Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact mechanical keyboard review – Is it the budget GOAT?

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REVIEW – In my trips down the many, many rabbit holes associated with mechanical keyboard fanaticism, I’ve heard Cherry was the GOAT when it comes to keyboard switches. They are the gold standard that all other switch makers try to emulate. In my early work life, I first became aware of Cherry maintaining POS equipment. Their point-of-sale keyboards were built and felt so much better to use, were easier to maintain, and lasted longer than others I was used to seeing. I always wanted to try one of their PC keyboards, but somehow never got my hands on one. Fast forward 20 years and I finally got my hands on the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact mechanical keyboard. Did it live up to my expectations? Is Cherry the GOAT? Read on to find out my take on that.

What is it?

This is straight from the Cherry XTRFY website, “One of the most customizable keyboards in the world – now the first gaming keyboard to be equipped with CHERRY MX2A switches. K5V2 is the next level in design and performance.” That’s saying something.

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What’s included?

  • Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact mechanical keyboard
  • Braided USB A to USB C cable
  • Switch/keycap puller
  • Manuals
  • Magnetic badge
  • 2x extra red switches

Tech specs

Click to expand

Model name: CX-K5V2-RGB-CPT

Available layouts:Nordic, US, UK, German and French

Illumination: Per-key customizable RGB strip LED

Keys: 68 (US 67)

Keycap material: Thick ABS

Key switches: Hot-swappable CHERRY MX2A Red

Stabilizers: PCB-mounted, pre-lubed

N-Key Rollover: Full

Anti-Ghosting: 100%

Polling rate: 1000 Hz

Special keys/shortcuts: LED settings, Macros, Media controls

Connection: USB plug-and-play

Cable length: 2 m braided, detachable USB-C to USB-A

Weight: 841 g

Size: 360 x 172 x 44 mm

Warranty: 2 years


Design and features


The Cherry XTRFY K5V2 boasts being the most customizable in the world. Well, what exactly does that mean? It means being hot-swappable, if for some reason, you don’t like the new Cherry Red MX2A switches, then simply pop them out and put in those of your choice. And since the included switches are Cherry, then any Cherry compatible keycaps can be swapped out as well.

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Even the PCB tells you to customize this baby.

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The stabilizers come PCB-mounted and pre-lubed and if you don’t like them, you can swap them too.

The top frame pops off and I’m assuming since you can opt to order a fully custom Cherry K5V2 keyboard, then you can order a different one if you so choose.

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They even have a magnetically attached logo.

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It can be removed and supposedly replaced with other choices.

The included switches are Cherry MX2A reds which Cherry says is a “transformative upgrade to the CHERRY MX – used in more than 60 million keyboards worldwide.”

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They come pre-lubed with a new spring design for smoother actuation and a lifespan of 100 million keystrokes

The key caps are double-shot, shine-through ABS. So they will develop a shine but will last a very long time.

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Cherry also includes feet to extend so you can have 2 angles to find which one is more comfortable for you.

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Finally, the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact mechanical keyboard comes with per-key RGB LEDs, macros, media keys, and more.

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And it’s all done from the keyboard itself. No other software is needed.


Disclaimer: I hate red switches so read the next few statements with that in mind.

I found the red switch activation way too light for me. I’m not a PC gamer. I use all these keyboards I review working from home. I am heavy-handed and need stiffer switches. The Cherry MX2A switches felt too squishy. They also felt inconsistent. That inconsistency in feel is probably due to being pre-lubed. I doubt very seriously these are hand lubed so I’m assuming that’s the problem.

The format of the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact mechanical keyboard is 65% which falls into my Goldilocks size range, being 65 – 75%, so I felt right at home there.

The frosted white case looks and feels cheap in my opinion and the magnetic removable logo feels like an afterthought. Sure it slaps into place and remove it if you don’t like it, but it’s very easily bumped so that it sits catty-wumpus, cockeyed, or crooked. I could possibly be on the spectrum (not joking) because that bothers me. I want it straight at all times.

Customizing all your macros, LEDs, and other settings on the keyboard is nice, but I found the included instructions a bit confusing. Those a lot smarter than me may not have any problems but if you’re like me, you may have to default the board and start over to get it how you want it.

As I’ve said the keycaps are made of ABS plastic. Some folks say they’re better for longevity and sound. Sorry, but I prefer PCB so I don’t get shiny keycaps after using a board for a while.

Finally, there’s the price of admission. $149 is pretty steep in my opinion for the prebuilt model I got. I’m just not impressed with it.

What I like about Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact mechanical keyboard

  • No additional software needed
  • Fully customizable

What needs to be improved?

  • The price
  • Materials used
  • Fix the logo add-on so that it stays straight

Final thoughts

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Maybe I had my expectations too high when asking to review this keyboard. Maybe because I’m not PC gamer I’m missing the point of the choices made when Cherry developed the K5V2. I just flat out, unequivocally, do not like this keyboard. Maybe at half the price, I could get on board, but there are too many keyboards at this price point or lower that feel, sound, and work better in my opinion. I’m not sure what the customizable version ordered from their website would cost. When I tried to build one, it said it was unavailable. Take all this with a grain of salt. I leave it to you to make your own choice.

Price: $149.00
Where to buy: Cherry and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by Cherry.  Cherry did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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