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Cherry MX Silent

The Cherry MX Silent keyboard is a great mechanical keyboard for gamers or more serious computer users with two versions for quieter or more tactile feedback to your typing.

Ease of Use, Performance:  5/5
Look & Feel:  5/5
Features:  4/5
How much I enjoy:  5/5

Recommendation:  5/5 Stars

Cherry MX Silent Keyboard
Cherry MX Silent Keyboard

Cherry is a German company that manufactures computer keyboards and switches that make up mechanical keyboards, with roots in America in the 1950’s. Walter Cherry started a company in Illinois manufacturing electrical components, now several changes and years later the company is manufacturing keyboards and keyboard components.

Mechanical keyboards have come and gone and come again in popularity especially with the venerable IBM Model M keyboard back in the 1980’s. Mechanical keyboards are built with a mechanical spring that allows for a more tactile feedback when pressed down which makes for better typing for many people.

Keyboards have gone from a mechanical spring and contacts to a rubber mat that has individual bubbles that act as springs for each key. The rubber mat types have found themselves inside many keyboards as well as laptops due to their inexpensive design as well as ease of assembly.

Mechanical keyboards have found themselves popular again mainly due to their feel but also I think some nostalgia as well, harken to the good old days. Cherry manufactures both the switches that make up mechanical keyboard and the whole keyboard as well with a main focus on the key switches in the past.

Cherry is mainly known for their mechanical switches which are found in most mechanical keyboards sold today as they have become the authority on mechanical switches. To see how much of the ruler of mechanical switches Cherry is many companies use them in their models but every article I can find also compares one Cherry switch or another to the keyboard being discussed.

Bottom of Cherry MX Silent

Bottom of Cherry MX SilentCherry really is the leader in mechanical keyboard switches so they also have made several  models of their own keyboards but are more of the plain and standard design. My son is an enthusiast of mechanical keyboards, owning several and using them daily in programming.

He has several models he uses all the time and has shown me the differences and even a comparison of the different models you can get in the switches themselves. You can buy a small key set including six different Cherry mechanical switches on a small bracket that also includes rubber dampeners.

The reason to buy this small set of switches is to try yourself the force used to press the switches and to hear how much noise each switch makes. The set only costs $16 from Amazon and includes the rubber dampeners to see how they work as well for reducing noise when the key hits the bottom of the case when pressing the key.

I bought a  set of these dampeners for the keyboard I received to check this part out as well but I also wanted to thoroughly review the keyboard as I usually do. The keyboard works great and is a fantastic purchase for those that use computers often but is also a good investment but I’ll get to that later.

Key Removal for Cherry Switches

Key Removal for Cherry SwitchesThe Cherry MX Silent keyboard is an old style keyboard that looks very similar to the IBM model M down to the keys and look of the whole board. The keys have a smooth feel with a certain bounce that really makes your typing better whether you’re simply gaming or typing long articles.

The MX Silent comes in black or light grey with the international keyboard layout which means mainly the Euro symbol is on the five key. The other keys are the same as any typical US keyboard layout with the usual letters and numbers as well as a good number pad to the right side.

The switches are what makes this keyboard different with keys available in Cherry’s black or red MX Silent design with either 45 or 60 cN of force required to push the switch down. To understand the force needed for each switch you really need to try out that little switch tester that WASD Keyboards sells.

You can get from a higher 80 cN down to 45 cN, cN is the abbreviation for centinewton which is the force needed to press down the key. The higher the number the more force needed to press the key so in typing most people like lower ranges in the 45 to 60 cN but want no noise as well.

The Cherry switches have both varying force as well as audio feedback or lack of for a variety of uses like gamers wanting more of a tactile and audio feedback while gaming. Typists or those using computers a lot, programmers for instance, don’t really want the audio feedback as much but do want the tactile feedback.

Side of MX Silent Keyboard
Side of MX Silent Keyboard

The keyboard has the usual keys and number pad as well as adjustable feet that prop the keyboard top edge up about a quarter inch for more of an angle to your keyboard. The MX Silent keyboard has the USB connection as well as a USB to PS/2 adapter in the package with nothing else but instructions.

The keys of the keyboard can be pulled to reveal the switches below as well as replaced with new ones if you would like to change them out. This is one of the many advantages of the mechanical keyboard that people really like, being able to replace the keys themselves with colored ones or different fonts.

You can buy new key sets or parts of sets with ones for gaming or programs like Photoshop as well as those rubber dampeners in a variety of sizes. Mainly the two I found and would trust are the ones Cherry and another company sell in .2mm red and .4mm blue, some companies don’t put the different sizes of dampeners on their descriptions.

Th red dampeners will give some dampening while the blue will give twice as much due to the rubber ring being twice the thickness. The cost of adding the rings is only about $15 while that switch tester is also about $16 so checking these things out is not much of an expense.

The mechanical keyboard however is expensive and a good investment for anyone who types often or games a lot which brings me back around to that investment. If I was going to spend my money I would buy the Cherry MX switch tester first to see which keyboard switch best suites my feel and use.

I would then look around for the keyboard with that switch that best suites my uses whether gaming or daily use like programming and buying the model I like best. The Cherry MX Silent is a great choice with its basic design for those going for that nostalgic look but it does have those excellent key switches hiding under that plain exterior.

Pros
Two versions for quieter typing or more tactile feedback
Classic IBM design for nostalgia lovers
Ability to add dampeners for quieter typing

Cons
Pretty basic design

Cherry MX Website

Cherry MX Silent Red Switches @ Amazon