Cherry MX Has Created Ultra Low Profile Switches for Laptops

By Bill Toulas / March 20, 2021

Cherry MX, the German key switches expert and one of the leading computer peripheral-device makers of the last four decades, presented a product that is about to revolutionize the gaming laptop space. More specifically, the firm has created a new ultra-low-profile mechanical switch that can offer tactile and audible feedback similar to the profile of the “clicky” Blue switches. The total height of 3.5 mm makes it the first of its kind and also ideal for applications in confined cases such as that of a laptop or notebook.

Source: Cherry MX

Technically speaking, the pre-travel distance is 0.8 mm, and the total travel is 1.8 mm, while the actuation force is 52 cN and the tactile force is 65 cN. As the company comments on Twitter, this is very close to its current limit of technical feasibility. Possibly, we’re also going to see a linear version, too, as removing the clicky requirement should make this implementation attainable, but from the usability perspective, it may not offer much. The firm hasn’t officially confirmed that a linear version is coming, so this is only an assumption.

Apart from the size, force, and travel distance differences from the regular size switches, the ultra low profile ones still use a metal alloy for the frame, stainless steel for the springs, and still support SMD RGB LEDs. So, all in all, they’re fully-fledged Cherry MX switches engineered and made in Germany, capable of handling up to 15 million strokes.

The first laptop manufacturer to put out a new model using the Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile switches will be Alienware, on the m15 R4 and m17 R4 series. These are going to have RGB lighting, AliexFX sync, 100% anti-ghosting, and NKRO. The price difference for those who opt for Cherry’s new switches on Alienware’s new laptops is an extra $150.

Top-notch gaming laptops were previously using regular mechanical switches for their keyboards. Still, the new Cherry MX switch will enable vendors to make their models a tad bit less bulky. Possibly, we’re also going to see these switches on top-range business laptops that want to offer a premium typing experience to their users. Of course, seeing them in desktop keyboards isn’t out of the question either.

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