bit-tech.net

Cherry unveils new MX RGB mechanical keyswitches

Cherry unveils new MX RGB mechanical keyswitches

The Cherry MX RGB, seen here in Red format, features a transparent and light-scattering casing designed for use with surface-mount RGB LEDs.

Switch expert Cherry has officially announced its next generation of mechanical keyswitches, the MX RGB, which features a surface-mount LED capable of cycling through 16.7 million colours.

The favoured switch brand among the majority of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, Cherry's MX family has previously included a variant with 3mm LEDs for key backlighting. This, the company admits, was a stop-gap measure which never really delivered on its promise.

'The illumination of keyboard symbols – especially in terms of their uniformity of illumination – is a technically highly complex and demanding task. The previous solution with the incorporation of 3mm LEDs led to unsatisfactory results,' explained Cherry's product developer Karl-Heinz Müller at the formal unveiling of the new switches.

'With our newly developed MX RGB switch, key symbols can be evenly illuminated not only in the widest variety of brightness levels but also in up to 16.7 million different colours. Our new concept of light conductance was implemented through the use of new materials and several patent-pending technical solutions. This innovative, technical concept was implemented only in conjunction with manufacturing processes and sophisticated tool concepts constantly optimised over many years.'

The result is the MX RGB, a fully-mechanical keyswitch with a transparent casing and a lens designed to transmit light from RGB LEDs mounted directly onto the surface of the printed circuit board below. Using this method, the company claims, allows for much more even illumination while also offering the potential for individual colour control over every key on the board - although single-colour versions as planned as well for buyers on a budget.

As with the company's existing Cherry MX family, the new MX RGB keyswitches will be made available in a variety of 'flavours:' Cherry MX RGB Blues offer a click pressure point with tactile and audible feedback; Cherry MX RGB Browns offer a soft pressure point with soft tactile feedback; Cherry MX RGB Reds offer a linear actuation without pressure point and a 45cN force requirement; and Cherry MX RGB Blacks offer a Red-like feel with a heavier 60cN actuation force requirement.

'Our RGB switch is the first step in our MX innovation roadmap. With additional, innovative features, we will offer our customers solutions in the area of our mechanical MX switches that go far beyond the features known today,' claimed Manfred Schöttner, Cherry's head of computer input devices, at the unveiling. 'To continue to provide the highest quality standards, we will continue to manufacture our switches in Germany on fully automatic systems.'

Cherry has confirmed that it has partnered with Corsair for the first Cherry MX RGB keyboard launches, with the first retail products to be unveiled by the company at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early next year.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Margon 4th December 2013, 10:16 Quote
All they have done is make clear switch housing to accommodate and diffuse SMD LEDs - they haven't redesigned the casing at all to allow the use of for example 3 leg RGB LEDs.

but clear housing's will be awesome for diffusing the light - but I am not going to lie, I will be buying a corsair board just to take the switches off and put on something nicer, have just built a board with clear switch tops and it looked nice.
Gareth Halfacree 4th December 2013, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margon
but clear housing's will be awesome for diffusing the light - but I am not going to lie, I will be buying a corsair board just to take the switches off and put on something nicer, have just built a board with clear switch tops and it looked nice.
That may not be as easy as you think: as the article says the MX RGB switches are designed with a lens that sits flush against a surface-mount LED on the board itself; if moved from a Corsair launch board with properly-positioned surface-mount LEDs to a board not designed for MX RGB switches, that won't work - and you may as well just be using standard Cherry MX switches.
Margon 4th December 2013, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
That may not be as easy as you think: as the articles says the MX RGB switches are designed with a lens that sits flush against a surface-mount LED on the board itself; if moved from a Corsair launch board with properly-positioned surface-mount LEDs to a board not designed for MX RGB switches, that won't work - and you may as well just be using standard Cherry MX switches.

hmm not definitely true for some custom pcb's support smd LEDs - more to the point, I imagine that the position of the smd is going to be exatly where you would position a normal 3mm LED, and therefore you could definitely ghetto some SMD LEDs and get the benefit of the clear housing. The "lens" will likely sit in the area designated for the 2 LED legs on a standard mx switch - if you look at this area on a normal switch, that sits in a circular indentation anyway - I would imagine the "lens" is just a bulb of clear plastic here rather than a circular indentation with 3mm LED leg holes.

