NOTE: This is a review of the updated version of the old MX Board 3.0 with part code G80-3850LYBGB-2. The differences are that the cable is now fixed and is not detachable. It now also comes with a different font on the keycaps (as demonstrated in the above picture) and a new keyswitch has been added to the range: The CHERRY MX Brown.
A new CHERRY product has entered the foray recently and this time it was in the form of an updated MX Board 3.0 (dubbed the MX 3.1 colloquially by themselves) and it’s just had a few things changed about it compared to its predecessor.
First up, the box. Of course, being a CHERRY product, the board is presented in a neat and tidy fashion. The box it comes in is rather similar to the box for the MX 6.0 and that certainly isn’t a bad thing by any means. It’s a lot simpler than the last model’s but is still presently in the usual fashion. It contains the keyboard of course, a handy guide on the keyboard and besides the standard anti-slip protection of the plastic feet and red non-slip surfaces, a fixed cable is also what graces us here. These two non-slip surfaces are simply just triangular red pads that fit into the neatly cut holes situated on the underside of the keyboard itself, these are there to conveniently stop the keyboard from sliding across the desk when the feet are not erected.Unlike its predecessor, the new MX 3.0 comes without a detachable cable which, whilst it impede its portability for some users, eliminates the error that some users faced with the USB socket being able to work itself loose of the internal PCB. As a result of this issue, users would have had to wiggle the cable back into the slot it sits it and wait for the CHERRY logo to light up, or, take the board apart and re-solder the contacts to make sure it doesn’t pry itself away. The fixed cable rather thankfully has now eliminated a painstaking task.
Much like its predecessor, the new MX 3.0 is a no-nonsense and simplistic 105 key setup with four added multimedia keys (Volume Down, Volume Up, Mute, Home – the Home key when pressed in conjunction with the Control key also locks the Windows keys) that makes the keyboard present itself in a professional manner. It’s rather useful that you’re able to lock the Windows keys as an avid PC gamer will know, locking the Win keys eliminates the disadvantage of a wrong key press when playing certain games. There are some subtle differences from the original MX 3.0 that people will be able to notice. First of all, there is a different typeface present on the keycaps themselves which looks a lot more straight in terms of font and is in-keeping with the new logo present atop the board that now glows in red, replacing the old logo which glowed in white before on the previous model. Also in terms of lighting, the lock lights for Num Lock, Scroll Lock and Caps Lock are also now red when enabled, as are the Windows keys when enabled and not locked.
As with the last model, this new MX 3.0 also features 14 N-Key rollover without any key ghosting effects. Cherry themselves say that there are 50 million actuations per key with “reliable contact capability and exemplary responsiveness.” – perfectly standard for MX keys. The major change with this new model however is the introduction of the MX Brown keyswitch, along with the standard MX Reds that were supplied with the board when it was first released. The Browns feel lovely to type on and the bump on the downwards stroke makes for a really comfortable typing experience overall!
Overall, even though the changes are majorly subtle, the new MX 3.0 has certainly been improved upon and has been sitting on my desk for some time now. I don’t think it’ll be moving anytime soon!