Cherry have been in the peripherals game for many a year now. The versatility of their range of particular switches is mindboggling, so it was no surprise to me to find that the Cherry MX Board 3.0 kept this tradition of intricacy and user-friendliness.
First up, the box. Being a Cherry product, the board was presented in a neat and tidy fashion, with the keyboard being the prominent graphic upon the navy blue box. The top right hand corner shows off the switch (in this case the Cherry MX Red switch) and the text: ‘MX INSIDE GOLD CROSSPOINT CONTACTS’: Cherry have always been one to show off their technology, especially at exhibitions. Certainly, when I found myself at the Gadget Show Live in 2015, with the mechanical boards taking centre stage, Cherry were quick to mention the switches (particularly when the customer came up and in an uneducated manner, went forth and smashed their fingers onto the different switches. It is only then that the Gold Crosspoint was mentioned…).
Anyway, the inside of the box presented just the keyboard itself along with a little part that sticks out in the inner part with the text: “ORIGINAL CHERRY’. The contents of the box is the keyboard itself, a detachable USB cable (handy for travel), a quick guide on the keyboard and “anti-slip protection”, the protection being the two rubber caps for the adjustable feet situated on the bottom of the keyboard, and the two “non-slip surfaces”. 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.
The keyboard itself is a simple, no nonsense, black and white setup, with the keyboard being the full flung 105 key setup (plus four multimedia keys, sound up and down, mute, home key.) The home key also has the ability to lock the Windows keys. As an avid PC gamer will know, locking the Win keys is an extremely useful feature. The board itself comes with an easy to read typeface on the keycaps, making it clear to the user. When on, the ‘CHERRY’ logo at the top centre of the keyboard will proceed to glow in a bright white light. It’s just a pity that this is the ‘old’ Cherry logo and not the new version. Also in terms of lighting, beneath the Windows keys, Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock, a little green light is present beneath the text to show the user whether that feature is enabled or disabled. The MX Board 3.0 does feature 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.
In particular, by comparison to the swanky, all RGB backlit boards by the likes of Razer and Corsair in some cases, the MX Board 3.0 may seem a little bland, but this board is just a continuation of the well-known and typist’s dream; the original Cherry MX Board. At the time of writing, I was sent samples of the MX Board 3.0 in Cherry MX Red, Brown & Blue switches. In fact, the MX Blue version sits proudly on my desk with frequent usage. However, here in the UK (or certainly only in a UK layout) it is only possible to purchase the MX 3.0 in MX Red switches. If you get lucky, and want to spend the time transferring key caps from a German layout version (with either Blue or Brown switches) then go ahead, otherwise, it’s just MX Red for us UK users!