The Cherry MX Board 6.0 Keyboard

A glance at the Cherry MX Board 6.0 reveals a tall, aesthetically simple but very elegant keyboard. The upper body of the keyboard is solid aluminum, a quadrilateral hexahedron with rounded edges. It has a flat top, except from a slight incline where the arrow keys are. There is only one Windows key, to the left side of the Space Bar key. The Windows key to the right side of the Space Bar has been replaced with the FN key, which can be used in conjunction with some of the top row Function keys to initiate special commands, such as sound volume and backlight brightness adjustments. It is interesting to note that the backlighting can be adjusted from 0% to 100% in 1% increments, which is quite a bit overkill in our opinion.

  

Besides the (mostly) standard 104 keys, there are only four extra keys on the Cherry MX Board 6.0, right above the numpad. One of them is the "Cherry" key that initiates other special functions and the other three are the basic media keys (Play/Pause, Back & Forward). The Cherry key can be used to deactivate the Windows key and certain key combinations (ALT + F4, ALT + TAB, CTRL + ALT + DEL). Once pressed, the backlighting of the Windows key turns blue, indicating that the Windows key and the aforementioned key combinations have been disabled.

There are no clips or supports for the large wrist rest that comes with the keyboard. The wrist rest is magnetic, making its attachment and removal a breeze. This is particularly useful for users that do not really like the very large size of the wrist rest but do occasionally need one when they need to use the keyboard for a long period of time. The wrist rest is made of corona treated plastic and has a "rubbery" surface that is very soft to the touch, with the "MX" logo patterned across it. The softness and high grip of the surface, alongside the myriads of concavities that the logo pattern creates, make the wrist rest a real grime magnet. Thankfully, it is easily removable and cleanable.

Cherry is using half-height keycaps, with the bottom rows beveled upwards for increased typing comfort. The keycaps are cylindrical, with large main characters and small secondary characters/functions printed on them using a sharp, futuristic font.

Beneath the keycaps, we of course found Cherry's own switches. Our sample came with the soft and linear Cherry MX Red switches and these are the only switches this keyboard is available with, at least for the time being.

The backlighting of the MX Board 6.0 is exceptionally bright. At its maximum setting, the backlighting is clearly visible even in a sunlit room. It would be intolerable to have the backlighting at maximum inside a dark room or during night time, but it can be easily adjusted with outstanding precision down to the setting a user prefers. Note however that only the main character of keys with secondary functions/characters is being clearly illuminated, as the secondary character is at the bottom of the keycap and the key's axle is blocking the LED's light. All of the keys have only red LEDs, with the exception of five keys (FN, Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock & Windows Key) that have a dual blue/red LED. When the three Lock and the FN keys are activated, the backlighting simply turns blue. For the Windows, the blue backlighting oppositely means that it is deactivated.

As we mentioned before, the top cover of the Cherry MX Board 6.0 is made of aluminum. It is very thick, with a minimum thickness of 2.3 mm across the support between the function keys and the main keys. The mechanical strength of the aluminum frame is startling, as it would not bend or twist the slightest bit, even with tens of kg force. It may very wel take the full strength of an average adult to cause any damage to it.

Beneath the aluminum frame, we found a standard keyboard PCB, with the mechanical keys mounted on a steel support frame and soldered directly onto the board. There is nothing special about this, as this is the standard setup inside the vast majority of mechanical keyboards available today.  We could not identify the controller of the keyboard as it is on the other side of the PCB and it would take a fair time of de-soldering to get to it, but it does not really matter in this case, as the Board MX 6.0 keyboard has very few extra functions and it is not reprogrammable. 

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle Quality Testing
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  • Margalus - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Sorry, but I disagree vehemently.. I cannot stand Red, you may as well just use a cheap chiclet keyboard imo if you like red. That is what they feel like to me. Brown is the best compromise for mechanical, imo, if you don't want the extremely loud blues. Reply
  • Ancillas - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Have you tried the Clear switches that are on the CODE keyboard? Reply
  • SteelRing - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I have not tried Red, but I have Rosewill Blue, Rosewill Brown and CM Brown as well as CODE Clear. Blue was my first one and it types just fine for me, but after a while you get enough of that higher pitched clicking noise. Brown really hits it for me because it's just the right amount of force to my fingers and the subdued clacking sound is much more suited in professional environment instead of the Blue screaming "hey I'm typing here y'all better listen to it, hear how hard I'm working". With all the hype on the Clear CODE I picked one up on massdrop and it's by far the worst for me. It requires much higher actuation force so it's tiring my fingers much easily and it feels squishy to push down like there is a resistance all the way down and up, not snappy and sharp the way I like it. Clear is a total letdown so I'm sticking with Brown from now on. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    Brown is without a doubt the best because they don't actually make it feel like a mechanical keyboard. Studies have shown that error rates are higher on mechanical keyboards compared to membrane keyboards so the less mechanical of a feel, the more accurate you are likely to be. Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    @Samus: "Studies have shown that error rates are higher on mechanical keyboards compared to membrane keyboards ..."

    That's surprising. I guess mechanical keyboards aren't all they are cracked up to be. Still feel better to me, though. Is the error rate difference large or mostly insignificant? Does if vary highly between switch type? Are linears better than non-linears given the conclusion? Why don't you just post a link to the study. I've got more questions than appropriate for a single post given that the study doesn't line up with my personal observation. Perhaps it can give me some insight as to what I'm doing wrong with membrane keyboards and what I can do to fix it.
    Reply
  • hansmuff - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    What a weird keyboard. I don't mind spending $200 on a good keyboard, but certainly not one with that kind of font on it and orange back lighting. Looks like a very misguided attempt at a "gamer" keyboard. Reply
  • 529th - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Terrible review. No in-depth examination, comparison, and explanation of the "new" Real Key technology that is incorporated into the board. How many other boards have this technology? Why, and how is it different than the others? Etc Etc. This lack of interest in the ONE thing that separates this board from others screams for your resignation and or being fired. Reply
  • ukyrgf - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Nearly every sentence starts with some nonsense fluff like "With all of that said," "On the other hand," "As a matter of fact," but they don't really make sense in context. Probably sponsored content by a non-native speaker. Oh, now I see the Amazon affiliate link! Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    It is not sponsored content. If it was, we'd tell you.

    And yes, E. speaks English as a second language.
    Reply
  • catavalon21 - Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - link

    Thanks, Ryan. E.'s English is better than any second lanuage I would dare take a stab at writing for an audience like this. Keep 'em coming. Reply

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