Cherry DW 9000 Slim keyboard and mouse set review

REVIEW – Working remotely has required many people to duplicate office computer layouts at their home.  The mouse and keyboard are important parts of any setup. The Cherry DW 9000 slim is a wireless mouse and keyboard combo set with some great features. I have one to review. Read on to see what I think!

What is it?

The Cherry DW 9000 Slim is a quality wireless keyboard from Cherry, the German manufacturer of mechanical keyboard switches. Interestingly, this keyboard uses scissor switches developed by Cherry. The keyboard is sold along with a mouse. Both the mouse and the keyboard are powered by sealed lithium batteries and maybe recharged while being used. The keyboard and mouse may use an RF dongle or Bluetooth to connect to devices, and each device may be swapped from one connection method to another on the fly, and independently. The keyboard and mouse are compatible with the Cherry Keys Windows software which can be used to program keypress actions. 

What’s in the box?

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Mouse pouch
  • Nano-USB transmission receiver
  • 4 rubber feet
  • USB-A/Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manual

Hardware specs

  • Warranty: 3 years
  • MTBF” > 80.000 hours
  • Keyboard
    • Design: Chiclet-Layout with numeric block
    • Key technology: SX
    • Service life, standard key: > 10 million key operations
    • Button-top Inscription technology: Laser
    • Anti-slip feet: 8 piece (18 x 4 mm)
    • Power supply: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with 650 mAh (permanently installed)
    • Status LEDs: CAPS LOCK, NUM and SCROLL keys, LED for battery charge status, Bluetooth or wireless connection (Bi-Color LED)
    • Additional keys: Windows Lock, Browser, Volume up, Volume down, Mute, Calculator
  • Mouse
    • Scanning: Optical Sensor (PixArt)
    • Resolution: 600 dpi / 1000 dpi / 1600 dpi
    • Buttons: Right-click; Left-click; Scroll wheel click; Browser forward; Browser back; DPI-switch
    • Design: Symmetrical shape, right-handed button layout
    • Power supply Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with 550 mAh (permanently installed)
    • Status LEDs LED for battery charge status, Bluetooth or wireless connection (Bi-Color LED)
  • Interface
    • Wireless, optionally using 2.4 GHz frequency (via USB receiver) or Bluetooth® 4.0 – both with AES-128 encryption
    • Wireless 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth

Design and features

Unboxing

The Cherry DW 9000 Slim comes in a mostly plain white box. The top features a keyboard with the German QWERTZ layout but the box includes a sticker indicating the US international layout (with the € symbol).

The bottom of the box lists the items specifications and box contents in German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Setup

The setup of the Cherry DW 9000 Slim is very easy. I charged the keyboard and mouse before the use. Since the battery draws for these items is so small, and since the battery draw may be different for the RF and Bluetooth radio, a performance test of the battery isn’t really possible. However, I think rechargeable batteries in the keyboard and mouse is a great idea. In my experience, in the office setting, it is sometimes a challenge to find the right type and quantity of batteries for wireless keyboards and mice. Being able to charge them using the same device that the keyboard and mouse are interfaced to is much simpler. Note that the keyboard nor mouse is interfaced with USB but is only charged by USB.

If connecting the items with BlueTooth the pairing button will make the items discoverable for about 30 seconds. The Keyboard pairs as a Cherry DW 9000KB and the mouse pairs as a Cherry DW 9000MW. Each device must be paired separately. Also, it is important to ensure that the device is turned on in the BT mode before pairing because the pairing will not function in the RF mode.

One other bit of setup that may be required, and one of the main detractors from this set, is the installation of rubber extension feet over the existing non-skid feet at the rear of the keyboard.

The design of using adhesive feet to tilt the keyboard seems like it was a design afterthought. I’m unsure if I will use the adhesive feet or not because it seems to provide a better typing surface but also seems to limit the portability of the keyboard.

I would love to see an add-on from Cherry that is a steel strip to fit on the bottom of the keyboard and a magnetic set of feet to attach to it.

Design

The Cherry DW 9000 Slim keyboard and mouse have modern styling that is trendy and bold without being overstated or aggressive. The combo comes in two color schemes a black and bronze color or a while and a silver color; I chose to review the latter.  The keyboard I received looks very similar to the Apple wireless magic keyboard. I own the wired predecessor to the magic keyboard (A1243) and as you can see from the pictures below the resemblance is uncanny.

The Apple keyboard has an aluminum deck while the Cherry keyboard has a textured plastic simulacrum.

While the Apple keyboard has very narrow tolerances between the keys and the base the Cherry keyboard has larger gaps, but this is more to show the while internals than for lack of build tolerance. On the black and bronze version, the spaces between the black keys and the black deck are silhouetted by the bronze internal base, creating a sophisticated accent trim.

