Cherry Unveils its First Low-Profile Keyboard Switches

News CES 2018 Cherry MX Introduces New Low Profile Switch
By Brandon Bui- Editor-in Chief

News CES 2018 Cherry MX Introduces New Low Profile Switch By Brandon Bui- Editor-in Chief

These new switches are low-profile versions of the Cherry MX RGB switch, a switch that features colored LEDs and which is especially popular with gamers.

Cherry is best known for manufacturing the most popular mechanical keyboard switches, and at CES 2018, the company revealed and showed off its latest switch.

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A new, unique form-factor for Cherry, the company reckons the new switch is best for notebook or low-profile desktop applications. The Cherry MX LP (low profile) sports the smallest form factor of any of its switches, 35% smaller to be exact. We have already seen other of these types of switches on the market from Kailh and Tesoro, however, they are not optical and not how swappable. In some hands-on time with prototype keyboard, it felt nearly exactly the same as a keyboard at my desk with full-size Cherry Red switches, although these key had lower travel. Users wanted lower travel yet the same classic feel which was hard to produce with, Cherry said. For gamers, the 3.2 millimeter of travel (compared to 4 millimeters in the standard switches) - and the shorter bounce time that comes with that - should also allow them to hit those keys just a little bit faster.

The new switch features an arc around the housing to facilitate better LED backlighting with options for single color or full RGB. For instance, the signature cross-shaped stem is now surrounded by a cylinder. This makes the switches tougher against water and dust but is not 100% water and dust-proof. (Getting that would require a rubber cap, I was told, which would mess with the feel.) The force curve is ever so slightly different, but very close to MX switches, and the actuation point, by necessity, is lower.

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You may not think much about the switches that sit underneath the keycaps of your keyboard, but there's a large contingent of enthusiasts who really, really care.

Cherry didn't say exactly when the first keyboards will come, but it was showing off its own prototypes as well as early prototype keyboards by companies like Ducky and Vortex.

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