Cherry MX 1.0 keyboard review

by Ben Kirby
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Cherry is arguably the name in keyboards these days.

When someone is selling a keyboard for gaming or for a higher perceived purpose than your average daily use. You need to know what Cherry switches it has. Are they Cherry Reds, or Blues or Browns? Valid questions, too, because when it comes to manufacturing the switches that make the keys press, and ultimately generate an input, Cherry make the best ones.

Cherry MX 1.0

MX 1.0

As someone new to PC gaming, I’ve been learning a lot about “good” types of switch. Mechanical, membrane, hybrid and so on. It seems to me, after research and experience that going with Cherry mechanical switches is the way to go if you want that fast-response and tactile feedback.

What about if you’re not gaming, though? Why isn’t that Microsoft keyboard that came with my work PC good enough? I suppose it is. Until you try something crafted to just do a better job like the Cherry MX 1.0. Defined as a keyboard for typring/writing, it uses the Cherry “Brown” switches, to give you that superb rapid, solid response.

Build

When it comes to a “mechanical” keyboard, you expect the louder click of each button press. Perhaps in part to the sometimes metal chassis that they tend to come with. Sure, the brown switches in the MX 1.0 are louder than your standard memberane keyboard, but damn. This keyboard is built to last!

I was actually quite surprised, because it’s a plastic chassis. Naively, I just assumed that this would be more along the lines of other keyboards using these kinds of switches. So at first glance, the MX 1.0 disheartened me. But you don’t judge a keyboard by it’s chassis, as the old saying goes.

The Cherry MX 1.0 is built to last, and solid as hell. With a satisfying weight and solid construction, I know this is going to last me for years (I think I’ve been using it for 6 months, so….you know, it’s nearly done one already!).

The keys on the MX 1.0 are just as excellent as you would expect. Each press is clean. The response between pressing, and actual input, is wonderful and I can honestly say, I’ve written with this every day, and will likely do so until it dies. Cherry build good switches, that’s common knowledge. But damn, they build good keyboards too!

As part of my review process, I wanted to put the Cherry MX 1.0 into regular use, to really test it out. I’ve swapped it out as my main work keyboard, and I’ve written every review and article over at ninjarefinery.com on it for the last six months. It’s been hammered every day, and there’s no sign of wear, or any kind of detrimental impact. I need to push it harder!

Style

How do you make a keyboard that’s designed for writing, desirable? As desireable as a keyboard could be, anyway. I don’t know the answer to that question. But I think Cherry have a bloody good idea. Clean lines. No excessive or abritrary additional buttons or features. The MX 1.0 is pure business and it’s all the better for it.

Back-lit keys, a touch or “Cherry” branding and a solid chunky build mean you’re getting a piece of hardware that’s desinged to do a job. Both practically, and visually. The Cherry MX 1.0 isn’t neccessarily going to woo those that want extra buttons and features. But that’s their loss, because it’s function over form, and isn’t that what you need when you’re working all day?

Cherry MX 1.0

Should I use it for gaming?

Honestly, I don’t think it’s suitable for gaming. And at the price point (£80), you can get competitively priced keyboards better-suited to gaming (using Cherry switches, might I add).

The Cherry MX 1.0 was designed for writing, and it shows. You could absolutely use it for gaming but those brown switches have low actuation to give you that fast response. Get those words written in half the time.

It seems to me that the brown switches would be great for gaming, but I don’t feel that the build and layout, lend themselves to it. Plus, with the actuation point on the Browns, you get lovely tactile feedback one every word, when you’re touch-typing.

If the MX 1.0 is all that’s available, you could do far worse. But, if you have some felxibiltiy and intent to be smashing the WASD keys more than those QWERTY keys, maybe consider something else.

Cherry MX keyboard overall thoughts

I bloody love this keyboard. I’ve not felt any kind of fatigue, I’ve smashed at the buttons for hours and hours and it’s been pretty flawless. The Cherry MX 1.0 was built for writing, and it absolutely fits the bill. This is my daily driver, and if it dies, I’ll replace it like for like because I can’t see that anything else will give me the value for money vs performance.

Eighty quid isn’t cheap for a keyboard, but you know what? It turns out it’s not expensive once you fall down that rabbit hole! Moving to the Cherry MX 1.0 from your membrane keyboard that your work IT gave you will feel like a night and day difference.

A big thanks to our friend NinjaRefinery for contributing this guest piece! The handsome bugger’s just launched his own merch store, too – check it out here. Don’t forget to have a little peek at more of our hardware reviews here!

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