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Corsair and Cherry demo MX RGB Project keyboard

Corsair and Cherry demo MX RGB Project keyboard

Cherry MX RGB key switches mounted in a Corsair K70 keyboard.

Corsair and Cherry have teamed up to demonstrate Cherry's new MX RGB Project key switches, which allow for per-key RGB colour backlighting.

Cherry announced its MX RGB switches last week. The switches aim to simplify and improve the experience of having LED-backlit keys by using a transparent body and incorporating a lens to focus the light produced by LEDs mounted below the switch.

Cherry's product developer Karl-Heinz Müller said at the time of that announcement that, "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.

Now Corsair and Cherry have teamed up to demonstrate the keys in action, using a modified version of Corsair's excellent Corsair K70 keyboard.

Originally it was suggested the RGB system would be applied to all existing types of Cherry switches but so far the RGB Project keyboard has only been specified with Cherry Red, Brown and Blue switches.

The concept certainly looks impressive, though you can bet your bottom dollar the resulting keyboards will be expensive. No firm release date or exact products have yet been announced but a vague H2 2014 date has been earmarked.

See the Cherry MX RGB in action below.

18 Comments

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GeorgeK 7th January 2014, 14:27 Quote
Back-lightning?!

Is purdy though...
SchizoFrog 7th January 2014, 14:28 Quote
OK, so here is my question as I don't know all there is to know about Cherry switches. I have noticed that different boards use different switches and have gathered that different switches offer a different user experience with regards to feel and response. Can someone please explain simply what the experience of each switch type (Brown, Red...etc) is like?

This then leads me to a second question. The video leads me to understand that the MX RGB is based on a Cherry Red switch. First, is this true and second, will Cherry be offering different ranges of MX RGB to mimic the other switch types mentioned previously?

It seems a bit crappy if a user wants a Red switch experience with the MX RGB but they only come with a Brown for example.
Shirty 7th January 2014, 14:35 Quote
I could sit and type for hours, or I could paste a link:

http://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_MX

I like them all, don't make me decide. Although both of my current board have reds, so I suppose it's my preferred switch.
Meanmotion 7th January 2014, 14:43 Quote
Updated article with details of currently known versions of Cherry MX that will feature RGB lighting system.
SchizoFrog 7th January 2014, 15:13 Quote
Thanks Meanmotion, that clears that up... Now to find out the difference between the mentioned switches...
Off to read the article linked by Shirty... :)
sixfootsideburns 7th January 2014, 15:18 Quote
why does this type of stuff always seem to get announced right AFTER I buy new tech. Bahhh!!! Literally just ordered a K70 not 3 days ago. While this may be a bit gimmicky, it would still be a nice option to have if the price points were comparable (10-15% increase would not be unreasonable for such a feature in my mind).

I wonder how close they are too market in actuality. H2 2014 is a pretty wide time frame.
Gareth Halfacree 7th January 2014, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns
why does this type of stuff always seem to get announced right AFTER I buy new tech. Bahhh!!! Literally just ordered a K70 not 3 days ago.
You had plenty of warning: I wrote about the impending launch over a month ago! :p
Shirty 7th January 2014, 15:25 Quote
To simplify the deskthority article somewhat, reds, blacks, browns and blues are found most commonly, although due to pressure from the enthusiast sector you can expect to see greens and clears appear as options in the future on more boards.

Browns are a good starter switch as they have a lovely light yet tactile feel. If you predominantly game (particularity action/fps games) you might find reds or blacks suit you better, depending on how heavy handed you are. If you predominantly type then blues might be a good option.

All four of the standard switches are perfectly easy to game on in my opinion, although I'm not a particularly advanced gamer :)

Greens are stiffer blues, and about as close to buckling springs (like the olden days) as possible - although really nothing like them at all.

Clears are beautiful to type on, like heavier browns - but not widely available yet. Whites are even rarer, and are basically very heavy blues (much like greens).

All other variants are only really used for special applications, and you won't see them in the wild very often.
Margo Baggins 7th January 2014, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanmotion
Updated article with details of currently known versions of Cherry MX that will feature RGB lighting system.

Is worth noting though that if you know the right people, or are alright with a soldering iron, you can put whatever stem/spring you want in there. Which means you can have anything you want if you can get your hands on the stems/springs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty

Clears are beautiful to type on, like heavier browns - but not widely available yet. Whites are even rarer, and are basically very heavy blues (much like greens).

