August 24, 2017 // 10:39 a.m.
Cherry, best known for its eponymous MX family of mechanical switches, has announced the latest revision of its own-brand MX Board keyboard: the Cherry MX Board 5.0 Ergonomic.
Following on, somewhat confusingly, from the Cherry MX Board 6.0 released in 2015, the Cherry MX board 5.0 Ergonomic is claimed to offer a range of tweaks and improvements - starting with the offering of Cherry's MX Silent Red switches. Activated with a 45 centinewton (cN) force - roughly equivalent to a weight of 45g - the MX Silent Red switches are based on the company's gaming-centric MX Reds but with its latest sound-damping system. For those who prefer a bit of clatter, clack, or less sensitive keys, the company has also confirmed that the board will include traditional MX Red, MX Brown, MX Blue, and MX Black switch types offering low-actuation force, linear, linear clicky, and high-actuation force options respectively, though oddly exclusively in the board's US International layout.
Another tweak to the Cherry MX Board 5.0 Ergonomic design comes in the keycaps themselves, which include a new typeface designed by German specialist Typemates. The typeface, designed by company founders Nils Thomsen and Jakob Rungen and exclusive to Cherry, is claimed to offer quick recognisibility and allow through as much illumination from the board's backlighting as possible. The keycaps themselves, too, are claimed to be 'abrasion-resistant,' though Cherry has not specified exactly what this means.
Those who have seen 'Ergonomic' in the name and expected a split-field, grid-layout, or other odd design are likely to be disappointed: Cherry's use of the word refers exclusively to the bundled palm rest, which is used in partnership with the keyboard's feet to offer a claimed eight different positions suited to both gaming and typing. The on-board controller, naturally, includes the usual features: high-speed key recognition, full N-key rollover via USB, and anti-ghosting technology. The backlighting, meanwhile, is pure-white with user-configurable dimming and lighting modes.
Cherry has confirmed that the MX Silent Red version of the keyboard is available in the market now, though it has yet to appear in the UK. European pricing has been set at €159 (around £146).