We frequently review mechanical keyboards here in AnandTech. Over half of them come with mechanical switches from Cherry, and for good reason. If you are keeping track of our recent reviews, you should have noticed that Cherry's switches generally are more consistent than any other type we have tested to this date. Cherry is virtually the inventor of the modern mechanical keyboard switch (not to be confused with the classic buckling spring), manufacturing and marketing them since nearly three decades ago. It is only because their patent expired that other manufacturers were able to copy their switch designs.

With all of that said, Cherry is not only supplying their switches to other keyboard manufacturers. As a matter of fact, the company has a significant line-up of their own keyboard and mouse products. On the other hand, Cherry's products are almost exclusively aimed towards professionals and for specific applications, such as keyboards with biometric or magnetic card readers for security. Considering the target market of their products, naturally their keyboards were using just plastic black or beige parts and never looked like anything special. However, Cherry is taking a huge leap of faith and releasing a new keyboard, the MX Board 6.0, which a mere glance upon it is enough to reveal that it is nothing like their previous products.

Cherry MX Board 6.0 Keyboard - Key Features and Specifications

  • The world's fastest keyboard – with Cherry MX and Cherry RK
  • CHERRY MX RED – Gold Crosspoint precision keyswitch for all keys »Made in Germany«
  • Aluminium housing with sanded finish and grease resistant coating
  • CHERRY RealKey technology – fully analog signal processing
  • All keyswitches are read simultaneously
  • 100% anti-ghosting - No inputting errors

Packaging & Bundle

The packaging of the MX Board 6.0 is the perfect example of the company's market philosophy; very sturdy, completely plain and painfully serious. It could be run over by a car and there would not be any damage to the keyboard or the rest of the contents, but there is almost nothing eye-catching about it. As a matter of fact, those who do not know of Cherry might not even realize that there is a keyboard inside the box without closely inspecting it.

Inside the box, we found the keyboard inside a very nice and soft pouch-cover, a large wrist rest and a basic manual. The manual is small and simple, but it is clearly written and more than enough for the few extra functions of the MX Board 6.0.

Finally, retail prices for the MX Board 6.0 are hovering around $200, with a price of $198 at the time this article was written.

The Cherry MX Board 6.0 Keyboard
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  • BurntMyBacon - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    @BrokenCrayons: "As long as you end up at your desired destination, the point of a car is accomplished."

    For most people I've met, including myself, you're not wrong. For some people, the point of travel isn't necessarily where you are going, but how you get there. Often times this is an emotional response, but sometimes this is a calculated, well thought out process. Presentation can be extremely important, for instance, to a CEO or politician. I don't really think it's applicable to keyboards, but it is something to consider in other areas.

    Another point of interest is that a car may get you from point a to point b just fine, but it can be stressful if it sounds like it is going to fail while driving, one of your cylinders are misfiring, brakes squeal every time you brake and don't work well, gas stalls initially on acceleration, horn honks when you turn on your blinker, etc. Putting potential safety issues aside (cars aren't a great comparison here) you can still make it from point a to point b for years with one or several of these problems.

    @BrokenCrayons: "The other things a car imparts are emotionally driven. The idea that you feel better about your drive or look better in other peoples' minds when they see you and so forth are all secondary feelings."

    I never really got into the whole emotional purchasing that seems to be a deep and prevalent first world problem, but it is quite common and you shouldn't be surprised when some manufacturers take advantage of it.

    @BrokenCrayons: "In the case of an economy car that'd sell for $15k new, then the comparable car would not be a "decent mid-range" one but something that retails for $200k."