That's not the white USP, whites are supposed to be "soft click" they are factory lubed to quieten the click, but that means the click is different across the board and some don't click at all!
Shirty 7th January 2014, 15:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margon
Is worth noting though that if you know the right people, or are alright with a soldering iron, you can put whatever stem/spring you want in there. Which means you can have anything you want if you can get your hands on the stems/springs

Basically, if you want your keyboard modded in any way you're not comfortable with doing yourself - send this man a PM ;)

If it's possible he can do it.
matee 7th January 2014, 16:06 Quote
Surprised it took them this long.
schmidtbag 7th January 2014, 16:15 Quote
I personally just got a new mechanical keyboard - first I ever bought for myself. It has blue lighting, and while this RGB setup is cool, I personally wouldn't really want to spend the extra money on something I rarely look at. Even when programming, I never look at the keyboard. Also being a linux user, I doubt I could really take advantage of the lighting.

I'd have to say though - finally keyboards are starting to take advantage of USB's bandwidth. I always had this nasty feeling of wasting a USB port on something as basic as a keyboard (or a mouse), especially if I have a PS/2 port to spare. Today, I don't tend to care as much since USB ports are so abundant - my particular computer supports a total of 16 USB ports (including USB 3.0 ports), so I'm not really worried about running out any time soon.
Dogbert666 7th January 2014, 16:39 Quote
Schizo, are you a CPC subscriber? I've just written an article entirely about the differences between the most common Cherry MX switches for the issue that will be arriving this month...
SchizoFrog 7th January 2014, 16:59 Quote
Ha ha Dogbert666... I am indeed and will be looking forward to the new mag extra so due to that article. :)

Thanks Shirty for taking the time to explain although I don't understand why Reds might be better for gaming than others.

Schmidtbag... I don't often look AT my keyboard but should I need to then it helps if they are backlit. Since I first used a backlit one I have loved them and find that I notice it there even in my peripheral vision and I prefer it. The RGB thing has been a big thing for me for 2 reasons. 1) I love being able to change things as I can get bored of the same thing. I prefer blue or white lighting but it's nice to change once in a while just for the sake of it and it helps me to appreciate my favourite colours when I go back to them. 2) Quite often the very keyboard I wish to buy is only available in red lighting which is something that I do not want at all. Others out there will be experiencing the exact same situation I am but with a different colour in mind...
Shirty 7th January 2014, 17:04 Quote
Reds are particularly good for fast paced gaming because they require very light force to actuate (45cN as opposed to 55-70cN on a typical rubber-dome keyboard), and the actuation point and release point are in the same place, making it extremely easy to double-tap. The spring is also very linear, so the force required to depress only increases very marginally and predictably as the key travels downward.

Blacks are identical but just 33% harder to press.
schmidtbag 7th January 2014, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Ha ha Dogbert666... I am indeed and will be looking forward to the new mag extra so due to that article. :)

Thanks Shirty for taking the time to explain although I don't understand why Reds might be better for gaming than others.

Schmidtbag... I don't often look AT my keyboard but should I need to then it helps if they are backlit. Since I first used a backlit one I have loved them and find that I notice it there even in my peripheral vision and I prefer it. The RGB thing has been a big thing for me for 2 reasons. 1) I love being able to change things as I can get bored of the same thing. I prefer blue or white lighting but it's nice to change once in a while just for the sake of it and it helps me to appreciate my favourite colours when I go back to them. 2) Quite often the very keyboard I wish to buy is only available in red lighting which is something that I do not want at all. Others out there will be experiencing the exact same situation I am but with a different colour in mind...

Red switches, IIRC, have a smooth consistent push to them. The lack of "spontaneous" resistance to them makes them ideal for gaming because you get more control over the rate at which you press the keys, and they're less tiring to use. I'm sure if you tried playing a game using a blue switch would make your fingers pretty tired, and the clicking noise would probably get annoying.

A backlight is definitely handy when needing to see the keyboard, which is one of the reasons I wanted a backlit keyboard when I bought this new one. I do understand your points though - it is a risk to stick with a permanently mono-colored keyboard, especially if every individual key has it's own backlight (like my keyboard does). However, I've had a blue theme going on for a decade now and it surprisingly hasn't bothered me yet. I think it'd be refreshing if I went for another color but for me personally, I wouldn't want to spend the extra money on something that isn't really important enough. If my mouse and tower lighting weren't also permanently blue, I'd be more interested in a RGB keyboard.
Yslen 7th January 2014, 18:21 Quote
I've successfully played FPS games on browns, reds, clears, ergo clears, blacks and buckling springs.

I imagine blues might cause problems due to the relative positioning of the release point and actuation point, and similarly for greens, but otherwise any switch will work. It's mostly a question of how much spring weight you want and how much of a bump you want.
sixfootsideburns 8th January 2014, 15:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns
why does this type of stuff always seem to get announced right AFTER I buy new tech. Bahhh!!! Literally just ordered a K70 not 3 days ago.
You had plenty of warning: I wrote about the impending launch over a month ago! :p

Well I guess I'm the asshole then. Rats...
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