Cherry MX Board 1.0 Review

Cherry MX Board 1.0 Review


If you’ve spent even a passing moment considering the purchase of a keyboard then one name can’t have escaped your notice, Cherry.

Almost without question if a company is looking to produce a new line of peripherals they will include a mechanical keyboard, and if they do then around 90% of them will contain Cherry MX switches in one of their various colours. Available since 1983, Cherry MX switches are the absolute industry standard. As Omron switches are to mice, so Cherry MX switches are for keyboards. Take a look at any mechanical keyboard from any of the big brands and you’ll do very well to find one that isn’t based around Germany’s finest.

Perhaps you’re new and so aren’t sure of the difference between the Brown, Red and Blue switches (others are available but those are the most popular three). If so, allow us to take a moment to bring you up to speed. Key switches are rated on three factors; Actuation distance is how far down you have to press the key before it registers as pressed. If you’ve only experienced laptop or scissor switch style keyboards you’ll be stunned at how short the throw of the mechanical keys actually is, around 50% of the travel distance is unnecessary. Next is actuation force. This is measured in centi-newtons and is a rating of how hard you have to press. None of the Cherry MX offerings are stiff as such, but it’s nice to be able to fine tune your typing experience a little more. Finally the tactile feedback. This is in two forms consisting of either a silent tactile bump that you feel at the actuation point, or a microswitch click that gives you auditory feedback. The microswitch click version is the one that you’ll be most familiar with as it gained fame on a legendary keyboard, the IBM Model M, and thus is the noise used in all TV and Films since whenever a keyboard is around. It’s why your phone has a click option for keypresses.

Briefly, the Red switches have a 2mm actuation distance, 45cN force and has no tactile feedback. It’s a smooth operator. The Brown switches have the same 2mm distance, but slightly firmer 55cN pressure with a tactile bump at the actuation point. Lastly the Blue switches are slightly longer at 2.2mm actuation distance, firmer still with 60cN needed to actuate, and as well as the tactile bump have an audible click. There is a speed switch available too which is like the Red’s but only needs 1.2mm of pressing before it actuates.

With the switches out of the way it’s time to discuss today’s review, the Cherry MX Board 1.0. It makes sense for Cherry to produce their own keyboards given that their switches appear in so many other offerings, and if you want a stripped down, just the switches option this might tick your box. Let’s find out.

Technical Specifications

Our review sample is equipped with the Brown version of the Cherry MX switches as you’ll see on the next page.

  • Corded keyboard with CHERRY MX switches and palm rest
  • CHERRY MX technology – Gold Crosspoint precision switch for all keys “Made in Germany”
  • Uncompromisingly fast due to CHERRY MX and high-speed key recognition
  • Abrasion-resistant, laser-etched key caps
  • Full n-key rollover – all keys are read simultaneously
  • Anti-ghosting – no input errors
  • WIN key lockout
  • Dimmable, white key illumination
  • Additional mounting feet for non-slip grip and custom height adjustment in 3 steps
  • Illuminated USB plug and elegant logo application