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

Keys: Cherry MB Brown And MX Clear

For Mixed Use

Cherry MX Brown Switch

Switches:TactileSwitchover:DetectableDistance to actuation point2 mm from starting position4 mm above the baseClicking point:UndetectableOperating force:45 g, typical for spring resistanceapproximately 55 g top value to overcome the switching pointSpec sheet:LinkSuitability and Application The Cherry MX Brown switches are suited for a peripheral that is a sort of hybrid between an ideal word processing keyboard and one used for gaming. A slight resistance must be overcome, which can be felt when the keys kick back after a strike. Hence we use the term tactile (detectable). Because you can clearly feel the two switching points, you can not only type considerably faster, but you can also execute multiple strikes with great economy of motion. If you want to play an arcade racing game on the keyboard while also using it to pay your bills with some freelance writing, these are the switches for you. The force required is lower than that demanded by the Black switches, which results in fatigue-free typing.

Cherry MX Clear Switch

Switches:TactileSwitchover:DetectableDistance to actuation point2 mm from starting position4 mm above the baseClicking point:UndetectableOperating force:55 g, typical for spring resistanceapproximately 65 g top value to overcome the switching pointSpec sheet:LinkSuitability and ApplicationThe Cherry MX Clear switches are a slightly enhanced version of the MX Brown with a slightly more pronounced operating force. This must be applied with a little more conviction, which can be observed in a differentiated switch feel. These switches, with their higher operating force, are used in keyboards that give a feeling that approaches that of a rubber dome keyboard. Keyboards based on the Cherry MX Clears are seldom seen because they offer little advantage over devices with cheaper rubber dome switches.

 (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