    This actually is a good enough comparison to illustrate the merits of a mechanical keyboard in general (leaving out the comparison between this keyboard and other mechanical keyboards). People who buy $15K economy cars tend to be people who use it to get basic tasks done (drive to work, pick up groceries, etc.). People who buy $200K cars (lets use muscle/racing cars as an example) tend to be people who have excess money such that cost isn't an issue, are emotionally driven and want what they want regardless, or people who drive vocationally ($200K is a bit low in this case). We've discussed the first two, but the professional driver buys the expensive car because the better acceleration, handling, resistance to breakdown, etc. all affect his vocation. Similarly a semi tractor trailer driver buys his multi-hundred thousand dollar rig for its towing capacity, high torque, resistance to breakdown, etc. that a budget car driver has no need of. Professionals in the keyboard space may be typists or sponsored gamers that can appreciate the consistency, tactile response, durability, etc. that a mechanical keyboard may provide to help them get their job done more efficiently. Given the relatively low cost (even at $200) compared to other tools, many amateurs find these keyboards desirable and easily accessible. In some cases, it may even improve their experience similar to how acquiring a Ford F-250 will allow you to haul something that a Ford Ranger would not, despite the fact that they are both capable of hauling things.

    All that said, I think these higher end mechanical keyboards will eventually make their way below the $100 mark given the number of mechanical keyboards already typically going for $80 and sometimes as low as $50. They would certainly be more interesting to me at this price point.
    Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Saturday, February 13, 2016 - link

    I spent many years writing code on high quality IBM keyboards, so, I prefer the feel of a good mechanical keyboard rather than the feel of the rubber dome switches.

    It is as simple as that.

    We have 12-15 IBM Model M keyboards here, one DAS, and 2 Razers. There are a pair of rubber dome keyboards for use at the workbench and i keep a few around in case someone needs a keyboard.
    Reply
  • zeeBomb - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    What is the best Cherry MX Brown or Red keyboard I can get for under 100? Reply
  • baobrain - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Cooler Master makes some good ones, you sometimes can find a K70 red for under $100. I got a Rosewill keyboard for 80 bucks with MX blues a few years ago and it's real solid. Reply
  • kent1146 - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    >> What is the best Cherry MX Brown or Red keyboard I can get for under 100?

    Coolermaster CMStorm keyboards. I'm very partial to the tenkeyless (TKL) versions, like a CMStorm Quickfire TK.

    A TKL keyboard is intended for gaming. It chops off the NumPad, so that your left arm (WASD) and right arm (mouse) sit closer together in a more natural position. I'm particular to the CMStorm Quickfire TK, because it has a dual-function NumPad / NavKey area in case you need to ever use the NumPad.

    Choice of Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Green:
    http://www.amazon.com/CM-Storm-QuickFire-TK-Mechan...
    Reply
  • Murloc - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    without the NumPad you can't use many of the trainers out there.

    Although I agree that for any other use (except data insertion of course but only office drones do that anyway) not having the numpad would really help the ergonomics.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    See http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/keyboard/#s=3&so...

    I own a coolermaster tenkeyless ("Rapid" maybe?) with mx browns. I got it for like $60 and it's a nice simple keyboard. No fancy gaming stuff, just a solid keyboard.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Nevermind, I own a quickfire tk. It's surprisingly sturdy and hasn't failed me in its two years. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    I have the Cooler Master Storm QuickFire TK with brown switches. It's a really nice keyboard with backlit keys. The subtle and compact design are the main reasons I got it. You get 3 LED light settings, which is one more than I need, on/off/"pulsating". The build quality is really nice. Extremely sturdy (no flex at all) and nice, distinct feel to the keys. I probably would have preferred the red switches, for the minimal sound level but the brown switches are quiet enough. I opted for brown keys simply because that model comes with white backlight instead of red. Reply
  • buxe2quec - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    You don't have to buy the top-end. I bought a Cherry MX 2.0 (no LED, no rest, basically the same for everything else) at 60 Euro (European layout too). I won't go back. Of course no customisation. If you want it customised there are alternatives like WASD keyboards.
    You don't need to be rich to buy a good mechanical. People brag about the expensive ones and justify themselves with "but it was worth". Well, the 60 Euro one (with the same switches and same sturdy metal frame) is 1/3 and worth anyway.
    Reply

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