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Five Mechanical-Switch Keyboards: Only The Best For Your Hands

Keys: Cherry MX Black And MX Red

For Gamers

Cherry MX Black Switch

Switches:LinearSwitchover:UndetectableDistance to actuation point2 mm from starting position4 mm above the baseClicking point:UndetectableOperating force:40-80 g, typically approximately 60 g Spec sheet:LinkSuitability and ApplicationCherry MX Black switches are purely linear (non-tactile), making them ideal for first-person shooter games. Since the keys in this type of gaming scenario are pressed frequently (and often with considerable force), a detectable pressure point is not necessary, and in some cases even disruptive.Those who frequently make mistakes while typing will also benefit from this keyboard's relatively high operating force, which helps to avoid accidental strikes. This type of switch has most in common with the non-mechanical variety widespread in gaming keyboards. But it offers considerably more feeling and security against error, thanks to its high compression force. These keyboards are also relatively quiet, as far as mechanical switches go.

Cherry MX Red Switch

Switches:LinearSwitchover:UndetectableDistance to actuation point2 mm from starting position4 mm above the baseClicking point:UndetectableOperating force:45 g, typical for spring resistanceSpec sheet:LinkSuitability and ApplicationThe rarely-encountered Cherry MX Red switches are a special variation on the MX Black, and are distinguished by a very low compression point and a low operating force.Apart from a few followers, these keyboards have found few buyers. They are bordering on extinction as a result of a high rate of typographical errors.

(Source: Cherry, Animation: "Lethal Squirrel" on geekhack.org)

  • "You will find keyboards even pricier than these, but that's a consequence of built-in special functions and gimmicks, not better quality or suitability."

    That's a bit ignorant, since you didn't test them. Try a Topre Realforce and tell me it's a gimmick.
    Reply
  • skaz
    Great write up! I have a tenkeyless Leopold cherry brown and love it.
    Reply
  • leather_daddy
    Where is the Filco Majestouch in the product list?
    Reply
  • steve11
    Poorly done overview. A lot of keyboard missing in action.
    Reply
  • stiehl
    Hmm looking at those keyboard's layouts make me wince. I don't think I could stand a huge enter key, a nonexistent "\", Y and Z being switched, and a funky shift key. I'm happy with my blank das keyboard, thank you very much.
    Reply
  • michaelahess
    I actually went away from mechanical keyboards about 7 years ago. I really prefer a solid rubber dome keyboard. I currently use a Logitech MX5500 for gaming and a Logitech Wave for typing. Never had any issues with either for their purposes. I do miss the tactile feel, but honestly the 5500 is a MUCH better gaming board, plus the noise doesn't drive me crazy.

    For all of you with exotic keyboards, you must be extra special picky ;) I type 110 wpm without error and have no trouble with the wave or 5500.
    Reply
  • Stardude82
    My Model M is too cool for this review.
    Reply
  • fakie
    wheres the das keyboard model s ultimate?
    Reply
  • mortsmi7
    I kind of wished they had compared them to some mainstream keyboards like the cheapy walmart logitech, dell keyboard, or ibm. Sure they work great, but compared to what. I'm not a fan of loud and clicky ibm, but thats as far as my interest in key-presses goes.

    I bought my G110 for the extra macro keys that I never use. In fact I use the onboard volume control more often.

    Reply
  • Where is the Model M? Is it too cool for this review?
    And it's "buckling spring", not "bent spring"
    Reply