Cherry, a German company known mainly for its high-end mechanical keyboard switches, also sells a line of keyboards. The Cherry MX Board Silent is the first to feature Cherry’s noise-optimized silent MX key switches for a mechanical keyboard feel minus the traditional click-clacking that might be disruptive in some office environments. For the high price though, the Cherry MX Silent Board is surprisingly lacking in both features and design.
The Cherry MX Silent comes in a rather large nondescript box adorned with the Cherry logo.
Open the box and you’ll find the massive, old-school looking Cherry MX Silent wrapped in a plastic bag. The only contents of the box are the keyboard and an already attached USB to PS/2 adaptor.
The first thing that struck me about the Cherry MX was its large size. In this time of mini and micro-accessories and peripherals, it’s surprising to see a company go the complete opposite route. I’d say it was a refreshing and unique approach to keyboard design, but after the frustration of having to make room on my desk for this 7.7 inch by 18.5-inch long behemoth, I’d be lying.
With so much empty real estate on the keyboard body, you’d think the addition of a few media keys or some LED controls would be standard practice. An extra USB port or two would be nice as well. But, for such a large, high priced keyboard, the Cherry MX has no functions or indicators beyond that of a standard PC keyboard. Except, of course, for the silent mechanical switches the manufacturer is known for.
The main appeal of this keyboard is the feel, function and silence of the famed Cherry MX switches. Here, the Cherry MX Silent Board does not disappoint. There are two switch versions of the Cherry MX Silent that differ in the required release force of the switches. The MX Red Silent is rated at 45 centinewtons and the MX Black Silent is 60 centinewtons. The color denotations refer to the key switches themselves, not the keyboard color. I tested the MX Black Silent.
I wrote this entire review using the Cherry MX Silent. The keys have a great feel to them when typing. To me, they felt a tiny bit soft, but if you’re used to working on mechanical keyboards, you’ll feel right at home with the Cherry MX.
According to Cherry, “The MX Silent switches have a uniquely shaped rubber pad compared to conventional switches. The integrated 2-component stem reduces audible clicks at the bottom-out and top-out.” I, for one, enjoy the sound of a mechanical keyboard, but I can see how it may be distracting for others in a co-working space. While not totally silent, the keys are significantly quieter than traditional mechanical key switches without sacrificing the mechanical keyboard feel.
The keys and keyboard body have a textured matte finish that is pleasant to the touch.
On the back of the Cherry MX you’ll find two height adjusting legs that pop up and lock into place.
There is only one height level and you’ll have to push hard to get the legs to lock into the open position.
If you don’t lock the legs into place they will close if you push the keyboard forward at all while typing.
An included USB to PS/2 adapter is included for use on PCs that require PS/2.
The adaptor fits over the USB-A end of the keyboard cord.
Overall, I enjoyed using the Cherry MX Silent Board. The joy of typing on a mechanical keyboard without worrying about annoying my co-workers was great. But, the lack of media keys or LED functions found on any number of comparable mechanical keyboards was disappointing considering the high price point. The Cherry MX Silent Board is offered in black or white.
- Model tested: G80-3494LTCEU-2
- Hardware Platforms: PC, MAC
- Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.7 x 18.5 x 1.7 inches
- Number of Keys: 104