Challenge Accepted Gareth Halfacree - you will see my poker 2 (and spirit 60% if that has arrived by then) with cherry RGB switches and smd LEDs shortly after the keyboard is released :)
Gareth Halfacree 4th December 2013, 10:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margon
Challenge Accepted Gareth Halfacree - you will see my poker 2 (and spirit 60% if that has arrived by then) with cherry RGB switches and smd LEDs shortly after the keyboard is released :)
I look forward to seeing it! (Also, note I didn't say it wasn't possible - I said it may not be as easy as you thought.) If you want a head-start on figuring out how to proceed, note there's a lovely picture of the switch in question in the article, if you for some reason hadn't already seen it.
GeorgeK 4th December 2013, 10:41 Quote
Ah - I misunderstood the picture - I thought it showed a regular LED inside the switch itself rather than a lens for reflecting another LED somewhere else...
Gareth Halfacree 4th December 2013, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
Ah - I misunderstood the picture - I thought it showed a regular LED inside the switch itself rather than a lens for reflecting another LED somewhere else...
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
The result is the MX RGB, a fully-mechanical keyswitch with a transparent casing and a lens designed to transmit light from RGB LEDs mounted directly onto the surface of the printed circuit board below.
:p
GeorgeK 4th December 2013, 10:47 Quote
You know it's going to be one of those days weeks...
SchizoFrog 4th December 2013, 10:52 Quote
So that should be the RGB LED side of things sorted, now all they need to do is include a standard range of media keys and possibly a few macro keys and I think we might be on to a winner. I'm sure it would be in the £150-£200 ball park though.
Lance 4th December 2013, 10:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
So that should be the RGB LED side of things sorted, now all they need to do is include a standard range of media keys and possibly a few macro keys and I think we might be on to a winner. I'm sure it would be in the £150-£200 ball park though.

Can't think of anything worse. Give me a small keyboard please.

But that's the fun part of all the options on keyboards these days, all the customization.
Hustler 4th December 2013, 11:07 Quote
Clakety,clakety,clakety,clakety....will they come with a free set of ear plugs.
Margon 4th December 2013, 11:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
So that should be the RGB LED side of things sorted, now all they need to do is include a standard range of media keys and possibly a few macro keys and I think we might be on to a winner. I'm sure it would be in the £150-£200 ball park though.

why would you want media keys if you can have them on a function layer?! Small keyboards + programming ability + function layers is king :) maximum efficiency minimum space on your desk.
adrock 4th December 2013, 11:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Clakety,clakety,clakety,clakety....will they come with a free set of ear plugs.

not all cherry switches are noisy (unless you hammer them down intentionally).


For the chap asking for media keys, this is cherry producing a different switch to allow lighting on keyboards made by corsair (and presumably other later on); The layout (whether you get media/macro keys) is determined by corsair. And I thought their boards already had some media buttons, there were definitely some on my old K60 (which i didn't use).
SchizoFrog 4th December 2013, 11:55 Quote
Yes I know that this article is about Cherry's switches but up until now there has been issues preventing full RGB LED mechanical keyboards. What can I say? I like to have dedicated media keys just as much as I like (and use) number pads at the end of the keyboard rather than the numbers across the top. So once again we have people preaching that what is good for them is the best and should suit everyone else.
Margon 4th December 2013, 15:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Yes I know that this article is about Cherry's switches but up until now there has been issues preventing full RGB LED mechanical keyboards. What can I say? I like to have dedicated media keys just as much as I like (and use) number pads at the end of the keyboard rather than the numbers across the top. So once again we have people preaching that what is good for them is the best and should suit everyone else.

Whichever way you look at it, keeping your hands on the home row for the maximum amount of time is the most efficient way to use a keyboard - personal taste aside.
IvanIvanovich 4th December 2013, 15:07 Quote
I contacted Cherry about possibility of making these as custom order some months ago. They had claimed they couldn't make them, even though they had made them in 1987-1989 for Nixdorf on a few G80 models. It makes me wonder how long they had this in the works before my inquiry... or after.
SchizoFrog 4th December 2013, 20:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margon
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Yes I know that this article is about Cherry's switches but up until now there has been issues preventing full RGB LED mechanical keyboards. What can I say? I like to have dedicated media keys just as much as I like (and use) number pads at the end of the keyboard rather than the numbers across the top. So once again we have people preaching that what is good for them is the best and should suit everyone else.

Whichever way you look at it, keeping your hands on the home row for the maximum amount of time is the most efficient way to use a keyboard - personal taste aside.

There is more to life than mere efficiency. Hopefully it won't be long before they update the K95 with RGB LEDs but as the K95 already retails for £130, £150+ seems very realistic. My main issue now is actually buying one as there is nowhere that I know of to go to actually try one before I buy, at least not in London.
longweight 4th December 2013, 20:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
But.. Topre.
DBA 4th December 2013, 21:19 Quote
I believe they might have already been working on it at that time, just that the person you talked to either didn't know it, didn't care or wouldn't open up the possibility to produce a similar product when they had this new "gamer" switch in development.
I look forward to see if they just cheaped out and made a regular, all clear MX switch with space for an SMD LED underneath, or if they indeed have made some worthwhile changes to throw the light better.
Star*Dagger 8th December 2013, 23:21 Quote
Now make a kb with these AND a lcd screen like the G19, I'll never buy a KB without a screen.
Unicorn 8th December 2013, 23:48 Quote
Okay, this throws a cat among the pigeons. Should I hold out to see if Corsair produce a K70 with these? I've waited so long for the right switch type version in black with red illumination to hit our shores!
IvanIvanovich 9th December 2013, 04:44 Quote
It's just a clear housing with some very minor change to accommodate smd led. Everything else is same same since 1984 design and function wise in regards to the switch internals as best I can tell.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums