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Cherry MX Board 6.0 review

Tom Morgan
21 Aug 2015
Cherry MX Board 6.0 - hero
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
150
inc VAT

Cherry is clearly not trying to step on toes with the MX Board 6.0: it’s well-built, but lacks the features we’d expect

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Specifications

Keyboard shape: Standard, Number pad: Yes, Connection: USB, Warranty: Two year RTB

If you’ve used a mechanical keyboard at any point in the past decade, you’ve almost definitely used some of Cherry’s keyboard switches. The company is synonymous with the technology, yet does most of its business supplying key switches to other manufacturers, rather than making its own keyboards. The MX Board 6.0 aims to change that: it’s a high-end keyboard built with premium materials and the mechanical switches typists love.

As Cherry’s first backlit keyboard, it’s easy to think that the MX Board 6.0 is aimed at gamers. It has most of the features typically found onn gaming keyboards, including Cherry’s MX Red switches for near instant actuation and a very light keypress, full N-key rollover to register every single key at once should you need it, and a bright red LED behind each laser-engraved keycap. The backlighting is even, clearly showing each key (even the function keys and numerical keys with multiple characters, often a failing of backlit keyboards) and the lights were bright enough to see clearly in a well-lit office. However, Cherry insists it’s actually targeting serious typists.

Cherry MX Board 6.0 - LED lighting

We can’t argue with the MX Board 6.0’s typing abilities; we were able to get through pages of reviews with very little fuss thanks to the light touch each key requires in order to register a keypress. Whether Cherry’s RealKey fully analog signal processing actually helps matters over rival keyboards was impossible to say, however; while key registration was quick, we couldn’t notice a perceptible difference with any other keyboard equipped with Cherry MX Red switches. The noise from each press was roughly the same – not loud enough to annoy people across the room, but definitely audible to the people sat either side of us in the office.

At least the MX Board 6.0 is well made. The chunky aluminium chassis is incredibly sturdy, and once we’d plonked the board down on our desk it refused to move an inch. The flip-out feet on the underside raise the typing angle if you prefer, while six rubber pads hunker the board down to prevent accidental movement.

Cherry MX Board 6.0 - wrist rest

The large wrist rest locks onto the keyboard magnetically, so you don’t have to worry about snapping any locking mechanisms if you lift up the board at the wrong point – a problem we’ve had with other premium keyboards in the past. The indented MX logos are a nice visual touch, but they quickly pick up dirt and dust, meaning you’ll need to rinse it under a tap regularly to keep it looking clean. It is otherwise comfortable to use, creating a typing angle that we could happily use for a full day of office work without discomfort.

Some of the function keys double as backlight lighting and volume controls, while four keys above the number pad let you control music playback and toggle the Windows key on and off, but other than that there are no macro features whatsoever. The MX Board 6.0 doesn’t have any software to speak of, meaning you can’t set up shortcuts or customise your keys at all.

Cherry MX Board 6.0 - Windows toggle key

Macro keys and software aside, the MX Board 6.0 is still quite a few missing features that we would typically expect to find on a premium keyboard. It’s clear that Cherry is deliberately not competing directly with the manufacturers that buy its mechanical switches, focusing on serious typists rather than gamers. However, USB ports and audio pass-through cables are useful for people other than gamers, and their omission here is noticeably – especially when you consider the price. £150 is a lot to ask for any keyboard, but when rivals like Corsair can provide them along with RGB colour-changing keys, macros and a comprehensive software suite for £30 less with the K70 RGB, it’s difficult to justify the MX Board 6.0.

Hardware
Keyboard shapeStandard
Number padYes
Shortcut keys4
Volume controlYes
ConnectionUSB
BatteryN/A

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