboards.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch is Tom's Hardware's editor-in-chief. When he's not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you'll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.
  • Dementoss
    Those new Cherry switches are interesting and I would like to try the One X, just to see what it feels like but, the lack of an intermediate TKL version, rules out buying one.
  • Giroro
    Is the compact mechanical luxury keyboard trend even still relevant? I figure they would have gone the way of Fidget Spinners and giant overpriced Stanley mugs by now.
    At least is looks like this one will come in a mostly full-sized option.
  • thestryker
    I'm still kicking around getting a new keyboard even though my original Shine still works well.

    I like the concept of adjustable actuation, but that alone doesn't sell me on this being a great advantage over regular mechanical. For me these would have to match what can be done with the Wooting keyboards with regards to the analog input mimicking an analog stick to really be worthwhile. Unfortunately not every hall effect implementation has had this capability so unless it's confirmed by the company or the out testing not something that should be assumed.
  • Findecanor
    BTW. Cherry had a press release announcing these switches only yesterday. There is more info about these switches in this article than in that press release though.

    However... The press release also mentioned new Cherry MX Silent Clear and Cherry MX Low Profile Clear switch types.
    I've been wanting those two types for a long time. (even though counterparts of the first one have existed for a long time from other manufacturers).
    I'll just hope that they'll feel good in reality and not have too many quirks.
  • Rob1C
    Apparently the first induction switch keyboard was the HP 8660B, a keypad for a signal generator: