VG Tribune

REVIEW: Cherry MX Board Silent

May 18, 2017 / 4:23 AM

By: Zack O'Neill

Full Disclosure: This product was provided for review by Cherry. This has not affected the author’s opinion or this review in any way.

 

If you know me, you know that I love mechanical keyboards, and that Cherry MX keyswitches are my gold standard; so you can imagine my excitement when Cherry e-mailed me personally to ask me to review their new Cherry MX Board Silent. Now let’s get this right out of the way at the beginning: this is not a gaming keyboard. This is a keyboard designed for workplace and professional environments. That being said, there’s absolutely no reason you couldn’t use this keyboard for gaming; it’s completely functional in every way, and nothing is stopping you from using it for whatever purposes you want. Now let’s get on with the review.

 

Typing Feel

 

This is where the keyboard shines, in my opinion. As suggested by the name of the keyboard, it features Cherry MX Silent switches, which I hadn’t had the opportunity to use before receiving this keyboard. Now, there are two different versions of the Silents: The red variation and the black. If you are familiar with mechanical keyboards, you already know that those colors are coding the feel of the keys, not the aesthetics. The red variation is very similar to the normal Cherry MX Reds (Which I use daily on my Corsair K70 RGB), where they’ll have a linear design with low actuation force, making it generally considered to be good for gaming. The difference between the normal and the silent, of course, is that normal Reds give you quite a bit of clacky noises with each keystroke, and the silents are nearly completely silent. It’s a similar case for the Black silents, where they carry over the weighty, high actuation force, but make it much quieter.

The version that I was sent features the Black switches, which is a little different than what I’m used to. The keys definitely have a thicker spring and more force feedback than the Reds I’m more familiar with, and that’s not particularly a bad thing. The more required force that you need to make a keystroke really does a good job of preventing accidental keystrokes when your finger may just be a little off-center for the key you’re aiming for. It genuinely feels good to type on this keyboard, the satisfaction from pressing on nice keyswitches like this makes for a pleasant overall experience.

Outside of the switches though, there are some problems I had with it. The keycaps that come stock with the board seem to be a bit off in their alignment. I first noticed it with the arrow keys when I took a keycap remover to it, making sure that this model had replaceable caps. After putting it back on, it seemed like it was a little crooked in comparison to the keys around it. It’s not a huge issue, but once you start noticing it on a few keys, it may start to bug you a little bit. On top of that, the lettering on the keys is embossed, rather than embedded. I know this is much more of a personal nitpick, but when I’m using a keyboard, it kind of bugs me to feel the letters on the keys too much, and in this case it does feel like it’s a bit too much. However, you are completely able to replace the keycaps if you feel the way that I do about them. Modular keyboards are a wonderful thing.

 

Aesthetics

As you can see in the header image, this is a very bulky keyboard, and the reason for that is that it’s designed after Cherry’s most popular model for many years: the G80-3000. The original is generally considered to be a classic, having found a home in many offices over the years. In the original press release for this new keyboard, Cherry mentioned that they had combined this classic design with modern technology, referring to the new Silent switches that replace the older models with blue and browns. Personally though, I think they should have looked into adding a few more modern technologies into this keyboard.

For example, I don’t think there would be many objections to putting a white backlight for the keys to make working at night a bit more convenient. And speaking of convenience, it would have been very nice if they would have added a USB passthrough to the top of the keyboard. A few more keyboard designers are catching on to the demand for this, but it seems Cherry may have missed the memo for this keyboard. I know that they were trying to keep a retro aesthetic for it, but if they’re going to market it as a meeting of new and old, having more than just the new keyswitches would have been ideal; especially at a price point of $149.

To get back on track with the aesthetics, it’s not exactly a flashy or even modern design, and that’s all by intention. It’s a simple keyboard that is best used in an office setting, but if you wanted some kind of gaming keyboard with sick RGB lighting to compliment your RGB mouse, RGB case fans, RGB RAM, RGB PSU, and RGB watercooling loop on your beautiful PCMR battlestation, this may not be the way to go for you.

 

Closing Thoughts

Despite how nice of a keyboard this is, it’s hard to really recommend it at the price it’s been set at. There are plenty of mechanical keyboards, even fancy Corsair, Razer, and Logitech boards that you can get for a cheaper price and may even be a better fit for you depending on what you like. Though if you really get excited over office keyboards, and really need silent keystrokes, this may be the board for you. Just remember to get a wrist rest, since this doesn’t come with one out of the box.

Tagged with:     , , , , , ,

About the author /


Zack started working at VGTribune at 15 years old and has been gaming since the the age of 2. He is currently in college studying film and technology with plans to continue in the game industry. He’s also really good at Counter Strike.

Related Articles

Post your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *