Cherry is most famous for making the MX switches, which started the mechanical gaming keyboard craze around 2010 and remains the most important component of modern keyboards, but the German firm has only toyed with producing gaming keyboards of its own. That’s changed five months ago following the acquisition of Swedish peripheral maker Xtrfy, whose products turn up in a lot of our keyboard and mouse recommendations, and earlier this week the combined firms finally showed off their new designs at an event in Cologne. .
There are five new products in total, all of which point to the direction Cherry is taking following the acquisition — and also to more general trends in the gaming peripheral space.
In short, Cherry has historically shied away from gaming accessories despite supplying many gaming brands with their switches, but now we’re seeing a stronger commitment from Cherry’s designers with three esports-focused yet wireless designs: MX-LP 2.1 Compact Wireless, the. MX 3.0S Wireless and MX 8.2 TKL Wireless.
Meanwhile, the Xtrfy side of the garage announced two products, the K5 Compact Keyboard and the M8 Mouse, the former of which comes with some incredible customization options and the latter of which is the company’s lightest wireless mouse to date. These additions are right on trend, with customized keyboards available at ever-lower prices while ultra-light mice continue to become the new standard.
my favorite of the bunch MX-LP 2.1 Compact Wireless, It’s a compact 65 percent gaming keyboard with Cherry’s MX low profile speed switches, which provide short throw and light 45cN actuation force. They feel snappy to use, making them ideal for fast-paced gaming, but Cherry has also massively upped the number of colors offered – something Xtrfy did with its previous keyboard and mouse Has successfully used to differentiate itself from competitors with releases.
Beyond the intriguing colors, you get the standard mechanical keyboard stuff: NKRO (each key can be pressed and detected simultaneously), RGB lighting, a Win Key Lock function, and a 650mAh battery. This board should go for around £120/$120/€120 – cheap for a name-brand wireless mechanical model.
Moving up the price ladder is the only full-size offering in the lineup MX 3.0S Wireless, which comes with full height red or brown switches. The 3.0S comes in black or white with aluminum housing and double-shot ABS keycaps; Its other features are the same. For this, you pay a bit more – around £150/$150/€150.
As the most loved product in Cherry’s new lineup MX 8.2 TKL Wireless An evolution of the earlier MX Board 8.0, which drops the numpad and comes in white or black with an aluminum top housing. You get red or brown switches, the usual mechanical features, and, unusually, a metal carrying case that goes some way to justifying the premium ~£180/$180/€180 asking price. All three keyboards come with Cherry’s advanced wireless technology, including 2.4GHz wireless via a USB-A dongle, Bluetooth 5.2, or a wired USB-C to USB-A cable connection.
With respect to the two Xtrfy-based products announced, K5 Compact The keyboard is fully customizable with over 150 different options for switches, keycaps, cords, frames and logo plates – so you can really make it your own. It’s available pre-built with Kailah Red switches, although the board is hot-swappable, so you can put lots of other switches inside if you’d like. The K5 comes with ‘super-scan technology’ for faster keystroke recognition and notably vibrant RGB to boot. In its pre-built configuration, the K5 retails for around £129/$129/€129, which seems like a solid value.
keyboard declarations have to be rounded off Xtrfy’s M8 wireless mouse. Like Xtrfy’s other offerings, it’s available in black, white and a wide range of retro colors – and it’s the lightest Xtrfy mouse ever at 55g. It also has a 26K DPI sensor and a bigger 300mAh battery, which costs around £99/€99/$99.
Overall, it’s an interesting time for Cherry as the company looks to take a more modern approach in its 70th year of founding, and there are clear opportunities for both design teams to learn from each other – imagine Xtrfy’s keyboards and mice More Cherry keyboards with Cherry’s wireless capabilities, for example, or Xtrfy’s colorways and customization options. These releases are a promising first step – but we won’t know for sure until the products are tested in the real world.
Full disclosure: My father works for Cherry Europe GmbH, so take all pricing decisions with a grain of salt. The article has been checked for factual accuracy.