Achievement unlocked: Chinese mechanical keyboards
Mechanical keyboards have existed since the early days of the humble keyboard, but were soon replaced by membrane keyboards - considered cheaper and better to use. However the mechanical keyboard still lives on as high-end products, while others are utilized in commercial cash registers.
Mechanical keyboards are considered a premium item due to the enhanced typing experience, especially in terms of tactile feedback. Some users are even tempted by the cool and distinctive "click" from each key. Despite this, the price of today's mechanical keyboards is restrictive, especially those made with a Cherry MX switch. So, while desirable, mechanical keyboards are out of reach for most people.
Is the Cherry switch the only choice? Absolutely not
An affordable alternative is available: a Mechanical Keyboard made with a Chinese key switch. As the single most important element of any mechanical keyboard, the key switch was an R&D priority for Chinese keyboard manufacturers – all of whom recognized the need to develop their own key switch in a market dominated by Cherry. The result? More and more gamers are using Chinese switches for their performance and reliability.
Main Chinese Mechanical Switches
Kailh's MX switch offering is unusually rich. They offer switches of different case colors (black and transparent), optimized for regular LEDs, RGB LEDS, and SMD LEDs – available with or without pins.
The Kailh blue switch has the loudest noise with maximum mechanical feedback, making this the archetypical mechanical keyboard switch. The trigger distance is 2.4mm with an actuation force of 60g. However, while the typing rhythm sensation is great, it may be a little noisy for some users.
You can see this switch being used in various keyboards, mostly Chinese in origin. Outemu's red and blue switch are my personal recommendations.
The actuation force of the red switch is small, starting at 35g all the way up to 60g. The feedback generally feels light, directly vertical, with a trigger distance of 2.0mm. This provides a relaxing typing experience and also takes gaming needs into consideration. Outemu Red is suitable for FPS and RTS games, while also being suitable for typing.
As for Outemu blue switches, the trigger distance is longer at 2.4mm. The actuation force is 60g. The typing sensation is great. Together with colorful RGB backlit design, Motospeed has recently produced some great Outemu blue switch mechanical keyboards. Below is just one example.
Special Recommendation for Outemu Blue Switch Keyboard
Gamers are gravitating toward the MOTOSPEED Inflictor CK104 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard in significant numbers. Adopting the Outemu blue switch, it provides superbly tactile and clicky feedback. I happen to love the loud click the switches give off. Admittedly, it was a little too loud for me initially, but I got used to the noise after just one day. It's especially important during gaming to hear the switch audibly register and space bar wobble is absent – that's a definite bonus.
I was also impressed by the versatile and different lighting modes. Many presets and customization options exist, including individual keys, random colors, rainbow effects, and wave settings – literally a light show that made my keyboard come to life. Tip: FN + INS delivers some amazing lighting effects. The user manual is packed with cool lighting shortcuts.
Greetech switches resemble the appearance of Cherry switches the most. It's very difficult to distinguish between them as their design seems identical. Only the text printed on the switch housing indicate whether it's a Cherry or a Greetech.
The Greetech Brown is not directly vertical, and pressing it down 2mm can trigger the key, giving it a luxurious, understated feel. It combines the features of both Blue and Black, making it more easily accepted by users.
The tactile feeling of the Greetech brown is much softer than the Black, making it less tiring to use during long sessions. Additionally, the sensation is very similar to membrane keyboards, making it easier for those who have been using membrane keyboards for a long time to adapt.
2. Razer (OEM Kailh)
Kailh OEM for Razer Green Switch. Green switches are a stiffer version of Blue switches, with a tactile bump and audible click, weighted at 80cN. It is primarily used for space bars. For most people, it's not the best switch. But if you are a genuine geek or enthusiast, this would be a great option.
Gateron switches are well known and loved by the keyboard enthusiast community. Gateron manufactures high quality switches with great design and materials, making them trusted by many.
4. Romer-G (OEM Omron)
Omron OEM for Logitech. This mechanical switch actuates at a distance of 1.5mm. That's up to 25% shorter and faster than the leading competitor. Together with a low actuation of 45g, this results in near-instant responsiveness, minimizing fatigue over long gaming sessions.
The soft click switch design improves tactile feedback and responsiveness. The patent-pending asymmetric keycap design keeps your fingers centered and improves edge-strike activation for more direct and reliable keystrokes.
Those are all the most popular mechanical switches made in China.
As I mentioned at the outset, you will discover even more choices on fantastic keyboard switches made in China and enjoy a brand new mechanical keyboard experience at Gearbest.
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2017-02-13 By Zim Watson
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