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. 

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  • BurntMyBacon - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    @529th: "This lack of interest in the ONE thing that separates this board from others screams for your resignation and or being fired."

    Seems a little harsh. I agree that the review would have been much better with in-depth examination and comparisons, particularly of the new Real Key technology and its competition. However, as it is, this review is no worse than a hundred other keyboard reviews I've read at various sites. Certainly not resignation worthy. Perhaps he'll take your feedback and include such comparison in his next review. It would certainly help it stand out from the crowd more. Perhaps it is too much to ask, but I'd be really happy to see an update to this review to include said content.
    Reply
  • Ancillas - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I had keyboards with macro buttons for years, but I never used the feature. Reply
  • Kepe - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Same here. I used to have the original Logitech G15 that had 18 macro keys. The only things I used those macro keys for were my e-mail address and password, which was the same everywhere. I've now had a Func KB-460 with Cherry MX Red switches for a couple of years. It does have macro functionality, but it's tied to the fn key so I don't use them. And I play A LOT of games. Never felt the need for keyboard macros in any game.
    I like the red switches, they're very light and when I type I don't usually press the keys all the way to the bottom. Very good for gaming, as well.
    Reply
  • Kepe - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Hmm, Func has been bought by Fnatic ;o
    The Fnatic Rush seems to be exactly the same keyboard as my Func KB-460, they've just changed the logo.
    Reply
  • cm123 - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I was lucky enough to get one of the very early released MX 6.0 keyboards from Cherry so I've had mine for awhile now. Simply the best keyboard I've ever used period (used lots of keyboards from Razer, Corsair, Logitech, and many others). Though its main purpose for me is First Person Shooters as well as general typing. Love the hand rest and how smooth the reactions feel, even have become a fan of the reds (I was a brown only person before this keyboard). Reply
  • NeilPeartRush - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I actually bought most of the CherryMX switches (Red, Black Brown and Blue) and compared them to my IBM Model M, Matias (Alps) and Topre Keyboard. I grew up with the Model M at home and the Apple Extended Keyboard II (Alps) at school, so I have a fondness for well-done mechanical keyboards. My ranking:

    1. Topre - the perfect blend of tactile, comfort and noise for me. I use it at work.

    2. Cherry Brown - not quite as good as the Topre but easier to find and thus more affordable. I use it at home in an LED-backlit variety; it represents the best balance among the Cherry switches for me.

    3. Model M - if you can get past the noise there is nothing quite like it. Not my favorite anymore for everyday, but I keep one around with an old Windows 98SE/DOS machine for classic gaming (along with a Trinitron CRT).

    4. Matias - I just find the build-quality somewhat lacking and these new Alps not quite as good as the old Apple Extended Keyboard. Gave it to a buddy who loves Alps.

    5. Cherry Red - very fast but not the best for my style of typing; I tend to produce unintended keypresses due to the low actuation force and lack of detent. My wife loves it.

    6. Cherry Blue - nice, tactile response that is very audible, and that is my biggest gripe. I am sensitive to noise and the sound of these just affects me negatively; I also prefer the feel of a buckling spring. Gave it to my buddy who will use nothing but Blues.

    7. Cherry Black - my least favorite mechanical switch. The Brown is the most versatile for me, the Blue is the best for typing (among the Cherry models) and the Red is FAST and nimble. The Black just ends up being the worst for my typing style and finds no niches for me. It feels slow and airy everyone I lent it to hated it, except one guy - now it's his...

    I have the green and clear Cherry switches in a little tester unit, and they are not for me, but I would be willing to give them a shot in a full-size keyboard.
    Reply
  • jmunjr - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    If you're an old school gamer like me using any macro is cheating. This is the perfect keyboard for us originals... Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I guess I'm the only one who's bugged by not having that right Windows key. It might be weird, but the whole thing is a pass without it. I couldn't spend that kind of money on something that would annoy me a couple times a day. Reply
  • Murloc - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I only use the left one really since the hand rests on the WASD area when I'm using the mouse or ctrl+c-ing stuff around.
    The only bad part is not being able to Windows+L with one hand when leaving the table.
    Reply
  • Kepe - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    How small are your hands? Win + L is easy to reach with pinky and thumb. I can reach Tab + P with one hand, and I have small hands compared to pretty much every one of my friends. Reply

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