The base is also made of plastic so to increase stability and create some heft to limit bounce there is a solid metal plate placed inside the chassis. Despite the presence of the plate, there is still some give to the keyboard when torsion is applied to either end. The keyboard weighs 660 grams.

The keyboard measures 17.3 x 5.1 x .06 inches and has a true to scale 101 IBM PC layout. In addition to the standard 101 key layout, the Cherry keyboard has the following additional buttons: left windows, right windows, right context menu, browser button, system lock button, volume down, mute, volume up, calculator, and numeric keypad backspace. Besides, the right alt key is labeled ALT GR permitting this to be assigned a separate function from the left ALT key.

The USB recharge port is a micro USB style and is located on the right rear of the keyboard. Next to the USB port is a BlueTooth connection button, a BT/Off/RF selector switch, and a Bluetooth/RF mode LED.

Having the ability to turn the keyboard off is a feature that I feel is very useful since I may occasionally have something stacked on the keyboard and pressing a key while I’m not using it.

Operation

To pair the Bluetooth, you slide a switch located on the back of the keyboard or the bottom of the mouse to “BT,” press a button next to it to activate the broadcast mode, then follow the prompts on your PC to complete the process. To connect using the receiver, plug the nano USB receiver stored in the base of the mouse into the computer and then slide the switch on the keyboard or mouse to “RF”.

The keyboard and mouse work independently so the mouse and keyboard can be connected and used independently. For instance, the keyboard and mouse could be paired by Bluetooth to your mobile and connected using an RF to a computer. To quickly switch between the two devices you can use the BT/Off/RF switch on each device to switch modes accordingly.

The Keyboard is not backlit but it does include LEDs for Caps lock, Num lock, and Scroll Lock which gives the keyboard a wired feel.

The mouse is average to perhaps a bit small, and only includes two thumb buttons on one side, but has accurate tracking. A switch on the top behind the trackwheel allows switching the resolution between 600 dpi, 1000 dpi, and 1600 dpi. Scrolling along the surface is smooth and controlled thanks to PTFE pads which almost surround the mouse bottom. The mouse weighs 90 grams. 

Performance

The keyboard includes scissor-mechanism switches instead of the more notable Cherry mechanical switches. This keyboard doesn’t have the clicky sound of a mechanical switch. In fact, the Cherry is almost silent under normal typing conditions. It is quieter than the built-in Dell keyboard on my laptop. The tactile feedback is just right. There is a definite feel of hitting bottom on the keys and they have a decent amount of travel. The force needed is on the lighter side, but there is enough force to register a correct keypress. The key return is average for a scissor-switch.

The keyboard fails the double shift key typing test to determine if it is N-Key Rollover compliant. The test involves holding down both the left and right shift keys and simultaneously typing, “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. A passing result is that the keyboard returns, “THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG”. This keyboard returned, “THEQUIKROWFOJUPSOERTHELYDOG”. Therefore this may not be the best keyboard for gaming.

The accompanying six-button mouse weighs 90 grams and sports the same white and grey color scheme.

The sides of the mouse feature a textured look of matte and glossy plastic that reminds me of elephant skin but it is smooth to the touch.

The scroll wheel has traction to it and will not spin freely.

The left and right buttons seem like they are mated to traditional Cherry mechanical switches. They have that high pitched ring on the press that switch enthusiasts will enjoy, but may get you noticed by co-workers.  Like the keyboard, the mouse buttons can be configured using the Cherry Keys software, but neither the left button nor the resolution selection button is configurable.

The cherry Keys software allows the following functions to be performed by the selected keys:

  • Run program
  • Open file/folder
  • Open website
  • System functions such as logout, standby, locks
  • Play recorded macros
  • Insert recorded text
  • Multimedia functions (e.g. louder/quieter/next/mute/etc.)
  • Disable key

The software is really an enhancement to the computer the mouse is connected to and not the mouse itself. In other words, changing the behavior of a key on a windows laptop will not affect the behavior of the same key when it is connected to another device.

What I like

  • Great looks
  • Good feel
  • Dynamic use of BT or RF

What I’d change

  • No hinged feet for keyboard tilt

Final thoughts

The Cherry DW 9000 Slim is a high-quality wireless desktop keyboard/mouse combo that offers some unique features for the price. With its full-size layout and comfortable keys, the keyboard and mouse can be used as the main inputs for a typical office setup. While many competitors offer similar keyboards for less money, the Cherry DW 9000 Slim has both Bluetooth and RF connectivity.

Price: $69.38
Where to buy:  Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Cherry.

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